Skip to content
This week at FMC

September 29-October 5, 2021

Family of faith,

as you leave this place, may God grant you

the curiosity to counter assumptions,

the vulnerability to befriend,

the bravery to speak your truth,

the wisdom to listen,

the strength to ask for help,

the resiliency to chose love, even when it’s hard,

and the awareness of the Holy Spirit always beside you.

In the name of the Great Connector—Love itself,

go in peace. 

Prayer by Rev. Sarah Are | A Sanctified Art LLC |

These words, which sent us out from worship this past Sunday, summarize well some of the hopes of the new worship series we’ve begun: “I’ve been meaning to ask…”

Hopefully you carried with you the Conversation Card you were given when you arrived at worship.  My invitation to you is to ask yourself the question, and also engage someone else in conversation this week around the same question. For those of you who were not able to be in person for worship, here are a few of the questions offered, for you to choose from: 

  1. How many places have you lived or visited? What place(s) have you loved? What place feels most like home?
  2. Is there a story behind your given name or your surname? If you have a nickname or chosen name how is this name meaningful to you?
  3. Share about a family member or close friend who has shaped who you are.  How has this person impacted your life?
  4. Share a memory from your childhood.
  5. If you feel comfortable, share anything you know about your ancestry or ethnicity. What stories have been passed down to you? What stories or information are missing? In what ways does your story of origin hold pain, and in what ways does it hold promise?
  6. What’s something you love or celebrate about yourself?

— 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 3:   I’ve been meaning to ask … a series for curiosity, courage and connection.  OUTDOOR Service:  Creative Worship & Fellowship, observing Communion together

(John 15:9-17)

  • Preacher:  Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader:  Star Gipson
  • Children’s Time:  DeAnna Goering
  • Scripture Reader:  Diane Ziemer
  • Keyboardist:  Pauline Buller
  • Ushers:   Don Wiens & Russell Goering
  • Sound:  Micah Wenger & Adam Pounds
  • 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 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… an invitation to curiosity, courage and connection – OCT 3 WORSHIP

This Sunday, weather permitting, we’ll be outside for worship.  This will be a creative worship and fellowship event, focused around John 15:9-17, conversations with each other, and sharing in communion together.  Please bring your own chair (we will have some available at church!). 

This week I invite you to continue sitting with the pages for Week One in the Study Journal.  On Friday I’ll also send out Week Two’s artwork, scripture reflections, and journaling questions in anticipation of worship on October 10 (… where does it hurt?)

Hard copies of the journal are available in the foyer; an electronic version was sent earlier this 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 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. 

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.) 


We’re seeking volunteers beginning in December!!  Please contact Pastor Tonya or Cheryl Warkentin if you would be willing, or sign up on the sign up 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…


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.??


Many thanks to all of you who made a donation to the crop walk this year.  We raised just a little over $1,000 and had 10 Mentors and Mentees take a one mile walk on Sunday! 

THANK YOU from Calvin Buller

Thank you for the prayers, cards and expressions of concern during my recent bout with thyroid cancer.  I am recuperating well and regaining my strength.  I appreciate my church family.   – Calvin


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   (Vacation day:  Tuesday, October 5)
    • 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.


First Mennonite prepares, serves and delivers a meal at the soup kitchen every other month on the 4th Saturday of the month.  With Eldon and Jane Wagler’s departure, there is a need for another couple or adult(s) to help coordinate this service opportunity.  Please contact Pastor Tonya if you’d be willing.  Our next meal there is the Saturday after Thanksgiving.


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.

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. 

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!


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

Tues., Sept. 28 – Bethel College Chamber Orchestra concert, 7:30 p.m.Memorial Hall

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!  Check with Joretta Martens if you wish to donate items and need help getting them to Bethel. 

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

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).

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.