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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – February 14-20, 2014

Table of Contents

“Can we see the face of Christ on a neighbor flying a rainbow flag or wearing a MAGA cap? If you can, you might be a philanthrope. More than financial generosity, philanthropy, broadly defined, is love of people. In the Christian ideal, it’s a love that not only casts others in a positive light but perceives the divine spark of Jesus himself within them.”

This quote is from Paul Schrag’s editorial in the most recent issue of Anabaptist World: Mennonite news, inspiring stories.  He goes on to describe how the current issue’s (Feb 2024) theme, “When I Met Jesus,” generated responses illustrating at least two categories of philanthropy.  Having read most of this issue, I would highly recommend it to you! We have a copy at the church, and you can also peruse the AW website to read some of the articles:   [And if you don’t already subscribe, remember you can join our church’s group subscription for a reduced rate!]

Schrag’s editorial, along with many of the stories in the issue, resonated for me with our desire as a congregation to follow Jesus by living with “Arms Wide Open – to Serve and be Served.”  Some of the “I met Jesus” stories in this issue fall in the category (as Schrag puts it) of receiving generosity. This category brings the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10) to mind.  The second category is the opposite (holding the tension we tried to put into our church’s purpose statement): serving others. In this category, we might find ourselves thinking about the wounded man in the Good Samaritan parable, and the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25).  

Arms Wide Open – to Serve and be Served… a posture inviting us to realize “Sometimes we’re the wounded traveler, sometimes the Good Samaritan. A true philanthrope might see Jesus everywhere.” (Paul Schrag. Editorial. Anabaptist World February 2024, page 7)

Pastor Tonya


Welcome to the annual “sickly” season!  It comes around every year but that doesn’t mean we should be complacent because even the common cold can be deadly.  You can become severely ill with an array of bugs other than COVID.  So protect yourself by following best health practices such as washing hands frequently, avoiding crowds or wearing masks, staying up-to-date with vaccinations, and staying home if not feeling well.  


Since the IRS has raised the standard deduction threshold and those with IRA’s can send directly to charitable organizations to help meet their minimum required distributions, the need to receive your annual contribution report has been diminished for income tax purposes.  Therefore, instead of stuffing mailboxes with annual giving reports, if you would like your giving report from FMC, please let me know I will get you yours.  You can reach me at or 620-474-1224. – Mike Dirks 


The link to join is on our website:  Join 5 minutes early for announcements.  The bulletin can be found under the BULLETINS tab on our home page. 


Lord of abundant riches, when asked to give everything to follow Jesus, a rich man faltered. Give us the courage to give everything that we have to you, knowing that what you offer is more valuable than all the riches in the world. Amen.

Mark 10:17-31; (Psalm 19:7-10)

  • Preacher: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader & Scripture Reader: Calvin Buller
  • Children’s Time: Susan Combs
  • Pianist: Shelley Kauffman
  • Ushers: Glenda & Rick Hooper
  • Nursery Attendant: Stephanie Gehring
  • 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. 


We’ve raised $3,675 toward our goal! We’re almost there!! At our 2023 Annual Meeting the congregation voted to pursue installation of solar panels to provide part of our building’s electricity usage, to update our fire alarm system, and to install magnetic door openers on the internal fire doors. Funding for all three of these projects will be through the Wedel Fund. Criterion for the use of money from the Wedel Fund is that 10% of the cost must be raised in advance. In order to move forward with these projects using Wedel Funds, we need to raise approximately $4,000. We are inviting contributions over the next few weeks in order to schedule these projects with our vendors. Contributions may be made online or by check with a designation for “Solar Panels & Fire Alarms.” A chart in the foyer tracks our progress toward reaching our goal.


  • Feb 17 – Tyler & Nadya Gehring wedding reception 10am-Noon at the church. All are invited!
  • Feb 14 – Ash Wednesday – 6:30pm service at FMC with Community Church of the Brethren
  • Feb 18 – First Sunday of Lent
  • Feb 23 – Mennonite Friendship Communities Liverwurst & Fried Mush Fundraiser dinner 5-8pm
  • Feb 28 – Choir rehearsals begin for Lent / Easter season (Wednesdays @ 5:30pm); all singers welcome!
  • Feb 28 – WNAF (Wednesday Nights @ First) series begins
  • April 12-13 – Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale

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

These groups meet for an hour once/month in the Common Grounds room and are facilitated by Pastor Tonya.  The format allows for time in prayer by yourself and also with the group.  Any are welcome to join, or to just come and check it out! It’s also possible to join on Zoom if you prefer.

  • The Tuesday group next meeting TBD
  • The Wednesday evening group meets 6:30pm on THURSDAY, Feb 15


CHILDREN’S CLASSES (preschool-6th grade) meet in the basement.

SENIOR YOUTH (8th-12th grade) meet upstairs.

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

ADULT DISCUSSION CLASS meets in the Fellowship Hall in person and on zoom.  This group is pausing a DVD based study: Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, to engage in the music of G. F. Handel and the Passion/Easter parts of MESSIAH. Calvin Buller will lead us in a study of the music and the scriptures behind the lyrics. This is a 6-week series beginning February 18

And, the YOUNGER ADULTS CLASS meeting in the library.  For more details, talk with Maggie or Adam Pounds. 

LENT 2024: Formed, Filled & Sent: Encountering Jesus in the Gospel, at the Table, & on the Road

This year our Lenten journey will explore how we are formed, filled and sent as we encounter Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, at the Lord’s Table, and on the Road of our daily discipleship journey.  The 40 days of Lent offer many opportunities to encounter Jesus:

… in the Gospel (good news!) stories, alongside the disciples and all kinds of other characters

… at the Lord’s Table, where we believe the Risen Christ is revealed in the breaking of the bread

… and on the Road, as we encounter Jesus in our ordinary lives, growing as disciples here and now

Unique to this year’s Lenten worship experience will be the invitation to come to the Lord’s Table each of the Sundays of Lent (beginning Feb 18), on Maundy Thursday, and Easter.  We engage in this practice trusting in the witness of the disciples who walked the Emmaus Road with a stranger who opened the scriptures to them (forming them with good news!) and then sat down for the evening meal with them.  It was there, when he took the bread and blessed it and broke it, that they recognized the Risen Christ. Jesus had been with them the whole time! Their immediate response was to get up and go, to share this amazing news: when the bread was broken, they saw Jesus, right there with them.  As people longing to faithfully follow Jesus in the world we live in today, the Table is a place where we encounter the living Christ, to be formed, filled and sent.  We go out into the world not primarily as individuals, but more importantly, as part of a global community stitched together by the very presence of Jesus with us, and within us.

“To eat the bread and drink the cup in remembrance of Christ is to recall the death and resurrection of our Savior with such vividness as to make ourselves present to these events not merely as historical occurrences but as present, living, and transforming realities in our lives today.”

(Rory Noland.  Transforming Worship. 144)


Gather with our friends from the Church of the Brethren on Wednesday Feb 14 at 6:30pm in the FMC fellowship hall to mark the beginning of Lent with our annual Ash Wednesday service.  This service includes prayers, scripture, music, imposition of ashes, and prayers around the cross.  We do plan to offer a livestream for those wanting to join remotely. 

BOOK STUDY GROUP – new study begins February 14

Ballot and the Bible: How Scripture Has Been Used and Abused in American Politics and Where We Go From Here, a new book by Kaitlyn Schiess, is our selection for our spring study. This group meets weekly on Wednesdays at 1:00pm. Members share the responsibility of leading the discussion. If you would like to join the group, talk with Pastor Tonya asap. New members are welcome!


The winter chill will be hanging around for a bit longer, so now’s the time to check out the great reads in our church library, including the books on the north window ledge, shared by Pastor Tonya. Listen to what contemporary authors are saying about questions and issues relevant to faithful witness in our world today. In addition to the books Pastor Tonya is sharing, the library has acquired many new books. Come . . . relax . . . find inspiration . . . take comfort . . . and be challenged to faithful Christian witness. There’s a book for every reader right here in our library!!


Pastor Jim led the morning worship at Mennonite Friendship Communities (mfc) on February 11. Our next opportunity to participate in this ministry is on April 14. Please speak with Pastor Jim if you would be willing to share your gifts in this way.     

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)

Upcoming “Day Apart with God” dates (for silence, reading, prayer & journaling – will NOT be checking email or responding to texts/calls (except for emergencies).  Typically this is the 4th Wednesday of the month.  The next date is: Wednesday February 28 (8am-5pm)

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. Her next scheduled retreat is March 10-13 (back in office on March 14). In addition, she has scheduled some vacation time prior to this retreat to visit family in Ohio (leaving Wednesday March 6).

A more extended chunk of sabbatical time will be taken in the summer of 2024: June 30-July 4 (for retreat) + July 23-August 9.


The 2024 issue is now available on the table in the foyer and in the circular rack by the mailboxes. Please continue to provide updates to your contact information throughout the year. Send to the church office If you would like to receive the directory by email attachment, please let the church office know.


Join us for a 4-session series on Wednesday evenings (Feb 28, March 6, 13, and 20):

  • 5:30-6:30 Choir Rehearsal in the sanctuary (also on March 27!)
  • 6:00-7:00 Meal Served (donations welcome to cover expenses)
  • 7:00-8:00 Adult Program and Children’s Activities

The Adult program will be led by Pastor Tonya and Pastor Jim, on the theme: Centered on Jesus & Connected in Community. What does a Jesus-centered community look like today, in the realities we find ourselves in: heightened polarization, rise in Christian Nationalism, a contentious election year, and more?

We plan to interactively engage those gathered in exploring practical themes raised by Mark D. Baker in his book Centered-Set Church: Discipleship and Community Without Judgmentalism.

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 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…


February: 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.


Thanks for your continued donations for the food pantry at LightHouse!  When we have an updated list of needs, we’ll post it here!


It’s time to start dreaming of Mennonite Friendship Communities Liverwurst & Fried Mush annual dinner as the date is quickly approaching!  Join us on Friday, February 23rd from 5-8 pm at the Journey Activity Center in Yoder for Liverwurst, Fried Mush, Whole Hog Sausage, Tomato Gravy and more!  This year’s proceeds will go to renovations to the South Entrance of Healthcare.  Come enjoy good food and fellowship!  For more info, call Susan Nisly at 620-663-7175.

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Two volunteers are needed daily to help with Retreat Center HVAC work from Monday through Friday for the next 12 weeks.  Construction skills are not a requirement.  Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290, text 316-293-7313 or email Half days are fine.

Spring Cleaning at Camp Mennoscah sponsored by Western District Women in Mission (WDWM) will be held on Saturday, March 23 from 10 am – 4 p.m. Come for part or all of the time. Women, men, kids, youth groups, Sunday school groups are all invited. If children younger than high school attend, they need to be supervised by their parents (no child care or children’s activities will be provided). Dress warm, bring a full water bottle, $5 to cover the cost of lunch, and the following cleaning supplies if you have them: rakes, long handled brooms for cobweb reaching. Other cleaning supplies will be provided. Register by March 18 by e-mailing Space is capped at this event to manage the jobs, so don’t delay in registering. Thanks! 

Registration for 2024 Summer Youth Camps is open!  Staff is still adjusting to the big Retreat Center project and some details are sure to have been missed–but that will not stop you from registering for a great week of camp.  The theme for the summer is Linked By Love and looks at the many ways we experience God’s love through relationships.  Register online! 

The application for 2024 Summer Staff at Camp Mennoscah is open!  Summer staff must be 18 years old or older.  The staff leadership positions receiving stipends are naturalist, crafts leader, lifeguard, grounds/maintenance, music leader, and office/media.  Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled. The 2024 summer camp season begins June 2 with orientation for summer-long positions and ends August 4.  We can’t wait to hear from you! 

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Weds., Feb. 21 – Bethel College Orchestra, directed by Kris Hilding, 7 p.m.Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center [NOTE DIFFERENT DATE from some previously printed calendars]

SAVE THE DATE: Sun., March 3, 4 p.m. – Bethel College Choir Spring Tour Send-off Concert


February 17, 4:30-7:00pm. Located at 427 West 4th in Halstead. Menu is verenike, ham gravy, sausage, green beans, zwieback, pie and assorted relishes. Dine-in and carryout available (west side of church on Santa Fe). Proceeds go to USD 440 school lunches and Halstead community utility bill assistance.


  • Class title: The Grand Story of the Bible – Genesis to Revelation
  • Instructor: Ted Weis
  • Dates: February 29, March 7, March 14
  • Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • Location: Peel Center – 1 East 9th Street (on Main and 9th)
  • Registration: $45. Call 620-727-2791 or email


MCC Central States annual meeting, Saturday, March 2 at 10 a.m. You are invited to join the meeting in-person or virtually to hear MCC U.S. Executive Director Ann Graber Hershberger share an MCC update. Please email if you would like the Zoom link to join virtually. Otherwise, join us at MCC Central States, 121 E. 30th St in North Newton, Kansas.

Comforter Blitz – Monday, March 4-6, 2024, Journey Mennonite Church Activity Center, Yoder

If you can tie a knot, you can make a difference. Activity center located at 3605 East Long View Rd.

  • Monday, March 4 . . 9am – 4pm
  • Tuesday, March 5 . . 9am – 9 pm
  • Wednesday, March 6 . . 9am – 4pm

Questions? Please contact  

MCC Material Resources Center in North Newton critically low on inventory: An MCC kit cannot be distributed until each item for the kit is assembled, but some supplies in the Material Resources Center are so low that kits cannot be processed for shipping. You can help by filling the following needs: new infant sleepers (6-12 month sizes); bath towels (dark colored, light to medium weight); wide-toothed combs; laundry soap (such as Fels Naptha or Zote brands); shampoo (20 oz min); fingernail clippers (good quality); and hand towels (dark colored). Locally, MCC distributes prisoner care and returning citizen care kits, for those kits we currently need:men’s T-shirts (sizes L, XL, 2XL, 3XL — any color); men’s underwear (sizes L, XL, 2XL, 3XL — any color); men’s crew socks; lotion (12 oz min); and adult backpacks. Buy online and ship it to MCC or bring items to MCC in North Newton (121 E. 30th St, North Newton, KS 67117). Questions are always welcome, please contact or 316.283.2720. A full list of MCC kit contents can be found at

Interested in working with MCC, or know someone who is? MCC is hiring a Community Engagement Coordinator!  The Community Engagement Coordinator, in North Newton, KS connects with local churches, individuals, and partners to educate on MCC material resources, programs, and events. Apply at the following link: Community Engagement Coordinator or find the job and other openings at

KANSAS MENNONITE RELIEF SALE – April 12-13, 2024 announcements

QUILTER’S CORNER welcomes your donated QUILT-RELATED ITEMS – used/unused/unfinished. Please label clearly – QUILTER’S CORNER – and drop off at the MCC Center in North Newton or contact Julie Esau. Suggested items are finished/unfinished quilt tops or quilt blocks, old and damaged quilts, quilt supplies and tools, cloth sacks, quilt books and patterns, notions and cotton fabric.

WANTED—Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles, RV’s, Campers, Tractors, Modern Farm Equipment, etc. for the KS MCC Sale. Items you no longer need can help Feed and Cloth Thousands in desperate living conditions. ALL donations are Tax Deductible. Call Jerry Toews for info: 620 367 8257. Help make a difference.   – KMRSale Committee


Global Voices Tour in Kansas – February 24-26.  Around the world, MCC’s partners work to support people in adapting to the challenges of climate change.  From February 24 – 26, the Anabaptist Climate Collaborative and MCC will be hosting two international speakers to share about the ways their communities are finding climate solutions and how you can get involved! Come and hear Caroline Pugeni of Zimbabwe and Cambodia-based Victor Odinda speak about their roles in helping communities adapt to and mitigate climate change.

  • Location: Showalter Villa, Hesston KS . . . Saturday, Feb. 24, 10:30 am
  • Location: Shalom Mennonite Church, Newton KS . . . Sunday, Feb. 25, 9:30 – 10:30 am for Sunday School
  • Location: Bethel College Convocation, Krehbiel Auditorium, Luyken Fine Arts Center . . . Monday, Feb. 26, 11:00am – 12:00pm
  • Location: Kidron Hall, Kidron Bethel Village, N. Newton KS . . . Monday, Feb. 26 , 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

For more information, email

Galen Fitzkee Legislative Associate MCC U.S. National Peace & Justice Ministries

Feb. 23: High School Essay Contest  

Are you a youth who attends a Mennonite high school or an Anabaptist church? This is your opportunity to express your views in essay format on critical issues facing U.S. society. Submissions are due Feb. 23, 2024, and may be in English or Spanish. The grand prize is $1000! Find out more about the high school essay contest.

April 29-May 3: Immigration Law Training (Akron, Pennsylvania)   
Is your church or organization offering legal services to immigrants at low-cost? This 40-hour course will touch on all areas of immigration law and practice. It will provide the necessary training for individuals who wish to apply for accreditation from the U.S. Department of Justice. Early Bird registration ends March 15! Find out more about this training or email


October 15-28, 2024 with optional safari which extends the trip to November 1. Cost is $2,500, plus travel to departure city; the optional safari is $1,000. The South Africa Pilgrimage will explore the long history and legacy of colonialism and apartheid, which was a political social engineering project based on racial segregation. Registration deadline: April 15. More information here:  


Everence will hold its popular Medicare workshop at its office in North Newton on Thursday, February 15 at 6:30 p.m. Topics will include, when and where to sign up for Medicare, what Medicare covers, plus an explanation of Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D. Attendance is recommended for those approaching retirement or those ready to sign up for Medicare. The in-person workshop will be held at the Everence office: 3179 N. Main St. Suite 1B, North Newton. Those interested in attending should contact the Everence office at 316-283-3800, 877-467-7294 or


We are excited to announce SWAP is accepting applications for the upcoming year!  Would you consider coming to Appalachia?  Apply today to reserve your spot at

A service and learning program of MCC Great Lakes, SWAP provides meaningful volunteer opportunities for schools, universities, churches, families, groups and individuals. Participants should be 15 years or older. You can, however, call the office to inquire about younger participants. SWAP experiences often run in the summer. Experiences can also be arranged during non-summer months and are great options for retirees! 


Mennonite Heritage & Agricultural Museum, Goessel.  

As part of the 150th Anniversary celebration of the migration of Mennonites to Kansas, Dr. Mark Jantzen, professor of history at Bethel college, will present “Fifty-Three Years in the Russian Empire: The Context for Mennonites in the Years 1821 to 1874.”  The event will be held February 18, 2024, at 3 pm, at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, Goessel, Ks. Join us in person or by zoom. Zoom link:

Meeting ID 861 6791 1311

Passcode 473902

Ulrich Zwingli Film to be shown February 18, 4:00pm at Moundridge church.

We have a rare opportunity to see a film about Ulrich Zwingli, a priest in the Reformed Grossmunster Church in Switzerland, who opened scripture to the common man. The movie opened in Switzerland and topped the box office there in 2019. Now translated into English and brought to the U.S., the film is seen through the eyes of his wife, Anna.  Zwingli is shown demanding that what is in the Bible should be taken seriously. This 90-minute movie with English sub-titles doesn’t flinch from the harsher circumstances including the split between Zwingli and the Anabaptists including Felix Mantz and Konrad Grebel.  Zwingli said: “To be a Christian does not mean chattering about Christ, but rather to lead a life as Christ lived.”  Anna is caught between the doctrines of Catholic Church and what she reads in Scripture. 

“The Reformer” movie will be shown at the First Mennonite Church of Christian in Moundridge, KS, at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 18, 2024.  There is no charge and all are welcome. No reservations are necessary.