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This week at FMC

March 17-23, 2021

During Lent we journey with Jesus to the cross, because that is where he is going.  On the way we’ve witnessed and been challenged by: LOVE MOVING (the parable of the Good Samaritan); HEARTS TURNING (parable of the fig tree & Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem); COMMUNITY REJOICING (Parable of the Lost Sheep, Coin, and Sons); and MERCY REACHING (Rich Man & Lazarus).  This Sunday, the last Sunday of Lent, brings us to Jericho and two last healing and reconciling stories (LOST SAVING – blind man and Zacchaeus) before Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and decisive turn toward the cross. 

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday on March 28.  The week between Palm Sunday and Easter is filled with significance and profound opportunity for us to reacquaint ourselves with both the cost and the gift of discipleship we choose when we have said ‘yes’ to following Jesus.  We have several opportunities in the works to help support and guide you during Holy Week this year, including:

Holy Week Tenebrae – A Home-Based Devotional … this devotional weaves together two streams of Christian tradition: the ‘shadows’ (Tenebrae) and mysteries of Holy Week and the Advent practice of lighting candles of hope, peace, joy and love as Christmas approaches.  The devotional (from SALT Project) explores the deeper meanings of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter.   We are invited to create a ‘Holy Week Wreath.’  On Palm Sunday all the candles are lit and as the days go by the candles are extinguished one by one until the wreath is shrouded on Holy Saturday. On Easter morning, the shroud is lifted and the wreath is decked out in light, beauty and joy.  This resource is available as a pdf to print, as an e-reader version, or we can send you hard copy in the mail (some hard copies are also available on the table in the foyer).  Please contact the church office if you would like one mailed to you.

Evening Prayer on ZOOM @ 8:00pm (Sunday-Wednesday and Saturday) … utilizing the Holy Week Tenebrae devotional just described along with other resources, join Pastor Tonya on ZOOM for a brief (15 minute) time of evening prayer Sunday-Wednesday, and Saturday.   On Thursday and Friday join the other worship services being offered.  Then gather one last time on Holy Saturday at 8pm on ZOOM.  The ZOOM link will be sent out to the church email list on Sunday March 28. 

Stations of the Cross PDF … journey with Jesus to the cross through a PDF electronic version of the Stations of the Cross created in 2010 by LaVerle Schrag and Miles Reimer.  This PDF was distributed last year during Holy Week when we were in the midst of the shut-down due to the pandemic.

The Way of the Cross – artwork by DeGrazia … come to the church during Holy Week (specific times TBD) to spend time viewing and praying with DeGrazia’s paintings, also taking us on Jesus’ journey to the cross.

Maundy Thursday @ 6:30pm on ZOOM with Community Church of the Brethren.  Contact Pastor Tonya if you plan to attend so she can send you the ZOOM link the day of the event (April 1).  Please bring to your at-home worship space:  bread and juice or water for communion & hand sanitizer for a feet/handwashing ritual. 

Good Friday Worship @ 7:00pm – will be offered in person and also live streamed @ First Mennonite.   This brief service includes scripture, song, silence, and extinguishing candles as we journey to the cross with Jesus.

And, on EASTER SUNDAY we’re tentatively planning a ZOOM Easter Sunrise Service at 6:55am followed by worship at 10:30am (NOTE DIFFERENT TIME!!!!) – OUTSIDE on our parking lot!  Our intention is to also live stream, hoping that will work!  Masks and observing distance between households is encouraged. Bring your own chairs (although we will have some available so if bringing and setting up a chair is difficult for you, please use one from the church!).  We will decide by the evening before if we need to go with PLAN B which would be to try to accommodate everyone safely inside the building, likely requiring some to watch the live stream in the basement fellowship hall. 

— Pastor Tonya

SUNDAY MORNING Worship Live Stream @ 9:30am

The link for Sunday morning worship (as well as archives of past worship services) is found on our website:!


The 2021 Congregational Ministry Team (Delon Martens-chair, Jennalee Boggs-chair-elect, Julie Esau, Kevin Martin Nisly, Carol Moore, and the pastors) affirms the recommendations of the RE-Opening Task Force – Carol Moore, Dohn Fast, Joretta Martens, Todd Esau, Pastor Tonya).   We will continue to lean toward caution, keeping in place the precautions of masks, physical distancing, hand washing and no gathering in the foyer. 

