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This week at FMC

October 6-12, 2021

How did you get connected to this faith community? What is one of your favorite memories here?

This was one of the questions posed to you all in worship on Sunday, and I wish I could have heard all your responses and memories!! This is also one of the questions you’re invited to respond to for potential inclusion in our 100th anniversary history book.  So … take time right now to grab a piece of paper or go to our website ( to record your memory while its fresh on your mind.  No story is too insignificant in the weaving together of the story of First Mennonite through the years.  Please share yours with us!!

On a completely different note, after our summer worship series I didn’t want to let the Feast of Saint Francis on Monday October 4 go unrecognized.  In many places the Feast of Saint Francis is observed with a Blessing of the Animals.  So … if you have pets at home, here’s a blessing you can use to bless your pet! 

Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures.

You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air, and animals on the land.

You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters.

We ask you to bless this pet.

By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan.

May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation.

Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.

— 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 10:   I’ve Been Meaning to Ask… where does it hurt?

(1 Sam 1:1-18; Mark 5:21-43)

  • Preacher:  Rebecca Shetler
  • Worship Leader & Scripture Reader:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Children’s Time:  Sr Youth
  • Pianist:  Peggy Stucky
  • Ushers:   Susan Combs & Joretta Martens
  • Sound:  Earl Ediger
  • 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 10 – Community Assistance conversation – 12:00-1:00pm
  • October 10 – Guess Who’s Coming to the Yard!? – 5:00pm
  • October 14 – Community Assistance conversation – 5:30-6:30pm
  • October 17 – Guess Who’s Coming to the Yard!? – 5:00pm
  • 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.)

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… where does it hurt?”  – OCT 10 WORSHIP

Worship this coming Sunday is rooted in the following convictions:  “We believe everyone carries hurt and has the capacity to acknowledge the pain of others. We believe God draws close to us in every moment of suffering. We commit to vulnerability and compassion.”  Rebecca Shetler will be our guest preacher as we explore this tender question through scripture, poetry, and prayer.  Scriptures for this Sunday are 1 Samuel 1:1-18 and Mark 5:21-43.  Be sure to spend some time with the Study Journal where you’ll be guided through artwork and artist’s statements to reflect on your own story and experiences through questions like:  What makes your heart hurt?  Where in your life do you feel broken, vulnerable or broken open?  Hard copies of the Study Journal are available in the foyer; and each week an electronic version is also sent. 

Coming up..

  • Oct 17:  I’ve Been Meaning to Ask… what do you need?  Tonya preaching
  • 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 – Now through October 10, gather in the basement Fellowship Hall to view and discuss sermons from MC USA Convention in July on the theme of “Bring the Peace.”  Each sermon uniquely explores aspects of peacemaking today in our hearts/minds, churches, and world. 

  • October 10: Bring the Peace.  (Glen Guyton currently serves as the Executive Director for Mennonite

Church USA.) + discussion about future focus for this Sunday School class


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 beginning in September 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…


It looks like the Reno County CROP Hunger Walk event is set to surpass $10,000, which is almost $5,000 more than last year!!  Thank you so much for your donations to this cause!  Twenty-five percent of funds raised stay right here in Reno County at the Food Bank and Soup Kitchen.  The rest of the funds are used by Church World Service to address hunger, water, and relief needs around the world.


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. 

We are providing two opportunities for conversation:

  1. October 10 after Sunday School from Noon-1:00pm with cheese, fruit, crackers provided.
  2. Thursday, October 14 from 5:30-6:30pm, also with snacks. 

Childcare will be offered as needed at either or both gatherings – 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.


A life in poverty, before we can alleviate poverty, we must try to understand it.  October 11:  11am-1pm or 5:30-7pm.  This free event  is sponsored by United Way of Reno County and Resilience Reno County .  Call 620-669-9329 to register.   Spots are limited.  Pizza provided.


Our church is celebrating its 100th year next weekend.   Part of our celebration will be a hymn sing followed by a contemporary worship concert on Saturday, October the 9th beginning around 5:30 pm.   This will be at Lambert Park in Inman.   This is completely free, we won’t even take up a good will offering.  We would love to have the park filled with people worshipping and celebrating with us so if this is something you think your congregation would enjoy, please pass this information to them.


The mission supper will benefit STEP-MC, an agency giving families essential tools to get out of poverty.  This will be a carry out meal scheduled for Saturday, October 16, 2021, 5:00 – 6:30 featuring our traditional menu of German sausage, potatoes with gravy, creamed peas, applesauce, zwiebach and pie.  Cost is a free will offering with all proceeds going to support STEP-MC.  Call or text Barb (620-543-6863) or Teresa (620-242-2357) by October 10 to order meals to be picked up at the church, 43 13th Avenue, Inman.

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Fall Fun Volunteer Day!  Saturday, October 9, is a Work & Play Day for all ages. Come with your friends, your kids or grandkids and even your own work group! Let us know you’re coming so we have the best projects for your skills at 620-297-3290 or Please bring your water bottle and a sack lunch. Mask and distance at your own comfort level. Meet at the maintenance shed by the red apartment at 8:30am. Stick around afterwards for one last kayak or canoe ride or a hike around camp!

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

Weds., Oct. 6 – Bethel College Wind Ensemble concert, 7 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center

POSTPONED  till fall 2022!!!  Voices Together:  Worship and the Arts  –  5th Biennial Symposium . 

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.


Check out these informative webinars hosted by Everence Financial®.

  • October 5 @ 6:30pm – Making Medicare an easy step
  • October 11 @ 6:30pm – Maximizing your year-end giving 

The online events are free. To register, or for more information, visit or contact the Everence office at 316-283-3800, 877-467-7294, or You’ll also find a link to previously recorded webinars.  Check it out – these are very helpful tools for financial planning.


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.