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This week at FMC

April 21-27, 2021

This has been an eventful and weighty week in our nation.  The guilty verdict in Minneapolis in the death of George Floyd marks an important step toward justice.  And, there is a long road ahead of us to uproot the violence and brutality disproportionately inflicted upon people with black and brown skin in our country. 

Earth Day 2021 was also observed this week, giving us opportunity to listen to the voice of God’s creation, often unheard and ignored.  I have struggled this week to find my own voice to express all that is swirling in me as the weight of injustice and the need for action and change are abundantly clear.  And so I turn to prayer, trusting Christ IS in our midst, still today speaking peace, breathing the Holy Spirit into us, and naming us people ‘sent’ in the same way he himself was sent.  This prayer litany, written by Christian Maclean (God’s Good Earth: praise and prayer for creation.  Anne and Jeffery Rowthorn. 2018), invites us to turn our attention and desire toward Jesus, who walks with us.  May it be so.

God of place and history, we pray for the broken and torn fabric of the earth as it yearns for healing. 

Jesus, who walked with farmers and fisher-folk and sat in village kitchens, walk with us now.

We hold before you those who have the privilege and responsibility of working the land, and those who struggle to make a living.

Jesus, who walked with farmers and fisher-folk and sat in village kitchens, walk with us now.

We hold before you those whose relationship with the earth is ruptured through conflict, poverty, stunted opportunities, and environmental degradation.

Jesus, who walked with farmers and fisher-folk and sat in village kitchens, walk with us now.

We hold before you rural communities where people feel isolated, marginalized and powerless in the face of distant economic and political forces; and we remember especially those who have lost hope. 

Jesus, who walked with farmers and fisher-folk and sat in village kitchens, walk with us now.

We hold before you those whose policies affect the land, the earth and all of our lives; and we pray for those in positions of power, in particular that the leaders of wealthy nations will have the courage and vision to make hard decisions. 

Jesus, who walked with farmers and fisher-folk and sat in village kitchens, walk with us now.

[We hold before you those who feel, or are made to feel, as if their bodies do not belong in the places where they live, on the earth where they walk, work and play.  We hold before you all who feel, or are made to feel, that their bodies are not worthy of care and honor.  We hold all who despair of receiving justice, hope and healing for deep wounds diminishing life and opportunities for flourshing.] 

Jesus, who walked with farmers and fisher-folk and sat in village kitchens, walk with us now.

God of sheltering wings, hear these prayers today and fill us with your Spirit, that we may live in peace with the earth and with each other; and that your Kingdom may come.  AMEN.  (stanza in brackets above written by Tonya Ramer Wenger)

–Pastor Tonya

 SUNDAY MORNING Worship In Person & Live Stream @ 9:30am

The link for Sunday morning worship (as well as archives of past worship services) is found on our website:! Join at 9:25am to see the announcements! 


The 2021 Congregational Ministry Team (Delon Martens-chair, Jennalee Boggs-chair-elect, Julie Esau, Kevin Martin Nisly, Carol Moore, and the pastors) affirms the recommendations of the RE-Opening Task Force – Carol Moore, Dohn Fast, Joretta Martens, Todd Esau, Pastor Tonya).   We continue to lean toward caution, keeping in place the precautions of masks, physical distancing, hand washing and no gathering in the foyer.  Currently, you no longer have to call ahead, but the same precautions are in place which will continue to limit the number in the sanctuary.  Overflow options will be available.  CMT and the Re-Opening Taskforce will continue to monitor data from the Reno County Health Department, and make decisions accordingly. 

SUNDAY, April 25:  Ethiopian Eunuch Baptized (4th Sunday of Easter)

 Ethiopian reads the Scriptures, comes to believe and be baptized by Philip.

Acts 8:26-39

  • Preacher:  Pastor Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader:  Stephanie Gehring
  • Children’s Time: Ama Reimer
  • Scripture Reader:
  • Organist:  Pauline Buller
  • Ushers:  Jennalee & Dennis Boggs
  • Sound:  Murray Reimer
  • Live Stream:  Jonathan Wenger


During each worship service, you are invited to text your prayer joys and concerns – usually to Pastor Tonya, but sometimes it will be someone else, and we’ll give you that info at the time!!  You are also welcome to send prayer joys & concerns during the week.  Since our worship link is now public, when you submit prayer requests be sure to let us know if you’d prefer it NOT be shared on Sunday morning.  We can keep requests more private by only sharing them in the weekly prayer email sent out on Tuesdays. 


Announcements are scrolled Sunday mornings before (beginning around 9:25) and after the worship service.  There will be no spoken announcements unless there are pressing announcements that did not make it into the PowerPoint.  Please send any announcements you’d like to have included by Thursday each week. 