Until next Sunday (March 21) please continue to call or email in to the church office (620-662-9385; the week before (preferably by Thursday afternoon) to let us know if you plan to come to worship in-person.  With physical distancing we can accommodate around 30-35 in the sanctuary.  Beginning March 28 (Palm Sunday) you no longer have to call ahead, but the same precautions are in place, including the distancing which will continue to limit the number in the sanctuary.  By March 28 we will have some overflow options prepared elsewhere in the building, as well as ushers to help.  We also will continue to be livestreaming worship, so that is an option for those who choose to worship from home.  CMT and the Re-Opening Taskforce will continue to monitor data from the Reno County Health Department, and make decisions accordingly. 

SUNDAY, March 21:  The Jesus Way leads to the Cross:  LOST SAVING (Blind Man & Zacchaeus)

Luke 18:31-19:10

  • Preacher:  Pastor Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader:  Star Gipson
  • Children’s Time:  TBD 
  • Scripture Reader:  TBD
  • Pianist:  Peggy Stucky
  • Music for Meditation:  Cathia Krehbiel (cello)
  • Sound:  Jasper Nisly
  • 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. 


  • March 18 – Congregational Ministry Team @ 5:30pm
  • March 17 – Faithful Community Coordination Team @ 10:30am
  • March 27 – FMC serves at the Soup Kitchen
  • March 31 – Faith Formation Coordination Team @ 4:00pm
  • April 1 – Maundy Thursday Love Feast with Community Church of the Brethren (ZOOM) @ 6:30pm
  • April 2 – Good Friday Tenebrae Service @ 7:00pm (in person & live streamed at FMC)

DEEPENING in Christ…


This group meets Thursday mornings from 10-11am in the Prayer Room (with masks and distancing).  All are welcome. 

LENT 2021: The Jesus Way Leads to the Cross

Our Lent worship will focus on the theme “The Jesus Way Leads to the Cross” as we continue our study of the Gospel of Luke and the ‘Way of Jesus.’  Each worship theme invites a different kind of movement, action, or area of growth. Our goal always is to become more mature disciples (learners) and apostles (sent ones) of Jesus.  My prayer is our Lenten worship will encourage just that!

                Lent 5 (March 21) – The Jesus Way Leads to the Cross: LOST SAVING (Blind Man & Zacchaeus)


  • March 28 – Palm/Passion Sunday (Luke 19:29-44)
  • April 1 – Maundy Thursday @ 6:30pm with Community Church of the Brethren (details below)
  • April 2 – Good Friday Tenebrae Worship @ 7pm
  • April 4 – EASTER SUNDAY:  ZOOM SUNRISE SERVICE (6:55am) & WORSHIP OUTSIDE @ FMC (10:30am NO SUNDAY SCHOOL @ 11:00am on Easter Sunday



The Community Church of the Brethren in Hutchinson has invited us to join them for a virtual (ZOOM) Love Feast at 6:30 p.m. on Maundy Thursday, April 1.  (No meal will be included.)   The ZOOM link will be available  the day of the event –  let Pastor Tonya know if you plan to attend so she can send it to you!

Participants are encouraged to bring to their ‘at home’ worship space:

  • bread and juice or water for communion,
  • hand sanitizer for the feetwashing/ handwashing portion of the service.  

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! devotional magazines

New issues of both UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! are available above the mailboxes.  These magazines offer daily devotional readings beginning March 1.  Please let us know if you would like a copy mailed to you. 


  • Kindergarten – 6th grade:  Sunday @ 4:00pm on ZOOM
  • 7th-8th grades:  Sunday @ 11:30am on ZOOM
  • High School youth:  Sunday @ 11:00am – currently meeting online
Adult Sunday School @ 11am on Sundays on ZOOM  (Meets the first three Sundays of the month)

If you wish, please join us in person in the fellowship hall.  Below is the schedule for this Adult Bible Study using the Salt and Light discussion guide.  This quarter focuses on Living for God, written by Leonard Beechy, retired English teacher and member of Eighth Street Mennonite Church in Goshen, IN.  (Copies of the study guide available at the church, or can be sent to you):

  • MAR 21 – Godly Fasting, Pastor Jim, facilitator
  • APR 4 – no Sunday school

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

Masks and physical distancing practices will continue for all in-person gatherings at the church.


