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This week at FMC

March 10-15, 2022

Table of Contents

Rhythm matters.  Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been accompanying Hutchinson middle school string players, helping them prepare for State Contest (which was supposed to be March 10 and sadly was cancelled due to the snowy weather forecast).  Let me tell you, without rhythm (and a steady beat), there’s no way we’d be able to make music together!! 

I also value the rhythm of the church year walking us through the big story of scripture and our lives of faith each year. Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter) traditionally is a time of reflection, prayer and repentance as we journey to the cross with Jesus.   I considered quite a few Lenten worship resources before settling on continuing through the Gospel of John.  One resource I didn’t choose was shaped around Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie’s new book: Good Enough: 40ish Devotionals for a Life of Imperfection.  I was intrigued enough to pick up a copy, and I must say I would recommend it – especially if you ever struggle with feeling like you are not enough or with expectations of what a life of faith is ‘supposed’ to look like!  With themes very appropriate for Lent, the book begins with a chapter titled “Regula” which is a rule of life, or more simply, “a regular pattern of activities that becomes more valuable over time because its structure creates space for good things.”

Lent is a good time to take a look at the rhythms of our days … at what makes it possible for us to be more in step, in tune, in rhythm with God.  Perhaps you want to cultivate a new prayer habit during this time, or you want to rearrange your day to help you live more aware and open to God’s Spirit in your life.  As we considered on Ash Wednesday, establishing new or different rhythms might mean you have to let something go or set something aside.  Bowler and Richie articulate a similar invitation: “Regulas are not meant to be hard or heavy.  We may have been given a story of what a faithful life is supposed to look like … What is something you can set down or let yourself off the hook for? Something that has made a life of faith seem impossible.  Write it down on a piece of paper, then throw it away. Practice letting this expectation go so you can take up something gentler.” (7)  Perhaps the ‘something gentler’ involves each day beginning again, with Jesus the Good Shepherd as our guide and protector. 

A Blessing for Beginning a New Spiritual Practice (from Good Enough: 40ish Devotionals for a Life of Imperfection. Pg 6)

Blessed are we who are trying a new thing though we can’t quite see the whole of it. That’s the beauty of a life of faith. We start in the middle, at the heart center of an unspoken desire to live into the glimpse we’ve had of You and of Your goodness.

Blessed are we who ask You to be the guide as we begin to build from here and create a stronger and more flexible rule of life. Trusting that you are trying to foster life in us.

Blessed are we who remember that we will fall short.  We will fail, but that doesn’t mean we are ruined. We simply pick up and begin again.

Blessed are we, willing to be beginners all over again.  AMEN (by Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie)

      —-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! 

REVISED STATEMENT FROM CMT (Congregational Ministry Team)

This statement is provided to the congregation regarding COVID precautions, based on recommendations from our COVID Response Team (Carol Moore, Joretta Martens, Todd Esau, Dohn Fast).

The CDC’s new guidelines have designated areas into high, medium and low levels of COVID-19.  Reno County falls into the low level.  This means wearing a mask in public is no longer considered essential.  With these updated CDC guidelines, CMT believes that it is an individual choice whether to mask or not to mask while in the church building.  Let us continue to be respectful of those who are immunocompromised or unable to be vaccinated by social distancing. 

Unfortunately, this virus is still hanging around.  If you are feeling ill, please stay home except to obtain medical care.  And at all levels of COVID-19 (high, medium, or low), people with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19, should wear a mask. 


SUNDAY, MARCH 13:  Second Sunday of Lent 

Master Turns Servant: Jesus Washes Feet

John 13:1-17; Psalm 51:7-12

Prayer of the Day: When Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, turning master to servant, you showed us your heart of service and love. Turn our hearts toward one another, that we may be servants and messengers of love in this world. Amen.

