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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – January 25-31, 2023

Table of Contents

Pastor-Congregation Review.  Appreciative Inquiry.  You’ve been hearing and/or reading those words more often recently as we approach the beginning of our “Appreciative Inquiry Pastor-Congregation Review” process.  What exactly does that mean for you, and for us as a congregation?

As I’ve come to understand it, a pastor-congregation review is an opportunity to assess and evaluate the ‘state’ of the relationship between a pastor and the congregation in which they are currently serving.  The process hopefully takes an accurate pulse of what is going well and where there is need for improvement within the overall ministry of the congregation, which includes (but is not limited to) the specific role of a pastor. 

This description of the purpose of a pastor-congregation review process is helpful:  “The goal of an evaluation or review process should always be to improve the ministry of a congregation and the effectiveness of its members and staff. Through intentional reflection and collaborative discernment… done in the context of the congregation’s call and vision, pastors, leaders and people all gain insight, discern new priorities and experience empowerment” (Jill Hudson, Evaluating Ministry, Alban Institute).

The Mennonite Church USA document that begins with the quote above continues with this:  “The hope is that pastoral reviews will 1) motivate and inspire pastors to grow in effectiveness and 2) strengthen the relationship between the pastor and congregation as together they seek to carry out the congregation’s vision and mission.”

Appreciative inquiry refers to the type of process we will be using for this review.  This type of process focuses on a strength-based approach rather than problem based, while also drawing out areas for growth in ministry.  A series of appreciative inquiry questions will be posed to participants in small group conversations, each with a facilitator and a recorder.  All of the questions will be available to you in advance of these conversations, which will take place on Sunday morning Feb 19. 

More details will be coming soon about the logistics and options related to the process on Feb 19. We are looking forward to an engaging morning of ‘worshipful work’ and community building through these small group conversations.  Junior Youth and Senior Youth will also be invited into this conversation, and care for our preschool and grade school children will be provided during the conversations. For those of you joining worship on livestream, there will be a Zoom meeting open that morning for you to join and give your feedback.  

Everyone who participates in the life of our congregation is invited to participate in the review process, whether you are a member or not.  We highly value the input of everyone as we evaluate where we are and share hopes for the future.  If you have questions about the process, please talk with Jennalee Boggs, CMT Chairperson.

— 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 29, 2023 – Treasure in Heaven: Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Psalm 131; Matthew 6:25-34

  • Preacher: Rev. Lee Lever
  • Worship Leader: Maggie Goering
  • Song Leader: Bryan Kehr
  • Children’s Time: Hilda Iwashige
  • Scripture Reader: Cathia Krehbiel
  • Pianist: Peggy Stucky
  • Ushers: Russ Wedel & Diane Ziemer
  • Nursery Attendant: TBA
  • Sound Tech: Earl Ediger
  • Live Stream Tech: Jonathan Wenger


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 25 – Church office closed (Pastor Tonya’s 4th Wednesday ‘Day Apart with God’)
  • January 25 – CMT and the four Coordination Teams meeting together – 6:30pm

      – 5th Sunday Fellowship time with treats following worship

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 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 – will NOT be checking email or responding to texts/calls (except for emergencies)

    ***A note about Pastor Tonya’s upcoming schedule:

  •  Wednesday January 25 – 4th Wed “Day Apart with God”
  •  Working Monday February 6
  •  Tuesday February 7 participating in WDC’s Pastor’s Day Apart in Newton at Prairie View
  •  Thursday February 9-Sunday February 12 gone on vacation to visit family in Ohio


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. 

VALENTINES for our young adults in college and service assignments

Share your encouragement and support with our young adults in college and service assignment by sending a card this Valentine’s Day. Select a card from the baskets on the table in the foyer or create or purchase your own. Pick up an address sheet and send a note. Be sure to mail it in time to be received by Valentine’s Day!


Craft night returns as a regularly scheduled event on the 2nd Monday of each month. Mark your calendar for the next one on February 13, 6:30-8:00pm in the church library. Bring your project – knitting, crocheting, other crafts – and enjoy this time of friendship and ministry together. Any questions . . . contact Cheryl Warkentin or Diane Ziemer.


The book study group is starting up again on Wednesday February 1 at 1:00pm.  We’ll be reading and discussing Rachel Held Evans’ book A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master.  If you need help getting a book, contact Pastor Tonya. Participants in the group will take turns facilitating discussions. 

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.


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!


Community Church of the Brethren here in Hutchinson invites us to join them in a presentation by Drs. Rebecca and Samuel Dali, sharing about the work of the center. CCEPI helps victims of abuse and neglect, including the returning kidnapped Chibok girls. The Dali’s’ own life stories are ones of extraordinary resilience and courage. They did not succumb to their early life experiences; rather, through faith in God and a strong desire to live, they survived and are now making a difference in many others’ lives. Admission is free. Offerings to support CCEPI will be gladly accepted. Come on Friday, February 3, 2023, at 6:30pm to the Church of the Brethren located at 1600 N. Severance.

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.


Buhler Mennonite Church, 220 W. Ave B, Buhler, KS will be hosting their Annual Chicken Noodle Soup Mission Supper fundraiser on February 8. This year’s carry-out only dinner will feature chicken noodle soup, pie & bread. Orders will be accepted through January 26 by calling or texting 620-664-7699, 620-727-5128 or 620-217-1156. Pick up will be at the north entrance of the church from 4:00-6:00 on Wednesday, February 8. Enter from the south side parking lot on B Street  This will be a free will offering with proceeds going towards Outreach Meals. Cash and checks accepted with checks made out to Buhler Mennonite Church.

BUILDERS BARGAINS and ET CETERA year-end charitable donations

2022 ended at Builders Bargains and Et Cetera with most of the Christmas inventory collected during the year sold and 2023 is off to a great start at both locations.  While an exact accounting of sales for 2022 isn’t yet available, I would like to share with you that the Board recently authorized $125,000 in fourth quarter donations to the following non-profits. 50% was donated to Mennonite Central Committee with the remaining 50% distributed to local nonprofits in the Hutchinson community.  The amounts donated are as follows.

  • Mennonite Central Committee–$62,500
  • YouThrive–$12,500
  • Open Door Pregnancy Care Center–$12,500
  • Salthawk Community Support–$12,500
  • Circles of Hope–$12,500
  • Live Free Ministries (Omega Project–Buhler House)–$9,375
  • Avenue A School (MidTown Project)–$3,125

These donations were in addition to lesser quarterly donations given throughout the year. 

We continue to be grateful for donations, volunteers and customers that help support our mission in the Hutchinson community. We look forward to a great 2023 and know that will only be possible through your continued prayers and support.  We look forward to seeing you at both Builders and Et Cetera.


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 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!


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”.


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.

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Spring Scrapbook and Craft Retreat registration is open!  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.   

Summer Youth Camp Registration will open at the beginning of February.  We’re excited, too!

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

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 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.


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