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This week at FMC

February 17-23, 2021

Holy and tender God, when we look at the suffering in the world, it breaks our hearts.

We see and feel:

sorrow, sadness, despair, rage, betrayal and fear;

lack of healthcare for hurting people, violence, injustice, hunger;

angry, defeated, frightened, shut down, at a total loss;

thankful for own blessings, what is indescribable;

powerless, guilty, very sad, sad we can’t see friends, scared of getting COVID, upset for others;

pain, frustration, absolute disgust, exhaustion;

existential, angry, sad, helpless, overwhelmed, sinking, shut off. 

Holy and tender God, when we catch a glimpse of your glory, wonder and beauty in our world,

We see and feel:

calm, peaceful, loved, amazed;

falling-to-my-knees-awe, peace, whole, overwhelmed, grateful;

Thanks!, ready to say yes, urge to simplify;

awestruck, joyful, happy, playful;

sunset on the rim of the Grand Canyon;

more tender, indescribable joy!, WOW, beautiful

“I’m like ‘nice!’”;

quiet, bright, awe, fragility, extraordinary awe, joyful;

perfect peace.

Holy and tender God, we trust you are in all places.  In every moment, you are with us, nudging us onward,

showing us the way through mountains and valleys and everywhere in-between.  Thank you for providing traveling companions, for light illuminating, darkness embracing, and Your love transcending.  AMEN

I’m so grateful for the willingness of many of you to send me the words above on Sunday morning during the sermon as you responded to my two prompts.  I was surprised by my tears, which came not only in considering suffering, but also glory and wonder.  For me it was a moment of feeling deeply the truth of God at work within us and in the world, even when we grieve and mourn and feel powerless to bring change.  That, in Moses’ words from Deuteronomy 32

He sustained[d] [his people/Jacob] in a desert land,  in a howling wilderness waste; he shielded him, cared for him,  guarded him as the apple of his eye.
11 As an eagle stirs up its nest, and hovers over its young; as it spreads its wings, takes them up, and bears them aloft on its pinions,  12 the Lord alone guided him…

Always God is both transcendently other and intimately near.  In this embrace, we turn with Jesus toward Jerusalem and the cross this week as Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.  This year we will gather online with the Community Church of the Brethren for Ash Wednesday (look on our website for the link to join at 6:30pm on Feb 17).  You have a number of options for substances to have ready for the anointing ritual (or if you live in a household with others you can anoint each other):  oil, water, dirt (moistened with water if you prefer), or ashes (but do NOT mix your ashes with water – ONLY USE OIL.  Ashes + water = a caustic substance called lye.). 

Our Ash Wednesday service will invite us to consider the frailty of our lives, the goodness of God, and the goodness we each wish to bring to the world.  I hope you’ll join us!!

— Pastor Tonya

SUNDAY MORNING Worship Live Stream @ 9:30am

The link for Sunday morning worship (as well as archives of past worship services) is found on our website:!


The 2021 Congregational Ministry Team (Delon Martens-chair, Jennalee Boggs-chair-elect, Julie Esau, Kevin Martin Nisly, Carol Moore, and the pastors) has affirmed the decision made late last fall by the 2020 CMT (on the recommendation of the RE-Opening Task Force – Carol Moore, Dohn Fast, Joretta Martens, Todd Esau, Pastor Tonya) to limit in-person gatherings at the church to 10 for the time being.  This includes worship and Sunday School.  We encourage everyone who can to join in worship via the live stream and Sunday School by Zoom.  Masks, physical distancing, and handwashing are required of everyone in the building.  CMT and the Re-Opening Taskforce are reevaluating this policy, based on data from the Reno County Health Department, at the Feb 18 CMT Meeting.  Watch this announcement for updates!!

SUNDAY, February 21:  The Jesus Way leads to the Cross: LOVE MOVING (Good Samaritan)  Luke 10:25-42

  • Preacher:  Pastor Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader:  Eldon Wagler
  • Children’s Time:  Cathia Krehbiel
  • Scripture Reader:  TBA
  • Organist:  Pauline Buller
  • Sound:  Jasper Nisly
  • 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. 


  • February 17 – Ash Wednesday Worship @ 6:30pm (Livestream only; bring a candle and substance for the anointing ritual – link and details on our website – )
  • February 18 – Faithful Community Coordination Team @ 2:45pm
  • February 18 – Congregational Ministry Team @ 5:30pm
  • February 24 – Faith Formation Coordination Team @ 4:00pm

DEEPENING in Christ…


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

LENT 2021: The Jesus Way Leads to the Cross

Our Lent worship will focus on the theme “The Jesus Way Leads to the Cross” as we continue our study of the Gospel of Luke and the ‘Way of Jesus.’  Each worship theme invites a different kind of movement, action, or area of growth. Our goal always is to become more mature disciples (learners) and apostles (sent ones) of Jesus.  My prayer is our Lenten worship will encourage just that!

