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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – November 16-22, 2022

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Advent 2022 is just around the corner (beginning November 27), coming on the heels of Thanksgiving here in the United States.  Our Advent worship theme, created by the team at A Sanctified Art, jumped out at me almost immediately among the options I was considering.  From Generation to Generation has obvious resonance with our Centennial Celebration this fall and our summer Faces of our Faith series.  This theme reminds us of the big picture of God’s good news, shared from generation to generation. 

The authors of this resource also remind us: The root word of ‘generation’ is ‘gen’ meaning ‘origin’ or ‘birth.’   In this we’re also called to action, to consider what ‘we [are] being called to generate or bring forth.  What have your ancestors and those who have come before you passed on for you to continue?  Who are the spiritual elders in your community who planted the seeds for the things that are now blooming? What seeds are you planting for the future?”

This worship resource is rich in visual art and spoken word.  An Advent Devotional booklet and Advent Calendar will be available on Sunday November 20.  Beginning November 27, the Adult Discussion Class meeting in the Fellowship Hall will be using the devotional booklet as a guide for the Sunday School hour, reflecting on the art work, poetry, and worship/sermon themes.   

“From Generation to Generation” also reminds me of the beautiful quilted wall hanging and poem Julie Moore Esau created for our Centennial Celebration.  Both of these now hang in our foyer along with a collection of pictures from the past.  In case you haven’t had a chance to read the poem, here it is!

Memory Trees  (Julie Moore Esau)

Fragments of color, scraps of light and darkness, leaves of love and sadness

memories, woven and stitched into the roots of strength and hope

Holding my grandma’s hand, snuggled into the pew

hanging from the crabapple out front

green velvet, candles, and Stille Nacht

Memories flutter through my mind, rustling in the breeze of time

Terror and joy walking down the aisle, the exquisite grief of retracing those steps

for grandparents and parents

Babies are born and new memories leaf out

The salty tang of homemade playdough, halos and wings and wooly sheep, the

drop off at Mennoscah and suddenly it’s Peace Essay time

God’s breath swirls through the trunks and rattles the leaves, turning the

memories glorious bronze and scarlet and aspen-gold

They twirl down to the earth

already the new buds are quietly swelling, the new memories waiting to emerge

Blessings as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday where perhaps new memories will be made for you! And, recognizing the ways holidays are also a time of grieving the absence of those you love, either through death or distance, let us hold each other in prayer for God’s comforting presence to hold aching hearts.

May God pour out grace and peace upon you in abundance!

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 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. Stay home if you are not feeling well.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20: Swords into Plowshares

Christ the King / Reign of Christ Sunday

Isaiah 36:1-3, 13-20; 37:1-7; then 2:1-4; (Matt 5:14)

  • Sermon: Pastor Jim Unruh
  • Worship Leader: Calvin Buller
  • Song Leader: Bryan Kehr
  • Children’s Time: Heidi Unruh
  • Scripture Reader: TBA
  • Pianist: Peggy Stucky
  • Ushers: Jay & Stephanie Gehring
  • Nursery Attendant: Jonathan Wenger
  • Sound Tech: Earl Ediger & Allen Yoder
  • Live Stream Tech: Jay Gehring


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 are also welcome to send a check to 52 Rambler Rd Hutchinson KS 67502. 


  • November 15 – PCRC (Pastor Congregation Relations Committee) meets – 4pm
  • November 16 – “We’ll Leave Our Lights On” Reno County non-perishable food drive
  • November 19 – Faith and Life Pop-up Shop – 10:00am-2:00pm in our building
  • November 24-27 – Pastor Tonya on vacation
  • November 26 – FMC serves at the Soup Kitchen
  • November 27 – First Sunday of Advent
  • December 4 – Budget and Annual Congregational Meeting; Sr Youth Fundraisers
  • December 21 – Longest Night Service (5:45pm), Soup Supper (6:30pm), Christmas Caroling (7:15pm)
  • December 24 – Christmas Eve Service – 7:00pm
  • December 25 – (Sunday) Christmas Day worship – 9:30am (No Sunday School)


Everyone – members, associate members, and attenders – are invited to be part of the fun on December 4.  Please note the different schedule for the morning:

  •  9:30am-10:30am Worship (as usual)
  •  10:30-10:45 fellowship time & bidding on the Silent Auction (fundraiser for Senior Youth Group)
  •  10:45-11:30am Sunday School
  •  11:30am Soup Meal (borscht and/or chili) begins in Fellowship Hall (continue bidding on Silent Auction items)
  •  Noon –   Bidding ends on Silent Auction items; Meeting begins in Fellowship Hall (also available on Zoom)

CHOIR REHEASALS continue on Wednesdays at 7:30pm

All singers are invited to join the choir. We’ll rehearse Wednesdays (no rehearsal November 23) at 7:30. Plans are to sing during two Sunday worship services – December 11 and 18.

FAITH & LIFE BOOKSTORE Christmas Pop-up shop – Saturday, November 19

Faith & Life Bookstore in Newton will be set up in our building on Saturday, November 19, 10:00am-2:00pm. This is a great opportunity to shop for Christmas, birthdays, and all occasions – books, inspirational materials, and so much more for all ages. This is open to the community, so plan to bring your friends and neighbors. Our church library benefits by hosting this event.

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.     


Our November worship services will continue following the Narrative Lectionary which traces the ‘big story’ of Scripture.  In November we explore some of the prophets as we lead up to Advent.

November 20: Swords into Plowshares (Isaiah 36:1-3, 13-20; 37:1-7; then 2:1-4)

    – Pastor Jim preaching  (Pastor Tonya preaching at Hope Mennonite

in Wichita about Mennonite World Conference)


This year’s Advent theme and resources come to us from A Sanctified Art: From Generation to Generation, inspired by a line from Mary’s song:

            “Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

            for the Mighty One has done great things for me,  and holy is his name.

            His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.  (Luke 1:48b-50)

“Despite the challenges and vulnerability she faced, Mary could glimpse the scale and scope of the good news she was part of bringing forth.  This good news transcends time and space – it was and is bigger than just her. Christ is coming for collective liberation: God’s redemption is at work for years to come.  Therefore, the promise is meant to be lived out and passed on from generation to generation. ….  The root word of ‘generation’ is ‘gen’ meaning ‘origin’ or ‘birth.’ Our theme is also a call to action: what are we being called to generate or bring forth? What have your ancestors and those who have come before you passed on for you to continue? Who are the spiritual elders in your community who planted the seeds for the things that are now blooming? What seeds are you planting for the future?”

       From Generation to Generation….

  •   November 27 (First Sunday of Advent): There’s room for every story (Mt 1:1-17; Isaiah 2:1-5)
  •                         Maggie Pounds preaching.  Planned & led by the “Younger Adults” Sunday School class.
  •   December 4 (Second Sunday of Advent): God meets us in our fear (Luke 1:26-38; Isaiah 11:1-10)
  •                         Pastor Tonya preaching
  •   December 11 (Third Sunday of Advent):  We can choose a better way (Mt 1:18-25; Isaiah 35:1-10)
  •                         Pastor Tonya preaching
  •   December 18 (Fourth Sunday of Advent): FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS & CAROLS
  •   December 24 (Saturday – Christmas Eve) @ 7:00pm:  We tell this story  (Luke 2:1-20)
  •   December 25 (Sunday – Christmas Day) @ 9:30am:  God dwells with us (John 1:1-14; Luke 2:15-21)
  •   January 1 (Sunday – New Year’s Day) @ 9:30am: We keep seeking (Mt 2:1-12; Mt 2:12-23)


FALL WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL  @ 11:00AM (no Sunday School on the 5th Sundays)

Preschool-8th Grade: SHINE! Curriculum:  Fall of a Kingdom

  • 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). This group is currently learning about Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery.  You can learn more here:

            “Younger Adults” Class meets in the adult education room in the basement.

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.                

LPC: Listening-Prayer-Conversation Groups BEGINNING January 2023

Pastor Tonya will be offering something new beginning January 2023 … an opportunity to participate in a monthly LPC group:  Listening. Prayer. Conversation.  The plan is for a once/month simply structured hour of listening to scripture and Spirit, praying with and without words, and conversation with God and others.
More details and plans will be shared toward the end of November. 

STRENGTHENING Community Connections…

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.


This committee, tasked with tending to a healthy pastor-congregation relationship, meets quarterly with the pastors.  The next meeting is Tuesday November 15 and the committee invites your feedback, including concerns and affirmations.  You can contact Dohn Fast, Jolene Yoder or Peggy Stucky.


Be sure to put Wednesday evening December 21 on your calendar to gather at church for an opportunity to gather with others to remember loved ones who have died in the past year, eat supper together, and then go Christmas Caroling in the church neighborhood.  You can come to one or more of the events.  Schedule is as follows:

  •  5:45pm Longest Night Service in the sanctuary (we’ll also plan to livestream)
  •  6:30pm Soup Supper
  •  7:15pm Christmas Caroling in the church neighborhood  (dessert and hot drinks following)


  • Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 2:00pm  
  • Wednesday – 10:00am – 1:00pm


  • Monday: Sabbath Day
  • 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)

November 20:  Pastor Tonya will be preaching at Hope Mennonite in Wichita, sharing about her experience at Mennonite World Conference this past summer. 

November 24-27: Pastor Tonya is taking vacation time. 

STRETCHING to Serve as Christ Served…


NOVEMBER: Canned Fruit

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.

FMC’s donations for the month of October were 98 pounds and about 115 items.  Thank you for your generosity.


Our donations for Salthawk Community Support are delivered by Lorene Graber and she shares a big thank you to those who have donated so generously. The students will appreciate the items given.

Current specific needs at Hutchinson High School and HMS8 include:  boys belts (sizes 34-35-36), chapstick, deodorant, hoodies, and winter coats.

“Santa Sacks” will again be provided for students most in need in Hutch High, MidTown at Avenue A, and Hutch Middle School 8. Each sack will include ear buds, gift certificates to Sweet Treats and to Sammy’s Shack (clothing, grooming supplies and snack venues located at the school), and other items. Salthawk Community Support has a lofty goal of providing Santa Sacks for 150 students at HHS, 100 students at

MidTown and 30 students at HMS8. Salthawk depends on monetary donations – large gifts and small gifts – to make this happen. Working together as a community, we can make a difference in the lives of 280 students this Christmas. To be included in this project, please make your donation by December 1 in one of these ways:

  • Checks directed to Salthawk Community Support, 1602 North Main Street, Hutchinson KS 67501
  • Online at (Salthawk is a ministry of Trinity United Methodist Church)

Note: all donations are fully tax deductible and you will receive a letter of acknowledgement for your gift.

Mark your calendars for our January 21, 2023 SALTHAWK FUNDRAISER: Taste of Hutchinson – The Men Cook at the Hutchinson Art Center.  Tickets will be $40 each.  7-8:30pm.



We will again ‘leave our lights on’ Wednesday evening November 16 from 5-7pm for anyone to drop off items for the Food Bank.  This is a partnership with many area churches who will also leave their lights on that evening.  Plan to bring donations to our church, or to a participating church closer to your home (a poster with a list of participating locations is up at our church east entrance). 


We will also be collecting donations to contribute to “Thanksgiving Dinner Baskets” coordinated by Living Hope FWB Church, NAACP Religious Affairs and Hutch in Harmony.  This idea has emerged out of awareness of how hard the past couple of years have been for local families with COVID and recent inflation.  We have been invited to help bring a little light to our local families in need.  Please have your donations at the church by Friday November 18 (a basket in the foyer is designated for this project).  There is not a specific donation list at this point, but for now think about nonperishable items appropriate for a Thanksgiving meal.  The plan is to gather food items, package them and hand them out the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving (Nov 19), and the hope is to reach 50 families.   If you are interested in helping that Saturday, let Pastor Tonya know and she can get you the contact information. 


With this being a holiday weekend, we’ll be looking for additional volunteers!! Help is needed on November 26 to cook (starting around 2:00pm), to deliver meals around 4:00pm, and to serve the meal at 5:00pm. Donations of applesauce and salad greens are also requested. Bring to the church the Sunday before, or to the soup kitchen on the 24th. A signup sheet is posted on the “Sign Up” bulletin board in the church foyer. Questions? Contact Kevin Martin Nisly or Sadie Nisly.


Home for the Holidays Open House & Tree Auction will be held Saturday, November 19, 11:30am-2:30pm. Check their website for details


MCC Buckets of Thanks: This Thanksgiving season, show your gratitude and provide hope to those in need by collecting relief supplies for MCC. The supplies you donate will fill a Bucket of Thanks (aka an MCC relief kit) for people affected by conflict or disaster around the world. For more information, including supply lists and a ready-to-use curriculum for children, visit:

Everence and MCC to host hygiene kit-making event on Nov. 29

Give back on Giving Tuesday with an evening of Service & Snacks, Nov. 29 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Hesston College Mennonite Church! Join Everence® and MCC for an evening of service! We’ll make MCC hygiene kits, tie comforters, write holiday cards to incarcerated people with MCC partner organization Offender Victim Ministries (OVM) and enjoy snacks! Bring your family and friends to this opportunity to give back on this Giving Tuesday! Find out more! You can also help by donating supplies to MCC or the Everence office in North Newton or by making a financial contribution to MCC. For more details, contact MCC at 316-283-2720 or Everence at 316-283-3800.

MCC Material Resources Center in North Newton critically low on inventory: An MCC kit cannot be shipped until every single item for the kit is assembled, but some supplies are so low that kits cannot be processed for shipping. You can help by helping to fill the following needs: New infant onesies and sleepers (3-12 month sizes); shampoo (20 oz or more), thin sanitary pads (28 count minimum) and dark colored bath and hand towels. Buy online and ship it to MCC or bring item to MCC in North Newton (121 E. 30th St, North Newton, KS 67117). Please contact or 316.283.2720 or click here

Free resource: Learning about generosity with MCC! Make talking about generosity with your children easy by using this free resource. The printable worksheets help kids explore the basics of generosity at an elementary school level. The resource contains downloadable worksheets, activity ideas, a story about how generosity makes a difference, make-your-own bookmark craft and alternative Christmas gift ideas. Click here to sign up: MCC generosity resource.

MCC is seeking a Constituency Engagement Manager: This new role is designed to help the MCC’s in the U.S. plan and implement a cohesive engagement strategy for specific priority audiences including alumni, churches, congregations of color, plain communities and young adults. With a focus on convening and strategizing, this person will be part of the Communications and Donor Relations network and will work in close collaboration with other departments and regional MCC’s. This full-time position will preferably be located in Akron, Pa., but location is flexible within any MCC office in the U.S. Apply online for this opening by November 18 at For more information contact Amber Falcón at 574-534-4133 or

Infant Baby Bundles for MCC. Bundles have been prepared and will be available for purchase after thanksgiving. Watch for details coming soon!


A unique personal collection of the tools and practices of 19th Century Medicine is on display at Mennonite Friendship Communities through the month of November. The display is available during daytime hours in the Fireside Room (please use entrance W-11, near the Sunnydell apartments). Mennonite Friendship Communities is located at 600 West Blanchard, South Hutchinson.

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Camp Mennoscah merch . . . make a purchase to support camp! The Camp Mennoscah online store has been refreshed and is ready for you to fill your need for that newest Camp Mennoscah tee shirt or water bottle. Plan ahead for Christmas gift-giving! Click here:  

There are a great many things for volunteers to do–come be one!  Any of the following are great options for groups of one or more:  cutting firewood, cleaning after groups, weekend hosting, being a committee member, mowing or other maintenance/grounds tasks, making a meal for a volunteer group, or recruiting people to volunteer at camp.  These are just some of the possibilities!  Call us at 620-297-3290 for more information.

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Voices of Conscience: Peace Witness in the Great War, a traveling exhibit developed and toured by Kauffman Museum at Bethel College, is on display at the McPherson Museum and Arts Foundation, 1111 E. Kansas Ave. in McPherson, through Nov. 19. This exhibit lifts up the prophetic insights and the personal courage of peace protesters during World War I and suggests parallels to the culture of war and violence in our world today. Museum hours are Mon.- Sat., 1-5 p.m., and admission is free. For more information, visit

Mon., Nov. 21 – Bethel College Wind Ensemble concert, directed by Joel Boettger, 7 p.m.Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center

Bethel College Women’s Association . . . Five Places of Christmas

BCWA warmly invites you to enjoy the holiday magic of the historic Goerz House as part of Newton’s annual Five Places of Christmas celebration on Saturday, December 3, Find handcrafted gifts for all ages and unique Bethel-themed items, as well as a variety of homemade baked goods including cookies, pies, peppernuts and more. Also available will be homemade candy by the pound. All proceeds go to support Bethel College projects. Bring a friend and enjoy. Other locations include Kauffman Museum on campus, as well as the Carriage Factory Gallery, Harvey County Historical Museum and Warkentin House in Newton.

All bakers and crafters are invited to make items for 5 Places of Christmas on Saturday, December 3 at Goerz House, Bethel College. Bethel College Women’s Association will again be selling baked goods, candy, craft items and poinsettias. Christmas candy, cookies, zwieback, peppernuts, poppyseed rolls and cinnamon rolls are always great sellers. Please bring your items on Friday, December 2 from 1:30-4:30pm or on Saturday, December 3 from 8:30-10:00am to Goerz House.


Quilter’s Corner is gladly accepting donations for the MCC sale which is April 14 and 15, 2023.  Bring your fabric, notions, quilts and quilting supplies to the MCC Center in North Newton clearly labeled for Quilter’s Corner.  If questions, contact Ann Yoder Smith at 919-604-3282. 

KANSAS MENNONITE DISASTER SERVICE (MDS) . . . Learning and Service trip

The Kansas MDS (Mennonite Disaster Service) Unit is sponsoring a Learning and Service trip to Jennings, Louisiana, January 28-February 4, 2023. Participants will leave on Saturday traveling to New Orleans, staying overnight, learning about long term recovery from disasters and visiting Laura Plantation on Sunday. Your cost will be one night lodging, two tours we will take and meals on the days we travel. MDS is covering the transportation, meals and lodging while on the MDS project in Jennings. We will be rebuilding homes with MDS from Monday through Friday. To make your reservations or for more information contact Cleo Koop at or call 316-282-0797.