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This week at FMC

August 4-10, 2021

Some of my favorite moments this summer have been listening in the early morning to the birds singing in my backyard. I have a spot on our back porch where I like to start my days in greater awareness of, as Saint Francis of Assisi wrote: “our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.” Just as Saint Francis guided us this summer into deeper relationships of peace with others, we will now spend 5 weeks considering a relationship of peace with ALL of creation. If this earth is meant to be a home for all, what does God require of us?? As we transition into this new worship series, I invite you to spend time praying with St Francis’ “Canticle of the Sun”:


Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!  All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing. To You, alone, Most High, do they belong.  No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your name.

Be praised, my Lord, through all Your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and You give light through him.  And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!  Of You, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens You have made them bright, precious and beautiful.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which You give Your creatures sustenance.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom You brighten the night.  He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of You; through those who endure sickness and trial.

Happy those who endure in peace, for by You, Most High, they will be crowned.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no living person can escape.  Woe to those who die in mortal sin!  Happy those she finds doing Your most holy will.  The second death can do no harm to them.

Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks, and serve Him with great humility.

(Saint Francis of Assisi)

I happened to run across this song Canticle of the Sun written by Peter Kearney, based on St Francis’ words.  It’s part of a larger work this artist did about St. Francis, and a little long, but worth a listen!

  -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 8:  Season of Creation – A Home for All?

A Just Home for All People

(Prov 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23; Psalm 125; James 2:1-10, 14-17)

  • Preacher:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader:  Jim Unruh
  • Children’s Time:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Scripture Reader:  Cheryl Warkentin
  • Pianist:  Shelley Kauffman
  • Ushers:  Jennalee & Dennis Boggs
  • Sound:  Allen Yoder
  • Live Stream:  Jay Gehring


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 3 – Faithful Community Coordination Team – 1:30pm
  • August 17 – Faith Formation Coordination Team – 4:00pm
  • August 19 – Congregation Ministry Team – 4:30pm
  • 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 bring our ‘Cultivating Life With God for the World” worship series to a close on August 1, we will turn 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 8:  Season of Creation – A Home for All? A Just Home for All People
  •                 Pastor Tonya preaching
  • AUG 15:  Season of Creation – A Home for All? Wisdom From Our Home Planet
  •                 Pastor Jim preaching
  • 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


On Sunday August 15, in anticipation of the fall school year starting, we will offer during worship a ‘blessing of the backpacks’ for all children, youth, college students, along with any teachers or others working in education this year!  Bring your school backpack or something else you use for school regularly if you’d like, but its not required!! Blessings and a small pin expressing our love will be given to attach to your backpack (or something else). 

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! devotional magazines

REJOICE! new issue beginning in September is available above the mailboxes.  Please let us know if you would like a copy mailed to you.  Upper Room copies also available.


All groups except Senior High meet from 10:45-11:30 (Sr High meets at 11:45am) on August 15!!

Adult Sunday School CLASSES @ 10:45AM (See summer schedule below)

  • YOUNG(ER) ADULT Class (studying “What is the Church and Why Does it Exist?) – this group meets in the basement Sunday School classroom and is facilitated by group members. 
  • BIBLE STUDY:  You are invited to join this class on ZOOM or in person in the Common Grounds room.  Below is the schedule for this Adult Bible Study using the Salt and Light discussion guide.  Copies of the summer study guide are available on the table in the foyer.  Please call the office if you would like a copy sent to you.  The summer theme is, Facing Life’s Challenges, written by Wilma Ann Bailey. 

                  August 15 – “Job’s Response to Suffering: Protest” – Calvin Buller, facilitator

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

The sign up 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.

STRENGTHENING Community Connections…


Given the rise in the Delta variant in Reno County, we have decided to cancel the August 8 fellowship time.


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.  The updated documents will be available two weeks prior to this meeting.  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.  


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 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!


Al  Penner –

Eunice Esau
Collier Assisted Living Center
3600 Dartmouth Road
Hutchinson, KS 67502

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 families in our community prepare for school this fall.  Pick up the list of needed supplies from the table in the foyer.  We have a basket in FMC’s foyer to collect school supplies, or you may drop them off 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. 


WDC Women’s Retreat . . . September 11-12 (in-person) – mark your calendar

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