Skip to content
This week at FMC

October 13-19, 2021

THIS WEEK @ FMC – October 13-19, 2021

“What do you need?”  This question naturally follows last Sunday’s question, “Where does it hurt?”   Another tender question digging deep into what is real for us, and for others. 

I wonder what it’s like for you to try to answer this question.  Is it easy to identify what you need, or have you been conditioned to ignore what you need?  And what is your experience of asking this of others, and really listening to the answer?

“What do you need?” is a different kind of question than “How can I help?” as Rev. Sarah Are explores in her prayer poem “Unlearning Hands.”  Excerpts of the poem are below, and you can find the entire poem in the Study Journal sent via email (or available as a hard copy in the church foyer).

I used to always ask,

“How can I help?” but

maybe I can’t help.

Maybe what you need from me

is not a solution

or a plan

or a fix-it strategy,

but something else,

something more.

When I asked before,

“How can I help?”

What I really meant to say

was, “What do you need?”

What do you need?

(excerpts from “Unlearning Hands” by Rev. Sarah Are)

— Pastor Tonya


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! 

STATEMENT FROM CMT to the congregation regarding the Delta variant:

We are a caring congregation. We recognize that health and life are gifts that we honor for ourselves and others. Because of the rapid increase in our community of the Delta-variant, the virus’ ease of transmission, and the recommendations from the CDC, we are strongly recommending that everyone wear a mask while inside the church building and practice social distancing as we did several months ago. We want to protect our children and those individuals at high health risk and/or are unable to receive the vaccine. It is anticipated that the next 4-6 weeks are critical in slowing down the spread of this mutant. Let each of us do our part to mitigate the potential serious consequences to our church family and our community during this time.   (Delon Martens, Jennalee Boggs, Julie Esau, Kevin Martin Nisly, Carol Moore, Tonya Ramer Wenger, Jim Unruh)

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17:   I’ve Been Meaning to Ask… what do you need?

(Job 2:11-13; 2 Timothy 4:9-18)

  • Preacher:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader:  Stephanie Gehring
  • Children’s Time:  Sr Youth
  • Scripture Reader:  Jean Gaeddert
  • Organist:  Pauline Buller
  • Ushers:   Stephanie & Jay Gehring
  • Sound:  Micah Wenger
  • 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. 


  • October 14 – Community Assistance conversation – 5:30-6:30pm
  • October 17 – Guess Who’s Coming to the Yard!? – 5:00pm
  • October 20 – Refreshments & Storytelling for 100th Anniversary History update
  • October 21 – Congregational Ministry Team (CMT) – 4:30pm
  • November 7 – Mission Festival with Linda Shelly, guest preacher.  Linda is Area Director for Central America, with Mennonite Mission Network.  (No potluck.)
  • November 14 – M&M meets

DEEPENING in Christ…


Meets Thursday mornings from 10-11am in the Prayer Room.  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. 

“I’VE BEEN MEANING TO ASK… what do you need?”  – OCT 17 WORSHIP

Worship this coming Sunday is rooted in the following convictions:  “We believe everyone has needs, but each of us needs different things at different times. We believe God calls us to care for one another—in seasons of joy, transition, and hardship. We commit to listening and being present.”  And so we ask, “what do you need?” 

 Pastor Tonya will be preaching as we explore this question through scripture, poetry, and prayer.  Scriptures for this Sunday are Job 2:11-13 and 2 Timothy 4:9-18.  Be sure to spend some time with the Study Journal where you’ll be guided through artwork and artist’s statements.Hard copies of the Study Journal are available in the foyer; and each week an electronic version is also sent. 

Coming up..

Oct 24:  I’ve Been Meaning to Ask… where do we go from here?  Tonya preaching (+ guests from Interfaith Housing to share about the Lighthouse Project we’re participating in as part of our 100th anniversary celebration in Oct 2022)

Oct 31:  I’ve been Meaning to Ask… what would you love to do, create, contribute? Jim preaching

FALL 2021 SUNDAY SCHOOL @ 10:45am

Sunday School classes are now meeting every Sunday, with the exception of the 5th Sundays when we’ll hope to have some all-church fellowship time after worship instead of Sunday School!

CHILDREN & YOUTH: Living as God’s People (SHINE Curriculum from MennoMedia)

  • PreK-Kindergarten (basement, room 3 – or outside)
  • 1st-5th grade (basement, rooms 1-2 – or outside)
  • 6th– 7th grade (all the way upstairs in the Jr Youth room – or outside)
  • 8th -12th grade (all the way upstairs in the Sr Youth room)


Younger Adults Class – meeting in the basement adult Sunday School Room

Adult Bible Study/Discussion – through October 24, gather in the basement fellowship hall for discussion around the sermon, scripture and ‘question of the day’ from worship.  Facilitated by Star Gipson.

Reminder: No Sunday School on the 5th Sundays of the month!!


We’re seeking volunteers beginning in December!!  Please contact Pastor Tonya or Cheryl Warkentin if you would be willing, or sign up on the signup sheet in the foyer (on the “Sign Up” bulletin board).

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! devotional magazines

REJOICE! and UPPER ROOM . . . new issues are available above the mailboxes.  Please let us know if you would like a copy mailed to you. 

STRENGTHENING Community Connections…


Mark your calendars and plan to attend FMC’s Budget & Annual Meeting Sunday December 5!!  More details to come closer to the date.


Have you been thinking about a short story or two to share for our updated history book?  Or looking through your pictures for some you could share (including more recent ones!)?  We now have a quick and simple way on our website for you to submit your stories and photos!  Go to our homepage, or click on this link to access a form you can easily fill out and submit.  Or, you can email your response or put your stories and/or photos in the respective boxes available at church in the foyer. 

Please consider sharing your stories, even if you may think they are insignificant!  We need many voices and types of stories to make this book come alive with the spirit of First Mennonite Church.  Also, please share the above link freely with those you know who were at First Mennonite once upon a time and might have a story and/or pictures to share … maybe friends, relatives, children, etc.??

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:  While new episodes are not being added right now, this is your chance to catch up on previous compelling conversations!


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


  • Monday: Sabbath Day
    • Tuesday-Friday: generally working 9:00am-5:30pm  
    • Office Hours:  9-2 Tuesday and Thursday; 10-1 on Wednesday
    • Available other times by appointment.
  • Available evenings and weekends (cell phone is most reliable)

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.

STRETCHING to Serve as Christ Served…


What should community assistance at our church look like going forward?  One of the three guiding principles for our church is “Stretching into the world in service, peacemaking and mission”.  Our church has a rich history of community assistance, and over the years that assistance has taken many forms. We now have an opportunity to give some creative thought to what form it will take in the future. We want to invite everyone (young, old, member, active participant and/or someone interested in knowing more about this ministry) to participate in this conversation.  If you participate, you are not signing up for anything – we simply trust more of us gathered together listening to the Spirit will help yield a clearer way forward. 

There is one more opportunity to participate!!

Thursday, October 14 from 5:30-6:30pm, also with snacks. 

Childcare will be offered as needed – just let us know if you plan to attend and need childcare!  Please consider putting one of these times on your calendar and help us do some brainstorming on the direction this important ministry will take. If you are unable to attend one of these times, please share any of your ideas with Pastor Tonya or Todd Esau and keep the process in your prayers.


First Mennonite prepares, serves and delivers a meal at the soup kitchen every other month on the 4th Saturday of the month.  We are in need of a volunteer to help primarily with the administrative tasks related to this ministry … coordinating the signup sheet, communication with the congregation, recruiting volunteers as necessary, sending reminders to volunteers, etc.  This person would NOT be as involved in the hands-on work required to prepare and serve the meal.  Please let Pastor Tonya know if this is something you’d be willing to take on for the next year. 


Out of an abundance of caution the CMT (Congregational Ministry Team) has made the hard decision NOT to do donuts on the lawn again this year.  We truly hope to be able to be back with donuts for Halloween 2022.  


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.


Support Mennonite Friendship Communities – did you know that when you shop at Dillons or Amazon, you could be supporting MFC? Each of these companies have programs that give a portion of sales back to local non-profits.  Check out Dillon’s Community Rewards – or Amazon Smile – to sign up. Call Susan Nisly at MFC 620-663-7175 if you have questions.

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

The dam at Camp Mennoscah will be removed on October 17! The fun will begin at approximately 2pm. All are welcome to help with removing and cleaning the boards or simply to watch. The dam will be removed whatever the weather, unless deemed dangerous. Contact Camp Mennoscah if you have questions.

Fall Scrapbook and Crafts Retreat, November 5-7, at Camp Mennoscah! 

Register at!  There is only one Fall Scrapbook and Crafts Retreat.  Lodging will be in the Retreat Center and cropping/crafting will be in the Main Camp dining hall.  Space heaters will be available for both areas since the repairs for the furnaces will not be complete by the beginning of November.  Fees for the Scrapbook and Crafts Retreat have increased to $150 to meet higher costs and the use of multiple facilities.  For those who find the increase prohibitive, there is an option to receive up to $25 in scholarship funds per person as part of the registration process. 


Consider making a donation to the Western District Conference Hope Fund!  The Hope Fund issues grants to churches in Western District Conference that are suffering hardship related to COVID-19 and other disasters.  As the pandemic continues to affect our churches, the Hope Fund has proven to be incredibly important to supporting churches in need.  You can find out more, and make a donation, by visiting,  or by sending a check to Western District Conference, PO Box 306, North Newton, KS 67117.  Please consider contributions to the Hope Fund as above and beyond regular giving to WDC, which supports ongoing staff, programs and resourcing for congregations and leaders.

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

In the Regier Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College: “Roots and Wings: Our Gift from Mother Nature,” a group exhibition by the Springdale Art & Nature Center of Halstead, featuring sculpture by Beth Vannatta, through Oct. 22. Gallery hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Fri., Sun, 2-4 p.m. Bethel’s current COVID-19 protocols require physical distancing and mask-wearing indoors regardless of vaccination status.

HESSTON COLLEGE announcements 

Bel Canto Singers Fall Concert – October 24, 2:00 p.m. –  Hesston Mennonite Church

Sunflower Performing Arts: Sunflower Soiree – October 31, 3:00 p.m. –  Hesston Mennonite Church.  This is the first in the 2021-2022 concert series (formerly known as the Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts Series).  Consider a season ticket and take in the wonderful variety of music in five concert events this year.


Take action to advocate for Haitian asylum seekers by urging President Biden to immediately halt deportation flights to Haiti. Following the biblical call to welcome the stranger, MCC is asking that all deportation flights to Haiti be halted immediately and is seeking respect for basic human rights at the U.S./Mexico border. Take action today!

MCC in North Newton currently has over 800 sets of comforter tops and backs that need to be tied, as well as kits of fabric that can be sewn into more tops. MCC’s partners all around the world value these handmade comforters as useful, beautiful and tangible expressions of love. If you or your sewing group would be interested in tying or sewing for MCC, or if you have questions and are curious about how to make a comforter, please contact Kate Mast at the MCC Material Resources Center at, or 316-283-2720.


MC USA provides these announcements for your prayers and action.  Click on this link: by sharing the link to these announcements.   Here’s one that might be of particular interest.  Sign up to participate.

Anabaptist History Today is hosting Virtual Relationships Past & Present on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Experts from North American Anabaptist heritage organizations, including Mennonite Church USA Archives, will show and discuss historical documents relevant to current issues. Register here:


The Kansas MDS Unit is sponsoring two Learning and Service trips to McAllen TX.  The dates are October 16-23, 2021, and February 19-26, 2022.  Participants will leave on Saturday morning traveling to San Antonio TX, staying overnight, visiting San Antonio Mennonite Church on Sunday morning, then traveling to McAllen TX for the MDS project.  Cost will be two nights lodging and meals on the two weekends while traveling.  MDS is covering the remainder of the expenses.  To make your reservations or for more information contact Cleo Koop at or call 316-282-0797.


Annual Meeting – November 12 and 13.  You will have opportunities to meet/greet some of the MDS binational staff and learn about MDS activities.  Online registration is at There are no registration fees.

  • Location:  Hesston Mennonite Church, 309 S Main St, Hesston, KS 67062
  • Meeting in a hybrid fashion (both local and virtual)
  • Local — masks and social distancing
  • Virtual — zoom meeting at
  • Theme: MDS-Deep Roots-New Growth, A house is not always the answer


Knowing Your Narrative: Unpacking Our Stories of Masculinity and Equity.  On Oct. 26, Nov. 6, and Nov. 16, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and Mennonite Men are co-sponsoring this three-part series of events, facilitated by Ben Tapper with the Kindred Collective.  It seeks to unpack narratives around masculinity, faith, and equity.  After completing the series, participants will be able to coherently articulate their own personal narratives, identify the ways they’ve been shaped by masculine messaging, and reframe their own masculine identity so it is more inclusive and holistic. The series will be composed of two webinars and one daylong on-campus event (also available online).  For more info and to register visit  Early registration ends October 19.  If you have any questions or we can be of assistance, feel free to reach out to Steve Thomas at