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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – April 5-11, 2023

As we journey further into Holy Week, I invite you to take time to enter into and listen to this tender story of friendship, love and insight in the midst of turmoil and conflict.  Who do you identify with most in this story and why?  What emotions or thoughts come to the surface? Do you hear any invitation emerging in this story for you?

6-9 When Jesus was at Bethany, a guest of Simon the Leper, a woman came up to him as he was eating dinner and anointed him with a bottle of very expensive perfume. When the disciples saw what was happening, they were furious. “That’s criminal! This could have been sold for a lot and the money handed out to the poor.” 

10-13 When Jesus realized what was going on, he intervened. “Why are you giving this woman a hard time? She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives, but not me. When she poured this perfume on my body, what she really did was anoint me for burial. You can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she has just done is going to be remembered and admired.”

14-16 That is when one of the Twelve, the one named Judas Iscariot, went to the cabal of high priests and said, “What will you give me if I hand him over to you?” They settled on thirty silver pieces. He began looking for just the right moment to hand him over.  

Matthew 26:6-16 (The Message)

—Pastor Tonya

SUNDAY MORNING Worship at 9:30am 

The link to join is on our website:  Join 5 minutes early for announcements.

COLD,  FLU and COVID-19 safety suggestions

Along with recommending that everyone traveling on planes, trains, buses, and other public transportation wear masks, the CDC also recommends that as COVID-19 numbers and other illness spike, wearing a mask indoors in public spaces is a good idea. Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Get tested if you have symptoms. Stay home if you are not feeling well. 

SUNDAY, APRIL 9 – Easter Sunday

Matthew 28:1-10

  • Preacher & Scripture Reader: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader: Maggie Pounds
  • Song Leader: TBA
  • Worship Music: Choir with Calvin Buller, director; Cathia Krehbiel, cellist
  • Children’s Time: Adam Pounds
  • Organist: Pauline Buller
  • Ushers: Dohn & Jeanette Fast
  • Nursery Attendant: Stephanie Gehring
  • Sound Tech: Adam Pounds
  • Live Stream Tech: Joel Iwashige


During each worship service, you are invited to text your prayer joys and concerns – usually to Pastor Tonya.  You are also invited 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 and after worship.  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 to the church office by Thursday each week. 


We welcome, and are grateful for, your financial donations to our ministry here in Hutchinson.  Instead of collecting an offering during worship (except on special occasions), an offering box is placed at the back of the sanctuary for your Sunday morning donations.  You can also now make a donation directly from our website ( using a credit card or your banking account.  You are also welcome to send a check to 52 Rambler Rd Hutchinson KS 67502. 

THE LAND IS NOT EMPTY (by Sarah Augustine) . . . book study invitation open to everyone

You are invited to join an FMC study group, which will be reading and discussing this book over the next 5 months. Discussion will take place here at FMC on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 1:00pm, April through August. Our first meeting will be April 19, at 1:00pm at FMC. Please speak with Julie Goering if you would like to join us. The book is available for purchase through local book sellers or on-line vendors. The author of this book, Sarah Augustine, will be joining us for worship on July 9, during her time in Hutchinson helping lead the Coalition to Dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery Annual Meeting, which will be held here at FMC that weekend.  We look forward to opportunities to learn from her and others in the Coalition, and anticipate a thoughtful discussion of her work in this book.  In the book, “Augustine unpacks the harm of the Doctrine of Discovery—a set of laws rooted in the fifteenth century that gave Christian governments the moral and legal right to seize lands they ‘discovered’ despite those lands already being populated by Indigenous Peoples. The laws were legitimized by the church and justified by a misreading of Scripture.”


Our process is now in the hands of Rev. Lee Lever, our consultant provided through our connection with Western District Conference. Rev. Lever is preparing his report of the review, which he will present to the congregation on April 30. This will be held during the Sunday school hour.


