Skip to content
This week at FMC

May 5-11, 2021

Table of Contents

The good news of God is a simple message but it is also complex. Our journeys through Luke this Lenten season have highlighted this truth. As we get closer to Pentecost, we are reminded that we are empowered by the Spirit of God to be the sharers of God’s good news.

My favorite way of sharing the good news story in a simple way is from James Choung, who tells the biblical “big story” in four parts: we are designed for good, damaged by evil, restored for better, and sent together to heal.  The story is represented by four circles with symbolic illustrations for each theme.

When our kids were younger, Heidi and I would use the 4 circles as part of our family devotional time. One of my favorite ways to use the 4 circles is to invite people to draw their own designs for each circle.

I shared the 4 circles with the junior youth Sunday School class this past weekend. Their developing, curious minds showed me again the simple truth in this method but also the complexity of the good news story.

Part of the complexity is that Jesus came to forgive people’s sins, but also to welcome, heal, restore, and show God’s mercy and sacrificial love. So, my version of the 4 circles adds a little complexity, and goes as follows.

Circle 1 – We are designed for good. We are created in the image of God and when you look at folks, you see a glimpse of God.

Circle 2 – We are damaged by evil. We are broken, divided, and separated from God, from creation, from other people, and within ourselves. We are also damaged / do damage by social systems that divide and dehumanize, based on one group of people viewing themselves as better or more important that others.

Circle 3 – We are restored for better. Throughout human history, God has been working to restore circle 2 through many ways, but most decisively through Jesus who seeks to welcome all, heal all, restore all, show mercy to all, and sacrificial love to all.

Circle 4 – We are sent together to heal. As we receive the gift of God’s grace in circle 3, we are invited to join in God’s work in many ways, including sharing the story of circles 1 through 3. As we are led by God, we will see the growing fruits of God’s Spirit — justice, righteousness, reconciliation, and the shalom of God. We will see the kingdom of God on earth a bit more as it is in heaven.

Those are my thoughts about sharing the good news of God. What are your thoughts?

May God be glorified in our lives as we share the good news.

–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! 


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. 

SUNDAY, May 9:  Living by Faith (6th Sunday of Easter)

Paul’s former life; conflict with Peter at Antioch; justification by faith.

Galatians 1:13-17: 2:11-21

  • Preacher:  Pastor Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader:  Jim Unruh
  • Children’s Time:  Jennalee Boggs
  • Scripture Reader: TBD
  • Organist:  Pauline Buller
  • Music for Meditation:  Cathia Krehbiel
  • Ushers:  Susan Combs & Joretta Martens
  • 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. 


  • May 4 – Hesston College Bel Canto Singers Concert @ 7pm on FMC Parking Lot!!!
  • May 20 – Congregational Ministry Team @ 5:30
  • “Guess Who’s Coming to the Yard!” – June 6 & 13 (registrations due May 23 – see details below)
  • May 22 – FMC serves at the Soup Kitchen


Hesston College Commencement – Saturday, May 1

William Jewell College – Saturday, May 15

Bethel College Commencement – Sunday, May 16, 4 p.m., at Thresher Stadium (seating restrictions)
Hutchinson High School GraduationSunday, May 23, at 2 p.m. at Gowans Stadium (seating restrictions, will also be livestreamed)
Goshen College Commencement – Sunday, April 25

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. 


During this Easter season we’ll experience the surprise of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances and journey with these early disciples and the early church through stories in Acts and Paul’s letter to the Galatians.  On May 16 we plan to celebrate the ministry of Camp Mennoscah with Renetta Gooden (from the Camp Mennoscah Board of Directors) as our guest preacher.  Our Easter season worship will culminate with a Pentecost Celebration on May 23.


Plan to gather for another outdoor worship service (weather permitting!) in our parking lot on Sunday May 23 to celebrate Pentecost.  As with Easter, bring lawn chairs if you can and we’ll also have some folding chairs available.  We will celebrate communion together as part of the service.


Mark your calendars for Sunday morning worship at Camp Mennoscah on June 20!!  Worship will be at 10:00am, swimming at 11:00, and lunch served at 12:15pm.  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 or Pastor Tonya know, and then we’ll plan accordingly depending on how many are interested.

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! devotional magazines

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! are available above the mailboxes.  New issues of both are now available beginning with May devotionals. Please let us know if you would like a copy mailed to you. 


  • 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 (Meets the first three Sundays of the month)

NOTE THE NEW TIME: 10:45-11:30AM!!!!!   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):

  • MAY 9 – “God in the Quiet Sound,” 1 Kings 19:9b-18.  Calvin Buller facilitating
  • MAY 16 – “Jesus Transformed,” Luke 9:18-36. Pastor Jim facilitating
  • NO Adult class on May 23 or 30.

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. 



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.  Watch for more details!!

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

STRENGTHENING Community Connections…


Sign up by May 23 to participate in our second “Guess Who’s Coming to the Yard!” event.  This is a pandemic friendly version of “Guess Who’s Coming to Lunch!” that was well received last fall.  Sign up to be a host (of 6-8 people) or a guest.  Choose between Sundays June 6 and June 13 at 6:30pm. Sign up by MAY 23 on the sheet on the table in the foyer or call the church office.


We celebrate with the following graduates and their families:

  • Hutchinson High School: Jacob Unruh, Jay Sylvester
  • Hesston College:  Alex Miller
  • William Jewell College: Michaela Esau
  • Bethel College: Jeff Kauffman
  • Goshen College: Laura Miller


If you were unable to attend this training, please watch the training video that was sent via email, and also take time to read through our Safe Sanctuaries Policy (also sent via email).  Please direct any questions to Tanya Martin Nisly or Jonathan Wenger.

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. 


  • 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!


If you would you be interested in serving as a delegate for the MC USA Convention in Cincinnati OH this summer, please talk with Delon Martens (CMT Chair) or Pastor Tonya for more details.  We are encouraging participating virtually for the event this year.   See the MC USA Convention announcement in the “STRETCHING” section below for a few more details and a link to learn more.

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.


Mennonite Friendship Communities welcomes you to an open house from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 15. Enjoy a self-paced tour of the beautiful Independent Living duplexes and apartments. Please wear a facemask, and social distancing will be encouraged as you tour the campus. Also, take advantage of the special rates: 10 percent off a life lease, or $1,500 off apartment rental over three months, plus $500 off monthly services. For more information, please call or text Kristen Birket at (620) 663-7175 or email


Consider this opportunity to serve our community . . . volunteer to prepare food or drive a delivery route.  Call or email Juliet Nisly or Kevin Martin Nisly directly to volunteer.


California Roasted Almonds are to arrive in Buhler, May 3.  As soon as they are received, we will deliver to Etcetera stores in Hutchinson, Newton and Hillsboro and the MCC Center in North Newton.  Selling price will be $10/bag with donations welcomed.  The money will all go to MCC.  Richard Ediger will also have some available in Buhler.  Call 620-543-2787

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!!!

Please call or email the church office when your children sign up so we can offer a camp scholarship.

Finish the Campfire Amphitheater!  Work days are currently scheduled for the following days: May 15. Email or call 620-297-3290 to volunteer for this project. 

Help set up camp!  Volunteers are needed to help set up the HUGE tents used for this summer’s youth camps at Camp Mennoscah.  Setup will happen May 28 and 29.  Sign up by May 15 by contacting 620-297-3290 or

Camp Mennoscah is seeking to fill a part-time custodian/housekeeper position.  Hours average 10 per week and are flexible, dependent upon the camp schedule.  For more information, contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 or

Nurses needed for summer youth camps!  Camp Mennoscah needs nurses for June 17-19 (First Camp), June 20-26 (Junior I) and July 25-30 (Senior High).  Nurses receive a stipend or a discount up to full camp fees for their camper (camper does not have to attend the same camp week).  Contact us at 620-297-3290 or for more information.

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Sat., May 8, 5 p.m. – Trae Gehring junior tuba recital, Administration Building chapel on the Bethel College campus. Free and open to the public with limited seating, physical distancing enforced for non-family groups, and face coverings required.

Sunday, May 9, 2 p.m. – Concert by Bethel College’s small a cappella ensembles Open Road (men) and Woven (women), on the steps of the Administration Building on campus.Bring your own chairs/blankets. The concert is free, but a freewill offering will be taken to support the Concert Choir’s 2022 Europe tour. Face coverings must be worn and physical distancing practiced on the Bethel campus.

Now in the Regier Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College: Senior Art Show, “Requiem aeternam,” paintings by Adam Kroeker, through May 14. Gallery hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Fri. Face coverings must be worn and physical distancing practiced on the Bethel campus.


WDC Hope Fund update: One year ago in April 2020, the WDC Executive Board established the Hope Fund to support WDC congregations and ministers in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  Since then, contributions of over $45,000 have been received, and grants totaling over $31,000 have been distributed to assist with expenses such as rent and repairs, utilities, groceries, pastoral support, medical expenses and mental health care.  Thanks be to God for the mutual support and generosity that has been shared through these funds!  In anticipation of future needs beyond the pandemic, the Executive Board recently approved an expansion of the Hope Fund guidelines, to also include assistance in times of natural disaster or similar emergencies, and to allow WDC commissions (in addition to congregations) to also apply for grants to assist congregations and ministers. The Board also approved a Hope Fund Task Force to continue administering the fund.  For more information, see the attached revised guidelines and application forms.  Gifts to the Hope Fund may be made online at  (click on “Donate to WDC) or by sending a check to PO Box 306, N. Newton, KS 67117.  Thank you!



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

The Mennonite Church USA Constituency Leaders Council (CLC) recently met and provided feedback on four proposed resolutions, concerning the denomination’s Membership Guidelines, inclusion of LGBTQIA people, accessibility for people with disabilities, and justice in the U.S. criminal legal system. Read more here: 

From the MCC U.S. Washington Office, an invitation to take action: Prevent future war—repeal the Iraq AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force) The 2002 Iraq AUMF authorized war against the Saddam Hussein regime and has been used to justify military action for 19 years without additional congressional approval. Two bills repealing the AUMF in the House of Representative and the Senate have growing bipartisan support. Repealing past AUMFs will return authority to engage in militarized force to Congress, creating greater accountability for military actions. Send a message to your members of Congress calling on them to support the repeal of the 1991 and 2002 Iraq AUMFs.

EVERENCE announces webinars

Everence will host the following free, online webinars during the month of May; all starting at 6:30 p.m.

  • Making your wishes known Tuesday, May 11
  • Navigating education savings: 529 plans Tuesday, May 18
  • Social Security and retirement income planning Tuesday, May 25

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


The Ball Brothers will be in concert on Sunday, May 9, 2021 at 6:00pm, in Hutchinson’s Memorial Hall.  Limited tickets are available at   Funds raised will support an orphanage in India.  This four-some offers an uplifting Christian music experience for the whole family.  Care Portal, through which we can support children and families locally, is also a part of this organization.