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This week at FMC

September 1-7, 2021

Table of Contents

2022 is almost here, and we are preparing to celebrate!!  The idea of starting a Mennonite mission church in Hutchinson KS was discussed as early as 1911 by the Western District Conference, with the first service in Hutchinson taking place at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Sawatzky on April 20, 1913.  On April 9, 1922 a constitution was voted on by those currently participating in what was then known as the Hutchinson Mennonite Mission, making the church official.  There were 38 people present that morning, at which time they also approved a change in the name to: Hutchinson Mennonite Church (in 1939 that the name was changed to First Mennonite Church).  

Planning has been happening for over a year now for our Centennial Celebration weekend October 22-23, 2022, and important updates were shared at our August 29, 2021 Congregational Meeting.  A summary of those updates is shared below from the committee (Delon Martens, Russ Gaeddert, Julie Esau, Julie Goering, Pastor Tonya):

At Sunday’s (August 29, 2021) Congregational Meeting, the Centennial Committee reported on two major events relating to the centennial celebration in October 2022.  As had been shared at previous meetings, plans were moving forward to construct a house for a family in need in our community.  The more the committee reflected on this project and its impact on just one family, the more apparent it became that there might be other projects where an even greater impact could be made in the Hutchinson community.  In a visit with Interfaith Housing, this was the topic of conversation and they offered a number of projects to consider.  The project that was ultimately chosen to be involved in is called the Lighthouse Project.  This is a house in the 1100 block of North Washington that is currently being remodeled for homeless youth who are 18-21 years old.  The plan is to have 8 one-bedroom studio apartments in the building.  They are currently in the process of removing walls in the demolition process.  In fact our Youth Group has assisted in the demolition process.  While our exact involvement is still to be determined, it will involve a financial commitment and very likely manual labor as well as sponsoring and furnishing one of the apartments.  It is an exciting project for the Hutchinson community and one that fits in with our church’s having gotten in on the start of Friendship Day Care and the Et Cetera Shop.  As more is learned, it will be shared.  For now, suffice it to say that this is a wonderful opportunity for us at FMC to give back to our city.  A kickoff to introduce FMC to Interfaith’s Lighthouse Project is tentatively scheduled for a Sunday in October 2021.

The other centennial sharing had to do with our church’s history.  June Galle Krehbiel from Moundridge has agreed to update the history written for our 75th anniversary as well as help put together additional stories and historical notes that are a part of who we are.  However, in order for her to do this, stories are needed.  Without a doubt, there are many stories that many of you could tell about FMC and your involvement in the church.  These are the stories being requested.  A submission form has been created and will be sent out electronically in the next week and will also be available next Sunday, September 5, in the foyer.  We are also exploring having a fillable form on our website – stay tuned for more information about this option!!  This form gives details on how to write and submit your stories.  There is no limit on how many stories you may submit.  You are also asked to share this form and request for stories with family members, friends, and. former members.  They, too, have stories to share!  More information on this opportunity will also be shared in the coming weeks. 


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, SEPTEMBER 5:  Season of Creation – A Home for All?

A Home and a Hope for the Future

(Job 1:1; 2:1-10; Psalm 26; Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12; Mark 10:2-16)

  • Preacher:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader:  Heidi Unruh
  • Children’s Time:  Heidi Unruh
  • Scripture Reader:  Pauline Buller
  • Pianist:  Peggy Stucky
  • Ushers:   Russ Wedel & Diane Ziemer
  • 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. 


  • September 1 – Congregation Ministry Team and all Coordination Teams – 7:00pm
  • September 16 – Congregation Ministry Team meeting –  4:30pm
  • September 26 – M&M meets 11:00am-12:30pm.

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. 


The legacy and legends of Saint Francis have inspired many to care more deeply and intentionally for all of creation as our ‘brothers and sisters’ sharing planet Earth with us.  And so, with the gifts of the Saint Francis peace prayer still in your hearts, we’ve been exploring how our life with God impacts ALL of creation and asking what we can do to truly make this a home for all.  This coming Sunday will bring that series to a close as we explore Season of Creation: A Home for All?  A Home and a Hope for the Future.


