Announcements for December 4-11, 2022

December 4, 2022 — Second Sunday of Advent

 Based on CDC Guidelines Harvey County is in green status indicating low 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:

Second Sunday of Advent December 4, 2022
Prepare the way of the Lord

Prelude— O Come, O Come Emmanuel (arr. Tom Fettke); Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (arr. Robert Harkness)        ; Scripture Reading; Joy To The World (arr. Gordon Young); Infant Holy, Infant Lowly (Polish Carol; arr. W. Lezy)— Schowalter Singers, Hesston, KS; Leland Flickenger, director                              
Advent Candle Lighting—Megan, Brad, Lincoln, & Lawrence Kohlman
Hymn—O Come, O Come, Immanuel—VT 210—Congregation sings verses 1 & 2 during processional and lighting
Candle lighting liturgy
Leader: John the Baptist proclaimed, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
People: Prepare the way of the Lord, make God’s paths straight.
Leader: As we prepare, these candles are a sign of hope and peace.
People: Bring your restoration to your people, we pray. Amen.
Welcome—Margaret Toews
Land Acknowledgement
Land Acknowledgement compiled by Florence Schloneger from words by Mark Charles and VT #878 
As we do on the first Sunday of each month,  
  we acknowledge that we worship  
  on the land of the Kanza, Osage, and Wichita.   
We thank them for their care and respect for this land      
  and acknowledge the injustice of their forced removal. 
We ask the Spirit to heal our histories 
  and find new paths of right relationships with them 
  and all of creation.   
Call to Worship^
Leader: In this season of prophecy, promise, and preparation, we come to be renewed and refreshed.
People: We come to be inspired by stories of a messiah who will change the world–and change us.
Leader: We come to listen for words of hope and joy, promise and challenge.
People: We come with open ears, open minds, and open hearts. We come to receive the blessings God has in store for us in this season of waiting.
Leader: Come! Let us worship our God–the One who brings all things to fulfillment.
*Hymn—Poor of the Earth—VT 213
Children’s Conversation—Adam Robb
Anthem—The Lord Is My Light (Music: Lillian Bouknight)—(Setting arr. Martha Hershberger)
Scripture Readings—Isaiah 11:1-11; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12— Abby Koontz, Ani Koontz
Sermon—From These Stones—Nathan Koontz
*Hymn—The Angel Gabriel Called Mary Blessed—VT 221
Prayers of God’s People—Congregational Response:  Lord, hear our prayer.
*Hymn—Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus—VT 218
*Benediction—Nathan Koontz
Postlude— Praise God From Whom (Music: Lowell Mason)
* You are invited to stand
^from Ministry Matters (
VT = Voices Together
Keyboard- Verlene Garber
Audio visual— Ken Lamp
Pastor—Nathan Koontz

“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.

It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas: Thanks!
Many people have contributed to the Advent and Christmas visuals at BCMC this year as we prepare for the birth of Jesus!  A special thanks goes to Susie and Bill Swartley for the sanctuary and entryway decorations; to Carol Peters for the outside Advent banners; to Kathy Stucky for the sanctuary poinsettias; to Matt Koontz and Josh Brubacher for hanging the Sanctuary banners each week; to Brenda Turner for the Gathering Space window decorations; and Glen Ediger for the Gathering Space nativity scene.  Thank you so much for your contributions to enrich our holiday season! 

