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This week at FMC

September 22-28, 2021

“I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil 1:3-6) 

My cup is overflowing with blessings because of all of you, and I can easily resonate with Paul’s words to the church in Philippi!  As I sat and opened card after card Sunday afternoon I felt so surrounded by love, grace, and abundance.  Thank you for so graciously celebrating the 20th anniversary of my ordination with me. 😊 I am so grateful to be among you all.  AND, I am very much looking forward to, together, celebrating First Mennonite’s 100th anniversary next year!

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.??

— 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, SEPTEMBER 26:   I’ve Been Meaning to Ask…where are you from?  

(Genesis 2:4b-15; John 1:35-51)

  • Preacher:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader:  Stephanie Gehring
  • Children’s Time:  Lona Willems
  • Scripture Reader:  Jean Gaeddert
  • Organist:  Pauline Buller
  • Ushers:   Jennalee & Dennis Boggs
  • 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, 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 25 – FMC serves at the Soup Kitchen
  • September 26 – M&M meets 11:00am-12:30pm, including CROP WALK & Lunch
  • September 28 – Faith Formation Coordination Team – 4:00pm
  • October 3 – Hymn Sing on the church parking lot – 4:00pm
  • October 10 – Community Assistance conversation – 12:00-1:00pm
  • October 10 – Guess Who’s Coming to the Yard!? – 5:00pm (sign up by September 29)
  • October 14 – Community Assistance conversation – 5:30-6:30pm
  • October 17 – Guess Who’s Coming to the Yard!? – 5:00pm (sign up by September 29)

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 are you from?” – SEPT 26 WORSHIP

Starting this Sunday we’ll be exploring questions beginning with: “I’ve been meaning to ask…”  This is a question emerging out of an awareness of the other, indicating they’ve been on our mind, and there is something we’re wondering.  There is curiosity in this question, which must also be paired with respect.  This first week we’ll ask: where are you from?  We’ll explore Genesis 2:4b-15 and John 1:35-51.  Guided by Genesis 2, we’ll remember we are all shaped from the same dust of the earth – we’re all from the same place.  And, as we listen to John 1, we’ll remember everyone has a different story to tell.  We’ll commit to disrupting our assumptions (“Can anything good come out of Nazareth??”) and staying curious (“Come and see!”).  

There is a study journal available for this series, including artwork, scripture reflections, and questions for journaling.  Hard copies are available in the foyer, and I’ll also be sending the journal out electronically each week.  The journal covers the 4 main themes, which we’ll address on Sept 26, Oct 10, Oct 17, and Oct 24.

Coming up..

  • Oct 3:  I’ve been meaning to ask … an invitation to curiosity, courage and connection. OUTDOOR WORSHIP (weather permitting) with COMMUNION and fellowship.
  • Oct 10:  I’ve Been Meaning to Ask… where does it hurt?  Rebecca Shetler preaching
  • 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
  • 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. 

  • September 26: Jesus is the Peace (Dr. Meghan Larissa Good is Teaching Pastor at Trinity Mennonite Church in Glendale, Arizona and author of The Bible Unwrapped: Making Sense of Scripture Today.) 
  • October 3: Feel the Peace (Ana Alicia Hinojosa is from Brownsville, Texas and works for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Central States as Immigration Education Coordinator)
  • October 10: Bring the Peace.  (Glen Guyton currently serves as the Executive Director for Mennonite Church USA.) 


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!!


Pastor Tonya is seeking a few individuals to help with Advent planning, using worship resources prepared by Worship Designs (see synopsis below).  A variety of resources are provided for us to adapt and use as we wish, including visuals (involving a door!), music, words for worship, and more.  If you’d be interested in helping give shape to our Advent Worship services or some specific aspect of it, please let Pastor Tonya know ASAP.  At least 1-2 meetings would likely be involved. 

Advent 2021 Theme synopsis:  The pandemic has laid bare, and widened, economic disparity locally and globally. As we enter the Advent season, how can our churches become houses where the Holy will be born anew–offering respite, sustenance and care, opening the doors ever wider to those seeking shelter from the onslaught of life? No one church can do it all, but each can do something. As we study the biblical prophets that call us to care for our neighbors and “make room in the inn,” the lonely and frightened spaces within us are filled with the light of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.  (created by Worship Designs, used with permission)


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…

M&M (Mentor & Mentee) – SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 26!

M&M’s will gather in the sanctuary this coming Sunday @ 11:00am for conversation, learning about the CROP WALK, and taking a symbolic walk in solidarity with those around the world who must walk long distances to find water or food.  We’ll have lunch together and end by 12:30pm.


Anyone up for a hymn sing??  Join the Wenger’s (at least some of them!) outside at the church on Sunday October 3! Bring your own chairs (just leave them in your trunk after worship in the morning!), water bottles, voices, other instruments if you want, and requests for songs to sing!  We will try to physically distance between family groups as much as possible, and enjoy singing the songs of our faith together.  Hymn books will be provided.


The Faithful Community Coordination Team invites you to participate in our fall GUESS WHO’S COMING TO THE YARD? event.  Sign up to be a host (of 6-8 people) or a guest on either Oct 10 or 17 @ 5:00pm. Please sign up by SEPT 29 on the sheet on the table in the foyer (indicate whether you want to be a guest or host, and which dates you prefer) or call/email the church office (

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. 

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.


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 Juliet Nisly, Sadie Nisly, or Kevin Martin Nisly ASAP to volunteer.

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

CHANGE!!  Camp Mennoscah’s Annual Meeting will be held September 26 at 3:30pm at Hope Mennonite Church (Wichita KS).  The dessert auction and hymn sing have been canceledIf you wish to join the annual meeting virtually, Click here for Camp Mennoscah’s Annual Meeting!  Join us to look back on our memorable past summer and look forward to where camp is going in the next year and beyond.

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. 

We need help mowing!  The grass that is usually cut short is doing its best to compete with the tallgrass prairie in height.  Volunteer to mow (with a riding lawn mower) for whatever length of time you can offer or grab a string trimmer to chase back those wily weeds.  Contact Camp Mennoscah at or 620-297-3290.

There are volunteer opportunities for you (and a Wish List)! 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.  See the attached Wish List for other ways to support Camp Mennoscah!

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, put your check in the offering plate on Sundays, or place in the designated envelop in the foyer OR (2) Donate securely on-line for the First Mennonite Team at:

If you have questions, contact Pastor Tonya.  Thank you for your already generous donations!!


Check out the Resource Library’s new Reading Challenges through the Beanstack platform.  Find out more at or find the Beanstack App in the Apple or Google Play Store. 

For the fall:

  • Ages 12 and up can participate in the “10 to Try Challenge” (Try reading books from the Resource Library in 10 categories).
  • Ages 0-12 can participate in the “Bullying Prevention Month Challenge” during September and October.
  • Ages 0-5 can participate in the “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge.”

We look forward to the new opportunities to engage with you through these challenges as we grow in faith together.  Please contact the library with any questions.  WDC Resource Library-

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Thursday, Sept. 30 – KIPCOR Peace Lecture with Mark McCormick, “Peace: It’s a Choice,” 7 p.m., in Memorial Hall. McCormick is a former columnist for the Wichita Eagle and former executive director of The Kansas African American Museum in Wichita, and is currently director of strategic communications for the ACLU of Kansas. Bethel’s current COVID-19 protocols require mask-wearing indoors, and physical distancing to the extent possible, regardless of vaccination status.

Bethel College’s Fall Festival is Sept. 30-Oct. 3, with most activities taking place Saturday, Oct. 2, on campus. Features include music, food, class reunions, football, the comedy The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), and the STEM Symposium honoring Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Richard Zerger. See for the complete schedule.

BAKERS AND CRAFTERS NEEEDED! Help support the 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 Festival 2021.  Peppernuts, zwieback, cinnamon rolls, coffeecakes are popular items! Bring your pies (no refrigerated or custard pies please) to Seminar A in Schultz Student Center from 4:00-6:30pm on Friday, October 1, or 8:00-11:00am on Saturday, October 2. Baked goods and crafts can be dropped off at the Luyken Fine Arts Center Rm 140 on Friday 1-30-4-30pm or Saturday 7:00-8:00am. All proceeds go to Bethel College.  Check with Joretta Martens if you wish to donate items and need help getting them to Bethel. 

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

More information at

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).

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 (

One highlight from the September Bulletin Announcements:

Join the denomination-wide “CommonRead.” Mennonite Church USA, Mennonite Church Canada and Herald Press are partnering to encourage every Mennonite to read carefully selected books to equip the church during this time. This fall, the CommonRead book is “Tongue-Tied: Learning the Lost Art of Talking About Faith” by Sara Wenger Shenk. Learn more here:  NOTE: One copy of this book is available for you to check out in the church library from Pastor Tonya’s collection in front of the window.

EVERENCE  hosts informative webinars in October

Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 5, Everence Financial® will host three informative webinars. Topics include Making Medicare an easy stepMaximizing your year-end giving and Estate planning basics. 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


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.