  • Preacher: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader & Scripture Reader:  Stephanie Gehring
  • Children’s Time:  Delon Martens
  • Organist:  Pauline Buller
  • Ushers:  Jay & Stephanie Gehring
  • Nursery attendant:  Cindy Kroeker
  • Sound Tech:  Earl Ediger & Allen Yoder
  • Live Stream Tech:  Joel Iwashige

SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES MEET @ 10:45am – EXCEPT ON 5TH SUNDAYS when there is no Sunday School!!


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. 


  • March 15 – Faithful Community Coordination Team @ 2:00pm
  • March 17 – Congregational Ministry Team @ 4:30pm
  • March 22 – Service & Outreach Coordination Team @ 6:30pm
  • March 23 – Berlin Exodus Wednesday evening event @ 7:00pm
  • March 26 – FMC serves @ Soup Kitchen
  • March 30 – Wednesday evening GAME NIGHT for all ages @ 6:30pm
  • April 10 – Palm Sunday and beginning of Holy Week
  • April 17 – EASTER & ALL CHURCH PHOTO taken for the 100th anniversary … plan to attend!!

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.  Progress is underway thanks to the help of volunteers renovating this building, which was built in 1887.  The Centennial Committee would like for FMC to raise $22,000 by October 2022 to help with these expenses. These dollars will help with construction costs, furnishings for the apartments and ongoing maintenance expenses. 

A big thank you to those of you who have already donated! You can see the progress that has already been made on our LightHouse thermometer in the foyer. Checks may be made out to FMC, with “LightHouse” on the memo line.  Thank you for your support!

DEEPENING in Christ…

LENT 2022 – TURNING (Gospel of John)

“Pouring over the Lenten texts from John’s Gospel, we are dizzied by all of the turning: God turning toward humanity’s pain as Jesus weeps at raw and unbearable grief; Jesus turning the stench of Lazarus’ death into something confusingly hopeful; Jesus turning into a servant, stooping to wash feet, turning clear water

brown with the disciples gathered dust, turning them toward loving and serving their neighbor. Then humanity’s turning away: Peter turning his back on his best friend; Pilate turning and twisting the truth for political gain; The fickle and riled up crowds turning from ‘hosanna’ to ‘crucify.’’ Then the turning of the earth as grave becomes garden, death turns to life, mourning to dancing.

John’s Gospel invites us into a season of intentional turning. Our hearts turn with compassion for those who grieve. Our lives turn toward our neighbor in acts of solidarity and service. Our eyes turn toward the cross and we see Jesus turning the world upside down with love.”  (Worship Well Lent Worship Resources)


Each Sunday in Lent we invite you to bring a specific item for our Sunday morning worship food collection for the Reno County Food Bank.  You are also welcome to drop items off during the week.  Please place your donations in the laundry basket at the back of the sanctuary. 

  • March 13 – Canned meat/tuna
  • March 20 – Canned fruit
  • March 27 – Canned soup
  • April 3 – Pasta (macaroni, etc.)


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. 


CHILDREN & YOUTH: Becoming Disciples (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.  This group is 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: and feel free to watch the videos during the week if you choose in preparation for shared discussion. 

Adult Bible Study using Salt & Light – meets from 11:00-11:45am in the Prayer Room (right beside the elevator in the basement). 

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…


During the Feb 20 worship service, Jean Gaeddert shared a story she wrote, and her son illustrated, titled Remember Rocks.  If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this story for yourself, please click on the following link. Or you may simply contact Jean directly.


Beginning March 23, WNAF is back!  Stay tuned for a decision soon about whether there will be any meals provided! For now, put these dates on your calendar and plan to attend.  If you would be willing to help provide childcare for preschool-5th grade during these events (with the exception of March 30), please talk to Pastor Tonya ASAP.

MARCH 23 @ 7PM: THE BERLIN EXODUS . . . observance of the 75th anniversary of this event

The Berlin Exodus (Berlin Escape) in 1947, is the theme of an evening presentation on Wednesday, March 23, at 7:00pm in our fellowship hall.  This event marks the 75th anniversary of the moving of 1,200 Ukrainian Mennonite refugees located in Berlin through the Russian occupied territory of Berlin and East Germany, to a waiting ship in Bremerhaven, West Germany.  MCC worker, Peter Dyck, orchestrated the escape during the last days of World War II, working with the American military, the Dutch government and the country of Paraguay in this highly secretive venture. Calvin Buller will lead the evening presentation on March 23, which will include the playing of an audio recording with Peter Dyck telling the story in his own words.  

MARCH 30 @ 6:30PM … GAME NIGHT for all ages

Bring your favorite board or card games, or even a puzzle, to play with friends at First Mennonite!           


Pastor Tonya and Pauline Buller will give some overall context and background about the upcoming special delegate session of Mennonite Church USA at the end of May.  We’ll also discuss 2 of the 4 resolutions: (1) Accessibility and (2) Justice in the U.S. Criminal Legal Systems (a study resolution, not for a vote).  Click on the links below to read the resolutions or request a hard copy from the church office.


Pastor Tonya and Pauline Buller will lead a conversation about remaining 2 resolutions coming to delegates at the special MC USA Delegate Session at the end of May: (1) Clarification on MC USA Polity and Role of Membership Guidelines in MC USA and (2) A Resolution for Repentance and Transformation regarding violence done against LGBTQI+ persons.  The first one is a resolution coming for a vote.  The second will first come to the delegates for a vote to determine if this resolution will be discussed and voted on at the special delegate session.


Plan to attend our Easter worship service on Sunday April 17, which will include taking an all-church photo.  We plan to have a photographer join us to take this ‘snapshot’ of history in our 100th year!


Beginning mid-August 2022 Micah Wenger will be participating in Mennonite Mission Network’s Service Adventure program in Colorado Springs, CO.  Service Adventure is a 10 ½ month voluntary service program for youth ages 17-20.  Participants live together in community with up to five other young adults, placed in local community agencies for 35-40 hours per week, and become involved in the ministry of their hosting congregation, all under the guidance of a unit leader. The unit leader serves as a non-traditional pastor who mentors young adults in the unit.  First Mennonite will be forming an Advocacy Team to help support Micah during his term.  Part of our support as a congregation is also to contribute $400/month (of a total of $4000) toward the cost of participation in the program.  If you would like to contribute you can make a donation to the church with “Micah Wenger – SA” in the memo line, or donate at Micah’s personal fundraising page online:  Thank you!!!

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.

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:  While new episodes are not being added right now, this is your chance to catch up on previous conversations! 


  • Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 2:00pm  
  • Wednesday 10am-1pm 


  • 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)

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…


Sign up at church or contact the church office if you are able to help with our turn to serve at the Soup Kitchen.  We have enough applesauce but could use lettuce salad donations.  Volunteers are needed to help cook (2:00-3:30pm), cover the delivery routes (4:00pm-done), and serve (4:45-6:00pm).  Thank you!!


Get ready for the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale, a benefit for Mennonite Central Committee, April 8 & 9 at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson. What can you bring as your gift to the hungry and hurting at home and abroad? Quality woodwork and needlework items, cotton tea towels, hobby items, crafts, plants and baked foods are much in demand.

Stay up-to-date on all things relating to Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale by liking us on Facebook at Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale or our website at


Jean Gaeddert will again be participating in the MCC Sale Run For Relief. If you are interested in sponsoring her efforts, please send her a check made out to KMRS (Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale/memo: Run for Relief). Your generous, on-going support is greatly appreciated! Thank you.  

You can join the Run for Relief too – it’s a walk, jog, run for all ages & abilities!  Invite others to sponsor your run to raise more for those in need.  Entry form and waiver must be returned by March 18.  Entry form is online at

Bohne berrogie bake day for the MCC sale will be on April 2 at Moundridge High. 

Volunteers are needed to fill the berrogie.  Shifts are at 6:45 and 9:00.  Please wear a head covering.  If you would like to volunteer, please contact Marla Gillmore at 620-921-0428 or at  Let’s make this happen for MCC. 

My Coins Count! 

This year our coins support MCC projects that provide clean water and food.  Our coin jar is in the foyer to collect coins for this project.

Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale Quilter’s Corner.  

Quilting donations are welcome and needed, i.e. quilting fabrics, quilting supplies, vintage linens, unfinished quilting projects, etc.  Donations may be collected by Sale liaisons at their churches and brought to Sale meetings or brought directly to the MCC Center with the indication that they are for Quilters’ Corner.  If you have questions contact Ann Yoder Smith, 919-604-3282,

Fellowship Meals . . . prepare a meal for a small group and ask for an MCC donation.

Sharing food and fellowship is a great way to celebrate the work of MCC and to support the ministries around the world.  Choose any date from now till sale weekend – maybe a Sunday after church or an evening with friends you haven’t seen for a while.  Direct questions to Barb at 620-543-6863.  Mail your donations as follows:

MCC Fellowship Meals

Barb BJ Reeves

121 East 7th

Buhler, KS 67522

KMRS’s purpose is to raise funds for Mennonite Central Committee.

It takes a whole host of individuals playing their part in order that we might carry out the Lord’s bidding to care for the “least of these” found in Matt. 25. We call upon our supporting churches to donate toward the sale budget so that every dollar raised at the sale is donated to MCC. We call upon quilters to complete their quilts and to gather extra supplies to donate to Quilters’ Corner. Consider donating items to the General, Silent and even our Kid’s Auction. During the cool winter months, divide house plants and start vegetable plants to sell at Plants &Things and tea towel sets completed for Kansas Crafts. Challenge yourself to participate in the Run for Relief, a 5K run/walk the Saturday of the sale and spend the winter months gathering your pledges. Go to: or like us on Facebook at Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale.

Volunteering for committees or for duties on sale weekend.

There are a variety of committees along with 1000 volunteers needed the weekend of the sale. See your Relief Sale Contact liaison for details on these opportunities or visit the sale website:

By tithing a little bit of your time each year, you have an amazing opportunity to impact your world by furthering the work of Mennonite Central Committee. 

Cash gifts cover event expenses prior to the sale.

Each year, it is the sale board and supporting committees’ goal to raise funds to cover the budget leading up to the sale. The purchasing committee needs cash gifts for 45 items ranging in cost from $350 for butter to $8,800 for building rentals. By meeting the budget prior to the sale, all proceeds sale weekend can be donated to MCC. If you or your Sunday School class can support the sale budget in this way, get in touch with Julie or Todd Esau, your relief sale contact persons, or send contributions to sale treasurer, Jo Kasitz, treasurer, 1715 Casey, Newton, KS 67114.


Currently clean up response is on hold due to hotspots in the fire area. Kansas MDS Unit is planning a response. We would like to assess available equipment that volunteers would be willing to bring for cleanup. If you have a high loader, bobcat, backhoe, dump truck please indicate your availability for using this on this project by emailing or calling Cleo Koop at or 316-282-0797. As soon as there is clearance for cleanup, information will be sent out inviting volunteers.


Thank you to all who came out and supported MFC at the liverwurst and fried mush supper. We are happy to report that we brought in $25,000 (a record amount by far) and served 800 people. Your generosity is much appreciated!

MENNONITE DISASTER SERVICE . . . building cabinets in Goessel

The MDS Kansas Unit has purchased a Cabinet Facility in Goessel, KS. The goal of this purchase is to increase the number of volunteers helping MDS while we build the cabinets for MDS construction projects. Contact Cleo for details on how you can volunteer there.  Contact: Cleo Koop – (316) 282-0797 –

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

“Painterly Aesthetics: An Expressive Duet,” by Susan and David Harmon.

Now in the Regier Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College, through April 7 (closing reception April 7). Gallery hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Mon.-Fri.

Sun., March 20 – Bethel College’s Staley Lecture Series presents Karen González

The lecture will be at 7 p.m., Administration Building chapel. González is the author of The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible and the Journey to Belong (Herald Press, 2019). She will also speak in Bethel College’s convocation on Mon., March 21, 11 a.m., Memorial Hall.

Fri.-Sun., March 25-27 – Spring musical at Bethel College, Bright Star by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center. Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinee at 2p.m. Tickets for sale at Thresher Shop in Schultz Student Center, weekdays 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (316-284-5205 for credit card orders), online at, or at the door, subject to availability. Adult language and themes – not intended for young audiences. 

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Camp needs to prepare for groups using the dining hall and other main camp buildings this spring. Help is needed to make these spaces welcoming and ready for fellowship. We can work with your schedule, including evening and weekend hours. Tasks include basic cleaning, washing cookware and dishes and moving tables. Contact us at 620-297-3290 or

Other events and happenings: 

  • Camp needs to prepare for groups using the dining hall and other main camp buildings this spring. Help is needed to make these spaces welcoming and ready for fellowship. We can work with your schedule, including evening and weekend hours. Tasks include basic cleaning, washing cookware and dishes and moving tables. Contact us at 620-297-3290 or
  • Youth Volunteer Weekend is April 9-10!  This weekend of service and worship for grades 6-12 returns with vigor.  Start your weekend of fun on Saturday at the MCC Sale in Hutchinson (on your own or with your youth group) and then bring the fun with you to Camp Mennoscah in the afternoon.  Register at!  (Registration is under Summer Camps.)  Keep looking for more information available soon.
  • The dam in the Ninnescah River will be replaced on March 20 beginning at 2pm.  Meet by the shelter/stairs to the dam.  Everyone is invited to help or watch the process.  Some activities are not appropriate for young children.  Kevin Neufeld will organize and direct volunteers.  Questions can be directed to Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290.  
  • Kitchen helpers needed for Summer Youth Camps!  Your time and skill give campers a week of growing in Christian fellowship and experiencing God’s great creation.  Cooks need only willing hands and the ability to follow directions.  Kitchen staff is needed for June 19-23, July 3-9 and July 17-23.  Contact us at 620-297-3290 or
  • Better camp discount ends April 1!  Summer Youth Camp registration is open.  The theme of “What’s in a Name?” focuses on how God knows us beyond any name we may be called.  Don’t fret if you miss getting your registration and full payment in by April 1.  After April 1, you’ll still get a good rate for an amazing week of camp.  Register at!
  • Getting ready for outside fun!  Camp Mennoscah needs to replace some outdoor sports equipment, including inner tubes, 4-square/Gaga balls, frisbees for ultimate, and inner tubes.  Check out the Camp Mennoscah Wish List on or the Wish List.  Challenge your Sunday School class or youth group to help meet camp needs!  We’ve got many more ideas. Contact us by replying to this email.
  • New Volunteer Projects every month!  This month we’ve added cleaning gutters, lubricating locks, and deep-cleaning the oven and hood–plus more! There are volunteer projects for every group size, skill set and length of project.  Email or call 620-297-3290 to volunteer.  See the Wish List for other ways to support Camp Mennoscah!

MENNONITE CENTRAL COMMITTEE (MCC) response to crisis in Ukraine

MCC is accepting donations to support its response to the crisis in Ukraine. We will be focused on building up existing programs that support vulnerable people and extending those services to internally displaced populations.  MCC’s response will likely include psychosocial support and trauma healing, temporary emergency housing, emergency distributions of locally purchased emergency supplies such as blankets, and distribution of food packages.  Donate today at


Lawrence Hart, Mennonite minister and Cheyenne Peace Chief, died March 6 in Clinton, OK, where he had served previously as pastor of the Koinonia Indian Mennonite Church, a congregation of Western District Conference. See his obituary at


The next concert of the Prairie Window Concert Series, with DALA, will be on Sunday, March 13 at 4 p.m. at the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston. Join us for an evening of great music and delicious food from Crust & Crumb in a prairie garden setting. Tickets: $25 adults/$15 kids, plus tax. Purchase tickets online  at or call 620-327-8127 to reserve your seats.