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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – November 8-14, 2023

Table of Contents

A Blessing … written by Jan Richardson (Voices Together #1049)

Blessed be the ones

who dance

in the corridors of death,

who sing

in the hallways of terror,

who laugh

in the prisons of fear,

who shout

across the silencing walls,

who love

beyond the borders of hatred,

who live

to welcome home freedom,

who die

never turning their heads,

who return

as the rising of hope.

(Jan Richardson)

Pastor Tonya


SUNDAY MORNING Worship at 9:30am 

The link to join is on our website:  Join 5 minutes early for announcements.


  • Preacher: Heidi Unruh
  • Worship Leader: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Scripture Reader: Julie Esau
  • Children’s Time: DeAnna Goering
  • Organist: Shelley Kauffman
  • Song Leader: TBD
  • Ushers: Dennis & Jennalee Boggs
  • Nursery Attendant: Glenda Hooper
  • 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. 


  • Nov 11 – Faith & Life Bookstore Pop-Up Shop – 10:00am-2:00pm, FMC’s Common Grounds room
  • Nov 12 – Mission Festival (Heidi Unruh, preacher) & Potluck Lunch following Sunday School
  • Nov 15 – We’ll Leave Our Lights On – gathering shelf-stable items for the Food Bank – 5:00-7:00pm
  • Nov 15 – Chancel Choir rehearsals begin – Wednesdays @ 5:30pm (no rehearsal November 22)
  • Nov 19 – Youth Group Fundraiser Lunch (after SS) for MCC’s Palestine & Israel Response
  • Nov 30 – Pastor Congregation Relations Committee 3:30pm
  • Dec 3 – FMC’s Annual Meeting, Youth Fundraiser Lunch and Silent Auction
  • Dec 3 – First Sunday of Advent: How Does A Weary World Rejoice? We acknowledge our weariness

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

The Tuesday Group meets again the second Tuesday in November (Nov 14) at 1:00pm. December’s date is TBD.

The Wednesday evening group meets next on Tuesday November 7 at 6:30pm, and the second Wednesday in December (Dec 13) as usual. 


Our Fall Worship services are guided by the Narrative Lectionary which is crafted to take us through the arc of the Biblical story, beginning in Genesis and ending with the early church at Pentecost.  In November we will explore the part of the story shaped by the prophets, exile and return. 

We’re looking forward to using worship resources from A Sanctified Art for Advent/Christmas, focused on the theme: How Does a Weary World Rejoice?  The resources will again offer wonderful words for worship, visual art, a devotional booklet, and Advent calendars for adults and children.  After Epiphany/Star Words on January 7, we’ll begin a deep dive into the Gospel of Mark. 

MISSION FESTIVAL (NOVEMBER 12, 2023): Presence as Mission

Heidi Unruh is our Mission Festival speaker this year, focusing on the theme “Presence as Mission.”  She will also lead the adults in a Sunday School session around the same theme.  Bring a dish to share for a potluck meal following Sunday School.    

SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES FOR EVERYONE will continue on November 19!

            CHILDREN’S CLASSES (preschool-6th grade) meet in the basement.

            SENIOR YOUTH (8th-12th grade) meet upstairs.

ADULT BIBLE STUDY, using Salt & Light curriculum from Menno Media.  This class is facilitated by Calvin Buller and Marlene Thode and meets in the adult Sunday School room in the basement.

ADULT DISCUSSION CLASS, meeting in the basement fellowship hall and on Zoom. Between October 22 and Advent (Dec 3), this group will be watching and discussing recorded sermons from Mennonite World Conference (Indonesia 2022). 

And, the YOUNGER ADULTS CLASS meeting in the library.  For more details, talk with Maggie or Adam Pounds. 

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 October 25)


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
  • 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).  Typically this is the 4th Wednesday of the month, but due to some scheduling issues, the next date is: Wednesday November 29 (8am-5pm)

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 for this year is December 10-13 (back in office on December 14).

FALL 2023 WEDNESDAY NIGHTS AT FIRST (WNAF) – Focus on Humanity: Voices of Local Impact

Our last Wednesday evening session is this week on November 8:

            5:30-6:20 Dinner

            6:30-7:30 Program (with separate activities for children in Common Grounds room)

This Wednesday we will hear from Interfaith Housing and Lighthouse

If you’d like to join via Zoom, please let Pastor Tonya know and she’ll send you the link.  Recordings of the presentations are available (except for the first session).

Many thanks to the committee who put this series together: Adam Pounds, Pastor Jim Unruh, Donna Davis and Russell Goering.  Children’s activities were planned and led by Pauline Buller and Pastor Tonya. 


The PCRC meets on November 30 at 3:30pm. If you have any sort of feedback about the relationship between the pastors and FMC congregation, please contact one of the following people: Jolene Yoder, Peggy Stucky, Kevin Martin Nisly. 


  • Silent Auction youth fundraiser opens 9:00am, pauses during worship, reopens at noon, ends 12:45pm
  • Senior Youth Fundraiser meal – 12:00 noon
  • Annual Congregational Meeting – 12:45pm (annual reports and agenda available on November 19)


Be thinking about what you might contribute to the silent auction and be part of the fun of bidding on items such as food, crafts, home décor, small furniture items or whatever might be donated.

HIGHLIGHS from CONGREGATIONAL BUDGET MEETING which was held Sunday, October 29

  • Approval of minutes from congregational meetings December 4, 2022 and June 4, 2023.
  • Review of Memo of Understanding for Minister of Community Outreach – Pastor Jim
  • Presentation of proposed 2023-2024 budget
  • Building maintenance updates
  • Information regarding possible installation of solar panels on the church roof. More information will be coming in advance of the annual meeting (December 3), when a proposal will be considered.


This month we will expand our Craft Night to include wrapping MCC Infant Care Bundles in preparation for our Christmas giving initiative. Please join us in the fellowship hall on Monday, November 13, 6:30-8:00pm – we welcome lots of helpers of all ages. You are also invited to come for your usual craft project.

Any questions . . . contact Cheryl Warkentin or Diane Ziemer. Deanna Mace is coordinating the Infant Care Bundles project.


All singers are invited to join the choir for the advent season. Rehearsals will be held on four Wednesdays at 5:30pm in the choir loft. (No rehearsal on November 22.) The Lessons and Carols service is planned for December 17. Talk to Calvin Buller if you have questions.

FAITH & LIFE BOOKSTORE POP-UP SHOP . . . Saturday, November 11

Faith & Life Bookstore in Newton brings the store to us on November 11, 10:00am-2:00pm! This is a great opportunity to purchase books, gifts, Bible study resources and so much more. Think Christmas . . . or birthdays . . . or remembering a friend. If there are specific items you would like to purchase, call the store (316-283-2210) in advance to let them know what you are looking for. Our purchases on this date benefit our church library, giving us credit to purchase books for our library. Invite your friends and neighbors to join you on this unique shopping experience in the Common Grounds room.

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…

THANK YOU note from Hallie Cable

First Mennonite Church,

Thank you so much for allowing me to share. I’m so grateful your church family is a part of CarePortal. You all are such a blessing in the community! Thank you, Russ, for serving as the point person!

Blessings, Hallie Cable

(Hallie, the coordinator of CarePortal, was one of our WNAF speakers on Wednesday, November 1.)


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, toothpaste and toothbrushes.  Travel size – new & unopened – are desirable. 

WE’LL LEAVE OUR LIGHTS ON . . . 6th annual drive for Reno County Food Bank

Ending hunger in Reno County isn’t a job for one church or one organization. It takes a group, a group of friends who believe that together we make a difference. This is the sixth year for our countywide Thanksgiving food drive, We’ll Leave Our Lights On. This year 19 area churches are collecting food for the Reno County Food Bank and church pantries. On Wednesday, November 15, from 5-7 churches will shine their lights while collecting donations of non-perishable foods. The Reno County Food Bank suggests these items: pasta, peanut butter, mac & cheese, canned meats, fruits, vegetables, and soups. 


The Senior Youth Group will be hosting a Middle Eastern lunch on Sunday November 19 after Sunday School as a fundraiser for Mennonite Central Committee’s response in Palestine and Israel.  


Our fund that pays for the meal we serve every other month at the Soup Kitchen has been depleted.  If you’d like to support this ministry financially, please make donations to First Mennonite with “Soup Kitchen” in the memo line. 


Check out the signup sheets for serving at the Soup Kitchen. New opportunities are available! Volunteers are needed for food preparation (2-3:30pm), meal delivery (4-5:30pm), and serving and clean up (4:45-6:00pm). Donations of food are also appreciated – applesauce (jars), applesauce (cups) and sandwich cookies. The signup sheets are across from the mailboxes. Many volunteers are needed!

Thanks for your continued donations for the food pantry at LightHouse!  We’re working on getting an updated list of needs to share here.


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.

Salthawk Community Support staff are committed to assisting students through individual support, mentorships, special programs, and basic needs. This support helps students rise above the daily struggles so they can focus on their education. Your support is greatly appreciated!


Right now we are anticipating welcoming a family at the end of November! We have been able to keep the house that we had furnished and stocked.  While we will need make some adjustments to bedding due to a different family constellation (a family of 5, with older children) and we’ll need to restock groceries, we have much of what we need.  Thank you so much for your generosity!  As always, we’ll keep you updated as we are able.


If you would be willing to provide one or more meals in 2024 for the Circles of Hope meetings, please contact Pastor Tonya for more information.  Other ways to give to Circles of Hope include: serving as an Ally, sponsoring one of the members through the 12 week training class, giving cash or an in-kind donation of table service for the meals. The purpose of Circles of Hope is to work every day to end poverty in our community. 

CAMP MENNOSCAH needs volunteers for general maintenance

Volunteers are needed immediately to work (M-F) alongside the facilities director on general maintenance tasks.  Working on these regular maintenance tasks will allow more time for planning and preparation for the Retreat Center HVAC project.  The project is running behind and we need to make up time!  Call or text Jordan at 316-613-1848.  Calls/texts will be answered between 8am – 5pm.  Volunteer hours will also be 8am-5pm or a portion of that time.  Please bring a water bottle and your lunch.  


Get busy giving on Giving Tuesday at an Evening of Service at MCC! Nov. 28 from 6:30-8 p.m. at MCC in North Newton, KS. Bring new dark colored hand towels with you to pack hygiene kits (the more towels you bring, the more kits we can pack!). MCC partner Offender Victim Ministries will be here with supplies to write holiday greetings to prisoners, we’ll have comforters to tie and delicious snacks to enjoy. What a great way to give on Giving Tuesday!

Driving through Kansas on your way south this winter? Are you heading to South Texas? If so, MCC Central States in North Newton, KS is looking for your help! We need to transport 25 boxes of kits to a partner in McAllen, TX. Please contact Kate Mast at with any questions or interest. Thanks!

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Sat., Nov. 11 – Junior recital by Bethel College student Josué Coy Dick, violin, 7 p.m.Administration Building chapel

Sun., Nov. 12 – KIPCOR Film Series presents Eroding History, 2 p.m.Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center. Audience talkback follows the screening; a freewill offering will be taken to support KIPCOR and the film series.

Sun., Nov. 12 – Senior recital by Bethel College student Halle Krehbiel, flute, 4 p.m.Administration Building chapel

Tues., Nov. 14 – Bethel College Organ Recital Series presents Donna Hetrick, organ, with Alan Wenger, trumpet, 7 p.m.Administration Building chapel

Sat., Nov. 18 – Senior recital by Bethel College student Hayden Honomichl, voice, 4 p.m.Administration Building chapel

Now in the Regier Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College – “Motherhood,” mixed media works by Eden Quispe, art teacher at Newton High School, through Fri., Nov. 17, with an artist reception Nov. 17. Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 2-4 p.m.


Everence will hold its popular Medicare workshop at its office in North Newton on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. Topics will include, when and where to sign up for Medicare, what Medicare covers, plus an explanation of Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D. Attendance is recommended for those approaching retirement or those ready to sign up for Medicare. The in-person workshop will be held at the Everence office: 3179 N. Main St. Suite 1B, North Newton. Those interested in attending should contact the Everence office at 316-283-3800, 877-467-7294 or


The October edition of On the Level is now available from Mennonite Disaster Service. In our current issue: Kevin King shares the health benefits of being a volunteer; an old grocery store is transformed near Red Lake, Minnesota; and if you enjoy quilting, knitting or crocheting you’ll want to learn more about the MDS Housewarmer Project. Read more at this link: 

CONFRONTING CRIME: Open Discussions on Public Safety and Capital Punishment

Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty annual meeting and abolition conference

Location: FireWorx, 500 S. Topeka St, Wichita, KS.

Date: November 11th, 2023.  Time 1 to 3 p.m.


  • Demetrius Minor of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty
  • Dalton Glasscock, former Chair Sedgwick County Republican Party and current Wichita Council Member Candidate.
  • Michael Birzer, Professor and Graduate Coordinator in the School of Criminal Justice at WSU.

This is a great opportunity to hear diverse voices speak on the issue of the death penalty and public safety.  This event is open to KCADP members and the general public.

To preregister email your name and contact information to  Same day registration available at 12:30 p.m.

For further information contact KCADP via or call 785-235-2237.