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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – December 14-20, 2022

We believe in a God who offers second chances

and does not hold grudges.

We believe in a God who opens the door to new life

and leaves the porch light on for us when we get lost.

We believe in a God who believes in us –

believes that we can make a difference,

that we can choose grace over comparison,

love over hate,

peace over war.

And so we strive to live our lives in love.

We strive to listen as Joseph listened,

And to be the people that God calls us to be.

It’s all that easy, and it’s all that hard.

This we believe. AMEN

 ———–AFFIRMATION OF FAITH written by Rev. Sarah (Are) Speed | A Sanctified Art LLC |

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 for ourselves and others

CMT affirms these recommendations offered by the CDC:  Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Get tested if you have symptoms. Wear a mask if you have symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19. Wear a mask on public transportation. Choose to wear a mask at any time as an additional precaution to protect yourself and others. Stay home if you are not feeling well.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18: Advent 4: Lessons and Carols

From Generation to Generation: We see God in each other

  • Worship Leaders: Delon Martens, Pastor Tonya
  • Song Leader: Pastor Tonya
  • Choir Music: Calvin Buller, director
  • Scripture Readers: Jacob Unruh, Aphid (Jay) Sylvester, and others
  • Organist: Pauline Buller
  • Ushers: Susan Combs & Joretta Martens
  • Nursery Attendant: Glenda Hooper
  • Sound Tech: Early Ediger & Allen Yoder
  • Live Stream Tech: Sadie Nisly


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. 


  • December 21 – Longest Night Service (5:45pm), Soup Supper (6:30pm), Christmas Caroling (7:15pm)
  • December 24 – Christmas Eve Service – 7:00pm
  • December 25 – (Sunday) Christmas Day worship – 9:30am (No Sunday School)


Here are highlights of the meeting held on Sunday.

  • The congregation recognized members of the Faith Family whom we have lost during the past year.
  • Marlene Thode reported that the Audit Committee found the financial records of the church in order.
  • Mike Dirks, noting that annual giving is likely to total $180,000, presented the 2022-23 budget with an anticipated $188,425 in expenditures. Any deficit at the end of the fiscal year can be covered by investment funds. Following discussion about the budget, there was a unanimous vote to approve the budget.
  • Mike Dirks and Pastor Tonya provided a tutorial on using the new on-line giving feature on FMC’s website.
  • Russ Wedel, on behalf of the Gift Discernment Committee, brought the following to fill leadership positions in our structure: Faithful Community Coordination Team – Hilda Iwashige; Faith Formation – Maggie Pounds; Congregational Ministry Team (CMT) chair-elect – Delon Martens. These were affirmed unanimously by the attendees.
  • Delon Martens reported that CMT has approved Pastor Tonya’s proposed sabbatical plan, which would be taken in segments spread over the next three years. The plan is currently on hold, pending Pastor Tonya’s acceptance into the training program for which she has applied.
  • Delon reviewed the anticipated process for conducting a pastor/congregation review January-May, 2023, culminating in a congregational vote to extend Pastor Tonya’s call to ministry at FMC. We will be working with Lee Lever, a consultant and fellow pastor in Western District Conference.
  • Jim Unruh spoke about the vision for Community Service and Outreach within the framework of the petition in “The Lord’s Prayer,” in which we express longing for God’s Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. He focused on resources and relationships as we invite the Spirit to move in ways to call us to build connections . . . and provide funding for others in the community. He named these priorities specifically in relation to the opportunities before us with Lighthouse residents.
  • Delon noted that, in 2023 we will have opportunity to give attention to the resolutions passed by delegates to the MC USA assembly in May. These include Accessibility, Justice in the U.S. Criminal Legal System, and Repentance and Transformation in our relationships with LGBTQIA people.
  • Russ Wedel shared that Mennonite Friendship Community would be celebrating its 50th anniversary with monthly events during 2023.
  • Pastor Jim closed the meeting in a prayer for us as a congregation to grow in God’s name and reach out into the world.

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.     


This year’s Advent theme and resources come to us from A Sanctified Art: From Generation to Generation, inspired by a line from Mary’s song:

            “Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

            for the Mighty One has done great things for me,  and holy is his name.

            His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.  (Luke 1:48b-50)

       From Generation to Generation….

  •  December 18 (Fourth Sunday of Advent): FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS & CAROLS
  •  December 24 (Saturday – Christmas Eve) @ 7:00pm:  We tell this story  (Luke 2:1-20)
  •  December 25 (Sunday – Christmas Day) @ 9:30am:  God dwells with us (John 1:1-14; Luke 2:15-21)
  •  January 1 (Sunday – New Year’s Day) @ 9:30am: We keep seeking (Mt 2:1-12; Mt 2:12-23)                      + STAR WORDS for 2023!


Our Christmas Eve worship service will include traditions such as congregational participation in playing the Krystal Bells, dedicating Infant Care Bundles for MCC, and joining in a candle-lit singing of Silent Night.  New this year will be a Christmas skit performed by our grade school children and a few youth.  As we have other years, please bring a plate of finger foods (savory or sweet) to share during our fellowship time following the service. 

FALL WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL  @ 11:00AM (no Sunday School December 25 & January 1)

Preschool-8th Grade: SHINE! Curriculum:  Fall of a Kingdom

  • 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)


Bible Study using the Salt & Light study guide meets in the Prayer Room in the basement. 

Copies are available in the classroom.

The Adult Discussion/Study class meeting in the fellowship hall and on Zoom (contact Pastor

Tonya for the zoom link). During Advent this group will be using the Advent Devotional booklet, From Generation to Generation as a guide for reflection and conversation.  Copies are available in the foyer at church, or electronically (request from the church office).

 “Younger Adults” Class meets in the adult education room in the basement.

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! devotional magazines

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

LPC: Listening-Prayer-Conversation Groups BEGINNING January 2023

Pastor Tonya will be offering something new beginning January 2023 … an opportunity to participate in a monthly LPC group:  Listening. Prayer. Conversation.  The hour will be simply structured to create space for listening to scripture and Spirit, praying with and without words, and conversation with God and others.  Tentatively, Pastor Tonya will be offering two options each month: Second Tuesday from Noon-1pm or Second Wednesday from 6:30-7:30pm.  There is also the possibility of adding a Zoom option to either one of these times. 

STRENGTHENING Community Connections…

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.


Be sure to put Wednesday evening December 21 on your calendar to gather at church for an opportunity to remember loved ones who have died in the past year, eat supper together, and then go Christmas Caroling in the church neighborhood.  You can come to one or more of the events.  Schedule is as follows:

  •  5:45pm Longest Night Service in the sanctuary (we’ll also plan to livestream)
  • 6:30pm Soup Supper
  • 7:15pm Christmas Caroling in the church neighborhood  (dessert and hot drinks following – a few volunteers needed to provide cookies or bars for dessert – let Pastor Tonya know if you can bring some!)


  • Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 2:00pm  
  • Wednesday – 10:00am – 1:00pm

The Church Office will be closed between Christmas and New Year’s.


  • Monday: Sabbath Day
  • 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)

STRETCHING to Serve as Christ Served…



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.


A “tree” and a basket have been placed near the north entrance in the foyer for you to make your donations of hats and mittens to be given to Salvation Army. Thank you for helping to meet this need in our community.


Again, it is time to be thinking about the Infant Baby Bundles.  They have been part of First Mennonite Christmas celebrations for many years.  We will again be able to offer completed bundles for a donation of $25.00 each.  We were blessed to be able to purchase items for the bundles last year and received lots of donated items. The cost of these items has now doubled with inflation. God certainly blessed this mission beyond our dreams. Make your checks out to First Mennonite Church, and write “Baby Bundles” in the memo.  The Infant Baby Bundles will be dedicated during the 7:00pm Christmas Eve service.   For His Glory, Deanna Mace and Jane Kroeker     


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.  Thank you to those who donated toward the “Santa Sacks” which will be given to students at Hutch High, Mid-Town at Avenue A, and Hutch Middle School 8. 

Mark your calendars for our January 21, 2023 SALTHAWK FUNDRAISER: Taste of Hutchinson – The Men Cook at the Hutchinson Art Center.  Tickets will be $40 each.  7-8:30pm.


Did you know? The To-Gather Shoppe is a thrift store on the MFC campus that is open to the public. Sales from the To-Gather Shoppe benefit residents of MFC. Hours for December:

  • Thursday, December 1,  9-noon
  • Friday. December 2,  9-2
  • Saturday, December 3,  9-noon
  • Thursday, December 15,  9-noon
  • Friday, December 16,  9-2
  • Saturday, December 17,  9-noon

You’ll find great bargains! Come do your shopping.

Volunteers with drywall and finishing experience. . . mfc will be repairing the wall in their laundry room. They are looking for volunteers to assist with drywall and finishing work. January date to be determined. Contact Susan at for more info.


MCC Christmas Giving! Give gifts of comfort and joy and help meet the basic needs of our global neighbors this Christmas. Choose from unique gifts such as goats, bees, backpacks and more. Give at, call 888.563.4676 or visit the MCC Central States office in North Newton, KS at 121 E. 30th Street. With each gift you can get a card and insert explaining the project. These gifts (from $10-$4,000) make wonderful hostess/teacher gifts, stocking stuffers and are ideal for those on your Christmas list that are hard to shop for!

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Application and further details for summer staffers here!  We are seeking stunning summer staff to fill the following leadership positions for the 2023 summer:  crafts, lifeguard, music, nature, office, and grounds.  These positions are typically filled by college-age students, are summer-long and receive a stipend.  A summer of fun, service and faith formation!

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Now at Kauffman Museum on the Bethel College campus: “Reeds and Wool: Patterned Screens of Central Asia,” revived from 20 years ago in memory of the late John Sommer, who collected the screens, made by nomadic Kyrgyz women, and organized the original exhibit. Regular Kauffman Museum hours are Tues.-Fri., 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun., 1:30-4:30 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays, so it will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. There is a small admission charge for non-members. The Museum Store is open during exhibit hours and is Harvey County’s only source for Ten Thousand Villages fair-trade gifts, as well as a selection of books, puzzles, cards and many local gift and craft items. See or the Kauffman Museum Facebook page.


WANTED:  Your stories. To share at the “Schweitzers and Friends” 150th celebration of Swiss Volhynian Mennonites coming to the U.S. in 1874, planned for August 23-25, 2024.  Everyone loves the stories Grandma told us about days gone by.  This event gives us opportunity to collect ancestor stories.  Gathering for Christmas reunions?  Great places to hear stories from the cousins. Brian Adams from Massachusetts would like to edit stories for a Swiss Volhynian book with the help of his daughter Casey Adams (  Brian says no stories are too small or inconsequential.  He has heard stories from his Grandfather Jacob (Red Jake) Krehbiel from Moundridge.  Think of a story you could share and send to Brian (  Themes could be family, faith, agriculture, language….  Or phone him (413-586-3063) and he could interview you by phone.  We would all love to read those stories.  Maybe at the celebration event in 2024.                        –Kathy Goering for the planners