This Week @ FMC
February 19-25, 2020
I was recently invited by Grace Episcopal to contribute to a Lenten Devotional they produce for their congregation. Most writers are from their congregation, but they also invite a few others, and I was honored to be asked to participate. This year their focus is on Proverbs, and so I was given a proverb and the task of writing a short devotional of 275 words or less. An intriguing, and somewhat challenging exercise, I thought I’d share my submission with you all as well. And would be curious what you make of this proverb!!
Better a dry crust with quiet than a house full of feasting with quarrels. (CEB)
One gray Indiana day when I was in my early 20’s I found myself at the airport picking up Peter J. Dyck. I was honored, and a little nervous, because in Mennonite circles he was as close to famous as you can get. He’d become quite a storyteller and was slated to speak at my seminary. As a child in the 1920’s, Peter and his family were helped by Mennonite Central Committee to escape Russia and settle in Canada. Later he and his wife set up refugee camps in Germany for thousands of Mennonites who fled the Soviet Union, and helped them settle in South America.
As my prestigious guest sat down in my little Plymouth Sundance, I wondered why I hadn’t taken time to clean it. Every detail came into view, including a squashed ketchup packet surrounded by dried crusty ketchup. My memory is that the offending packet was discovered in the glove compartment; why I’d opened it escapes me. I do remember my horror mercifully gave way to calm as I remembered just who was in my car with me.
My husband and I grew up in different parts of the Mennonite world, but we came into our marriage sharing this Peter Dyck quote: “Dry bread – that’s not hard. No bread – that’s hard.” Peter had learned – and taught – the peace that comes with the satisfaction of a crust of dry bread. It's not much, but it's enough. Having a sense of enough brings a peace of mind and heart that the greatest feast and all the riches of the world cannot touch. And there is a lot less quarreling, too.
CALENDAR for this week
Quilting Group 9am
Senior Youth Group 7pm
Prayer Hour 10am
Centering Prayer Noon
Congregational Ministry Team 5:30pm
Sun 02-23 WHY CHURCH?
Because God is REVEALED in Jesus (Mark 8:27-9:8)
Preaching: Tonya Ramer Wenger
Worship Leader: Calvin Buller
Ushers: Steve Schrag, Dan Kroeker, Cheryl Warkentin, Diane Ziemer
Greeters: Lona Willems
Pianist: Shelley Kauffman
Nursery: Cheryl Warkentin
Fellowship Host: Sara Blodgett
Women’s Bible Study 10:00-11:30am
DEEPENING in Christ...
DAILY SCRIPTURE READINGS (NARRATIVE LECTIONARY)
02-19 Wednesday, Mark 8:14-21
02-20 Thursday, Mark 8:22-26
02-21 Friday, Mark 9:9-13
02-22 Saturday, Mark 9:14-29
02-23 Sunday, Mark 8:27-9:8
02-24 Monday, Psalm 27:1-4
02-25 Tuesday, Mark 9:38-41
SUNDAY SCHOOL SCHEDULE
Children’s classes for all ages - Shine: Journeys with Jesus
Adult Uniform Lesson Study - Honoring God (Harold Kroeker, teacher - Room 102)
Adult Discussion Class - The Bible Unwrapped - Chapters 35-36 on February 23. You are welcome to join us as we hear this engaging author, Meghan Larissa Good. This concludes our book study.
EPIPHANY 2020 – WHY(,) CHURCH?
This Sunday, the last Sunday of the Epiphany season, we celebrate communion. In this meal we remember and recognize Jesus as the One who provides all we need to be nourished and sent as the church in the world.
WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY BEGINS FEBRUARY 25
This group will meet 10-11:30am Tuesday mornings Feb 25- April 7, 2020. We’ll be doing a Lent Study based on the second half of the Gospel of Mark. Bring your Bibles (no other book to purchase). Questions? Talk with Pastor Tonya.
LENT 2020 BEGINS WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26
Lent begins this year with Ash Wednesday on February 26. We’ll host an Ash Wednesday worship service at 6:30pm, along with the Community Church of the Brethren. The Community Church of the Brethren has offered to host a Maundy Thursday Service where our congregations can again worship together - watch for more details on that, and on additional Holy Week opportunities. Our worship services during Lent will continue to be guided by the Gospel of Mark. As has been our practice in recent years during Lent, we will again not be passing the microphone for announcements and sharing. Beginning March 1, please submit your prayer requests and announcements during the week, or place them in the basket in the foyer before worship.
HALLELUJAH: THE BIBLE AND HANDEL’S MESSIAH
During Lent, the Adult Discussion class will be using the study guide that engages the biblical texts and the musical settings of Handel’s MESSIAH. This study was offered about 8 years ago, so you may have a copy of the study guide on your shelf - a spiral bound book with a purple cover. If you have a copy, would you please let the church office know? And if you won’t be using it this time around, would you be willing to let someone else use it? Since copies are a bit pricey, we’d like to see if there are enough copies around so we don’t need to purchase additional ones. See a review copy of this study guide on the table by the signup boards.
HYMNAL JAM SESSION - MARCH 1
You are all invited to a hymnal jam session from 1-3 on Sunday, March 1. Bring your voice, instrument and one song from one of the hymnals that you would like to work on. We will have a quick potluck right after Sunday school and start making music at 1:00pm.
FLOURISHING IN MINISTRY GRANT
From Pastor Tonya: I have been accepted to participate in a “Flourishing in Ministry Cohort” sponsored by AMBS (Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary) and funded by a generous Lily Grant. Ministry Integrity Circles are designed for pastors going through significant transitions, and are intended to help pastors find ways to reimagine our work in relation to these shifts. The transition(s) I hope to explore are mainly related to the realities of changing culture and ways of being and doing church. I will be part of a cohort of 6 (two of whom are also from central Kansas) who will travel 4 times in the coming year to Camp Friedenswald in Michigan. All expenses are covered by the grant, which makes this a very generous opportunity. The first gathering is March 16-17 (each time we’ll meet from noon on Monday to 3:00pm on Tuesday). I will leave Sunday evening and return late Tuesday evening. I welcome your prayers as I embark on this somewhat unknown adventure of learning and growing that I hope will indeed lead to flourishing in ministry - my own, and also together with you! Subsequent gatherings are: June 15-16, October 5-6, and Jan 11-12, 2021.
STRENGTHENING Community Connections
WEDNESDAY NIGHTS AT FIRST (WNAF) BEGIN MARCH 4, 2020
Join us Wednesday evenings for dinner and a program celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the ministries of Mennonite Central Committee. Themes and speakers for each night are below. March 4-25: Dinner will be served each night from 5:30-6:15 and the program will run from 6:20-7:20pm. We invite junior high and senior high youth to participate in the program. Let Pastor Tonya know if you need nursery care or will be bringing children K-5th grade, and we’ll plan accordingly as we are able! The last session on April 1 will have a different schedule, as we’ll be traveling to North Newton for the evening.
March 4- Michelle Armster: We've Come this Far by Faith
March 11- Heidi Huber: Opportunities with MCC
March 18- Kate Mast: Journey of a Quilt
March 25- Karin Kaufman Wall: Peace & Justice & MCC
April 1- Field Trip to MCC in North Newton! Maynard Knepp: New Hope in the Name of Christ
WOMEN’S ENSEMBLE REHEARSALS
We invite all women and girls to join the ensemble in preparing worship music for Lent and Easter. Rehearsals will begin Wednesday, March 4, 7:30pm in the choir loft. Bring a friend and enjoy this opportunity to participate in singing music for women’s voices.
FMC WOMEN’S RETREAT - MARCH 6 & 7
Second Annual FMC Women’s Retreat @ Bluestem (Camp Mennoscah) March 6 & 7, 2020. A sign up sheet and more details (including cost) will be in the foyer by this Sunday. Time frame is Friday 2:00pm-Saturday 2:00pm, with lots of flexibility to come when it works for you. Questions? Talk with Mary Wade, Dee Wiens, or Pastor Tonya. And, if you’d enjoy joining Mary and Dee for the planning, please let one of them know!! We’re looking forward to another fun time of fellowship and rest together!
2 TABLES REMAINING - MAKE A DONATION
Two heavy, white 8’ banquet tables are available. See them in the basement and let Dan Kroeker or Pauline Buller know if you are interested. Replacement tables have been purchased at a cost of $70 each.
CONTACT FOR CHURCH BUILDING NEEDS
If you notice something that is broken and needs fixing, or some other attention at the church, please contact Allen Yoder first. Additional contacts are Jay Gehring or Dan Kroeker (Faithful Stewardship Team).
STRETCHING to Serve as Christ Served
KANSAS MENNONITE RELIEF SALE - MATCHING CHALLENGE!
The congregation is invited to participate in a matching fundraiser challenge for this year’s Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale (KMRS). Due to an increase of our "rainy day" fund (at $55,000 at the end of the fiscal year) and the KMRS annual underwriting needs, the Church is offering the following challenge. The Church will match $ for $ up to $2,500 to be used this year only to help underwrite the KMRS. This will be on top of the $1,200 committed in the budget. If you would like to make a donation, please earmark your check "KMRS" and get it to the Church by March 1. Once the total amount has been determined (including the match and original in the budget), our FMC representatives will take to the next KMRS meeting and pick an item(s) or event that our Church will underwrite this year.
OUR SUNDAY MORNING DONATIONS FOR FIRST CALL FOR HELP
These are items most needed at this time:
Toilet paper, laundry detergent, bath soap, Kleenex, deodorant, disposable razors, paper towels, shampoo, dish soap, hand/body lotion. Travel size - new & unopened - are appreciated.
SALTHAWK COMMUNITY SUPPORT UPDATE
Many thanks for your support of Salthawk Community Support (CS) which provides help for Hutch High, and now also HMS8, students!! Preliminary results of the “Men Can Cook” Fundraiser are around $4800, which we are really pleased with. Thank you also for the clothing and hygiene donations you bring to the church. Lorene Graber will now be delivering those to the high school (thank you, Lorene!!). AND, there is a new large donation box available for Salthawk CS at Credit Union of America (2616 North Main Street). You are welcome to drop your items off there if it is more convenient. With prom around the corner, donations of dresses, dress shoes or jewelry would be welcome!
Finally, here are two specific opportunities for donations:
- There is an increased need for helping fund lunch money at the high school for students who can’t afford to eat lunch every day. Salthawk CS has some money designated to go toward this need but could use additional funds. If you would like to donate toward this need, please do so through First Mennonite and designate on the memo line of your check: Salthawk CS Lunch Assistance. We will then make one donation from the church toward this need. This is a very specific and easy way we can support Hutch High students in need.
- At the end of the school year Salthawk CS hosts an “Attendance Party” for those who were in school 94% of the time or more. There is a drawing for various prizes (of varying sizes/value) that all those students are entered into. If you’d like to donate an item (or money towards prizes) … earbuds, candy, electronics of some sort, please talk with Pastor Tonya.
KANSAS MENNONITE RELIEF SALE
Mark your calendar - April 17-18, 2020
From the Board of the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale--
2020 is the 100 year anniversary of the Mennonite Central Committee. The Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale would like to celebrate this milestone by gifting MCC ONE MILLION DOLLARS. The Kansas Sale was founded to support the ministry of Relief, Development, and Peace in the name of Christ. This would require 1,000 people to each give $1,000 to get to one million dollars by April 17, the first day of the 2020 Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale. Please send your check made payable to KMRS earmarked "centennial gift" to Tim Miller, Relief Sale Treasurer, 4805 S. Broadacres Rd, Hutchinson, Kansas 67501.
If you have questions, please ask our church sale contact persons, Todd & Julie Esau, or call Jim Robb, Board Chair at 620-747-0186.
Everence® Financial will host a workshop, Maximizing giving through donor advised funds, in North Newton on Thursday, Feb. 20. The event will be at 10 a.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will learn about how a donor advised fund works, ways to increase your impact on causes you care about, how to minimize taxes and more. Reserve your spot by contacting Darlene Buller at 316-283-3800, 877-467-7294 or Darlene.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everence is providing 10 webinars (online seminars) on Wednesdays focusing on the stewardship of our resources. The next webinar on Wednesday, February 19, is on “Get ready, get set, and develop a game winning retirement income plan.” The final webinar on February 26 is about using commodities as a tool for generosity. You will find information about these five webinars in your church mailbox. You can also visit www.everence.com/national for more information and to register. If you are interested in any of these webinars but would rather not set one up on your own, you may contact the church office and arrangements can be made to participate here at church.
SWISS MENNONITE CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
Dr. James Juhnke will be the speaker at the March 8 annual meeting of the Swiss Mennonite Cultural and Historical Association held at 2:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall at Bethel College Mennonite Church. “Mennonite Museum in Uzbekistan” is the title of the presentation. He will tell about the history of the Mennonite community that lived for fifty years near the city of Khiva, and how that community is now celebrated in a new museum in Khiva. He will address why the Mennonites moved to a Muslim area and why the Muslims there created a museum that remembers the Mennonites.
The Handbell Choir of the Bethel College Mennonite Church will provide music. Election of SMCHA officers for 2020 will be held and there will be an opportunity for members to give counsel and ask questions. Refreshments will be served. No reservations are needed.
WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENTS
First Mennonite Church, 427 W 4th in Halstead, KS, invites everyone to their annual verenike supper on February 29 from 4:30-7 pm. Cost is by donation, proceeds go to church service trips and service projects.
SAVE THE DATE! -- Mark your calendars for the Western District Women in Mission Spring Supper at 6 pm on Thursday, March 12 at Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, KS. Our Special Guest Speaker will be Patty Shelly, Professor of Bible and Religion at Bethel College. Additional information is coming soon!
MENNONITE MISSION NETWORK ANNOUNCEMENT
There’s still time to sign up to join the Mennonite Mission Network Alumni & Friends Service-Learning Tour. From March 7-14, we will serve alongside our Service Adventure partners in Jackson, and our SOOP partners in Meridian and Mashulaville, MS. We will also be taking in Civil Rights experiences by hearing from an activist and going to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, as well as other sites. Email AlumniTrip@MennoniteMission.net for more information.
HESSTON/BETHEL JOINT CHOIR CONCERT
The Bethel College Concert Choir and the Hesston College Bel Canto Singers will unite for a joint concert, "How Firm a Foundation," on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church near Goessel. The choirs will perform individual selections from their respective repertoires, and will join together for other pieces, as well as being joined by members of the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Chancel Choir. Admission to the concert is free. An offering will be taken to benefit Mennonite Central Committee.
BETHEL COLLEGE ANNOUNCEMENTS
Sat., Feb. 22 – Keith Sprunger, Bethel College professor emeritus of history, will facilitate a Friends of the MLA program, “Remembering Bethel in the Sixties: A Turning Point?,” 2 p.m., Mantz Library lounge (ground floor) at Bethel, with light refreshments to follow
HESSTON COLLEGE ANNOUNCEMENTS
Seeing Each Other's Light, a program of story and song that provides understanding of diverse people, cultures and faith traditions of the Wichita community, will be held at Emanu-El Congregation Reform Synagogue, 7011 E. Central Ave., Wichita, 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 1. The event is part of Hesston College's Peacing It Together Foundation and is also sponsored by Wichita's Global Faith in Action. The program features Hesston College students and internationally-acclaimed baritone Tony Brown, as well as other members of the Wichita community, including the Emanu-El Klezmer band and congregation choir. The concert is free and open to the public. For the full news release, go to www.hesston.edu.
CAMP MENNOSCAH ANNOUNCEMENTS
We're up and running! Online registration for SUMMER CAMPS 2020 is open. We are eagerly looking forward to seeing everyone this summer! The BEST discount is for the summer camp registrations received and paid in full by March 1. Go to www.campmennoscah.org and click on Register Online! at the top of the page.
Youth Volunteer Weekend is March 13-14 at Camp Mennoscah! Registration is through our summer youth camp registration which opens at the beginning of February. This retreat is for grades 7-graduating seniors.
Camp Mennoscah wants you as part of our summer staff! We are looking for dedicated and faithful college-age students to fill nine summer staff positions: naturalist, crafts leader, lifeguard (3), grounds/maintenance, music leader, office, and office/media. Working at camp is an amazing opportunity to build relationships with Christ, serve others, and have fun with all ages! Summer staffers are paid a volunteer stipend of $250 per camp week. Room and board are provided, as are various staff outings and activities. Further information and the application can be found HERE. (http://www.campmennoscah.org/vnews/display.v/SEC/Programs%7CSummer%20Youth%20Camps%3E%3ESummer%20Youth%20Camp%20Staff%20Application)
Camp Mennoscah's Hymn Sing and Dessert Auction is March 1! Everyone is invited to join us for an afternoon of hymns, fellowship and desserts at Tabor Mennonite Church, Newton KS, on March 1 from 4-6pm. Amazing desserts made by camp supporters will be auctioned off to raise funds to renovate our beloved amphitheater used for evening campfires. Bring your singing voices and open wallets!
Retreat registration is open! You are now able to register for 2020 retreats at Camp Mennoscah at www.campmennoscah.org.
Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats at Camp Mennoscah still have a few open spaces! We love to have these retreats overflowing with fun and fellowship. Bring a friend to either retreat on Feb. 28-March 1 or March 6-8 and join in the cropping and crafting. Register online at www.campmennoscah.org! Contact us at 620-297-3290 with questions.
Refresh and Renew at Camp Mennoscah's Retirees Retreat, April 20-22! Retirees of all ages are invited to enjoy sessions on a variety of topics, partake in coffee breaks and community, and join together in song and Bible study. Request a registration fo
MENNONITE CENTRAL COMMITTEE ANNOUNCEMENTS
Join us for We’ve Come This Far by Faith, an MCC Centennial Celebration on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating the past 100 years and at the same time help us look forward to the next 100 years of serving in the name of Christ around the world. More information can be found at mcc.org/weve-come-far-faith and to learn more about MCC’s centennial, please visit mcc.org/centennial.
You invited to join the fun at the 13th annual MCC Comforter Blitz on March 2, 3 and 4 at Journey Mennonite Church at the Yoder Campus, one mile north of Yoder, Kansas. Blitz times are Monday and Tuesday, 9:00am to 5:00pm, and Wednesday, 9:00am to 4:00pm. This event is hosted by Kansas Friends of MCC, an organization that supports the work of MCC. For more information check out mcc.org/comforter-blitz.
Gain work experience with world experience through MCC’s SALT (Serving and Learning Together) program! SALT is a year-long, cross cultural service experience for Christian young adults. The deadline for registration is fast approaching, take a look at the program descriptions available at mcc.org/salt and prayerfully consider if a year of service through the SALT program is right for you! If you have questions please contact Abby Endashaw, Young Adult Programs Coordinator at MCC Central States email@example.com.