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This week at FMC

August 18-24, 2021

Table of Contents

Haiti and Afghanistan weigh heavily on my heart right now.  Earthquakes, war, and more. 

Lord, have mercy.

Our prayers for the people of Haiti and Afghanistan are significant and needed.  Our financial help can also be a gift.  I have a couple suggestions to support Haiti below.  Mennonite Central Committee also works in Afghanistan, but they have not created a specific action/response invitation at this time (that I was able to locate) – but, a general donation to MCC is always a good option.

First, from a dear friend of mine, Mary Pharmer. She is a retired Lutheran pastor I learned to know in Madison WI who has had years of connection to Haiti as she has 2 adopted children from Haiti.  For her birthday this month she invited her friends on Facebook to give to this organization:

US Foundation for the Children of Haiti (Sponsors of my children’s adoptions 30+ years ago)

Donations to this vital organization: hospital, schools, orphanage are a way to provide for the most vulnerable at such a difficult time.

Checks can be sent to USFCH

PO Box 521171, Tulsa OK 74152

Second, Mennonite Central Committee – Haiti Response ( people of Haiti need our help. Families who have already suffered so much have been hit once again.   On Saturday, August 14th, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the country, killing at least 1,300 people and injuring thousands more. Early reports show that many of those who survived lost their homes. Thousands are sleeping outside, with little food and no protection from the elements.  Right now, our local partners are assessing the situation to provide aid where needed most.  With your help, we can reach the people most affected by this tragic event. Your gifts will help provide emergency support and supplies.  Donation checks can be mailed to: MCC PO Box 500 Akron PA 17501-0500

Finally, an invitation to pray with the words of Psalm 46 as we hold the turmoil in the world, and the turmoil we may be experiencing here in our little corner of the world…

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,

though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire. 

“Be still, and know that I am God!  I am exalted among the nations,  I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
 the God of Jacob is our refuge.

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! 

STATEMENT FROM CMT to the congregation regarding the Delta variant:

We are a caring congregation. We recognize that health and life are gifts that we honor for ourselves and others. Because of the rapid increase in our community of the Delta-variant, the virus’ ease of transmission, and the recommendations from the CDC, we are strongly recommending that everyone wear a mask while inside the church building and practice social distancing as we did several months ago. We want to protect our children and those individuals at high health risk and/or are unable to receive the vaccine. It is anticipated that the next 4-6 weeks are critical in slowing down the spread of this mutant. Let each of us do our part to mitigate the potential serious consequences to our church family and our community during this time.   (Delon Martens, Jennalee Boggs, Julie Esau, Kevin Martin Nisly, Carol Moore, Tonya Ramer Wenger, Jim Unruh)

SUNDAY, AUGUST 22:  Season of Creation – A Home for All?

Peacemaking as Home-Building

(Prov 31:10-end; Psalm 1; James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a; Mark 9:30-37)

  • Preacher:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader:  Stephanie Gehring
  • Children’s Time:  Ama Reimer
  • Scripture Reader:  Stephanie Gehring
  • Organist:  Pauline Buller
  • Ushers:   Susan Combs & Joretta Martens
  • 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. 


  • August 19 – Congregation Ministry Team – 4:30pm
  • August 24 – Faith Formation Team – 4:00pm
  • August 29 – Congregational Meeting & Youth Fundraiser Lunch
  • August 30 – Mentor & Mentee Kick-off – 5:30pm
  • September 1 – Congregation Ministry Team and all Coordination Teams – 7:00pm

REMINDER:  If you are last one out of the church building, be SURE the doors lock behind you when you leave.  Go out, watch the doors latch, give both door handles a tug, and make sure they are locked!  Thank you.

DEEPENING in Christ…


Meets Thursday mornings from 10-11am in the Prayer Room.  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. 


The legacy and legends of Saint Francis have inspired many to care more deeply and intentionally for all of creation as our ‘brothers and sisters’ sharing planet Earth with us.  And so, as we brought our ‘Cultivating Life With God for the World” worship series to a close on August 1, we are turning next to a worship series inviting us to explore how our life with God impacts ALL of creation and asking what we can do to truly make this a home for all. 

