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This week at FMC

June 2-15, 2021

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Talking about trust in God is a tricky thing, and it feels especially fraught in these days.  This prompts me to follow up my sermon from Sunday with a ‘few!’ more clarifying thoughts… 😊   We’re still reeling from a global pandemic that has not ended.  As Heidi Unruh noted before leading us in reading Psalm 121 for our Call to Worship on Sunday, it’s hard to understand how the God who promises to ‘keep us from all harm’ is present and at work when we’re in the midst of tough and painful stuff … the stuff of ‘harm.’  This pandemic has brought waves and waves of grief and loss of many forms that will continue to impact many.  It has pulled back the veil to reveal the ripple effects of decades of deep inequities in our country, especially around racial injustice and unequal access and distribution of resources that help communities thrive, or lead to more death.  And in the midst of all of that, I am aware trust in God is claimed by some Christians as a reason not to take precautions like wearing masks or receiving a COVID vaccine.  Part of my deep struggle with this perspective is the way it can be adopted to justify valuing personal rights/choice over acting with some sacrifice on behalf of the common good, of practicing love for our neighbors.  Or, the way this take on trust in God can deny or disregard the many ways God has gifted humans with wisdom, knowledge, creativity and insight for the sake of cultivating and sustaining life on this earth.  

My understanding of the fundamental movement of God in the world is God always calls us beyond ourselves to join God’s saving work to create a world of shalom (well-being, deliverance from harm, everyone having enough) benefitting everyone – not just me, my ‘tribe,’ or the way of living I am accustomed to.  We cannot only have ourselves in view, but must always be willing to see beyond and be moved by the needs of others.  This is the view of the cross of Jesus, and a posture of radical trust in God’s power beyond human comprehension.  And so, when it became clear to me that wearing a mask would mean less people would become infected with COVID and less would die, wearing a mask became a small sacrifice to adopt to help protect me and others.  The vaccine falls in the same category for me.  I trust the expertise of those working to end this pandemic, whose goal it is to protect and preserve human life.  I recognize there are many who do not share my trust, for a variety of reasons, and while I respect robust questioning I also think we can rely on years of scientific research, study, and visible success in the work of public health professionals.  And we must remember no discipline can achieve perfection or avoid mistakes.  We are human, after all.

In my sermon Sunday I called our attention to Jeremiah’s use (Jeremiah 17:5-13) of a desert shrub and a tree planted by a stream of water to highlight the difference between the person who trusts in human strength (the desert shrub expecting scarcity) and the person whose trust is in God (the tree planted by the stream expecting ongoing abundance).  This is a contrast noted elsewhere in scripture, highlighting an important point:  we have a choice of source and worldview.  If we choose human strength as our source, we’re more prone to a scarcity mindset, convinced there will not be enough for us, there are threats everywhere, so we must hold tight to what is ‘ours.’  If we choose God’s abundant presence as our source, we grow and live with confidence that there is enough for everyone, we can share our ‘branches’ and our ‘fruit’ freely with the whole forest of animals and growing things. 

As I’ve thought about the desert shrub and the tree more since Sunday, I’ve pondered its message for our inner and outer lives.  Life circumstances bring both desert scarcity and flowing stream abundance – that’s just part of living on this earth as a human being.  We do experience times of drought (literally or figuratively): times we aren’t sure when the next rain will come, when we’ll finally get some relief from the challenges before us.  And there are (I hope!) also times when life feels rich and full and abundant with many good things coming easily and freely.  Perhaps what is key is cultivating an interior life with God that is like a tree planted by a stream of water, roots reaching deeper and deeper into the stream and branches stretching far out to offer shelter and rest to many.  This interior abundance, then, can be enough to sustain the desert and wilderness times that are sure to come.  This interior abundance allows us to trust the growth of God in us, pushing us out of our comfort zones for the sake of the other while keeping us grounded in what we need to experience life with God for the world.

-Pastor Tonya

PLEASE NOTE:  This post covers two weeks. 

Our next THIS WEEK will be posted on June 15.

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! 


The 2021 Congregational Ministry Team (Delon Martens-chair, Jennalee Boggs-chair-elect, Julie Esau, Kevin Martin Nisly, Carol Moore, and the pastors) and the RE-Opening Task Force – Carol Moore, Dohn Fast, Joretta Martens, Todd Esau, Pastor Tonya) offer the following update:  Beginning Sunday May 30, 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, JUNE 6:  Cultivating Life with God for the World: St Francis Peace Prayer & Jesus’ Beatitudes  – Instruments of Peace (Matthew 5:9)

  • Preacher:  Jim Unruh
  • Worship Leader:  Delon Martens
  • Children’s Time:  Delon Martens
  • Scripture Reader:  DeAnna Goering
  • Pianist:  Peggy Stucky
  • Ushers:  Glenda & Rick Hooper
  • Sound:  Jasper Nisly
  • Live Stream:  Jonathan Wenger

SUNDAY, JUNE 13:  Cultivating Life with God for the World: St Francis Peace Prayer & Jesus’ Beatitudes  – Instruments of Love (not hatred) (Matthew 5:10)

  • Preacher:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader:  Star Gipson
  • Children’s Time:  TBD
  • Scripture Reader: TBD
  • Pianist:  Shelley Kauffman
  • Ushers:  Jennalee & Dennis Boggs
  • 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. 


  • June 1 – Service & Outreach Coordination Team @ 7:00pm
  • June 2 – Mentors & Mentees meet 6:45pm at the church
  • June 6 – Mennonite Friendship Communities Community Worship Service – 7:00pm
  • June 6 & 13 – “Guess Who’s Coming to the Yard!” at 6:30pm
  • June 20 – FMC Retreat at Camp Mennoscah (no services @ 52 Rambler Rd & no livestream)
  • June 21-25 – Pastor Tonya attending Ministry Integrity Circles in Michigan (plus a couple days vacation)
  • July 6-10 – MCUSA Convention (FMC participants attending virtually)
  • 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 (with masks and distancing).  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. 


. . . . . Sign up by June 15 if you will be joining us for the Sunday lunch at Camp Mennoscah on June 20. . . . .  The signup sheet is in the foyer or call the church office.  If you would be interested in coming out to camp Saturday evening and staying overnight in cabins (or you could bring a tent), please let the church office know, and then we’ll plan accordingly depending on how many are interested.

After a year’s absence due to Covid, we look forward to gathering at Camp Mennoscah on June 19 & 20 for a weekend of visiting, game playing, worship, canoeing, swimming, and eating.  We are excited to share, too, that Micah Wenger and Jacob Unruh will be baptized in the river during worship on Sunday.  Everyone is invited to come out either on Saturday for the night (cabins and tents only) or on Sunday morning for our worship service.  The Sunday schedule has worship at 10:00; swimming at 11:00 and lunch at 12:15. 

THANK YOU for all your contributions thus far to help pay for our use of the camp and all the activities we will enjoy while there.  If you still wish to contribute, you can designate your contributions for FMC Camp Mennoscah Retreat.

Expenses for the use of Main Camp include a day rate of $7.00 for adults and $4.00 for children and a rate of $17.50/night for adults in a cabin and $8.75/night for children in a cabin.   Additional fees that we have paid to camp include use of the swimming pool–$50.00 for the first hour and $30.00 for each additional hour and popcorn–$25.00/kettle.  


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. 

  • June 6:  Cultivating Life with God for the World: Instruments of Peace & “Blessed are the peacemakers…”
  • June 13:  Cultivating Life with God for the World: Instruments of Love (instead of Hatred) & “Blessed are the persecuted…”
  • June 20:  10:00am Worship @ Camp Mennoscah (no worship at 52 Rambler Rd and no livestream) – Baptism of Jacob Unruh and Micah Wenger
  • June 27: Cultivating Life with God for the World: Instruments of Pardon (instead of Injury) & “Blessed are the merciful…”

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. 


Over the summer, we’re planning to have Sunday School the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month, with the exception of June which will be the 1st and 4th Sundays. 


  • Preschool: 10:45-11:30am
  • Kindergarten – 6th grade: 10:45-11:30am
  • 7th-8th grade: 10:45-11:30AM
  • High School youth:  11:45AM (in person at the church)

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

You are invited to join this class on ZOOM or in person in the fellowship hall.  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. 

  • June 6 – “A Family’s Sibling Rivalry” – Jim Unruh, facilitator
  • June 27 – “Forgiveness Has Depths” – Calvin Buller, facilitator

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


Gather with other young(er) adults in this newly formed class at FMC!  The group will be discerning and deciding together the focus and content of their time together. 

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.


Jasper Nisly should have been included in our list of college graduates as he graduated this spring from Hutchinson Community College.  Congratulations, Jasper!!!


If you signed up as either a guest or a host for this event, you will be receiving information from the Faithful Community Coordination Team (Susan Combs, Joretta Martens, Mary Wade).

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 (Thursday, June 10 – open only 9:00am-1:00pm)
  • Wednesday 10am-1pm 


  • Monday:  Sabbath Day
  • Tuesday-Friday:  generally working 9am-5:30pm(ish)
  • Available evenings and weekends (cell phone is most reliable)
  • Friday June 4 – Memorial Day holiday taken
  • Sunday afternoon June 20-Friday evening June 25 – Ministry Integrity Circles (Mon-Tues); vacation (Wed-Friday)
  • Tuesday July 12-Saturday July 17 – vacation


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.


School supplies (new items only) needed . . . in order of most urgent:

  • LARGE-sized back packs appropriate for middle/high school students
  • Spiral notebooks
  • Notebook paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Colored markers
  • Crayons
  • Glue sticks
  • Erasers (large & toppers)
  • Paper face masks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Facial tissues
  • #2 lead pencils

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. 

First Call was not able to meet the need last year and is beginning their campaign earlier this year.

MENNONITE FRIENDSHIP COMMUNITIES (mfc) annual community worship service

Mennonite Friendship Communities invites everyone to attend their community worship service on Sunday, June 6, at 7:00pm.  Pastor Jim Unruh will be the speaker.  This is an outdoor event, so bring your lawn chair or blanket to sit on.


Almonds have arrived and are for sale in the Etcetera stores in Hutchinson, Newton and Hillsboro and the MCC Center in North Newton.  Selling price is $10/bag with donations welcomed.  The money will all go to MCC. 

KS MENNONITE RELIEF SALE GEAR is here!  Get your gear online at    The proceeds from the sale of these products go to support MCC.  

QUILTER’S CORNER –  July 2-3, 2021. Quilter’s Corner welcomes your donated QUILT-RELATED ITEMS throughout the year. These used/unused/unfinished items no longer needed in your quilt/sewing/linen closets will be sold to generate funds for MCC relief work around the world. The Fall 2020 Quilter’s Corner brought in over $23,000 for MCC. SUGGESTED ITEMS: • finished/unfinished quilt tops • finished/unfinished quilt blocks • old and damaged quilts • quilt supplies and tools • linens • cloth sacks • quilt books • quilt magazines (2011 – current) • quilt patterns • notions • fabric – cotton.  Items may be dropped off at the MCC Center in North Newton throughout the year. Boxes and bags should be labeled Quilter’s Corner. One of the baskets in the church foyer is designated for Quilter’s Corner donations.  Questions??  Rose Wiebe Haury 316-288-0079,

. . . . . . Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale will be held July 2 and 3, 2021, at the Kansas State Fair grounds. . . . . . .

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Summer Youth Camp registration is open!   Register online here!  There are still openings!!!

FMC offers a camp scholarship to each child/youth associated with FMC.  The scholarship covers part of the registration fee.  Please email the church office to let us know when your child has registered to attend.

Volunteer opportunities at Camp – Call camp at 620-297-3290 for more information.

  • Trail bridge (concrete work)
  • Kitchen staff needed for June 6-12 and July 18-24 (no professional cooking skills needed)
  • Mowing (weekly)
  • Cleaning/custodial (weekly)


Western District Conference Annual Assembly 2021, July 30-August 1, 2021 will be a hybrid event.  Some parts of it will be only virtual, other parts will be only on-site at Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, KS.  Much of it will be hybrid with people on-site and virtual sharing together.  Michele Hershberger, Bible and Ministry Professor, Hesston College, will be our keynote speaker and storyteller.  We look forward to other storytellers throughout the weekend, as well.

If you are interested in being a delegate representing FMC, please talk to Pastor Tonya or call the church office.  Cost of attendance will be by donation.  We invite you to give as you are able.  More details will be posted at     

WDC Women’s Retreat . . . September 11-12 (in-person)

Details are being discussed but please circle the dates of Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12 and consider joining our fellowship and reconnecting. Of course, some things will look different including no programming for girls, only meeting on Saturday and Sunday, building use being limited, bodies being one year older, etc. We’ll send out more details and registration information later this summer; hope to see you there!


MCC THRIFT SHOPS . . . Where every purchase is a gift to the world!  Anyone can help reduce waste by choosing to shop thrift first whenever they can.  Shopping second-hand isn’t a second choice.  Help our planet . . . take the #ThriftFirst pledge    MCC Thrift is a network of not-for-profit Thrift Shops, supporting the local and global relief, development and peace projects of Mennonite Central Committee.  MCC share God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice.  Shop . . . Donate . . . Volunteer.

MCC Central States COVID-19 update: 

  • Re-opening in North Newton on July 6.
  • Material resources donations continue to be accepted in the 24-hour donation room.
  • Financial donations can be made at, mailed to the office (MCC Central States PO BOX 235 North Newton, KS 67117).
  • Please call the MCC office at 316-283-2720 with any questions. Thank you for continuing to support the work of Mennonite Central Committee.


Dismantling The Doctrine of Discovery – June 3, 6:00pm CDT.  Register here:


Everence will host a free, online webinar, Basics of investing, on Tuesday, June 8 at 6:30 p.m. Register for this webinar to learn about:

  • The fundamentals of investing.
  • Different types of investments available.
  • How faith values can play a role in your investment decisions.

To register, or learn more about this webinar event, please visit our webpage at