This Week @ FMC
April 1-7, 2020
All three important Christian practices.* Simple and well grounded in scripture, especially in the poetry of the Psalms. What are your prayers of praise, lament, and hope today? I offer some of mine below, and invite you to take time today or sometime this week to do the same. Try to share your prayers with at least one other person. And, if you’d be willing to share your prayers more broadly with the congregation, please send them to me and I’ll compile them and send them out together in one email (let me know if its okay for me to include your name).
I praise God for blue skies, gentle rains, growing green. For color where a few weeks ago there was none. I praise God for gifting humanity with resilience, creativity, and generosity for others.
I lament fear that binds, distorts, dehumanizes. Fear that turns a neighbor into a threat; fear that feeds on name calling and blaming. Fear that forgets our common humanity. Fear that chokes the impulse - and call - to love God with our whole being, and our neighbor as ourselves.
I hope for new and deeper awareness of the peace of Christ which surpasses all understanding. I hope for that peace to be the word I speak, the life I live, the gifts I share.
We’re now in the last week of Lent, looking toward Palm Sunday this coming Sunday. Be sure to read more about Holy Week and Easter below in the announcements as there are a couple of ways you can engage if you wish. One meme I saw this week said something like “This is the lentiest Lent I’ve ever lented.” Which really is true. Lent has taken on different and deeper meaning this year as we live in the midst of a pandemic and walk with Jesus toward conflict, suffering, death, loss, and radically changed lives. I’ve been thinking perhaps what we call ‘Palm Sunday’ was the last bit of normal the disciples experienced that week before everything fell apart and the one they’d been following ended up on a Roman cross. Our situation is different, and there are similarities in facing unwanted and unexpected losses. I’m so grateful for the Biblical story that wraps itself around us and weaves into our lives to teach and transform. Let’s have open ears and hearts to see and hear!
“See” you Sunday!! (And MANY thanks to those of you who are reaching out and giving feedback about our Sunday morning live stream experiment!! That is really helpful and appreciated.)
*Credit for focusing on these three practices goes to an email I received from The Colossian Forum colossianforum.org. The Colossian Forum equips leaders to transform cultural conflicts into opportunities for spiritual growth and witness. I’ve been following their work for a while but haven’t yet dug deeper into the resources they offer.
CALENDAR for this week
Tuesday, March 31
11:00am- Noon FMC Experiments with Zoom (see separate email with link)
4:00pm Faith Formation Coordination Team meets via Zoom
Wednesday, April 1
7:00-8:00pm FMC Experiments with Zoom (see separate email with link)
SUNDAY MORNING Worship Live Stream @ 9:30am
Check your email for confirmation of the link toward the end of the week. Worship is also recorded and can be watched later, at the same link as the live stream.
Sunday, April 5: PALM SUNDAY
The Wilderness Journey from Palms to Passion
Worship Leader: Pastor Tonya
Wilderness Journey Litany Readers: Jean Gaeddert, Heidi Unruh, Eldon Wagler, Cindy Kroeker, Micah Wenger, Kevin Martin Nisly, Pastor Tonya
DEEPENING in Christ...
DAILY SCRIPTURE READINGS (NARRATIVE LECTIONARY)
04-01 Wednesday, Mark 14:1-2
04-02 Thursday, Mark 14:10-11
04-03 Friday, Mark 15:1-5
04-04 Saturday, Mark 15:6-15
04-05 Sunday, Mark 11:1-11
04-06 Monday, Mark 14:3-9
04-07 Tuesday, Mark 14:43-65
UNAFRAID: LIVING WITH COURAGE AND HOPE IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
Gather weekly (on Zoom) on Thursdays with others from FMC for an hour (beginning this week if we can - exact time TBD) to watch and discuss Adam Hamilton's: Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times. These videos are 15-20 minutes each and there are 5 sessions. The series is described like this: "Join Adam Hamilton and explore the worries and fears most of us experience. Learn to identify fears and discover practical steps for overcoming them all in the light of scripture and a faith that promises again and again that we can live with courage and hope". Led by Pastor Tonya. Please let her know if you’re interested in participating! Click here for more details about the videos: Watch >
HOLY WEEK OPPORTUNITIES @ FMC
PALM SUNDAY - April 5, 2020
Our Palm Sunday worship this coming Sunday will be shaped by a reader’s theater - “Wilderness Journey from Palms to Passion” - based on the Gospel of Matthew and written by Sarah Are. We’ll celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and then move day by day through the events that led up to Jesus’ arrest. Watch your email for a coloring sheet of a palm branch that you can print, color and cut out so you can join in waving palms as part of our worship experience.
ENTERING THE PASSION OF JESUS by Amy-Jill Levine. Gather every day on Zoom (at a mutually agreed upon time - for 45 minutes or so) to watch a video by Levine, discuss and pray together. This series (if people are interested!) would start on Sunday April 5 - Palm Sunday, and go through Good Friday (April 11). Led by Pastor Tonya. Please let her know if you’d like to participate. Click here for more details about the videos: Watch
STATIONS OF THE CROSS - Pastor Tonya is putting into place plans to share our Stations of the Cross (with pictures, scripture and prayers) with you during the week - likely as email attachments. Watch for more information!
MAUNDY THURSDAY - we’re hoping to live stream a Maundy Thursday worship service, including an opportunity to share Communion ‘together.’ That too is still taking shape; more details are forthcoming.
Zoom Easter Sunrise Service @ 6:45am!! Everyone is invited to join from their own backyards or porches if the weather is nice enough, or inside if you prefer. Let Pastor Tonya know if you plan to participate.
Easter Worship will be live-streamed from the sanctuary at 9:30am.
REMEMBERING AND HONORING LOVED ONE(S) - EASTER LILIES
Given the uncertainty about when we will gather again as a congregation in our sanctuary, we have decided to remember and honor our loved ones without the live lily plants. We will not place an order for lily plants. If you would like to name someone for us to remember (or honor), please call or email the church office. Please send us the name(s) of those you wish to remember by April 8 or call the church office by 10am on April 9. We will remember each of these in a special way on Easter morning.
SUBMIT YOUR ANNOUNCEMENTS AND JOYS & CONCERNS
Email, text or call Pastor Tonya with your announcements, joys, and concerns.
REJOICE! And UPPER ROOM devotional magazine
New issues of both the UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! are available above the mailboxes. REJOICE! Is also available free online: Rejoice! March Devotional
STRENGTHENING Community Connections
EXPERIMENT WITH ZOOM THIS WEEK!!
Pastor Tonya has set up - and will host - a Zoom gathering Tuesday from 11:00am-Noon (which may be passed by the time you receive this!) and also on Wednesday at 7:00-8:00pm. Both are simply to give you a chance to experiment with using Zoom. This is a really low pressure opportunity to try it out and see how it works, and maybe see some faces you haven't in awhile! You don’t need to stay the whole hour - just join in when you’d like and stay as long as you want. Links to join each meeting will be sent in a separate email.
One note: there is NO FEE to use Zoom and you do NOT need to sign up for a Zoom account. You just need the link that I'll send in the email. Or, if you want to call in on your phone, the phone number that is also in the email.
Please be checking your email regularly for information about ways to stay connected as a faith family during this time that we cannot meet in person. Email is our primary form of communication, although we do also post on our church’s Facebook page and put basic information on our website (www.hutchfmc.org). We will continue to send the weekly email and prayers via postal mail for those who have requested it. If you’d like to be added to that list to receive a hard copy in the mail, let the church office know.
We have organized 9 Care Groups at FMC to help us stay connected during this time of physical distancing and social solidarity. Each group has a point person(s), and you should have received an email or a letter in the mail about your group. You are encouraged to be intentionally praying for those in your group, and reaching out to others every week or so, as you feel led. Of course, you are not limited to this group, but our hope is this structure will ensure a strong network of relationships in these trying times. These groups will also function as phone trees In the event that we need to disseminate information rapidly throughout the congregation. Watch for details about your group’s phone tree structure.
FMC FINANCES & NOTE ABOUT OFFERINGS...
Financially, the Church is in a fairly decent position and a number of you have scheduled payments sent directly to the Church from your IRA's or investments. For those that are accustomed to making your contributions through normal offering during the worship service, you are welcome to mail contributions to the Church or drop off and put in treasurer's mailbox or the office.
STRETCHING to Serve as Christ Served
RALLY RENO - BUY LOCAL/GIVE LOCAL … AND 211
Visit RallyReno.org to learn more about a new initiative called Rally Reno County. If you buy a gift certificate to any of the local businesses listed on this website, including EtCetera Shop and Ten Thousand Villages, a matching donation will be made to the Reno County United Way emergency fund. This is a great way to support these stores during the shutdown while also helping the community. Also, if anyone needs help with food or bills owing to the shutdown, they can use the online assistance application form on this website (or call 211).
DONATIONS FOR NOEL LODGE - HOMELESS SHELTER
There is an immediate need for face masks, eye protection, hand sanitizer, paper towels, bottled water, paper plates, plastic cups, plastic utensils. Other items needed are Cereal, Oatmeal, Toilet paper, Paper Towels, Bottled Water, Instant potatoes, Coffee. Please drop donations off at Meadowlark Commons (New Beginnings, Inc.) Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm. Please call 620-314-6099 or 620-314-6969 to ensure someone is there to collect your donation. Alternate drop-off location is Allen Samuels (30th and Lorraine, 620-665-5567 in Hutchinson).
OUR SUNDAY MORNING DONATIONS FOR FIRST CALL FOR HELP
The Salvation Army and Inter-faith Housing Services are currently accepting donations on behalf of First Call for Help. Personal care/hygiene items such as these are appreciated: toilet paper, laundry detergent, bath soap, Kleenex, deodorant, disposable razors, paper towels, shampoo, dish soap, hand/body lotion. Travel size - new & unopened - are desirable.
Food bank donations may be brought to the Salvation Army.
EVERENCE WEDNESDAY WEBINARS
Everence is providing its last webinar in this series on April 1, focusing on the stewardship of our resources. Go to www.everence.com/national for more information and to register. The April 1 topic is, “Kingdom finances and you.”
CONTRIBUTIONS TO MCC TO MEET NEEDS AROUND THE WORLD ARE APPRECIATED
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.
CAMP MENNOSCAH ANNOUNCEMENTS
Summer Youth Camp information is available at www.campmennoscah.org
Camp Mennoscah wants you as part of our summer staff! 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. (Summer Youth Camp Staff Application)
Kitchen staff needed for summer youth camps at Camp Mennoscah! Kitchen volunteers can choose to receive a parent discount up to full camp fees. No special chef, sous chef, or pastry chef skills needed. Kitchen volunteers are needed for June 7-13, June 14-18, June 21-27, July 12-18, July 19-25, and July 26-31. Contact us at email@example.com or call 620-297-3290. Free camp tee included.
Camp Mennoscah's Retirees Retreat, originally scheduled for April 20-22 has been cancelled.