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This week at FMC

November 11-17, 2020

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”

–Meister Eckhart

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

Psalm 136:1

I have a Facebook friend who writes a daily gratitude post, every day of the year(s).  Pretty amazing, and a welcome voice of hope and joy in my Facebook feed!  I’ve noticed, too, in recent years more and more people taking on a November Gratitude challenge of listing each day what they are grateful, thankful, for.  With the Thanksgiving holiday, November naturally invites this practice.  One of my daily habits is responding each morning to the prompt: “I am grateful for…”  I try to have three things in my list.  Some days it’s easy; others I really have to think.  And some days I simply forget, which always surprises me somehow.  It’s such a simple and positive practice. 

Perhaps this year it’s especially hard, giving all the loss, conflict and change swirling around us.  Yet glimmers of gratitude can shine even in the midst of honest sorrow and lament. Life is a mixed bag and there’s always something – no matter how small – to be thankful for.  Which is why focusing on gratitude is truly something we have to practice so we get better at recognizing and embracing its gifts in our lives. 

I have a vision for our worship service on the Sunday before Thanksgiving that depends on you all being willing to share just a sentence or two of what/who/where you are thankful for right now.  I’d love to have a video of your faces and voices … especially since many of you haven’t seen each other in a long time.  Alternately, you could send me your written words and I’ll happily include those in the finished video litany.

Would you be willing to send me a video, have me come and do a quick video of you at your home, or set up a time to stop by the church for me to video you here?

Here’s the format I’d like you to follow:

State your name,

and then finish this sentence: “Right now, I am thankful for ………”

I’ll look forward to hearing from you, and to putting together our shared litany of gratitude and thanksgiving! 

Please send me your videos or written words by THURSDAY NOVEMBER 19!!

—-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:!


Based on recommendations of the FMC Re-Opening Taskforce (Carol Moore, Dohn Fast, Joretta Martens, Todd Esau) and the Reno County Health Department regarding the current increase in community spread of COVID-19, the CMT (Congregational Ministry Team – Russ Wedel, Delon Martens, Julie Esau, Kevin Martin Nisly, Mike Dirks, and both pastors) has decided to limit in-person gatherings at the church to 10 or less for the month of November.  This includes worship and Sunday School.  We encourage everyone who can to join in worship via the live stream and Sunday School by Zoom.  Typically, there will be space for a few more in worship in addition to those putting on the service, as well as the 11am Sunday School class. Continue to contact the church office the week before to check about coming in-person for worship; preference will be given to those unable to access the livestream or Zoom.  Masks, physical distancing, and handwashing are required of everyone in the building.  We realize this is not the situation any of us want to be in, and feel it is an important step to take as we care for each other and our neighbors in the community.  CMT and the Re-Opening Taskforce will reevaluate this policy during November, based on data from the Reno County Health Department.

Sunday, November 15:  MISSION FESTIVAL

  • Sermon:  Michelle Armster (MCC Central States) via video
  • Worship Leader:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Children’s Time:  DeAnna Goering
  • Scripture Reader:  Sara Blodgett
  • Pianist:  Shelley Kauffman
  • Sound:  Jasper Nisly
  • Live Stream:  Jonathan Wenger


Mission Festival this year will feature Michelle Armster, Executive Director of Mennonite Central Committee Central States (in North Newton) as our guest speaker on November 15.  We invite you to send a donation during November to the church for a special “Mission Festival Offering” to be shared with MCC Central States and MCC’s New Hope in the Name of Christ 100th Anniversary Fundraiser.  Make your check out to FMC, and put ‘Mission Festival’ in the memo line.  You can read more about MCC’s 100th Anniversary Fundraiser and donate online if you prefer at this link:


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 announcements and 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. 


  • November 15 – Mission Festival with Michelle Armster, Executive Director of Mennonite Central Committee, Central States.   Send your Mission Festival Offering in November (see below for details)
  • November 22 – ‘Come, Ye Thankful People … Raise Your Voice!’  (see below for details)
  • November 28 – FMC at the Soup Kitchen
  • November 29 – First Sunday of Advent
  • December 9 (Wednesday evening) – FMC Budget/Business & Annual Meeting

DEEPENING in Christ…


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


Our Advent Theme this year, “On the Road…” is intended to create a sense of movement.  The planning team from Ohio Mennonite Conference wanted to bring to mind movement coming from traveling from one point to another.  As they describe it:  In the story of the magi from the East, they literally took to the road and drew closer to Jesus with each passing step. This rich imag­ery sets the tone for the Advent season as we seek to move ever closer to Jesus, wherever we might find ourselves along the road of faith. 

Each week we’ll set out on a new leg of this journey toward Christ. 

  • Advent 1 (Nov 29), we are “on the road to readiness,” staying alert for Jesus’ second coming.
  • Advent 2 (Dec 6), we are “on the road to repentance,” confessing our sins as John the Baptist taught.
  • Advent 3 (Dec 13) takes us “on the road to restora­tion,” where we recognize that God will ultimately overturn the injustices of our world.
  • Advent 4 (Dec 20) sends us “on the road to revelation,” where we learn that Jesus is the culmination of ancient promises.  This Sunday will also (if all goes well!) feature an adapted version of our traditional Nine Lessons and Carols.  While we cannot have the choir singing, we look forward to alternate options for music and scripture to guide us into celebration of Jesus’ revelation in the world. 
  • The Sunday after Christmas (Dec 27), we are “on the road to rejoicing,” inspired by the psalmist to praise God for the birth of Jesus Christ.
  • On Epiphany (Jan 3) we are “on the road to radiance,” basking in the glow of God that shines for people of all nations.  We anticipate once again being given “Star Words” to guide our journey into 2021.

In the end, the sin­cere hope is that when this Advent journey has been completed, we will be closer to the heart of Jesus than when we began.  May it be so for each of us!! 

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! devotional magazines

New issues of both the UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! have arrived and are available above the mailboxes.  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 at the church or online (decided week by week)

Adult discussion class book study, I Am Not Your Enemy, by Michael T. McRay:  Wednesdays 7-8:00pm on ZOOM.  Led by Pastor Tonya and Julie Goering.  This study ends on November 18. 

Adult Sunday School @ 11am on Sundays on ZOOM and in-person. The class is using the Salt & Light discussion guide.  This quarter our study centers on, “Joining God: Relationship and Worship,” using a variety of Old and New Testament texts.  Study guides are available in the foyer or call the church and we’ll send you one.  All are welcome to join this class.

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


A new collection of books is available on the window ledge in the church library.  This is Pastor Tonya’s personal collection received through the Minister’s Book Club, and she is making them available for our reading.  Please come and browse, then check out the book(s) you would like to read.  Be sure to keep these separate from the regular library holdings by putting your name and book title on the sheet next to the books.

STRENGTHENING Community Connections…


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.  Visit our website (  to listen to Jim’s Introduction, a conversation with Pastor William J. Green, and a conversation with Pastor Tonya. Keep checking back because more conversations are coming!  And don’t forget to tell your friends about these conversations aimed at creating a future story for our beautiful salt city. 


Gloria Gehring sends many thanks to the congregation for the cards, prayers, and calls she received during her recent illness.  All of your support is very meaningful to her. 


The Pastor Congregation Relations Committee (PCRC) will be meeting TODAY (Nov 10) at 5:00pm.  This group tends to the relationship between pastor(s) and the congregation.  If you have any feedback to give, please contact Stephanie Gehring or Jennalee Boggs on or before 5:00 today! 


As announced earlier, CMT has agreed to combine the Budget/Business Meeting with the Annual Meeting in December.  Watch for more information about whether this event will be in-person, online (Zoom or livestream), or some combination of these options.  A draft budget was sent as an attachment to last week’s Tuesday email.  Call the church office if you would like a printed copy.


Typically, the Senior Youth provides a meal for our Annual Meeting for a donation to the Youth Fund.  This fund helps support the youth in attending service projects and MC USA Conventions.  This year the Senior Youth will be preparing a meal of soup, bread, and dessert to be delivered to your home or picked up at the church during the day on Wednesday, December 9. 

Please contact the church office ( or 620-662-9385) by Wednesday DECEMBER 2 to indicate:

  • How many meals?
  • How many each: Russian Noodle Soup or Chili?
  • Would you like to pick up your meal(s) at the church between 2-5pm on Dec 9, or have your meal(s) delivered to your home between 2-5pm on Dec 9?
  • If you would like your meal(s) delivered to your home, what time frame would be best between 2-5pm?


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


Let the church office or Pastor Tonya know if you are willing!!

STRETCHING to Serve as Christ Served…


This annual food drive will be held Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020.  Joining with other churches in the Hutchinson area, our doors will be open from 5-7pm to receive food for the food bank.  People will also be able to leave food at the church during the week prior.  This will be our 3rd year of participating in this wonderful event. Because of COVID 19 we will not do the soup supper this year.  If you bring food items on Nov 17 between 5-7pm, we request you enter the church parking lot from Rambler Rd, drive through the carport to drop off your items, and exit onto 21st Street.  Thanks for your support!!


FMC’s opportunity to serve at the Soup Kitchen is Saturday, November 28.  A donation of 50 small applesauce cups would be appreciated.  We also need two volunteers to prepare food at 2:00, and three drivers for the delivery routes.  Please call Kevin Martin Nisly, Juliet Nisly or Jane or Eldon Wagler to volunteer. 


Adopt a bundle!  Your gift of $25.00 covers the cost of a bundle and shipping.  Make your check payable to FMC with memo line reading Infant Care Kits (ICK).  Please make your contribution to adopt one bundle – or several – by Christmas Eve.  Through the blessings of careful purchasing and generous donations, Jane and Deanna have prepared the bundles and wrapped them for us.  Cheryl Warkentin has donated her time and talent to crochet the tiny hats for the baby bundles.  Thank you to all who have generously shared their gifts for the well-being of children around the world. 


Given the unusual circumstances this year, Salthawk Community Support will be gifting families of HMS8 and Hutch High families with a Christmas Box, instead of the Angel Tree gifts as in the past.  These boxes will include food, hygiene items and a certificate to pick up a cooked family Christmas dinner from Dillons. The cost will be around $100 per box. Our goal is to provide boxes to 100 families at HHS and 25 families at HMS8.  The Salthawk Community Support Board will be putting the boxes together and organizing pick up.  The best way YOU CAN HELP is with monetary donations.  Any help is greatly appreciated.  The more sponsors we get, the more families we can help.   Checks should be made out to Salthawk Community Support and mailed to this address no later than November 23:

Trinity United Methodist Church

Salthawk Community Support

1602 North Main Street

Hutchinson KS 67501

You can give safely to Salthawk Community Support online through Trinity UMC:


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.



Join Glen Guyton, executive director of Mennonite Church USA, for a post-election reflection on peacemaking during a time of uncertainty. Glen highlights the work that’s being done within the church and share about how we can continue to #BringThePeace of Christ to our communities.  This message was first presented on November 4, and is now available at this link:

Join Jason Kauffman, Mennonite Church USA director of Archives and Records Management, on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT / 6 p.m. MT / 5 p.m. PT for a webinar on Mennonite relief workers serving during World War I and the influenza pandemic. The webinar is part of “The Anabaptist Story Lives On,” a multi-week, virtual museum and archive tour through TourMagination. Register here:

MASK ASK!  MCC REQUEST on behalf of Northern Cheyenne

MCC is responding to a request from people on the Northern Cheyenne reservation in southeastern Montana for cloth face masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19. If you would like to sew masks, please use the following guidelines:

  • Adult sized
  • Use at least 2 layers of good quality cotton fabric (solid colors preferred)
  • Elastic ear loops
  • Nose wire/filter pockets optional

Please ship purchased or completed masks to the MCC Central States Material Resources Center (Attn: Kate Mast) at 121 East 30th Street, North Newton, KS 67117, or drop off in the 24 hour donation room at MCC by November 15th. They will all be collected and transported to Montana in time for the winter season. Questions? Please contact

MCC CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION – great gift-giving idea!

Support Mennonite Central Committee and celebrate MCC’s centennial with a new shirt, hoodie, tea towel, bag or hat!  Check out this online store and support MCC!


The KIPCOR Film Series continues with Cooked: Survival by ZIP Code, a multiple-award-winning documentary that focuses on the deadly 1995 Chicago heat wave to illustrate how minorities and low-income citizens suffer the most negative impact from natural disasters. The film is an indictment of our nation’s disaster preparedness, and forges a link between extreme weather, extreme disparity and extreme racism. Note that watching the film and participating in the talk-back are two distinct, separate events. You must view the film between Nov. 8 and Nov. 14, using this link and password:; password: KC30p0 (KC3-zero-p-zero).

Then on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 2 p.m., KIPCOR will host a virtual discussion of the film with Christy Miller Hesed, Hesston, a postdoctoral associate in environmental anthropology at the University of Maryland. To register for the talk-back, go to, click on the event, and scroll down to the registration link. The Zoom link will be sent Nov. 13; advance registration is required for the talk-back.


Now on display in the Regier Art Gallery, Luyken Fine Arts Center, at Bethel College: “Noir + More,” recent work by Denise Brueggeman. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Fri. Please note that face coverings must be worn and physical distancing observed on the Bethel campus.


Camp Mennoscah is a year-round campground!  Ask about winterized facilities or conquer the prairie wilds in a tent.  It’s a whole new world in the winter–and available for you!  Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 to make a reservation.


The Everence Webinar Wednesday series on November 11 is, “Mutual aid in the 21st century.”  Register here.

Coming up on November 18 is, “The transformative power of investing.”  Plan now to participate.  The entire series of Wednesday Webinars which ends on November 18, is available through the Everence website.  For any questions, please contact Melissa Short at 800-348-7468 x3392 or

Everence to hold Medicare webinar: Nov. 16

Everence will host its popular workshop, Make Medicare an easy step, as a webinar on Monday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will learn about the various Medicare plans and what they cover; plans that supplement Medicare; and enrollment details and deadlines. This webinar is free. Please register by contacting our office at 877-467-7294, 316-283-3800 or