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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – October 25-31, 2023

Table of Contents

A prayer for Palestine and Israel (from Mennonite Central Committee)

O God of life and love and peace,

We witness the violence and injustice in your Holy Land

And our hearts break.

Our hearts break for the people of Israel –

For the victims of violent attacks by Hamas

For those who live in fear and insecurity

For those who suffer from the inter-generational trauma of violence.

Our hearts break for Palestinians –

For the victims of violent attacks by the Israeli military

For those being denied water, electricity and medical care

For those who are refugees, long displaced from their homes

We especially pray –

That weapons of war be laid down

That walls of separation be dismantled

That prisoners be released

That demonizing of “the other” cease

That political leaders seek the good of all people in Palestine and Israel.

O God, whose heart breaks for the world,

May your justice dwell in the land

May your righteousness abide in fruitful fields

May the effect of righteousness be quietness and trust forever

May the effect of justice be peace – enduring peace.


SUNDAY MORNING Worship at 9:30am 

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

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29 – Kingdom Divided

1 Kings 12:1-17, 25-29 (Mark 10:42-45)

PRAYER OF THE DAY: Mighty God, your servant Rehoboam divided your kingdom with his tyranny, yet you remained faithful to both kingdoms, even in the midst of conflict. Show us your presence in conflict, and help us to resolve our differences, uniting this world in your name. Amen.

  • Preacher: Pastor Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader: Delon Martens
  • Scripture Reader: Jalen Crable
  • Children’s Time: Jean Gaeddert
  • Organist: Pauline Buller
  • Song Leader: TBD
  • Ushers: Susan Combs & Joretta Martens
  • Nursery Attendant: Fred & Mary Wade
  • Sound Tech: Earl Ediger
  • Live Stream Tech: Jonathan Wenger


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 25 – WNAF (Wednesday Night @ First) – see details in STRENGTHENING section below
  • Oct 29 – FMC’s Budget Meeting (beginning 10:55am in the fellowship hall)
  • Oct 31 – Donuts on the Lawn
  • Nov 4 – Church Work Day 8am-1pm (or come when you can!!)
  • 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)
  • Dec 3 – FMC’s Annual Meeting, Youth Fundraiser Lunch and Silent Auction
  • Dec 3 – First Sunday of Advent

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 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.

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.   


  • 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).  The group does not meet Oct 29 (church budget meeting) or November 12 (Mission Festival).

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)

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 two dates are:

  • Wednesday November 1 (8am-5pm)
  • 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 Wednesday evening events continue this week – October 25. 

  • 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 Tom Lehman at OVM (Offender Victim Ministries) in Newton.  The rest of the schedule is as follows:

  • November 1 – Hallie Cable with Care Portal and Margi Nisly with YouthThrive
  • November 8 – Interfaith Housing and Lighthouse

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

An email sent to the FMC list on October 12 includes attachments with the proposed 2023-24 budget and our treasurer’s notes. Copies of these documents are available in the foyer.

The budget meeting on October 29 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; presentation re: solar panels

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!


  • 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.

FMC CHURCH WORKDAY . . . Saturday, November 4, 8am-1pm

The Faithful Stewardship Coordination Team is planning for a workday to tend to cleaning/maintenance projects around the church building. Work will include these outdoor tasks (weather permitting): trimming shrubs and removing bushes, cleaning entrance areas and the columbarium area; and these indoor tasks: cleaning/vacuuming corners and crannies, spot cleaning carpets, kitchen cleaning projects, wiping pews and other furniture. Please bring work gloves, tools, cleaning cloths, brooms, etc. – items you would need for the kind of tasks you would like to help with. We’ll put on the coffee and iced tea and have some food for break.


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.


An AED unit has been installed in the foyer. 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 whether 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. If you have questions about the AED, please talk with Carol Moore.

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…


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.


Mennonite Friendship Communities would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all of our supporting churches on making the 50th Anniversary Benefit Auction such a success.  The weather was absolutely beautiful on that Saturday and we had a wonderful group of people from our churches and the broader community come together to enjoy delicious food and a fun auction time. We were able to bring in over $44,000 that day to benefit the community.  It is such a blessing to have such supporting churches.  We couldn’t have done it without you! Thank you!

MCC MEAT CANNER . . . October 30-31 in N. Newton

The Mennonite Central Committee Meat Canner will be at the Central States MCC office and is inviting volunteers from FMC to work on October 30-31. Call the church office if you would like to help. Contributions are also invited to cover the cost of the meat. Designate your contribution for “MCC Meat Canner” and donate online or by check by October 25.


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 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!


We continue to wait to be paired with another family resettling in the United States. Stay tuned!!

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.  Work for the week of October 23 will be winterizing buildings.


Sun., Oct. 29 & Mon., Oct. 30 – Annual Menno Simons Lectures, “The Mennonites in Revolutionary Ukraine,” with Dr. Aileen Friesen, professor of Mennonite studies at the University of Winnipeg, 7 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. MondayKrehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College. Lecture 1: “Violence Among Neighbors: Revolution and Tragedy in Southern Ukraine”; Lecture 2: “Beyond the Red Gate: Mennonites and Emigration from Soviet Ukraine”; Lecture 3: “In Love, We Remain: Family and Loss under Stalin.”

Tues., Oct. 31 – Bethel College Chamber Orchestra Halloween concert, directed by Kris Hilding, 7 p.m.Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center

Sun., Nov. 5 – Bethel Sings, a concert featuring all Bethel College vocal groups, Henry Waters, director, 4 p.m.Bethel College Mennonite Church (2600 College Ave., North Newton 67117)

Mon., Nov. 6 – Julia Spicher Kasdorf: “Thinking of Certain Mennonite Women: Reading from her poems and those of others, with discussion,” 7 p.m.Administration Building chapel at Bethel College. Sponsored by the Bethel College Women’s Association Carolyn Schultz Lecture Endowment. Kasdorf will also speak in convocation Mon., Nov. 6, 11 a.m., Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center, on “Documentary Poetry,” and lead a reading and open mic at 1887 Café, Tues., Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m.

HELP PACKAGE 50,000 MEALS . . . Buhler Mennonite Church and IdeaTek

WHAT: We need your help!  

On Saturday, November, 18, 2023 we (Buhler Mennonite Church & IdeaTek) need your help to package 50,000 meals. Our plan is to keep the meals local– providing food for our local neighbors. What a great way to give of your time during the Thanksgiving season to help those who struggle to put food on the table. There is a job for all ages 7 to 147 years of age. You can work one shift or both shifts. Job orientation is provided.

WHEN: Saturday, November 18, 2023.  

  • 1st Shift (Arrive 8:45 for the 9 – 11:00am).
  • 2nd Shift (Arrive 10:45 for 11:00am-1pm).  Or do both!

WHERE: Sand Hills Event Center: 4601 N. Plum, Hutchinson, KS  67502

Please sign-up here:

CONTACT US: Phone: 620.543.2733. Email:


Everence® to hold Nov. 6 Medicaid and long-term care workshop 

Everence will hold an informative Medicaid and long-term care workshop on Monday, Nov. 6, starting at 6:30 p.m. Topics will include, what benefits are provided by Medicaid and who is eligible, how the Division of Assets process works, when long-term care insurance is a good fit, and how long-term care insurance can protect your heirs. There will also be time for your questions. The in-person workshop will take place at the Everence office: 3179 N. Main St. Suite 1B, North Newton, KS. Information will be presented by guest speaker, Cynthia A. Wiens, attorney from Adrian & Pankratz, P.A. To register contact Everence 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: