This Week @ FMC

August 5-11, 2020

Happy 10th Anniversary!! I can honestly say that when our family arrived in Hutchinson ten years ago I could not have predicted where we’d all find ourselves today in 2020. In fact, there have been quite a few surprises along the way! I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for the ways you’ve embraced me and my family, and for the honor of being your pastor these past 10 years. This week I looked back through my annual reports beginning in 2010 and decided to offer some excerpts that give a glimpse of some of the moments we’ve shared over the years..

2010: My hope in my first year with you is that I will listen and learn well and will be attentive to the Spirit’s movement among us. … Miles and I have also begun a Memory Loss Support Group intended to provide a space of support and encouragement for those affected by Memory Loss.

2011: We invited the Ministry Teams this year to choose a scripture passage that for them connects with the life of FMC right now, and to intentionally set aside space in their meetings to listen to what God's Spirit is speaking today through that passage. … At the end of August the M&M (Mentor and Mentee) program began.

2012: I leave you with this image of not paddling harder (or frantically when we worry about the future!), but rather breathing deeply and paddling steadily and faithfully together – buoyed by our trust in the presence of God already at work. We are not alone … we have each other, and we have been gifted by the Spirit of Jesus who fills us and guides us. I am honored to join you on this amazing journey.

2013: As a congregation you embraced our family and waited with us for our daughter Joanna's birth … and you celebrated!! I will never forget the out-pouring of love and joy that welcomed Joanna into the world and to First Mennonite. Thank you!! As you are also aware, along with celebrating birth, we also walked through some unexpected deaths of dear brothers and sisters: Eldon Voth, Ron Schrag, Ruby Voth, and Florene Goering. We continue to grieve their passing.

2014: … the primary themes I heard are that FMC wants to be deepening with God, strengthening our relationships/leadership/hospitality, and stretching more fully into the world in service, peacemaking, and mission. These ways of growing reflect both who we have been in the past, what is important to us now, and how we want to grow more fully into the future.

2015: The Fall WNAF series (2015) has focused on engaging with the realities of poverty in our communities. The first two sessions we heard the powerful story of Rebecca Lewis (from Circles of Hope in McPherson), and the challenge she left us with: Know my poor. Love my poor. Defend my poor. That is a lot. But it wasn't all. She also felt that God put on her heart to tell us that he doesn't care so much about us bringing more people into our church, but about us going outside of our church into our community.

2016: First Mennonite is indeed in the midst of a transition, and not simply a change, as we implement a new organizational structure beginning January 1, 2017. … One such transition is moving from a culture of waiting to be shoulder tapped to being willing to volunteer when we are moved by an opportunity to match, nurture, or explore more fully a gift we think the Spirit has given us. This transition includes a growing assurance within us that God has indeed gifted each of us for the building up of the church and the healing of the world – that we have something worthwhile to offer simply because God has created us to do so!

2017: My hope is that in tending well to a deep relationship with God, strong trusting and vulnerable relationships with each other, and keeping in mind always that our identity is as people sent – stretched – into the world, we will be in a good position to be willing to step out with God into a future that is unclear. It is a future we can’t control or predict, but we can trust God to hold.

2018: This year we began using a screen in the sanctuary, which raises lots of questions about how best to use that technology as an aid to worship, rather than a distraction. We have used it primarily for projecting images, and less so words or videos. One example was our summer Fruit of the Spirit series where we invited people to submit pictures each week that for them captured the “fruit” of the week (love, joy, peace, etc.).

2019: The hope and trust we hold opens us to dream about a ‘new adventure’ as we look toward our 100th anniversary in 2022 and the possibilities of planting seeds of hope for the next 100 years. We do not know what the future holds … but we do know who holds the future. The model of church we are familiar with may fade away; but God’s mission will continue and it will flourish in the ways God intends.

Soon it will be time to write my 2020 Annual Report, and there will be much to reflect on, for sure!! Right now I’m simply thankful for the past 10 years, for this moment, and the years to come. As we have sung many times together ‘there’s not a place where we can flee but God is present there.’ (Isaac Watts. HWB 46 I sing the mighty power of God).

---- Pastor Tonya

Join us in celebrating Pastor Tonya’s 10 years of ministry at FMC!

What a wonderful event to celebrate! The Congregational Ministry Team would like to invite the congregation to join us in thanking and recognizing the service of Pastor Tonya as well as the entire Wenger Family for these past 10 years! As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times we are blessed to have the leadership we have in place! -- Congregational Ministry Team

CALENDAR‌ ‌for‌ ‌this‌ ‌week‌ ‌

Check your email each week for the coming Sunday's live-stream (email if you need help!)

Sunday, August 9: UNRAVELED: Seeking God When Our Plans Fall Apart

The Samaritan Woman at the Well - Unraveled Shame

John 4:1-29

Preaching: Tonya Ramer Wenger

Worship Leader: Calvin Buller

Children’s Time: Tanya Martin Nisly

Scripture Reader: Sara Blodgett

Pianist: Peggy Stucky

Sound: Allen Yoder

Live Stream: Jonathan Wenger


During each worship service, you are invited to text your prayer joys and concerns - usually to Pastor Tonya but sometimes it will be someone else, and we’ll give you that info at the time!! Please continue to send announcements ahead of time if you can, and it’s just fine to call or send your prayer concerns ahead of time too.


We have room for a few more individuals to be present on Sunday mornings during our live stream of worship in addition to those leading worship. Please let Pastor Tonya know ahead of time (ideally by Friday) if you would like to come on a particular Sunday.

DEEPENING‌ ‌in‌ ‌Christ...‌ ‌


This Sunday, August 9, we join Jesus and the Samaritan woman @ the well (John 4). Jesus unraveled many barriers between himself and this woman in order to offer her living water. She, in turn, became an evangelist in her community … weaving the good news of Jesus into her life story. The prayer prompt for this week will be coming in a later email which will also contain the study journal pages and corresponding artwork for this story.


August 16 - Job’s Lament and Loss (Job 28:12-28)

Seeking Understanding When Everything Has Fallen Apart (Tyler Gehring preaching)

August 23 - Doubting Thomas (John 20:19-29)

When the Unimaginable Has Happened (Tonya preaching)

August 30 - Moses’ Mother Gives Moses Up So He Can Live (Exodus 1:22; 2:1-10)

When Our Plans for Our Children Unravel (Tonya preaching)

September 6 - Jesus Heals Legion, A Man Possessed by Demons (Mark 5:1-20)

The Unraveling of the Mind (Tonya preaching)


On Tuesdays and Thursdays between 11:00am-2:00pm, you are welcome to come to pray on your own in the sanctuary, following the procedures posted in the sanctuary.


Pastor Tonya and Julie Goering will be in touch with those participating in this group soon about plans for discussion. What we’re looking toward is an opportunity to gather in-person once toward the end of August and then to meet weekly on Zoom beginning in September to discuss each chapter. Look for more details fairly soon!

UPPER ROOM devotional magazine - available as PDF

UPPER ROOM is now available in both the print magazine and a PDF format accessible electronically. If you would like to receive the electronic copy of Upper Room, please call or email the church office. This service begins with the July-August issue. Printed copies of the July-August magazine are available above the mailboxes.


Pastor Tonya will be participating in a week-long virtual Clergy Spirituality and Leadership retreat August 13-20. She will be available for emergencies, will respond to emails/texts/calls, and will be spending most of her time that week on retreat. The retreat includes extensive class/resourcing time, peer group reflection, and 24 hours of silence August 17-18. The focus is on deeping in spiritual practices, discernment, Spirit-led leadership, and worship. This opportunity is offered through the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation which Tonya is a graduate of (completing their 18 month Clergy Spirituality and Leadership Program in 2008-2009).

STRENGTHENING‌ ‌Community‌ ‌Connections‌ ‌


Let the church office or Pastor Tonya know if you are willing!!

‌STRETCHING‌ ‌to‌ ‌Serve‌ ‌as‌ ‌Christ‌ ‌Served‌


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. At this time the Food Bank is particularly in need of the following: tomato soup, cream of mushroom soup and green beans.


FMC’s delegates to the annual assembly last weekend were Trae Gehring, Delon Martens, Pastor Tonya and Pauline Buller. Action by the delegate body included approval of the 2021-22 budget. (WDC’s fiscal year runs February 1-January 31.) The approved budget is slightly less than this year’s budget. Delegates also affirmed the ballot presented by the WDC Gifts Discernment Committee. Delon Martens was affirmed as the new Moderator-Elect (a 2-year appointment followed by a 2-year term as Moderator). Pastor Tonya was affirmed for a second term on the Church Planting Commission. Pauline Buller continues in her first term on the Stewardship Commission, and also represents Stewardship on the Staff Relations Committee.


Support Mennonite Central Committee and celebrate MCC’s centennial with a new shirt, hoodie, tea towel, bag or hat! Check out this online store set up by the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale to place your order today (pssst, it’s never too early to start Christmas shopping!). Visit and start shopping to support MCC!


MCC is hosting virtual alumni gatherings for four of the world regions where MCC works: Latin America and Caribbean, Asia, Europe & Middle East and Africa. And you are invited! Join us for this special time to hear updates from Area Directors about current programming, share stories of service experiences and engage in small group discussions to connect with your MCC friends or meet others who served in the same world region. Find out specific dates, times and register at Questions? Please contact or call 316.283.2720.


Do you have skills with a sewing machine? If so, you can help provide a safer campus for our students, faculty, and staff by making masks.

Click here to find the CDC pattern for an easy project, or use any simple mask pattern you already have.

You can drop masks off at Thresher Shop in Schultz Student Center, or send them to:

Masks for Threshers

Bethel College Advancement Office

300 E. 27th St.

North Newton, KS 67117

If sewing isn’t your thing, you can donate to the Masks for Threshers fund here.


Everence will host a Social Security and retirement income planning webinar, on Tuesday, August 11 at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will learn about Social Security strategies, risks that can impact retirement savings and strategies to help income last throughout retirement. The workshop is free. Register soon by contacting our office at 316-283-3800, 877-467-7294 or