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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – January 18-24, 2023

Table of Contents

“Never forget the covenant which you voluntarily accepted … Remember that you are risen with Christ Jesus into … the life which is taught by the Gospel.” (Menno Simons – Admonition on Church Discipline)

These words are written in rather small cursive script at the very top of a fraktur (according to Wikipedia a fraktur is “a highly artistic and elaborate illuminated folk art created by the Pennsylvania Dutch”) which I received as a gift at my ordination.  While the visual focus on this piece of art created to recognize the 500th anniversary of Menno Simons (1496-1561) is a longer quote calling us to be a church of peace rooted in the Prince of Peace (Jesus Christ), I was drawn today to the quote above which tends to get lost to the eye.

The turn of this sentence surprises me a bit … rising up with Christ Jesus is a call to live a down to earth life as taught by the Gospel.  Gospel literally means ‘good news’ and so we might wonder what exactly Menno is pointing us toward.  He does not say “Gospels” which would clearly point us toward Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  What exactly is a life taught by ‘the Gospel’ or, the ‘good news’? The artwork itself points toward some interpretation by centering Menno’s call to live as a church of peace rooted in the Prince of Peace.  I would agree with that, and I also wonder if Menno wasn’t calling us to persistently search the 4 gospels we’ve been given in scripture for our primary cues for following Jesus in our day to day lives. 

I’ve really come to love this season in our worshipping life together when we turn toward one of the gospels to carry us through to Easter (this year, Matthew).  My prayer is always that we will come to know and understand Jesus’ teachings and his path more fully, that we will hear the correction and change we need to hear right now so we can be a blessing in our community and world, and that we’ll settle ever more deeply into the amazing good news of God-with-us in the flesh, full of grace and truth.

— 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, JANUARY 22, 2023 – Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday: “Jesus Christ: Our Hope”

Isaiah 40:28-31; Ps 62:1-6; Luke 18:35-43; 1 Peter 1:3-6

“Even in the midst of deep troubles, we come together from around the world to follow Jesus, who gives us hope.”

  • Preacher: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader: Calvin Buller
  • Song Leader: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Children’s Time: Lona Willems
  • Scripture Reader: Sadie Pritchett, + readers (recorded) provided by Mennonite World Conference
  • Organist: Pauline Buller
  • Ushers: Jay & Stephanie Gehring
  • Nursery Attendant: TBA
  • Sound Tech: Murray Reimer
  • Live Stream Tech: Sadie Nisly


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. 

2022 INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTION REPORTS . . . a note from our treasurer

Since the IRS has raised the standard deduction threshold and those with IRA’s can send funds 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 to receive 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


  • January 22 – Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday – celebrating with One Lunch offering
  • January 25 – CMT and the four Coordination Teams meeting together – 6:30pm

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) will be offered each month: one group on the second Tuesday from Noon-1pm and another group 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 are Tues Feb 14 at noon, and Wed Feb 8 at 6:30pm.


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.  

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL  @ 11:00AM (except for the 5th Sundays of the month)

Preschool-8th Grade: SHINE! Curriculum:  Fall of a Kingdom

  • 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

This new year brings opportunity to begin a new tradition . . . begin each day with a reading from one of the devotional magazines—REJOICE! or UPPER ROOM. New issues 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


As we begin the new year, all Coordination Teams (Faith Formation, Faithful Community, Service and Outreach, and Stewardship) will meet with the Congregational Ministry Team on Wed January 25 at 6:30pm.  We’ll welcome new members, review our shared mission and purpose, and prayerfully look toward the year ahead.  If you are a member of one of these teams or the CMT, please plan to attend and participate in this gathering.  Snacks will be provided.


Lee Lever, the Western District Consultant for our upcoming pastor-congregation review, will be preaching during worship on Sunday January 29.  On that day he will also be training facilitators and recorders for the Appreciative Inquiry review process to be held on Sunday morning February 19.  More details will be coming, but for now put Feb 19 on your calendar to be present for some worshipful work together as we evaluate where we are and share hopes and dreams for the future of this congregation. 

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…


JANUARY: Peanut Butter (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.

ANABAPTIST WORLD FELLOWSHIP SUNDAY . . . celebrated with One Lunch offering

This Sunday, January 22, we will be joining Anabaptist-related churches around the world with the common   theme, “Jesus Christ: Our Hope.” With others, we commemorate the first Anabaptist baptism that took place on January 21, 1525 in Zurich, Switzerland We remember our common roots and celebrate our worldwide koinonia.  To support the work of Mennonite World Conference, we invite everyone to contribute the cost of at least one lunch in our community to support the networks and resources of our global Anabaptist church family. A special “One Lunch” offering will be received that morning. Checks may be made payable to FMC, with “One Lunch” in the memo.


Our church has made a commitment to serve at the Christian Soup Ministry on the 4th Saturday of every other month. Our next opportunity to serve is January 28. Help is needed to cook (starting around 2:00pm) to deliver meals around 4:00pm, and to serve the meal at 5:00pm. Donations of salad greens are also requested. Bring to the soup kitchen on the 28th. A signup sheet is posted on the “Sign Up” bulletin board in the church foyer. Questions? Contact Kevin Martin Nisly or Sadie Nisly.


This February our Junior High Youth (Duncan Krehbiel, Lily Nisly and a friend; Jonathan Wenger and Maggie Pounds will attend as sponsors) will be participating in Know Jesus, a youth retreat sponsored by Western District and South Central Conferences at Hesston College. The conference theme is Discovering your Anabaptist Filter. Throughout the weekend the youth will learn what it means to be Anabaptist in the past, present, and future. This year the youth will also have the opportunity to pack 48,000 meals for families all over the world. Numana is an international hunger relief organization based in El Dorado, KS. Our congregation has the opportunity to help support our youth in this meaningful service project by raising funds for the food and supplies needed. Please make your checks out to First Mennonite with “Numana” in the memo line.  Thanks for your support!

KANSAS MENNONITE MEN’S CHORUS . . . inviting singers for April concerts

KMMC is inviting men to join the rehearsals beginning Sunday, January 29, in preparation for the concerts planned for April 16 and 23. The chorus’ motto, “We sing that others may live,” speaks to their goal of raising funds for the work of Mennonite Central Committee around the world. Join in the blessings of singing and sharing God’s love through KMMC. Talk to Calvin Buller for more information.

CARE PORTAL ministry update

Many of you will remember CarePortal, which was implemented so well by Star Gipson before her passing. We want to continue our church’s involvement with CarePortal, reviewing it for those of you who have some familiarity with it, and introducing it to those who may not be familiar with it.

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. Church members using the CarePortal platform found that increases awareness of the needs of hurting children and families in their community, increases action by making it easier to assist families, and creates meaningful connections with those they serve. Needs may include donating items such as a bed, a couch, or an oven, it may pay for a service, such as fixing a vehicle or broken pipes, or it may help with the payment of a utility bill.

CarePortal began seven years ago as an offshoot of the parent company The Global Orphan Project. Since then, over 4,000 churches have signed on to be a part of this system nationwide, at an economic impact of over $57 million. There are about a dozen churches, including First Mennonite, who are active in Hutchinson and the surrounding communities. About 87% of the needs are met locally.

Russ Gaeddert will be the new Care Portal contact person for our congregation. He will be 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!


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. 

JANUARY 21 SALTHAWK FUNDRAISER: Taste of Hutchinson-The Men Cook @ Hutchinson Art Center

Experience the delicious tastes of appetizers and entrees prepared and served by some of Hutchinson’s finest men! Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at Apron Strings, The Wool Market, Trinity United Methodist Church, online at, or at the door. This is a fun community event! Funds raised at this event insure the financial future of the Salthawk Community Support program at Hutchinson High School, MidTown @ Avenue A, and HMS-8. at the Hutchinson Art Center.  Tickets are $40 each.  7-8:30pm.


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.

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.

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Sun., Jan. 22 – 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 2022 semester.

Sat., Jan. 28 – Kauffman Museum annual Kansas Day event, “Kansans Create!,” noon-4 parking lot and grounds. For more information, see the Kauffman Museum Facebook page or

HESSTON COLLEGE announcements

January 23 – Nature Book Club
Join the Dyck Arboretum January 23 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom to participate in their Nature Book Club. Books this month will be “How the Penguins Saved Veronica” by Hazel Prior and “Horizon” by Barry Lopez. Register and learn more at

January 31 – Attracting Bees & Beneficial Insects with Native Plants
Join the Dyck Arboretum January 31 at 7 p.m. via Zoom to be a part of their presentation Attracting Bees & Beneficial Insects with Native Plants. Heather Halm will present. Register and learn more at

February 6 – Sunflower Performing Arts: Our Song, Our Story
Join Hesston College’s Sunflower Performing Arts on February 6 at 7 p.m. in Hesston Mennonite Church for a great performance, Our Song, Our Story: The New Generation of Black Voices. Performing opera, art song, spirituals, and jazz, these world class black artists will pay homage to Marian Anderson and Jessye Norman who were at the vanguard of black classical singers. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 620-327-8158.

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Interviews for Summer Staff Starting Soon!  We are seeking stunning summer staff to fill the following leadership positions for the 2023 summer:  crafts, lifeguard, music, nature, office, and grounds.  These positions are typically filled by college-age students, are summer-long and receive a stipend.  Let us know who you think would make a great summer staffer at Camp Mennoscah.  It’s a summer of fun, service and faith formation!


WDC’s Hope Fund assists WDC congregations and commissions in response to the impact of the COVID pandemic, natural disasters and other emergencies resulting in added expenses, stress, and loss of income. Thanks to generous contributions from WDC congregations, members and friends, 28 grants were made from 2020 to 2022, totaling over $62,000. Nearly a third of WDC congregations and the Ministerial Leadership Commission have received grants (some receiving multiple grants) to assist with needs such as rent, utility bills, facility repairs, groceries, medical costs, transportation, children’s daycare, mental health counseling and coaching.  After all this good work, the Hope Fund is running low and seeks new contributions in 2023!  Donations designated “Hope Fund” may be made online at or sent to Western District Conference at PO Box 306, North Newton, KS 67117


We are searching for a Regional Operations Coordinator who will oversee all MDS project operations in Region 3 (Plains states, west of Mississippi), and facilitate volunteer engagement in the investigation and development of projects. Find  more information, on our