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This week at FMC

July 7-13, 2021

Sowing seeds of hope amid despair.  This is where the Saint Francis Peace Prayer invites us next, after sowing seeds of faith amid doubt.  HOPE was my 2020 ‘star word,’ given to me before COVID-19 changed us.  You might remember Paul writing at the very end of his ‘love poem’ in I Corinthians 13:  “But now faith, hope, and love remain; these three virtues must characterize our lives. The greatest of these is love.” (The Voice)  I’m guessing it’s not a coincidence this peace prayer includes love, faith, and hope as they are essential in a life with Jesus.  Last week in my exploring the theme of faith and doubt, I came across more resources than I could possibly share in one sermon.  I’d like to share this Mary Oliver poem as I love how she explores the intersection of faith and summer, which we are certainly in the thick of right now!

A Little Summer Poem Touching the Subject of Faith (by Mary Oliver)

Every summer
I listen and look
under the sun’s brass and even
into the moonlight, but I can’t hear

anything, I can’t see anything —
not the pale roots digging down, nor the green
stalks muscling up,
nor the leaves
deepening their damp pleats,

nor the tassels making,
nor the shucks, nor the cobs.
And still,
every day,

the leafy fields
grow taller and thicker —
green gowns lofting up in the night,
showered with silk.

And so, every summer,
I fail as a witness, seeing nothing —
I am deaf too
to the tick of the leaves,

the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet —
all of it
beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum.

And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in the dirt

swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?

One morning
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn’s beautiful body
is sure to be there.

-With gratitude to Mary Oliver for the gift of poetry!! Blessings, 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! 

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 11:  Cultivating Life with God for the World:  Sowing seeds of hope amid despair

(Matthew 5:6; Mark 4:26-29; Psalm 62:5-8; 1 Peter 1:3)

  • Preacher:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader:  Heidi Unruh
  • Children’s Time:  Diane Ziemer
  • Scripture Reader: TBD
  • Organist:  Pauline Buller
  • Ushers:   Stephanie & Jay Gehring
  • Sound:  Allen Yoder
  • Live Stream:  Jay Gehring

Fellowship Time will be served in the Common Grounds room. We encourage those who can (weather permitting) to go outside to the columbarium area to visit after getting your coffee/tea and treats.


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 6-10 – MCUSA Convention continues this week (FMC delegates participating virtually)
  • July 13-16 – Pastor Tonya on family vacation
  • July 19-23 – Pastor Tonya at Women Touched by Grace Retreat in Indiana
  • July 24 – FMC serves at the Soup Kitchen
  • July 29 – Congregation Ministry Team meets – 4:30pm
  • July 31-August 1 – Western District Conference Annual Assembly – hybrid event (virtual & in-person)

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 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?  


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.

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
  • 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 – 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!


Faithful Stewardship Coordination Team is seeking a volunteer to tend the rose garden near the north entrance of the church building.  Anyone interested is invited to talk with Allen Yoder.  Many thanks to Lorene Graber and Cliff Dick for serving as our rose garden care takers .

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.

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

Staff position opening:  WDC seeks a full time Administrative Assistant to work out of its North Newton, KS office, beginning August 25.  Responsibilities include office management, communications, records management, scheduling, and administrative support for staff.  Qualifications include strong organizational, computer and communication skills, ability to collaborate as part of a team, and willingness to promote WDC’s mission and priorities.  For more information, position description and application materials, contact Heidi Regier Kreider, Conference Minister, at or 316-283-6300.


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).


The MCC Central States office in North Newton, KS will be open to the public starting Tuesday, July 6.  Regular office hours are Monday-Friday, 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm. Masks are respected but not required for fully vaccinated adults. We look forward to welcoming you back at MCC! Contact us at 316-283-2720 or

EVERENCE to hold Social Security and retirement income planning webinar

Everence will host a Social Security and retirement income planning webinar, on Tuesday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will learn about Social Security strategies, risks that can impact retirement savings and strategies to help income last throughout retirement. The workshop is free. Register soon by contacting Darlene Buller at 316-283-3800, 877-467-7294 or