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This week at FMC

January 27-February 2, 2021

We follow Jesus together, not alone, across barriers that try to keep us divided.

These words summarize the priorities of the global Anabaptist family we are a part of in Mennonite World Conference.  This past Sunday we shared some of the Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday worship resources provided by our brothers and sisters in Asia.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t time to include everything and so I’m sharing with you one of the stories told giving real life, concrete, experience of Jesus who takes us across barriers meant to divide.  This story comes from India.

“India is a country full of colours, different castes and religions, all presenting different kinds of barriers that keep people separated. In South India, the caste-related barriers are very strong. Mrs. Elizabeth Karupatthal is a member in Gilgal Mission Church who has touched many people in her village through witnessing to Christ in her life.  She comes from a traditional Hindu high caste, Goundar, which is strong in religious rituals. As a high caste person, she was proud of her identity. She is a wealthy woman in her village. She has two sons and one daughter, and all of them are married and living in big cities in India. She lives alone in her hometown at Madathukulam.

In this story, her neighbors and her enemies took revenge on her because of her wealth and status by using witchcraft to place a curse on her. She went to all the temples and did many of her rituals, but she found no cure.  Within this hopeless situation, she was brought to the church by one believer. As a whole church,

they start to pray for healing for her. Through the prayer, she was completely healed from the evil spirit.

Then she started to come to church and feel the presence of God in her heart. After a few months, she took baptism and accepted Christ as her Saviour. But due to the cultural and religious barriers after baptism, she was rejected by her children and their families and her neighbours.  The high caste community thinks of Christians as

untouchables because they always work for the development and upliftment for people living in poverty.

But Elizabeth was very strong in her conviction that Jesus Christ helped her to overcome all problems in her life.

However, in the church during the communion service, once again the cultural barrier started to overcome her mind as the church took part in breaking bread and taking wine in one shared glass. As a high caste person, many questions arose in her mind regarding sharing communion from one glass and one loaf of bread. At first,

she was very confused about how to think about this. Later, she understood that Jesus not only solved her own problems, but that Jesus died for everyone, in order to break all the barriers in each and everyone’s life, and to be freed from all the so-called barriers in this world, including the barriers of caste.

After this incident, she started to attend all prayer cell groups in different community members’ homes regardless of their caste, and she happily started to share about the love of God, who breaks all kinds of barriers in our lives for our betterment. Through her testimony, she was able to bring three families to Christ and all of them were baptized very recently. At first, she thought of Jesus as a problem-solver for herself, but later she came to understand that Jesus is not a God for a specific community or caste or person. Jesus came to this world to show the love of God by breaking all cultural, political, spiritual and economical barriers to unite us in Christ. At present, she started a small prayer cell in her home for all kinds of community members to come and pray to know more about Jesus.”

— Paul Phinehas, MWC Executive Committee member, and head of Gilgal Mission Trust, Kerala,India

I particularly resonate with the realization Elizabeth is living out:  “Jesus is not a God for a specific community or caste or person. Jesus came to this world to show the love of God by breaking all cultural, political, spiritual and economical barriers to unite us in Christ.”  May it be so for all of 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 will continue to evaluate this policy, based on data from the Reno County Health Department.  Please watch this announcement for updates.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 31:  The Jesus Way – Restoring Life & Community (Healing on the Sabbath)

  • Preacher:  Pastor Jim Unruh
  • Worship Leader:  Stephanie Gehring
  • Children’s Time:  DeAnna Goering
  • Scripture Reader:  TBA
  • Pianist:  Peggy Stucky
  • Sound:  Allen Yoder
  • 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 31 – M&M’s meet at 1:00pm (watch email for details!!)
  • February 7 – Senior Youth Super Bowl Sub Sandwich fundraiser (see details below)
  • February 17 – Ash Wednesday Worship

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 to 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 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


WILL NOT MEET THIS WEEK (JAN 26)!!!  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?  The focus each Tuesday evening will be on the Luke text from the previous Sunday. A Zoom link has been sent via email. 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!!


Our Lent worship will continue “On The Jesus Way” as we study of the Gospel of Luke.  Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 17, and Easter this year is on April 4.  If you’d be interested in helping shape our Lent worship services, please contact Pastor Tonya ASAP.  For now, we anticipate services to continue to be primarily live streamed with limited numbers in the sanctuary.

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 31 – NO SUNDAY SCHOOL unless someone volunteers to facilitate a conversation; call the church office for a leader’s guide and more information
  • FEB 7 – Tonya facilitating.  “Living as Holy People,” Leviticus 19:1-18.
  • FEB 14 – Calvin facilitating.  “Nourishing Holiness,” 1 Peter 2:1-10.
  • FEB 21 – Jim facilitating.  “Physical Holiness,” 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.

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.


The Senior Youth will once again be preparing Super Bowl Sub sandwiches for Super Bowl Sunday (February 7). Sign up by Thursday, February 4, for your choice of Turkey OR Ham and Salami. As usual, we will not go cheap on the fixings.  

Cost: $8 each. Sign up link:

Or, if you prefer, place your order by calling the church office or Jonathan Wenger. 

Drive through pick up @ the church on Sunday, February 7 between 1:00-3:00pm (or contact Jonathan Wenger directly to arrange a different pick up or delivery time if needed).

As always, the youth very much appreciate your support!

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 Jade Piros de Carvalho.  And while you’re there you can listen to conversations with Tanya Martin Nisly, Jane and Eldon Wagler, and more!


  • 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!

GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP – Our Redeemer Lutheran Church , Hutchinson

GriefShare is a weekly seminar and support group designed to help persons rebuild their lives after losing a loved one.  The group is led by caring people who have experienced grief, using a Christian video seminar series.  The sessions – available at no cost – will be held on Zoom, on Mondays beginning February 1 at 6:30-8:00pm.  Reservations are required.  Call Darrell Burns (620-899-0209) or Our Redeemer church office (620-662-5642).

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.


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:


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!

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. 

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!


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: