As this week begins, my attention is shifting toward the Western District Conference (WDC) Assembly happening this weekend in Texas. Our church is a member of Western District Conference, which is one of 16 area conferences making up Mennonite Church USA. Every summer WDC gathers together (when possible!) for an annual assembly, sometimes meeting in Kansas and sometimes in Texas.
WDC’s home page on its website (www.mennowdc.org) opens with this description of our purpose together: As we witness, dwell, and connect in mission, we are Mennonite Church USA congregations in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska following Jesus together.
We are following Jesus together. Together, not alone. Even though we may vary across a spectrum of theological and political beliefs, it is possible to follow Jesus, together. I’m still savoring the ‘taste’ of this good news from Mennonite World Conference, and am excited to now come together with my folks closer to home, closer to where the rubber hits the road for us, so to speak.
At this assembly I’m officially finishing up 5 years of participation on the Church Planting Commission (CPC) for WDC, serving the last 2 years as chair. While this experience has had its challenges, I’ve also really appreciated learning to know others from across the conference and can’t say enough about how much I’ve enjoyed working with Associate Conference Minister Sandra Montes-Martinez. Her leadership has helped the CPC gain much needed clarity, purpose and focus for their work and I’m excited about the opportunities that will come our way in the future through the CPC. Please join me in praying for and supporting this work intended to support and create opportunity for new Anabaptist groups to grow and flourish (and existing congregations to be empowered in new ways!), sharing the good news of God’s peacemaking through Jesus in our communities.
If you haven’t visited WDC’s website recently, I’d encourage you to do so and see what’s happening in your area conference!! www.mennowdc.org
I’ll close by offering an article posted today on WDC’s website about the upcoming assembly. Thanks for your prayers for myself (and Joanna), Delon and Joretta as we travel to Texas and back this weekend. And for Carol Moore, and possibly Ken Neufeld, as they join online.
ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER:
The WDC staff and many other volunteers are in the process of preparing all the details for Annual Assembly July 29-31 at Camp Copass in Denton, TX. The theme for the weekend is United in Purpose, Together in Love, focusing on the scripture passage from Hebrews 10:19-25. Verses 24 – 25 read:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
We have already seen many in the conference come together to make the event happen. There are donors, volunteers, and participants that all have valuable roles. We are grateful to everyone who is involved in Assembly and the work of the conference. We look forward to being with those that are able to participate in the events in TX either in person or virtually.
If you are not able to attend, you can virtually join the worship times on Friday evening and Sunday morning here. If you would like to make a monetary contribution, either to Assembly or the work of WDC, you can do that online here.
May our interactions and conversations provoke one another to love and good works, and may we be an encouragement to one another.
-Beth Yoder, WDC Business Manager
- Pastor Tonya
SUNDAY MORNING Worship In Person & Live Stream @ 9:30am
The link for Sunday morning worship (as well as archives of past worship services) is found on our website: www.hutchfmc.org! Join at 9:25am to see the announcements!
COVID-19 case increase prompts suggestions for safety for ourselves and others
CMT affirms these recommendations offered by the CDC: Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Get tested if you have symptoms. Wear a mask if you have symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19. Wear a mask on public transportation. You may choose to wear a mask at any time as an additional precaution to protect yourself and others. If you are at high risk for severe illness, consider wearing a mask indoors in public and taking additional precautions.
FELLOWSHIP TIME on July 31 following the worship service will include treats and coffee. Plan to stay for this time of sharing.
SUNDAY, JULY 31: FACES OF OUR FAITH: Philemon
- Preacher: Pastor Jim Unruh
- Worship Leader: Maggie Pounds
- Children’s Time: Star Gipson
- Scripture Reader: Jade Piros de Carvalho
- Pianist: Shelley Kauffman
- Ushers: Don Wiens & Russell Goering
- Nursery Attendant: Adam & Maggie Pounds
- Sound Tech: Earl Ediger & Allen Yoder
- Live Stream Tech: Jay Gehring
SHARING JOYS & CONCERNS
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 (beginning around 9:25) and after the worship service. 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.
CALENDAR – LOOKING AHEAD
- July 29-31 – Western District Conference annual assembly, Camp Copass, Denton TX
- August 4 – Service and Outreach Coordination Team, 3:00pm
- August 4 – Faith Formation Coordination Team, 4:00pm
- August 7 – Potluck after worship for FMC Families with children/youth
- August 10 – Followup discussion of MC USA resolutions considered at delegate assembly in May, 7:00pm in the Fellowship Hall
- August 14 – Blessing of Backpacks in worship (Back to School!) – bring your backpacks!
- August 21 – Senior Youth Kick-off @ Camp Mennoscah (afternoon-early evening)
FMC CENTENNIAL . . . LightHouse Giving Opportunity
To date, the total raised for the LightHouse project is $26,875, which exceeds the goal we set of raising $22,000! Thank you for your tremendous generosity! The $22,000 will be used for construction costs and furnishings for the apartments. But we are not finished! More dollars are needed for ongoing maintenance needs, so your donations are still very much appreciated from now until October and beyond. As contractors complete their work, we anticipate inviting volunteers for painting, trim work, cabinet installation, floor work, etc. Interfaith’s goal is to have the building finished by sometime this fall or winter.
REMINDER: If you are last one out of the church building, be SURE the doors lock behind you when you leave. Go out, watch the doors latch, give both door handles a tug, and make sure they are locked! Thank you.
DEEPENING in Christ…
SUMMER 2022 WORSHIP – FACES OF OUR FAITH + A NEW INVITATION!
Created by A Sanctified Art, our summer worship series will explore ordinary people of faith – those doing what they can with what they have to make a difference. The worship series invites us into stories of those often overlooked in our Biblical narratives, and to consider those in our own lives who have been the ‘faces of our faith.’
There’s a wonderful collection of names hanging in our foyer on the interactive visual display. As I read those names recently, I felt a lot of curiosity about the stories behind those names as I’m sure each one has its own well of memory and meaning. SO … I want to invite any of you to send me a sentence or two or three (or a couple paragraphs) telling more about how it is this person shaped your faith, describing the ‘face of faith’ they showed you. If there are some willing to share stories, I’d like to include them (with your permission!) in our “Faith Formation” worship service in September. This is the Sunday we bless our Sunday School teachers and dedicate Bibles for any kindergarteners, 3rd graders, and 7th graders in our congregation.
UPCOMING WORSHIP SCHEDULE:
- July 31 – Philemon Pastor Jim preaching (Tonya @ WDC Assembly in Texas) Juliet Nisly’s Peace Essay
- August 7 – Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego (Daniel 3) Pastor Tonya preaching Micah Wenger’s Peace Essay & Sending blessing for Micah’s Service Adventure term
- August 14 – Blessing of the Backpacks (Back to school: bring your backpacks to worship!!) Worship Theme TBD
- 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.
SUNDAY SCHOOL @ 11:00am (TWO SUNDAYS A MONTH – SEE DATES BELOW)
SUMMER SUNDAY SCHOOL SCHEDULE
Sunday School will be offered for children (preschool-6th grade) on the SECOND and FOURTH Sundays during the summer from 11:00-Noon. The Younger Adults Class will meet at the same time as the children.
August 14 and 28
The children’s group will gather in the fellowship hall from 11-Noon on the dates listed above. Senior Youth, check with Jonathan Wenger or Tanya Martin Nisly for youth group plans on these Sundays.
The two Adult Bible Study groups will take a break during the summer and begin again in the fall when weekly Sunday School for all ages will also resume.
AUGUST 9 – ECUMENICAL SING AND MEDITATIVE PRAYER SERVICE
All are invited to this in person only service, a variation of Taize-style gatherings, at FMC on Tuesday August 9, 2022 at 6:30pm. The service is hosted by Bobye Montonye and friends. More details will be sent via the church email list – contact Pastor Tonya (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are not on that email list and need more details.
UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! devotional magazines
REJOICE! and 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…
AUGUST 10 – FOLLOW UP TO MC USA SPECIAL DELEGATE SESSION
Join your delegates to the MC USA May Special Delegate session (Pauline Buller, Pastor Tonya, Micah Wenger) for a follow up conversation on the resolutions considered at that session. We’ll gather at 7:00pm, cookies/drinks and childcare provided. We are looking for volunteers to provide childcare during the conversation – please contact Pastor Tonya.
FMC YOUNG ADULTS PARTICIPATING IN MISSION NETWORK SERVICE PROGRAMS (FALL 2022)
This fall both Michaela Esau and Micah Wenger are participating in Mennonite Mission Network voluntary service programs. Michaela will be with Mennonite Voluntary Service (MVS) in Tucson AZ (leaving August 27). Micah will be with Service Adventure in Colorado Springs, CO (leaving August 13). We will be sending them both off in August (Micah on August 7 and Michaela on August 14) with our prayers and blessings.
THANK YOU to all who have donated financially to support their service terms. You can still do so if you wish, either through the church, directly to Mennonite Mission Network, or on their personal fundraising pages:
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS
- Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 2:00pm
- Wednesday – 10:00am – 1:00pm
PASTOR TONYA’S HOURS/SCHEDULE
- Monday: Sabbath Day
- Tuesday-Friday: generally working 9:00am-5:30pm
- 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)
Pastor Tonya will be attending Western District Conference Assembly in Texas (gone July 29-31).
STRETCHING to Serve as Christ Served…
SOUP KITCHEN MINISTRY
Thanks to all who helped on July 23 at the Soup Kitchen Ministry in Hutchinson. Seventy meals were served, including those delivered. A BIG THANK YOU to Juliet Nisly who has been helping provide leadership to this ministry, along with Sadie and Kevin Nisly. Juliet is heading off to college in August so will no longer be able to participate. Sadie and Kevin would welcome another individual or family to help oversee this every other month service project – please contact one of them, or Pastor Tonya, if you are interested.
SUNDAY MORNING DONATIONS FOR RENO COUNTY FOOD BANK – JULY . . . Hamburger or Tuna Helper. ITEM OF THE MONTH FOR AUGUST . . . 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, tooth paste and tooth brushes. Travel size – new & unopened – are desirable.
WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE announcements
WDC annual assembly will be July 29-31! WDC delegates, friends, and their families will gather at Camp Copass, Denton, TX. Delegates from FMC will be Carol Moore (virtual), Ken Neufeld (possibly virtual), Tonya Ramer Wenger (in person), Delon Martens (in person) and Joretta Martens (in person).
Fall Book Study on Healing Haunted Histories – Sept. 8-Dec. 1, 2022 – Elaine Enns, co-author of Healing Haunted Histories: A Settler Discipleship of Decolonization, will be leading an online, intensive book study this fall for the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition. Two-hour sessions will be every other Thursday, 6-8 pm Central Time, on Sept 8 and 22, Oct 6 and 20, Nov 3 and 17, and Dec 1. This book encourages personal and collective work toward decolonization. It asks those of us who are settlers, immigrants and displaced peoples to do our own pre-work of integrating our ancestral stories, so we can see more clearly and show up in solidarity with Indigenous peoples. Click here https://mennowdc.org/fall-book-study-on-healing-haunted-histories/
MENNONITE CENTRAL COMMITTEE (MCC) announcements
Thank you for your generous donations of school supplies to fill school bags for MCC. The children’s Sunday School filled 30 complete bags on Sunday, along with some partially filled bags.
CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements
Camp Sing on Saturday, August 6, at 2:30pm at Hope Mennonite Church in Wichita! Camp Mennoscah will be celebrating a wonderful summer through song! Everyone is invited to come and sing camp songs (both “traditional” ones from across the years and newer Praise & Worship ones). The final details are yet to be determined, but there will be soda pop–generic or otherwise! Put it on your calendar and come be part of the fun!
Work & Play Day on August 20! Camp Mennoscah has projects to complete and plenty to do after a busy, fun summer. You are invited to be part of this camping ministry through fellowship and service! Projects for all ages and weather are available. Let us know you’re coming so we can be prepared for you! Bring your lunch and a water bottle. The day will start at 8:30 at the maintenance shed. End your day with a leisurely kayak ride or stroll to the sandbar. Contact Olivia at 620-297-3290 or email@example.com to sign up. Want to volunteer either before or after August 20? Give us a call!
MENNONITE DISASTER SERVICE announcements
More than three-and-a-half years after the Camp Fire killed 85 people and destroyed 18,000 structures in Paradise and surrounding areas, the grim burnt skeletons of large trees still loom over the mountainside—but green undergrowth and colorful wildflowers have returned. “At first glance, it may not look like a burned-out place because the green is here, but if you look carefully you’ll see driveway after driveway—without houses,” said Don Lichti, MDS Project Director. The residents who are trying to rebuild Paradise all know someone who didn’t make it out. They share their own traumatic stories with MDS volunteers. Click to hear their stories and find volunteer opportunities: https://mds.org/story/trauma-toughness-and-joy-what-paradise-holds-for-mds-volunteers/
EVERENCE® announces August Medicare workshop date
Everence will hold its popular Medicare workshop at its office in North Newton on Tuesday, Aug 9 at 6:30 p.m. Topics will include, when and where to sign up for Medicare, what Medicare covers, plus an explanation of Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D.
The in-person workshop will be held at the Everence office: 3179 N. Main St. Suite 1B, North Newton. Those interested in attending should contact the Everence office at 316-283-3800, 877-467-7294 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
KANSAS STATE FAIR VOLUNTEERS . . . info and form on the table in the foyer
The Kansas State Fair needs volunteers for a variety of positions. A list of jobs and sign-up forms are on the table in the foyer. Volunteers must be 16 or older and will receive free gate admission and food tickets.