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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – June 26-July 9, 2024

Recently I spent an afternoon going through files I’d saved from college and seminary.  Most of it ended up in the recycling bin, but I did hang on to some of the things I’d written. In 1993 I wrote a paper for Keith Sprunger’s History of Civilizaiton I class that I have no memory of, but in it I found a quote that resonated with me, especially given our current study of 1 John in worship.  The quote is from the Mirror of the Martyrs exhibit which must have been on display at Kaufman Museum at the time.

“We must obey God rather than men [or women].

We follow the way Jesus teaches and calls:

            the way of love

            the way of purity

            the way of simplicity

            the way of peace

            the way of suffering.

The established church is not the true church.

            The true church is found where Christ’s disciples

            gather in his name.

We appeal to the authority of scripture for faith and conduct.”

Following the way Jesus teaches and calls continues to be what centers Anabaptists (and other Christians!) around the world.  Last fall, in response to the violence in Gaza and Israel, a group called Mennonite Action emerged, motivated by a desire to faithfully follow Jesus and to advocate for an end to the war being raged in Gaza.  Some of you may be following their work and activity, but in case you haven’t here’s one of their most recent updates about a recent mass meeting of over 300 people co-hosted by Rabbis for Ceasefire.  This update also includes opportunities to get involved in concrete action.

—Pastor Tonya

From a June 21 Mennonite Action email update:

Thursday night’s call was a powerful interfaith space guided by Mennonite and Jewish leaders. Together, we explored how we can build this movement for peace and justice across religious traditions — and how pursuing solidarity with our Jewish and Muslim siblings helps ensure the safety of all God’s beloved children.

The call provided background and context on Christian Zionism, which has become entrenched in our religious, political, and military landscapes. We learned about how the far-right theology of Christian Zionism is steeped in Islamophobia and antisemitism. And we committed ourselves to stand up against Christian Zionism as a crucial avenue to oppose hate in our own communities.

As Christians, it’s particularly important for us to speak out against these Christian theologies of destruction. That’s why Mennonite Action is mobilizing against Christian Zionism this July. Together we will offer an alternative theology — one of liberation and peace, one that believes in a mutuality of dependence, of life and dignity for all.

Here’s how you can get involved in our movement’s upcoming actions:

  • Touch the Earth lightly. Mennonite Action is partnering withthe Coalition to Dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery to sponsor a delegation of undergraduate student activists to travel to Arizona from July 18-21. This is an opportunity for young people to make the connection between the genocide happening in Gaza and the ongoing genocide here in the United States through spending time with Apache people, whose sacred site is being targeted by an international mining company. Learn more here.
  • We are marching in the light of God. From July 18-28, we will march across 10 days and 140 miles from Harrisonburg, VA to Washington, DC. Together, we will use our bodies and voices to bring our message of peace through the hills of Virginia and to the halls of power. Learn more how to join and support in our march toolkit, including opportunities for your congregation to sponsor march participants on their journey.
  • We are people of God’s peace. July 28-30, we will mobilize in Washington, DC during the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) conference to provide an alternative theology to Christian Zionism’s far-right message of violence and hate. We will join a multiracial, multifaith coalition to demand a permanent ceasefire. Learn more how to join and support in our DC toolkit.

PLEASE NOTE: Our next THIS WEEK will post on July 9. For the summer we have adopted an every other week schedule.


The link to join is on our website:  Join 5 minutes early for announcements.  The bulletin can be found under the BULLETINS tab on our home page. 


(1 John series #5)

Agape sacrificial love guides us in our relationship with God and others.

1 John 4:7-5:3; John 15:12-17

  • Preacher: Pastor Jim Unruh
  • Worship Leader: Maggie Pounds
  • Song Leader: Bryan Kehr
  • Children’s Time: Gardell Stucky
  • Scripture Reader: Jean Gaeddert
  • Pianist: Peggy Stucky
  • Ushers: Russ Gaeddert & Diane Ziemer
  • Nursery Attendant: No attendant this Sunday
  • Sound Tech: Earl Ediger
  • Live Stream Tech: Jonathan Wenger


Spirit’s testimony: God gave us eternal life and this life is in his Son. (5:11)

1 John 5:6-20; John 16:7-12

  • Preacher: Pastor Jim Unruh
  • Worship Leader: Stephanie Gehring
  • Song Leader: Pastor Tonya
  • Children’s Time: Bryan Kehr
  • Scripture Reader: (volunteer needed)
  • Organist: Pauline Buller
  • Ushers: Jay & Stephanie Gehring
  • Nursery Attendant: Cindy Kroeker
  • 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.  


If you would be willing to read scripture, please sign up on the bulletin board opposite the mailboxes. We welcome readers of all ages, and we’d be happy to bring a mic to you if you would prefer reading from your seat.


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. 


  • June 30 – Potluck after Worship (no Sunday School) – bring a dish to share + your own table service
  • July 8 – Craft Night, 6:30-8:00pm in the Fellowship Hall
  • July 27 – FMC serves at the Soup Kitchen – watch for signup opportunities on the bulletin board

REMINDER:  If you are last one out of the church building, be SURE the doors lock behind you.


Our congregation is allowed five delegates to the annual assembly. If you are interested in serving as a delegate, please speak to Pastor Tonya or let the church office know as soon as possible. This year’s event will be hosted by First Mennonite Church, Beatrice, NE. The theme is, “In Community We Transform” (Romans 12). Dates are August 2-4.

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

These groups meet for an hour once/month in the Common Grounds room and are facilitated by Pastor Tonya.  The format allows for time in prayer by yourself and also with the group.  Any are welcome to join, or to just come and check it out! It’s also possible to join on Zoom if you prefer.

  • The Tuesday group next meeting Tuesday July 9 at 1:00pm
  • The Wednesday evening group next meeting is at 6:30 on Wednesday, July 10


Summer Sunday School will be offered twice a month during the summer months, following this schedule:

  • July 7 and 21
  • August 4 and 18

Classes will be offered for preschool-3rd grade, 4th-7th grade, 8th-12th grade.  The younger groups will be

using the Shine curriculum that follows the Peace With Creation Peace Path in The Peace Table (Bible Story book).  Additionally, Circle of Grace curriculum will be covered with each class, led by Tanya Martin Nisly and Jonathan Wenger. 

  • Preschool-3rd grade – meet in the basement classrooms
  • 4th-7th grade – meet upstairs in Jr Youth room
  • 8th-12th grade meet upstairs in Sr Youth room

Both the Adult Discussion Class and the Adult Salt & Light study class will be taking a hiatus during the summer.       


You have heard it said, “You shall love your God and love your neighbor as yourself.” Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? 1 John reminds us that it is that simple and that messy when we try to practice Jesus’ summary of the commandments. We will spend time in 1 John in the simplicity and the mess.  This series began May 26 and will end July 7. 

Following the 1 John series we’ll begin a series called “Quest: The Awakened Traveler”, adapted and expanded from a resource created by Worship Design Studio.  These scriptures/themes will invite reflection and storytelling around travels (physical, spiritual, etc.) we have taken.  This series will take us through the first Sunday of September.


Our summer “Quest” worship series explores the following movements present in most journeys: leaving home, the encounter, the reflection, and returning home.

  • “Leaving Home” : when we need to leave the familiar in order to grow and thrive  (7/21 and 7/28)
  • “The Encounter” : the experience of being open to new people, relationships, ideas and cultures (8/4 and 8/11)
  • “The Reflection” … the inner work we do when we bump up against disorienting differences (8/18)
  • “Returning Home” … when we travel far away from the familiar, we return changed, and find the familiar holds more than we had noticed before. (8/25 and 9/2)

Do you have a short story (5 minutes or less!) you’d like to share with the congregation about some aspect of a journey you have undertaken in your life? It could be a trip to a new place, a new job, a change in your thinking, etc. Please let Pastor Tonya know ASAP so she can get you on the calendar to share your story during a worship service.

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! devotional magazines

  • UPPER ROOM – May through June – is available above the mailboxes.
  • Rejoice! – June through August – is now available above the mailboxes.

STRENGTHENING Community Connections…


  • Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 2:00pm
  • Wednesday 10:00am – 1:00pm (No office hours Wednesday, June 26.)


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 (No office hours July 3 or July 4.)
  • 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). Pastor Tonya’s next day apart is June 26.

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 June 30-July 2. She will be away June 30 – July 4.

An extended sabbatical time away is planned for July 23-August 9.

CRAFT NIGHT @ FMC on Monday, March 11, 2024

Craft Night is on Monday, July 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


Mennonite Friendship Communities is having a Pride & Joy, Shine & Show (car show) on Saturday, July 13 from 5:30-8 pm.  The event will take place on the east side of the main building and will include cars, motorcycles, bicycles and more!  FaceStuffers Food Truck will be there too.  For more information, contact Susan Nisly at or 620-663-7175.


The fund we use to provide internal congregational support to individuals or families during times of crisis has been depleted.  If you are able to make a donation to this fund, please designate your donation as “Congregational Care Fund.”  Thank you!!

SUMMER BOOK STUDY – Second session JULY 10

We are reading and discussing: Love Without Limits: Jesus’ Radical Vision for Love with No Exceptions by Jacqueline A. Bussie.  Come early for finger-food snacks (bring a snack to share!) at 12:30pm, or join us for the book study at 1:00pm. We meet in the Common Grounds room. All are welcome to participate.  If you need help getting a book, let Pastor Tonya know. A Zoom option is available with advance planning!

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…


July: Hamburger or Tuna Helper

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.


If you are interested in exploring this opportunity to serve as a mentor for a youth at LightHouse, please talk with Pastor Jim.

ANABAPTIST COMMUNITY BIBLE now available for preorders!

Celebrate 500 years of Anabaptism with the Anabaptist Community Bible. This study Bible features commentary from 60 Anabaptist scholars, biblical insights from 16th-century Anabaptists, and marginal notes from nearly 600 study groups from Anabaptists around the globe. Perhaps you will remember that FMC participants in WNAF in spring 2023 engaged with assigned scripture passages and responded to the challenge to provide insights for this new volume. The Anabaptist Community Bible uses the Common English Bible (CEB) translation. The volume is available in leather, soft touch or hard cover binding. Click here and scroll down to view the options and to place an order…


School Kits! Fabric is cut and ready for you on the table in the foyer. If you would like to sew a few bags, you’ll find the fabric and sewing instruction on the table in the foyer. The list of school supplies to assemble the school kits is also available on the table. Please bring all items by August 4, placing them in the purple bin provided.  Our goal is to collect enough donations to fill 40 kits!

Mini Blitz at MCC! Come tie, trim, or bind comforters at the MCC Material Resource Center in North Newton on Friday, July 12 from 9-5 and Saturday, July 13 from 8-2. Bring a snack to share and a sack lunch/supper. Drinks will be provided. Beginners are welcome!

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 sleepers (6-12 month sizes); hand towels (dark colored); bar soap; bath towels (dark colored, light to medium weight); wide toothed combs (6-8 inches long); laundry soap (such as Fels Naptha or Zote brands); and shampoo (20 oz min). 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 316.836.5045. A full list of MCC kit contents can be found at

Soft Plastic Recycling is now available at MCC!  We invite you to start a new habit of recycling all soft plastics (plastic bags, bread bags, any plastic packaging that you can stretch) at MCC Central States in North Newton! This is a NEW and ONGOING recycling project. Plastics must be clean, dry and free of food waste. A basket under the table in the foyer is designated to receive your recyclables. You may also bring your soft plastic recycling to MCC any time, placing them in the marked bin outside the warehouse.  Once at MCC, the plastic is baled into 1000 pound bales. These bales are then sold to the TREX company. They melt down the plastic and use it in making their deck boards. Questions, please contact

MCC’s Sharing With Appalachian People (SWAP) home repair program is seeking summer staff in Kimball, West Virginia or Elkhorn City, Kentucky. These three-month positions for Job Site Coordinators and Meals Coordinators will allow you to explore new cultures, develop skills, build friendships and live out your faith. Applicants should be at least 19 years old, but the roles are not limited to young adults. An hourly wage plus room and board are provided. Visit or Or contact the MCC Appalachia SWAP office at (606) 634-4418 or


SOOP has flexible service terms at 60 locations for individuals ages 25+ and families of all ages. Share your skills doing home repair, cooking, tutoring, and gardening. Lead tours, host guests at a retreat center or a summer camp – there is so much to do! Stay for a week or stay for a month, bring your family or come alone. SOOP has diverse and rewarding experiences for everyone. Here is more information:

MENNONITE MISSION NETWORK . . . opportunity to support ministry in France.

You’re invited! Support a new Mission Network family. On Wednesday, June 26, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Mennonite Mission Center office in downtown Newton, come hear about the work of a new Mennonite Mission Network family. Later this year, Laurel and Ben Woodward-Breckbill, from Newton, will move to Paris, France to be directors of the Paris Mennonite Center. On the 26th you can hear about the work of the Center, enjoy snacks, and even offer your financial support. Make a giving pledge and you will be entered to win a pair of Kansas City Chiefs tickets! (Las Vegas at Kansas City, November 29, 2024). Can’t make it in person? Make a pledge here. See you there!

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

We urgently need 2-3 more kitchen staff for the week of July 7-12 (Junior High II Camp with Derek Klingenberg).  David Enns is the head cook.  No special skills are needed, just the ability to follow directions and willing hands.  Kitchen staff must be at least 18.  If you are able to come for part of the week, you are welcome! Contact Olivia at, call 620-297-3290 or text 316-293-7313. You are needed to make this week of camp a good experience for campers and staff alike.

Scholarship funds are needed for summer youth camps.  Just as facilities are an important part of Camp Mennoscah’s ministry, so are campers.  There are campers who are unable to come to camp without assistance.  Give to the Scholarship Fund or Scholarship Endowment to help more campers learn about Christ while in God’s creation.  Mark your donation with the fund/endowment you prefer.  The Scholarship Endowment will give up to two full scholarships a year, depending on earnings. Contact or 620-297-3290 for more information.


The June edition of On the Level is now available from Mennonite Disaster Service. In our current issue: The MDS Cabinet Shop celebrates a new warehouse, the Peace Academic Center gets an unexpected boost and a bridge opens access to more than 25 families. Sign up to volunteer this summer and fall. Click on this link to read more:


The MCC Sale Quilter’s Corner is looking for donations of quilts, quilt tops, fabric, books, magazines and vintage linens for our next sale.  We hope to have an October sale if we receive enough donations. Donations can be dropped off at the MCC Center in North Newton labeled for Quilter’s Corner or at Stitches Quilt Shop in McPherson.  If you have questions, please contact Ann Yoder Smith at 919-604-3282.

EVERENCE© resources

Teaching children faith and finance: Teaching lessons of stewardship can start young and in the home! Everence and Financial Choice are here to provide resources and encouragement on your parenting journey. Read more here.


Save the Date! Western District Women in Mission’s annual Women’s & Girls’ Retreat will be Saturday/Sunday September 7-8 at Camp Mennoscah. The keynote speaker will be Kristine Regehr on the topic of Peaceful Practices. More information and registration info will follow in July. Activities will be available for girls age 5th grade – high school and women of all ages! Come for a time of relaxation, peace, and friendship! Questions? Email


150th Swiss Volhynian Celebration August 23-25, 2024 . . . Registration is open on the website for the August 23-25, 2024 Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of our ancestors coming to US in 1874. On the site, click on Registration and Celebration Information and then on Step 1 to register and  on “See available seminars” there to see that list. After indicating choice of seminars is an invitation to join the mass choir and a request to indicate which part you sing. On Step 2 you can reserve and/or purchase your ethnic meal on Saturday evening 5:00 provided by Bread Basket in Newton. You can pay here or reserve and pay at the door. If you have difficulty with reservations on the website, you may call Kathy Goering at 316-371-6189 for assistance.

Anyone who likes to sing is invited to join the Mass Choir that sings Sunday morning. Rehearsal is 3:00 on Saturday and Sunday morning 8:30 a.m. You can mark your intentions and your part on the website.  Bonita Howard asks you to bring a 3-ring black binder to rehearsals. 

Stories for 150th.  Still have time to send a story of your grandfolks to Brian Adams ( or his daughter Casey ( for their collection to be available at the 150th Swiss Volhynian Mennonite Celebration August 23-25, 2024 at Eden.

Ancestor Photographs requested.  Don Kaufman and Larry Stucky are collecting old photos to display at the 150th. Please send copies or scans to or with identification.  Seeing these will be such fun.  Thanks.

Commemorating 500 Years of Anabaptism + Swiss Alps Tour. Sites: Lake Geneva, cliffside Murren, Mennonites near Bern, & 500 Year Celebration in Zurich.9-day tour in late May 2025. Details and registration coming soon. Preview tour at Interested? Contact Weldon Martens at / 402-202-9276. Persons registering interest will receive early notification when registration opens.