  • April 5 (Wed)-April 7 (Fri) – Stations of the Cross at FMC (details below)
  • April 6 – Maundy Thursday Meal/Worship with Communion @ 6pm
  • April 7 – Community Good Friday Service @ Noon (Trinity UMC)
  •                Evening @ FMC – Stations of the Cross open for personal meditation and prayer
  • April 9 – Easter Breakfast Potluck @ 9am (bring dish to share and your own table service); Worship @ 10am
  • April 10 – Craft Night @ 6:30pm, Fellowship Hall
  • April 14-15 – Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale – State Fair grounds
  • April 23 – Celebration and dedication of our new hymnals, Voices Together

REMINDER:  If you are last one out of the church building, be SURE the doors lock behind you.

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 Thursdays (in person @ FMC) from 12:30-1:30pm.  If you’d like to learn more, contact Pastor Tonya.     

LPC: Listening-Prayer-Conversation Groups —  NO APRIL GATHERINGS

Two monthly LPC (Listening-Prayer-Conversation) groups are offered each month.  Due to Pastor Tonya’s schedule, these groups will NOT meet in April.


On Easter morning you are all invited to come for a potluck brunch at 9:00am followed by worship at 10:00am.  There will be no Sunday School. 


We often refer to Lent as a journey toward the cross with Jesus.  During Holy Week we give opportunity at First Mennonite to physically walk with Jesus through a series of “Stations of the Cross” set up in our church foyer, Common Grounds room, and sanctuary.  This year we especially invite you to come on the evening of Good Friday to experience this journey.  There will not be a communal worship service, but the stations will be open for your praying. The Stations of the Cross will be open as follows:

  • Wed April 5..10am-4:00pm,
  • Thu April 6..noon-8pm and
  • Fri April 7..1-8pm.


Everyone is invited to the Community Good Friday service on Friday, April 7, 2023, 12:00 noon in the sanctuary of Trinity United Methodist Church, 1602 North Main, Hutchinson.  Pastor Tonya will participate in leading this service.  We will be taking a special offering for Salthawk Community Support. The mission of SCS is to work together to remove barriers to education for students in need at Hutchinson High School, Hutchinson Middle School 8, and MidTown at Avenue A. Many local churches (including First Mennonite) serve as partners in this program.  Following the service, everyone is invited to experience meaningful prayer stations that will be set up in a quiet room near the sanctuary. This will be a personal time of private prayer and meditation.


We are excited to welcome Cynthia Neufeld Smith, a member of the Voices Together Hymnal Committee, to lead us in a Dedication service of our new hymnal.  Cynthia is helping give shape to the service and will be bringing the sermon that morning as well. 


All Western District Conference women are invited to join this event sponsored by Western District Women in Mission on Tuesday, April 25. Jenny Gehman, spiritual director, retreat speaker, and writer, will present on “Holy Host: the Hospitality of God.” Join us in person or virtually. Our in-person gathering will be at First Mennonite Church in Newton, Kansas, beginning with a salad potluck at 6 p.m., followed by Jenny joining virtually from Pennsylvania at 6:45 p.m. There is no cost to this event, but please register by April 23 by emailing so you can receive a Zoom link if joining virtually. Please email your RSVP if attending in person and bring a salad to share. Church groups can consider gathering together to watch the Zoom. For more information, contact Wendy Schrag at 316-841-5245. 

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL  @ 11:00AM (except for the 5th Sundays of the month)

Preschool-8th Grade: SHINE! Curriculum:  Your Kingdom Come

  • Preschool-Kindergarten (basement – rooms 1&2)
  • 1st-5th (basement – rooms 5&6)
  • 6th-8th (upstairs to the right)

Senior Youth: 9th-12th grade (upstairs to the left)

ADULT Sunday School:

  1. Bible Study using the Salt & Light study guide meets in the Prayer Room in the basement. Copies are available in the classroom.
  2. The Adult Discussion/Study class meeting in the fellowship hall and on Zoom (contact Pastor Tonya for the zoom link).  Currently this class is viewing and discussing a webinar series titled “Beyond Incarceration:  A hard look at dismantling the prison system and building healthy communities offered by Mennonite Central Committee and Mennonite Church USA.  You can learn more and view the webinars yourself during the week at this link: Beyond Incarceration Webinar series
  3. “Younger Adults” Class meets in the adult education room in the basement.

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! devotional magazines

New issues of UPPER ROOM and Rejoice! are available above the mailboxes.  Please let us know if you would like a copy mailed to you.       

STRENGTHENING Community Connections…


  • Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 2:00pm  
  • Wednesday – 10:00am – 1:00pm (NO office hours on the 4th Wednesday of the month)


  • Monday: Day Off
  • Tuesday-Friday: generally working 8:00am-5:30pm 
  • “In 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)

4th Wednesdays** (8-5pm) set aside as “Day Apart with God” for silence, reading, prayer & journaling – will NOT be checking email or responding to texts/calls (except for emergencies)

***Upcoming Medical Leave – Tuesday April 11-April 18 (possibly longer as needed)*** 


Craft night is April 10, 6:30-8:00pm in the church Fellowship Hall. Bring your project – knitting, crocheting, other crafts – and enjoy this time of friendship and ministry together. Any questions . . . contact Cheryl Warkentin or Diane Ziemer.


We are looking for delegates from our congregation to attend MennoCon23 (Mennonite Church USA assembly in Kansas City) and/or Western District Conference Assembly, which will be held at Tabor Mennonite Church, rural Newton. Contact Jennalee Boggs if you are interested.  MennoCon23 is July 3-6, with the delegate assembly to follow July 7-8. Western District Conference annual assembly is August 11-13.


Volunteers are needed to take down the stations on Saturday morning April 8 at 8:30am.  Contact Pastor Tonya if you can help.  The Stations are available during Holy Week for your prayer and meditation.

ARMS WIDE OPEN – FMC’s history book

The amazing story of First Mennonite Church’s 100 years is told in the history book prepared for our centennial celebration. Copies of the book are available for $25.00 (cash or check). You can also now purchase a book online at a price that includes the cost of shipping (click on the “DONATE” button on our website to find this option).   Check with the church office to pick up a book.

STRETCHING to Serve as Christ Served…


APRIL: pasta

Personal care/hygiene items such as these are appreciated anytime: 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.


Donations of Chapstick and deodorant are always needed.  You can place these and other toiletries, along with any teenage appropriate clothing/shoes (a recent specific request was hoodies) in the basket at church or drop off directly at Trinity United Methodist Church.  Financial donations for ongoing program costs are also invited throughout the year. 


This pilot program is dedicated to growing the workforce in Hutchinson while creating a caring, supportive community for refugees who are starting new lives in the United States.  A number of people from FMC are exploring our involvement in creating a support group of 6-10 people to walk with a refugee family.  Check out  If you are interested in getting involved talk to any of the following, who are just some of those currently involved:  Jonathan Wenger, Joel Iwashige, Hilda Iwashige, Donna Davis. 


CarePortal creates connections between children and families in need and those who would like to help them. Caseworkers identify the needs, submit requests through the online system known as CarePortal, local church and nonprofit representatives and individuals are notified of the needs, and then help is provided.   Russ Gaeddert is the new Care Portal contact person for our congregation. He has started forwarding the needs that he receives from local case workers to the FMC email group. If you would like to help, you will respond to Russ and he will assist with making the connection so that the family is helped.

Thank you so much for the tremendous aid that you all have given in the past and for the ways you will help in the future!

KANSAS MENNONITE MEN’S CHORUS . . . We Sing that Others May Live

Concerts: April 16 – 7:00pm at Tabor College; April 23 – 7:00 at Bethel College.


Run For Relief. As we approach the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale in April, there are many ways in which to give to MCC. Please consider sponsoring a participant in the Run For Relief. Jean Gaeddert has participated each year, and is planning to do so again. Any amount donated would be appreciated! Thank you! (Cash or check made out to KMRS.)