AUG 22:  Season of Creation – A Home for All? Peacemaking as Home-Building

                Pastor Tonya preaching 

AUG 29:  Season of Creation – A Home for All? Praying for Our Home Planet & Its People

                Guest Preacher – Jim French

SEPT 5:  Season of Creation: A Home for All?  A Home and a Hope for the Future

                Pastor Tonya preaching


Pending any weather difficulties, worship NEXT SUNDAY August 22 will be held outside on the north side of the church.  Bring your chairs and hats to shield you from the sun!  Our intention will be to livestream the service from outside. 


On August 22 you are invited to stay after worship – in the basement fellowship hall – to watch together and have some discussion of one of the worship sermons from the recent WCD Assembly. Childcare will be provided!


The Fall Sunday School session will begin on Sunday September 5.  Watch for more details soon about offerings for adults. 


The signup sheet is up on the church’s “Sign Up” bulletin board!!  We are seeking groups of at least 4 teachers to sign up to teach on a rotation (likely 3 Sundays at a time, but that is negotiable!) for each of these classes:  PreK-Kindergarten, 1st-5th grade, and 6th-7th grade.   

This rotation system would result in each person in the group of 4 teaching roughly three 3-week stints between September 2021 and May 2022. We also need to have helpers for at least the Pre-K-Kindergarten class,
which is a good option for those of you who prefer not to teach but are willing to give love and attention to
our kids!  Please prayerfully consider this opportunity to be involved in the faith formation of the youngest in our congregation, who are truly delightful and a gift to us!!  We will again be using the SHINE Curriculum from MennoMedia.  And, if you’d be interested in helping teach the Youth Group, please talk with Jonathan Wenger to volunteer. Questions? Talk with Cheryl Warkentin or Pastor Tonya.


We look forward to dedicating Bibles for our Kindergarteners, 3rd, and 7th graders on our annual Bible Dedication and Sunday School Teacher Blessing Sunday. 

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! devotional magazines

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

STRENGTHENING Community Connections…


Youth 8th-12th grade are invited to the Youth Group Kick-Off with Jonathan Wenger, Tanya Martin Nisly and Pastor Tonya on Sunday August 22.  Timeframe is approximately 2:00pm-7:00pm with dinner included.  Watch for more details very soon!!!  We will plan to carpool to and from the church.


Plan to remain in the sanctuary on August 29 after worship for a short congregational meeting regarding changes/updates to FMC’s bylaws and constitution, specifically related to integrating our “new” organizational structure.  Look for these documents in your email, sent to you on August 13.  If you have not received them, call the church office.  Printed copies are available in the foyer.   Following the meeting, the Senior Youth will provide a fundraiser Hamburger Fry lunch.  Right now we expect this to be a meal you can take home with you. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend the meeting, however only members and associate members will cast votes.   IF YOU’D LIKE TO JOIN THE MEETING VIRTUALLY, please let Pastor Tonya or Delon Martens know by August 24!! 


Mentors and Mentees are invited to our kick-off event on Monday, August 30 at the Homebuilder’s Shelter from 5:30-7:30pm.  We’ll eat supper together – main dish provided, and each pair is invited to bring a side dish OR a dessert to share.


All of our Coordination Teams (Faith Formation, Faithful Community, Faithful Service and Outreach, and Faithful Stewardship) will gather with the CMT on WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 1 at 7:00pm!!  This gathering will provide resourcing and support as these groups, together, support the congregation in living out the mission and purpose of First Mennonite Church to DEEPEN, STRENGTHEN, AND STRETCH.  Specifically, as we look toward Fall 2021 and who we are becoming in this post-COVID reality, we’ll explore some fundamental questions of church – What? Why? and How?  Pastor Tonya will help guide this time using David E. Fitch’s little book, What is the Church and Why Does it Exist?  

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. 

CHURCH OFFICE HOURS – may vary from this schedule during the summer

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


  • Monday: Sabbath Day
  • Tuesday-Friday: generally working 9:00am-5:30pm
    • Office Hours:  9-2 Tuesday and Thursday; 10-1 on Wednesday
    • Available other times by appointment.
  • 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!

