Announcements for December 11-18, 2022

December 11, 2022 – Third Sunday of Advent       

Based on CDC Guidelines Harvey County is in yellow status indicating medium risk for COVID. You are invited to choose whether you wear a mask or social distance.  Both are optional.

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’s worship service:

Third Sunday of Advent            December 11, 2022
Tell what you hear and see

Prelude—Day for Celebration (McKlveen); The King of Love my Shepherd is  (Moklebust);
Thou Shalt Know Him (Raney)—Chancel Bells, Verlene Garber, director
Advent Candle Lighting—Kevin Neufeld
Hymn—O Come, O Come, Immanuel—VT 210
Congregation sings verses 1 & 7 during processional and lighting
Candle lighting liturgy
Leader:  Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is soon.
People:  Tell what you hear and see:  even now, like water in the desert, we see God’s action all around.
Leader: As we gather strength, we light these candles as signs of hope,  love, and joy made visible among us.
People:  Bring your restoration to your people, we pray.                                                              
Welcome—Ada Schmidt-Tieszen
Call to Worship
Leader: Look, I am sending my messenger, go tell what you have seen!
People:  God’s awesome wonders fill the earth, the lost are found, the blind receive sight,
the deaf hear, the lame walk, the poor are preached to, and those who are dead in spirit receive new life.
Leader:  Is this what you were expecting to see?
People: Blessed are they who hope in the Lord!  For his yoke is easy, his burdens are light.
All:  With Mary we sing magnificat, celebrating love’s liberating power!
*Hymn—With Mary Sing Magnificat—VT 208
Children’s Conversation—Esther Koontz
Anthem—There Shall a Star from Jacob—(Mendelssohn)—Chancel Choir; Riley King, director                                                                                                                                          
Scripture Readings—Isaiah 35: 1-10, Psalm 146:  1-10, Matthew 11:2-10—Jonathan, Justin, & Heather Zerger
*Hymn—There’s a Wild Hope in the Wind—VT 828
Sermon—The Future of Advent—Patricia Shelly
*Hymn—There’s a Wild Hope in the Wind—VT 828   
Prayers of God’s People
*Hymn—View the Present—VT 407                                                                                                                                                          
*Benediction—Patricia Shelly                                                                                                                                                         
Postlude— Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (arr. P. Manz)—Will Wiebe-Friesen, organ

* You are invited to stand
VT = Voices Together
Keyboard- Will Wiebe-Friesen
Audio visual—Ben Lichti
Pastor—Nathan Koontz

 This Week at BCMC:  December 11—December 18, 2022
9:15 am   Prelude by  Chancel Bells
9:30 am   Sermon by Patty Shelly
10:15 am Coffee/Tea/Water/Fellowship in the Gathering Place
10:30 am     Faith Formation—Intergenerational class of pre-school through high school meets in Fellowship Hall — Adult Classes:  Agape Class (Nursery); Bible Study (Rm 14); Catacombs (Rm B5); Fellowship (B7); Fine Arts (Rm 22); Issues and Christianity (Rm 23);  Mosaic (Rm 20); Open Circle (Room 21); Seekers (Rm 28);  Sojourners (Chapel)   
YouTube link for today’s service:
Mon., Dec. 12
7 pm        Funeral Committee meets in Fellowship Hall
Tues, Dec. 13
9 am        Women’s Fellowship Executive Board meeting in Room 14
9-11 am  Community Playschool Christmas Celebration
Wed., Dec. 14
9-11 am   Community Playschool—Christmas Celebration
7:30 pm   Chancel Choir practice in the sanctuary
Thurs., Dec. 15
4 pm        Hospitality Commission meeting in Room 14
Sun., Dec. 18—Fourth Sunday of Advent
9:15 am   Prelude by Addison Zerger, Lincoln Kohlman, Lucy Burch, Lily Schloneger
9:30 am   Sermon by Nathan Koontz; music by the Chancel Choir
10:15 am Coffee/Tea/Water/Fellowship in the Gathering Place
10:30 am Faith Formation
Women’s Fellowship Executive Board meets Tue., Dec. 13,  9 a.m. in Room 14. 

BCMC Offering for December 4:
  General $17,725; Gen Fund 2023 $10,025; Living Stones $365; Flower Fund $170; Kitchen Fund $28.

Sympathy Notice
Please pray for Eldine Harder and family as they mourn the death of their husband and father, Paul Harder.
  Paul died early the morning of December 9, at Via Christi-St. Francis, from a brain hemorrhage resulting  from a fall.  Plans for  a memorial service are pending.

“Restoration is Near!” is the theme of the Advent at Home 2022 worship guide which can be found at the Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) website: Using the theme developed for Leader magazine, the guide offers weekly and daily Scriptures from the lectionary texts, worship rituals, prayers, activities, and background information to help individuals and households of all ages prepare for Advent through Epiphany.  If you prefer printed copies of the worship guide, these are located on the ledge between the mailboxes in the Gathering Place.
The worship services on Dec. 25, 2022 and Jan. 1, 2023 will begin at 10 a.m.  There will be no Sunday school on these two Sundays.  The congregation is encouraged to bring snacks/Christmas goodies on both Sundays to  share and enjoy after the services.   —Hospitality Commission

For your calendar:  There will be two services on Christmas Eve, December 24.  

· 4:30 pm   The Children’s Christmas Eve Service in the Sanctuary
· 11 pm       Lessons and Carols and Candle-Lighting Service in the Sanctuary
· There will be a Service of Remembrance at 4 pm on January 8 to remember the BCMC members and friends who died during 2022.
· The Church office will be closed between Christmas and New Year’s day this year.   The Church office and building will be closed on January 2, 2023.  

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

The Witness Commission has selected The Salvation Army  as our Advent project. We will be collecting non perishable food items for the pantry and monetary donations. A table will be set up in The Gathering Place for food donations. A recent article in the Newton Now showed the shelves empty in the food pantry.

The Library Theme for the month of December is Advent and or Christmas.
Adult books are displayed behind the Library desk and Everybody/Junior books are displayed on the cart in the Children’s Library. 
Speaking of the cart, all the puzzles are currently located on the west wall of the library. So, come on in and check them out.
And, we’ve received a large donation of books recently. Look for new books added to our collection in the next couple of weeks and displayed on the west wall.   Happy Holiday Reading!

Roots of Justice Anti-Racism training is being held January 13-15, 2023 at the Newton Rec Center.  If you would like to help support this event by bringing snacks, or helping with snack setup and cleanup, please sign up at this link:

If you want to help but don’t want to use the link, call Margaret Toews at 3162588900, or email at

Bethel College Announcements
· Sun., Dec. 11– 37th annual Lighting of the Green, 8 p.m. on Bethel College campus
·  Last week to view the annual Senior Art Exhibit in the Regier Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College, featuring the work of Capri Bisom. Exhibit closes Thurs., Dec. 15. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.
· Now at Kauffman Museum: “Reeds and Wool: Patterned Screens of Central Asia,” revived from 20 years ago in memory of the late John Sommer, who collected the screens, made by nomadic Kyrgyz women, and organized the original exhibit. Regular Kauffman Museum hours are Tues.-Fri., 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun., 1:30-4:30 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays, so it will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. There is a small admission charge for non-members. The Museum Store is open during exhibit hours and is Harvey County’s only source for Ten Thousand Villages fair-trade gifts, as well as a selection of books, puzzles, cards and many local gift and craft items. See or the Kauffman Museum Facebook page.

Raylene Hinz-Penner’s book East of Liberal released December 1.  
“Through elements of memoir, history, and philosophy of land use, a lover of her Mennonite farm childhood looks critically at farming’s impact on the land, comparing settler values of land ownership to those of first people who see themselves as owned by the sacred homeland.”  East of Liberal is published by Cascadia Publishing House.  It is available through Amazon and hopefully will be available at local retailers soon.  

The McPherson Community Brass Choir under the direction of Jerry Toews  and the Goessel High School Elbiata Singers under the direction of Braden Unruh will be in concert today, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, 1304 K-15 Hwy (1 mile north of Goessel on K-15). 

Ted&Co to Perform “Just Give ’em The News” in Hesston
In this original, delightfully askew, musical look at the first Christmas, Jeff Raught and Ted Swartz weave original
songs, inspired piano playing and comedic theater around a new look at familiar Christmas stories.
Finding the humor and humanity in biblical stories has long been a hallmark of Ted & Company. So what did Zechariah sound like before his temper rendered him mute? Did Gabriel ever tire of needing to tell people to “Fear not”? Did Mary ever…… Come and find out. 
December 11, 2022. 7:00pm
Whitestone Mennonite Church. 
Free will offering directed to Mennonite Central Committee in support of relief efforts in Ukraine. 

Mennonite Central Committee Christmas Giving! Give gifts of comfort and joy and help meet the basic needs of our global neighbors this Christmas. Choose from unique gifts such as goats, bees, backpacks and more. Give at, call 888.563.4676 or visit the MCC Central States office in North Newton, KS at 121 E. 30th Street. With each gift you can get a card and insert explaining the project. These gifts (from $10-$4,000) make wonderful hostess/teacher gifts, stocking stuffers and are ideal for those on your Christmas list that are hard to shop for!

Western District Conference invites you to visit our website to read the latest news, stories and announcements and share them with your congregation!

WDC Volunteer building manager transition
:WDC extends thanks to John Good, who is stepping down from his volunteer role as building manager at the 2500 Place in North Newton, KS, which houses WDC’s offices, conference rooms, Resource Library and other tenants. John’s skillful, cheerful and generous service to WDC over these past 10 years has been deeply appreciated, and we wish him well in the future! WDC seeks a new volunteer to offer several hours per week to manage maintenance and repairs at the 2500 Place. If you know of someone who is interested in supporting WDC in this way, please contact the office at 316-283-6300 or   

Join the Advent journey by using Joanna Harader’s Advent Devotional–Expecting Emmanuel: Eight Women who Prepared the Way. The WDC Resource Library will host a discussion over the first part of the book on Thursday, December 15 at 7:00pm via Zoom. Limited copies of the devotional are available at the library. Register for the conversation by emailing or at

Camp Mennoscah Announcements

Help us Plan for the Future!  A seven-question survey will help us know how camp is used and what you would like to see in the future.  Click here to tell us what you think! 

Other events and happenings: 

  • Application and further details for summer staffers here!We are seeking stunning summer staff to fill the following leadership positions for the 2023 summer:  crafts, lifeguard, music, nature, office, and grounds.  These positions are typically filled by college-age students, are summer-long and receive a stipend.  A summer of fun, service and faith formation!
  • Camps that run from Sunday to Saturday will now end on Friday. This is only a change for Junior and Junior High Camps. It will not affect First Camp, PreJunior, or Senior High Camps. Weekend groups will not be affected.  For several weeks, the Programming Committee requested thoughts and comments on ending a full-week camp on Friday instead of Saturday.  While responses were both for and against a switch to a Friday checkout, responses weighed more heavily to the positive.  There are benefits to both campers and staff when staff is better rested.  Groups and families will also have additional opportunities to spend time at camp with the change.  The checkout time on the last day of Junior/Junior High camps will move to 10:30-11:30am (previously 9-10am) to allow for a more relaxed checkout.

See The RMMC News & Stories From November

Take a look at the latest/greatest happenings here at RMMC. This information can be viewed on:

For Anabaptist Disabilities Network press here
For Mennonite Central Committee In Touch press here

For Mennonite Mission Network News and Beyond press here
For Mennonite World Conference press here

Mennonite Church USA Announcements 

Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) has released the completed report from its denominational survey, “The Mennonite Experience: MC USA Membership Study 2021-22.” The 85-page report revealed that members have deep commitments to their faith, a passion for peacebuilding, a heart for service and close congregational ties. Read more here:

Open enrollment for The Corinthian Plan is from Nov. 1-Dec. 31, 2022. All Mennonite Church USA-affiliated congregations can enroll their eligible staff for health care coverage. For more information, please visit

Learn, Pray, Join: Welcoming EveryBody 

Disability is defined and understood in many different ways, and the experience of disability can vary widely. The way that is lived out has a lot to do with social location and surrounding infrastructure. Read more about this topic from Kathy Dickson, a volunteer field associate for the Anabaptist Disabilities Network, here:

*CORRECTED The Kineo Center, a ministry partner of Mennonite Church USA (MC USA), is hosting a webinar called Facing Ministry Pain: 4 Ways We Cope on Jan. 4, 2023 at 2pm ET. This webinar explores the coping responses that pastors often utilize to deal with their pain and offers some practical ways to attend to pain in a way that brings health. Register here:

Learn, Pray, Join: Mass Incarceration
Human trafficking is a unique issue in today’s society because everyone seems to be able to agree that it is wrong and should be stopped. But the underlying issues of its connection to mass incarceration is much more complex. Read a thought-provoking blog by Yvonne Zimmerman, a Christian ethics educator and member of Columbus (Ohio) Mennonite Church, here:

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:   Laura Schlabach, who is serving with Mennonite Mission Network, asks for God’s wisdom for the decision-makers at JCS International, a consortium of mission agencies in Mongolia. She also requests prayer for those who have been affected by the extreme winter air pollution that has caused respiratory illnesses in Ulaanbaatar, the country’s capital, and other cities.

Western District Conference Prayer Request:   In this Advent season, give thanks for God’s gifts of justice, peace and restoration offered through ministries of WDC congregations.