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This week at FMC

February 24 – March 2, 2021

As we enter these first weeks of Lent, I want to extend a blessing written and shared by Jan Richardson (one of my favorite poets and artists –  This blessing circles around the word ‘beloved.’   This is the name Jesus heard at his baptism, before he went into the wilderness; it is the same word heard from the voice of God on the mountain with talk of suffering and death on a cross swirling – “This is my Son, the beloved.  Listen to him.”  Beloved is also our name from God, one to hold onto tenaciously, to listen to closely, to carry us through our journey home to our Creator.   I also hear in this blessing glimmers of Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan … of ‘strange graces’ coming to us along the roads we travel, especially when we are in need.  And certainly, when we need to be reminded that we are, indeed, God’s beloved child. 


If you would enter

into the wilderness,

do not begin

without a blessing. 

Do not leave

without hearing

who you are:


named by the One

who has traveled this path

before you.

Do not go

without letting it echo

in your ears,

And if you find

it is hard

to let it into your heart,

do not despair.

That is what

this journey is for. 

I cannot promise

this blessing will free you

from danger,

from fear,

from hunger

or thirst,

from the scorching

of sun

or the fall

of the night.

But I can tell you

that on this way

there will be rest.

I can tell you

that you will know

the strange graces

that come to our aid

only on a road

such as this,

that fly to meet us

bearing comfort

and strength,

that come alongside us

for no other cause

that to lean themselves

toward our ear

and with their

curious insistence

whisper our name:




(Jan Richardson)

— 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) affirms the recommendations of the RE-Opening Task Force – Carol Moore, Dohn Fast, Joretta Martens, Todd Esau, Pastor Tonya).   We will continue to lean toward caution, keeping in place the precautions of masks, physical distancing, hand washing and no gathering in the foyer. 

Between now and March 21 please continue to call in to the church office the week before (preferably by Thursday afternoon) to let us know if you plan to come to worship in-person.  With physical distancing we can accommodate around 30-35 in the sanctuary.  Beginning March 28 (Palm Sunday) you no longer have to call ahead, but the same precautions are in place, including the distancing which will continue to limit the number in the sanctuary.  By March 28 we will have some overflow options prepared elsewhere in the building, as well as ushers to help.  And, we’re tentatively considering an outside worship service on Easter, April 4.  We also will continue to be livestreaming worship, so that is an option for those who choose to worship from home. 

CMT and the Re-Opening Taskforce will continue to monitor data from the Reno County Health Department, and make decisions accordingly. 

SUNDAY, February 28:  The Jesus Way leads to the Cross: HEARTS TURNING (Lament over Jerusalem)

Luke 13:1-9, 31-35

  • Preacher:  Tyler Gehring
  • Worship Leader:  Heidi Unruh
  • Children’s Time:  Heidi Unruh
  • Scripture Reader:  Stephanie Gehring
  • Pianist:  Shelley Kauffman
  • Sound:  Murray Reimer
  • 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. 


  • February 24 – Faith Formation Coordination Team @ 4:30pm

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!

  • 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.  This quarter, beginning March 7, 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):

  • FEB 28 – NO adult study unless someone volunteers to facilitate discussion.  Call the office.
  • MAR 7 – Relating to One Another, Pastor Tonya, facilitator
  • MAR 14 – Faith and Actions, Calvin Buller, facilitator
  • MAR 21 – Godly Fasting, Pastor Jim, facilitator

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…


Available after March 2 in the circular rack by the mailboxes and on the table in the foyer .  Please call the church office if you would like a copy mailed to you.

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.


First Mennonite Church in McPherson is having a drive-thru verenika dinner on March 6th from 1pm to 7pm or until the food runs out. This will be a free will donation event with the proceeds going to the McPherson Housing Coalition.

First Mennonite Church
1161 E. Avenue A 
McPherson KS 67460
Phone: 620-241-4040     


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 620-345-6867or 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. 


Now on display in the Regier Art Gallery, Luyken Fine Arts Center, at Bethel College: “After the End of the End of the World,” a collaboration between Rachel Epp Buller and Derek Owens. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Fri. (Because of the pandemic, there will be no public reception for this exhibit.) Please note that face coverings must be worn and physical distancing practiced on the Bethel campus.



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.


SOOP (Service Opportunities with our Partners) is accepting applications! Use your gifts and skills to work alongside others in a network of ministries across the church. This program is flexibly designed for retirees, families and adults over 25. Visit to learn more!

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


MCC Comforter Blitz: At Home update – We are half-way through the blitz and have received 193 completed comforters. The goal is to receive 300 completed comforters at MCC in North Newton by the end of March! All the details and information on getting comforter making supplies from MCC are at Share pictures of your work on the MCC Comforter Blitz Facebook page. Contact or 316.804.8432 with questions. Need batting? Contact Charlotte’s Sew Natural for their special MCC batting price at 316.284.2547. And THANK YOU to everyone working to create beautiful comforters for MCC!

MCC Webinar: International service worker. 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? Join MCC on February 25, 7:00 p.m. CST / 6:00 p.m. MST for a 30-minute information session to learn about MCC’s long-term service opportunities in relief, development and peace work. This webinar will include a short presentation and time for Q&A. Register today! More information can be found at

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:

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.


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: