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This week at FMC

August 25-31, 2021

Table of Contents

Recently, while browsing the books at Crow & Co in downtown Hutchinson, the title of a little blue book caught my attention: Saint Francis of Assisi: Brother of Creation (by Mirabai Starr).  Still holding the memory of our summer worship series in which I felt led to pair Jesus’ Beatitudes with lines of the peace prayer attributed to St Francis, I was happy to see a chapter in this little book exploring ways St. Francis sought to live out the Beatitudes in everyday life.  And, of course, a chapter focusing on St. Francis’ relationship with the natural world, dovetailing with our current worship series.  Each chapter includes a collection of prayers and other short reflections. 

As we continue to think about our relationship with the natural world, I want to share a short reflection (below) from this book, written by St. Francis  (quoted from Saint Francis of Assisi: Writings and Early Biographies. edited by Marion H. Habig.).  This came to mind for me this morning as I sat outside in my backyard and had in view both the full moon to the west and the light from the rising sun in the east. We do well to remember our dependence on these gifts of light from Creator God.

“At dawn, when the sun rises, we should praise God, who created Brother Sun for us, and through him gives light to our eyes by day. 

And at nightfall everyone should praise God for Brother Fire, by whom he gives light to our eyes in the darkness. 

For we are all blind, and by these two brothers of ours God gives light to our eyes, so we should give special praise to our Creator for these and other creatures that serve us day by day.” 

(Starr, Mirabai.  Saint Francis of Assisi – Brother of Creation. Sounds True, Inc. 2013. Pg 34)

Those of you who came to our outdoor worship service on Sunday had a pretty intense experience with Brother Sun!!  Many thanks to you for persevering despite the discomfort the sun and heat may have created … I had hoped for more cloud cover, but that’s the unpredictability of being outside!  And, once again, apologies to those of you who saw the incorrect announcement on our website – if you weren’t able to find the link, you can find the recording here:

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 29:  Season of Creation – A Home for All?

Praying for Our Home Planet & Its People

(Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22; Psalm 124; James 5:13-end; Mark 9:38-end)

  • Preacher:  Jim French, guest preacher
  • Worship Leader:  Delon Martens
  • Children’s Time:  Julie Goering
  • Scripture Reader:  Delon Martens
  • Musician:  Bailey Krehbiel, Duncan Krehbiel, Pauline Buller
  • Ushers:   Stephanie & Jay Gehring
  • Sound:  Earl Ediger
  • 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 24 – Faith Formation Team – 4:00pm; Centennial Planning Committee – 7:00pm
  • August 29 – Congregational Meeting & Youth Fundraiser Lunch
  • August 30 – Mentor & Mentee Kick-off – 5:30pm @ Carey Park (Homebuilder’s Shelter)
  • September 1 – Congregation Ministry Team and all Coordination Teams – 7:00pm

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 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


The Fall Sunday School session will begin on Sunday September 12 (NOT Sept 5 as previously announced!). 

Classes for children and youth: Living as God’s People (SHINE Curriculum from MennoMedia)

  • PreK-Kindergarten (basement, room 3)
  • 1st-5th grade (basement, rooms 1-2)
  • 6th– 7th grade (all the way upstairs in the Jr Youth room)
  • 8th -12th grade (all the way upstairs in the Sr Youth room)

For Adults:

Younger Adults Class – meeting in the basement adult Sunday School Room

Adult Bible Study/Discussion – in September, gather in the basement Fellowship Hall for discussion of sermons from MC USA Convention in July on the theme of “Bring the Peace.”  What does peacemaking mean and look like today in our hearts/minds, churches, and world?


The signup sheet is up on the church’s “Sign Up” bulletin board!!  Many thanks to those who have volunteered, and an invitation to those of you who have been considering this but haven’t yet signed up.  We could use 1-2 more teachers for our preschoolers (who are the sweetest kids EVER!), 1-2 more teacher for our 1st-5th graders (who are inquisitive, fun, loving, and ready to learn!!), and 1-2 more teachers for our two 6th graders (who are so curious and smart).  Truly, this is an opportunity where in giving you will receive more than you could have imagined!!  We’ve proposed a rotation system for Sept 2021-May 2022 that worked well for teachers last year, but if you would prefer to only commit to one Sunday a month or a different schedule, please talk with Pastor Tonya or Cheryl Warkentin.  We can be flexible to help make things work well for everyone!  We do have the Sundays in September covered, so are looking for those available in October and beyond.   Thank you!!!


We look forward on September 12 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…


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.   We DO plan to offer a ZOOM option to join the meeting – check your email for that link closer to Sunday. 


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!!  We’ll check in with each other and get back to some basics as we explore questions like: “What is the church and why does it exist?” and more. 

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)

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.

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.

FIRST CALL FOR HELP – school supplies are still needed

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. 

