As we begin Lent this week with Ash Wednesday (worship @ 6:30pm in FMC basement fellowship hall or on livestream), here’s a beautiful invitation into Lent written by my pastor friend Steve Garnaas-Holmes. This reflection was sent on Monday (3/20) as part of Steve’s daily meditation ministry, Unfolding Light:
Lent is when we go downstairs,
down into the basement of our souls,
into the dark, dingy, dirty places,
and clear out the junk we need to get rid of.
In Lent we don’t need to beat ourselves up.
We need to lighten our load,
bag up those fears and desires
that are leaking all over everything,
take our guilt and shame out to the curb.
It’s not easy to lay our hands on broken things,
to look deep into the gummed up works.
That’s why Jesus shines with his light,
shines so we can see our way down into the dark,
see to lift up the junk and hand it over,
so he can haul it out into the light
of the dumpster.
The light Jesus shines is good with dark places,
so we know even from the deepest hole down there
we’ll come out. The light will lead us. We’ll be OK.
Mucking around down there we get dirty,
and we come up with grime on our hands
and ashes on our foreheads for everybody to see.
But we’re free of all that blame and disappointment.
And the darkest, deepest cellar hole
becomes an empty tomb.
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
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 26 – FORGIVENESS
First Sunday of Lent
Matthew 18:15-35; (Psalm 32:1-2)
- Preacher: Tonya Ramer Wenger
- Worship Leader: Delon Martens
- Song Leader: Tonya Ramer Wenger
- Children’s Time: Ama Reimer
- Scripture Reader: Julie Esau
- Organist: Pauline Buller
- Ushers: Dennis & Jennalee Boggs
- Nursery Attendant: Anna Crable
- Sound Tech: Murray Reimer
- Live Stream Tech: Sadie Nisly
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.
APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY PASTOR-CONGREGATION REVIEW
Those in attendance on Sunday (Feb 19) were able to participate in the Appreciative Inquiry review in person. If you were not able to participate, please note the email sent from the church office on Monday (Feb 20), offering the opportunity to participate by sending your responses via email, or by printing the questions and your responses and returning them to the church office. Please make sure your responses are returned by next Sunday, February 26.
Thank you for participating. The small groups of participants on Sunday report enriching conversations. We value the thoughts and opinions of all who attend FMC and invite anyone who has not already done so, to return your responses this week. Our consultant will collate the responses and will be back with us on Sunday, April 30 to share the report.
CALENDAR – LOOKING AHEAD
- February 22 – Ash Wednesday Worship (6:30pm) with Community Church of the Brethren
- February 22 – Pastor Tonya’s “Day Apart with God” (every month on the 4th Wednesday)
- February 26 – First Sunday of Lent: Forgiveness
- March 1 – Wednesday LPC Group @ 6:30pm
- March 8 – WNAF begins (details below)
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: the March groups will meet on second Tuesday (March 14) from Noon-1pm and another on the first Wednesday (March 1) 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.
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.
LENT and EASTER 2023 WORSHIP – “Your kingdom come…”
This Lent we will continue listening to the Gospel of Matthew, exploring some hard teachings and confounding parables intended to help us understand what life in the kingdom of heaven is like.
- February 26 (Lent 1): How often should we forgive? Matthew 18:15-35
- March 5 (Lent 2): Who can be saved? Matthew 19:16-30
- March 12 (Lent 3): Are you envious because I am generous? Matthew 20:1-16
- March 19 (Lent 4): Will you come to the party? Matthew 22:1-14
- March 26 (Lent 5): When was it we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick in prison? Matthew 25:31-46
- April 2 – Palm Sunday
- April 9 – Easter Sunday (Potluck Breakfast at 9am; Worship at 10am)
Easter Lilies for Easter Sunday morning
This year we want to decorate our building with Easter lilies. If you would like to remember someone with an Easter lily, please note that information about ordering lilies will be announced in the next couple of weeks. You are invited to order as many lilies as you wish and take them home after the Easter morning service as part of your family celebration.
WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL @ 11:00AM (except for the 5th Sundays of the month, and no Sunday school on February 19)
- Preschool-8th Grade: SHINE! Curriculum: Your Kingdom Come
- 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.
“Younger Adults” Class meets in the adult education room in the basement.
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…
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS
- Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 2:00pm
- Wednesday – 10:00am – 1:00pm (NO office hours on the 4th Wednesday of the month)
PASTOR TONYA’S HOURS/SCHEDULE
- 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)
WNAF (WEDNESDAY NIGHTS AT FIRST) – MARCH 8, 15, 22 and 29
Wednesday evening activities at FMC will be held 4 Wednesdays in March, beginning on March 8. We’re trying a different schedule this time around, so please take note of the changes:
- 5:30-6:30pm CHOIR Rehearsal (only these four Wednesdays – March 15, 22, 29 & April 5)
- 6:00-6:45pm DINNER served
- 6:50-7:50 PROGRAM – Anabaptist Community Bible Study Project (led by Pastor Tonya)
If you would be willing to volunteer to provide childcare during the program on one or more of the evenings, please let Pastor Tonya know ASAP.
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…
SUNDAY MORNING DONATIONS FOR RENO COUNTY FOOD BANK:
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.
MENNONITE FRIENDSHIP COMMUNITIES announcements
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.
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.
CARE PORTAL MINISTRY
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!
OFFENDER VICTIM MINISTRIES annual meeting
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: email@example.com or 316-283-2038
PRAIRIE BRONZE HANDBELL concert
Prairie Bronze Handbell Ensemble invites you to join us in an hour-long concert celebrating faith and unity. Repertoire includes “You Raise Me Up,” “Siyahamba,” Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” “Steal Away,” and “Amazing Grace” (with violinist Nancy Johnson). In McPherson at Trinity Lutheran, 119 N. Elm, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 5. In Newton at First Presbyterian, 900 Columbus, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 12.
MENNONITE CENTRAL COMMITTEE announcements
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 thrift.mcc.org/volunteer or contact Delon Martens to volunteer in our local shop.
KANSAS MENNONITE RELIEF SALE (APRIL 14 & 15) announcements
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. https://runsignup.com/Race/KS/Hutchinson/KMRSRunWalkForRelief5k 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
- Cloth sacks
- Quilt books
- Quilt magazines (2013 – current)
- Quilt patterns
- 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: mcc.org/beyond-incarceration-webinars
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 email@example.com!
BETHEL COLLEGE announcements
Sun., Feb. 26 – Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum program, 3 p.m., Kauffman Museum. Raylene Hinz-Penner, North Newton, will speak on her recently published memoir, with “East of Liberal: Notes on the Land – Exploring the Myths, Contradictions and Resilience.”
Sun., Feb. 26 – Bethel College Concert Choir Tour Send-off Concert, directed by Dr. Henry Waters, 7 p.m., Memorial Hall
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 dyckarboretum.org/events.
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 hesston.edu/fine-arts.