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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – October 4-10, 2023

Table of Contents

The Lord spoke to Moses, “I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’ ”  (Exodus 16:11-12)

I’m still thinking about the God who listened to these complaining wilderness travelers, and provided manna to soothe their hunger. I wonder if part of the miracle, like with Moses noticing the burning bush, is that the people were willing to eat something they could not identify.  They were willing to receive this mysterious substance as a good gift from God, trusting it would strengthen and sustain them. 

Through the reflection below, written by my friend Pastor Steve Garnaas Holmes, we continue to imagine the sheer mystery and gift wrapped up in manna, everywhere.    — Pastor Tonya


Oh, we had a terrible time of it, there’s no doubt about it.
They were the worst years of our lives.
Never mind the tales of heroics in the desert.
It was hell and we all just barely made it.
One day or another, every one of us lost our way,
our self-assurance, our hope— and also our parents.
Don’t you believe a word you hear from the cocky ones
about self-reliance. They withered with the rest of us.

No, here’s the truth, that we could hardly comprehend
then, and can scarcely believe now: there wasn’t one of us
in that wilderness that didn’t survive on manna.
Every day, out of the blue, there it was. We lived on
mystery. We never did get used to leaving
each place where we’d found it, nor seeing it again
wherever we ended up. Troubles came and went,
but what was constant was the gift.

Divisions between strong and weak,
deserving and undeserving,— these are lies, made up
by minds too small and hearts too fearful to grasp
that everything is a gift.

Look around you, child:
your house, your work, your struggles,
your dreams, the air you breathe. It doesn’t matter
how hard you worked for them. You don’t really know
where they came from, do you?
It’s easy to miss now, because it looks like other things.
But it’s all manna, I’m telling you.
It’s all manna.
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light


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.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8 – Hear, O Israel

Deuteronomy 5:1- 21; 6:4-9 (Mark 12:28-31)  

PRAYER OF THE DAY: Loving Lord, you gave commandments to your people as a gift. Teach us to be obedient to your word and to care for each other as we do your will. Amen.

  • Preacher: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader: Don Wiens
  • Scripture Reader: Cheryl Warkentin
  • Children’s Time: Susan Combs
  • Organist: Pauline Buller
  • Song Leader: TBD
  • Ushers: Russ Wedel & Diane Ziemer
  • Nursery Attendant: Russell & Julie Goering
  • Sound Tech: Adam Pounds
  • Live Stream Tech: Joel Iwashige

On this Sunday, FMC is also leading the 10:00am worship service at Mennonite Friendship Communities. Pastor Jim is sharing the meditation. He would welcome others to join him to help him with singing/music.


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 7 – Mennonite Friendship Communities Auction (600 W. Blanchard, So. Hutchinson)
  • Oct 8 – FMC @ Mennonite Friendship Communities, Pastor Jim sharing the meditation – 10:00am
  • Oct 8 – Safe Sanctuary training for all who volunteer with children/youth at FMC. NOON – lunch provided.
  • Oct 9 – Craft Night in the fellowship hall 6:30pm
  • 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 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.

The Wednesday evening group is working to find a date to meet in October (but we will NOT meet on October 11 due to WNAF beginning). Stay tuned here for details!


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).


Craft Night is on Monday, October 9, 6:30-8:00pm in the church Fellowship Hall. Bring your project – knitting, crocheting, other crafts – and enjoy this time of friendship and ministry together. Any questions . . . contact Cheryl Warkentin or Diane Ziemer.


Beginning October 8 at 10:00am, and every 2nd Sunday on the even months of the year after that, our church will be providing a short worship service at Mennonite Friendship Communities (mfc).  Pastor Jim has agreed to take primary responsibility for coordinating, and often leading, these services.  However, he would welcome others to also attend to help with congregational singing (having a pianist would be bonus).  Additionally, he is not able to lead the service on December 10 (and Pastor Tonya is also gone). If you’d be willing to take responsibility for crafting a worship service with a short meditation, scripture, prayer and some singing on Dec 10 please talk to Pastor Jim!


This training is for all who volunteer with children or youth at FMC. It provides tools to help us work together to assure a safe and welcoming environment for all our children and youth. We take this seriously and request your attendance. The training begins at noon and lunch will be provided.

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

Mark your calendars and plan to attend our Wednesday evening events beginning October 11.  We’ll have a meal together and then hear from different local nonprofits about their mission and work in our community.  A small group is working on planning this series and more details will be coming!  This will be a 4 or 5 Wednesday series.  Children’s programming during the adult session will be offered (volunteers to help Pastor Tonya with this are needed – please talk with her if you’d be willing to help!).

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)

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!


Plan now to attend mfc’s Benefit Auction on Saturday, October 7th. Breakfast begins at 7:30 am with biscuits & gravy. At 8:00 am the Cookie Room and the Bake Sale open, and you can begin bidding on the silent auction gift baskets. The main auction starts at 10 am and a pulled pork lunch will be served beginning at 11 am.  Check out to see a list of items that will be auctioned.


We will welcome a refugee family of 6 (parents and 4 children) this week! Because of confidentiality constraints, we are not able to share many details about the family.  Thank you for your understanding, and all the donations (material and financial) to help us set up a home for this family.  We also request your prayers as our team does its best to surround this family with the support they need to acclimate to life in Hutchinson KS. We are grateful to have excellent support through the Wichita IRC (International Rescue Committee) and the local Hutchinson Refugee Project.

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


Our FMC walking team of 13 children, youth and adults enjoyed (more or less!) a hot afternoon walk on October 1 in support of the CROP Hunger Walk. We joined others from various churches in Hutchinson, walking in solidarity with those around the world who are hungry and thirsty, or suffering in other ways.   Thank you for your financial donations! Our church alone raised just shy of $800.  The total amount raised by the Reno County CROP Hunger Walk has not yet been announced.  A percentage of the funds raised remains in Reno County, benefitting the Soup Kitchen and the Food Bank. 

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

The dam will be taken out on Sunday, October 8, at 2:30pm whatever the weather may be, unless deemed dangerous.   Meet down by the shelter.  Helpers and spectators are welcome.  Helping is not for younger ages due to the heavy planks and rushing water, but are welcome to watch the activities.  Planks will need to be scraped and pressure-washed once removed.  Many hands are welcome!

CHANGE OF LOCATION: Fall Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats are moving to the RETREAT CENTER.  The retreats are scheduled for Nov. 3-5 and Nov. 10-12.  Contact us at 620-297-3290 if you have questions or if this change of location poses difficulties for you. We’ll see you in the fall!

M&M Project Update:  We’ve made it to $80,000! The monies that have been brought in for the Mission and Maintenance Project (M&M) now total more than $80,000! Gifts, small and large, continue to be given to the fund drive, and we are getting closer weekly to our goal of matching the generous gift of $100,000 that started this matching drive. Thank you all so much! 

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.  


MCC is hiring a Peace Education Coordinator! The Peace Education Coordinator leads MCC’s church education efforts nationwide in the U.S. related to peace and nonviolence. This includes peace theology, conflict transformation, and response to violence (including gun violence prevention, anti-militarism, and mass incarceration). Education efforts involve engaging MCC’s constituency on these peace-related topics by working with MCC regional staff and with denominational and other partners. Apply at by October 16.

FOOTSTEPS OF PAUL IN GREECE + 3-Night Cruise May 27 – June 6, 2024. 

Led by Pastor Weldon Martens, Grace Hill Mennonite Church; Whitewater, KS, this is a 11-Day Tour & Cruise to Athens, Thessalonica, Philippi, Corinth, Crete, Patmos, Ephesus, Mykonos & Santorini. Cost: $3,219 + flights. Registration: Due by January 18, 2024.  Contact Pastor Weldon Martens at: / 402-202-9276. Complete tour information & registration at


The Swiss Mennonite Cultural and Historical Association Fall banquet will be held at Faith Mennonite Church, 2100 N. Anderson Avenue in Newton on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.  The keynote speaker will be Jerry Juhnke who has been researching Swiss Volhynian Mennonite genealogy and history for many years. He will give a program entitled “Interesting Happenings Over Our Last 500 Years”.  He will answer such questions as: Do you know of an ancestor that travelled back to Russia to settle a legal issue? Do you know of a very famous movie star that lived near Pretty Prairie? Do you know where our ancestors were originally going to settle, or where in New York our immigrant ancestors got off the ship?

An ethnic German meal will be catered by the Breadbasket.  Bohne beroggi will be made by authentic Schweitzer cooks. The cost to attend is $25 per person payable at the door. RSVP by texting or calling Nancy Stucky, 620-532-5693 by October 23.