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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – August 23-29, 2023

“And lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. AMEN”

These closing words of the prayer Jesus taught his disciples clearly acknowledge that temptations and hard times are real.  Jesus knows this about human life. In our children’s summer Sunday School class at FMC, we’ve been exploring the Lord’s Prayer (using a curriculum from Illustrated Ministry). This Sunday we concluded by focusing on God’s presence with us in the midst of temptation.  I invite you to join in this closing prayer (from the curriculum) as you, too, experience trials and temptations:

Helper God,

You know the things

in our lives that are tricky-

those things that cause us to be burdened.

Protect us and guide us away

from choices that disconnect us from others and ourselves

so that we can live more fully for you

and with everyone in this world.  AMEN

— Pastor Tonya

SUNDAY MORNING Worship at 9:30am 

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

COVID-19 update

An updated COVID-19 vaccine will be available by the end of September, according to the CDC. Likely, we will see a recommendation that this will become an annual COVID shot, just as we have an annual flu shot. People who are 65 or older or who have multiple health conditions should get the currently available shot if it’s been more than 6-8 months since their last dose. For all others, it’s OK to wait for the new version. Look for updates here as they become available.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 27 – PEACE WITH CREATION: Rejoicing with Creation

Peacemakers celebrate the beauty of the earth

Isaiah 55:6-13

  • Worship Leader & Meditation: Maggie Pounds
  • Children’s Time: Susan Combs
  • Scripture Reader: Anita and Bryan Kehr
  • Pianist: Pauline Buller
  • Song Leader: TBD
  • Ushers: Cheryl Warkentin & Marlene Thode
  • Nursery Attendant: Diane Ziemer
  • Sound Tech: Murray Reimer
  • Live Stream Tech: Jonathan Wenger


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 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 (back in office on Thursday Sept 14)

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

  • The Wednesday evening group will meet Wednesday Sept 6 at 6:30pm.
  • The Tuesday group date is still being determined – stay tuned!


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 27  Peace With Creation: Rejoicing with Creation (Isaiah 65:6-13) Peacemakers celebrate the beauty of the earth

(Maggie Pounds leading an interactive prayer practice to close out this series!)

FALL WORSHIP @ FMC – Beginning September 3!

September 3 marks the beginning of our Fall Worship, which will be guided by the Narrative Lectionary.  This is a schedule of scripture readings helping us trace the big story of God with humanity in scripture, beginning with creation and ending with Pentecost.  Every year, after Christmas, we dig deep into one of the gospels.  This year’s gospel will be Mark, and you are encouraged to start reading it now!

Because we explored scriptures early in Genesis during August, we will pick up the story on September 3 in Genesis 18 – a story of welcoming strangers, laughing in the face of preposterous news, and the surprise of actually receiving what was thought to be impossible.

Upcoming worship details….

  • SEPTEMBER 3 – New Beginnings: Isaac is Born to Sarah (Genesis 18:1-5; 21:1-7) Pastor Tonya preaching
  • SEPTEMBER 10 – Persistence in Struggle: Jacob Wrestles With God (Genesis 32:[9-13], 22-30) Anita Kehr preaching (Pastor Tonya gone on sabbatical time)
  • SEPTEMBER 17 – Faith Formation Sunday (Bible Dedication, Sunday School Teacher Blessing)        Called by God: Moses and God’s Name (Exodus 1:8-14 [15-2:10]; 3:1-15                         Three Meditations: Micah Wenger, Diane Ziemer, Eldon Wagler (read by Pastor Tonya)
  • SEPTMEBER 24 – Peace Sunday: Climate Action for Peace (Mennonite Central Committee resources) Senior Youth help Pastor Tonya plan and lead, including sharing about the Climate Summit they attended at MennoCon23. 
  • OCTOBER 1 – WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY  Pastor Tonya preaching


Thank you to all who have signed up to teach children’s Sunday School!  We are still in need of additional teachers.  Please let Cheryl Warkentin or Pastor Tonya know if you are willing, or sign up on the sign up sheet at church. 

Several adult classes will be offered, also beginning on September 10:

ADULT BIBLE STUDY, using Salt & Light curriculum from Menno Media.  This class is facilitated by Calvin Buller and Marlene Thode and meets in the Prayer Room in the basement.

ADULT DISCUSSION CLASS, meeting in the basement fellowship hall.  This group will begin with a 6-week video based spiritual formation resource from Renovare: From the Inside Out.”  Pastor Jim and Pastor Tonya will be facilitating this class.

And, the YOUNGER ADULTS CLASS will resume.  For more details, talk with Maggie or Adam Pounds. 

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 (Note: the church offices will be close on Wednesday this week.)


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)


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

GUESS WHO’S COMING TO THE YARD . . . September 17 OR 24

What a great time to get to know each other better! Just come as a guest or be the host with a small group of FMC folks. You choose the date – either September 17 or September 24; and choose whether you want to be a host or a guest. The host provides drinks/snacks for 6-8 guests. You will receive an assignment after September 3. Sign up by September 3 on the sheet on the table in the foyer.


Plan to stay for lunch after Sunday School on September 17.  The youth and sponsors will be serving a hamburger lunch (including vegetarian and gluten free options) to raise funds for youth events, including service projects and attending MennoCon.  Thanks for the many ways you support and love our youth!


At the end of August, Magdalena will begin a one year Mennonite Voluntary Service term in Tucson AZ (where Michaela Esau 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!!


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  . . .  September: Canned Meat/Tuna

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.


We would still welcome the following items to help us complete prisoner care kits.  Please note the maximum and minimum size designations!
–19 bars of soap  (minimum 4 oz)
–21 bottles of lotion (maximum 2 oz)
–21 tubes of toothpaste (minimum 6oz)
–7 deodorant (minimum 2.25oz)
–4 pairs of white crew socks (new)
–1 pair of white underwear (briefs) – large (also new)

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
  • Colored pencils


Our fund that pays for the meal we serve every other month at the Soup Kitchen has been depleted.  If you’d like to support this ministry financially, please make donations to First Mennonite with “Soup Kitchen” in the memo line.


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.

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.


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!! 

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Fire Keeper contributions support Camp Mennoscah’s Mission & Maintenance Project

Bonnie Swenson reports that FMC contributions to the M&M Project now total over $2,000.00. There is still time to make your contribution to support Camp. Thank you so much for keeping Camp in your thoughts!

Western District Women in Mission Women’s & Girls’ Retreat – Sept 9-10

Want to be a story catcher, story keeper, and story sharer? Find out more by attending the Western District Women in Mission Women’s & Girls Retreat Sept. 9-10 at Camp Mennoscah! Activities will be available for all ages (no specific girls programming). A brochure and registration form are 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. Registration is due by September 5. For questions, email . Forms are also available on the table in the foyer.

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. 


Everyone is invited to Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church (43 13th Ave, Inman) on Saturday, Sept 2 for our Community Fun Night! The Fun will begin at 5:30 pm with a free cornhole tournament (arrive early, limited to 18 teams), inflatables, face painting, a car show, and food for sale.  Tom Gaeddert (Faith Mennonite, Newton) will provide live music from 6:30 – 7:30 pm and the evening will end with a movie on the lawn at dusk.  This year’s movie will show you a whole new world with a little magic.  Come celebrate the end of summer with friends and fun at Hoffnungsau.