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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – September 20-October 3, 2023

Table of Contents

The Lord lift you up,

the Lord take your hand,

the Lord lead you forth,

and cause you to stand

secure in God’s Word,

seeking God’s face,

abounding in love,

abiding in grace.

–Patricia Shelly

With gratitude this week for the life of Patty Shelly, who had a significant impact on me when I was a student at Bethel College in the early 90’s.  Patty died September 4 in Newton after a 3 year struggle with pancreatic cancer.  You can read more about Patty in this article from Anabaptist World. A memorial service will be held on September 30 at 11:00am at Bethel College Mennonite Church.

— Pastor Tonya

NOTE: Our next THIS WEEK will post on October 3.

SUNDAY MORNING Worship at 9:30am 

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

COVID-19 update

An updated COVID-19 vaccine will be available by the end of September, according to the CDC. Likely, we will see a recommendation that this will become an annual COVID shot, just as we have an annual flu shot. People who are 65 or older or who have multiple health conditions should get the currently available shot if it’s been more than 6-8 months since their last dose. For all others, it’s OK to wait for the new version. Look for updates here as they become available.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 – PEACE SUNDAY:  Climate Action for Peace

Isaiah 65:17-25; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21

  • Preacher: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Sharing: FMC Senior Youth
  • Worship Leaders: Maggie Pounds and Senior Youth
  • Scripture Readers:  Reuben Wenger, Ryker Wiens
  • Children’s Time: Hannah Nisly
  • Pianist: Peggy Stucky
  • Song Leader: Pastor Tonya
  • Ushers: Dennis & Jennalee Boggs
  • Nursery Attendant: Anna Crable
  • Sound Tech: Murray Reimer
  • Live Stream Tech: Jonathan Wenger


Exodus 16:1-21; Mark 14:12-26; Psalm 25:1-9

  • Preacher: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Worship Leader: Stephanie Gehring
  • Scripture Reader: Gardell Stucky
  • Children’s Time: TBD
  • Pianist: Peggy Stucky
  • Song Leader: TBD
  • Ushers: Jay & Stephanie Gehring
  • Nursery Attendant: TBD
  • 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. 


  • Sept 24 – “Come to the Yard” – for those who signed up
  • Sept 26 – Faithful Community Coordination Team 1pm
  • 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

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 TBD – stay tuned!


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.


The Biblical vision of shalom includes health, reconciliation, right relationships, safety and material well-being. As we work toward this broader vision of peace, it’s clear that climate change is standing in the way.  This year’s Peace Sunday resources from Mennonite Central Committee invite us to reflect on the realities of climate change, but also on the hope of a future where a true and just peace is a reality.  Our Senior Youth group and sponsors will participate in the planning and leading of this service, offering insight gained from the Climate Summit they participated in at the end of MennoCon23 this summer in Kansas City. 


On October 1 we’ll join with Christians around the world celebrating communion at the Lord’s Table.


            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 September 13 or 27)


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 September 13 or 27.)
  • 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 September 27.

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. She has one more scheduled retreat for the remainder of this year:

       December 10-13 (third Transforming Community retreat; 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


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.


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!).


Mark your calendar for these dates:

  • Budget meeting – October 29 at 10:55am
  • FMC annual meeting – December 3

Details about both meetings 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…


September: Canned Meat/Tuna

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 are still in need of someone to cover 1 delivery route as well as a couple more volunteers to help serve the meal this Saturday, September 23.  Call or email Pastor Tonya if you can help.


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 counseling, 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!

The Hawks Nest at HMS-8 is currently looking for the following items in preparation for next year:

  • Board games, art supplies, card games
  • Moon chairs/bean bag chairs, Big Joe Chairs, floor chairs/giant pillows
  • Xbox 360 games (age appropriate)
  • Wii games (age appropriate)
  • Ping Pong Accessories, as they have a ping pong/air hockey table

You can message Kylie Campbell on the Salthawk Community Support Facebook page if you need items picked up, or call her at (620) 474-5563.


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 opens 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 are getting ready to welcome a refugee family of 6 (parents and 4 children) the first week of October! Because of confidentiality constraints, we are not able to share many details about the family.  Thank you for your understanding, and all the donations, including financial, to help us set up a home for this family.  Talk with Hilda Iwashige or Pastor Tonya for more details about the list of items that are still needed.


You are invited to support the Reno County CROP Hunger Walk!  One quarter of funds donated will be shared by The Reno County Food Bank and the Christian Soup Ministry. Last year, each agency received
$1000! Church World Service (CWS) will use the rest globally, helping people start small livestock farms or dig wells for their communities. CWS also assists refugees from Ukraine and other nations. To learn more about the CROP Hunger Walk, you may go to this website, where you can also donate securely. Look for the white box on the right and click the orange bar “Make a donation.”

If writing a personal check, please make payable to CWS/CROP 

Then join us at Rice Park at 2 p.m., Sunday, October 1, as we “Walk with the World”!  On-site registration starts at 1:30 p.m. You can also register on-line at the link above. Questions? Contact Co-Coordinator Eileen Porter, or 608-957-6432.  Thank you for helping our neighbors in need!

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

75th Anniversary and Annual Meeting of Camp Mennoscah will be held on Sunday, September 24 at Camp Mennoscah.  Come join us for a day of celebration and activities as we initiate our extended season of remembering Camp’s past and anticipating Camp’s future.  The day’s schedule is below.  Go to for more information and to register. You are invited! Registration form for the day and for talent entries are also available on the table in the foyer.

  • 1:00-5:00 PM Opening Event & Fun Family Activities
  • 4:00 PM  Music
  • 5:00 PM  Dinner – Burgers, Brats, Hot Dogs on the grill
  • 6:00 PM  Annual Meeting
  • 7:00 PM  Talent/No Talent Show

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!

Registration for the Fall Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats is open.  The retreats are scheduled for Nov. 3-5 and Nov. 10-12.  All retreat activities will happen at the Main Camp facilities with cropping and crafts in the dining hall and lodging in the bunkhouses.  You are welcome to bring a camper/RV and use a gas generator (no hookups available). The Retreat Center will be undergoing HVAC renovations. Single rooms are not available. Contact us at 620-297-3290 with questions or issues. We’ll see you in the fall!


Thursday September 21st at 6 p.m. – the webinar, “Reexamining Justice:  How Restorative Principles Can End the Death Penalty in Kansas,” with panelists Todd Lehman and Celeste Dixon. Mr. Lehman is the Executive Director of Offender Victim Ministries.  Ms. Dixon’s mother, Marguerite, was murdered in Texas.  The offender was sentenced to death and ultimately executed.  Both bring their significant experiences to this important topic. This is an excellent opportunity to explore other more life giving responses to homicide than our current “eye for an eye” approach. To register, send your name and address to info@ksabolition.orgFor further information, email your question to or call 785-235-2237.

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

  • Thurs., Sept. 21 – Bethel College Orchestra, directed by Kris Hilding, 7 p.m., Memorial Hall
  • Thurs., Sept. 28 – Bethel College Wind Ensemble, directed by Chris Miertschin, 7 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center
  • 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. 

EVERENCE September Webinar Series

Wednesdays at 1:00 and 7:00pm Central Time

  • September 20: Understanding Medicare
  • September 27: Protecting what matters most

For information and registration   Web registration

Everence® will hold an informative Social Security and retirement income workshop on Thursday, Sept. 28, starting at 6:30 p.m. Topics will include, Social Security strategies, including when to begin taking benefits, risks that can impact your retirement savings plus strategies to help your income last throughout retirement. There will also be plenty of time for questions. The in-person workshop will be at the Everence office: 3179 N. Main St. Suite 1B, North Newton, KS.  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


September is here and that is BIG news for OVM!  This month is when OVM (then Inter-Faith Offender Concerns Committee) was registered as an official entity in 1973.  Join us in celebrating 50 years of local community-based Restorative Justice!

All month long you can help OVM reach another milestone50 gifts of at least $50 during the month of September.  Some generous donors have stepped up to offer a matching gift for each of the first 50 gifts!  Your $50 gift will be doubled through this match.  Let’s fulfill the entire match offer with 50 gifts of at least $50!  Please help us reach that goal by giving your gift of at least $50 before September 30.  To participate, use your credit card through PayPal HERE or send a check to our office (to OVM, “$50 match” on memo line).

SWISS VOLHYNIAN MENNONITES 150th year celebration of coming to the U.S.

The second happening of the 150th celebration of the Swiss Volhynian Mennonites coming to the U.S. in 1874 is a Planting Turkey Red Wheat with Horses event just west of the Moundridge Museum on Saturday, September 30, 2023.   Three teams of horses will show up to work the planting project starting at 8:30 a.m. and an old tractor will deliver the wheat to the drills. Drinks will be available. The Moundridge Museum will be open to visitors, and the Farmers Market will have plenty of produce to sell.

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