Since my visit to Israel Palestine with a Bethel College Interim class in 1992 I have stayed connected with the work and ministry of Bethlehem Bible College.  Like many other organizations, during COVID Bethlehem Bible College has been very creative and innovative, including some amazing virtual offerings.  Currently, registration is open (but only till March 20) for a course titled “Discover Jerusalem From Your Place.”  You can read more about it here and also register:    The class traces the routes of Jesus starting from the Mount of Olives down the Via Dolorosa.  The course begins March 20 and ends May 15, meeting Saturday mornings 9:30-11:00am CST (4:00-5:30pm Jerusalem time).  Registration is $150/person.  According the course description, participants will:

  • Trace the route of Jesus in Jerusalem, starting from the Mount of Olives and its importance.
  • Learn about the main sites related to the path of Jesus, such as the Ascension Chapel, Pater Noster Church, Dominus Flevit, etc.
  • Walk through the final 12 hours of Jesus’ life. From being captured in Gethsemane and prison. Finally and, most importantly, walking with the cross to the Golgotha where they crucified him.
  • Discover and understand the Holy Sepulcher church’s main idea, the idea of Golgotha, Calvary, and what tradition says.
  • Understand how Jerusalem looked in the time of Jesus.
  • Be familiar with Jerusalem’s history and different names and titles of the city.

STRENGTHENING Community Connections…


Available  in the circular rack by the mailboxes and on the table in the foyer .  Please call or email the church office if you would like a copy mailed to you.

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.  The most recent is with Sara Blodgett.


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


  • Monday:  Sabbath Day
  • Tuesday-Friday:  generally working 9am-5:30pm(ish)
  • Available evenings and weekends (cell phone is most reliable)


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…


We will be privileged to serve again at the Soup Kitchen on Saturday, the 27th.  There is still no fellowship and all the meals will be served in carryout\take away boxes, as before.

  • We need your help: 3 people for food prep at 2 pm, and 3 delivery routes at 4 pm.
  • Please contact: Eldon\Jane Wagler, Kevin or Juliet Nisly if you have questions or can help with a shift.


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.


Thank you for your ongoing support of Salthawk Community Support at Hutchinson High School and Hutchinson Middle School 8 during challenging times.  If you have donations (clothing, toiletries, etc) for Salthawk, bring them to the church or drop them off yourself in the blue box at Heartland Credit Union on North Main Street (near Long John Silver’s) or at Trinity United Methodist.   There is not a need for toiletries right now, but prom dresses and suits are needed for prom in April.   FINALLY, each year Salthawk takes the recommendation of one of the English teachers at Hutch High to gift two students with fewer financial resources a laptop to use for college.  If this is a project you’d be interested in participating in, please let Pastor Tonya know ASAP. 


Western District Conference extends prayers and encouragement for all congregations and communities impacted by recent weather-related crises in our region. The resulting power outages, water shortages, need for emergency shelter, and loss of work and income are also exacerbating the vulnerabilities and risks of the ongoing COVID pandemic.  In the face of these needs, congregations may apply for assistance grants of up to $2,500 from the WDC Hope Fund, and donations to the fund are also invited.  Grant applications and contributions may be made online at Hope Fund, or sent to WDC at PO Box 306, North Newton, KS 67117.  May God strengthen the church’s witness, caring and fellowship as we share together in this way.  

Western District Women in Mission 2021 Spring Soiree  –  Thursday, April 8 at 7:00pm. 

All women and girls are invited!  Gather with us for a virtual night of worship, music and a reflection on “Faith in Turbulent Times” offered by special guest speaker and freelance minister, Georgia Metz, M. Div. Special music will be provided by Erin Regier Graber and Addie Regier Kauffman.  We are so excited for this time together and hope to have as many women as possible join us!!

Email to register by April 5. A zoom link will be sent to registered participants prior to the event. 

Book discussion: Why Did Jesus Die and What Difference Does it Make? The WDC Resource Library will host a Zoom discussion on Michele Hershberger’s book Why Did Jesus Die and What Difference Does it Make? at 7:00pm on Thursday, March 25.   Contact the library ( to borrow a copy of the book or to register for the discussion.

WDC Immigration Task Force ZOOM networking meeting Thursday, March 25, 7 pm.  Reconnect with other churches to hear about their advocacy on behalf of immigrants.  Hear from MCC’s National Advocacy Director Tammy Alexander.  How should our work go forward?  What is your church doing or what do they hope to do?  Call the church office if you would like to receive the ZOOM invitation.

Raising Disciples with Natalie Frisk – a virtual event hosted by WDC and First Mennonite and Beatrice Mennonite Churches in Beatrice, NE.  All are invited to attend this virtual event.

  • Sunday morning, March 14, 9:30 a.m. – “Kids in the Kingdom” – a pre-recorded message by Pastor Natalie Frisk that can be viewed as part of a regular Sunday worship service, or at any time.
  • Sunday evening, March 21, 7:00 p.m. – “Jesus Centered Parenting: Q & A” – a live/interactive zoom gathering with Natalie to conclude our event.
  • Two additional sessions and an interview will be pre-recorded and available for viewing starting      March 14:
    • Session 1 – Anchors and Waves: Living the Life as a Disciple While Discipling Your Kid
    • Session 2 – Journeying on Sacred Pathways: How is Your Kid Wired?
    • Fun interview to get to know Natalie
  • Facebook event info: Raising Disciples – Natalie Frisk
  • A copy of Natalie’s book, Raising Disciples, is available in our church library.  You’ll find it on the north window ledge as part of Pastor Tonya’s personal collection.  Sign your name on the check-out sheet.

Natalie Frisk is the curriculum pastor at The Meeting House Church in Toronto, Canada, where she and an education team create kids’ and youth curricula for ages 0–18 used by churches worldwide. Frisk is a sought-after speaker on topics of youth and children’s ministry, spiritual formation, and discipleship, and is the author of the book Raising Disciples: How to Make Faith Matter for Our Kids, published by Herald Press.   Videos will be available via a YouTube link, though we can make the sessions downloadable too if that’s helpful. For additional information, please email

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Summer Youth Camp registration is open!  We are bouncing in our boots with excitement for the 2021 Summer Youth Camps and can’t wait to have campers!  This is a pandemic-impacted summer.  All aspects of camp from activities to meals to where campers sleep will be affected.  We are striving to have the best possible balance of fun and safety! Register online here!

A double-decker of thanks to everyone who participated in the Verenike Casserole fundraiser meal for Camp Mennoscah!  Over $8500 was raised with the dedicated work of 22 volunteers who made 330 meals for hungry
camp people.  Extra thanks go to Leslie Schrag for organizing the event and Moundridge High School for allowing us to use their facilities!  Your generosity supports the faith formation of the youth in your congregation and community.

Looking for HUGE tents!  Camp Mennoscah is looking for at least 2 more tents that hold approx. 8-10 bunk beds for summer youth camps (18′ X 36′).  These would be (similar) to the ones used for Senior High Camp (military tents repurposed for peace).  The cost to purchase one is approximately $2600.  If you have one stored away and are willing to lend it to Camp Mennoscah for the summer, please contact us at 620-297-3290.

We need volunteers for the dam!  Camp Mennoscah is currently seeking a team of 5 to 10 volunteers to install the dam in the river. Completing this project will provide the opportunity for much fishing, boating and swimming for the upcoming season. We are excited to get in the water and encourage you to join us on Sunday, March 21, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Dress according to the weather conditions that day, and we’ll have a snack ready to enjoy after we are done. Let us know you are coming or just head on out, see you then!  Connect with us at 620-297-3290 or

We are ready to rock – the Amphitheater!  Preparation for the Amphitheater Improvement project was completed in the Summer of 2020 and we are ready to finish this project up.  Work days are scheduled for the following days:  March 26 to 27, April 2 to 3, April 9 to 10, May 14-15.  These opportunities to get involved are on Fridays and Saturdays, come on out for one or both days, and part or all day. Ask about lodging if you would like to stay overnight.  A team of five volunteers will work from 9:00am to 4:00pm each day installing the new stone benches. There will be stone to cut, move, clean and set along with a whole lot of mortar to mix up.  Bring a lunch and water bottle with you when you come, and plan to arrive at the North cabin area to check in around 9:00am. Email or call 620-297-3290 to volunteer for this project. 

Looking for kitchen staff and nurses!  Camp Mennoscah is filling volunteer and stipend positions for kitchen staff and nurses for the upcoming 2021 summer.  Contact Camp Mennoscah at or call 620-297-3290 for available weeks and details.  Kitchen staff can receive a scholarship up to full camp fees for their camper.

Volunteer opportunities at Camp Mennoscah!  We continually have year-round work to support the maintenance and upkeep of the campus and facilities. We can accommodate every group size, skill set and length of project you would like to tackle. Check out these ways to Get Involved! 

Email  or call 620-297-3290 to volunteer. 

Camp Mennoscah – year ‘round opportunities!  Camp Mennoscah is a wonderful space for families and groups needing space to spread out!  Facilities for differently sized groups are available with a variety of gathering areas.  Trails and fields are waiting to be hiked and used for fun activities, too!  Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 or to reserve.  You are invited to enjoy this sacred space!


Bohne Berrogi Sales – one day only – April 3.

 As with many things related to the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale, the usual order of business will not be possible due to Covid-19.  To make sure that people have the opportunity to purchase and take home some bohne berrogi, the Bohne Berrogi Committee will be making and selling this ethnic delight at Moundridge High School on April 3.  The Bohne Berrogi will be sold, by the dozen, from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM . The cost will be $20.00 a dozen, NO sauce will be provided.  No advance orders will be taken. This will be the only opportunity to purchase Bohne Berrogi unless some are not sold.  Left overs will be frozen and sold at a later date or at the Relief Sale in July.  Come to Moundridge High School between 9:30 AM and 10:30 AM on April 3 and support the MCC Relief Sale with your purchase.

