Announcements for April 11-April 18, 2021

As the Reopening Task Group makes plans to increase the number of people participating in in-person worship, your feedback is important.  Please take two minutes to complete this two question survey. Hit the “submit” button when you are finished: 

Interested in learning more about our new hymnal, Voices Together?  Check out this helpful article by Katie Graber, member of the Worship and Song Committee.

Looking for an opportunity to sing or play an instrument in church this summer? BCMC is seeking musicians of all ages, individuals or small groups, to assist in leading worship this summer. If you are willing or want more information, email Barbara Thiesen, BCMC Music Coordinator, at Please indicate dates you would be available. If you are a singer, indicate if you are a soprano, alto, tenor, or baritone/bass; if you are an instrumentalist, indicate your instrument.

A heartfelt thank you with deep appreciation for the many birthday wishes I received for my 90th birthday.  May you also receive many blessings in the coming year.”     Esther M. Thieszen

Helen Ruth Unruh
A private graveside service for Helen Ruth Unruh occurred this past Thursday at Greenwood Cemetery in Newton.  Attached is a PDF of the service.  Please continue to hold Helen’s family and friends in your prayers as they grieve her loss.  Helen Ruth Obit Helen Ruth Worship Service

Spring Congregational Meeting: This year, due to the Leonard Pitts lecture scheduled by Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR) on April 25 at 2 pm, the BCMC Congregational Meeting will be held on May 2, at 1 pm, via zoom. Mark your calendars now!

BCMC Camp Mennoscah Weekend Retreat
Dust off your tents, string your fishing poles, and prepare your hearts for worship at one of the best settings south-central Kansas has to offer! That’s right… it’s the BCMC Camp Mennoscah Weekend Retreat! This year’s event will be held May 15-16, and will only include BCMC – not Halstead First Mennonite as has been the case in the past (due to COVID). We plan on eating, fellowshipping, playing, worshiping, and seeing each other – safely, outdoors – as a way to be in community with each other. We’ll follow Camp’s safety protocol as we do this, of course, but would love to have as many folks out as can come – whether for Saturday evening, Sunday morning and lunch, or a whole weekend of fun! If you/your family is interested in attending, please fill out the link here: And, if you have questions about the retreat, pricing, COVID-friendly protocol, etc. OR would like to help out in some way, please reach out to Adam Robb ( or Pastor Renee and they’ll do their best to be helpful! Looking forward to being together, in nature, to worship our God!

The BCMC Mission Quilters are back in the church building.  A new quilt has been set up.   Everyone is welcome to come quilt.  Bring your mask.  Come on Monday afternoons, 1-5 pm in the church basement,  Room B6, to quilt!

Through Friday, April 16 – Student Art Exhibit in the Regier Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College. The 2020 exhibit had to be canceled because of COVID shutdowns, so this one covers two school years and 55 different student artists, including two graduates. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Fri. Please note that face coverings must be worn and physical distancing observed on the Bethel campus.

Sunday, April 25, 2 p.m. – Award-winning syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts Jr., who packed out Memorial Hall at Bethel College in September 2017 with a lecture  titled “America in an Age of Trump,” makes a return engagement, live online, speaking on “Is America Possible?” This is part of the Peace Lecture Series from the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR). Register for the Zoom link at

Kauffman Museum’s spring fundraiser is FaspBox – faspa in a box.
 Faspa is a light evening meal traditional among Low German-heritage Mennonites. Each box serves one and costs $50. Reservations must by made by Monday, April 26 (for pickup or delivery on May 2) by going to the Kauffman Museum website and clicking on events or by contacting the museum with credit card information at or 316-283-1612.

