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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – March 8-14, 2023

“What have I left undone?”  I’m still pondering this question, posed by the man with many possessions to Jesus (in Matthew 19).  It has quite a ‘to do list’ feeling to it:  what’s the task I have yet to do to be ‘finished’ with achieving eternal life?  And, I also hear an openness in the question … a wondering about whether there is more to life than what he already understood?  A willingness to be changed, to grow beyond what he’d always known.  I like to think he thought for a long time about Jesus’ response to him, and that it did change him and his relationship with his possessions and the poor in his community, even in small ways.  If nothing else, we are still thinking about it today!  And perhaps it will change us as well. 

In many ways this question, and Jesus’ response, echo the words of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 58:1-12):

Shout out; do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments;  they want God on their side.

 “Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day and oppress all your workers.
You fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high.
Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?

Is not this the fast that I choose:
    to loose the bonds of injustice,
    to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
    and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, “Here I am.”

If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your needs in parched places
    and make your bones strong, and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water whose waters never fail.
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.

May it be so!!     — 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 as COVID cases spike again

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, MARCH 12 – Parable of laborers in vineyard

Third Sunday of Lent

Matthew 20:1-16

  • Preacher: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader: Joel Iwashige
  • Song Leader: Jonathan Wenger
  • Children’s Time: DeAnna Goering
  • Scripture Reader: Bryan and/or Anita Kehr
  • Pianist: Shelley Kauffman
  • Ushers: Jay & Stephanie Gehring
  • Nursery Attendant: Diane Ziemer
  • Sound Tech: Adam Pounds
  • Live Stream Tech: Joel Iwashige


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.


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 March groups will meet on second Tuesday (March 14) from Noon-1pm and another on the first Wednesday (March 1) 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 April dates are April 11 (Noon) 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.  

  • March 12 (Lent 3): Are you envious because I am generous?  Matthew 20:1-16
  • March 19 (Lent 4): Will you come to the party? Matthew 22:1-14
  • March 26 (Lent 5):  When was it we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked  or sick in prison? Matthew 25:31-46
  • April 2 – Palm Sunday
  • April 9 – Easter Sunday (Potluck Breakfast at 9am; Worship at 10am)

Easter Lilies to honor our loved ones – orders accepted through March 26.

This year we invite you to share in celebrating the joy of Easter morning with lilies in honor of those you love. You may order one or more lilies (each is in a 6” pot with decorative bow). The church will make a group purchase at a cost of $10.00 per plant. Order forms are available on the table in the foyer and must be returned with payment by March 26. The lilies will grace our sanctuary on Easter morning.  You are invited to order as many lilies as you wish and take them home after the Easter morning service.

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)


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

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 THE 5th WEDNESDAY instead of the 4th Wednesday**


Be sure to mark Wednesdays March 8, 15, 22 and 29 on your calendar to join your church family for dinner, fellowship and bible study!  Choir rehearsals will also begin, but not till March 15.  The schedule is DIFFERENT from previous sessions, so take note:

  • 5:30-6:30pm Choir Rehearsal (NOT March 8 – begins March 15)
  • 6:00-6:45pm Dinner served
  • 6:50-7:50pm Bible Study (planning to offer childcare – volunteers needed – talk to Tonya!)

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.  Ideally participants will come for all 4 sessions, but if you can only come part of the time that is fine (DO try to come on March 8th to benefit from the introduction to the project). You will be invited to do some reading and reflecting on your own during the week to help prepare for discussion. We look forward to the study and conversation!  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. FMC can send 2 adult delegates and 1 youth delegate (age 16-21).

Western District Conference annual assembly is August 11-13. FMC can send 4 adult delegates.

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…


March: canned veggies (especially green beans)

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 March 18. 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 below the “Sign Up” bulletin board in the church foyer. Questions? Contact Kevin Martin Nisly or Sadie Nisly.


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. 


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!


Prairie Bronze Handbell Ensemble invites you to join us in an hour-long concert celebrating faith and unity. In Newton at First Presbyterian, 900 Columbus, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 12.


The Reno Choral Society will present its 81st performance of Messiah by G. F. Handel on Sunday March 19 at 3:00pm.  The concert will be at Trinity United Methodist Church in Hutchinson. Conductor is Mr. Riley King.  Soloists: Holly Swartzendruber (Soprano), Robin Rives McAdoo (Alto), Matthew Schloneger (Tenor), David Settle (Baritone). Tickets: Adult $10, Student (K-8) $5, Family Pass (at the door) $30.  Tickets available from Reno Choral Society Members or at the door.  Five from First Mennonite are singing in this year’s performance: Jonathan and Tonya Wenger, Reuben Wenger, Annika Frascino, and Hannah Nisly.


Mark your calendar for these two concerts: April 16 – 7:00pm at Tabor College; April 23 – 7:00 at Bethel College.


Put your faith in action by volunteering with SWAP this summer! MCC’s SWAP (Sharing With Appalachian People) home repair program provides short-term service and learning opportunities for churches, school and university groups, families, other groups and individuals. Now is the time to make your summer plans and sign up! More information and registration at or (606) 634-4418.


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.

Donations for KMRS are welcome in various venues

  • General auction
  • Quilt auction
  • Silent auction
  • Children’s auction
  • Food donations
  • Time . . . helping a various venues

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

The dam will be put back in on March 12 at approx. 2:30pm.  Everyone is welcome to join in or to watch.  Gather at the shelter. (The actual putting in of the boards is not for young ages.)  The event will go forward, whatever the weather, unless deemed unsafe.  Call Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290, if uncertain. 

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.

Youth Volunteer Weekend is March 24-25!  Youth in Grades 6-12 are invited to come to this retreat focused on worship and service. The retreat begins on Friday at 7pm with registration followed by snacks, games, and campfire. Rachel and Isaac, the Senior High program directors, will lead activities. Register in the Summer Youth Camp section by adding a person or session, if you have already registered for camp. 

HESSTON COLLEGE announcements

March 11 – Go Green Leprechaun Run. Dyck Arboretum will host the 11th annual Leprechaun Run on March 11 at 8:30 a.m. There will be a 2-mile fun run/walk and a 10K. Registration will close March 9. You are encouraged to wear green and come run or walk. All proceeds go to help underwrite educational programming. Learn more, register, or sign up to volunteer at

March 22 to 24 – Melva Kauffman Lecture Series. Hesston College will explore what restorative justice looks like and how it can be integrated into the world around us during the Melva Kauffman Lecture Series. Jonathan Swartz, director for Student Accountability & Restorative Justice at Eastern Mennonite University, will present. What does restorative justice truly mean? How can one apply it in their life? You can attend a part of the Melva Kauffman Lecture Series at Hesston Mennonite Church on March 24 at 11 am. The session is also available by live stream at

March 27 – Nature Book Club. Join the Dyck Arboretum on March 27 at 6:30 p.m. online for their Nature Book Club. They are reading Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy and Wild New World by Dan Flores. Learn more at

March 28 – Home on the Range: Breeding Biology of Prairie Chickens. Join the Dyck Arboretum on March 28 at 7 p.m. for Home on the Range. Dr. Jackie Augustine, Audubon of Kansas executive director, will discuss the biology of greater and lesser prairie chickens, species that she has studied for nearly 20 years. These charismatic birds perform impressive displays to gain mating opportunities. Come hear about the rolling prairie, the antics of prairie chickens, and the challenges of studying these declining species. Learn more at

March 30 – Music Department Recital. The Performing Arts department at Hesston College will present student recitals on March 30 at noon. Join in person at Hesston Mennonite Church or watch the live stream at

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

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Sun., March 12 – Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum program, 3 p.m.Kauffman Museum. Nationally recognized local artist Phil Epp will present “Images of Art and Design in Central Asia,” a program related to the museum’s current special exhibit, “Reeds & Wool: Patterned Screens of Central Asia.”

SAVE THE DATE: March 24-26, spring musical at Bethel College: tick, tick … BOOM! by Jonathan Larson

Jerusalem Seminar Returns! Bethel College and Tabor College are again collaborating on a trip to Jordan, Palestine, and Israel, from December 26, 2023 through January 15, 2024. The four emphases of the trip are to (1) understand the Bible in its context, (2) learn about the three major religions of the area (Judaism, Islam, Eastern Christianity), (3) understand the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and (4) take time for reflection, worship, and prayer together. The tour will include over two dozen biblical sites, including Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, and beyond! There is currently room for additional persons to participate. If interested, contact Peter Goerzen ( or Doug Miller ( for more information.


Celebrating Kansas Mennonite Disaster Service – Join in the Celebration on Sunday, March 19, 7:00 p.m. at First Mennonite Church, 429 East 1st, Newton KS. Kilometer 81 the singing group comprised of the family of Ken and Amy Regier will lead us in celebrating through song and music. We will hear about different projects volunteers have been involved with during the past year. This event will also be a fund raising event for The MDS Cabinet Shop.