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This week at FMC

January 20-26, 2021

I know I join many of you in wondering what this week will hold for our nation.  May our anchor be prayer to the God of the Universe who truly is larger than our fears, and the source of our trust be Jesus, who leads us on toward a love that defies human understanding and yet is the salvation of the world.  My friend Steve Garnaas-Holmes has a beautiful way with words, and I share with you his prayer as we journey on, together.

Prayer for going on

Beloved, you have not given up on us.

Shine your light within us.

Crucified One, you have been here before.

Sustain us with your presence.

Give us the wholeheartedness

to mourn our brokenness

and then to rise and get to work.

Give us the resilience to stay faithful,

even in the shadow of evil,

to do justice and to love mercy.

Loving One, lead us.

Redeem our fear, redirect our despair

and revive our spirits.

Give us hope and dissatisfaction.

Give us strength and patience.

Give us humility and courage.

Give us love that will not quit

in the face of evil.

Be among us, be with us, be in us.

Faithful God, hold our hearts in yours,

and grant us your peace.


-Steve Garnaas-Holmes

— 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:!


Based on recommendations of the FMC Re-Opening Taskforce (Carol Moore, Dohn Fast, Joretta Martens, Todd Esau) and the Reno County Health Department regarding the current increase in community spread of COVID-19, the CMT (Congregational Ministry Team – Russ Wedel, Delon Martens, Julie Esau, Kevin Martin Nisly, Mike Dirks, and both pastors) has decided to limit in-person gatherings at the church to 10.  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 will continue to evaluate this policy, based on data from the Reno County Health Department.  UPDATE: At the January 18, 2021 CMT meeting, after receiving Carol Moore’s recommendation following a conversation with the Reno County Health Department, the group agreed to continue as described above for the time being.  

SUNDAY, JANUARY 24:  The Jesus Way – Beyond Barriers and Scarcity

                Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday

  • Preacher:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader:  Delon Martens
  • Children’s Time:  Tanya Martin Nisly
  • Scripture Reader:  TBA
  • Organist:  Pauline Buller
  • Sound:  Murray Reimer
  • 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. 


  • January 19 – Jesus words & actions in Luke speak to us, conversation with Pastor Jim, 7:00pm on zoom
  • January 24 – Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday & “One Lunch” Offering (see details below)
  • February 17 – Ash Wednesday

DEEPENING in Christ…


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


This winter and spring we’ll be listening and learning from the Gospel of Luke.  Guided by the Narrative Lectionary, we’ll follow Luke’s story of Jesus all the way through Lent and Easter.  After Jesus gave his sermon in Nazareth (in Luke 4:14-30) the crowd’s amazement turned to rage, and we’re told Jesus escaped their violent plans to throw him off a cliff and “went on his way.”  Each Sunday in this series we’ll explore different aspects of “The Jesus Way,” with the hope of growing in maturity as disciples still seeking Jesus’ Way today.

Here’s a look at upcoming themes before the beginning of Lent:

  • January 24: The Jesus Way – Beyond Barriers and Scarcity (Luke 5:1-11; Isaiah 55:1-6; Philippians 2:1-11).  Pastor Tonya preaching.  Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday & One Lunch Offering (see below)
  • January 31: The Jesus Way – Restoring Life & Community (Healing on the Sabbath) Luke 6:1-16 Pastor Jim preaching
  • February 7: The Jesus Way: Breathing Life into Death (Raising the Widow’s Son) Luke 7:1-17 Pastor Tonya preaching
  • February 14: The Jesus Way:  Transformation & Freedom (Transfiguration) Luke 9:28-45 Pastor Tonya preaching


Gather on ZOOM Tuesday evenings @ 7pm with Pastor Jim Unruh to let the words and actions of Jesus in Luke speak to us beyond Sunday morning.  What’s the good news and how can we respond?  Thefocus each Tuesday evening will be on the Luke text from the previous Sunday (so, tonight: Luke 4:14-30, Jesus’ Sermon @ Nazareth).   Look for a ZOOM link sent to you by email later today, and contact Pastor Jim with questions!


As part of our observance of Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday (Jan 24), you’re invited to contribute to the One Lunch Offering to support the ministries of Mennonite World Conference (MWC) – our global faith family.  During January, donate what you would spend on ‘one lunch’ – send your check made out to FMC with “One Lunch for MWC” in the memo line.  Thank you!!

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! devotional magazines

The January/February issue of UPPER ROOM is available above the mailboxes.  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):

JAN 24 & 31 – NO SUNDAY SCHOOL unless someone volunteers to facilitate a conversation; call the church office for a leader’s guide and more information

We’ll gather again on the first Sunday in February!

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 send changes in your address, cell phone or land line numbers, and email addresses to the church office.   We rely on these connections during these unusual times.  Please make sure the contact information we have for you and for your children is current.  Thank you for getting this to the office by January 31.


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! The MOST RECENT EPISODE is a conversation Pastor Jim had with Tanya Martin Nisly, who is a social worker at Hutchinson High School. 


  • Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 2:00
  • Wednesday 10am-1pm 


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.