The Bake Sale committee has requested 20 pies and 40 dozen zwieback from our church for the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale. Pie tins are available on a table in the foyer- there is no need to sign up. Just take what you need! Pies and any other baked goods that you’re willing to donate are to be taken to the fairgrounds by 10 am on Friday, April 14. If you aren’t able to deliver your foods, Todd and I will see that they get to the right place if they are at the church by 9:45 am on Friday. Please label your pies (for example: cherry) and other baked goods, especially type of bread. No cream pies can be accepted.
Thanks for sharing your time, resources and talents to help take care of people in need!  -Julie Esau

Invitation to make extra contributions to support earth-friendly containers for use at KMRS.

The KMRS Board of Directors affirms our desire to be good stewards of all of our resources including God’s creation. Towards that end the Board supports and encourages both the Purchasing Committee, as well as other agents of the KMRS, to use as many biodegradable and/or earth friendly products as is reasonably possible. We are aware and acknowledge that despite our best efforts some biodegradable/earth friendly products may not be available through established suppliers. We are also aware of the potential for increased cost and will encourage churches and individuals to make increased donations to the sale, earmarked for this endeavor, to reduce and eliminate over time the use of non-biodegradable products.

Volunteer your Time . . . volunteer by clicking on this volunteer signup page  Click here on the DONATE page and see how you can publicize items you wish to donate to the auctions or volunteer your TIME.

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Summer Youth Camp Registration is now open! We welcome you to register here for the upcoming summer season!  Detailed information about our Summer Youth Camps and our Program Directors can be found here, on the Camp Mennoscah website.

Nurses and kitchen staff needed for summer youth camps.  Nurses are needed for the weeks of June 18-23, Junior I Camp, and July 9-14, Junior High II Camp. Head cooks needed for PreJunior I, June 11-15, and PreJunior II, June 25-29. Kitchen helpers and volunteers are needed for the majority of camp weeks. Be part of an amazing, faith-filled camp experience! Contact us at 620-297-3290 or

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Now in the Regier Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College – “Printing on the Plains: Woodcuts by Ian Huebert,” through Fri., April 14 (artist reception April 13). Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 2-4 p.m.

Weds., April 5 – Bethel College Chamber Orchestra concert, directed by Kristopher Hilding, 7 p.m. Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center

Thurs., April 6 – Junior recital by Isaac Tice, voice, 7 p.m.Administration Building chapel

Sat., April 15 – Joint junior recital by Bethel College students Angelika Donaldson, voice, and Eli Regier, saxophone, 7 p.m.Administration Building chapel

Sun., April 16 – KIPCOR Film Series presents Thirst for Justice, 2 p.m.Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center. This documentary looks at three citizen groups fighting for clean water, in the Navajo Nation, Flint, Mich., and Standing Rock. An audience talkback follows the film. Free and open to the public, with a freewill offering taken to support KIPCOR and the film series.

Sun., April 16 – Senior recital by Bethel College student Julianna Schrag, voice, 4 p.m.Administration Building chapel

Sun., April 16 – Junior recital by Bethel College student Phillip Balzer, piano, 7 p.m.Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center

Mon., April 17 – Rachel Stroer, president of The Land Institute, Salina, speaks at Bethel College on “Leading a Global Movement for Diverse Perennial Grain Futures,” 7 p.m.Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center.Stroer will also speak in convocation at 11 a.m. (Krehbiel Auditorium) and at 2 p.m. in the Conservation Biology class (Krehbiel Science Center #121). Sponsored by the Bethel College Women’s Association and supported by BCWA’s Carolyn Schultz Lecture Endowment.

Now in the Regier Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College – “Printing the Plains: Relief Prints by Ian Huebert,” through Fri., April 14. Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 2-4 p.m.

Sun., April 30 – Masterworks concert at Bethel College, featuring the Bethel College Oratorio Chorus, orchestra and soloists