TRACTOR DRIVERS . . . for State Fair Shuttle Wagon

The Kansas State Fair will be here in less than 3 weeks.  As a service to fair goers a shuttle wagon is provided to deliver visitors from the parking lots to fair gates.  In the past FMC has provided drivers for the shuttle wagon.  That is again being requested this year for Saturday, September 18.  Four people are needed to drive in 3 hour shifts beginning at 10:00 a.m.  Complimentary fair passes will be provided to drivers.  If you are interested in driving the shuttle, please contact Delon Martens at 620-960-9471 or 

Helping in this way reduces our payment to the fair for use of the grounds for the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale each spring.  

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!


WDC Resource Library

I’ve had children and books on my mind lately.  More specifically the amazing way books can help children explore their feelings, deal with difficult emotions, and talk about hard things.  Sometimes adults need tools to do similar work with emotions and other difficult topics.  When I teach Literature for Children and Young Adults, I try to impress upon my students the benefits of using picture books with readers of all ages to explore feelings and situations.  At the WDC Resource Library, we have many other great resources for readers of all ages to engage tough topics like sexual abuse prevention and response, forgiveness, affirming differences, intercultural competence and more. Did you know you can browse the online catalog at Check out the booklists on various topics or contact me at for ideas.  Whether it’s modeling prayer for young children, helping an older child prepare for the new school year and how to handle bullies, or providing an avenue for adults to explore a tough topic in a fresh way, books can be a helpful tool. Let me help you find just what you need.        – Jennie Wintermote, WDC Resource Library Director

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!


JUST DESSERTS!  August 29, 6:00-8:00 p.m.  at Carriage Factory Art Gallery Park, 128 E. 6th St. Newton.  Come and enjoy an evening of fellowship with the local Restorative Justice community, treats, and music! This is a  great time to introduce friends to this important mission for our communities.  The goal of this event is to bring supporters of community-based Restorative Justice together and celebrate overcoming challenges of the past 18 months while looking toward opportunities of the future.  Tickets are $20 each.  More details here:


Join MCC in prayer and support for those suffering in our world. MCC has prepositioned relief materials in Haiti for immediate use. Earlier this month an additional shipment of supplies was sent to Haiti and is expected to arrive in September. MCC continues to respond to needs around the world in Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Congo and other crisis areas. We greatly appreciate your monetary donations to keep current projects going and to help with extra expenses due to recent disasters; and we could use your help in replenishing our supplies of relief kits and hygiene kits. Questions can be directed to 316.283.2720 or

It ISN’T just for lawyers! MCC U.S. is holding a Basic Immigration Law Training, September 13-17, 2021, in Akron, PA. The training will be conducted using the curriculum of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC).  This course will help to provide the necessary training component for individuals who wish to apply for accreditation from the Department of Justice.   DOJ recognition and accreditation  allows non-attorneys working at non-profit organizations to practice immigration law.  For details and registration information:


Join us for the annual meeting on 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!


This new exhibit examines what is known about e-cigarettes, and includes selections from the exhibit “Better Choose Me: Collecting and Creating with Tobacco Fabric Novelties, 1880-1920.” Previously on display at NMC Health in Newton, “Vapes” will be at Kauffman Museum on the Bethel College campus through Jan. 9, 2022. Hours: Tues.-Fri., 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun., 1:30-4:30 p.m., closed Mondays and major holidays. There is a small admission charge for non-museum members.

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Save the date: Mark McCormick, director of strategic communications for the ACLU of Kansas, will give the next KIPCOR Peace Lecture, Thursday, Sept. 30,on the Bethel campus as part of Bethel’s Fall Festival. Details to come!

Saturday, Sept. 4 – Kauffman Museum’s monthly bird walk will be a special event in cooperation with the Kansas Humanities Council: a book and poetry walk with Megan Kaminski and Molly Zahn from the University of Kansas. Start time: 9:30 a.m. at the museum’s front door. For more information, call 316-283-1612 or e-mail

Sunday, Sept. 12 – KIPCOR Film Series resumes live, with The Prison Within2 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College. Individuals incarcerated in San Quentin Prison and charged with murder take a journey of redemption through participation in a restorative justice program. Talk-back to follow. Bethel’s COVID-19 protocols require physical distancing and mask-wearing indoors regardless of vaccination status.

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

More information at


Registration is Open – Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship Annual Gathering, Online: September 17-19, 2021.

Mennonite Health Fellowship (MHF) is hosting its virtual Annual Gathering in September. All with an interest in healthcare from a faith perspective are welcome to attend, and all MHF members are encouraged to attend at least part of the weekend. Registration and information are on the MHF website at The theme for the weekend is Fostering Provider Resilience with a special 2-hour Introduction to Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) in partnership with Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute. MHF is open to those serving in all areas of healthcare, including mental health, public health, health administration, and more. Register today! We look forward to connecting with you!

MC USA announcements

Mennonite Church USA offers a wealth of opportunities to learn about events in the wider church through on-line conversations that stimulate our faith development and engagement with folks across our country.   This link connects you to topics about faith, immigration, nutrition and health, accessibility for all in the faith family, handling our emotions of grief and anger, poverty, advocacy and power.  Join the conversation!

 September Bulletin Announcements (