“… they set out; and there ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.” (Mt. 2:9-10)
Like the Magi, we too are seeking Jesus. Looking in the mundane and extraordinary. Praying for light to guide our feet each step of the way. For stars to illuminate our hearts and lives.
2019 was the first year I decided to join the movement among many churches around the world handing out Star Words on the Sunday closest to Epiphany. Quickly, it has become one of my favorite practices. Not because there is anything magical about these words, but because of the invitations many of us have found within them drawing us closer to Jesus, to our true selves, to being ‘at home’ with God throughout the year.
I love these lines in a prayer written by Sarah Are for the receiving of Star Words:
Allow us to use these star words as a tool to see you in our everyday life.
May they guide us, as the star guided the Magi.
May they illuminate your path, as light always does.
And in a year, may we find ourselves here, together again,
With a mouth full of praise for the ways in which you have been present to us.
Many of you sent me reflections on your 2021 word – your mouths where indeed ‘full of praise for the ways [God] has been present’ in your life. Thank you!!!! You helped give witness to the reality of God-with-us in the daily ordinary and extraordinary moments of our lives.
The basket of remaining star words is on the table in the foyer at church. You are welcome to pick one up (I’ll leave it out for a few weeks!) … or, let me know (email@example.com) and I’m happy to text, email, and/or mail you a 2022 Star Word.
The bulletin Sunday included “Prompts for using STAR WORDS throughout the Year.” I’m including them here, and will also put extra bulletins with the Star Words basket for you to take if you wish.
Prompts for using STAR WORDS throughout the year:
A. Look up the definition of your word, even if it is a word you know well. You may even look into the etymology of the word and how its meaning has changed throughout history.
B. What does this word remind you of? Does it recall any memories or experiences? How might God be speaking to you through this word?
C. See if you can find your word—or a synonym—in the Bible. What scripture passages can you find? How is the word used in these passages? Are there other scripture passages that remind you of your word?
D. Write or speak aloud a prayer using your word. (This is a fun challenge for children using the star words).
Blessings as you enter into conversation with your word, and with God, during this year!
NOTES: Our next THIS WEEK will post on January 19, 2022.
The church office will be closed Wednesday January 5.
Office hours between January 11-19 may vary from what is posted.
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: www.hutchfmc.org! Join at 9:25am to see the announcements!
REVISED STATEMENT (12/12/21) FROM CMT (Congregational Ministry Team) to the congregation regarding COVID precautions.
We will follow the current practice of masking and social distancing plus good handwashing while in the church building. Let us continue to make this a “safe space” for awhile longer. We encourage these same practices in all area of your daily life to decrease exposure to this virus, especially considering the tremendous strain our hospitals are experiencing. This statement is based on recommendations from our COVID Response Team (Carol Moore, Joretta Martens, Todd Esau, Dohn Fast).
SUNDAY, January 9: Wedding at Cana
John 2:1-11; Psalm 104:14-16
- Preacher: Tonya Ramer Wenger
- Worship Leader: Maggie Pounds
- Scripture Reader: TBD
- Children’s Time: Star Gipson
- Pianist: Shelley Kauffman
- Ushers: Don Wiens & Russel Goering
- Nursery attendant: Lona Willems
- Sound Tech: Earl Ediger & Allen Yoder
- Live Stream Tech: Joel Iwashige
SUNDAY, January 16: Jesus Cleanses the Temple
Jesus cleanses the temple, signifying the destruction and raising of his body.
John 2:13-25; Psalm 127:1-2
- Preacher: Tonya Ramer Wenger
- Worship Leader: Stephanie Gehring
- Scripture Reader: TBD
- Children’s Time: TBD
- Pianist: Peggy Stucky
- Ushers: Dennis & Jennalee Boggs
- Nursery attendant: Kevin & Tanya Martin Nisly
- Sound Tech: Earl Ediger & Allen Yoder
- Live Stream Tech: Jay Gehring
SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES MEET @ 10:45am.
SHARING JOYS & CONCERNS
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.
CALENDAR – LOOKING AHEAD
- January 11 – 6:00pm Service and Outreach Coordination Team
- January 12 – 7:00pm Centennial Committee meeting
- January 16 – Congregational Ministry Team (CMT) and Coordination Teams (CTs) meet at noon
- 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 and needs our help with construction costs, furnishings for the apartments and ongoing maintenance. The Centennial Committee would like for FMC to raise $22,000 by October 2022 to help with these expenses. Your check can be made out to FMC, with “LightHouse” on the memo line. Will you support this project with a generous gift? Thank you! Check out the “LightHouse thermometer” in the foyer and watch our progress in meeting this goal!
DEEPENING in Christ…
JANUARY WORSHIP @ FMC
Beginning January 2, our worship services will invite us to journey with Jesus through the unique lens of the Gospel of John.
January 9 – Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11) Tonya preaching
January 16 – Jesus Cleanses the Temple (John 2:13-25) Tonya preaching
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 also 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 Together. As 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: https://mwc-cmm.org/anabaptist-world-fellowship-sunday/stories/feeding-relationships
- 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.