The Soup Kitchen is open again.  We have all the applesauce we need, but could use two volunteers to help with food prep and three drivers for delivery routes on the 23rd.  Please volunteer directly to Jane or Eldon Wagler.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kauffman Museum at Bethel College is offering Kansas Day in a Box to give families the option of celebrating the day in the safety and comfort of their own home. The box will include games, crafts, recipes, foods, maps, activities and some surprise items to help you enjoy Kansas history and culture. The order deadline is Weds., Jan. 20; to order, go to  Kansas Day in a Box can be picked up at the museum between Jan. 26-30, or mailed for an additional fee. On Sat., Jan. 30, Ms. Kristin (Kristin Neufeld Epp) from New Creation Preschool in Newton will open Kansas Day in a Box live on Zoom. Details on how to participate will be sent to all who purchase boxes. (Contains small pieces that may be unsafe for young children; recommended for ages 4-12. Allergens: Contains gluten, sunflower seeds and corn.)

Sat., Jan. 30 – Kauffman Museum annual Kansas Day event, “Our Stories, Our Foods.” Starting at 11 a.m. – food trucks, local producer booths and take-it-home crafts, museum parking lot and grounds; 11 a.m. via ZoomGlen Ediger, North Newton: stories about Mennonite ethnic foods; 2 p.m. via Zoom: Jenny Masias, Newton: “The Immigrants Who Built Newton: One Spike at a Time”; walking tour to the eight “Stories Along the Trail” sites in North Newton. Please note that face coverings must be worn and distancing guidelines followed on Kauffman Museum and all Bethel College propertyTo get Zoom links, go to the Kauffman Museum Facebook page or

The KIPCOR Film Series at Bethel College is serving up a second helping of Cooked: Survival by Zip Code, which focuses on the deadly 1995 Chicago heat wave to illustrate how Black, Indigenous and People of Color and low-income citizens suffer the most negative impact from natural disasters. The film is an indictment of U.S. disaster preparedness, and connects extreme weather, extreme disparity (income and other) and extreme racism. Go to, “Film Series,” for a link to watch Cooked for free and a link to register for the Feb. 7 virtual discussionadvance registration is required to participate in the discussion, which will be held in break-out rooms, with leaders who include Chicagoans who experienced the 1995 heat disaster.


We invite you to share a gift with WDC to help our congregations Witness & invite others to faith in Jesus Christ, Dwell in just & loving relationships, and Connect to God’s mission in the world. Your generous gifts are appreciated as we look toward our fiscal year end on January 31 and meeting our budget goal! You may make a contribution by sending a check to Western District Conference, PO Box 306, North Newton KS  67117. You may also give securely online at  Click on the Donate to WDC button – top right.  Thank you for your generosity!      


Please put July 2 and 3, 2021 on your church calendar for this year’s Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale to be held at the Kansas State Fair grounds.  We are hoping and praying that COVID-19 will be under control by July so we can hold the sale this year.   


Canner Operator: MCC is looking for new canner operators! This two-year service term is unique and offers the opportunity to travel around the U.S. and Canada, working as a team while meeting new people! Check out for details!

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:

Join MCC for a free webinar: The Spiritual Cost of Doctrine of Discovery.  Mark Charles, a Navajo activist, speaker, and author will be presenting on The Spiritual Cost of Doctrine of Discovery. Along with Soong-Chan Rah, Mark is the author of Unsettling Truths: The ongoing, dehumanizing legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery, Intervarsity Press (2019). The free webinar will take place on Thursday, January 21, from 10-11:30 CST. Please register by January 20 at to receive the webinar link. 


Applications for Camp Mennoscah Summer Staff positions are now being accepted!  Although there is a chance positions will change to meet the needs of pandemic-impacted summer youth camps, the current summer staff leadership positions are naturalist, crafts leader, lifeguard, grounds/maintenance, music leader, office, and all-round/media. For those 21 years old or older, there is also a Director of Support opening.  Find the application and information online at under Summer Youth Camps!

Celebrate the new year by coming to Camp Mennoscah!  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!

A few extra Camp Mennoscah hoodies are available!  (Adult sizes only.)  Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 or  Grab yours before they’re gone!

The Camp Mennoscah Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Olivia Bartel has accepted the position of Executive Director. Olivia has an undergraduate degree from Bethel College and a Master of Arts from AMBS with a focus in Theological Studies.  She has been with Camp Mennoscah since 2008 and is a familiar face on campgrounds and at camp sponsored events.  Please join us in congratulating Olivia on her promotion and welcoming her to the role of Executive Director.

2021 Camp Mennoscah Winter Newsletter link is here:

In this issue, read about:

— Our 2021 plans for Camp Mennoscah!
— Sharing baptism at Camp Mennoscah
— Getting out for Scrapbooking Retreat
— Our Donors from November 1, 2019-October 31, 2020
— Meet our new Board members
— Other news we hope you will find interesting!

Reopening for summer camps will mean extra precautions to keep the campers safe.  Your donation today will  help camp prepare for the 2021 summer camping season.  Thank you for supporting Camp Mennoscah!


Seeking the Beloved Community: From Racism to Reconciliation

As part of God’s reconciling work, we are called to dismantle racism and build relationships across racial divides. On Saturday, January 23, 2021 from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. EST, Mennonite Men will be hosting a zoom meeting, open to all genders, with members of Seeking the Beloved Community, a group of Black and White men in Elkhart, Indiana, who have been engaged in this work for seven years. A number of these are pastors and members of Mennonite congregations.  If you have questions, please contact Chris Fretz by email at

To learn more about the event click this link: C:\Users\User\AppData\Local\Temp\mso48CF.tmp (

To register for this event click this link:


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: