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This week at FMC

July 14-27, 2021

Table of Contents

Last week I attended my first ever virtual MennoCon (Mennonite Church USA Convention).  I’ve been going regularly to MennoCon since 2001, and while it was sad not to be in person, I was really grateful to be able to join virtually this year.  Events began last Tuesday evening with worship and I enjoyed tuning into worship every evening afterward (except one, and I still hope to go back and listen to that one!).  Wednesday-Friday mornings we were enriched by Bible Study presented by Safwat Marzouk, associate professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana, on the topic, “Shalom Justice Amidst Pandemic and Racism.”  Saturday morning was the final worship service, with MC USA Executive Director Glen Guyton preaching and the afternoon held a ZOOM delegate session.  I was also able to take in a few of the online seminars prepared for the virtual participants. 

We are hoping to find ways in the coming months to share some of these presentations/sermons/worship with you all.  I found the preaching and the Bible studies to be very thought provoking, comforting, and challenging for these times we are in as a church.  So stay tuned for details about that!!

For now, here are a few quotes from my notes during the week….

  • Peace is being able to be in the boat in the middle of a storm, and be asleep with Jesus.  Peace is not immunity from difficulties, it is peace with difficulties.  The peace of God surpasses our understanding.  (Leslie and Caleb Francisco sermon)
  • Humans who abuse their power and privilege are called to repent.  Repentance asks: How have we messed up, abused our power?  How are we called to peace and justice, to change our ways?   (Safwat Marzouk)
  • We need the grit of anti-racism and the grace of racial reconciliation.  Seek the Beloved Community: “I am beloved.  You are beloved.  We are beloved.”  (Osheta Moore, author of Dear White Peacemaker)
  • We are in a covenantal relationship with God – God is faithful and at work!  But that doesn’t mean we can slack off – we have work to do, too.  Justice and reconciliation go hand in hand.  (Safwat Marzouk)
  • Marginalization and oppression happens because we don’t know how to deal with difference. (Safwat Marzouk)
  • Trust is not the primary foundation of Christian community.  Primary foundation of Christian community is love: love that is extended even before trust has been established.  Question is not ‘how can we trust one another?’ but ‘how will we love one another?’  Love precedes trust.  Christians are called to proactively love people even if we aren’t entirely sure we can trust them.  It may be dangerous or pose a threat to us, but this is the foundation of Christian community: we love even before we trust.  What makes this dramatic love possible? Where do we get the energy and courage to practice it?  Trust.  Trust in God.  God IS trustworthy.  (John Carlson – MC USA Moderator Elect – sermon)

-Pastor Tonya

. . . PLEASE NOTE:  Our next edition of THIS WEEK will be posted on July 27. . . . . . . . . . .

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! 

Masks and distancing are now optional in the church building for those who have been fully vaccinated and are 2 weeks past their last shot.  In keeping with CDC guidelines, we ask that unvaccinated people continue to wear masks.  In addition, we ask any adults working with children to also wear masks while in the building.  Recognizing that not everyone is eligible to receive the vaccine, including children, and that there are some with immune-compromised people in their lives, we ask that we work together to be sensitive to the needs, decisions, and well-being of all. 

SUNDAY, JULY 18:  Cultivating Life with God for the World:

Sowing seed of light amid shadows (darkness)

 (Matthew 5:8)

  • Preacher:  Jim Unruh
  • Worship Leader:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Children’s Time:  Jean Gaeddert
  • Scripture Reader:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Pianist:  Shelley Kauffman
  • Ushers:   Russ Wedel & Diane Ziemer
  • Sound:  Jasper Nisly
  • Live Stream:  Jonathan Wenger

SUNDAY, JULY 25:  Cultivating Life with God for the World: Sowing seeds of joy amid sadness 

 (Matthew 5:4)

  • Preacher:  Miles Reimer
  • Worship Leader:  Delon Martens
  • Children’s Time:  DeAnna Goering
  • Scripture Reader:  Delon Martens
  • Pianist:  Peggy Stucky
  • Ushers:   Cheryl Warkentin
  • 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. 


  • July 13-16 – Pastor Tonya on family vacation
  • July 18 – Pastor Jim preaching; Sunday School after worship
  • July 19-23 – Pastor Tonya at Women Touched by Grace Retreat in Indiana
  • July 24 – FMC serves at the Soup Kitchen
  • July 25 – Miles Reimer, guest preacher
  • July 29 – Congregation Ministry Team meets – 4:30pm
  • July 30-August 1 – Western District Conference Annual Assembly – hybrid event (virtual & in-person)
  • August 1 – Sunday School after worship

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.

DEEPENING in Christ…


Meets Thursday mornings from 10-11am in the Prayer Room.  All are welcome. 

A small ecumenical Centering Prayer group meets on ZOOM Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30-1:30pm.  If you’d like to learn more and receive the link to participate, contact Pastor Tonya. 


Guided by the Peace Prayer of St. Francis and Jesus’ Beatitudes we’ll dig deeper in our life with God, discovering how such a life is not just for us, but for the sake of this world God loves.  We’ll explore what it might look like to allow God to make us into ‘instruments’ of God’s peace, love, pardon, faith, hope, light, and joy. 


The legacy and legends of Saint Francis have inspired many to care more deeply and intentionally for all of creation as our ‘brothers and sisters’ sharing planet Earth with us.  And so, as we bring our ‘Cultivating Life With God for the World” worship series to a close on August 1, we will turn next to a worship series created by an ecumenical group of Christians each year, inviting us to explore how our life with God impacts ALL of creation and asking what we can do to truly make this a home for all.  They write in the introduction to this year’s Season of Creation resources, As followers of Christ from around the globe, we share a common role as caretakers of God’s creation. We see that our wellbeing is interwoven with its wellbeing. We rejoice in this opportunity to care for our common home and the sisters and brothers who share it.”         

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! devotional magazines

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


All groups except Senior High meet from 10:45-11:30 (Sr High meets at 11:45am)

  • July 18
  • August 1
  • August 15

Adult Sunday School CLASSES @ 10:45AM (See summer schedule below)

  • YOUNG(ER) ADULT Class (studying “What is the Church and Why Does it Exist?) – this group meets in the basement Sunday School classroom and is facilitated by group members. 
  • BIBLE STUDY:  You are invited to join this class on ZOOM or in person in the Common Grounds room.  Below is the schedule for this Adult Bible Study using the Salt and Light discussion guide.  Copies of the summer study guide are available on the table in the foyer.  Please call the office if you would like a copy sent to you.  The summer theme is, Facing Life’s Challenges, written by Wilma Ann Bailey. 

                                July 18 – “Who Is Your Neighbor? – Calvin Buller, facilitator

Check your email for the ZOOM link or contact Pastor Tonya. 

STRENGTHENING Community Connections…


Plan to stay after worship for a more extended fellowship time with coffee/tea (and maybe treats!) on the second Sundays of the month through the summer.  We’ll plan to gather outside in the columbarium area for this time of fellowship, weather permitting.


Plan to remain in the sanctuary on August 29 after worship for a short congregational meeting regarding changes/updates to FMC’s bylaws and constitution.  The updated bylaws/constitution will be available two weeks prior to this meeting.  Following the meeting, the Senior Youth will provide a fundraiser Hamburger Fry lunch.  Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend the meeting, however only members and associate members will cast votes.   


All of our Coordination Teams (Faith Formation, Faithful Community, Faithful Service and Outreach, and Faithful Stewardship) will gather with the CMT on WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 1 at 7:00pm!!  This gathering will provide resourcing and support as these groups, together, support the congregation in living out the mission and purpose of First Mennonite Church to DEEPEN, STRENTHEN, AND STRETCH.  Specifically, as we look toward Fall 2021 and who we are becoming in this post-COVID reality, we’ll explore some fundamental questions of church – What? Why? and How?  Pastor Tonya will help guide this time using David E. Fitch’s little book, What is the Church and Why Does it Exist?  

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. 

CHURCH OFFICE HOURS – may vary from this schedule during the summer

  • Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 2:00 (July 20 the church will open after 10:00am)
  • Wednesday 10am-1pm  (church office will not be open on July 14 and 21)


  • Monday:  Sabbath Day
  • Tuesday-Friday:  generally working 9am-5:30pm(ish)
  • Available evenings and weekends (cell phone is most reliable)
  • Tuesday July 13-Friday July 16 – vacation
  • Monday July 19-Friday July 23 – attending Women Touched by Grace Retreat


Let the church office or Pastor Tonya know if you are willing.  We’d especially like to have more male voices!


Al Penner –

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.


School supplies (new items only) are needed as families in our community prepare for school this fall.  Pick up the list of needed supplies from the table in the foyer.  We have a basket in FMC’s foyer to collect school supplies, or you may drop them off at 12 West 2nd Ave. (Tue or Thu 10am-3:30pm; or Wed 9am-noon). 

Cash donations are appreciated and a philanthropic donor has offered to match all financial donations.  Checks payable to First Call for Help (memo – School Supplies), mailed to PO Box 2203, Hutchinson KS 67504. 


The Soup Kitchen is now serving on site and delivery. Here are volunteer positions needed for July 24.

  • Food preparation 2:00-3:30pm
  • Delivery route 4:00-5:30pm
  • Serve & clean up 4:45-6:00

Call Jane or Eldon Wagler, or Juliet Nisly or Kevin Martin Nisly directly to volunteer.

EVERENCE announces Gifts that give back webinar

Tuesday, August 3 at 6:30 p.m.  Many make charitable gifts to support their favorite causes and organizations. Some choose to extend their charitable giving further by designating dollars for charity in their end-of-life plans. But did you know there is another type of gift plan that generates income for the donor and then sends a gift to charity at a later date? Come to this workshop to learn more about “Gifts that give back” and whether it is a strategy for you!  This webinar will be hosted by Mitch Stutzman, Everence Stewardship Consultant.  This webinar is free. Please register by contacting our office at 877-467-7294, 316-283-3800 or  

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

The 2021 issue of Mennonite Life, Bethel College’s annual online journal, is now live at, with articles and reviews by Brad Born, Rachel Epp Buller, Peter Goerzen, Raylene Hinz-Penner, Mark Jantzen, Jim Juhnke, Nate Kroeker, Alec Loganbill, Jacob Miller, Bethany Powls, Rich Preheim, Darrin Snyder-Belousek, Tara Schwartz, Anne Marie Stoner-Eby and Melanie Zuercher.

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Family Weekend at Camp Mennoscah on July 17-18!  If you are looking for a weekend to escape, Family Weekend offers a smorgasbord of camp activities for you to choose from and plenty of time to roam the river and be with your family and friends.  Register at and contact 620-297-3290 with questions!

Work Day at Camp Mennoscah is planned for August 28.  Save the date. You make camp great!


WDC Women’s Retreat . . . September 11-12 (in-person) – mark your calendar


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic impact globally on health, economic well-being and inequality. Many countries lack the resources to access COVID-19 vaccines or therapeutic treatments and are struggling to recover from a global economic downturn. Join us for a webinar on Thursday, July 15, at 1:00 p.m. EDT to explore the issue of vaccine justice and the need for an equitable pandemic response by the U.S. government. 

Register for the webinar 

 (If you cannot attend, you will receive a link to the recording).