WINTER 2021 SUNDAY SCHOOL @ 10:45am
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: https://bibleproject.com/bible-studies/reflections/ and feel free to watch the videos during the week if you choose in preparation for shared discussion.
- January 9 – Compromise or Faithfulness? https://bibleproject.com/bible-studies/reflections/compromise-or-faithfulness/
- January 16 – All Things New https://bibleproject.com/bible-studies/reflections/all-things-new/
- January 23 – Perfect through Hardship https://bibleproject.com/bible-studies/reflections/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…
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.
JOINT GATHERING OF COORDINATION TEAMS AND CMT – JANUARY 16
All members of our four Coordination Teams (Faith Formation, Faithful Community, Faithful Service and Outreach, Faithful Stewardship) and Congregational Ministry Team!! Plan to stay for lunch and a joint meeting on Sunday January 16 as we look toward 2022 … listening to God’s Spirit for guidance in our shared ministry! We will conclude by 2:00 at the latest. We are hoping to see all of you there – please plan to attend, or to let Delon Martens or Pastor Tonya know if you are unable to. Thank you!!!
CALL FOR STORIES FOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY BOOK – EXTENDED THRU DECEMBER!!
We need your stories about life at FMC! They can be stories from yesterday or 50+ years ago. And … do you have pictures you could share? We welcome pictures from the past, but more recent pictures as well!
The website form is no longer up, so please submit your stories or photos directly to the church office via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in the boxes provided in the foyer. Thank you!!
INTERESTED IN EXPLORING MEMBERSHIP @ FMC?
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: https://hutchfmc.org/beautiful-salt-city-podcast/. While new episodes are not being added right now, this is your chance to catch up on previous conversations!
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS – hours in January may vary from the posted schedule
- Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 2:00pm
- Wednesday 10am-1pm
PASTOR TONYA’S HOURS/SCHEDULE
- 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 taking a holiday/vacation day on Wednesday January 5. The church office will be closed.
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…
FMC SERVES AT THE CHRISTIAN SOUP MINISTRY IN HUTCH ON JANUARY 22.
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).
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ADVENT/CHRISTMAS GIVING!!
Many thanks to you all for your generosity during Advent and Christmas for the various giving opportunities we shared as a church: Salthawk Community Support “Santa Sacks,” hats and mittens for Salvation Army, toys/books/snacks for the waiting room at Horizon’s Child Advocacy Center, and the Infant Care Kits for Mennonite Central Committee. Your gifts make a difference!!
OUR SUNDAY MORNING DONATIONS FOR FIRST CALL FOR HELP
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.
WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE PRAYER REQUEST
Pray for generous financial support for WDC and its congregations, to help meet ministry and budget goals for this year. WDC’s fiscal year ends January 31. Your contributions support WDC’s core tasks of sustaining transformational pastors; resourcing healthy, missional churches; and networking church planting partnerships. Check the WDC link at https://mennowdc.org/
MENNONITE FRIENDSHIP COMMUNITIES
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 – Stacey@MennoFriend.com or apply online – https://www.mennofriend.com/employment.html.
CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements
- 2022 Summer staff applications are being accepted! 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 email@example.com or call 620-297-3290 to volunteer. See the Wish List for other ways to support Camp Mennoscah!
EVERENCE® to hold Medicare webinar in January
Everence will hold an informative Medicare webinar on Tuesday, Jan. 18, starting at 6:30 p.m. Topics will include, when and where to sign up for Medicare, what Medicare does (and doesn’t) cover, Medicare Parts A, B, C and D in clear, understandable language plus budgeting for health care costs in retirement. There will also be time for your questions. Information will be presented by staff from the Everence offices in Central Kansas.
To register contact Everence at 316-283-3800, 877-467-7294 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attendance recommended for those approaching retirement or those ready to sign up for Medicare.
MENNONITE DISASTER SERVICE tornado response
Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) is monitoring the damage from the string of deadly tornadoes which moved through areas of the Midwest and parts of the South. We extend our condolences to those who have lost loved ones and we offer prayers of support for the survivors.
Several MDS Early Response Teams are investigating several of the tornado sites to help determine how and where MDS will respond. Many of our partners via the National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) which specialize in search and rescue, damage assessment and cleanup are already responding. We will determine when and where volunteers will be needed most. If you are interested in being added to a volunteer waitlist, please include your name, address and email address and send to: email@example.com. If you wish to donate to the MDS response, you may do so on our website. Please click here. As new information becomes available we will continue to update information at www.mds.org.
MENNONITE CENTRAL COMMITTEE (MCC) announcements
The MCC Comforter Blitz Committee is looking for additional committee members! Would you be interested in assisting the making of comforters for Mennonite Central Committee, and helping to plan the annual three-day comforter making event in Yoder, Kansas? If so, we would love your skills and your voice! If interested, please reach out to Committee Chair, Kara Klingenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 620-983-9003 for more information. We are currently looking for a treasurer, advertising help, and anyone else who is interested in helping.
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: https://mwc-cmm.org/assembly/indonesia-2022