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.


School supplies (new items only) are needed as children in our community go back to school this fall.  Pick up the list of needed supplies from the table in the foyer.  Please drop off your items at 12 West 2nd Ave. (Tue or Thu 10am-3:30pm; or Wed 9am-noon). 

Cash donations are appreciated and a philanthropic donor has offered to match all financial donations.  Checks payable to First Call for Help (memo – School Supplies), mailed to PO Box 2203, Hutchinson KS 67504. 


Are you sad that summer is coming to an end?  Come out and have a great night of fun and entertainment at the Community Fun Night!   Saturday, September 4, starting at 5:30pm at Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church, 43 13th Avenue, Inman. 

  • There will be a Cornhole Tournament ($20 entry fee, cash prizes, registration 5:30-600); Kids’ activities (inflatables, face painting, water games); Car Show; Food Vendors (Epp Soul Food and Patrick Klassen); Drive-in Movie on the lawn at dark. 
  • Everyone’s welcome!  Bring your family and friends as we celebrate the end of summer!!  Find Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church on Facebook for more details. 

FOSTER PARENTS ARE NEEDED! . . . Saint Francis Foster Care

Just as children come from all walks of life, so do foster parents.  You do not have to be wealthy, live in a big house, or be married.  You simply need room in your heart and in your home to give children a safe space to heal and build hope.  Classes for foster parents will be offered at Grace Bible Church on Tuesdays starting September 21 (10 weeks), 6:00-9:00pm.  Call Jocelyn Busick (620-282-9555)or

CROP Hunger Walk, Sunday, September 26, Rice Park, 1 p.m.

You are invited to support the Reno County CROP Hunger Walk sponsored by Church World Service! The Reno County Food Bank and the Christian Soup Ministry receive a quarter of funds; the rest supports global ministries with people who need food, water, and shelter.  By October 1, please (1) Write a check to “CWS-CROP.” Write the name of your church on the memo line! Mail your check to Emanuel Lutheran Church, 140 E. 30th Avenue, Hutchinson, KS 67502 OR (2) Register to walk OR Donate securely on-line  at  Click “Donate,” then “Make a General Donation.” Every donation will be acknowledged. Questions? Contact Co-Coordinator Eileen Porter,  at or 608-957-6432.  Thank you for helping our neighbors in need!


The Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale Annual Meeting will be Thursday, August 26, 6:00 pm at First Mennonite Church, McPherson.  The cost of the meal is $20.00.  Please RSVP to Barb BJ Reeves at or 620-543-6863 by August 22.  We will be checking with health information sources regarding group meetings closer to the date for everyone’s protection.  The funds will go to the McPherson Housing Coalition for the construction of Oak Harbor Cottages for low income/homeless families.

MCC Treats & Beats, August 26 from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. at MCC in North Newton! Join us for this relaxed come-and-go event featuring ice cream treats from Salted Creamery and beats from the talented Kevin Gaeddert! Drop in, grab some ice cream and enjoy a little music as our thank you for your support of the work of MCC!


WDC Women’s Retreat . . . September 11-12 (in-person).   All women 13 years and older are invited to Camp Mennoscah for Women’s Retreat.  Kathy Neufeld Dunn will be our main speaker on Re/Connecting with God and Each Other.  Whether we need time to reconnect with God, with our sisters in Christ or both, Women’s Retreat is a chance to do that.  Join us for a special time of focus on spiritual and emotional connection with each other and the One who loves us and cares for us beyond imagining.   Covid rules and restrictions will be followed, and a few things will look different so please read the information carefully.  We hope to see there!   Click here for information and registration forms:  

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

The next Work Day is August 28 with all sorts of fun projects!  Meet at the Maintenance shed at 8:30am and bring your lunch and a water bottle. Come for a partial day, if that’s what works!  Call us at 620-297-3290 or email!  You are important to Camp Mennoscah’s ministry!

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Voices Together: Worship and the Arts  –  5th Biennial Symposium . . . November 5-8.  SAVE THE DATE!

More information at