  • Ash Wednesday (Feb 17) – Jesus Turns to Jerusalem –  6:30pm Worship on Livestream with Community Church of the Brethren
  • Lent 1 (Feb 21) – The Jesus Way Leads to the Cross: LOVE MOVING (Good Samaritan)
  • Lent 2 (Feb 28) – The Jesus Way Leads to the Cross:  HEARTS TURNING (Lament over Jerusalem)
  • Lent 3 (March 7) – The Jesus Way Leads to the Cross: COMMUNITY REJOICING (Lost Sheep, Coin, Son)Lent 4 (March 14) – The Jesus Way Leads to the Cross:  MERCY REACHING (Rich Man & Lazarus)
  • Lent 5 (March 21) – The Jesus Way Leads to the Cross: LOST SAVING (Blind Man & Zacchaeus)

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! devotional magazines

New issues of both UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! are available above the mailboxes.  These magazines offer daily devotional readings beginning March 1.  Please let us know if you would like a copy mailed to you. 


  • Kindergarten – 6th grade:  Sunday @ 4:00pm on ZOOM
  • 7th-8th grades:  Sunday @ 11:30am on ZOOM
  • High School youth:  Sunday @ 11:00am – currently meeting online

Adult Sunday School @ 11am on Sundays on ZOOM  (Meets the first three Sundays of the month)

Below is the schedule for this Adult Bible Study using the Salt and Light discussion guide written this quarter by Timothy J. Geddert, professor of New Testament at Fresno Pacific University (copies available at the church, or can be sent to you):

  • FEB 21 – Jim facilitating.  “Physical Holiness,” 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.
  • FEB 28 – NO adult study unless someone volunteers to facilitate discussion.  Call the office

Check your email for the ZOOM link or contact Pastor Tonya.  If you are unable to access ZOOM and want to participate, you may come in person. 

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

STRENGTHENING Community Connections… 


Please check contact information for yourself and your family members in the current directory and send changes to the church office as soon as possible.  The directory goes to print next week!!


2020 giving receipts for those who made contributions during the past year are in the church mailboxes.  If you would like yours mailed to your home address, please call the church office.

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-5pm(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!

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.


Saturday, February 20, 2021, 4:00-7:00 pm.  Verenike, ham gravy, sausage served drive-thru at  427 W 4th in Halstead.  Cost by donation with proceeds going to help local COVID-19 relief.


Greetings from Camp Mennoscah, Hutchinson!

We are bouncing in our boots with excitement for the 2021 Summer Youth Camps and can’t wait to have campers!  This is a pandemic-impacted summer.  All aspects of camp from activities to meals to where campers sleep will be affected.  We are striving to have the best possible balance of fun and safety! Register online here!

Registration is open for the Spring Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats at Camp Mennoscah on March 5-7 and March 19-21!  Once the retreats are full, sign up on the waitlist.  Register at!

Nothing’s better than a summer at camp!  Watch this video created by Mennonite Camping Association about why you should work at camp.  Applications for Camp Mennoscah Summer Staff positions are now being accepted!   

Volunteer opportunities at Camp Mennoscah!  We continually have year-round work to support the maintenance and upkeep of the campus and facilities. We can accommodate every group size, skill set and length of project you would like to tackle. Check out these ways to Get Involved! 

Email  or call 620-297-3290 to volunteer. 

Camp Mennoscah – year ‘round opportunities!  Camp Mennoscah is a wonderful space for families and groups needing space to spread out!  Facilities for differently sized groups are available with a variety of gathering areas.  Trails and fields are waiting to be hiked and used for fun activities, too!  Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 or to reserve.  You are invited to enjoy this sacred space!


Plants and Things

One of the most popular booths at the KMRS is “Plants and Things”.  As many of you know, this is the place to purchase a variety of things for your gardens. You traditionally have been able to buy flowers, shrubs, and garden plants.  Many people have counted on being able to get their tomato plants, cabbage starts, melon seedlings, annual flowers, bulbs, etc. at the KMRS.  Because July 2 and 3 is a bit late to be thinking about purchasing plants and starting or adding to a garden, the Plants and Things” booth will be open on April 10,  the time our sale is regularly scheduled.  “Plants and Things” will be set up at the MCC Building in North Newton utilizing the parking lot and the warehouse facilities.  Some things are yet to be decided such as opening and closing times, drop off hours, flat pick up, etc., but we wanted you to know that we will be accepting the plants that you wish to bring to the sale. So please start the seeds that will become a part of your contribution to MCC and the sale event.  More information will follow, but we want to encourage you to start those plants to donate to the KMRS Early Plants and Things Sale.