We look forward to dedicating Bibles for our Kindergarteners, 3rd, and 7th graders on our annual Bible Dedication and Sunday School Teacher Blessing Sunday.


Each year we are encouraged by Mennonite World Conference, Mennonite Church USA, and Mennonite Central Committee to observe a Peace Sunday on the Sunday closest to Sept 21, designated forty years ago by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Day of Peace. Both Mennonite World Conference and Mennonite Central Committee have provided resources for this worship service, which we will be resourcing for our worship on September 19.  Interestingly, both have chosen aspects of HOPE to explore.  Mennonite World Conference: Finding Hope and Healing amid Crisis. And Mennonite Central Committee: Defending Hope.


The Fall Sunday School session will begin on Sunday September 12 (NOT Sept 5 as previously announced!).  We will continue with the 10:45am start schedule for Sunday School for now.

Classes for children and youth: Living as God’s People (SHINE Curriculum from MennoMedia)

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

For Adults:

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

Adult Bible Study/Discussion – September 12, 19 and 26 gather in the basement Fellowship Hall for discussion of sermons from MC USA Convention in July on the theme of “Bring the Peace.”  What does peacemaking mean and look like today in our hearts/minds, churches, and world?


The teaching schedule for this fall is largely falling into place, although a few more volunteers would ease some scheduling dilemmas.  If you’d be willing to help, even as a sub or teaching every now and then, contact Pastor Tonya to see what the open dates and needs are.  Thank you!!


Do you have old magazines sitting around (National Geographic, Time, etc.) you’d like to donate for use in our Sunday School classes?  There is a box ready for your donations under the table outside the sanctuary.  Thanks!!

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… 


All of our Coordination Teams (Faith Formation, Faithful Community, Faithful Service and Outreach, and Faithful Stewardship) will gather with the CMT on WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 1 at 7:00pm!!  We’ll check in with each other and get back to some basics as we explore questions like: “What is the church and why does it exist?” and more. 

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…


One way First Mennonite shares resources with our community is by responding to individuals who call the church during the week seeking assistance with rent, bills, food, etc.  For quite a few years now Star Gipson has been responding to these phone calls on behalf of First Mennonite and the Community Assistance Committee (which is currently Todd Esau, Fred Wade, Jim Unruh and Star). Star has brought her unique blending of skills and knowledge to discern the best ways to help in a given circumstance.  We want to extend a deep THANK YOU! to Star for this vital ministry that has touched the lives of many. 

Star has decided to retire from this volunteer position at the end of August, although she will continue to be our Care Portal representative.  That means we have been in the midst of looking at how we will move forward, and are wondering if any of you feel called to pick up this ministry, or some portion of it, on behalf of the congregation?  Please contact Todd Esau or Pastor Tonya if you would like to explore more whether this would be a good fit for you. Thank you!!! 


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.


The Soup Kitchen is now serving on site and delivery. Here are volunteer positions needed for September 25.

  • Food preparation 2:00-3:30pm
  • Delivery route 4:00-5:30pm
  • Serve & clean up 4:45-6:00

Call Jane or Eldon Wagler, or Juliet Nisly or Kevin Martin Nisly directly to volunteer.

FIRST CALL FOR HELP – school supplies are still needed

School supplies (new items only) are needed as children in our community go back to school this fall.  Pick up the list of needed supplies from the table in the foyer.  Please drop off your items at 12 West 2nd Ave. (Tue or Thu 10am-3:30pm; or Wed 9am-noon). 

Cash donations are appreciated and a philanthropic donor has offered to match all financial donations.  Checks payable to First Call for Help (memo – School Supplies), mailed to PO Box 2203, Hutchinson KS 67504. 


Are you sad that summer is coming to an end?  Come out and have a great night of fun and entertainment at the Community Fun Night!   Saturday, September 4, starting at 5:30pm at Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church, 43 13th Avenue, Inman. 

  • There will be a Cornhole Tournament ($20 entry fee, cash prizes, registration 5:30-600); Kids’ activities (inflatables, face painting, water games); Car Show; Food Vendors (Epp Soul Food and Patrick Klassen); Drive-in Movie on the lawn at dark. 
  • Everyone’s welcome!  Bring your family and friends as we celebrate the end of summer!!  Find Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church on Facebook for more details. 

TRACTOR DRIVERS . . . for State Fair Shuttle Wagon

The Kansas State Fair will be here in just over a week.  As a service to fair goers a shuttle wagon is provided to deliver visitors from the parking lots to fair gates.  In the past FMC has provided drivers for the shuttle wagon.  That is again being requested this year for Saturday, September 18.  Four people are needed to drive in 3 hour shifts beginning at 10:00 a.m.  Complimentary fair passes will be provided to drivers.  If you are interested in driving the shuttle, please contact Delon Martens at 620-960-9471 or 

Helping in this way reduces our payment to the fair for use of the grounds for the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale each spring.  

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

September 26 is a Camp Mennoscah Combo!  It’s the Hymn Sing-Dessert Auction and Annual Meeting all in one!  There are still details to be determined, but plan on some hymn singing (masked & distanced), bidding on delectable desserts, and information about Camp Mennoscah’s year.  We’ll keep the details coming your way!

There are volunteer opportunities for you! Camp Mennoscah has year-round work to support the maintenance and upkeep of the campus and facilities. 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. 

Camp Mennoscah is seeking a full-time Director of Development, Marketing & Communications to lead our ongoing operational and advancement needs.  This position reports directly to the Board of Directors while taking directive from the Executive Director when related to operational considerations.  This role involves organizing broad-based fundraising initiatives, advocating for Camp Mennoscah through speaking engagements, promotional materials, and social media, as well as recruiting volunteers, and building relationships with board members, donors and staff.  Additional expectations and application details – contact :  Olivia at 

Camp Mennoscah also has openings for a part-time custodial/housekeeping position (10 hours) and a part-time office/administrative position (30 hours).  Contact Olivia for more information.

FOSTER PARENTS ARE NEEDED! . . . Saint Francis Foster Care

Just as children come from all walks of life, so do foster parents.  You do not have to be wealthy, live in a big house, or be married.  You simply need room in your heart and in your home to give children a safe space to heal and build hope.  Classes for foster parents will be offered at Grace Bible Church on Tuesdays starting September 21 (10 weeks), 6:00-9:00pm.  Call Jocelyn Busick (620-282-9555)or

CROP Hunger Walk, Sunday, September 26 – NOW VIRTUAL!

You are invited to support the Reno County CROP Hunger Walk sponsored by Church World Service! The Reno County Food Bank and the Christian Soup Ministry receive a quarter of funds; the rest supports global ministries with people who need food, water, and shelter.  Our Mentor and Mentee group will be doing a symbolic walk on Sunday September 26 during their gathering.  We invite you to make a donation to support this important ministry.  By September 26, you can: (1) Write a check to “CWS-CROP.” Write “First Mennonite Church” on the memo line. Mail to our church or put your check in the offering plate at church on Sunday, or you can mail it directly to Emanuel Lutheran Church, 140 E. 30th Avenue, Hutchinson, KS 67502 OR (2) Donate securely on-line  at  Click “Donate,” then “Make a General Donation.”

If you have questions, contact Pastor Tonya.  Thank you for helping our neighbors in need!


WDC Resource Library

I’ve had children and books on my mind lately.  More specifically the amazing way books can help children explore their feelings, deal with difficult emotions, and talk about hard things.  Sometimes adults need tools to do similar work with emotions and other difficult topics.  When I teach Literature for Children and Young Adults, I try to impress upon my students the benefits of using picture books with readers of all ages to explore feelings and situations.  At the WDC Resource Library, we have many other great resources for readers of all ages to engage tough topics like sexual abuse prevention and response, forgiveness, affirming differences, intercultural competence and more. Did you know you can browse the online catalog at Check out the booklists on various topics or contact me at for ideas.  Whether it’s modeling prayer for young children, helping an older child prepare for the new school year and how to handle bullies, or providing an avenue for adults to explore a tough topic in a fresh way, books can be a helpful tool. Let me help you find just what you need.        – Jennie Wintermote, WDC Resource Library Director

WDC Women’s Retreat . . . September 11-12 (in-person).   All women 13 years and older are invited to Camp Mennoscah for Women’s Retreat.  Kathy Neufeld Dunn will be our main speaker on Re/Connecting with God and Each Other.  Whether we need time to reconnect with God, with our sisters in Christ or both, Women’s Retreat is a chance to do that.  Join us for a special time of focus on spiritual and emotional connection with each other and the One who loves us and cares for us beyond imagining.   Covid rules and restrictions will be followed, and a few things will look different so please read the information carefully.  We hope to see there!   Click here for information and registration forms:  


Join MCC in prayer and support for those suffering in our world. MCC has prepositioned relief materials in Haiti for immediate use. Earlier this month an additional shipment of supplies was sent to Haiti and is expected to arrive in September. MCC continues to respond to needs around the world in Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Congo and other crisis areas. We greatly appreciate your monetary donations to keep current projects going and to help with extra expenses due to recent disasters; and we could use your help in replenishing our supplies of relief kits and hygiene kits. Questions can be directed to 316.283.2720 or

It ISN’T just for lawyers! MCC U.S. is holding a Basic Immigration Law Training, September 13-17, 2021, in Akron, PA. The training will be conducted using the curriculum of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC).  This course will help to provide the necessary training component for individuals who wish to apply for accreditation from the Department of Justice.   DOJ recognition and accreditation  allows non-attorneys working at non-profit organizations to practice immigration law.  For details and registration information:


This new exhibit examines what is known about e-cigarettes, and includes selections from the exhibit “Better Choose Me: Collecting and Creating with Tobacco Fabric Novelties, 1880-1920.” Previously on display at NMC Health in Newton, “Vapes” will be at Kauffman Museum on the Bethel College campus through Jan. 9, 2022. Hours: Tues.-Fri., 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun., 1:30-4:30 p.m., closed Mondays and major holidays. There is a small admission charge for non-museum members.

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Saturday, Sept. 4 – Kauffman Museum’s monthly bird walk will be a special event in cooperation with the Kansas Humanities Council: a book and poetry walk with Megan Kaminski and Molly Zahn from the University of Kansas. Start time: 9:30 a.m. at the museum’s front door. For more information, call 316-283-1612 or e-mail

Sunday, Sept. 12 – KIPCOR Film Series resumes live, with The Prison Within2 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College. Individuals incarcerated in San Quentin Prison and charged with murder take a journey of redemption through participation in a restorative justice program. Talk-back to follow. Bethel’s COVID-19 protocols require physical distancing and mask-wearing indoors regardless of vaccination status.

Save the date: Mark McCormick, director of strategic communications for the ACLU of Kansas, will give the next KIPCOR Peace Lecture, Thursday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m., on the Bethel campus as part of Bethel’s Fall Festival. Details to come!

Bakers and Crafters Needed!  Help support Bethel College Women’s Association by donating pies for BCWA’s Pie-By-The-Slice booth or any baked item or craft item for the Market in the Round at Fall Fest 2021. Peppernuts, zwieback, cinnamon rolls, and coffee cakes are popular items! Pies will be needed on either Friday, October 1 or Saturday, October 2. Baked goods and craft items will be needed by Friday 1:30-4:30pm.  More details will follow.  All proceeds go to support Bethel College.

Voices Together: Worship and the Arts  –  5th Biennial Symposium . . . November 5-8.  SAVE THE DATE!

More information at


Registration is Open – Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship Annual Gathering, Online: September 17-19, 2021. Mennonite Health Fellowship (MHF) is hosting its virtual Annual Gathering in September. All with an interest in healthcare from a faith perspective are welcome to attend, and all MHF members are encouraged to attend at least part of the weekend. Registration and information are on the MHF website at The theme for the weekend is Fostering Provider Resilience with a special 2-hour Introduction to Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) in partnership with Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute. MHF is open to those serving in all areas of healthcare, including mental health, public health, health administration, and more. Register today! We look forward to connecting with you!

MC USA announcements

Mennonite Church USA offers a wealth of opportunities to learn about events in the wider church through on-line conversations that stimulate our faith development and engagement with folks across our country.   This link connects you to topics about faith, immigration, nutrition and health, accessibility for all in the faith family, handling our emotions of grief and anger, poverty, advocacy and power.  Join the conversation!

 September Bulletin Announcements (