  • April 22 – Pastor Congregation Relations Committee meets @ 5:00pm
  • April 28 – Faith Formation Coordination Team 4:00pm
  • April 28 – Safe Sanctuaries Training ZOOM or in person @ 7pm
  • May 4 – Hesston College Bel Canto Singers Concert @ 7pm on FMC Parking Lot!!!

DEEPENING in Christ…


Meets Thursday mornings from 10-11am in the Prayer Room (with masks and distancing).  All are welcome. 

A small ecumenical Centering Prayer group meets on ZOOM Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30-1:30pm.  If you’d like to learn more and receive the link to participate, contact Pastor Tonya. 


During this Easter season we’ll experience the surprise of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances and journey with these early disciples and the early church through stories in Acts and Paul’s letter to the Galatians.  On May 16 we plan to celebrate the ministry of Camp Mennoscah with Renetta Gooden (from the Camp Mennoscah Board of Directors) as our guest preacher.  Our Easter season worship will culminate with a Pentecost Celebration on May 23. 


Mark your calendars for Sunday morning worship at Camp Mennoscah on June 20!!  Worship will be at 10:00am, swimming at 11:00, and lunch served at 12:15pm.  If you would be interested in coming out to camp Saturday evening and staying overnight in cabins (or you could bring a tent), please let the church office or Pastor Tonya know, and then we’ll plan accordingly depending on how many are interested.

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! devotional magazines

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! are available above the mailboxes.  Please let us know if you would like a copy mailed to you. 


  • Preschool: 10:45-11:30am
  • Kindergarten – 6th grade: 10:45-11:30am
  • 7th-8th grade: 10:45-11:30AM
  • High School youth:  11:45AM (in person at the church)

Adult Sunday School Bible Study @ 10:45AM (Meets the first three Sundays of the month)

NOTE THE NEW TIME: 10:45-11:30AM!!!!!   You are invited to join this class on ZOOM or in person in the fellowship hall.  Below is the schedule for this Adult Bible Study using the Salt and Light discussion guide.  This quarter focuses on Living for God, written by Leonard Beechy, retired English teacher and member of Eighth Street Mennonite Church in Goshen, IN.  (Copies of the study guide available at the church, or can be sent to you):

  • APR 25 – Class does NOT meet
  • MAY 2 – “God Declares Who God Is,” Exodus 33:12-23; 34:4-9.  Pastor Tonya facilitating
  • MAY 9 – “God in the Quiet Sound,” 1 Kings 19:9b-18.  Calvin Buller facilitating
  • MAY 16 – “Jesus Transformed,” Luke 9:18-36. Pastor Jim facilitating

Check your email for the ZOOM link or contact Pastor Tonya. 


Gather with other young(er) adults in this newly formed class at FMC!  The group will be discerning and deciding together the focus and content of their time together. 


Over the summer, we’re planning to have Sunday School the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month, with the exception of June which will be the 1st and 4th Sundays.  Watch for more details!!

Masks and physical distancing practices will continue for all in-person gatherings at the church.

STRENGTHENING Community Connections…

BEAUTIFUL SALT CITY PODCAST                                    

A future story tells us what we want (vision), why we want it (values), and how we will create it (resources). Our own Pastor Jim Unruh talks with people in our community to learn their life stories and to dream together for a future story for our beautiful salt city.  Find it here: and check back each Saturday/Sunday to listen to a new conversation. 


  • Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 2:00
  • Wednesday 10am-1pm 


  • Monday:  Sabbath Day
  • Tuesday-Friday:  generally working 9am-5:30pm(ish)
  • Available evenings and weekends (cell phone is most reliable)


Let the church office or Pastor Tonya know if you are willing.  We’d especially like to have more male voices!


If you would you be interested in serving as a delegate for the MC USA Convention in Cincinnati OH this summer, please talk with Delon Martens (CMT Chair) or Pastor Tonya for more details.  We are encouraging participating virtually for the event this year.   See the MC USA Convention announcement in the “STRETCHING” section below for a few more details and a link to learn more.


After over a year of virtual and on-campus concerts, Hesston College’s Bel Canto Singers are hitting the road to perform a program entitled “Lift Every Voice” at locations across Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota and South Dakota. The concerts will feature choral numbers as well as special music by soloists and small groups.   In order to meet the challenges that COVID-19 presents to traditional tour practices, the choir will use the Hesston College campus (and later, Swan Lake Christian Camp in SD) as a home base and perform a series of run-out performances to regional communities.

On Tuesday May 4, First Mennonite will be hosting Bel Canto Singers in our church parking lot for an outdoor concert at 7:00pm.  Alex Miller is part of this choir.  Bring lawn chairs if you can, along with your friends and neighbors to enjoy this concert!!  The concert will also be broadcasted over FM radio for those choosing drive-in parking. 

 “Spring is a season of renewal,” said Dr. Russell Adrian, director of choral activities at Hesston College. “Bel Canto has spent an entire school year giving virtual and on-campus concerts. With increasing vaccination rates and easing restrictions, we hope to bring a message of new life, resilience and reflection. These concerts will provide a space for communities to celebrate together safely. We look forward to sharing our music with new audiences.”  Directed by Dr. Adrian and accompanied by Kenneth Rodgers, Bel Canto Singers are Hesston College’s top choir.   Complete concert itinerary may be found at

STRETCHING to Serve as Christ Served…


Personal care/hygiene items such as these are appreciated: toilet paper, laundry detergent, bath soap, Kleenex, deodorant, disposable razors, paper towels, shampoo, dish soap, hand/body lotion.  Travel size – new & unopened – are desirable.  Food bank donations may be brought to the Salvation Army.  At this time the Food Bank is particularly in need of the following:  tomato soup, cream of mushroom soup and green beans.


Our book study group (the Wednesday evening group meeting over the past 9 months) would like you to join us for a trip to the Kansas African American Museum located in Wichita at 601 N Water Street on May 1, 2021.  We will meet at the church at 8:45am to caravan to Wichita, arriving by 10:00am.  We will tour the museum with Dr. Lona Reeves as our guide.  We anticipate the tour will be completed by noon or before.  If we have 15 or more the tickets will be $3 (student), $4 (senior), $5 (adult).  If we have less than 15 the ticket prices will be $1 more.  There is a parking garage across the street.  The Museum will validate all parking tickets. Please RSVP to the church by April 28.  That gives us time to let the Museum know how many are coming.  Esther Regier and Sara Blodgett


Mennonite Friendship Communities welcomes you to an open house from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 15. Enjoy a self-paced tour of the beautiful Independent Living duplexes and apartments. Please wear a facemask, and social distancing will be encouraged as you tour the campus. Also, take advantage of the special rates: 10 percent off a life lease, or $1,500 off apartment rental over three months, plus $500 off monthly services. For more information, please call or text Kristen Birket at (620) 663-7175 or email


QUILTER’S CORNER –  July 2-3, 2021. Quilter’s Corner welcomes your donated QUILT-RELATED ITEMS throughout the year. These used/unused/unfinished items no longer needed in your quilt/sewing/linen closets will be sold to generate funds for MCC relief work around the world. The Fall 2020 Quilter’s Corner brought in over $23,000 for MCC. SUGGESTED ITEMS: • finished/unfinished quilt tops • finished/unfinished quilt blocks • old and damaged quilts • quilt supplies and tools • linens • cloth sacks • quilt books • quilt magazines (2011 – current) • quilt patterns • notions • fabric – cotton.  Items may be dropped off at the MCC Center in North Newton throughout the year. Boxes and bags should be labeled Quilter’s Corner. One of the baskets in the church foyer is designated for Quilter’s Corner donations.  Questions??  Rose Wiebe Haury 316-288-0079,

Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale will be held July 2 and 3, 2021, at the Kansas State Fair grounds. 

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Summer Youth Camp registration is open!   Register online here!

Please call or email the church office when your children sign up so we can offer a camp scholarship.

Finish the Campfire Amphitheater!  Work days are currently scheduled for the following days: May 15. Email or call 620-297-3290 to volunteer for this project. 

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Sat., April 24, 7 p.m. – Caleb Abbott senior saxophone recitalKrehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College, featuring classical and jazz pieces by Glazunov, Morosco, Shorter, Wood & Mellin, and an original composition. Those planning to attend must wear masks and sit physically distanced or in family groups. Seating is limited, with priority given to members of a pre-concert list of family and friends.

– Fri.-Sat., April 30-May 1 (including Saturday matinee): spring play, I and You by Lauren Gunderson (in person)

– Sun., May 2: Outdoor choral concert

Leonard Pitts Jr., award-winning syndicated columnist, will present a lecture titled, “Is America Possible?”  Pitts will speak live online Sunday, April 25, 2 p.m. as part of the Bethel College Peace Lecture Series from the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR).  Register for the Zoom link at

Kauffman Museum’s spring fundraiser is FaspBox – faspa in a box. Faspa is a light evening meal traditional among Low German-heritage Mennonites. Each box serves one and costs $50. Reservations must be made by Monday, April 26 (for pickup or delivery on May 2), at or by contacting the museum with credit card information at or 316-283-1612.

April 29-May 1 (including Saturday matinee): Bethel College spring play, I and You by Lauren Gunderson, planned for Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center. Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – and there is a livestream option! Call or stop by Thresher Shop in Schultz Student Center, Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m., 316-284-5205, for tickets for either in-person or livestream. Please note: This play has adult content and is not suitable for children. Face coverings must be worn and physical distancing will be enforced for in-person performances.

Sunday, May 2, 4 p.m.: Spring choral concert, featuring the Bethel College Concert Choir, Woven and Open Road on the steps of the Administration Building on campus. Bring your own chairs/blankets. Please note that face coverings must be worn and physical distancing practiced on the Bethel campus.


WDC Hope Fund update: One year ago in April 2020, the WDC Executive Board established the Hope Fund to support WDC congregations and ministers in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  Since then, contributions of over $45,000 have been received, and grants totaling over $31,000 have been distributed to assist with expenses such as rent and repairs, utilities, groceries, pastoral support, medical expenses and mental health care.  Thanks be to God for the mutual support and generosity that has been shared through these funds!  In anticipation of future needs beyond the pandemic, the Executive Board recently approved an expansion of the Hope Fund guidelines, to also include assistance in times of natural disaster or similar emergencies, and to allow WDC commissions (in addition to congregations) to also apply for grants to assist congregations and ministers. The Board also approved a Hope Fund Task Force to continue administering the fund.  For more information, see the attached revised guidelines and application forms.  Gifts to the Hope Fund may be made online at  (click on “Donate to WDC) or by sending a check to PO Box 306, N. Newton, KS 67117.  Thank you!



Mennonite Church USA has announced the registration rates for MennoCon21, its first hybrid convention, to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, and online on July 6-10. 2021. In-person attendance is $325 per person for the five-day event and online attendance is $99. For more details, visit

The Mennonite Church USA Constituency Leaders Council (CLC) recently met and provided feedback on four proposed resolutions, concerning the denomination’s Membership Guidelines, inclusion of LGBTQIA people, accessibility for people with disabilities, and justice in the U.S. criminal legal system. Read more here: 

From the MCC U.S. Washington Office, an invitation to take action: Prevent future war—repeal the Iraq AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force) The 2002 Iraq AUMF authorized war against the Saddam Hussein regime and has been used to justify military action for 19 years without additional congressional approval. Two bills repealing the AUMF in the House of Representative and the Senate have growing bipartisan support. Repealing past AUMFs will return authority to engage in militarized force to Congress, creating greater accountability for military actions. Send a message to your members of Congress calling on them to support the repeal of the 1991 and 2002 Iraq AUMFs.

MCC dignity kit informational webinar, April 20 at 7 p.m. Yes, MCC has a new kit that has been in development for years and now we’re ready to teach you how to help us bring dignity to young women around the world! The dignity kit includes hygiene items and a reusable menstruation pad system. Join Kate Mast for this webinar to learn about the kit and how to sew the base units for the reusable system. Email for the Zoom link.

Responding to disaster: MCC’s response to hurricanes Eta & Iota webinar April 21 & 22 at 7pm

MCC is pleased to bring you, via Zoom, the people and stories directly impacted by this disaster response that you generously supported. Register here for this two night webinar to hear directly from MCC partner organizations and church partners in Honduras and Nicaragua. They will share about MCC’s disaster response as well as how climate change impacts migration and poverty in Central America.


The Ball Brothers will be in concert on Sunday, May 9, 2021 at 6:00pm, in Hutchinson’s Memorial Hall.  Limited tickets are available at   Funds raised will support an orphanage in India.  This four-some offers an uplifting Christian music experience for the whole family.  Care Portal, through which we can support children and families locally, is also a part of this organization.

GODSPELL  –  BUHLER HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL   –  April 28, 30, May 1 and 2

Buhler High School Choral Department is proud to present the Tony-nominated musical GODSPELL.  In this timeless tale of building a community, friendship, loyalty, and love, a small group of disciples help Jesus tell a variety of parables through song, dance, and a huge dose of humor.  But at its core, it’s the story of all of us, how we need to take care of each other, how we are all, in essence, a family. That’s a message that should be applicable to people regardless of their spiritual inclinations.
Music and Stage Direction by Greg Bontrager with Choreography by Katelyn Stoss and Rock Combo Direction by Rich Toevs.
Godspell will be performed at the Buhler High School Auditorium   –  April 28, 30 at 7:00 p.m.,
May 1 at 7:30 pm. and a matinee, May 2 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for K-12 students and are available by calling BHS at 620-543-2255.  Tickets will also be available at the door.