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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – January 17-23, 2024

Table of Contents

As we remember Martin Luther King, Jr. this week, the challenge rises before us to not only read/speak his words, but to join him in dreaming of and putting into action a better world every day of the year.  I was moved by the prayer copied below, written by Martin Luther King, Jr.

(source: Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University

May God indeed: “break the spell of that which blinds our minds” and “purify our hearts that we may see God … [giving] us broad visions, penetrating eyes, and power of endurance … [so that we can] work with renewed vigor for a warless world, for a better distribution of wealth, and for a brother/sisterhood that transcend race or color.”

     Pastor Tonya

PRAYER from a collection of prayers written by Martin Luther King, Jr.:

Most Gracious and all wise God; Before whose face the generations rise and fall; Thou in whom we live, and move, and have our being.6 We thank thee [for] all of thy good and gracious gifts, for life and for health; for food and for raiment; for the beauties of nature and the love of human nature.

We come before thee painfully aware of our inadequacies and shortcomings. We realize that we stand surrounded with the mountains of love and we deliberately dwell in the valley of hate. We stand amid the forces of truth and deliberately lie; We are forever offered the high road and yet we choose to travel the low road. For these sins O God forgive.

Break the spell of that which blinds our minds. Purify our hearts that we may see thee. O God in these turbulent day[s] when fear and doubt are mounting high give us broad visions, penetrating eyes, and power of endurance. Help us to work with renewed vigor for a warless world, for a better distribution of wealth, and for a brotherhood that transcends race or color. In the name and spirit of Jesus we pray. Amen.   


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. 


Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday + Communion

Job 42:1-6; Psalm 8; John 10:14-16; Ephesians 4:1-16

  • Preacher: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader: Delon Martens
  • Children’s Time: Jennalee Boggs
  • Scripture Reader:
  • Organist: Pauline Buller
  • Song Leader: Bryan Kehr
  • Ushers: Dennis & Jennalee Boggs
  • Nursery Attendant: TBA
  • 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.  


  • Jan 21 – Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday with One Lunch Offering for Mennonite World Conference; 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 turned 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). In addition, she has scheduled some vacation time prior to this retreat to visit family in Ohio (leaving Wednesday March 6).


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.”


All are invited to the Wenger’s for a potluck (beginning at 6pm) and informal hymn-singing (beginning around 7pm).  A main dish will be provided – please bring a dish to share if you can!  We’ll also provide hymnals but feel free to bring your own (and any instruments!) if you wish. 


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. This church is located at 1600 N Severance Street in Hutchinson. FMC partners with Church of the Brethren on several annual events, and this offers another opportunity to strengthen between two like-minded congregations.


Sign up will be available soon for your Super Bowl Subs prepared by our Senior Youth Group. Choose turkey or ham/salami ($10/sub). Every sub comes with a little baggie of veggies (but you provide your own condiments). Sign up by February 8 (on Jan 28 & Feb 4 after worship the youth to be in the foyer to take orders, or contact Jonathan Wenger or Tanya Martin Nisly). Pick up your sub(s) on Sunday February 11 after worship.

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. 


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!

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

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 

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Work on the Retreat Center HVAC Project is starting! There are two Work Days to start off the project on January 20 and 27. The first day will focus on removing furniture and all other items from the building and the second will be the start of “demolition.” Work will start at 9am and end at 5pm. Bring your own lunch and water bottle, please, and meet at the Retreat Center. Camp Mennoscah will provide tools needed.  Space heaters will be used, but temperatures inside may be around 50 degrees. Please let us know you are coming so we can be prepared. Contact us at 620-297-3290, 316-293-7313 (text) or We are grateful for your generosity as a volunteer. Thank you for helping make the Retreat Center project a reality!…

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! 

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.

January 27 – Community Day
Join Hesston College for Community Day on Saturday, January 27, at Yost Center. The event features free admission to the Lark men’s and women’s basketball games vs. Neosho County as well as free popcorn, photos with Clark the Lark, performances by the HC dance team and free haircuts from alum Christy (Berkey) ’03 Pickerill, CC’s Family Hair. The women’s game starts at noon and the men’s game at 3 p.m. The Hesston High School pep band and cheerleaders will help cheer the Larks.

January 30 – History of Prairie Fires
Join the Winter Lecture Series at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains and learn about the history of prairie fires. You will learn about how fire helped shape the Great Plains and the lives of its residents. The lecture begins at 7 p.m. and will be held virtually. Visit to register. There is a $5 cost.

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Fri. Jan. 19 – “Forest Listening,” works by Liz K. Miller, opens in the Regier Art Gallery in Lukyen Fine Arts Center at Bethel College (no reception). Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 2-4 p.m.

Sun., Jan. 21 – Bethel College Music Department Honors Recital, 4 p.m.Administration Building chapel, featuring freshman, sophomore and junior vocal and instrumental students who performed exceptionally during the fall 2023 semester.

Fri., Jan. 26 – First event in the Bethel College Faculty Lecture Series, “Walking the Talk: Listening in Our Disciplines,” at Kidron Bethel Village, 11 a.m.Kidron Hall. Dr. Rachel Epp Buller, Bethel professor of visual arts and design and series organizer, will introduce the series and speak on “Walking and Listening in/as Artistic Practice.”

Sat., Jan. 27 – Kauffman Museum annual Kansas Day event, “Kansas Critters,” noon-4 parking lot and grounds. Featuring food trucks, exhibits and activities indoors and out, and much more. For more information, see the Kauffman Museum Facebook page or 


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,

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

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! 


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


For young adult (ages 18-30), Peace Camps offer opportunities to learn and explore dynamics of social change; experience personal transformation; and apply Anabaptist, Biblical foundations of peace and justice to real world issues. MCC covers all costs of travel, lodging and meals beyond the $250 registration fee. read more about each peace camp and when to register.


A gap year with Service Adventure is a time to focus on faith, live in community, and engage in the work God is doing in cities across the country. Apply by January 31 for the broadest selection of placements and unit houses. Ages 17-20.

A year (or two!) with MVS is a chance to grow somewhere new serving with local nonprofits, joining in fellowship at a host church and exploring what God is doing in other communities. Apply by January 31 for the broadest selection of placements and unit houses. Ages 20+


February 23-24 in Fresno, California. The entire event is free (including meals) and open to all. Travel and accommodations are on your own. Attend in person or view the celebration online via YouTube/MDSmennonite or Click this link for details 


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 


Mennonite Heritage & Agricultural Museum – Goessel

You are invited to join us on January 28, 2024, at 2 pm at the Goessel Church, Goessel, Ks for the Annual Meeting of the Mennonite Heritage & Agricultural Museum and for the kickoff event celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the migration of the Mennonites to Kansas. After the annual meeting, Rod Ratzlaff, Przechowko historian, will present, “Origins of Alexanderwohl, Hoffnungsau, & Lone Tree: Legacy of the Old Flemish Mennonites of Przechowko.” How do these three Mennonite churches in south central Kansas fit in with a 16th century village in West Prussia (today’s Poland)? Come find out! After the program, faspa will be served. Come early to renew your MH&AM membership or join for the first time. 150th Anniversary merchandise will be available for sale before and after the meeting. (Cash or check only, we cannot accept credit cards.) This event will be live streamed from the Mennonite Heritage & Agricultural Museum’s Facebook page.

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