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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – January 10-16, 2024

Table of Contents

A BLESSING FOR STAR WORDS (written by Rev. Sarah Speed)

God of open horizons and open roads,
like the Magi so many years ago,
we are here, seeking you.

Step by step, we have wandered into this hour
with the hope of feeling you in our midst.

Step by step, you have seen us, claimed us, and called us beloved.

Today we have drawn star words.
For some, these words are full of meaning, challenge, and invitation already.
For others, these words are a blank canvas—inviting you into our lives.

So as a new year dawns, we pray that just as you have spoken

to the generations before us, you would speak to us again.

Allow us to use these star words as a tool

that might help us hear you more clearly,

to live more fully into life as your beloveds.

May they guide us, as the star guided the Magi.
And in a year, may we find ourselves here, together again,

with mouths full of praise for the ways in which you have been present with us.
Together we pray, with joy in our hearts. AMEN 

It’s not too late to receive a Star Word for 2024! Pick one up in the foyer at church, or let me know and I’d be happy to send you one.

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.


The link to join is on our website: Join 5 minutes early for announcements.


Mark 2:1-22

Lord of forgiveness, you healed a paralytic by forgiving his sins. Forgive us, heal us, and teach us to walk in your ways. Amen.

  • Preacher: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader: Maggie Pounds
  • Children’s Time: DeAnna Goering
  • Scripture Reader: Stephanie Gehring
  • Pianist: Shelley Kauffman
  • Song Leader: Jonathan Wenger
  • Ushers: Don Wiens & Russell Goering
  • Nursery Attendant: TBA
  • Sound Tech: Adam Pounds
  • Live Stream Tech: Joel Iwashige


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.


  • Jan 21 – Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday with One Lunch Offering for Mennonite World Conference; Celebrating Communion
  • Jan 24 – Joint Congregational Ministry Team + Coordination Teams 6:30pm.
  • Jan 27 – FMC serves at the Soup Kitchen
  • Jan 31 – Faithful Community Coordination Team 1:00pm

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

The Tuesday group meets again at 1:00pm on Tuesday, February 13.

The Wednesday evening group meets tomorrow (Wed January 10) at 6:30pm. The February meeting time is TBD due to a conflict with the Ash Wednesday service on Wed Feb 14.


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. On January 7 this group began a new DVD based study: Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. Pastor Jim and Pastor Tonya will facilitate. More details below.

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


Join the Adult Discussion Class for a DVD based study of Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline. This classic book on spiritual growth was first written in 1978 and has stood the test of time in its relevance to people seeking a path of spiritual growth. This study will provide you with spiritual practices to explore and implement in your daily life, as well as a community to discuss with and learn alongside. All are welcome to join at any time! Participant guidebooks are provided. If you can help cover the $6.50 cost per book we’d welcome that.


Beginning Sunday January 14, we’ll turn toward the story of the good news of Jesus as told by Mark. This story will carry us through Lent (beginning on Feb 14 with Ash Wednesday) and Easter (on March 31). May our journey through this story bring us closer to Jesus and more aligned with his good road of beauty and harmony.


As is our tradition, we will be observing Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday along with other Mennonite World Conference member congregations around the world. We worship together in spirit using the same worship resources, knowing we belong to each other in this global family of faith. This year’s worship resources were prepared by Latin American Anabaptists with the theme: Mosaic – Becoming Part of God’s Story. As part of our worship, we will be collecting a “One Lunch” offering for Mennonite World Conference (please consider donating what it would cost you to buy lunch in our community!), AND we will be celebrating communion together.

The most widely accepted date for the beginning of Anabaptism is January 21, 1525, when Conrad Grebel baptized George Blaurock in Felix Manz’s house in Zurich, Switzerland. George Blaurock immediately baptized several others on confession of their faith. These baptisms were the first “re-baptisms” known in the movement. Anabaptism developed into several groups in Europe during the 1500s – including the

Mennonites (named after Menno Simons from the Netherlands) – and spread in multiple locations. Members of this movement continued to move and grow in numbers around the world in the centuries to follow. Mennonite World Conference began in 1925 as a way of bringing together the many churches

from different streams of Anabaptism. Today MWC has member churches in 58 countries, each with their own story of how they began and came to be part of our Anabaptist communion

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 January 24, 2024 (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).


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.


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.”


We have been invited to join area Church of the Brethren congregations for a hymn sing at Community Church of the Brethren on Feb 4 and 2:00pm. If you wish, bring snacks to share at a fellowship time following the hymn sing.

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…


January: Peanut Butter

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.

Donations to the food bank for 2023 totaled 925 pounds.  Thank you for your generosity.


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


The Men Cook” fundraiser will take place Saturday January 20 from 7:00-8:30pm at the Hutchinson Art Center. Tickets are $45 each and are available at: Apron Strings, Wool Market, Trinity United Methodist, or at the door. This is a fun evening sampling different foods created by men in our community. You also receive two drinks from Salt City Brewery with your ticket. You won’t leave hungry (in fact, you might be quite full)! Thanks for your support of Salthawk as we seek to help students at HMS 8 and Hutch High overcome barriers to education. Currently Pastor Tonya serves on the board, and Tanya Martin Nisly does as well as part of her job at Hutch High.


Sunday January 14 at 2:00pm at Stringer Fine Arts Center, featuring local high school and HCC choirs.

Monday January 15: Community Service Day beginning with breakfast at 9am at Stringer Fine Arts Center followed by volunteering in the community. You can still RSVP to Pastor Tonya through Tuesday afternoon Jan 9 if you want her to add you to the group she is registering to participate.


Check out the signup sheets for serving at the Soup Kitchen. New opportunities are available! Volunteers are needed for food preparation (2-3:30pm), meal delivery (4-5:30pm), and serving and clean up (4:45- 6:00pm). Food donations of applesauce and cookies for this month have been fulfilled. The signup sheets are across from the mailboxes. Many volunteers are needed!

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Volunteers are needed immediately to work (M-F) alongside the facilities director. Call or text Jordan at 316-613-1848.  Calls/texts will be answered between 8am – 5pm.  

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

Bethel College’s Faculty Speaker series begins Friday, Jan. 26, and continues through April 19. During that time, seven different Bethel faculty members will discuss how listening opens up opportunities for learning as well as pathways for building, renewing and repairing relationships. All lectures are from 11 a.m.-noon in Kidron Hall at Kidron Bethel Village in North Newton, and are open to the public. Watch for further details!


Register now for the MCC South Texas Learning Tour, February 4-9, 2024! This immigration-focused learning tour presents a unique opportunity to engage directly with organizations making a positive impact on our neighbors. You won’t want to miss this opportunity. Details and online registration can be found at Deadline to sign up is Jan. 20. Please contact Abraham Diaz Alonso with questions,

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 onesies and sleepers (6-12 month sizes); new bath towels (dark colored, light to medium weight); new hand towels (dark colored). Locally, MCC distributes prisoner care and returning citizen care kits, for those kits we currently need: men’s shirts (sizes XL, 2XL, 3XL — any color) and men’s underwear (sizes 2XL, 3XL — any color). 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


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! 

HESSTON COLLEGE announcements

Melva Kauffman Lecture Series: Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery

This year the Melva Kauffman Lecture Series is pleased to host Mark Charles who will present on the topic of Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery. Charles is the son of an American woman (of Dutch heritage) and a Navajo man. He teaches with insight into the complexities of American history regarding race, culture and faith in order to help forge a path of healing and conciliation for the nation. The public is invited to hear his presentation at Hesston Mennonite Church Sunday, January 21, 2024, at 7 p.m.

Take a Bible Class at Hesston College

Interested in auditing a Bible course beginning in January? This spring semester Hesston College has opportunities to audit Biblical Literature, Jesus and the Gospels, and Peacemaking and Justice courses. Acceptance is based upon availability of open seating. If you are interested in enrolling in or auditing a Bible course, please contact before Jan. 9 to register. Spring courses are in session Jan. 10 to May 9. Be sure and ask about discounted rates for senior citizens.


Urge Congress To Pass The Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act

Background: Critical minerals are essential components of solar panels, wind turbines and electric batteries—all important in the transition to cleaner energy sources. The mining for these minerals, however, can have enormous negative effects: polluted air, water and soil; the exploitation of workers; and the desecration of sacred Indigenous sites. Mining on public lands in the U.S. is governed by the 1872 Mining Law, which fails to protect our public lands and the surrounding communities. More than a century of reckless mining has poisoned our air, waters, and lands—and has disproportionately impacted Indigenous communities.

Urge Congress to pass the Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act (H.R. 3495S. 1742) to mandate strong environmental protections for water and land resources, and also protect tribal sacred sites that have been disproportionately impacted by mining operations. Other bills, like the Mining Regulatory Clarity Act (H.R. 2925S. 1281), offer false solutions that would further weaken mining laws. Please encourage your members of Congress to support the Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act and oppose the Mining Regulatory Clarity Act.

Faith Reflection: We are entrusted with a ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19). We can be climate peacemakers if we approach changemaking with an attitude of love, humility and listening, restoring right relationships as we restore God’s Earth.

Action: Urge Congress to pass the Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act

Everence® JANUARY WORKSHOP: Social Security and retirement income

Everence® will hold an informative Social Security and retirement incomeworkshop on Thursday, January 25, starting at 6:30 p.m. Topics will include, Social Security strategies, including when to begin taking benefits, risks that can impact your retirement savings plus strategies to help your income last throughout retirement. There will also be plenty of time for questions. The in-person workshop will be at the Everence office: 3179 N. Main St. Suite 1B, North Newton, KS. Information will be presented by staff from the Everence offices in Central Kansas. To register contact Everence at 316-283-3800, 877-467-7294 or


Mennonite Action is a movement of Mennonites taking public action to stop war and end the occupation of Palestine. The link above will take you to their webpage where you can find out lots more information and opportunities to participate on Zoom and in person. The next public action planned is on January 16 (a week from today) in Washington DC, to hand deliver a petition of Mennonites. Delon Martens shared that petition this past Sunday during worship. You can read about and sign the petition here, if you wish:


Dates are May 27 – June 6, 2024. This trip will be led by Pastor Weldon Martens, Grace Hill Mennonite Church; Whitewater, KS. This is a 11-Day Tour & Cruise to Athens, Thessalonica, Philippi, Corinth, Crete, Patmos, Ephesus, Mykonos & Santorini. Cost: $3,219 + flights. Registration: Due by January 18, 2024.  Contact Pastor Weldon Martens at: / 402-202-9276. Complete tour information & registration at


Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church, Inman, is celebrating 150 years August 31 – September 1, 2024.  SAVE THE DATES!  We are planning a Sunday School class reunion along with other activities.  Share with your families and others who have Hoffnungsau connections.  Watch Hoffnungsau’s Facebook page for church trivia and more details of our weekend celebration.  If you’d like to be added to our email list for further details as they develop, please contact Barb at