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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – October 11-17, 2023

I have found few words to express the despair I am feeling about the current surge of violence in Israel and Palestine.  In times like this I am grateful for the words of others to help us enter into prayer more fully.  The Corrymeela Community in Ireland exists to support people from different backgrounds in learning to live well together.  I follow them on Facebook, and am grateful for the recent post I’ve copied below.  Perhaps it will also help you to give voice to your prayers.  —  Pastor Tonya

Our hearts are sick with news of war.

Violence is never the answer, whether it is through naked aggression or systemic injustice.

No one should live in terror.

None of us should pretend that structures that oppress are sustainable.

All of us are part of creating a future where we live without fear and enjoy freedom together.

And so we pray:

God of peace, God of justice;

God of mercy, God of truth:

we are at war with each other


Stop our violent madness.

Keep us from taking additional life.

Stop us from imposing

a peace for us that is oppression for others.

Stop us from doing

what we fear will be done to us.

Stop us from believing

the end is ‘either us or them’.

God of peace, God of justice;

God of mercy, God of truth:

may we find you alive in each other


SUNDAY MORNING Worship at 9:30am 

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


On Wednesday 9/27/2023 the church had an inspection with the Hutchinson Fire Inspector Jerry Dowling. Results of this inspection included the requirement that we no longer use door chocks (stoppers) with fire rated doors. These doors include: the library door, bathroom doors, Common Grounds doors, nursery door, basement adult classroom doors, and all other doors rated as “Fire Doors”.  For any questions or clarifications please contact the Faithful Stewardship Coordination Team – Allen Yoder, Dohn Fast or Jay Gehring.


Ruth 1:1-17

PRAYER OF THE DAY: God of the people, your servant Ruth showed great love when she clung to Naomi. Teach us to show great compassion, and to turn to you when we are in need. Amen. 

  • Preacher: Pastor Jim Unruh
  • Worship Leader: Joel Iwashige
  • Scripture Reader: Calvin Nisly
  • Children’s Time: Carol Moore
  • Pianists: Peggy Stucky, Bailey Krehbiel (prelude)
  • Song Leader: TBD
  • Ushers: Cheryl Warkentin & Marlene Thode
  • Nursery Attendant: Cindy Kroeker
  • Sound Tech: Earl Ediger
  • Live Stream Tech: Jay Gehring

EMS TRAINING FOR THE AED will be conducted in the foyer immediately following the worship service. AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. In the event of sudden cardiac arrest, an AED analyzes the victim’s heart rhythm and tells a first aid provider to deliver a shock to the heart. This shock, called defibrillation, may help the heart reestablish an effective rhythm. Studies have shown that early defibrillation increases a victim’s chances for survival. You may want to take a few minutes this week to learn about the function of the AED and consider how your ability to use an AED could save someone’s life. The church has purchased an AED and it will be available in the church foyer.


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. 


  • Oct 11 – WNAF (Wednesday Night @ First) begins (see details in STRENGTHENING section below)
  • Oct 14 – Bethel College Fall Fest
  • Oct 29 – FMC’s Budget Meeting (beginning 10:55am in the fellowship hall)
  • Oct 31 – Donuts on the Lawn
  • Nov 11 – Faith & Life Bookstore Pop-Up Shop – 10:00am-2:00pm, FMC’s Common Grounds room
  • 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 – 5:30pm
  • Dec 3 – FMC’s Annual Meeting

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 will meet Tuesday October 10 at 1:00pm, and Tuesday November 14 at 1:00pm.  December’s date is TBD.

The Wednesday evening group is CANCELLED for October.  The group will meet next on Tuesday November 7 at 6:30pm, and the second Wednesday in December (Dec 13) as usual. 


Our Fall Worship services will be guided by the Narrative Lectionary.  Between now and the end of November, we’ll move through the stories of Israel’s early history, the exodus, the kings, prophets, exile and return.  After Advent/Christmas, we’ll take a deep dive into the Gospel of Mark.


  • 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.  This group is viewing a 6-week video series based on spiritual formation resource from Renovaré: From the Inside Out.”  Pastor Jim and Pastor Tonya are facilitating this class.

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 (No office hours October 25)
  • 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) **NEXT “Day Apart” is Wednesday October 25.

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 Wednesday evening events begin this Wednesday, October 11. 

  • 5:30-6:20 Dinner
  • 6:30-7:30 Program (with separate activities for children – in Common Grounds room)

This Wednesday’s focus is on Et Cetera and Builder’s Bargains, with our own Delon Martens presenting.  Stay tuned for details about the upcoming Wednesdays.  Each evening we’ll hear from one or two “Voices of Local Impact” in our community.  If you’d like to join via Zoom, please let Pastor Tonya know and she’ll send you the link.   

CONGREGATIONAL BUDGET MEETING . . . Sunday, October 29 at 10:55am – fellowship hall

The budget meeting will include information about the following:

  • Financial reports of the 2022-2023 fiscal year
  • Presentation of and vote on the proposed budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year
  • Brief presentation describing how our budget supports FMC’s four priorities of DEEPENING, STENGTHENING, STRETCHING and STEWARDING
  • Update from the Faithful Stewardship Coordination Team

All are invited to move to the fellowship hall immediately following the worship service. Beverages and snacks will be available in the fellowship hall. The meeting will begin promptly at 10:55 and is expected to adjourn by 12 noon or shortly after. All FMC attendees are encouraged to attend and participate in the discussion. FMC’s bylaws require that only members and associate members may vote. Your participation is an important way to learn about and share in decisions about FMC’s vision and mission. Thank you!

ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING . . . Sunday, December 3 (details will be coming)

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…


October: Canned Soup (especially tomato & cream of mushroom)

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.


Come join the fun and find out why we’re known to some as “the donut church!”  Help is needed beginning at 4:00pm that afternoon and then throughout the evening (till about 8:00pm) to assist with: setting up tables and skillets outside, rolling and cutting donuts, taking donuts outside to be fried, frying and serving donuts to the 100’s of trick-or-treaters who come to our neighborhood, and of course, clean up.  Many hands are needed to make this happen! Talk to Jonathan Wenger with questions, or to let him know you plan to help.

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.


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.

Thanks for all the donations for the food pantry at LightHouse!  

NEW REQUEST: one or two new or gently used toasters. Check with Pastor Jim if you have one.

These items are still welcome:

  • Laundry soap (pods only)
  • Games and puzzles for the common room
  • Kitchen small appliances (like blender or waffle maker) – doesn’t have to be new
  • Simple art and craft supplies like markers, drawing pads, tape, colored pencils
  • Colored pencils


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!


Part of our training with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) included encouragement to expect the unexpected and be flexible.  Our team had an excellent opportunity to put that into practice this week!
When the family we’ve been preparing for arrived in Wichita it became clear that staying in Wichita would be a much better fit for them. So, they have been transferred to a Wichita case worker and group who will now support them.  We were able to give them the groceries we’d stocked the house with as well as some age-specific things that had been donated for the children.  All the donations to furnish the house (furniture, bedding, kitchen items, etc.) will stay in the house as we anticipate being matched with a different family by the end of October.  We will, however, need to restock groceries when the time comes.  Four from our team were at the airport to meet the family on Wednesday, and in the words of one of them: “the care and concern and detail oriented love of our congregation and team shone through and truly made this family feel supported on their journey.  We have absolutely served the purpose of this organization in supporting the well being and empowerment of this family to have what they need and want, and to truly set them up to thrive in their new life here.”  Thank you to all of you for your support in so many ways.  The adventure continues as we continue to learn how to open our arms wide to serve and be served.  We will keep you updated as we are able!!

KANSAS MENNONITE RELIEF SALE . . . special fall Quilter’s Corner Sale

KMRS QUILTER’S CORNER FALL SALE – October 13-14, 2023, Friday 9-5 and Saturday 9-3, at MCC, 121 E. 30th Street, North Newton, KS.  There will be lots of great quilt-related items available for purchase with all the proceeds going to the work of Mennonite Central Committee.  Questions?  Contact Rose at 316-288-0079 or Ann at 919-604-3282

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Sat., Oct. 14 – Bethel College Fall Fest. Check out the full schedule of events here: Fall Fest Schedule  

Call for volunteers – The Bethel College Alumni Association is looking for volunteers to help with Taste of Newton and Fall Festival. Shifts are 1.5-2 hours long and need to be filled on Thursday, Oct. 12, 5-9 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 14, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Contact Brad Schmidt at 316-285-5252 or, or use the following online forms: verenike booth, Taste of Newton:; burger booth, Fall Fest:; verenike booth, Fall Fest:

Bethel College Women’s Association welcomes donations of baked goods for Market-in-the-Round and pies for Pie-by-the-Slice at Fall Festival. Bring homemade fruit pies, poppyseed roll, zwieback, cinnamon rolls, or other treats to room 140 in Luyken Fine Arts Center from 2-5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 or 7-9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14. Questions? Email All proceeds will benefit Bethel College. 


Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church, 43 13th Avenue, Inman, will hold its annual Sausage Mission Supper on Saturday, October 21, 5:00 – 6:30.  This will be a curbside pick up meal featuring our traditional menu of German sausage, mashed potatoes with gravy, creamed peas, zwiebach, applesauce and pie.  This year we will have picnic tables out for anyone wanting to stay and eat their meal!  Cost will be a free will offering with all proceeds going to support Camp Mennoscah M & M project.  Call or text Barb (620-543-6863) or Eric (620-899-6972) to order meals.