For more information and answers to questions, please contact Kristi Unruh at 620-3456867or by email at or you can contact Jim Robb at 620-747-0186 or by email at

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



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

Menno Snapshots
In her blog, “Endings and beginnings,” Chantelle Todman reflects on her work with Mennonite Church USA’s Women in Leadership initiative and as an intercultural leadership coach with Mosaic Conference – and her exciting new beginning as the co-owner of a radical coffee and tea house in Philadelphia. Read more:
Support the peace and justice work of Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) by prayerfully considering a contribution to the Justice Fund, a mutual aid fund that assists MC USA congregations engaging in their communities to dismantle racism and build peace.



When:  Thursday, February 18, 2021
Time:  7 p.m. EST | 6 p.m. CST | 5 p.m. MST | 4 p.m. PST
Where:  Zoom Meeting
How:  Visit the registration page to sign up! 

In honor of Black History Month and in response to the Mennonite Church USA denominational mandate to support, build and cultivate peace across our denomination, Mennonite Mission Network is excited to host the Speak the truth in love webinar on February 18, with hosts Ann Jacobs of Mission Network, with Pastors Kevin Himes and Vikki Pruitte-Sorrells. We desire to speak the truth in love, while celebrating relationships, to mend divides that caused primarily by fear and racial stereotyping. The leaders of this webinar claim this desire because of their commitment to the Gospel of peace.

YOUTH VENTURE is accepting applications for summer 2021! Discover and experience the work that God is doing in the world with a team of other young people, as you serve, learn, worship, and build relationships. Visit to learn more!

Looking for a non-traditional pastoral role? Become a unit leader for SERVICE ADVENTURE, a gap-year program for ages 17-20 from Mennonite Mission Network. Unit leaders, who are at least 24 years of age, serve as mentors to the young adults in the Service Adventure household. Leaders are needed in Johnstown, PA and Colorado Springs, CO. Learn more by contacting


You are invited to join the virtual MCC Central States annual meeting on Saturday, February 27 at 9 a.m. CST The meeting will include a reflection on MCC in pandemic times, details about what COVID-19 has meant for MCC thrift shops and a look at our financial statements. To join the meeting please email and then Zoom meeting information will be sent directly to you.

Use your skills or try something new! Join the summer staff of MCC’s Sharing With Appalachia People (SWAP) program to support home repair projects in Kimball, West Virginia or Harlan, Kentucky. Positions for Job Site Coordinators and Meals Coordinators are now open. Applicants should be at least 19 years old, but the roles are not limited to young adults. For more information and to apply, visit or contact the MCC Appalachia SWAP office at (606) 633-4008 or

MCC Comforter Blitz: At Home.   The annual MCC Comforter Blitz is happening virtually this year from now through March! The Kansas Friends of MCC committee is challenging congregations and individuals to complete 300 comforters for MCC by the end of March! Read all the details and information on getting comforter making supplies from MCC at Share pictures of your work on the MCC Comforter Blitz Facebook page. Contact or 316.804.8432 with questions.

Join MCC for a series of “MCC and me” webinars to hear more about service opportunities. Are you ready to step out and into service? To gain new skills and experiences while working for relief, development and peace in the name of Christ?

MCC is working to adapt our programming as the situation with COVID-19 develops. All sessions relate to anticipated service needs, though timing and some other details may be subject to change.

  • February 25 at 10 a.m. EST: Sharing With Appalachian People (SWAP) summer staff
  • February 25 at 8 p.m. EST: International service worker
  • March 6 at 12 p.m. EST: International service worker
  • March TBD: Mobile Meat Canner

For more information and to register:


Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary is offering two new scholarships:

  • The Multicultural Church Scholarship is for students who are currently serving in or preparing for ministry assignments in a multicultural context and/or who belong to historically underrepresented racial or ethnic groups within the Mennonite Church. Each year, this award will provide a limited number of 100-percent tuition grants to full-time students beginning a master’s program, or a limited number of 75-percent tuition grants to part-time students beginning a master’s program.
  • The MDiv Connect Student Scholarship provides a limited number of 75-percent tuition grants to students beginning the Master of Divinity (MDiv) Connect program.

For more information: