Announcements for December 10–17, 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 below 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:

December 10, 2023
Second Sunday of Advent: Peace

Prelude—O Come, All Ye Faithful (VT 214); Ding Dong! Merrily on High (Dobrinski);
Coventry Carol (Eithun),  Lucy Burch, Flute; Amen, Amen (Lamb)–Chancel Bell Choir, Verlene Garber, director; Members of the Chancel Bells:  Lucy Burch, Suzanne Burch, Ben Lichti, Marlene Ewert, Jane Schmidt, Janet Lubbers, Brenda Turner, Carol Gebrand, Nathan Garber, Ron Garber, Gyles Garber, Caleb Garber
*Advent Candle Hymn— Hope Is a Candle, verses 1-2—VT 211
Advent Candle Lighting—Lucy and Faith Burch
*Advent Litany—Peace— VT 916
Welcome and Prayer—Adam Robb
*Hymn—Comfort, Comfort, O My People—VT 212
Children’s Conversation—Esther Koontz
Scripture Reading—Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13—Suzanne, Lucy, and Faith Burch
Sermon—A God of Peace—Nathan Koontz
*Hymn—Unexpected and Mysterious—VT 229
Prayers of God’s People
*Hymn—Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming—VT 216
Postlude—Variations on In Dulci Jubilo (Theodore Beck)—Karen Schlabaugh
* You are invited to stand
VT—Voices Together
Keyboard—Karen Schlabaugh
Audio visual—John Thiesen

There are poinsettias all around the church for this Christmas season.  To see who donated these poinsettias and who they are in honor or memory of press here.  

 This Week at BCMC:  December 10—17, 2023
Sun., Dec. 10, 2023—Second Sunday of Advent
9:30 a.m.  Worship   Brief congregational meeting after worship
10:45 a.m. Faith Formation
Worship YouTube Link for this Sunday:
The church nursery is staffed during worship and Sunday School
10:45 a.m.  Faith Formation—Intergenerational class (fellowship hall);   High School (Room 24)    Adult Classes:  Agape (nursery); Bible Study (Rm 14); Catacombs (Rm B5);  Fellowship (B7); Fine Arts (Rm 22); Issues and Christianity (Rm 23); Open Circle (Room 21)  Seekers (Rm 28)
Mon., Dec. 11, 2023
5:30 p.m.   Faith Formation Commission meeting at Mary Ellen Hodge’s home
Tues., Dec. 12, 2023
9 a.m.        Womens’ Fellowship Executive Board meeting in Fellowship Hall
11 a.m.      Staff Meeting
12 noon     Mid Kansas Investment Club meeting in Fellowship Hall 
7:15 p.m.   Pastoral Search Committee meeting in Room 14
Wed., Dec. 13, 2023
7 p.m.        Rehearsal for Christmas worship service in Fellowship Hall
7:30 p.m.  Chancel Choir rehearsal in the sanctuary
Thurs., Dec. 14, 2023
9 a.m.        Community Playschool Christmas celebration in Fellowship Hall
Sun., Dec. 17, 2023—Third Sunday of Advent
9:30 a.m.   Worship with sermon by Roger Neufeld Smith;  music by
Chancel Choir; 10:45 a.m. Faith Formation

Preparing for Worship
As we gather for worship each Sunday in the sanctuary, the Worship Commission invites and encourages us to become quiet as the prelude centers us for worship. Conversation is welcome and encouraged in the Gathering Place outside of the sanctuary during the prelude.  We invite all who are present in the sanctuary to find their seats and quietly
participate in preparing for worship.

The church board is calling a brief special congregational meeting following worship in the sanctuary, Sunday, December 10, 2023 to act on the following board recommendation:
Does BCMC approve the initiation of a pledge drive for the purpose of soliciting funds and support for the solar project? The details of a pledge drive will be worked out if an initial vote indicates significant support.
The purpose of this vote is to determine the level of support from the congregation for a roof-top solar installation on our church.  A review of the solar project as presented at the September congregational meeting and in two subsequent Sunday School hour meetings was distributed to mailboxes the week of November 27.

Roger’s Whereabouts :  Roger is currently in Topeka. He will return to Newton this coming Wednesday, December 13 and will preach at BCMC on Sunday, December 17. Whether he’s in Newton or Topeka, Roger checks his email and phone regularly, so feel free to contact him via email, text or phone call (785-220-1968).
The library’s theme for the month of December is Advent/Christmas. We have quite a number of fiction/nonfiction choices for all ages. You might want to consider checking out books for visiting family members. We have so many good choices. Also, due to the  Advent/Christmas Everybody books in the children’s section of the library, all the puzzles are now located in the library on the west wall. There are some wonderful choices for holiday family time. A suggested donation of $5 for a puzzle helps support the supplies needed to run the library. 
Also on the west wall are a number of new books that were recently purchased through our budget and sale at Faith and LIfe Bookstore. Come check out the new selections in all genres. A brief write up of the new books is available by the library computer.   Happy Holiday reading!
— Library Committee

BCMC Offering for December 3, 2023:  General Fund $8,964.33; Plant Fund $200; Gen Fund 2024 $25; Caring Fund $1,267; Library Reserve Fund $17; Kitchen Fund $21; Solar Fund $5,000; Gladys Niles Memorial $100.
Save the date, January 28, 2024
 for Congregational Meeting and Soup Luncheon prior to the congregational meeting and the next fun-filled congregation and youth activity!
The bulletin covers for Advent are used by permission from Salt Project,
BCMC Women’s Fellowship Executive Board meets Tuesday, December 12 at 9 a.m. in Room 14.
Save the Date – Sponsored by BCMC Women’s Fellowship

“Prairie Bronze Ensemble Bell Choir” will perform Christmas music at BCMC Tuesday, December 19 at 7 p.m. More details will follow next week.

BCMC Women’s Fellowship Birthday Calendars are available from WF
Executive Board members:
Lois Brubacher  620-837-3281;  Lois Preheim     316-804-4713
Brenda Turner  316-283-8131;   Janet Voth        316-283-1922
The suggested donation price is $10. This calendar project is designed to help build community and the donation is used to support WF Ministries.

Mark Stucky, daughter Marike Stucky and son Matt Stucky would like to thank the BCMC community for your support after Gladys and Gail’s passing.  Cards, emails, texts and hugs were appreciated a great deal.  Your kind words sustained us through this difficult journey.

Registration for the upcoming Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus season is at hand.  Please consider joining.  Some of you are already on the list and we certainly encourage new members.  For further details please contact Joe Peters.  BCMC Contact  call or text (316) 288-7031 or email

Congregants are welcome to bring Christmas snacks to share for our coffee time in the gathering place after the  worship service on December 24.   There will be no Sunday School on December 24.
The church office will be closed during the week between Christmas and December 30. 

New BCMC directories are available.  There is a box in the Gathering Place between the mailboxes and two boxes in the south entrance on the glass table.

The Deacons Commission is working on a “Thinking of You” campaign for people who are isolated due to health concerns. For the next few Sundays, we will have a table at the back of the sanctuary with pages for your comments to members of our church whom we haven’t been able to see for a while. Please stop by and write a short greeting or sign your name to let them know we are thinking about them. For those of you who are unable to attend worship but can stop by the church during the week, these letters will be in the library during the week for anyone to write a note before we send them out. Thank you! 
— Deacon Commission

Creation Care: While you are active in your Christmas shopping please remember to save plastic bags for recycling. We have collected 345 pounds with a goal of 1,000 pounds.  — Vern and Jane Goering

You are invited to the Annual Christmas Brass Choir Concert at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, Sundayt,  Dec. 10 at 7 p.m., 1304 K-15 Hwy, Goessel for some Good Old Fashioned Christmas Festive Music and Cheer!

Mennonite Central Committee Material Resources Center in North Newton is critically low on inventory: An MCC kit cannot be distributed until each item for the kit is assembled, but some supplies in the Material Resources Center are so low that kits cannot be processed for shipping. You can help by filling the following needs: new infant onesies and sleepers (6-12 month sizes); new bath towels (dark colored, light to medium weight); new hand towels (dark colored). Locally, MCC distributes prisoner care and returning citizen care kits, for those kits we currently need: men’s shirts (sizes XL, 2XL, 3XL — any color) and men’s underwear (sizes 2XL, 3XL — any color). Buy online and ship it to MCC or bring items to MCC in North Newton (121 E. 30th St, North Newton). Questions: contact or 316.283.2720. A full list of MCC kit contents can be found at

Bethel College Announcements
(Sun., Dec. 10) – 38th annual Lighting of the Green, 8 p.m. on the Bethel College campus
Last week to view the annual Senior Art Exhibit I in the Regier Gallery and the Drama Lab, both in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College, featuring the work of Rachel Geyer (lab) and Edel Miller (gallery). Exhibit closes Thurs., Dec. 14. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. To see “Solace in the Story,” e-mail for an appointment.
Kauffman Museum at Bethel College invites you to visit during the holidays. Open hours are Tues.-Fri. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and weekends 1:30-4:30 p.m. (closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve). The current special exhibit is “Climate and Energy Central,” along with the permanent exhibits “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture.” The museum store is also open during those hours, with books, games, art and other gift items for sale (see

Mennonite Action’s 2nd Mass Meeting – Tuesday, December 12th at 7pm

At Mennonite Action’s last virtual meeting, more than 850 Mennonites from Canada, the US, and across the world joined together to grieve the ongoing violence in Palestine, to call for a ceasefire and an end to the occupation of Palestine, and to prepare to take nonviolent action together. 

On December 12th, Mennonite Action will share updates about the work that has taken place since the last meeting. Participants will practice singing together in preparation for public actions on December 19th and hear from speakers who will remind us that our faith as Mennonites and Christians compels us to act.

MennoPIN and WDC Israel-Palestine Taskgroup both encourage your participation.  Mennonite Action will continue to host events into the future, and BCMC will not be giving notice for all of them.  If you want to sign up for the call on December 12 and stay connected with Mennonite Action, please sign up  here:

Hesston College Announcements

Melva Kauffman Lecture Series: Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery

This year the Melva Kauffman Lecture Series is pleased to host Mark Charles who will present on the topic of Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery. Charles is the son of an American woman (of Dutch heritage) and a Navajo man. He teaches with insight into the complexities of American history regarding race, culture and faith in order to help forge a path of healing and conciliation for the nation. The public is invited to hear his presentation at Hesston Mennonite Church Sunday, January 21, 2024, at 7 p.m.

Take a Bible Class at Hesston College

Interested in auditing a Bible course beginning in January? This spring semester Hesston College has opportunities to audit Biblical Literature, Jesus and the Gospels, and Peacemaking and Justice courses. Acceptance is based upon availability of open seating. If you are interested in enrolling in or auditing a Bible course, please contact before Jan. 9 to register. Spring courses are in session Jan. 10 to May 9. Be sure and ask about discounted rates for senior citizens.

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

Camp Mennoscah Announcements
Interviews for the 2024 Summer Staff start over the Christmas/semester break!  This allows more in-person interviews, which often are a benefit to the applicant.  Complete your application for Summer Staff now, especially those who are usually out-of-town, to give Camp Mennoscah staff the best chance to talk with you while you’re in the Newton-ish area.  Summer staff must be 18 years old or older.  The staff leadership positions receiving stipends are naturalist, crafts leader, lifeguard, grounds/maintenance, music leader, and office/media.  Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled. The 2024 summer camp season begins with orientation for summer-long positions on June 2 and ends August 4.  The application for 2024 Summer Staff at Camp Mennoscah can be found here.

Other events and happenings:

  • Find your work gloves and boots!  The Camp Mennoscah board will be contacting volunteers to work on the Retreat Center HVAC project, likely to start early in 2024.  Having volunteers help on a daily basis will save a substantial amount in the overall cost.  The project includes not only the HVAC system, but also code deficiencies in electrical and plumbing, for example.  It’s going to be exciting!
  • A huge thank you to the Camp Mennoscah board, staff and family members for helping remove decorations on the walls of the Retreat Center.  The walls look bare, but the atmosphere is one of anticipation for the renovation of parts of the building.  There will be more work days ahead for everyone to join in.  Keep your eyes open!

For Mennonite Central Committee “In Touch” press here
For Mennonite Mission Network “News and Beyond” press here

Tis the season for joy, hope, and peace. As we all find the hope found in the warmth of a friendly smile or gestures of kindness and love from family, friends, and strangers, we at the Newton Et Cetera Shop are asking you and your congregation to Engage the Season by continuing the hope found in this joyous time throughout the year. 

By Engaging the Season, we are encouraging your congregation to become active in volunteerism at the Newton Et Cetera Shop throughout the upcoming year. In doing this, you will share in the joy of a gentle laugh over a cup of coffee, the hope found in a new friendship, and peace in the embrace of a loving community of volunteers and staff. 

Volunteerism at the Newton Et Cetera Shop can take on many forms, whether it is clerking and engaging with the customers, to processing incoming donations and experiencing the positive community of volunteers, the choice is yours on how, when, and where you serve.

Even though we are a supporting organization of the Mennonite Central Committee, you do not need to be a part of the Mennonite church to serve, all denominations and faiths are accepted. Not only do we support the global efforts of MCC, we also support numerous non-profits throughout the area with donated goods and local grants to support the projects vital to our community. All that is required for service, is a heart that cares for our world, our community, and others.

Take a moment to explore how you can Engage the Season and carry the hope throughout the year by putting your time and talent to work for the good of others at the Newton Et Cetera Shop! Make a difference in our world, our community, and your and others lives!

Sign up to Engage the Season today!
Volunteer applications can be picked up at the shop (619 N. Main, Newton) or by following the link below.
Newton Et Cetera Shop Volunteer Application

Mennonite Church USA Announcements

The Mennonite Church USA Executive Board strengthened key relationships and discussed creative strategies for convention and revitalization at the first Executive Board meeting of the biennium Oct. 18-20, 2023, in Cleveland, Ohio. Read more here:

Menno Snapshots

Karla Stoltzfus Detweiler, climate justice coordinator for Mennonite Church USA, reflects on how to respond to climate doom with resistance and resilience, after attending Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary’s Rooted and Grounded conference. Read her reflection here:

Beryl Jantzi, Everence director of stewardship education, explores what “mammon” might mean in the New Testament and why Jesus states that a person cannot serve both God and mammon. Read more here:

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:  Mennonite Mission Network requests prayer for Alfonsina and José Oyanguren, who have walked alongside Toba-Qom churches and communities in the Argentine Chaco since 2004. Pray for them as they provide continuity in long-term relationships and encourage the preservation of Indigenous languages and cultures.

Western District Conference Prayer Request:  Pray for WDC’s Ministerial Leadership Commission as they meet this week, and as they provide support and resources for credentialed ministers in our conference.