Skip to content
This week at FMC

November 4-10, 2020

Table of Contents

Circle us, O God. Keep hope within and despair without.

Circle those we love, O God. Keep comfort within and discouragement without.

Circle all who are vulnerable and afraid, O God. Keep peace within and turmoil without.

Circle all poll workers, O God. Keep energy within and threat without.

Circle all politicians, O God. Keep honesty within and lies without.

Circle all tempted toward violence, O God. Keep creative love within, and reactive hatred without.

Circle our neighbors, friends and strangers O God. Keep joy within, and sorrow without.

Circle our enemies, O God. Keep healing within, and wounding without.

Circle our hearts, O God Keep compassion within, indifference without.  AMEN   

(Tonya Ramer Wenger … written for Election Day 2020)

The practice of writing and praying ‘encircling prayers’ is rooted in an ancient Celtic Christian spiritual practice.  These prayers are called ‘ciam,’ meaning ‘protection’ or ‘encompassing.’  They arise especially in times of fear and anxiety, something many are feeling today in our country.  These prayers remind of   ‘God’s protection and the presence of love and safety even in difficult times.’ (Christine Valters Paintner. The Soul’s Slow Ripening. 76)

Today I offer to you the ‘encircling’ prayer above, as a reminder we are circled and held by the God of the Universe.  And in praise of “… (Christ Jesus) [in whom] all things hold together.”  (Colossians 1:17)   Also a reminder the sanctuary is open today for your praying, including some prayer resources to help guide you if you choose.  Finally, you might pray this encircling prayer, attributed to Saint Patrick, as you seek God’s presence to shield and protect you during this day and night, and every night and day to come. 

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me.

For two beautiful sung versions of this prayer visit: or

—-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:


I’m sharing with you the following announcement from the Congregational Ministry Team (CMT) which is made up of Russ Wedel, Delon Martens, Julie Esau, Kevin Martin Nisly, Mike Dirks, and both pastors:

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, CMT 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.     – Pastor Tonya 


Reconciliation with others (2 Corinthians 5:11-21)

  • Sermon:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader:  Delon Martens
  • Children’s Time:  DeAnna Goering
  • Scripture Reader:  TBD
  • Organist:  Pauline Buller
  • 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 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 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.


As we continue to explore “Anabaptist Essentials” our focus through November 8 is on different facets of “Reconciliation is the Center of our Work.” 

                November 8:  Reconciliation with others (2 Corinthians 5:11-21) Pastor Tonya preaching

We hope Sunday morning worship, whether you are joining in person or from home, provides a spiritually grounding and growing space for you as we travel through ongoing complexities of the pandemic. 


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:


This year, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, you are invited to add your voice to a video litany of gratitude and thanksgiving to be shared as part of worship.  All ages are invited to be part of this litany sharing what/who/where you are thankful for this year.  Many of us haven’t seen each other in a long time and this will give us a chance to hear from and see each other, and be encouraged by an outpouring of gratitude in this time when much feels heavy and challenging. 

You have OPTIONS for adding your voice:

  1. Record a short video yourself (or ask a friend or family member to help) and send the video to Pastor Tonya on email or text. 
  2. Contact Pastor Tonya and she would be happy to come to your home and take a video of you at your front door or outside your house (at a safe distance and with her mask on).
  3. Send your words in writing, and Pastor Tonya will add them in.


Due to rising COVID numbers, this study will be put on hold for a couple weeks.  Stay tuned for more information.   Talk with Pastor Tonya if you have questions.

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.  Call the church office if you would like to join.

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…


As announced earlier, CMT has agreed to combine the Budget/Business Meeting with the Annual Meeting in December.  Traditionally the Annual Meeting is accompanied by a noon fundraiser meal hosted by the Youth.  With possible restrictions concerning social distancing its probably not a good idea to host a meal as part of the meeting.  Therefore, we are moving the meeting to Wednesday evening, December 9th (exact time TBA).  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 will be shared with you in the next two weeks.  Thank you to all as we work our way through these very trying times together!   Congregational Ministry Team (Russ Wedel, Delon Martens, Julie Esau, Kevin Martin Nisly, Mike Dirks, and the pastors)


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…


Join Glen Guyton, executive director of Mennonite Church USA, on the day after the election for a special live message on peacemaking during a time of uncertainty. Glen will highlight the work that’s being done within the church and share about how we can continue to #BringThePeace of Christ to our communities.
Wednesday, November 4 . . . 11:30am CST at this link:
(If you can’t make it for the live broadcast, be sure to visit us on Facebook to watch the recording later!) 


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, the community assistance task force decided that we will not do the soup supper this year. 


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).  Through the blessings of careful purchasing and generous donations, Jane and Deanna have prepared the bundles and wrapped them for us.  Please make your contribution to adopt one bundle – or several – by Christmas Eve.


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:


The Salvation Army and Inter-faith Housing Services are currently accepting donations on behalf of First Call for Help.  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 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!


Sarah Smarsh will kick off the 2020-2021 Peace Lecture Series, speaking in a live-streaming event on Thursday, November 5.  Smarsh will present, “Bridging the Cultural Divide in Difficult Times.”  Sarah focuses on socioeconomic class and rural America. Her book Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, an instant New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the National Book Award, examines economic inequality through her upbringing among the working poor on a Kansas farm.  Sarah is a regular political commentator in national media and has spoken internationally on poverty, rural issues, and cultural divides.  Check the KIPCOR website at

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


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 4, features , “Business transitions:  How do I get out of this?”   Register here.

Coming up on November 11 is, “Mutual aid in the 21st century.”  Plan now to participate.  For any questions, please contact Melissa Short at 800-348-7468 x3392 or