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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – November 30-December 6, 2022

“Like a tapestry woven throughout time, the Christmas story weaves us in – to remember how God has shown up in the past, to continue the work of collective liberation, to behold the presence of God in flesh and bone.” (From Generation to Generation … Advent Devotional Introduction. Written by The Sanctified Art Creative Team)

We took a different route home from Colorado Springs this past Sunday, driving south through Pueblo, taking Highway 50 all the way home to Hutchinson.  This route takes you through La Junta, my birthplace and home till I was about 6.  I love stopping in this little town of my childhood.  A stop at the park is a must, as is driving past our old house, and our neighbor’s house, with a quick look around the corner to the funeral home.  If there is time (which there usually isn’t) I like to drive by Emmanuel Mennonite Church as well.  These are the places holding my earliest memories of being known and loved. 

I’m guessing I’ve shared with you before about our elderly neighbor.  I don’t remember his name, but I do remember how he delighted in calling me “Tony” instead of my actual name.  While that might have been annoying, he did it in such a way that it made me feel special and noticed.  He always had a warm and friendly word for me, and I was drawn to him.  He died during the few years we lived in our house.  One of my most vivid memories from my childhood is walking around the corner to the funeral home to attend his viewing with my mother.  I recall being sad, but not disturbed. Somehow all those pieces fit together for me and I carry with me a sense of peace from that experience.  I also have fond memories of a family friend, Ernie, who made our birthday cakes and taught me how to wipe a table while catching the crumbs in my hands.

These memories were present for me as we drove through La Junta on Sunday.  And they rose to the surface again as I was listening to FMC Worship that I missed on Sunday and heard Adam and Jade exploring with the children the theme of passing on wisdom from generation to generation.  Sharing wisdom is one way our stories become intertwined, and a way we shape and influence each other.  What sacred opportunities we have as we come in contact with others!  My elderly neighbor exhibited, in rather simple ways, the gift of connection across generations.  I felt seen and valued by him.  And our friend Ernie lives on in my story as I clean our dining room table. 

Our Advent Devotional this week (on Wednesday) provides this Journal Prompt: In Matthew’s genealogy (Mt 1:1-17), each name contains a story, threading together a lineage that leads to Christ. In the space below, record the story of someone who came before you – a relative or friend – who changed your life.

What memories, names and stories come to mind for you??

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. Choose to wear a mask at any time as an additional precaution to protect yourself and others. Stay home if you are not feeling well.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4: From Generation to Generation: God meets us in our fear

When the angel Gabriel comes to Mary, she is perplexed and confused – and no doubt, afraid. And yet, the angel’s news is: “Don’t be afraid.” We hear this refrain throughout the Christmas story and remember it is the most common phrase in all the Bible. From generation to generation, God has shown up in the midst of our fear and uncertainty and confusion. From generation to generation, faithful people have said ‘yes’ despite apprehension.  From generation to generation, our ancestors in faith have accepted the invitation.  The prophecy in Isaiah paints a vision of what we work toward when we say ‘yes’: righteousness and equity reign, the wolf lives with the lamb, no harm or hurt shall destroy the earth, a child shall lead the way.

ALSO:  Decorating the Christmas Tree!  Children and Youth have ornaments with their names; adults will hang additional ornaments as we all help decorate the tree in the sanctuary. 

(Luke 1:26-38; Isaiah 11:1-10)

  • Sermon: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader: Carol Moore
  • Song Leader: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Children’s Time: Jean Gaeddert
  • Scripture Reader: Nick Krehbiel
  • Pianist: Shelley Kauffman
  • Ushers: Cheryl Warkentin & Marlene Thode
  • Nursery Attendant: Susan Combs
  • Sound Tech: Earl Ediger & Allen Yoder
  • Live Stream Tech: Jay Goering


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. 


  • December 4 – Budget and Annual Congregational Meeting; Sr Youth Fundraisers
  • December 5 – Family Night @ FMC with kids’ movie and snacks – 6:30pm
  • 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:

  • 8:45am Silent Auction Items DUE in the fellowship hall (or bring the week prior)
  • 9:00am Silent Auction bidding begins
  • 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)
  • 12:15pm  –   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 at 7:30. Plans are to sing during two Sunday worship services – December 11 and 18.

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.     


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)

       From Generation to Generation….

  • 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)                         + STAR WORDS for 2023!

FALL WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL  @ 11:00AM (no Sunday School December 25 & January 1)

DECEMEBER 4:  Abbreviated schedule: 10:45-11:30am.  Adult Discussion Class will meet in the sanctuary.

  • 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 this week in the sanctuary and on Zoom (contact Pastor

Tonya for the zoom link). During Advent this group will be using the Advent Devotional booklet, From Generation to Generation as a guide for reflection and conversation.  Copies are available in the foyer at church, or electronically (request from the church office).

“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 hour will be simply structured to create space for listening to scripture and Spirit, praying with and without words, and conversation with God and others.  Tentatively, Pastor Tonya will be offering two options each month: Second Tuesday from Noon-1pm or Second Wednesday from 6:30-7:30pm.  There is also the possibility of adding a Zoom option to either one of these times. 

STRENGTHENING Community Connections…


Gather Monday evening December 5 for a family night at FMC with a Christmas Movie: Klaus!  Film starts at 6:30pm in the fellowship hall.  Popcorn and hot cocoa provided.  Wear your Christmas PJ’s and bring sleeping bags/blankets/pillows.  All are invited!

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.


Be sure to put Wednesday evening December 21 on your calendar to gather at church for an opportunity 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 – a few volunteers needed to provide cookies or bars for dessert – let Pastor Tonya know if you can bring some!)


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

The Church Office will be closed between Christmas and New Year’s.


  • 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)

STRETCHING to Serve as Christ Served…



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.


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

“Santa Sacks” (due DEC 1!) 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:

(If you prefer, you can leave your check at church by Nov 29 and Pastor Tonya will deliver checks to Trinity.  Be sure to make out your check to Salthawk Community Support!!)

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.


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:

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.


Again, it is time to be thinking about the Infant Baby Bundles.  They have been part of First Mennonite Christmas celebrations for many years.  We will again be able to offer completed bundles for a donation of $25.00 each.  We were blessed to be able to purchase items for the bundles last year and received lots of donated items. The cost of these items has now doubled with inflation. God certainly blessed this mission beyond our dreams. Make your checks out to First Mennonite Church, and write “Baby Bundles” in the memo.  The Infant Baby Bundles will be dedicated during the 7:00pm Christmas Eve service.   For His Glory, Deanna Mace and Jane Kroeker     


Everence will hold an informative Medicare webinar on Tuesday, Dec. 6, starting at 6:30 p.m. Topics will include, when and where to sign up for Medicare, what Medicare does (and doesn’t) cover, Medicare Parts A, B, C and D in clear, understandable language plus budgeting for health care costs in retirement. There will also be time for your questions. Information will be presented by staff from the Everence offices in Central Kansas. To register contact Everence at 316-283-3800, 877-467-7294 or Attendance recommended for those approaching retirement or those ready to sign up for Medicare.

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.

Application and further details for summer staffers here!  We are seeking stunning summer staff to fill the following leadership positions for the 2023 summer:  crafts, lifeguard, music, nature, office, and grounds.  These positions are typically filled by college-age students, are summer-long and receive a stipend.  A summer of fun, service and faith formation!

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

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.

Tues., Dec. 6 – Bethel College Steel Drum Ensemble concert, directed by Brad Shores, 7 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center

Weds., Dec. 7 – Singalong to Christmas portions of Handel’s Messiah, 11 a.m., with chamber orchestra and soloists, Bethel College Mennonite Church. Scores provided.

Fri., Dec. 9 – Christmas Gala Jazz concert, directed by Joel Boettger, 8 p.m.Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center

Sun., Dec. 11 – 37th annual Lighting of the Green , 8 p.m. on the Bethel College campus

HESSTON COLLEGE announcements

December 2 to 4 – Prairie Lights
Experience the quiet beauty of Kansas at Prairie Lights at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains December 2 to 4: native grasses shifting in the wind, lights reflecting in the pond and leafless trees lit like living sculptures. Observing tens of thousands of twinkle lights adorning the arboretum and illuminating the grounds is a great way to kick off the Christmas season and find renewed appreciation for the prairie landscape. Tickets available online at

December 3 – Nursing Open House
If you are considering a career in nursing, you will not want to miss the Hesston College Nursing Open House on December 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can learn about the BSN or LPN to BSN program, hear from current students and faculty and tour the college’s wonderful facilities. Hesston College is proud to offer a strong tradition in nursing. Register at

December 3 – Holly Jolly Community Day
Join Hesston College for Holly Jolly Community Day on December 3 at Yost Center. Guests receive free admission to the Lark women’s and men’s basketball games that day. At 1 p.m. the Lark women will take on Bethel College JV and at 3 p.m. the Lark men will take on Haskell Indian Nations University. The day includes free popcorn for all in attendance, Christmas activities for kids, a holiday photo booth and performances by the HC dance team.

December 3 – It’s a Wonderful Life
Get in the holiday spirit with Hesston College’s Performing Arts department’s presentation of It’s a Wonderful Life: The Live Radio Play. The performance will be on December 3 at 7 p.m. in Hesston Mennonite Church. Join Hesston College performing arts for this holiday classic. Admissions is free to the public and will also be live streamed at

December 6 – Sunflower Performing Arts presents Calmus: Christmas A Cappella
This outstanding vocal quintet based in Leipzig, Germany, comes to Hesston College to bring a concert featuring Christmas songs from around the world. Hesston College Bel Canto Singers will perform with Calmus on select numbers. Join us on December 6 at 7pm in Hesston Mennonite Church for a great Christmas performance. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 620-327-8158


Do you know when many of your ancestors came to America?  1874.  This is 2022; that’s almost 150 years later.  The Schweitzers and their descendants want to celebrate.  We’ve scheduled August 23-25, 2024, at Eden Mennonite Church near Moundridge KS as the place.  We’re calling this event  “Schweitzers and Friends” to include others with similar history.  Put the date on your calendar.  You are invited. You can be a part.

Coordinator Danielle Goering would like to hear your ideas ( or 602-448-7215). This celebration may include learning more about our history, telling stories, singing, eating some favorite foods, watching wheat harvested, and much more as well as being with relatives and friends.  What a celebration we will have! Anyone interested in more information about this celebration, please respond to the email address above.