Plants and Things – one day only – April 10.

One of the most popular booths at the KMRS is “Plants and Things”.  As many of you know, this is the place to purchase a variety of things for your gardens. You traditionally have been able to buy flowers, shrubs, and garden plants.  Many people have counted on being able to get their tomato plants, cabbage starts, melon seedlings, annual flowers, bulbs, etc. at the KMRS.  Because July 2 and 3 is a bit late to be thinking about purchasing plants and starting or adding to a garden, the Plants and Things” booth will be open on April 10,  the time our sale is regularly scheduled.  “Plants and Things” will be set up at the MCC Building in North Newton utilizing the parking lot and the warehouse facilities.  Some things are yet to be decided such as opening and closing times, drop off hours, flat pick up, etc., but we wanted you to know that we will be accepting the plants that you wish to bring to the sale. So please start the seeds that will become a part of your contribution to MCC and the sale event.  More information will follow, but we want to encourage you to start those plants to donate to the KMRS Early Plants and Things Sale.

For more information and answers to questions, please contact Kristi Unruh at 620-345-6867or by email at or you can contact Jim Robb at 620-747-0186 or by email at

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

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

  • Sun., April 25: KIPCOR Peace Lecture with Leonard Pitts (virtual). Registration is now open at
  • Fri.-Sat., April 30-May 1 (including Saturday matinee): spring play, I and You by Lauren Gunderson (in person)
  • Sun., May 2: Outdoor choral concert

HESSTON COLLEGE announcements

Renewed Life with Bel Canto Singers – Hesston College’s Mullet Drive parking lot, 301 S Main St, Hesston, KS – Sunday, March 28, 3 to 4 p.m.  This is a community worship service with music of Lent, Holy Week and Easter.  Join us in person or on the  Fine Arts Livestream

Dyck Arboretum’s Conservation Stewardship in the Flint Hills (Online Lecture), March 30, 2021 – 7 to 8:30 p.m. – Register online at 

Watch this month’s Peacing it Together interview, hosted by Tony Brown, Hesston College’s peace ambassador and artist in residence. Tony interviews many influential Wichitans who have a heart for peace, like Victor Hogstrom: 



Mennonite Church USA has announced the registration rates for MennoCon21, its first hybrid convention, to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, and online on July 6-10. 2021. In-person attendance is $325 per person for the five-day event and online attendance is $99. For more details, visit 

Menno Snapshots
In her blog, “Endings and beginnings,” Chantelle Todman reflects on her work with Mennonite Church USA’s Women in Leadership initiative and as an intercultural leadership coach with Mosaic Conference – and her exciting new beginning as the co-owner of a radical coffee and tea house in Philadelphia. Read more:
Support the peace and justice work of Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) by prayerfully considering a contribution to the Justice Fund, a mutual aid fund that assists MC USA congregations engaging in their communities to dismantle racism and build peace.


SOOP (Service Opportunities with our Partners) is accepting applications! Use your gifts and skills to work alongside others in a network of ministries across the church. This program is flexibly designed for retirees, families and adults over 25. Visit to learn more!

YOUTH VENTURE is accepting applications for summer 2021! Discover and experience the work that God is doing in the world with a team of other young people, as you serve, learn, worship, and build relationships. Visit to learn more!

Looking for a non-traditional pastoral role? Become a unit leader for SERVICE ADVENTURE, a gap-year program for ages 17-20 from Mennonite Mission Network. Unit leaders, who are at least 24 years of age, serve as mentors to the young adults in the Service Adventure household. Leaders are needed in Johnstown, PA and Colorado Springs, CO. Learn more by contacting

The Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions offers a new series of interactive webinars.  They are entitled “For the Beauty of the Earth:  A Series on Climate and Racial Justice”.  The interconnectedness of climate and racial justice will be explored, grounded in Anabaptist values and theology.  Sessions will feature speakers, Q&A, and discussion. Visit the facebook page for more details and registration information!  Contact Nicole Litwiller at with any questions!


MCC Alumni Gathering, July 9-11 at Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp! All MCC alumni are invited to Colorado to relax in the cool mountain air this summer. We realize there is still uncertainty about summer activities due to COVID-19. At this point, we are planning to have this gathering, all registrations will be refunded if the event gets cancelled. We ask that you still go ahead and register if you plan to attend. Find all the details, including COVID-19 protocols that the camp is following and REGISTER at