We believe in a God who knows our fears.
We believe in a God who says, “Be not afraid.”
We believe in a God who kicks off her shoes
and wades into the muck of our lives with us.
We believe in a God who stitches herself to our heels,
and invites us to dance.
We believe in a God who hemmed stars into the night sky
so that we can find our way home,
and who sends us friends with open doors,
so we can find our way to love.
We believe in a God who finds us in our fear
and does not leave us alone.
Thanks be to God for a love like that.
———–AFFIRMATION OF FAITH written by Rev. Sarah (Are) Speed | A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org
SUNDAY MORNING Worship at 9:30am
The link to join is on our website: www.hutchfmc.org 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 11: From Generation to Generation: We can choose a better way
As far as Joseph knows, his new wife has been unfaithful to him and broken their marriage contract. And yet, instead of punishment, he chooses not to public disgrace or humiliate her. This interruption in his life becomes a holy invitation when the angel comes to him in a dream and says, “Do not be afraid.” When he awakes Joseph once again has the courage to choose a better way. He chooses to stay with Mary, to become an adoptive parent. He chooses peace over violence, grace over condemnation. When have our ancestors also chosen a better way, and when have they not? Isaiah 35 is a vision of what happens when we choose a better way: the wilderness blooms, water breaks forth in the desert, eyes are opened, ears are unstopped, sorrow and sadness flee away. A highway shall appear and it will become a holy way.
(Matthew 1:18-25; Isaiah 35:1-10)
- Sermon: Tonya Ramer Wenger
- Worship Leader: Maggie Pounds
- Song Leader: Pastor Tonya
- Children’s Time: Nick Krehbiel
- Choir Music: Calvin Buller, director
- Scripture Reader: Jean Gaeddert
- Pianist: Peggy Stucky
- Ushers: Glenda & Rick Hooper
- Nursery Attendant: Anna Crable
- Sound Tech: Adam Pounds
- Live Stream Tech: Jonathan Wenger
SHARING JOYS & CONCERNS
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 (www.hutchfmc.org) using a credit card or your banking account. You are also welcome to send a check to 52 Rambler Rd Hutchinson KS 67502.
CALENDAR – LOOKING AHEAD
- 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)
REVIEW of DECEMBER 4 BUDGET AND ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
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.
CHOIR REHEASALS continue on Wednesdays at 7:30pm
All singers are invited to join the choir. We’ll rehearse Wednesdays at 7:30. Plans are to sing during two Sunday worship services – December 11 and 18.
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.
ADVENT & CHRISTMAS 2022 WORSHIP: FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION
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 11 (Third Sunday of Advent): We can choose a better way (Mt 1:18-25; Isaiah 35:1-10) Pastor Tonya preaching
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!
CHRISTMAS EVE (7pm ON DEC 24) ANNOUNCEMENTS
Plans are falling into place for our Christmas Eve worship service! The worship service will include traditions such as congregational participation in playing the Krystal Bells 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 this week in the sanctuary 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.
DECEMBER 21 WEDNESDAY EVENING @ FMC EVENTS
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!)
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS
- Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 2:00pm
- Wednesday – 10:00am – 1:00pm
The Church Office will be closed between Christmas and New Year’s.
PASTOR TONYA’S HOURS/SCHEDULE
- 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…
SUNDAY MORNING DONATIONS FOR RENO COUNTY FOOD BANK:
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.
SALTHAWK COMMUNITY SUPPORT announcements
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.
McPHERSON BRASS CHRISTMAS CONCERT supports Goessel area ministries
Everyone is invited to enjoy the music of the McPherson Community Brass Choir on Sunday, December 11 at 7pm at the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church (1304 K-15 Hwy, Goessel KS). A free will offering will support Goessel area ministries.
BABY BUNDLES for MENNONITE CENTRAL COMMITTEE
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
NATIONAL ALLIANCE on MENTAL HEALTH (NAMI)
The local combined support group meets Thursday evening at 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. upstairs at the Hutchinson Library.
TO GATHER SHOPPE @ MENNONITE FRIENDSHIP COMMUNITIES
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.
MENNONITE CENTRAL COMMITTEE announcements
MCC Buckets of Thanks: This Thanksgiving season, show your gratitude and provide hope to those in need by collecting relief supplies for MCC. The supplies you donate will fill a Bucket of Thanks (aka an MCC relief kit) for people affected by conflict or disaster around the world. For more information, including supply lists and a ready-to-use curriculum for children, visit: mccbuckets.org.
MCC Material Resources Center in North Newton critically low on inventory: An MCC kit cannot be shipped until every single item for the kit is assembled, but some supplies are so low that kits cannot be processed for shipping. You can help by helping to fill the following needs: New infant onesies and sleepers (3-12 month sizes); shampoo (20 oz or more), thin sanitary pads (28 count minimum) and dark colored bath and hand towels. Buy online and ship it to MCC or bring item to MCC in North Newton (121 E. 30th St, North Newton, KS 67117). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 316.283.2720 or click here mcc.org/kits.
Free resource: Learning about generosity with MCC! Make talking about generosity with your children easy by using this free resource. The printable worksheets help kids explore the basics of generosity at an elementary school level. The resource contains downloadable worksheets, activity ideas, a story about how generosity makes a difference, make-your-own bookmark craft and alternative Christmas gift ideas. Click here to sign up: MCC generosity resource.
CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements
Camp Mennoscah merch . . . make a purchase to support camp! The Camp Mennoscah online store has been refreshed and is ready for you to fill your need for that newest Camp Mennoscah tee shirt or water bottle. Plan ahead for Christmas gift-giving! Click here: http://camp-mennoscah-store.square.site/
There are a great many things for volunteers to do–come be one! Any of the following are great options for groups of one or more: cutting firewood, cleaning after groups, weekend hosting, being a committee member, mowing or other maintenance/grounds tasks, making a meal for a volunteer group, or recruiting people to volunteer at camp. These are just some of the possibilities! Call us at 620-297-3290 for more information.
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
Weds., Dec. 7 – Singalong to Christmas portions of Handel’s Messiah, 11 a.m., with chamber orchestra and soloists, Bethel College Mennonite Church. Scores provided.
Fri., Dec. 9 – Christmas Gala Jazz concert, directed by Joel Boettger, 8 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center
Sun., Dec. 11 – 37th annual Lighting of the Green , 8 p.m. on the Bethel College campus
SWISS MENNONITE CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
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 Massachusettes would like to edit stories for a Swiss Volhynian book with the help of his daughter Casey Adams (email@example.com). 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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