The MC USA biennial convention will take place in July 6-10, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. While a limited number of persons will be allowed to participate in-person, any registrant can participate virtually from home–joining in worship, participating in seminars and exploring the exhibition hall. You can register here, after April 6:

The MC USA delegate session will be held virtually on Saturday, July 10, from 1-3:30pm EDT. BCMC is looking for 5 people to represent our congregation at this delegate session. Since the session will be held virtually, there will be no need to travel. If you are interested in being a delegate, please contact Pastor Dawn (

The annual corporation meeting of Community Playschool, Inc. will take place on Monday, April 12 at 7:15 pm in the Fellowship Hall of the Bethel College Mennonite Church. This meeting is open to all corporation members which includes all members of sponsoring churches. In order to maintain safety guidelines for Covid 19, we ask that you call 316-217-2548 if you plan to attend and leave a message with your name so that we know how many people to expect. Mask wearing will be required.
Thank you-Jeanette Leary, director

Newton Et Cetera Shop is grateful for your donated items, your volunteer time, and your shopping enthusiasm! We have three requests for you this spring:
1. Please let your friends and neighbors know we’re hiring a full-time Home Goods Manager! The job description and applications are available on our website ( and at our shop; applications are due April 19, 2021.
2. We are in need of high-quality furniture, toys and home goods at this time. Our current donation schedule is every Wednesday, 9:30-6:00, and we hope to add other days of the week in the coming months!
3. We welcome new volunteers! Amazingly, we welcomed the same number of new volunteers (40!) in 2020 in the midst of a pandemic, as we did in 2019! If you’re interested in learning more, please visit our website or facebook page, send us an email expressing interest to, or call us at 316-283-9461. Thank you for supporting your local MCC Thrift Shop!

Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale will be having their 2021 sale for Mennonite Central Committee on July 2 and 3 this summer.  They are asking the churches for help with expenses,  so if anyone would like to help contribute on behalf of BCMC, please let one of our church liaisons know.  By the first of May would be preferable, but of course contributions would be welcomed at any time!  Contact people are Dale and Margo Schrag 316-283-6031, and Dennis and Kathy Campbell 316-416-5156.

Mennonite Central Committee dignity kit informational webinar, April 20 at 7 p.m. Yes, MCC has a new kit that has been in development for years and now we’re ready to teach you how to help us bring dignity to young women around the world! The dignity kit includes hygiene items and a reusable menstruation pad system. Join Kate Mast for this webinar to learn about the kit and how to sew the base units for the reusable system. Email for the Zoom link.

Responding to disaster: MCC’s response to hurricanes Eta & Iota webinar April 21 & 22 at 7pm
MCC is pleased to bring you, via Zoom, the people and stories directly impacted by this disaster response that you generously supported. Register here for this two night webinar to hear directly from MCC partner organizations and church partners in Honduras and Nicaragua. They will share about MCC’s disaster response as well as how climate change impacts migration and poverty in Central America.

MCC is hiring a multimedia producer! Check out the job description and apply today!

Western District Conference announcements
1.  WDC Hope Fund update: One year ago in April 2020, the WDC Executive Board established the Hope Fund to support WDC congregations and ministers in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  Since then, contributions of over $45,000 have been received, and grants totaling over $31,000 have been distributed to assist with expenses such as rent and repairs, utilities, groceries, pastoral support, medical expenses and mental health care.  Thanks be to God for the mutual support and generosity that has been shared through these funds!  In anticipation of future needs beyond the pandemic, the Executive Board recently approved an expansion of the Hope Fund guidelines, to also include assistance in times of natural disaster or similar emergencies, and to allow WDC commissions (in addition to congregations) to also apply for grants to assist congregations and ministers. The Board also approved a Hope Fund Task Force to continue administering the fund.  For more information, see the attached revised guidelines and application forms.  Gifts to the Hope Fund may be made online at  (click on “Donate to WDC) or by sending a check to PO Box 306, N. Newton, KS 67117.  Thank you!
2.  All women and girls are invited to the Western District Women in Mission 2021 Spring Soiree Thursday, April 8 at 7:00 pm.  In lieu of attending our annual Spring Supper, gather with us for a virtual night of worship, music and a reflection on “Faith in Turbulent Times” offered by special guest speaker and freelance minister, Georgia Metz, M. Div. Special music will be provided by Erin Regier Graber and Addie Regier Kauffman. Email to register ASAP. A zoom link will be sent to registered participants prior to the event. 
3.  Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, Goessel, KS, is pleased to host the Service of Ordination for Lead Pastor Caleb Yoder on Sunday, April 11, at 4:00 pm.  COVID precautions will be followed, including social distancing, required masks, and no congregational singing. A quartet will sing from the stage. Guests are welcome to join by livestream; email for the Zoom link. 
4.  Church Replanting – Discerning God’s Call to Change – Zoom conversation – APRIL 21, 11:00 AMGod is continuing to call God’s church to change so that we can better embody our Jesus-given mission. Perhaps the Spirit is already moving in your heart: Have you been longing to implement changes resulting in deeper discipleship, while inviting and welcoming others into the way of Jesus?  But how can we do that if we have become stuck in what was and what has been?  How can we prayerfully approach healthy changes as a community for the sake of the Gospel?  Join members of the WDC Church Planting Commission for a Zoom conversation and discussion on these topics and more on April 21 at 11:00 am.  Tim Amor, pastor at Beatrice (NE) Mennonite Church, will share his congregation’s ‘replanting’ story and engage our own exploration into how God’s Spirit is moving within us and the congregations we serve, considering guiding questions such as:·  What are you willing to change so that you and your church can better embody and share the love of Jesus?
·  What are you not willing to change?
·  How can we better disciple and invite others to join with us in orienting all of life toward the radical love of Jesus?

Camp Mennoscah announcements
1.  Camp Mennoscah is seeking a full-time Director of Development, Marketing & Communications to lead our ongoing operational and advancement needs.  More information at  Applications accepted until the position is filled; early submission encouraged.  Please send application materials (resume, cover letter, references and salary requirements) to
2.  Men and Boys Retreat, April 16-18, at Camp Mennoscah! Come to Camp Mennoscah for time for fishing, canoeing, worshiping, sitting by the fire, or visiting with friends in fellowship.  No pre-registration. Registration and payment will take place upon arrival. For more information contact Kevin Neufeld at 316-322-5515.
3.  It’s time to finish the Campfire Amphitheater at Camp Mennoscah!  Work days are scheduled for the following days: April 9 to 10, April 24, May 15.  Bring a lunch and water bottle with you when you come, and plan to arrive at the North cabin area to check in around 9:00 am. Email or call 620-297-3290 to volunteer for this project.  Let us know by the Tuesday before!
4,  Looking for kitchen staff and nurses!  Camp Mennoscah is filling volunteer and stipend positions for kitchen staff and nurses for the upcoming 2021 summer.  Contact Camp Mennoscah at or call 620-297-3290 for available weeks and details.  Kitchen staff can receive a scholarship up to full camp fees for their camper. 

Mennonite church announcements
1.  Bethel College Women’s Association invites donations to help purchase two earth-friendly water refill stations for the Bethel campus. The stations will accommodate water bottles, and cost $890 each. Donate at by April 30, 2021. Thank you for your support! 
2.  Interested in short-term service opportunities? Ask us about SOOP! We’d love to speak with your congregation about the awesome service opportunities that we can provide through SOOP. Contact for more information. 
3.  Serve with Literacy Connects through MVS in Tucson! Help connect people of all ages to a world of opportunities through literacy and creative expression. Visit to learn more.
4.  After living in sanctuary at Columbus (Ohio) Mennonite Church for three years, Edith Espinal was finally able to move back into her own home with her family in February. Celebrate with the Espinal family by reading Edith Espinal’s story here:
5.  The Mennonite Church USA Constituency Leaders Council (CLC) recently met and provided feedback on four proposed resolutions, concerning the denomination’s Membership Guidelines, inclusion of LGBTQIA people, accessibility for people with disabilities, and justice in the U.S. criminal legal system. Read more here:
6.  Please pray for the Executive Board of Mennonite Church USA, which is gathering for a virtual meeting on April 16-17. The Executive Board meets two or three times per year, setting the vision and guiding the direction of the denomination.
7.  Read Mennonite Church USA’s convention newsletter to meet the worship team for MennoCon21 and get the latest updates on Mennonite Church USA’s first hybrid convention to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, and online on July 6-8 8.

Hesston College Event:Spring Play: Superior Donuts – Presented in the Black Box Theater in Keim Center at Hesston College – April 14-17, 7:00pm and April 18, 2:00pm – Tickets are $10 per adults/seniors and $5 for students and can be purchased at: