Announcements for August 27-September 3, 2023


To livestream the worship service:
On Sunday morning, around 9:20, go to BCMC’s webpage at and click the green button labeled LIVE STREAM on the right side of the screen, which will take you to the worship service. If you get a message in the black box that the video is unavailable, click the gray box belows that says “View Live Stream on YouTube”.   Anytime after the service concludes, you can watch a recording of the service at your convenience by clicking the same green LIVE STREAM button.  Again, you will probably have to go to the gray box that says “View Live Stream on YouTube”.  That will transfer you to the BCMC YouTube Channel.  You will have to click on the tab “Videos” to see all of the BCMC videos. Click the red button to see the bulletin/order of service. 
OR – click on this link for this Sunday:

This Week at BCMC:  August 27—September 3, 2023
Sun., August 27, 2023
9:30 a.m.   Worship with sermon by Pastor Roger Neufeld Smith (read by Dale Schrag); August birthday recognition
10:45 a.m.  The Indigenous Justice Task Group in Fellowship Hall
Worship Service YouTube Link:
10:45 a.m.  You are welcome to join the Indigenous Justice Task Group in Fellowship Hall
AUGUST 27 Repair Network Discussions:
The BCMC Task Group for Indigenous Justice, in its continuing work on dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery as a call for the Christian Church, invites the congregation to the second of  two post-worship discussions in the Fellowship Hall August 27.  We will discuss the Repair Network, a coalition of 30 churches across the U.S. that supports church communities in education, solidarity and reparative action alongside Indigenous Peoples.  We will share the seven steps recommended by the Repair Network to join and how BCMC has been working on those the past couple of years.  We will also talk about what it would mean for BCMC to become a part of the Coalition.  Please join our discussion with your ideas, comments, and questions.
Mon., August 28, 2023
10 a.m.  Staff meeting in Room 14
Tue., August 29, 2023
6 p.m.     Pastor Search Committee meeting in Room 14
Wed., August 30, 2023
7 p.m.      Youth Group meeting
7:30 p.m. Chancel Choir Rehearsal in the Sanctuary Chancel area
Thurs., August 31, 2023
6:30 p.m.  Chancel Bell rehearsal in Room B7
Sun., September 3, 2023
9:30 a.m.  Worship with sermon by Kathy Neufeld Dunn and Elizabeth Schmidt; Celebration of Elizabeth Schmidt license for ministry
10:45 a.m.  Official start of Sunday school

For your calendars on September 17:  A mentor/mentee event in Fellowship Hall with pizza and games from 2 to 4 p.m. 

You’ll want to mark your calendars for the BCMC/Bethel College Ice Cream Social set for September 17, 6:30 p.m. on the BCMC front lawn.
  Come to enjoy ice cream with Bethel students and faculty.  The Bethel College Relations Team (Darlene Dick, Ron Flickinger, Tim Hodge, Matt Koontz) ask that you bring a dessert or toppings to go with the ice cream.

A Celebration of Life/Memorial service for Frances Siemens will be held at 11 a.m.,  Saturday, Sept. 9, at Bethel College Mennonite Church.  Frances Eleanor (Schultz) Siemens died July 25, 2023 at Kidron Bethel Village.   In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Bethel College.

Roger’s Whereabouts :  Roger plans to be back in the BCMC office on Thursday, Aug. 31.   Email or text or call (785-220-1968.) 
BCMC Offering for August 20, 2023
:  General Fund $10,437; Living Stones $160; Kitchen Fund $31. 

Senior High Youth Group 23-24.  As we begin a new year of youth group activities, our first task is to renovate our meeting space (room 24).  Plans include painting the walls, increasing/improving the seating, and adding technology.  We need your help.  We are searching for good quality two person love seats.  If you have a love seat to donate, please contact George at 316-587-6910 or, or catch me in person.  Thank you.
The August/September Library theme is called “What’s For Dinner?” In the doldrums of this extreme heat, come check out one of the library’s books on food: either to find a new dish to prepare or sit back and enjoy a new read in the cool comfort of your own home. We’d love to help you find your next read.


It is time to renew the BCMC group subscription to Anabaptist World, a monthly magazine featuring voices from across the Anabaptist-Mennonite world.   If you sign up with the congregation’s plan, you receive this publication at the discounted rate of $39.   If interested in joining the group plan, please contact Monica Lichti in the church office AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.   New subscribers can also receive a one-year subscription for the discounted rate of $39.  To subscribe: email the church office:
Bring in or mail your $39.00 payment to the office or place it in the offering plate on Sunday.  Be sure to mark your checks with “Anabaptist World” in the memo line.  If you are currently receiving Anabaptist World through the BCMC group subscription plan it will expire November 25, 2023.  Anabaptist World would like us to renew the subscription now so that you will receive the magazine without interruption.

The Education and Service Scholarship Committee would like to ask for donations to the Bethel College Scholarship Fund. This above-budget fund gives BCMC youth who are attending Bethel College a $1000 per year scholarship in addition to the $1000/year scholarship given to those attending Anabaptist colleges. This year we have four students who are attending Bethel. Please support our Bethel students by contributing. Checks can be made to BCMC with BC Scholarship Fund in the memo line.  Thank you. – Margaret Toews for the ESSC.

Chancel Choir:   BCMC’s Voluntary adult Chancel Choir will begin our 2023-24 season with the first practice on August 30
. The choir will meet in the sanctuary at 7:30 pm. If you like to sing and like to sing with others, come and help to “Make a Joyful” noise.  

Chancel Bell Choir:  The BCMC Bell Choir began practice on August 24. They meet at 6:30 p.m. in Room B7.  If your music abilities include reading music and know how to count, you are invited. 

We will be welcoming new members to Bethel College Mennonite Church this fall.  If you are interested in becoming a member, or transferring membership, or learning more about  membership at BCMC, please contact Elizabeth Schmidt, Congregational Care Coordinator.  She will be happy to visit with you!

Next Congregational Meeting:  September 10

The next congregational meeting will be held on Sunday, September 10, at 12:45 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.  The senior high youth will serve a noon meal with the meeting to follow after a quick cleanup from lunch.  The agenda will include a round-table discussion led by the Indigenous Justice Task Group, and reports from the Credence Report Task Group on intergenerational activities, Creation Care Solar Panel sub-committee, and the Education and Service Scholarship Committee.  If time allows, there may be a brief time for sharing “what is going well in our congregation?” 

Bethel College Announcements
· Sat., Sept. 2 – Kauffman Museum bird walk, 7 a.m. start time in the museum parking lot at the corner of Main and 27th streets (2801 N. Main St., North Newton 67117). Experienced birders lead a walk of 1-1.5 hours in Chisholm Park and on Sand Creek Trail.
· Sun., Sept. 10 – Eat, Protest, Lift, a film by Caleb Stephens, 7 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium,  Mon., Sept. 11, Dr. Stephens speaks in convocation, 11 a.m., Krehbiel Auditorium; sponsored by Bethel College Social Work, the KIPCOR Film Series and the Bethel College Women’s Association’s Carolyn Schultz Lectureship.
· Now in the Regier Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College – “Drinking from a New Well,” ceramics by Tom and Pam Voth, through Thurs., Sept. 21. Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 2-4 p.m.

Life Enrichment, Bethel College Krehbiel Auditorium, August 30:
9:30 a.m. “Opioid and Prescription Misuse/Prevention Measurers,” Courtney Johnson, pharmacist, Hesston Pharmacy
10:35 a.m. “Inspiring Mobility and Independence,” Curtis Stubbs, Newton
11:30 a.m. “Of Cemeteries and Undertakers,” Darryl Claassen, Whitewater

Camp Mennoscah Announcements
· Save the date!  Camp Mennoscah will host a kick off event to celebrate our 75th Anniversary on September 23!  There will be a day of fun activities down by the river, so mark your calendars now!  Watch Camp Mennoscah’s website – – for more details as the date approaches!
· Registration for the Fall Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats is open.  The retreats are scheduled for Nov. 3-5 and Nov. 10-12. All retreat activities will happen at the Main Camp facilities with cropping and crafts in the dining hall and lodging in the bunkhouses. You are welcome to bring a camper/RV and use a gas generator (no hookups available). The Retreat Center will be undergoing HVAC renovations. Single rooms are not available. Contact us at 620-297-3290 with questions or issues. We’ll see you in the fall!

Register now for the fall 2023 Bluestem U semester courses. Bluestem U is lifelong learning partnership program between Bluestem Communities, Bethel College and Hesston College for those age 55 and better. Courses are taught by former or current Bethel College or Hesston College instructors or local experts. The fall 2023 courses are:
· “Music through the ages” taught by Ken Rodgers, Tuesdays from 1 to 2:30 p.m., September 12 through October 17 at the Schowalter Villa Chapel.
· “Oops. We got here again! Communication and conflict” taught by Kevin Wilder, Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m., September 14 through October 12 at Schowalter Villa’s Mullet Place Theater.
Each course is $50. Register at

Western District Conference invites you to visit our website to read the latest news, stories and announcements.

Want to be a story catcher, story keeper, and story sharer? Find out more by attending the Western District Women in Mission Women’s & Girls Retreat Sept. 9-10 at Camp Mennoscah! Activities will be available for all ages (no specific girls programming). A brochure and registration form are available to download, print and send in at We hope you can join us! This year’s theme is Women Talking, Listening, and Creating, with our scripture theme being 2 Peter 1:12-21. Registration is due by September 5. For questions, email

Historian and pastor John Sharp will be at the Newton Public Library, at noon Sept. 8 in the Bessmer Room, for a special discussion of The White Mosque: A Memoir. This is part of the library’s regular Nonfiction Book Club series, but anyone is welcome to attend.  Sharp is a recently-retired historian who taught at Hesston College, and a former director of the Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee and Archives. In 2016, he led a tour group, which included the author Sofia Samatar, that followed in the footsteps of 19th-century Mennonites who traveled from Russia into Central Asia, where their charismatic leader predicted Christ would return. Samatar was fascinated not only by the hardships of the Mennonites’ journey, but by its aftermath: the establishment of a small Christian village in a Muslim region that is now part of Uzbekistan – named Ak Metchet, or “The White Mosque”, after the whitewashed church the Mennonites built there. The White Mosque is the memoir Samatar wrote following her tour experience. It is a historical tapestry of border-crossing travelers, students, wanderers, martyrs and invaders, as well as a record of the strange shifts, encounters and accidents that combine to create an identity. Sharp will share his deep knowledge of this “Mennonite Great Trek to Central Asia,” answer questions and help facilitate discussion of the book.  Copies of The White Mosque are available for borrowing at Newton Public Library. Ask at the public service desk or call 316-283-2890.

LABOR DAY WORK & PLAY RETREAT at Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp – If you, your family or a group of friends want to enjoy the holiday weekend at RMMC, there are 16 spaces available to register. The weekend is offered as a day of work and play (Sat. or Sun.) with a Monday morning sendoff after breakfast. This year (September 1-4), we’ll be serving (foodservice & HK) along with additional work projects in preparing our facilities/grounds for the coming winter.

 AIMM Gathering: Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission, a partner of Mennonite Mission Network, will host a gathering on Friday, September 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of First Mennonite Church, 429 East 1st Street in Newton, KS with Co-Executive Coordinators John Fumana from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Bruce Yoder from Ontario, Canada. John Fumana and his wife Lucie are visiting North America for him to share about collaborative ministries of adult literacy, African missionary initiatives, villages savings and loan associations, Bible translation, and agricultural development. His work stresses African resources and expertise in its assets-based approach to building resilient and thriving communities and churches that add their unique voices to the global Anabaptist movement and its witness in the world. John is active in global Anabaptist networks and has served as chair and vice-chair of Mennonite World Conference’s Global Anabaptist Service Network. All are invited to join in welcoming John and Lucie for their first tour of AIMM friends and supporters in North America!

For Mennonite Mission Network “News from around the world” press here
For Mennonite Mission Network “News and beyond” press here
For Mennonite World Conference “Info” press here

Mennonite Church USA Announcements
Menno Snapshots

On June 11, 2023, the congregation of Lombard (Illinois) Mennonite Church celebrated the 50th anniversary of the ordination of Emma Richards (1927-2014), the first Mennonite woman pastor to be ordained as a pastor of a Mennonite congregation in North America. Read more here:

One of the many identity markers for being a Mennonite is hospitality and its culture. Reverend Erica Lea-Simka, pastor of Albuquerque Mennonite Church and southwest representative for Mennonite Women USA, proposes that hospitality and its meaning in Anabaptist culture can be examined more closely. Read more of her thoughts here:

Intersectionality seeks “… to describe how race, class, gender, and other individual characteristics ‘intersect’ with one another and overlap.” Joanne Gallardo, Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference co-minister, reflects on her own experiences within the Mennonite church, relating to intersectionality and tokenism. Read her reflections here:

As part of MC USA’s series on The Peace Table, the new storybook Bible from Shine, a children’s Sunday school curriculum, jointly published by MennoMedia and Brethren Press, Joan Daggett, project director for Shine: Living in God’s Light, shares her part of the journey to create The Peace Table. Read more here:

God’s power and omnipresence is with us, even in the darkest of times. “To understand God’s omnipresence — not limited by space and time but existing everywhere in the past, present and future simultaneously — is to realize God is already living out tomorrow at this very moment,” reflects Wil LaVeist, Mennonite Mission Network’s senior executive of advancement. Read his story here:

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:   Mennonite Mission Network requests prayer for Bekah York in her work with the Colombia Mennonite Church and Justapaz, the church’s peacebuilding organization. May God grant Bekah wisdom, energy and contagious hope for her ministries.

Western District Conference Prayer Request:   Please pray for emerging congregations as the Spirit draws them together to be of one mind and heart to do the will of the Lord. -WDC Church Planting Commission