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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – August 16-22, 2023

May the peace of God be with you.

May the love of Christ dwell deep in your heart.

May the Spirit enlighten your way.

May you live in the comfort of God’s care.

(VT 843 Kirisuto no heiwa ga: “May the peace of Christ enter every corner of our hearts”; English stanza written by Lori True)

SUNDAY MORNING Worship at 9:30am 

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

EVEN IN SUMMER – COLDS,  FLU, COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses

Remember that every season brings opportunity for sharing unwanted illnesses. Do your part to prevent the spread. Stay home if you are not feeling well!

SUNDAY, AUGUST 20 – PEACE WITH CREATION: Celebrating the Harvest


Peacemakers share the bounty of the earth

Leviticus 23:33-43; Deuteronemy 16:13-15

  • Preacher: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader: Stephanie Gehring
  • Children’s Time: Adam Pounds
  • Scripture Reader: Julie Goering
  • Pianist: Shelley Kauffman
  • Song Leader: TBD
  • Ushers: Russ Wedel & Diane Ziemer
  • Nursery Attendant: Joel & Hilda Iwashige
  • Sound Tech: Earl Ediger
  • Live Stream Tech: Jay Gehring


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. 


  • August 20 – Celebration of Communion
  • August 20 – Senior Youth Kick-Off @ Camp Mennoscah (Noon-7:00pm)
  • August 23 – Pastor Tonya’s “Day Apart with God” – no office hours
  • August 27 – Final Sunday of Summer Worship Series
  • Sept 3 – School Kits for MCC will be assembled after worship – everyone invited to help!     Fall Worship based on the Narrative Lectionary begins
  • Sept 10-13  – Pastor Tonya’s 2nd chunk of sabbatical time

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

Stay tuned here for the September dates.


Our Summer worship series comes from MennoMedia (written by Joanna Harader) and will lead us on an exploration and application of Biblical themes of peace: Peace With God, Peace Within, Peace With Others, and Peace With Creation

  • August 20 Peace With Creation: Celebrating the Harvest (Leviticus 23:33-43; Deut 16:13-15) Peacemakers share the bounty of the earth (Pastor Tonya preaching) COMMUNION (instead of August 27 – please note the change!!)
  • August 27  Peace With Creation: Rejoicing with Creation (Isaiah 65:6-13) Peacemakers celebrate the beauty of the earth  (Pastor Tonya preaching)


Using a curriculum exploring The Lord’s Prayer, Sunday School will be offered for preschool-6th grade two Sundays/month, as follows.  Many thanks to all who volunteered to teach or bring snacks for the group.

            August 20

Fellowship Time following the worship service will continue every Sunday. Enjoy this time to offer greetings, share stories, and nurture the connections that bind us together in this congregation and in the family of God.

SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS NEEDED (beginning September 10)!

The sign up sheet is out for Sunday School teachers at FMC.  Please prayerfully consider giving some of your time to our preschool-grade school children. They are an amazing group of kids with much to offer you!

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


Office hours:

  • 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) **NEXT “Day Apart” is Wednesday August 23

Pastor Tonya’s Sabbatical dates (spread out between summer 2023-summer 2025)

Pastor Tonya has joined a study program called, “Transforming Community.” Retreats take place in Chicago. These are her scheduled retreats for the remainder of this year:

  • September 10-13 (second Transforming Community retreat; back in office on Sept 14)
  • December 10-13 (third Transforming Community retreat; back in office on December 14)


At the end of August, Magdalena will begin a one year Mennonite Voluntary Service term in Tucson AZ (where Michaela Easu was last year).  Her volunteer position will be with the Casa Alitas Program, serving migrant families who have left their home countries to escape violence and poverty.  The program provides hospitality and humanitarian aid, medical services, short-term shelter and help to reunite with family members in the U.S. One way MVS serves their partner agencies is to make the cost of an MVS volunteer more affordable for them, resulting in most agencies paying around 65% of the MVS volunteer’s living expenses. 

Thanks to much generosity, over ½ of the $4,000 needed for Magdalena’s additional expenses in the MVS unit has already been raised (thank you!!).  If you would like to donate toward the remaining amount, you can send a check to: Mennonite Mission Network 718 N Main St, Newton KS 67114, with Magdalena’s name and MVS on the memo line.  Or you can donate online here:    Thank you!!


Lorene’s Birthday Party! You are invited to celebrate a milestone birthday! Lorene Graber, our dear mother, is turning 90. Her party will be at the church Saturday, August 26, 2:00pm – 4:00pm. Your presence will be the best present, and you are welcome to bring cards. – Susan Graber, Charisse Sprunger, and Charles Graber


Mark your calendar for these dates:

  • Budget meeting – October 29
  • FMC annual meeting – December 3

Details about both meetings will be coming.


Russ Gaeddert, Joretta Martens, Carol Moore, Ken Neufeld and Pastor Tonya represented First Mennonite Church as delegates at the recent Western District Conference Assembly.  We will be providing a brief report of the event at a later date.

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…


August: Peanut Butter

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, toothpaste and toothbrushes.  Travel size – new & unopened – are desirable.


Place your donations of school supplies in the blue bin in the foyer. The half-sheet lists the specific items needed. Deadline is September 3, when we will be putting the kits together. MCC is particularly short on black or blue ball point pens and spiral or perforated-pages notebooks. Extra donations of those items are appreciated. Monetary contributions are also accepted – designated for MCC school kits.

Bags need to be sewn to complete the kits FMC will donate.  Material (cut to the size of the bags) and instructions are in the foyer.  If you can sew bags, please take some home to complete and bring them back by September 3.  Draw strings will be provided on Sept 3.

Thanks for all the donations for the food pantry at LightHouse!  

Here is an updated invitation for items to donate:

  • laundry soap (pods only)
  • games and puzzles for the common room
  • kitchen small appliances (like blender or waffle maker) – doesn’t have to be new
  • simple art and craft supplies like markers, drawing pads, tape, colored pencils


Many thanks to those who have volunteered to make sure our September commitment at the Soup Kitchen happen.  We’re still putting together the details for future leadership and can include others who might like to be part of providing leadership to this ministry.  Please contact Pastor Tonya.


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.

With the new school year beginning now, you might find these statistics sobering:

  • 70% of Hutchinson High School students are considered “at risk”
  • 59% are chronically absent
  • 60% are on free or reduced meals
  • 48% are reading below grade level
  • 50% will not be attending college

Salthawk Community Support staff are committed to assisting students through individual counseling, mentorships, special programs, and basic needs. This support helps students rise above the daily struggles so they can focus on their education. Your support is greatly appreciated!

The Hawks Nest at HMS-8 is currently looking for the following items in preparation for next year:

  • Board games, art supplies, card games
  • Moon chairs/bean bag chairs, Big Joe Chairs, floor chairs/giant pillows
  • Xbox 360 games (age appropriate)
  • Wii games (age appropriate)
  • Ping Pong Accessories, as they have a ping pong/air hockey table

You can message Kylie Campbell on the Salthawk Community Support Facebook page if you need items picked up, or call her at (620) 474-5563.

Anabaptist World . . . FMC’s group subscription DEADLINE – AUGUST 22!

This magazine – 16 issues per year – is an independent publication giving voice to the faith and ministry of anabaptists around the world. Every issue is full of news and stories that inform and challenge our perspectives and help us to see God at work in the world. The special group subscription rate of $39.00 per year is available. Please complete the blue half-sheet form (available on the table in the foyer) and submit with your $39.00 payment by August 22. Make checks payable to First Mennonite Church and write AW group subscription in the memo. Issues are sent directly to your home address. If you have questions, please see Pauline in the church office.


Mennonite Friendship Communities is looking for a part-time Campus Chaplain.  This 16 hour/week position will provide pastoral care to residents, families and staff and coordinate the various worship services on campus.  Apply online at or stop by and pick up an application.


You are invited to support the Reno County CROP Hunger Walk!  One quarter of funds donated will be shared by The Reno County Food Bank and the Christian Soup Ministry. Last year, each agency received
$1000! Church World Service (CWS) will use the rest globally, helping people start small livestock farms or dig wells for their communities. CWS also assists refugees from Ukraine and other nations. To learn more about the CROP Hunger Walk, you may go to this website, where you can also donate securely. Look for the white box on the right and click the orange bar “Make a donation.”

If writing a personal check, please make payable to CWS/CROP 

Then join us at Rice Park at 2 p.m., Sunday, October 1, as we “Walk with the World”!  On-site registration starts at 1:30 p.m. You can also register on-line at the link above. Questions? Contact Co-Coordinator Eileen Porter, or 608-957-6432.  Thank you for helping our neighbors in need!


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 group from FMC has formed and been trained to walk with a refugee family and we are close to being ready to receive a family!  That means we are gathering items to furnish a home.  We have been provided with a specific list of items needed and right now are working on collecting just those items.  Please talk to Hilda Iwashige or Pastor Tonya about signing up to bring specific items on the list. Another option is to make a financial donation earmarked for household items and then we’ll use that to purchase items not spoken for.  Thank you for all your generosity!! 

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

The 2023 issue of the Bethel College journal Mennonite Life is now live at and includes a poem by Cheryl Denise and prose poems by Abigail Carl-Klassen; a sermon by Sheri Hostetler; Brad Gregory’s Menno Simons Lectures from 2022; articles by Johnny Wideman and Nathan Garber; and reviews by Ben Woodward-Breckbill, Hannah Neufeld, Willmar Harder, Brad Born, Josue Coy Dick, Daniel Shank Cruz, Rachel Waltner Goossen, Joe Smucker, Kimberly Schmidt and Melanie Springer Mock.

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

The Fall Work & Play Days start on August 19!  The day starts at 8:30 AM at the maintenance shed.  Bring a water bottle.  Lunch will be provided, if we are informed ahead of time. Email or call 620-297-3290.  The first project will be to finish sealing the Whale/playground structure.  A variety of other projects will follow.   End your day with free time wandering the trails, fishing, or doing whatever your favorite camp activity is.  This is a chance to be part of maintaining facilities that make Camp Mennoscah’s mission possible!

The Women & Girls Retreat will be September 9 & 10 at Camp Mennoscah sponsored by Western District Women in Mission. This year’s registration form and brochure is available to download, print and send in at We hope you can join us! This year’s theme is “Women Talking, Listening, and Creating,” with our scripture theme being 2 Peter 1:12-21. We’ll be diving into some fun activities around storytelling, listening, story-catching, and story-keeping in a variety of formats. Registration is due by September 5. For questions, e-mail

Registration for the Fall Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats is open.  The retreats are scheduled for Nov. 3-5 and Nov. 10-12.  All retreat activities will happen at the Main Camp facilities with cropping and crafts in the dining hall and lodging in the bunkhouses.  You are welcome to bring a camper/RV and use a gas generator (no hookups available). The Retreat Center will be undergoing HVAC renovations. Single rooms are not available. Contact us at 620-297-3290 with questions or issues. We’ll see you in the fall!

75th Anniversary of Camp Mennoscah Kick-Off!  Be on the lookout for more information.  Camp Mennoscah is beginning the celebration of its 75th Anniversary this fall. An event to kick off the celebration will take place at Camp on Saturday, September 23, 2023. Mark your calendars, save the date, and watch the Camp Mennoscah Facebook page and Website at for details.