Announcements for December 12-19, 2021

December 12, 2021–3rd Sunday in AdventFrom the Reopening Church Task Group
Harvey County has recently experienced a significant rise in COVID-19 numbers.
At this point, in-person church activities will continue as usual, with these cautions:

  • During worship, windows will be open (wider than they have been), so dress warmly.
  • If you need to bring a blanket or a prayer shawl to keep warm, please feel free to do so.
  • Wear masks at all indoor church events
  • Maintain 3-6 feet of distance from others when possible
  • Greet each other in ways other than hugging or shaking hands
  • In the sanctuary, please sit where you find blue tape on the pews (sit with your back to the tape), and refrain from entering rows that have been taped off.
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • If you are not feeling well or have a known COVID-19 exposure, please please participate in worship via livestream in the comfort of your home.

Thanks for your help in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our community!

RESCHEDULED Creche Making Project!
Join us on this Saturday, December 11th 11am-12:30pm for aCreche Making Project (BCMC fellowship hall). Come and make your very own creche (nativity set) with a variety of art supplies that will be provided for all participants. Invite your crafty friends as we have PLENTY of shoe boxes. Faspa snacks will be provided and all ages are welcomed to attend. 

WORSHIP SERVICE FOR DECEMBER 12, 2021 – THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENTWorship begins with an Advent prelude at 9:15am.  Advent resources are available on a table in the Gathering Place.

The Witness Commission Advent project will be to supply food items and in kind donations to the Bethel College Food Pantry.  We will be collecting items at the table in the Gathering Space.  Press here for a list of needed items for the food pantry.

To livestream the worship service:
On Sunday morning, around 9:20, go to BCMC’s webpage at and click the green button labeled LIVE 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 button. Click the red button to see the bulletin/order of service.

Advent worship this Sunday, including the Advent prelude, will be led by BCMC children and youth. Thank you, Pastor Renee and Faith Formation Commission, for your work in planning this worshipful time together.
December 12, 2021
Advent 3: Dare to Imagine
Prelude—Jude Oswald, flute
                Miles Brubacher, piano
                Emerson Gering, piano
                Naomi Koontz, piano
                Emma Gering and Maisie Brubacher, violins
                Lucy Burch, flute
                Abby Koontz, piano
                Lily Schloneger, violin
                Menno Singers

Creche(sessional)—Preschool Sunday School

Welcome and Call to Worship— Lincoln Kohlman and Brett Gaeddert   

Advent Candle Lighting— Lincoln Kohlman and Brett Gaeddert                                                                                                                                                         
Leader: We light a candle of joy. And we imagine:
People: Jubilation! Rejoicing! Do not fear!
Leader: We light a candle and join in God’s song, singing loudly, singing fiercely, singing together.

*Hymn—Hope is a Candle (Verses 1, 2, and 4)—VT 211
(Menno Singers Verses 1 and 2; Congregation join on Verse 4)

Worship Music—Obey my Voice—
What Does the Lord Require of You—Menno Singers

Hearing God’s Word
Scripture Reading—Zephaniah 3:14-20—Maisie Brubacher

Children’s Conversation—Esther Eash

*Hymn—Oh, How Joyfully—VT 254

Scripture Reading—Isaiah 12:4-6—Brett Gaeddert
                                Luke 3:7-18—Collin Gaeddert and Addison Zerger

Skit—The Most Important Person at the Nativity—Sr High Sunday School 

*Hymn—Joy to the World—VT 240

Prayers of God’s People—Renee Reimer

Benediction—Collin Gaeddert

*Benediction Sung Response—You Shall Go Out with Joy—VT 847 

VT = Voices Together 

Worship leader—Middler Sunday School Class
Keyboardist—Mary Ann Boschmann
Audio visual—Francis Toews
Pastors—Renee Reimer, Nathan Koontz, Dawn Yoder Harms
Menno Singers Director—Virginia Mininger
Menno Singer Accompanists—Mary Ann Boschmann, piano; Esther Koontz, cello; Rebecca Schloneger, violin

Skit Participants In Order of Appearance: Elisabeth Friesen, Alice Claassen, Justin Zerger, Simon Koontz, Ani Koontz, Adah Hodge, Payne Claassen, Katherine Friesen, Simon Hodge, and Lucy Burch

This year two in-person Christmas Eve services (Friday, Dec 24) are being planned:

  • 5 pm:  Christmas Enactment Service in BCMC sanctuary and livestreamed. Costumes encouraged & provided for all attenders
  • 9 pm: Service of Lessons and Carols, in the BCMC sanctuary and livestreamed.  Please note change in time. 

This week at BCMC
Sunday, December 12

TODAY  – Lighting of the Green returns in-person this year; 8 p.m. on the Bethel College campus.
Monday, December 13
5 pm           Faith Formation Commission meeting at Renee Reimer’s home
5:45 pm     Suzuki rehearsal in Sanctuary
Wednesday, December 15
8—10 am   Bethel College Classes in the Sanctuary
2—3 pm     Bethel College Class in the Sanctuary
6:45 pm     Menno Singers rehearsal in Fellowship Hall
7 pm           Youth Group in Room 24
7:30 pm     Chancel Choir rehearsal in Sanctuary
Thursday, December 16
4 pm          Witness Commission meeting in Room 14
6:30 pm     Chancel Bells rehearsal in Room B7
Friday, December 17
7 pm            Suzuki Concert in Sanctuary
Sunday, December 19—Fourth Sunday of Advent
9:30 am     Worship Service in the Sanctuary       10:30 am   Faith Formation

Thank you to those of you who have completed the bcmcXpress intent form. 
If you haven’t done so there is still opportunity for you to 
complete the online bcmcXpress intent form (  as soon as possible.  Please know that the number and amounts of intents will impact the BCMC budget.
From Michael Claassen, Finance Manager and the Finance Committee

On Sunday, December 12- the Central Kansas Master Chorale, a newly formed, select community ensemble, will be leading a Lessons and Carols concert. All area communities are invited to attend this journey, walking us through the journey of the nativity and birth of our savior.  We would greatly appreciate it if you would include an announcement for this event this coming Sunday, during your normal worship services. 
Who: Central Kansas Master Chorale
What: Lessons and Carols: An advent journey
When: Sunday, December 12 @ 7:00pm
Where:  Hesston Mennonite Church, 309 S Main Street, Hesston KS 67062
Admission is free.
The audience will be strongly encouraged to wear masks.

Your prayers are invited for Helen Bargen, who made a move this week to Salem, Oregon, to live closer to her daughter, Jan.  Helen greatly enjoyed your shower of birthday cards on her recent 90th birthday.  Her new address is: 
Helen Bargen
c/o Jan Bargen
1440 Beaumont St NW
Salem, OR 97304

Covid Creativity

This era of Covid impacted everyone in different ways. The negative effects are obvious. But for some, it sparked introspection and a new kind of creative energy.

The Visual Arts Committee would like to showcase examples of your creativity in The Gathering Place. A small exhibit with artwork or photos and brief text about your motivation for creating during this challenging time.

What might you share? Whatever you were inspired to create! Did you paint something? Build something? Sew something? Write something? Learn new recipes or revisit old ones?

Pastor Nathan will be the primary contact and would love to connect with you. If you’re willing to share a photo or two (or the artwork itself!) and a brief statement about what prompted this expression, please get in touch with him!

The Visual Arts Committee will begin working on this project shortly after the holidays so the sooner you can share your ideas with Nathan the better!

Science and Faith Webinar Presented by Brenham Presbyterian Church  (Dr. Karl Galle)
Issues presented by science and faith continue to be important topics of discussion in our society today, especially among our young adults.
 Where do science and faith overlap? Where are they distinct? How do we integrate science and faith into our lives? What role might music and art play in this interchange? What historical figures helped to shape these discussions?
 These and other questions are being discussed in three one hour Zoom Webinars in December at Brenham Presbyterian Church.  The final webinar on December 15 at 6 pm will be Dr. Karl Galle who will discuss how Galileo and Copernicus changed the way European  civilization viewed the universe and our place in it, with emphasis upon their own relationship to the church and their own personal faith. Connect to this Zoom webinar through the link below.
Funding for this event is provided by the Eli Lilly Foundation as part Pastor Galle’s sabbatical grant, entitled “Faith, Fossils and Far Flung Stars.”

This year there is an Angel Tree at New Hope Shelter
If you would like to participate, simply come by the shelter between 8 am and 8 pm. Pick a tag off the tree; shop for those items and then return the items, along with the tag back to the shelter by Wednesday, December 22nd.
They have a few tags for the children but most tags are for adults and are reasonably priced items. 

If you cannot come by the shelter during those hours but would still like to participate, please call (283-7711) between 12 noon and 8 pm Monday through Friday or email   Shonda would be happy to pull a tag number for you and send you a list of those items. 

The deadline for all items purchased is Wednesday, December 22nd. 

Scrapbook Retreat, at Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp on Jan. 28-30 is your opportunity to create paper or digital photo books and share ideas and good conversation with other scrapbook participants. With safety protocols of mask wearing and individual tables for participants, please come for retreat and community in God’s creation here at Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp. Register online ( and save a space to join in.

Camp Mennoscah Announcements
Christmas Celebration at Camp!
  We’re celebrating early!  Everyone is welcome to come to Camp Mennoscah on Dec. 18 at 2:30pm for time together in faith and fellowship.  Join us in the Dining Hall (or outside) for afternoon fun.  Bring games to play indoors or out or use what camp has.  Camp will provide popcorn, generic pop, and hot drinks.  (Masks recommended and encouraged for inside activities.)  

Other events and happenings: 

  • Camp Mennoscah Merch! From CamelBaks to tee shirts and stickers, you can find your Camp Mennoscah merchandise at Share a bit of summer with friends and family this Christmas!
  • 2022 Summer staff applications are being accepted!  Applicants should be 18 years old or older and in agreement with the Camp Mennoscah mission statement.  See website for details.  Information and the online application can be found here!  Call or email with questions!  Interviews will be scheduled soon.
  • Thank you to everyone who supported Camp Mennoscah on Giving Tuesday, be that through prayers, gifts, or volunteering!  It’s not too late to be part of the efforts to encourage everyone to follow Jesus Christ through faith formation at Camp Mennoscah.  Checks can be sent to Camp Mennoscah, PO Box 65, Murdock, KS 67111.  To volunteer, call 620-297-3290.
  • We are grateful for you!  We continue to get calls from volunteers and receive gifts of items off the Wish List.  These items and projects help with the faith formation that happens at Camp Mennoscah.  The list has more wishes and there are more projects to do.  We can accommodate every group size, skill set and length of project you would like to tackle. Email or call 620-297-3290 to volunteer.  See the Wish List for other ways to support Camp Mennoscah!
  • Camp Mennoscah has openings for a part-time custodial/housekeeping position (10 hours) and a part-time office/administrative position (30 hours with benefits).  Some of the office/administrative tasks can be done from home.  Contact Olivia at for more information.
  • Camp Mennoscah is seeking a full-time Director of Development, Marketing & Communications to lead our ongoing operational and advancement needs. This position reports directly to the Board of Directors while taking directive from the Executive Director when related to operational considerations. As a member of a small, very hands-on staff, the role is expected to be highly collaborative. This professional must embrace the mission of Camp Mennoscah, have an established background in coordinating nonprofit donation strategies, possess strong written, interpersonal, leadership and relationship building skills, and work as an independent contributor with good organization and follow-through. Most of the work will commence off campus, however some in-person time at camp is required.
    This role involves organizing broad-based fundraising initiatives, advocating for Camp Mennoscah through speaking engagements, promotional materials, and social media, as well as recruiting volunteers, and building relationships with board members, donors and staff.
    Our ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of five years of fund development experience, or equivalent experience in church relations, and a passion for Camp Mennoscah. They should also be familiar with office related applications, and other technology used for communication and social media. Experience with CampBrain and the associated donor database is a plus.
    Applications will be accepted until the position is filled and early submission is encouraged. Please send application materials (resume, cover letter, references and salary requirements) to

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

Mennonite Mission Network “News and Beyond” click here

Mennonite Church USA Announcements
Want to engage with Mennonite Church USA’s Advent at Home guide, “Dare to Imagine,” creatively this year? Watch this webinar by writer Talashia Keim Yoder and learn to slow down and connect with God in new ways from Advent through Epiphany (Jan. 6):

Hear exciting first-hand accounts of peacemakers from across the denomination in Mennonite Church USA’s Storyteller Series videos that premiered at #MennoCon21. View the whole series here:

Menno Snapshots
Rev. Amy S. Zimbelman and members of Mountain States Mennonite Conference attended a peace demonstration in late October. Read about why she finds this work to be important in her and her family’s lives in her blog, “Demonstrating peace for my children and me.”

Learn, Pray, Join: Cost of Poverty
How can Mennonites make a difference in the world around us? How can we effect change for the common good? Andre Gingerich Stoner writes about how Mennonites in St. Joseph County, Indiana, have begun to make a difference in the realm of public mental health services, in his blog, “A spirit of power, and of love and of hard work.” Read it here:  

Menno Snapshots
Anger. Lament. Hope. Rick Yoder, professor emeritus at Eastern Mennonite University, grieves the events that have been unfolding in Afghanistan over the past few months in his blog, “Anger, lament and hope.” Read his poetic reflection on the roles we all have to play, here:

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:  Mennonite Mission Network requests prayer for the Orodara region, where many of Burkina Faso’s Mennonites live. Foreign-sponsored guerilla fighters are making it difficult for people to go to work and for children to attend school. Pray for the Mennonites’ peace witness, for the families of the more than 1,500 people who have died and for the more than 1.3 million displaced people in Burkina Faso.
Western District Conference Prayer Request:  Pray for generous financial support for WDC and its congregations, to help meet ministry and budget goals for this year.