Skip to content
This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – January 3-9, 2024

Happy 2024!! This past Sunday I shared a poem written by Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957) inviting us to walk through the gate of the new year ‘finding the Hand of God.’  A little google research about Haskins led me to Wikipedia where I discovered there is more to the poem! Here’s the entire poem in case it helps steady and ground you as we take our first steps into the new year.


‘God Knows’

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown”.
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way”.
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,

If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.[3]       (Minnie Louise Haskins 1908)

     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.


How Does a Weary World Rejoice? We trust our belovedness

Star Words

Luke 3:21-22

  • Preacher: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader: Joel Iwashige
  • Children’s Time: Hilda Iwashige
  • Scripture Reader: TBA
  • Organist: Pauline Buller
  • Song Leader: TBA
  • Ushers: Susan Combs & Joretta Martens
  • 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. 


  • Jan 7 – Epiphany. How Does a Weary World Rejoice? We trust our belovedness
  • Jan 8 – Craft Night 6:30-8:00pm in the fellowship hall
  • Jan 17 – Faithful Community Coordination Team 2:15pm
  • Jan 21 – Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday with One Lunch Offering for Mennonite World Conference
  • Jan 24 – Joint Congregational Ministry Team + Coordination Teams 6:30pm.
  • Jan 27 – FMC serves at the Soup Kitchen

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, January 9.

The Wednesday evening group meets at 6:30pm on the second Wednesday in January (Jan 10).


Pastor Tonya invites you to send her a brief reflection on your 2023 Star Word, to be shared (anonymously) during worship on January 7.  Please send your reflections by Wednesday THIS WEEK! We’ll also receive new Star Words for 2024 during the same service. 


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 will begin 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 beginning January 7 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! Participant guidebooks are provided. If you can help cover the $6.50 cost per book we’d welcome that. 

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).


Directories will be printed this Thursday, so please send any changes to the office today.


Craft Night is on Monday, January 8, 6:30-8:00pm in the church Fellowship Hall. Bring your project – knitting, crocheting, other crafts – and enjoy this time of friendship and ministry together. Any questions . . . contact Cheryl Warkentin or Diane Ziemer.


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. Criteria 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.”

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.


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


A specific need right now is women’s deodorant!


This is an invitation from Dave Sotelo, HUMAN RELATIONS OFFICER, CITY OF HUTCHINSON:

On behalf of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Committee, we hope this message finds you well and ready to embrace the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Day! We invite you to join us in making a positive impact on January 15, 2023, starting at 9 am, for our Day of Service.

The event kicks off at the Stringer Fine Arts Center, where we’ll begin with a brief program inspired by Dr. King’s vision, followed by a breakfast. Afterward, volunteers will be assigned to various sites, offering a unique opportunity to give back to community organizations alongside fellow Reno County citizens.

Much like Dr. King’s dream of a unified and compassionate society, our goal is to foster new connections and friendships among individuals from all corners of our community. By taking this small step, we aim to cultivate an environment in Hutchinson and Reno County where everyone feels a sense of belonging and thrives. Let’s come together in the spirit of Dr. King, embracing his vision of unity and service. Join us in creating a community where inspiration, compassion, and service flourish! 

If you would like to join a group from FMC in this event, please contact Pastor Tonya by Monday, January 8, so she can register our group.


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). Donations of food are also appreciated – applesauce (jars), applesauce (cups) and sandwich cookies. 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

Sun., Jan. 7 – Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum, “The Western Meadowlark: The State Bird, but Not the Only Exceptional Bird in Kansas,” with local birding expert Gregg Friesen, 3 p.m., Kauffman Museum at Bethel College (corner of Main & 27th streets; 2801 N. Main St., North Newton 67117)


Please consider a donation to OVM.  Help us start 2024 positioned to expand!  As a 501(c)(3), all gifts are tax write-offs.  Here are the convenient ways you can contribute:

  • Personal check (to OVM) – mail or stop by our office
  • Using a credit card – via PayPal HERE or through our office over the phone (316.283.2038)
  • Venmo – search ‘ovmks’ and look for us under the Charities heading
  • Qualified Charitable Distribution or Donor Advised Fund

Please note OVM’s Annual Meeting details:

  • Thursday, January 18, 2024, 6:00pm at the ‘Schoolhouse’ building on the grounds of Hutchinson Correctional Facility (outside the walls so NOT going through the gatehouse, NOT needing background checks)
  • Guest speaker: Sue Stoecklein, Chaplain at HCF
  • Dinner provided
  • Space will be limited.  
  • RSVP here:


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

MENNONITE DISASTER SERVICE . . . On the Level monthly newsletter

The December edition of On the Level is now available from Mennonite Disaster Service. In our current issue: Kevin King share stories of people “moving toward Jesus;” meet two women who enjoy cooking and painting with MDS; learn why a retired Army General in Kentucky says, “only God could have made that happen;” and we are now accepting registration for our Annual Celebration in Fresno in February.

Click on this link to read more:


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