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This week at FMC

March 31-April 6, 2021

“Do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor.” Deuteronomy 15:7

Welcome to Holy Week and Passover 2021! 

I am thinking about Passover and the plagues and Pharaoh being hard-hearted. The “pass-over” was the final of the ten plagues, as the angel of death “passed over” the homes that had a sign of mercy. The plagues were designed to soften Pharaoh’s heart, in part, as he and Egypt experienced the suffering and oppression from which they were causing and benefiting. And each plague did soften Pharaoh’s heart—for a brief moment. 

Fast-forward to Deuteronomy where Moses is sharing his final thoughts. In Deuteronomy 15, God shows that suffering could be short-term, if the people of God were soft-hearted and open handed, if they cared for and shared with their neighbor, if they would remember the cost to Pharaoh and Egypt for not caring and sharing.

Fast-forward to Passover in Jesus’ time. As we read the story this week, look for hard-hearted and tight-fisted actions and their results, compared to the invitation to care and share with one another, and what results from that choice. 

Fast-forward to today. Explore suffering, oppression, divisions or any other “plagues”—and I believe you will find hard-hearted and tight-fisted actions by at least one of the parties involved in each situation. 

Here is the struggle. Our first reaction as humans will always be self-protection, so our first reaction will always be hard-hearted and tight-fisted. But the Jesus Way will always invite us to care and share with one another. 

The Jesus Way is a faith choice: a choice to go against our first nature, to go against our culture’s first nature and lean into a different, risky, merciful, generous way. The Jesus Way needs a community of faithful people reminding each other that our calling is different and risky but will lead to better. The Jesus Way builds up a community of people who have experienced grace, reminding each other that our choice will be merciful and generous and will lead to better. 

Costly caring and sharing is holy, set apart, and distinctive from the instinct of the world. It is the Jesus Way.   

—Pastor Jim 

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!  NOTE:  Easter service will begin at 10:30am.


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 continue to lean toward caution, keeping in place the precautions of masks, physical distancing, hand washing and no gathering in the foyer.  Currently, you no longer have to call ahead, but the same precautions are in place which will continue to limit the number in the sanctuary.  Overflow options will be available.  CMT and the Re-Opening Taskforce will continue to monitor data from the Reno County Health Department, and make decisions accordingly. 


(Luke 24:1-12)

  • Preacher:  Pastor Jim Unruh
  • Worship Leader:  Delon Martens, Pastor Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Children’s Time & Scripture:  Pastor Tonya
  • Pianist:  Peggy Stucky
  • Worship Music: Maggie Goering Pounds
  • Sound:  Adam Pounds (outside);  Jasper Nisly (if we are inside)
  • 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 31 – Faith Formation Coordination Team @ 4:00pm
  • March 30, 31 and April 3 – Holy Week Evening Prayers @ 8:00pm on ZOOM
  • 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)
  • April 4 – Easter Sunday: 6:55am Sunrise Service on ZOOM; 10:30am Outdoor Worship on FMC Parking Lot – east side of the church building (weather permitting)

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. 


9am-6pm “Way of the Cross” meditation   8-8:15pm EVENING PRAYER (ZOOM)6pm-8pm “Way of the Cross” for meditation   8-8:15pm EVENING PRAYER (ZOOM)9am-6pm “Way of the Cross” for meditation   6:30pm MAUNDY THURSDAY WORSHIP (ZOOM)5pm-8pm “Way of the Cross” for meditation   7:00pm GOOD FRIDAY TENEBRAE @ FMC and livestream          8-8:15pm EVENING PRAYER (ZOOM)6:55am EASTER SUNRISE on ZOOM   10:30am WORSHIP OUTSIDE on FMC parking lot!   No Sunday School @ 11

STATIONS OF THE CROSS – “The Way of the Cross” by DeGrazia

Come to the church to spend time viewing and praying with DeGrazia’s paintings, also taking us on Jesus’ journey to the cross.  Each of the 10 stations includes a short meditation to guide your praying. Come during any of these times during Holy Week:  Tuesday 9am-5pm, Wednesday 6pm-8pm, Thursday 9am-6:00pm, Friday 5:00-8:00pm.



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 sent to the church list the DAY OF the event. 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.  


Join this simple Good Friday service online (live stream link available on our website) or in person in the FMC sanctuary. 


6:55AM Sunrise Service on ZOOM (link will be sent to the church list Saturday April 3.)

10:30AM Outdoor Worship on the FMC Parking Lot (weather permitting).  Watch the website and email list for an update Saturday evening – we will let you know at that point if a decision has been made to move indoors, which is Plan B.  Please park on the far north side of the parking lot, leaving the east side free for seating.  Bring your own chair (if that is difficult, we will have some chairs available for you!).  While we are outside, if we observe distancing between households, masks are not required (and if you feel more comfortable wearing one that is just fine!).  Our intention is to also livestream the service for those preferring to join from home. 

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. 


  • Kindergarten – 6th grade:  IN PERSON beginning April 11 @ 11:00am
  • 7th-8th grades:  IN PERSON, resuming April 11 @ 11:00am
  • High School youth:  currently meeting online, Sundays @ 1:00pm

Adult Sunday School @ 11am (Meets the first three Sundays of the month)

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.  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):

  • APR 4 – NO Sunday school on Easter Sunday
  • APR 11 – Living by New Standards (2 Corinthians 5:11-21), Calvin Buller facilitating
  • APR 18 – Becoming a New Person (Ephesians 4:21-32), Jim Unruh facilitating

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.

STRENGTHENING Community Connections… 


FMC Women … mark the first weekend in March 2022 for our next Women’s Retreat at Camp Mennoscah!! We regret we were not able to gather this year, but are looking forward to future gatherings.

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 Jeanne Koontz.


  • Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 2:00
  • Wednesday 10am-1pm 
  • NOTE:  Church offices will be closed April 13 and 14.


  • 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… 


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.



The Bohne Berrogi Committee will be making and selling this ethnic delight at Moundridge High School on April 3 between 9:30-10:30AM.  COST: $20.00 a dozen, NO sauce provided; NO advance orders.

!!!!!  NEW INFORMATION . . . Plants and Things –  – donate plants  . . . volunteer to work

PLANTS AND THINGS Sale to support the great work of Mennonite Central Committee

  • Saturday, April 10, starting at 9:00 AM and running through the day, closing at 6:00 PM. 
  • MCC Building and parking lot to allow for proper social distancing
  • If you have donations of plants, please bring them to the MCC Building on Friday afternoon, April 9.  Volunteers will greet you and collect your plant donations.  If you wish to make a donation and can’t make this time frame, please contact Kristi at 1-620 367-2721 or email
  • Also selling recycled jewelry created by Theresa Klassen.
  • This is your opportunity to prepare for your gardening year, and to support the great work of the Mennonite Central Committee. Credit Cards will be accepted. 
  • Volunteers are needed to help Friday to accept plants and help set up.  On Saturday volunteers are needed to help with organization and cashiers.  Link to volunteer to work on April 10:

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. After Easter we will have a collection box in the church foyer for your 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. 


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

 A Conversation About Justice & Peace for Palestine & Israel:  The Western District Conference Israel – Palestine Task Force is hosting an informal one hour Conversation About Justice & Peace for Palestine & Israel on April 13 at 7 pm CDT.  There is no cost to participate.  To register for the meeting please email  A Zoom link will be provided.  Additional information may be obtained by contacting Kathy Nuefeld Dunn at

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Thank you, thank you to all the volunteers who helped with Youth Volunteer projects and with putting in the dam!  We are grateful you are willing to share your time and energy doing projects that make Camp Mennoscah safe and fun!

Summer Youth Camp registration is open!   Register online here!

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′).  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.

It’s time to finish the Campfire Amphitheater at Camp Mennoscah!  Work days: April 2 to 3, April 9 to 10, May 14-15.  Come out for one or both days and part or all-day. Ask about overnight lodging. A team of five volunteers will work from 9:00 am 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 9:00 am. Email or call 620-297-3290 to volunteer.  Let us know by the Tuesday before!

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.

Men and Boys Retreat, April 16-18, at Camp Mennoscah! Come to Camp Mennoscah for this long-standing, guys-only retreat! Spend time fishing, canoeing, worshiping, sitting by the fire, or visiting with friends in fellowship.  The official beginning to the weekend is Saturday morning, but many arrive on Friday. Meals can be purchased for Saturday night, Sunday morning and lunch.  People are welcome Friday, but no meals or entertainment will be provided.  Meals available for an additional cost. No pre-registration. Registration and payment will take place upon arrival. For more information contact Kevin Neufeld at 316-322-5515.

Camp Mennoscah is seeking a full-time Director of Development, Marketing & Communications to lead our ongoing operational and advancement needs.   This position reports directly to the Board of Directors while taking directive from the Executive Director when related to operational considerations.  As a member of a small, very hands-on staff, the role is expected to be highly collaborative.  This professional must embrace the mission of Camp Mennoscah, have an established background in coordinating nonprofit donation strategies, possess strong written, interpersonal, leadership and relationship building skills, and work as an independent contributor with good organization and follow-through.  Most of the work will commence off campus, however some in-person time at camp is required.  This role involves organizing broad-based fundraising initiatives, advocating for Camp Mennoscah through speaking engagements, promotional materials, and social media, as well as recruiting volunteers, and building relationships with board members, donors and staff.  Our ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of five years of fund development experience, or equivalent experience in church relations, and a passion for Camp Mennoscah.  They should also be familiar with office related applications, and other technology used for communication and social media.  Experience with CampBrain and the associated donor database is a plus. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled and early submission is encouraged.  Please send application materials (resume, cover letter, references and salary requirements) to

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

Staley Lecture, “Biblical Laments in the Age of COVID,” given this year by Dr. Wilma Ann Bailey is available online.  Click this link to see the video,


  • Gifts that give later – Tuesday, April 6.  You can practice generosity in many ways, but sometimes it can be challenging to find the method that best fits both your faith and financial goals. Join this webinar to learn about a few options to consider, including bequests and end-of-life giving, as you explore ways to make your finances work for you while giving back.
  • Financial planning: Your dreams, your goals – Tuesday, April 13.  Planning is the process of considering ways to reach a desired destination or goal. Join this webinar where we will visit seven areas that make up a comprehensive financial plan. You’ll learn foundational concepts, hear about helpful tools and get actionable ideas to help you on your financial journey.
  • Make Medicare an easy step – Tuesday, April 20.  Topics will include:
    • Signing up for Medicare: how, when and where.
    • What Medicare covers (and does not cover).
    • Prescription drug coverage. 
    • Plans that supplement Medicare.

*Attendance is recommended for those approaching retirement or those ready to sign up for Medicare.

Register soon for these free, online events by contacting our office at 316-283-3800, 877-467-7294 or



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
Interested in serving as a DELEGATE (virtually or in-person) for First Mennonite Church?  Contact Pastor Tonya!!