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This week at FMC

October 27-November 9, 2021

Table of Contents

I’ve been meaning to ask … where do we go from here?  I hope this question from worship this past Sunday is still ringing in your ears, and the question you received if you attended worship in person is stirring in your heart.  All the questions distributed last week are copied below.  If you were not able to attend in person, pick one you want to chew on this week for yourself, and one you want to ask someone else!

  • What energizes or excites you?
  • What is something you deeply long for?
  • Where are you finding joy right now?
  • What’s something you are really curious about?
  • Share about a time when you found empathy for someone and it surprised you.
  • Share about a time when you found common ground with someone who is different than you.
  • Who is someone in your life you want to grow closer to or reconnect with? What might that growth and connection look like for you?
  • What is something you are looking forward to?
  • What is a dream you have for your faith community?  In what ways would you like to see your community grow or shift?
  • What’s something in your life, in the Church, or in the world that desperately needs to change? How do you want to be part of that change?
  • Share about a time you felt truly free.
  • Describe a dream you have for the future.

All of these are questions worth digging into.  I, as your pastor, am particularly curious how you would answer these two:

  • What is a dream you have for your faith community?  In what ways would you like to see your community grow or shift?
  • What’s something in your life, in the Church, or in the world that desperately needs to change? How do you want to be part of that change?

Consider this your open invitation to share your responses with me … I would love to hear your dreams and ideas!  While we have come to end of the resources provided by A Sanctified Art in this “I’ve been meaning to ask…” series, we are adding a 5th question this Sunday which Pastor Jim will guide us in:  “I’ve been meaning to ask  … what would you love to contribute?”  Hope you can join us this coming Sunday!!

— Pastor Tonya

 NOTE:  We will skip a week so our next THIS WEEK will post on November 9.

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! 

 NEW !!! STATEMENT FROM CMT (Congregational Ministry Team) to the congregation regarding COVID precautions.  This statement is based on recommendations from our COVID Response Team (Carol Moore, Joretta Martens, Todd Esau, Dohn Fast):

In August, CMT recommended that everyone wear a mask while inside the church building and practice social distancing because we want to protect our children and those individuals at high health risk and/or are unable to receive the vaccine.  It was anticipated that the next 4-6 weeks would be critical in slowing down the spread of the Delta variant.  We are thankful there has indeed been a decrease in positive cases since then.

However, CMT is still encouraging the wearing of masks and social distancing to cover the time period for individuals to receive a booster vaccination and for children now eligible to receive their initial vaccinations.  CMT will revisit this recommendation again when children should have full immunity.

The boosters for Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have all been approved.  It is anticipated that the vaccine will be available for children ages 5 – 12 during the first two weeks of November.  Please consider obtaining your booster and your child’s immunization as soon as the vaccinations become available.

(CMT: Delon Martens, Jennalee Boggs, Julie Esau, Kevin Martin Nisly, Carol Moore, Tonya Ramer Wenger, Jim Unruh)

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31:   I’ve been Meaning to Ask… what would you love to do, create, contribute? (Isaiah 61 and 1 Corinthians 12)

  • Preacher:  Jim Unruh
  • Worship Leader & Scripture Reader:  Delon Martens
  • Children’s Time:  DeAnna Goering and Sr. Youth
  • Pianist:  Shelley Kauffman
  • Ushers:  Cheryl Warkentin & Marlene Thode
  • Sound:  Earl Ediger
  • Live Stream:  Jonathan Wenger


SUNDAY, November 7:   Mission Festival

  • Preacher:  Linda Shelly (from Mennonite Mission Network)
  • Worship Leader:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Children’s Time:  TBD
  • Scripture Reader:  Cheryl Warkentin
  • Pianist:  Shelley Kauffman
  • Ushers:  Glenda & Rick Hooper
  • Sound:  Murray Reimer
  • Live Stream:  Jonathan Wenger



During each worship service, you are invited to text your prayer joys and concerns – usually to Pastor Tonya.  You are also welcome to send prayer joys & concerns during the week.  The recording of our worship service is public, so let us know if you’d prefer your request to only be shared via email during the week.


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 27 – Service & Outreach Coordination Team – 7:00pm
  • October 31 – No Sunday School … plan to stay for a time of fellowship!
  • November 7 – Mission Festival with Linda Shelly, guest preacher.  Linda is Area Director for Central America, with Mennonite Mission Network.  (No potluck.)
  • November 14 – All Saints Worship Service with opportunity to remember loved ones who have died this past year, or in years past.  PLUS, M&M meets during the Sunday School hour and for lunch.
  • November 20 – Faith & Life Pop Up Shop @ FMC
  • November 28 – Advent Worship begins
  • December 5 – FMC Budget & Annual Meeting, Senior Youth Fundraisers (silent auction & lunch)

DEEPENING in Christ…



  • A Prayer group 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. 

OCTOBER 31 WORSHIP: “I’VE BEEN MEANING TO ASK… what would you love to contribute?”  

This Sunday is the last in our current series, exploring a final question we’ve added ourselves:  I’ve been meaning to ask… what would you love to do, create, contribute? Pastor Jim is preaching.


We are looking forward to hosting Linda Shelly from Mennonite Mission Network as our 2021 Mission Festival speaker in worship and Sunday School!  On this Sunday, our regular offering will go to support Mennonite Mission Network.  You can learn more about their ministry and work here:

Linda Shelly was appointed as the Mennonite Mission Network director for mission relationships in Latin America in February 2002.  She relates to workers, churches and other partners in 10 countries in Latin America.   Mennonite Mission Network supports the work and developing visions of Mennonite church conferences in the region, and also relates to independent indigenous churches and holistic ministry programs.  Prior to this appointment, she served for nine years as Latin America/Caribbean program director for Mennonite Central Committee. She previously served in other roles with MCC, including in the personnel office and three terms in Latin America. Shelly worked with rural non-formal education in Bolivia and as country representative in Honduras. She also served in a regional peace role while collaborating with a family sent by the Honduran Mennonite Church to form a new faith community in a rural city.  Shelly graduated from Bethel College, North Newton, Kan., with a bachelor’s degree in history and the social sciences, and from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary with a master’s degree in peace studies. Shelly is from Newton, Kan., where she is a member of First Mennonite Church. 


There have been many losses in the last year, including loved ones who have died.  On Sunday November 14 we will pause to remember the losses, recognizing their deep impact on us and many in our community.  The service will include opportunity to specifically remember loved ones who have died this last year, or farther in the past. 

FALL 2021 SUNDAY SCHOOL @ 10:45am


Sunday School classes meet 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:    October 31 – no Sunday School (5th Sunday)

                                                    November 7 – with Linda Shelly, our Mission Network guest speaker

                                                     November 14-28 – the group will continue to meet; stay tuned for details!

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


We’re seeking volunteers beginning in December (at least one more teacher per class would REALLY be helpful – you would only need to teach one Sunday a month or less)!!  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 + Fundraiser Meal & Silent Auction for Senior Youth!!  Its going to a be a fun morning! All are welcome to participate in the meeting and discussion, although only members/associate members will cast votes. 

The morning schedule is as follows:

  • 9:30am Worship (Second Sunday of Advent, including Decorating the Christmas Tree)
  • 10:45am-12:15pm Budget & Annual Meeting (with Sunday School classes & activities for kids running concurrently)
  • Senior Youth Fundraisers: 
    • Silent Auction. Bring your items to donate anytime to the basement fellowship hall – just put them on the designated table.  Suggested items:  quality used items, baked goods (can bring the morning of if you prefer), gift certificates, and more!
    • Lunch: Watch for more details – at this point we’re planning on a take-home option, but that will depend on the COVID situation and what precautions we still have in place as a congregation.


We need your stories about life at FMC!  They can be stories from yesterday or 50+ years ago.

  • Why has it been important to you to be part of this congregation?
  • How has your journey with Jesus been shaped by being a part of this congregation?
  • What opportunities have opened up to you by being part of this congregation?
  • What is your favorite memory?
  • Does a memorable event stand out?  Or an ordinary event that really made an impression on you?
  • Is there something you helped plan, or participated in that you found meaningful?
  • Do you remember any “ah-ha” moments during worship or Sunday School?
  • Is there something that makes First Mennonite “First Mennonite” you want to make sure gets noted in the updated history book?

And … do you have pictures you could share?  We welcome pictures from the past, but more recent pictures as well!  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.   ADDITIONALLY, Diane Ziemer has offered she is available most evenings and would be happy to have you call her and she will type and submit your story for you.

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 conversations!


  • Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 2:00pm
  • Wednesday 10am-1pm 
  • Office hours may vary from this schedule October 26-November 4.


  • 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)
  • UPCOMING VACATION SCHEDULE: gone November 19-23, 2021

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…


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.


Help is needed to cook (starting around 2:00pm), deliver meals around 4:00pm, and serve the meal at 5:00pm.  A sign up sheet will be posted soon on the “Sign Up” bulletin board in the church foyer.


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, tooth paste and tooth brushes.  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 with questions.



“United Against the Death Penalty: All Roads Lead to Repeal,” a virtual event will be held Saturday, November 6, 1:00-3:00pm on Zoom.  Register and get the Zoom link by sending an email to and include your name and address.  Mennonite churches in Western District Conference support this event in support of the resolution passed in 2009 by WDC delegates speak out against the death penalty.

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

  • Thank you for helping take out the dam!  Approximately 10 people plus spectators helped remove the dam and bring up the canoes and kayaks for the winter.  The dam will be replaced in the spring.
  • We’ll bring the marshmallows!  The brush piles from the tree trimming extravaganza this past spring are ready to burn!  Get a group together and schedule a day to burn (wind speed permitting).  Contact Camp Mennoscah at or 620-297-3290.  
  • Thank you for granting wishes!  We are grateful for the recent donations of items off the Wish List.  The list has more wishes and there are more projects to do.  We can accommodate every group size, skill set and length of project you would like to tackle. Check out these ways to Get Involved!  Email or call 620-297-3290 to volunteer.  See the Wish List for other ways to support Camp Mennoscah!


Sunflower Performing Arts: Sunflower Soirée – Oct. 31, 3 p.m. at Hesston Mennonite Church

Formerly known as Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts, Sunflower Performing Arts series will open with the first-ever Sunflower Soirée, a concert of local and regional artists that also promotes the season ahead and kicks off the organization’s annual patron drive. Free of charge, this event will feature the following artists: pianist Karen Schlabaugh; The Sunflower Trio; flautists Kristin Shaffer and Kenna Graber; guitarists Howard Glanton and Excier Rodriguez; soprano Holly Swartzendruber and pianist Karen Unruh; and musicians Ken Rodgers and Russell Adrian. Sunflower Performing Arts season tickets can be purchased or picked up at the concert. Tax-deductible donations can also be made to Sunflower Performing Arts during this time. Light refreshments will be served. Audience members are required to wear masks while inside the church, and the artists will wear masks when not performing.

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Bethel College Chamber Orchestra Halloween concert, Thurs., Oct. 28 – 7:30 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center.Bethel’s current COVID-19 protocols require physical distancing and mask-wearing indoors with groups of 10 or more.

Fall choral showcase, “Bethel Sings,” featuring the Concert Choir, Women’s Ensemble, Woven and Open Road, Sunday, Oct. 31 at 4 p.m.  Memorial Hall.Bethel’s current COVID-19 protocols require physical distancing and mask-wearing indoors for groups of 10 or more people, regardless of vaccination status.

“Joining Voices Together,” a new art exhibition with original artwork from the Voices Together hymnal, will open on Friday, October 29 in the Regier Gallery.

Fri., Nov. 5 – The Menno Simons Lecture Endowment, with the support of the Reimer-Boese Worship and the Arts Endowment, will bring Jan Kraybill, Kansas City, to the Bethel College campus for two lectures on the theme “This is Our Story, This is our Song: The Power of Music in Community.” “The Sound of Science” is at 11 a.m. in Memorial Hall as part of Bethel’s student convocation series. “Music and Memory, Meaning and Mission” is at 7 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center. Livestream options available. Bethel’s current COVID-19 protocols require physical distancing and mask-wearing indoors for groups of 10 or more. 

Fri., Nov. 5 – Reception for Menno Simons lecturer Jan Kraybill and the “Voices Together” exhibit (in the Regier Art Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College), following Kraybill’s lecture that begins at 7 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium, in the Fine Arts Center lobby. Bethel’s current COVID-19 protocols require physical distancing and mask-wearing indoors for groups of 10 or more.

Bethel College’s Organ Recital Series returns in-person with Shirley Sprunger King, D.M.A., Tues., Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Ad Building chapel. Chapel seating will be limited, and there will be a livestream option in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center.  Bethel’s current COVID-19 protocols require physical distancing and mask-wearing indoors with groups of 10 or more

Tues., Nov. 9 – Bethel College’s Organ Recital Series returns in-person with Shirley Sprunger King, D.M.A., 7 p.m., in the Ad Building chapel. Chapel seating will be limited, and there will be a livestream option in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center. Bethel’s current COVID-19 protocols require physical distancing and mask-wearing indoors for groups of 10 or more.


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.

For more information about our current service openings,  please visit


Mennonite Church USA encourages people and congregations to “Learn, Pray, Join” about the Cost of Poverty. We’ll explore the topic of poverty from theological and practical perspectives, addressing its intersectional nature and the impact of the pandemic.    “As stewards of money and possessions, we are to live simply, practice mutual aid within the church, uphold economic justice, and give generously and cheerfully. As persons dependent on God’s providence, we are not to be anxious about the necessities of life, but to seek first the kingdom of God. We cannot be true servants of God and let our lives be ruled by desire for wealth.” (from “Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective,” Article 21: Christian Stewardship)  

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”  –Mark 10:21

Read more here:


The Kansas MDS Unit is sponsoring a Learning and Service trips to McAllen TX, 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 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