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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – March 29-April 4, 2023

While I don’t spend much time on Facebook, there are sometimes some real gems worth reading and sharing.  The prayer below was posted by the Northumbria Community, “a dispersed network of people from different backgrounds, streams and edges of the Christian faith.”  You can learn more here: or look for them on Facebook.  This prayer echoes so many of the themes in Matthew 25:31-46, and is a strong voice balancing looking directly into the overwhelming realities we face while keeping in view the hope we carry because of the presence of Jesus – God-with-us – here and now.


by Laura Jean Truman

God, we’re so tired.
We want to do justice,

but the work feels endless,

and the results look so small

in our exhausted hands.

We want to love mercy,

but our enemies are relentless,


it feels like foolishness

to prioritize gentleness

in this unbelievably cruel world.

We want to walk humbly,

but self-promotion is seductive,


we are afraid that

if we don’t look after ourselves,

no one else will.

We want to be kind,

but our anger feels insatiable.

Jesus, in this never-ending wilderness,

come to us and grant us grace.

Grant us the courage

to keep showing up to impossible battles,

trusting that it is our

commitment to faithfulness,

and not our obsession with results,

that will bring in Your shalom.

Grant us the vulnerability

to risk loving

our difficult and complicated neighbour,

rejecting the lie that

some people are made

more in the image of God than others.

Grant us the humility

of a de-centred but beloved self.

As we continue to take

the single step

that is in front of us, Jesus,

keep us from becoming

what we are called to transform.

Protect us from

using the empire’s violence

—in our words, in our theology,

in our activism, and in our politics—

for Your kingdom of peace.

Keep our anger

from becoming meanness.

Keep our sorrow

from collapsing into self-pity.

Keep our hearts soft enough

to keep breaking.

Keep our outrage

turned towards justice,

not cruelty.

Remind us that all of this,

every bit of it, is for love.

Keep us fiercely kindAmen

(written by Laura Jean Truman)

May it be so in our hearts, and in the hearts of those around us.     —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

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, APRIL 2 – Palm Sunday – Triumphal Entry

Matthew 21:1-17

  • Preacher: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader: Joel Iwashige
  • Song Leader: TBA
  • Worship Music: Choir with Calvin Buller, director
  • Children’s Time: Nick Krehbiel
  • Scripture Reader: Julie Goering
  • Pianist: Shelley Kauffman
  • Ushers: Glenda & Rick Hooper
  • 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.  


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. 


Our process is now in the hands of Rev. Lee Lever, our consultant provided through our connection with Western District Conference. Over the next few weeks he will review our responses and prepare a report. On April 30, Rev. Lever will be back with us in person to deliver his report.


April 5 (Wed)-April 7 (Fri) Stations of the Cross at FMC (details below)

April 6 – Maundy Thursday Meal/Worship with Communion @ 6pm

April 7 – Community Good Friday Service @ Noon (Trinity UMC)

               Evening @ FMC – Stations of the Cross open for personal meditation and prayer

April 9 – Easter Breakfast Potluck @ 9am (bring dish to share and your own table service); Worship @ 10am

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.  The April dates are April 11 (1:00pm) and April 12 (6:30pm).

LENT and EASTER 2023 WORSHIP – “Your kingdom come…”

This Lent we will continue listening to the Gospel of Matthew, exploring some hard teachings and confounding parables intended to help us understand what life in the kingdom of heaven is like.  

  • April 2 – Palm Sunday
  • April 9 – Easter Sunday (Potluck Breakfast at 9am; Worship at 10am)


We often refer to Lent as a journey toward the cross with Jesus.  During Holy Week we give opportunity at First Mennonite to physically walk with Jesus through a series of “Stations of the Cross” set up in our church foyer, Common Grounds room, and sanctuary.  This year we especially invite you to come on the evening of Good Friday to experience this journey.  There will not be a communal worship service, but the stations will be open for your praying. The Stations of the Cross will be open as follows:

  • Wed April 5..10am-4:00pm
  • Thu April 6..noon-8pm
  • Fri April 7..1-8pm


Everyone is invited to the Community Good Friday service on Friday, April 7, 2023, 12:00 noon in the sanctuary of Trinity United Methodist Church, 1602 North Main, Hutchinson.  Pastor Tonya will participate in leading this service.  We will be taking a special offering for Salthawk Community Support. The mission of SCS is to work together to remove barriers to education for students in need at Hutchinson High School, Hutchinson Middle School 8, and MidTown at Avenue A. Many local churches (including First Mennonite) serve as partners in this program.  Following the service, everyone is invited to experience meaningful prayer stations that will be set up in a quiet room near the sanctuary. This will be a personal time of private prayer and meditation.


We are excited to welcome Cynthia Neufeld Smith, a member of the Voices Together Hymnal Committee, to lead us in a Dedication service of our new hymnal.  Cynthia is helping give shape to the service and will be bringing the sermon that morning as well. 


All Western District Conference women are invited to join this event sponsored by Western District Women in Mission on Tuesday, April 25. Jenny Gehman, spiritual director, retreat speaker, and writer, will present on “Holy Host: the Hospitality of God.” Join us in person or virtually. Our in-person gathering will be at First Mennonite Church in Newton, Kansas, beginning with a salad potluck at 6 p.m., followed by Jenny joining virtually from Pennsylvania at 6:45 p.m. There is no cost to this event, but please register by April 23 by emailing so you can receive a Zoom link if joining virtually. Please email your RSVP if attending in person and bring a salad to share. Church groups can consider gathering together to watch the Zoom. For more information, contact Wendy Schrag at 316-841-5245. 

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

Preschool-8th Grade: SHINE! Curriculum:  Your Kingdom Come

  • 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)

ADULT Sunday School:

  1. Bible Study using the Salt & Light study guide meets in the Prayer Room in the basement. Copies are available in the classroom.
  2. The Adult Discussion/Study class meeting in the fellowship hall and on Zoom (contact Pastor Tonya for the zoom link).  Currently this class is viewing and discussing a webinar series titled “Beyond Incarceration:  A hard look at dismantling the prison system and building healthy communities offered by Mennonite Central Committee and Mennonite Church USA.  You can learn more and view the webinars yourself during the week at this link: Beyond Incarceration Webinar series
  3. “Younger Adults” Class meets in the adult education room in the basement.

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 (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)

            **MARCH ‘DAY APART’ WILL BE March 29**


Be sure to mark Wednesday March 29 on your calendar to join your church family for dinner, fellowship and bible study!  The schedule is DIFFERENT from other years, so take note:

  • 5:30-6:30pm Choir Rehearsal
  • 6:00-6:45pm Dinner served
  • 6:50-7:50pm Bible Study

The Bible Study will be part of the Anabaptist at 500 Reading Scripture Together project sponsored by MennoMedia.  The invitation is to participate in creating the Anabaptist Community Bible, which will feature marginal notes and commentary from five hundred Bible study groups (including ours!) from a wide spectrum of Anabaptist faith communities.  One session of our study remains. If you would like to join, please contact Pastor Tonya to receive the study text and question.  If you would like to join the Bible Study discussion via Zoom, please let Pastor Tonya know so she can send you the link.


We are looking for delegates from our congregation to attend MennoCon23 (Mennonite Church USA assembly in Kansas City) and/or Western District Conference Assembly, which will be held at Tabor Mennonite Church, rural Newton. Contact Pastor Tonya or Jennalee Boggs if you are interested. 

MennoCon23 is July 3-6, with the delegate assembly to follow July 7-8. Western District Conference annual assembly is August 11-13.


If you can stay after Sunday School on Sunday April 3 to help set up stations of the cross, please let Pastor Tonya know.  Many hands will make this a quick and easy process.  Volunteers are also needed to take down the stations on Saturday morning April 8 (time TBD).  The Stations will be available during Holy Week for your prayer and meditation.

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…


APRIL: pasta

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.


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. 


The Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty, is encouraging Kansas residents to advocate for abolition of the death penalty.  As reference, see the Mennonite Church USA resolution from 2001 regarding the death penalty –

The 2023 Legislative session has brought with it new death penalty abolition legislation.  Forty-Eight legislators put their names on the House and Senate abolition bills. We have the opportunity to write our congressmen in support of this legislation even at this stage of the legislative session.  Here is the background for our action:

The growing Kansas legislative support for abolition is clear with the introduction of HB 2349 and SB 211.

In the House, Rep. Mark Schreiber and thirty three of his House colleagues sponsored HB 2349.  The Senate legislation, SB 211 has Senator Carolyn McGinn as lead sponsor and thirteen co-sponsoring Senators.  Both bills end the death penalty as a punishment for the most serious murders in Kansas which occur on or after the effective date of the legislation. 

Sponsors in both chambers are a mix of Republicans and Democrats with varying lengths of legislative service.  It is significant that nearly 30% of the legislature is willing to put their name ON the bill.  They, plus those who support abolition but did not decide to co sponsor, form an ever growing body of legislative support for ending the Kansas death penalty.

Contact Your Senator and Representative:

  • If your Senator and/or Representative is among the sponsors, please let them know your gratitude for their support for death penalty abolition.
  • If your Senator and/or Representative is NOT among the sponsors, please let them know it’s time for Kansas to end capital punishment.

To reach your State Representative, click here.   To reach your State Senator, click here.

To send a personal note through the postal mail, the address is State Capitol, 300 SW 10th Street, Topeka, KS 66612.  Need a talking point or two?  Check out the latest KCADP fact sheets.


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.   Russ Gaeddert is the new Care Portal contact person for our congregation. He has started 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!

KANSAS MENNONITE MEN’S CHORUS . . . We Sing that Others May Live

Concerts: April 16 – 7:00pm at Tabor College; April 23 – 7:00 at Bethel College.


Run For Relief. As we approach the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale in April, there are many ways in which to give to MCC. Please consider sponsoring a participant in the Run For Relief. Jean Gaeddert has participated each year, and is planning to do so again. Any amount donated would be appreciated! Thank you! (Cash or check made out to KMRS.)

The Bake Sale committee has requested 20 pies and 40 dozen zwieback from our church for the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale. Pie tins are available on a table in the foyer- there is no need to sign up. Just take what you need! Pies and any other baked goods that you’re willing to donate are to be taken to the fairgrounds by 10 am on Friday, April 14. If you aren’t able to deliver your foods, Todd and I will see that they get to the right place if they are at the church by 9:45 am on Friday. Please label your pies (for example: cherry) and other baked goods, especially type of bread. No cream pies can be accepted.
Thanks for sharing your time, resources and talents to help take care of people in need!  -Julie Esau

Note: Joretta has the donations for ingredients and a crew ready to bake zwieback at church.

Invitation to make extra contributions to support earth-friendly containers for use at KMRS.

The KMRS Board of Directors affirms our desire to be good stewards of all of our resources including God’s creation. Towards that end the Board supports and encourages both the Purchasing Committee, as well as other agents of the KMRS, to use as many biodegradable and/or earth friendly products as is reasonably possible. We are aware and acknowledge that despite our best efforts some biodegradable/earth friendly products may not be available through established suppliers. We are also aware of the potential for increased cost and will encourage churches and individuals to make increased donations to the sale, earmarked for this endeavor, to reduce and eliminate over time the use of non-biodegradable products.

Volunteer your Time . . . volunteer by clicking on this volunteer signup page  Click here on the DONATE page and see how you can publicize items you wish to donate to the auctions or volunteer your TIME.

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Summer Youth Camp Registration is now open! We welcome you to register here for the upcoming summer season!  Detailed information about our Summer Youth Camps and our Program Directors can be found here, on the Camp Mennoscah website.

Nurses and kitchen staff needed for summer youth camps.  Nurses are needed for the weeks of June 18-23, Junior I Camp, and July 9-14, Junior High II Camp. Head cooks needed for PreJunior I, June 11-15, and PreJunior II, June 25-29. Kitchen helpers and volunteers are needed for the majority of camp weeks. Be part of an amazing, faith-filled camp experience! Contact us at 620-297-3290 or

HESSTON COLLEGE announcements

April 2 – Sunflower Performing Arts. Join the Sunflower Performing Arts on Sunday, April 2 at 3 p.m. to hear pax duo. Exceptional percussionists Micah Detwiler and Tristan Swihart will bring a multi-media percussion concert integrating acoustic percussion and lighting design. The concert will be held at Hesston Mennonite Church. Find more information and purchase tickets at (Two tickets available by calling the church office.)

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Thurs., March 30 – “What’s happening in the statehouse?,” a forum on Kansas politics featuring journalists from the Kansas Reflector, moderated by Adam Strunk, managing editor of Harvey County Now, 7 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College. Forum co-sponsors are the Bethel Department of Communication Arts and HCN. The Kansas Reflector is a nonprofit, online publication with Kansas’ largest statehouse bureau. The public is invited.

Fri., March 31 – The public is invited to the final round of Bethel College’s C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest, 7:30 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center. Sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee, the annual competition takes place on North American Mennonite college campuses, with an overall winner chosen from among the campus winners. The original speeches deal with contemporary peace concerns.

Now in the Regier Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College – “Printing on the Plains: Woodcuts by Ian Huebert,” through Fri., April 14 (artist reception April 13). Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 2-4 p.m.

Weds., April 5 – Bethel College Chamber Orchestra concert, directed by Kristopher Hilding, 7 p.m. Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center

Thurs., April 6 – Junior recital by Isaac Tice, voice, 7 p.m.Administration Building chapel

Monday, April 17 – Rachel Stroer, president of The Land Institute in Salina, will speak at Bethel College.