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This week at FMC

THIS WEEK @ FMC – September 6-19, 2023

Sunday morning I’ll be traveling to Chicago for the second retreat in the Transforming Community experience I am a part of.  Our retreat begins late Sunday afternoon and concludes around noon on Tuesday.  Thank you for your prayers these past 3 months as I’ve been reading and reflecting, and preparing for the upcoming retreat. 

The focus of the first retreat and these intervening months has been: “Invitation to Transforming Community.”  We were encouraged to pay attention to the rhythms of our lives and asked specifically to attend to our desire, as it relates to questions Jesus asked like this one: “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:36, 50)  Or, “What are you looking for?” (John 1:38).  Many of our assigned readings also were focused on what it means to be together as a Christian community.

I’ve so enjoyed this opportunity for sabbatical reading and reflecting, although I will admit it’s a little tricky to figure out how to add it into an already busy life.  As you know, I had some difficult weeks this summer with treatment for breast cancer, and I’m really grateful to be heading into this weekend’s retreat feeling much better. 

This next retreat’s theme is “A Leader’s Journey into Solitude and Silence.” At this retreat we’ll also be assigned to a smaller spiritual formation group of about 5-6 (the entire group is about 80 people, so a smaller group will be a good opportunity to start to form some relationships).  Those groups will continue throughout the entire program, which looks like this:

December 10-12, 2023 – Prayer: Deepening Our Intimacy with God

March 10-12, 2024 – Engaging the Scriptures for Spiritual Transformation

June 30-July 2, 2024 – Flesh and Blood Spirituality: Honoring the Body as Spiritual Practice

September 15-17, 2024 – Transformation through Self-Examination, Self-Knowledge, and Confession

December 15-17, 2024 – The Art and Practice of Spiritual Discernment

March 9-11, 2025 – For the Sake of Others: Where Formation and Mission Meet

June 15-17, 2025 – A Rule of Life: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation

Again, thank you for granting me the sabbatical time and space to participate in this Transforming Community experience!

— Pastor Tonya

NOTE: Our next THIS WEEK will post on September 19.

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.


Genesis 32:(9-13) 22-30; Mark 14:32-36

Holy God, your servant Jacob wrestled with your angel and prevailed. In honor of his persistence you gave him a new name. Teach us to persist in the face of struggle, and call us by name. Amen.

  • Preacher: Anita Kehr
  • Worship Leader & Scripture Reader: Delon Martens
  • Children’s Time: Lona Willems
  • Organist: Pauline Buller
  • Song Leader: TBD
  • Ushers: Susan Combs & Joretta Martens
  • Nursery Attendant: TBA
  • Sound Tech: Adam Pounds
  • Live Stream Tech: Joel Iwashige

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 – CALLED BY GOD: Moses and God’s Name

Exodus 1:8-14 (15-2:10); 3:1-15; Mark 12:26-27a

Faith Formation Sunday

God of deliverance, you called Moses to be your hands, feet, and voice in a troubled world. Teach us how to work, walk, and speak your word in a troubled world. Amen

  • Meditations: Micah Wenger, Diane Ziemer, Eldon Wagler (Pastor Tonya will be reading)
  • Worship Leader: Pastor Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Scripture Reader: TBD
  • Children’s Time: Pastor Tonya
  • Pianist: Shelley Kauffman
  • Song Leader: TBD
  • Ushers: Susan Combs & Joretta Martens
  • Nursery Attendant: TBA
  • Sound Tech: Earl Ediger
  • Live Stream Tech: Jay Gehring


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 10-13  – Pastor Tonya’s 2nd chunk of sabbatical time (back in office on Thursday Sept 14)
  • Sept 17 & 24 – “Come to the Yard” – for those who signed up.
  • Oct 8 – Safe Sanctuary training for all who volunteer with children/youth at FMC. NOON – lunch provided.

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 Sept 5 at 3:30pm.
  • The Wednesday evening group will meet Wednesday Sept 6 at 6:30pm.

FALL WORSHIP @ FMC – Beginning September 3!

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.

Upcoming worship details….

  • SEPTEMBER 10 – Persistence in Struggle: Jacob Wrestles With God (Genesis 32:[9-13], 22-30) Anita Kehr preaching (Pastor Tonya gone on sabbatical time)
  • SEPTEMBER 17 – Faith Formation Sunday (Bible Dedication, Sunday School Teacher Blessing)           Called by God: Moses and God’s Name (Exodus 1:8-14 [15-2:10]; 3:1-15.    Three Meditations: Micah Wenger, Diane Ziemer, Eldon Wagler (read by Pastor Tonya)
  • SEPTMEBER 24 – Peace Sunday: Climate Action for Peace (Mennonite Central Committee resources) Senior Youth help Pastor Tonya plan and lead, including sharing about the Climate Summit they attended at MennoCon23. 
  • OCTOBER 1 – WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY  Pastor Tonya preaching


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. 


Thank you to all who have signed up to teach children’s Sunday School!  We are still in need of additional teachers.  Please let Cheryl Warkentin or Pastor Tonya know if you are willing, or sign up on the sign up sheet at church. 

Several adult classes will be offered, also beginning on September 10:

  • ADULT BIBLE STUDY, using Salt & Light curriculum from Menno Media.  This class is facilitated by Calvin Buller and Marlene Thode and meets in the Prayer Room in the basement.
  • ADULT DISCUSSION CLASS, meeting in the basement fellowship hall and on Zoom.  This group will begin with a 6-week video based spiritual formation resource from Renovare: From the Inside Out.”  Pastor Jim and Pastor Tonya will be facilitating this class.
  • And, the YOUNGER ADULTS CLASS will resume.  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


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.)
  • 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. These are her scheduled retreats for the remainder of this year:

  • September 10-13 (second Transforming Community retreat; back in office on Sept 14)
  • December 10-13 (third Transforming Community retreat; back in office on December 14)


Craft Night is on Monday, September 11, 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


Plan to stay for lunch after Sunday School on September 17.  The youth and sponsors will be serving a hamburger lunch (including vegetarian and gluten free options) to raise funds for youth events, including service projects and attending MennoCon.  Thanks for the many ways you support and love our youth!

GUESS WHO’S COMING TO THE YARD . . . September 17 OR 24

If you signed up, you’ll receive a phone call with information about your assignment.


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 calendar for these dates:

  • Budget meeting – October 29
  • 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.


Thank you for your donations and help assembling the school kits this past Sunday!!


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.


  • We would still welcome the following items to help us complete prisoner care kits.  Please note the maximum and minimum size designations!
  • 15 bars of soap (minimum 4 oz)
  • 15 bottles of lotion (maximum 2 oz)
  • 10 tubes of toothpaste (minimum 6oz)
  • 3 deodorant (minimum 2.25oz)
  • 1 pair of white underwear (briefs) – large (also new)

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

Here is an updated invitation for items to donate:

  • 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.


A Silent Auction will be part of mfc’s auction day on October 7. Our church has prepared a basket around the theme of “Bird Watching.” Contributions are being accepted to cover the cost of the basket ($65) and may be placed in the offering box at the back of the sanctuary, designated for “Bird Watching.” Carol Moore is coordinating the Silent Auction with baskets from the supporting churches and Ama Reimer assembled the items for the basket from our church. Information about other ways to participate in the Benefit Auction will be coming soon.


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!


This pilot program is dedicated to growing the workforce in Hutchinson while creating a caring, supportive community for refugees who are starting new lives in the United States.  A group from FMC has formed and been trained to walk with a refugee family and we are close to being ready to receive a family!  That means we are gathering items to furnish a home.  We have been provided with a specific list of items needed and right now are working on collecting just those items.  Please talk to Hilda Iwashige or Pastor Tonya about signing up to bring specific items on the list.  Another option is to make a financial donation earmarked for household items and then we’ll use that to purchase items not spoken for.  Thank you for all your generosity!! 

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Fire Keeper contributions support Camp Mennoscah’s Mission & Maintenance Project

Bonnie Swenson reports that FMC contributions to the M&M Project now total over $2,000.00. There is still time to make your contribution to support Camp. Thank you so much for keeping Camp in your thoughts!

Western District Women in Mission Women’s & Girls’ Retreat – Sept 9-10

Want to be a story catcher, story keeper, and story sharer? Find out more by attending the Western District Women in Mission Women’s & Girls Retreat Sept. 9-10 at Camp Mennoscah! Activities will be available for all ages (no specific girls programming). A brochure and registration form are available to download, print and send in at We hope you can join us! This year’s theme is Women Talking, Listening, and Creating, with our scripture theme being 2 Peter 1:12-21. Registration is due by September 5. For questions, email

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!

75th Anniversary and Annual Meeting of Camp Mennoscah has changed dates to Sunday, September 24.  Activities for all ages will begin at 1pm with a meal at 5pm.  The Annual Meeting will be at 6pm, followed by a Talent Show at 7pm.  Watch the Camp Mennoscah Facebook page and Website at for details. 

Camp acknowledges their summer volunteers from FMC. These include Trae Gehring, Peyton Gehring and Bonnie Swenson. Summer staff and volunteers welcomed 383 campers during the eight weeks of youth camp programming at Camp Mennoscah. Many lives were influenced by our 155 dedicated volunteers and staff, most of who come from supporting churches. We are thankful and blessed by the number of people willing to share in Camp Mennoscah’s summer programming!

Additional people from your church have likely volunteered at workdays and retreats. All volunteers are valuable to Camp Mennoscah’s ministry as mentors and living examples of a Christian life. Please help acknowledge them in some way. Our camp would be empty without their generosity. We will look to see you next summer! May your ministry be filled with joy and laughter, whatever shape they fill!  — With peace, The Camp Mennoscah Staff

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Sun., Sept. 10 – Eat, Protest, Lift, a film by Caleb Stephens, 7 p.m.Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College; Mon., Sept. 11, Dr. Stephens speaks in convocation, 11 a.m.Krehbiel Auditorium; sponsored byBethel College Social Work, the KIPCOR Film Series and the Bethel College Women’s Association’s Carolyn Schultz Lectureship.

Now in the Regier Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College – “Drinking from a New Well,” ceramics by Tom and Pam Voth, through Thurs., Sept. 21. Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 2-4 p.m.

Thurs., Sept. 21 – Bethel College Orchestra, directed by Kris Hilding, 7 p.m.Memorial Hall

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

Bethel College’s annual online journal, Mennonite Life, can be accessed at – and there is a new item, “Elias Crosses the Molotschna,” a short story by Darrell Wiens. Also articles and reviews by Brad Born, Abigail Carl-Klassen, Daniel Shenk Cruz, Cheryl Denise, Josué Coy Dick, Nathan Garber, Rachel Waltner Goossen, Brad Gregory, Willmar Harder, Sheri Hostetler, Melanie Springer Mock, Hannah Neufeld, Kimberly Schmidt, Joe Smucker, Johnny Wideman and Ben Woodward-Breckbill.

EVERENCE September Webinar Series

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

  • September 6: Retirement income strategies
  • September 13: Life Insurance and Medicare
  • September 20: Understanding Medicare
  • September 27: Protecting what matters most

For information and registration   Web registration


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).