Announcements for August 15-22, 2021

In light of the current high level of community COVID-19 transmission in Harvey County (per the CDC) and what we are learning about the Delta variant (it can be spread by those vaccinated), the Reopening Task Group has revised safety guidelines for life at BCMC.  You can find them here.

In summary:

  • Sunday morning worship will continue to be offered in-person and via live stream. 
  • Masks are required inside the church building during worship, Sunday School classes (for adults and children), commission/committee meetings, and other indoor gatherings.
  • Please be mindful of maintaining physical distance between you and others. Specifically, on Sunday mornings, find a seat in front of a piece of blue tape, and leave space between you and other family units in your row.  Seating is also available in the balcony.
  • If your Sunday School class, commission/committee/small group would like to meet over Zoom, please contact one of the pastors to help set up a meeting with a BCMC zoom account.
  • Whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, please do not attend church gatherings, indoors or outdoors, if you are feeling unwell.  

If you have questions, you can be in touch with anyone on the Reopening Task Group:  Dawn Yoder Harms, Nathan Koontz, Renee Reimer, Monica Lichti, Doris Whillock, Barbara Thiesen, Susie Swartley, Jeanette Stucky

BCMC welcomes new Bethel College students!  Although COVID-19 has disrupted our practice of inviting new students to worship at BCMC as part of their orientation,  BCMC will help welcome new students this Sunday, Aug 15 at Bethel College. Pastors Renee and Nathan will help lead a worship service for new students in Memorial Hall, and following worship, the Hospitality Commission, Bethel College Relations Committee, and Education Service and Scholarship Committee members will welcome new students on Centennial Plaza with home-baked cookies (thank you, Brenda Turner!).  In the meantime, there will be worship at BCMC as usual, at 9:30am (in person at BCMC or live streamed).

Mel and Mary Sue Voth express their deepest thanks and appreciation for everyone’s prayers and support during Mary Sue’s recent hospitalization and now as she recovers as home.

New Hope Shelter 
BCMC and Faith Church will be providing volunteers and meals at New Hope Shelter beginning Wednesday, Aug. 25 through Tuesday, Aug. 31.  Please consider this opportunity to serve.  There will be a volunteer training for new volunteers on Thursday, Aug. 19 from 7-8:30 PM.  If you would like to attend, please contact Valetta Seymour by Tuesday, Aug. 17. or 620-217-7536.

Community Playschool Inc. is seeking volunteer teachers and classroom helpers. If you feel that you might have an interest and are willing to commit to a few hours, or two mornings a week, these are current needs:
2 classroom helpers on Tuesday/Thursday
1 Center helper (snack and greeting kids) on Wednesday and Friday
Several substitutes
If you feel that you might have an interest and are willing to commit to a few hours, two mornings a week, or would like more information, please contact Kasey Newell, Director at Community Playschool, 316-283-3667.

Now at Kauffman Museum: “Vapes: Marketing an Addiction.” This new exhibit examines what is known about e-cigarettes, and includes selections from the exhibit “Better Choose Me: Collecting and Creating with Tobacco Fabric Novelties, 1880-1920.” Previously on display at NMC Health in Newton, “Vapes” will be at Kauffman Museum through Jan. 9, 2022. Hours: Tues.-Fri., 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun., 1:30-4:30 p.m., closed Mondays and major holidays. There is a small admission charge for non-museum members.

New Hearing Assist System
BCMC has installed a new hearing assist system for those with blue-tooth enabled hearing aids.  An information and instruction sheet is at the rear of the sanctuary. 

Upcoming memorial service:  Rosalind Andreas:  Saturday, Aug 21, 1:30 pm, BCMC Sanctuary
You are welcome to attend this service in-person. It will also be recorded and live streamed.  You can access the live stream by going to the Bethel College Mennonite Church website and clicking on the green live stream button at the right hand side of the page.  Click here to get to the website:  BCMC Website

Library News from BCMC
The Library Theme for the next couple of months is Creation Care/Nature. We have many wonderful books to browse through/read. Please come check out our display behind the  desk and on the cart in front of the desk. The children’s section’s books are displayed on the book trays on the south side of the room, while the Junior Section have their books displayed around their shelving area. We didn’t pull all of the books on this subject (there are many!), so feel free to look this subject up on our library website. You may just find one that you would like to read.

The Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale Annual Meeting will be Thursday, August 26, 6:00 pm at First Mennonite Church, McPherson.  The cost of the meal is $20.00.  Please RSVP to Barb BJ Reeves at or 620-543-6863 by August 22.  We will be checking with health information sources regarding group meetings closer to the date for everyone’s protection.  The funds will go to the McPherson Housing Coalition for the construction of Oak Harbor Cottages for low income/homeless families.

KIPCOR Film Series 2021-2022: 
“The Prison Within”
The KIPCOR Film Series is returning live and in-person on Sunday, September 12 at 2:00 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Luyken Fine Arts Center on the campus of Bethel College to screen the film, “The Prison Within.”  We will watch the film and discuss it afterwards.  Films are free and open to the public.  PLEASE NOTE that we will be following Bethel College’s COVID-19 guidelines, which currently require everyone to wear masks indoors for groups of 10 or more, regardless of vaccination status.
The “Prison Within” takes you on a journey into redemption and forgiveness inside the walls of San Quentin prison.  Witness the powerful journeys of individuals incarcerated for murder as they participate in a restorative justice program to expose and heal the roots of their traumas.
The post-film discussion on September 12 will be led by filmmakers, producers and/or featured actors. Find more information by going to the KIPCOR website.

New curriculum now available from Mennonite Central Committee! Conflict is a normal part of life. It arises in our workplaces, in our churches and with our families. To help people to learn to work through divisive issues, Mennonite Central Committee has produced a new adult Sunday school curriculum, Peaceful Practices: A guide to healthy communication in conflict. It invites churchgoers to follow Jesus’ call to peacemaking through dialogue with each other in nine sessions. The curriculum is available to download for free, or in print for a suggested $5 donation. Please direct questions to 316.283.2720 or curriculum author Jes Stoltzfus Buller at

MCC Treats & Beats, August 26 from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. at MCC in North Newton! Join us for this relaxed come-and-go event featuring ice cream treats from Salted Creamery and beats from the talented Kevin Gaeddert! Drop in, grab some ice cream and enjoy a little music as our thank you for your support of the work of MCC!

Mennonite Central Committee Washington E Memo click here

Offender Victim Ministries’ fundraiser “Just Desserts” will be Sunday, August 29 from 6 to 8 pm at the Carriage Factory Art Gallery Park, 126 E. 6th, St., Newton.  See information at
Click on this link

Mennonite Disaster Service Volunteer Update – click here

Mennonite Creation Care Network News – click here

Mennonite Mission Network News and Beyond – click here

Mennonite Mission Network Faith in Action – click here

MEDA’s Congregational Connections – click here

Mennonite Men – click here

Mennonite  Church USA Links
Mennonite Church USA awarded its first ever #BringThePeace award to Dona Park and Michelle Armster. This award honors peacebuilders and is sponsored by the Church Peace Tax Fund. Read more about the recipients and watch a short video about the award here:

Menno Snapshots
Regina Shands Stoltzfus was one of the women responsible for putting Mennonite Church USA’s “Laboring Toward Wholeness” anti-patriarchy curriculum together. In her blog, she describes what it was like to be part of this team and why she thinks the curriculum is important. Read more here:

Menno Snapshots
In his blog, “The Bible and Christian nationalism,” Drew Strait discusses how to identify Christian nationalism and some of its root causes. He also provides four ways to begin moving past it. Read more here:

Iris de León-Hartshorn, associate executive director of Mennonite Church USA, shares her reflection on this biennium’s theme — Be Transformed — in her blog “Transforming as becoming.” Read how she views transformation as a continual movement here:

The Rocky Mountain August newsletter is here!
Goodness! It has been a summer camping season like none other than camp has experienced with youth campers on site AND an ongoing coronavirus pandemic at the same time. For a bit more of what we’ve been up to, please enjoy the July and August newsletters.

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:   Laura Schlabach, of Mennonite Mission Network, has had a steep learning curve during the past year in the JCS International office, as she learned new administrative skills for responding to the crises caused by COVID-19 in Mongolia. She requests prayer to improve her communication skills, especially in the Mongolian language.  
Western District Conference Prayer Request:   As a new school year begins, pray for health and strength for all students, teachers and mentors in WDC congregations.