Author Archives: Monica Lichti

Western District Conference Annual Assembly to be at Bethel College

Friday, July 26 — 7:00 pm     Western District Conference Assembly Worship in the BCMC Sanctuary.   All are invited to this worship!   

Saturday, July 27 — 8:30-9:30 am – Worship/Keynote Address by Glen Guyton, Executive Director of Mennonite Church USA, in the Bethel College Memorial Hall  (OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED)

If you haven’t registered yet for Western District Conference Annual Assembly, you can still register, but you will have to make your own meal arrangements, as the catering headcount has been finalized.  Please join us July 26-27 at Bethel College, for “We Are Witnesses!”.  For more information, go to   Everyone is invited to the WDC Assembly Friday night worship service, July 26, 7 pm in the BCMC sanctuary.

The Resource Library will be OPEN, July 27 during Annual Assembly from 2:30-5:30 pm.  Everyone  is invited (whether attending assembly or not) to stop by for a scoop of ice cream and to tour the library.  It’s also a great opportunity to check out the beautiful artwork on loan from WDC congregations!

There will be a Family Festival on the Saturday evening of the Western District Conference (WDC) Annual Assembly, July 26-27 on the Bethel College campus, North Newton with a hamburger/hotdog picnic, an inflatable bouncy house, a coffee house concert at MoJo’s and more.  It’s open to the public!  (Donations welcome at the event.)  For more information, go to



The Psalms: Honest Conversation with God – Summer Worship 2019

Throughout the summer we will be venturing together into the song and prayer book of the Bible that has come to be known as “the Psalms” (or in Hebrew, tehellim).  Composed over a period of five centuries, the Psalms were central to the worship life of ancient Israel, as they were read as scripture, recited as prayers, and sung as hymns in the temple and synagogues.

As ancient as these texts may be, they continue to speak into our lives and our worship.  In the words of Walter Brueggemann, “They are the voice of our own common humanity…They speak about life the way it really is.”  In them we find honest conversation with God:  joyous exclamations of praise, gut-wrenching cries of lament, heart-felt prayers of confession, songs of thanksgiving.  They help us “add a voice to the common elation, shared grief, and communal rage that beset us all.”   (Brueggemann, in Praying the Psalms, Saint Mary’s Press: Winona, MN, 1993).

As we move into this season, her a a number of ways to engage the Psalms at home throughout the week:

  • Begin and/or end your day by reading a psalm. Consider dwelling with the same psalm throughout the whole week.
  • Spend some time recalling memories of particular psalms and their significance to you at various points in your life. Write about it and/or share your reflections with a friend.
  • Rewrite a psalm. Put it in your own words as you allow it to connect with your own experience.


Candidating Weekend Schedule for Nathan Koontz—June 22-23, 2019

Saturday, June 22

8:30 a.m.-noon Meet with adult Sunday school classes BCMC Gathering Place

  • 8:30-9:30 am Sojourners
  • 9:30-10:30 am Catacombs
  • (10:30-11 am) (break)
  • 11 am -noon Fine Arts and Open Circle

Noon-1:30 pm       Lunch with Deacon Commission

2:30-5:30 pm     Meet with adult Sunday school classes  BCMC Gathering Place

  • 2:30-3:30 pm Issues & Christianity and Bible Study
  • 3:30-4:30 pm Fellowship, Mosaic, and Agape
  • 4:30-5:30 pm Seekers and anyone not affiliated with another group

Sunday, June 23—Candidating Sunday with Nathan Koontz

9:30-10:30 am     Worship —Sermon by Nathan Koontz

10:45-11:45 am   Sunday school elective  “Pastoral care for people of all ages”

Nathan will share his faith journey, followed by Q&A session, with a suggested focus on pastoral care for people of all ages, though any questions will be welcomed.

Noon                    Lunch with Church Board—Fellowship Hall

4 pm                     Time with Kidron Bethel residents Menno Hall

in Assisted Living and Health Care, at Kidron Bethel or other

residents unable to attend church in the morning

6 pm                     Supper with Search Committee



The congregation will vote on the recommendation to retain Pastor Dawn Yoder Harms,  after worship next Sunday, June 16.

Western District  Conference consultant Keith Harder reported on Sunday, June 9, on Pastor Dawn Yoder Harms’ three-year review.

Keith Harder reported to the Church Board on June 6, and the board affirmed the following SCRC recommendation:

“The BCMC Staff Congregation Relations Committee affirms the ministry of Lead Pastor Dawn Yoder Harms, acknowledges the unusual challenges she has faced since coming to BCMC and commends her for effectively pastoring staff and the congregation during that time, and affirms her continued prayerful ministry at BCMC.

“SCRC therefore recommends to the Church Board and to the congregation that Dawn’s term as Lead Pastor be renewed for another three years, with the understanding that she be granted a sabbatical sometime in 2020 with exact details and dates to be worked out with BCMC staff, SCRC and the Church Board.”

The congregation will vote on the recommendation after worship next Sunday, June 16.

Vacation Bible School is Coming!

What do smelly camels, a big fish, and detectives have in common?! They’re all part of this year’s Vacation Bible School,  May 28-31 from 8:45-11:45 am at BCMC! We will be “Detectives of Divinity,” looking for God in the world as we read Bible stories of God’s work!  There is still time to register!   See Mary Hodge or Megan Kohlman with any questions!


Candidating Weekend

Below is a guide for the congregation detailing the schedule for the visit of our candidate for Associate Pastor of Faith Formation, Renee Epp Reimer.
This is an opportunity to meet, renew acquaintance, and visit with her.
(Wearing our name tags might be a nice gesture!)

All are encouraged to attend at the time and place scheduled for your group or groups, but if that is not workable, please feel free to join another group in the Gathering Place.

Friday, 5 April 

  • 11:30 am: Lunch with Search Committee
  • 2:00 – 4:00 pm: Meet Adult Sunday School classes, BCMC Gathering Place
    • 2:00 – 3:00: Sojourners and Catacombs classes
    • 3:00 – 4:00: Fine Arts and Bible Study classes
  • 4:00 pm: Meet with Dawn Yoder Harms
  • 6:00 pm: Meal with Church Board 

Saturday, 6 April 

  • 9:00 am: Meet with Senior High Youth sponsors and Dawn Yoder Harms
  • 10:30 – 11:30 am: SS Class meetings, Gathering Place
    • Issues & Christianity and Open Circle classes
  • Noon – 2:00 pm: Lunch with Faith Formation Commission
  • 3:00 – 5:00 pm: SS Class meetings, Gathering Place
    • 3:00 – 4:00: Fellowship and Mosaic classes
    • 4:00 – 5:00: Seekers and anyone not affiliated with another group
  • 6:00 pm: Meal with Agape class 

Sunday, 7 April 

  • 9:30 am: Sunday worship service, Renee will preach.
  • 10:45 am: Elective Sunday School class in Sanctuary.  Renee will articulate her faith journey and respond to questions.
  • Noon: Lunch with Sr. High Youth and sponsors, Fellowship Hall
  • Open time
  • 4:00 pm: Meet with Peter Goerzen (BC Campus Pastor) and students, Agape House
  • 6:00 pm: Meal with Search Committee



Come to Wednesday Night Suppers!

Join with others from the BCMC church community for food, fellowship and conversation.  Invite a new friend and meet long-time friends for the meal together in Fellowship Hall.

Wednesday Night Schedule in Fellowship Hall
From 6 pm to 7:30 pm

From 6 pm to 6:15 pm:   The meal serving line will be open to get food, be seated, and begin eating. There will be one basket at the food line to receive donations for supper. Suggested donation is $5 per person or $15 per family. (Proceeds above food expenses go to the Kitchen Fund for supplies and future improvements).  Please bring your own table service.

At 6:20 pm:  A welcome, announcements and a meal blessing.

6:30 – 7:30 pm—Continuing the Conversation…Following Wednesday evening suppers this spring there will be opportunity to continue the conversation related to congregational process and response to sexual boundary violations among us.  Topics will include: sexual trauma and its impact on victims, guidance from the wider church, and the role of restorative justice.  More specific information regarding the sessions will follow in coming weeks.

Choirs and Children’s and Youth Clubs

From 6:30 to 9:30 pm

6:30—7:15      Cherub Choir (grades K-4)          Room 24

Junior Choir (grades 5-8)            Room 28

7:00—8:00      Senior High Youth Group            Room 22  (grades 9-12)

7:15—8:00      Junior High Club (grades 5-8)     Room 26  For 5th through 8th graders.  Join us for discussions, games, speakers, and field trips.   Matt and Jenni Koontz, Heather and Jon Zerger, leaders

7:15—8:00      Journey Club (grades K-4)           Room B8
This active club is for Kindergarten to 4th graders to explore our world and church community through games, guests, field trips and other hands-on activities.  Come join the fun!  Matt Schloneger, leader

7:30—8:30      Chancel Choir (adults)                  Sanctuary Chancel

8:30—9:30      Chancel Bells                                Room B7










Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner!

This annual event hosted by the Hospitality Commission, will be Feb. 24.  The Host will provide the main dish, the beverage and maybe the bread. The guest will provide either a vegetable, salad, dessert, and maybe the bread.  As guests, you will find out Feb. 17, what dish you will provide and as a  host, you will find out the number of guests you will have.  The morning of Feb. 24, the guests are given their destination. At noon, the hosts find out who their guests are. It’s a fun event that encourages time to get to know others in a relaxed setting and an added bonus of helping chase away the winter blues!