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This week at FMC

January 19-25, 2022

Gems can show up in the most unexpected places.  Like our basement storage room, where I recently found a box full of letters and cards mostly from 1996, the year before Jonathan and I were married.  That box held a wide variety of birthday cards, Christmas cards, and even a letter from Franconia Conference telling me, regretfully, they did not have many openings available for women pastors.  One gem fell out of a birthday card from a college friend – a picture of me in college where I saw Magdalena looking at me for a moment!  Another gem was finding a college graduation card from one of my college roommates; reading her kind and perceptive words reminded me of the strengths and gifts she saw in me.  Also in this box were quite a few letters and cards from my family, including one from my mom in which she included a copy of a Sept 15, 1996 sermon by the Rev. John Holliger at St James Episcopal Church in Wooster OH. A good friend had shared it with her. On the first page is a tiny post-it with my mom’s handwriting:  “I know you don’t have time to read a lot – but this is a gem!” 

It IS a gem, and I decided share some of it with you today. A guiding quote for the sermon came from Henri Nouwen: “The great tragedy of human love is that it always wounds.  … the persons we love most and who love us most are also the persons who hurt us most: parents, friends, spouses. Strangers and enemies are not the main source of our anguish. They are outsiders. We do not give them access to our innermost being, and yet, we often attach ourselves to strangers and enemies as the source of our anguish. Our real anguish comes from those who love us but who cannot love us in the way our heart desires: our father, our mother, our brother, our sister, our spouse, our closest friend, our co-worker, our neighbor.”

Rev. Holliger goes on to explore the longing we feel for something more … a longing for the ‘first love’ we experienced from the One who calls us “Beloved” before any of our ‘second loves’ came to be (parents, siblings, etc.).  He writes:

“The greatest tragedy of human love is that it always wounds. Human love will always be a disappointment, compared to the first love our heart desires from the Lover of our Souls. Our best friends, our neighbors, our parents and siblings, our spouse, our priest [pastor] … will always leave us unfulfilled, still yearning for something deeper, which only the Lover of our Souls can give us.  In that article, Henri wrote about himself:

‘I kept running around looking for someone or something that could convince me I was indeed the Beloved. I was much more eager to listen to other, louder voices saying, ‘Prove that you are worth something; do something relevant, spectacular or powerful, and then you will earn the love you so desire.’ Meanwhile the quiet, gentle voice that speaks in silence and the solitude of my heart remained unheard or unconvincing.  How many of us spend our lives hoping that some person, thing or event will come along to give us that final feeling of inner well-being we so desire? As long as we are waiting for that mysterious moment, we will go running helter-skelter, always anxious and restless, always lustful and angry, never fully satisfied.’

Holy and Gracious Father, in your infinite love you made [insert YOUR name] for yourself.  Father, in your infinite love you made [insert a friend or family member’s name] for yourself.  … 

This could be your breath prayer through the day: ‘Holy One, in your infinite love you made me for yourself. Awaken me to your loving presence.’ I’m scared, I’m anxious about the meeting I am entering. I’m worried about how to deal with this person, that situation, Holy Father, awaken me to how I am your Beloved.  And then give the Holy One a generous amount of time in silence to answer your prayer.  Our deepest desire is Communion with the Lover of our Souls.  [Today] … listen for the quiet voice calling you Beloved. Look upon those you don’t like or don’t know … as if they too are the Beloved of God.  Just try it as an experiment for 1 day, and see what happens. Then try it as an experiment the next day. See what happens. Then try it as an experiment for the next day and see what happens.  And then and then and then …”

—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! 

REVISED STATEMENT (12/12/21) FROM CMT (Congregational Ministry Team) to the congregation regarding COVID precautions. 

This statement is based on recommendations from our COVID Response Team (Carol Moore, Joretta Martens, Todd Esau, Dohn Fast). 

This is not the time to relax our vigilance–the data regarding new COVID  cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Kansas is continuing to rise. CMT recommends that we continue to follow the current practice of masking and social distancing plus good handwashing while in the church building. We encourage these same practices in all areas of your life to diminish your exposure to this virus.

SUNDAY, January 23:  ANABAPTIST WORLD FELLOWSHIP SUNDAY. . . “Following Jesus Together”

One Lunch Offering

Genesis 12:1-5; Ps 104:1-4, 24, 31-33; John 20:19-23; 1 Cor 12:3-13

  • Preacher:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader:  Star Gipson
  • Scripture Reader:  TBD
  • Children’s Time:  DeAnna Goering
  • Pianist: Shelley Kauffman
  • Ushers:  Jay & Stephanie Gehring
  • Nursery attendant:  Russell & Julie Goering
  • Sound Tech:  Murray Reimer
  • Live Stream Tech:  Jonathan Wenger



During each worship service, you are invited to text your prayer joys and concerns – usually to Pastor Tonya.  You are also welcome to send prayer joys & concerns during the week.  The recording of our worship service is public, so let us know if you’d prefer your request to only be shared via email during the week.


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. 


  • January 20 – 4:30pm Congregational Ministry Team
  • January 22 – FMC serves at the Soup Kitchen

FMC CENTENNIAL . . . LightHouse Giving Opportunity

The LightHouse addresses the growing need of transitional housing for youths ages 18 to 21 in Hutchinson. The property at 1005 N. Washington Street is currently being renovated into eight one-bedroom apartments. 

Interfaith Housing & Community Services is leading this community project.  Progress is underway thanks to the help of volunteers renovating this building, which was built in 1887.  The Centennial Committee would like for FMC to raise $22,000 by October 2022 to help with these expenses. These dollars will help with construction costs, furnishings for the apartments and ongoing maintenance expenses. 

A big thank you to those of you who have already donated! You can see the progress that has already been made on our LightHouse thermometer in the foyer. Checks may be made out to FMC, with “LightHouse” on the memo line.  Thank you for your support!

DEEPENING in Christ…


Beginning January 2, our worship services will invite us to journey with Jesus through the unique lens of the Gospel of John.  

                January 23 – Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday (details below) – FOLLOWING JESUS TOGETHER

                January 30 – The Woman at the Well (John 4:1-41)  Heidi Unruh preaching


This month holds our annual observance of Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday on January 23. Each year, Anabaptist-related churches around the world are encouraged to worship around a common theme on a Sunday close to 21 January. On that date in 1525, the first Anabaptist baptism took place in Zurich, Switzerland. Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday provides an opportunity to remember our common roots and celebrate our worldwide koinonia. The theme this year is Following Jesus TogetherAs is our custom, we’ll be receiving a “One Lunch Offering” to support the various ministries of Mennonite World Conference.  The invitation is to contribute what it would cost for you to purchase ‘one lunch’ in our community.  You can read more about the “One Lunch Offering” here:


  • A Prayer group meets Thursday mornings from 10-11am in the Prayer Room.  All are welcome. 
  • A small ecumenical Centering Prayer group meets on Tuesdays (ZOOM) and Thursdays (in person @ FMC) from 12:30-1:30pm.  If you’d like to learn more, contact Pastor Tonya. 


CHILDREN & YOUTH: Meet Jesus, the Messiah (SHINE Curriculum from MennoMedia)

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


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

Adult Bible Study/Discussion – meeting in the basement fellowship hall.  Beginning January 2, this group will be using The Bible Project’s Reflections Bible Study to guide study and conversation, which includes a short video on a Biblical theme, topic, or book.  Check it out here: and feel free to watch the videos during the week if you choose in preparation for shared discussion.

                January 23 – Perfect through Hardship

Reminder: No Sunday School on the 5th Sundays of the month!!

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! devotional magazines

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

STRENGTHENING Community Connections…


Please watch your email this week for a FINAL confirmation of the date of our gathering!  Many apologies for any confusion as we are working to find a time that will work for the most people!

ADDRESS, PHONE, EMAIL, BIRTHS and DEATHS  . . . the church office needs updates for you and for your children!!

Please send us changes as soon as possible.  A new directory will be printed soon.


With work on our church’s history book beginning, here’s one final reminder to submit any stories, reflections, memories, etc. that you would like to be considered for inclusion in the book by Friday, January 28.  Contact Bonnie Swenson or Delon Martens if you have any questions about your submissions.  And, thanks to all who have contributed their stories already for the book.


Contact Pastor Tonya anytime to learn more!  A membership class will be offered if there is enough interest.

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:  While new episodes are not being added right now, this is your chance to catch up on previous conversations!


  • 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)

Pastor Tonya will be gone Fri Jan 28-Monday Jan 31 on a Silent Retreat in Atchison KS.

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…


Help is needed on Saturday, January 22 to cook (starting around 2:00pm), to deliver meals around 4:00pm, and to serve the meal at 5:00pm. Donations of applesauce and salad greens are also requested. Bring to the church the Sunday before, or to the soup kitchen on the 22nd. A sign up sheet is posted on the “Sign Up” bulletin board in the church foyer. Questions? Contact Kevin Martin Nisly, Sadie Nisly, or Juliet Nisly. We are also still seeking a volunteer to help with the administrative end of our involvement with this ministry (does NOT need to involve actually helping on the day of the event).


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, tooth paste and tooth brushes.  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.


WANTED for the Kansas MCC Sale General Auction:  Cars, Trucks, Tractors, Motorcycles, Campers, etc.   Call Jerry Toews, 620-367-8257, for details and pickup NOW so we have time to get them cleaned up and ready for the sale in April.  ALL proceeds go to MCC.  We usually get GOOD prices for your donations.  Help make a difference in the lives of those struggling around the world through MCC.  Thank you!

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Sat., Jan. 29 – Kauffman Museum annual Kansas Day event, “Famous Kansans,” noon-4 and grounds. For more information, see the Kauffman Museum Facebook page or


Mennonite Friendship Communities is looking for friendly persons to serve as a concierge. This very part-time, fill-in position is in the evenings from 5-10 pm and on weekends.  The concierge greets people as they enter the front doors and assists them through the screening process and helps direct them where they need to go.  There’s even time to work on homework, watch Netflix or read a book.  If you are willing to be flexible and are interested in making a little extra money, contact Stacey Frager – or apply online –

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

  • Summer staff positions are being filled, but more staff is needed!  Applicants should be 18 years old or older and in agreement with the Camp Mennoscah mission statement.  See website for details.  Information and the online application can be found here!  Call or email with questions.
  • Volunteering opportunities continue through the winter months!  The wish list is full of both items and volunteer projects for every group size, skill set and length of project.  These items and projects help with the faith formation that happens at Camp Mennoscah.  The list has more wishes and there are more projects to do.  Email or call 620-297-3290 to volunteer.  See the Wish List for other ways to support Camp Mennoscah!

MENNONITE WORLD CONFERENCE . . . Indonesia – July 5-10, 2022

Travel to Indonesia . . worship with Anabaptists from around the world . . experience culture and geography and make new friends.  Are you interested in attending?  Look for information here: