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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – February 15-21, 2023

On the way to school this morning our exchange student from Italy asked questions about ‘who’ Valentine’s Day is for here in the United States?  Is it just about romantic love, or also about friendship and other kinds of love? Its unfortunate that in the English language we only have one word to describe what really is a complex and varied emotion/action.

Many of you are familiar with Gary Chapman’s 5 love languages: acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, and physical touch. You can take a little quiz here to see what your primary love language is and what that might mean.  Just a little bit of understanding about the different ways people express love can go a long way in broadening our perspective, and our ability to love more fully.  The reality is we are all capable of all 5 ways of expressing love, and so even though we have our preference, there is always room to gain skills in love languages that aren’t our ‘first’ language, so to speak. 

Love is the fuel for an “Arms Wide Open: To Serve & Be Served” life.  For disciples of Jesus, we look to the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus to teach us about the love God has poured into the world.  This is the love we open ourselves to receive and be filled and transformed by.  This is the love we share with others when we, too, open our arms wide to share the embrace of grace and forgiveness we have so freely received.

On this Valentines Day, as you reach out to those you love, perhaps you will also want to spend some time immersed in the following scriptures offering shape and guidance to why and how we give ourselves to love.

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us, and his love is perfected in us.  (1 John 4:7-12)


If I speak in the tongues of humans and of angels but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions and if I hand over my body so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable; it keeps no record of wrongs; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.   Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. …   13 And now faith, hope, and love remain, these three, and the greatest of these is love. 

(I Corinthians 13:1-9, 13)

Pastor Tonya

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

Along with recommending that everyone traveling on planes, trains, buses, and other public transportation wear masks, the CDC also recommends that as COVID-19 numbers and other illness spike, wearing a mask indoors in public spaces is a good idea. Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Get tested if you have symptoms. Stay home if you are not feeling well. 

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19 – Transfiguration

Matthew 16:24–17:8; (Psalm 41:7-10)

Worshipful Work: Appreciative Inquiry review process for our congregation and Pastor Tonya

  • Worship Leader: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Pianist: Peggy Stucky
  • Ushers: Jennalee Boggs & 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. 


The Appreciative Inquiry will take place during the worship service this Sunday, February 19. The morning will begin with a shortened worship time beginning at 9:30am as usual. We will move to small group conversations centered around six Appreciative Inquiry questions written especially for FMC for this review. In order to allow enough time to complete the Inquiry process, there will not be Sunday School. The Appreciative Inquiry questions were sent by email last week and copies are also available in the foyer. Please take time to consider your responses in advance. We highly value the input of everyone who participates in the life of our congregation and strongly encourage all to be present on Sunday to participate in the Appreciative Inquiry process. Rev. Lee Lever, our Western District Consultant, will collate the responses anonymously, write a report, and share the results with us by the end of April. (Junior and Senior Youth are invited into the process and activities for children will be provided in the Common Grounds room.) If you join us for worship through livestream, please note that, on February 19, you will find a Zoom link in the Comments section of the livestream. Plan to join us there for a small group conversation.


  • February 18 – Singing Group @ Wenger’s (5:30 potluck/6:30 singing)
  • February 19 – Worshipful work – Appreciative Inquiry review…your hopes and dreams for FMC
  • February 22 – Ash Wednesday Worship (6:30pm) with Community Church of the Brethren
  • February 26 – First Sunday of Lent: Forgiveness

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

Two monthly LPC (Listening-Prayer-Conversation) groups are offered each month: one on the second Tuesday from Noon-1pm and another on the second Wednesday from 6:30-7:30pm.  The Wednesday group includes a Zoom option (contact Pastor Tonya for the link).  The hour is simply structured to create space for listening to scripture and Spirit, praying with and without words, and conversation with God and others.  The next gatherings will be in March.


This winter and spring (through Easter) we will be listening to the Gospel of Matthew, using the Narrative Lectionary.  We encourage you to spend time reading along in Matthew as we journey through the Epiphany season, and then Lent (beginning Feb 22) which will lead us to Easter Sunday on April 9.  

ASH WEDNESDAY – FEB 22, 2023 @ 6:30PM

We’ll gather with our friends from Community Church of the Brethren for our annual Ash Wednesday worship service on Feb 22 at 6:30pm in the basement fellowship hall.  The service will be in person and we also plan to live stream for those of you who would prefer to join virtually.  Check our home page on the website for the link to the livestream. If you do join virtually, you are invited to bring to your home worship space a candle to light during the service, and some ashes, oil or other substance to use to make the sign of a cross on your hand or forehead when we do the imposition of ashes.


Sunday school classes for all ages will resume on February 26.

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 (NO office hours on the 4th Wednesday of the month)


  • 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)


PCRC current members are: Jolene Yoder (chair), Peggy Stucky, and Kevin Martin Nisly.  This committee meets quarterly to check in with both pastors, offering support and sharing any feedback/comments received from the congregation in the time between meetings.  In doing so, they tend to the relationship between congregation and pastor(s).  If you have items to communicate to the PCRC, please do so before their next meeting the afternoon of February 17.


Join others at the Wenger’s for an evening of food (potluck at 5:30pm – bring a dish to share), fellowship, and singing (singing begins around 6:30pm) from our new hymnal, Voices Together.  We won’t be limited to Voices Together, but this will be a good time to do some exploring of this new resource! Everyone is invited, whether you consider yourself a ‘singer’ or not.  Hymnals will be provided as needed.  Feel free to bring additional instruments (to add to piano and voices!).

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…


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, tooth paste and tooth brushes.  Travel size – new & unopened – are desirable.


Join the Liverwurst and Fried Mush Tradition! Mark your calendar for Friday, February 24, 2023, serving 5-8pm at Journey @ Yoder. All proceeds help provide care for nursing home residents who have outlived their financial resources.


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. 


CarePortal creates connections between children and families in need and those who would like to help them. Caseworkers identify the needs, submit requests through the online system known as CarePortal, local church and nonprofit representatives and individuals are notified of the needs, and then help is provided.   Russ Gaeddert is the new Care Portal contact person for our congregation. He has started forwarding the needs that he receives from local case workers to the FMC email group. If you would like to help, you will respond to Russ and he will assist with making the connection so that the family is helped.

Thank you so much for the tremendous aid that you all have given in the past and for the ways you will help in the future!


Please join us for OVM’s annual meeting on Tuesday, February 28, at 6:30 p.m. at Shalom Mennonite Church in Newton. This meeting will be highly interactive, featuring our participation in an experiential learning resource from our partner organization, MCC: “You Got Booked!” RSVP: or 316-283-2038


SAVE THE DATE! Come join the fun at 15th annual MCC Comforter Blitz on March 6, 7 and 8 on the Journey @ Yoder Campus, one mile north of Yoder, KS. Times are Monday and Tuesday 9-5 and Wednesday 9-4.  No sewing skills are required, we will teach you.  Lunch is available by donation each day, or you may bring your own sack lunch.  Bring snacks to share during the workday.  This event is hosted by Kansas Friends of MCC to make comforters for relief to be sent to refugees or places after natural disasters. Please contact the MCC Central States office with questions at #316-283-2720, or check the Comforter Blitz Facebook Page, “Kansas MCC Comforter Blitz”.

MCC Central States annual meeting, March 4 from 1-3 p.m. at MCC in North Newton, Kansas. This will primarily be an in-person event, but if you would like a link to join via Zoom please email for the link.

Volunteer with MCC Thrift today! You can support the relief development and peace work of Mennonite Central Committee AND your local community when you volunteer at your local MCC Thrift shop! By volunteering, you’ll make friends, gain work experience, and help make a difference in your community and around the world. From sorting to pricing to working the cash register, we’ve got a job that’s right for you. Sign up to volunteer or contact Delon Martens to volunteer in our local shop.


WANTED — Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles, RVs, Campers, Tractors, Modern Farm Equipment, etc. for the Kansas MCC Sale.  Items you no longer need can help Feed and Clothe thousands in desperate living conditions.  ALL donations are Tax Deductible.  Call Jerry Toews for info: 620 367 8257. Help make a difference.

26th Annual KS MCC Run for Relief on Saturday, April 15, 2023.  The entry form and sponsor form are available on the table in the foyer. Online registration is at.  Watch for updates on their Facebook page (Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale-Run/Walk for Relief 5K).  

QUILTER’S CORNER welcomes your donated QUILT-RELATED items . . . used/unused/unfinished, no longer needed, to generate funds for MCC relief work around the world. Suggested items:

  • Finished/unfinished quilt tops
  • Finished/unfinished quilt blocks
  • Old and damaged quilts
  • Quilt supplies and tools
  • Linens
  • Cloth sacks
  • Quilt books
  • Quilt magazines (2013 – current)
  • Quilt patterns
  • Notions
  • Fabric – cotton

Items may be dropped off at the MCC Center in North Newton with boxes/bags labeled Quilter’s Corner. OR you may place them in the designated basket in the church foyer.

MCC and MCUSA are partnering in a new webinar series

Beyond incarceration: A hard look at dismantling the prison system and building healthy communities, invites us to learn about the ways the faith community is actively understanding and working against these complex systems of confinement. The webinars will take place on Feb. 7, Feb. 21, March 7, and March 21 at 6:30 p.m. CST/5:30 p.m. MST. They will be followed by learning tour opportunities in different parts of the U.S. Registration link:

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Summer Youth Camp Registration is now open! We welcome you to register here for the upcoming summer season!  Detailed information about our Summer Youth Camps and our Program Directors can be found here, on the Camp Mennoscah website.

Youth Volunteer Weekend is March 24-25!  Youth in Grades 6-12 are invited to come to this retreat focused on worship and service. The retreat begins on Friday at 7pm with registration followed by snacks, games, and campfire. Rachel and Isaac, the Senior High program directors, will lead activities. Register in the Summer Youth Camp section by adding a person or session, if you have already registered for camp. 

Spring Scrapbook and Craft Retreat registration is open!  Dates are March 10-12, and March 17-19, 2023.

Croppers and crafters of all skill levels are welcome. Participants at the Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats will have lodging in the Retreat Center and work space at the Dining Hall. Grade 3 and above are welcome with an accompanying adult. Further details available on the website or at 620-297-3290.   

Kitchen staff and nurses needed for summer youth camps from June 4 through July 28.  Most people come out for a camp week, but we will also schedule partial weeks, as needed.  Kitchen staff receive a camper discount for up to full camp fees and need to be able to follow directions with a willing spirit.  Nurses must be an RN and can receive either a stipend or a camper discount.  Contact us at 620-297-3290 or!

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Now in the Regier Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College – “Farm to Table,” ceramics by Stacey Stanhope Dundon,through Fri., Feb. 24 (artist lecture and reception Feb. 23). Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 2-4 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 19 – KIPCOR Film Series presents No Time to Waste: The Urgent Mission of Betty Reid Soskin, 2 p.m.Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center. This film looks at the legendary 101-year-old park ranger’s inspiring life, work and determination to restore critical missing chapters of America’s story. An audience talkback will follow the screening. Free and open to the public, with a freewill offering taken to support KIPCOR and the film series.

Tues., Feb. 21 – Bethel College Chamber Orchestra concert, directed by Kristopher Hilding, 7 p.m.Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center

Sun., Feb. 26 – Bethel College Concert Choir Tour Send-off Concert

HESSTON COLLEGE announcements

February 28 – McPherson Valley Wetlands: Past, Present and Future
Join the Dyck Arboretum Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. to learn about the McPherson Valley Wetlands. Historically there were thousands of acres of wetlands in the McPherson Valley Wetlands that held extreme importance to migratory birds. Hear the full story of this unique wetland ecosystem and the plans for its restoration from a Public Land Manager perspective. Jason Black will be presenting. Learn more about this event and register at

March 1 to 5 – Spring Musical
Hesston College Performing Arts will present the musical The Apple Tree by Bock and Harnick, the same duo that wrote Fiddler on the Roof, in the Black Box Theater in Keim Center March 1 to 5. The Apple Tree is a series of three musical playlets  – The Diary of Adam & Eve, The Lady or the Tiger, Passionella. Learn more at