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 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

BCMC Offering for November 27:  General $6,982; Gen. Fund 2023 $145; Living Stones $130; Flower Fund $70; Kitchen Fund $10.
Stewardship Campaign Update:  As things stand, we are in big trouble.  As of yesterday, we had about $346,000 in pledges of support.  That comes out to about 65% of the proposed 2023 budget of $524,000.  Historically we generally get about 12% more in contributions than we pledge.  Assuming that, we can reasonably assume another 40 to 42 thousand dollars of income. That brings us, in the neighborhood of $390,000.  That’s a shortfall of $135,000.  In order to close that gap we need your help now!  If you haven’t pledged, please do.  If you feel like you could do more, please do.
Also as a reminder, we are into the final month of the 2022 budget.  While the final tabulations are not completed, Mike tells me that we had a positive balance again last month and we have whittled down our deficit to about $16,000.  Congratulations on this string of positive months.  We need one more big one to get us over the hump to finish our year in the black.
The finance committee is grateful for all that you do and have done to help our church meet its financial obligations and goals.  Please do what you can to make the proposed budget work and the current year a financial success. Thank you very much!      The Finance Committee

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!

You are invited to share a poinsettia for the sanctuary for the Christmas season.

The Worship Decorating Committee will purchase the poinsettias, and have them delivered to the church.  To contribute, email the following to the office:
Donor’s: name:                                                                                                                 
In memory of:                    
Or in honor of.:
Make a payment of $10.00 (made out to BCMC and designated “Flower Fund”) place in the offering plate or bring to church office by Dec. 4.  There will be forms at a table in the back of the sanctuary this Sunday, Dec. 4, if you wish to fill out a form in person.  Contributors may pick up a poinsettia Dec. 24 after the 5 pm Christmas program or after the Christmas Eve, 9 pm program; or, if you can, leave them for the service on Dec. 25.


This Week at BCMC:  December 4—December 11, 2022
Sun., Dec. 4—Second Sunday of Advent
9:15 am      Prelude by Hesston Seniors Choir; Leland Flickinger, director
9:30 am      Worship with sermon by Nathan Koontz
10:15 am    Coffee/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. 5
7 pm       Facilities Committee meeting in Fellowship Hall
Tues, Dec. 6
9-11 am  Community Playschool
Wed., Dec. 7
9-11 am   Community Playschool
11 am       Bethel College Messiah Sing Through in the Sanctuary
6:30 pm   Chancel Bell practice in Room B7
7:30 pm   Chancel Choir practice in the sanctuary
Thurs., Dec. 8
9-11 am  Community Playschool
6:30 pm  Chancel Bell practice in Room B7
6:30 pm  Abuse Prevention & Response Committee meeting in Fellowship Hall
7:00 pm  Finance Committee meeting in Room 14
Friday, Dec. 9
9-11 am  Community Playschool
Sun., Dec. 11—Third Sunday of Advent
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

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.  

Registration is beginning for the 2023 season of Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus (KMMC).  Those who sang last year will find a registration form in your church mail box.  We are working to recover after the pandemic.  Numbers were significantly down last year.  Please consider joining this year.  Please contact Joe Peters for registration forms.  We sing that others may live.

Bethel College Announcements
· Tues., Dec. 6 – Bethel College Steel Drum Ensemble concert, directed by Brad Shores, 7 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center 
· Weds., Dec. 7 – Singalong to Christmas portions of Handel’s Messiah, 11 a.m., with chamber orchestra and soloists, Bethel College Mennonite Church. Scores provided. 
· Fri., Dec. 9 – Christmas Gala Jazz concert, directed by Joel Boettger, 8 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center
·  Sun., Dec. 11 – 37th annual Lighting of the Green, 8 p.m. on the Bethel College campus 
· Now in the Regier Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College – annual Senior Art Exhibit, featuring the work of Capri Bisom, through Fri., Dec. 15. Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 2-4 p.m.

The Newton Treble Clef Annual Vespers will be Sun., Dec. 4, 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 900 Columbus, Newton.  The prelude will begin at 2:45 with Vada Snider, flute; and Karen Loucks, piano.  Program includes the prelude; Treble Clef Chorus; Hearts 4 Him–Men’s Ensemble; Josue Coy Dick, violin solo;  Prairie Bronze Handbell Ensemble.  A freewill offering  will be taken for the scholarship fund that will be awarded to high school seniors pursuing a music major. 

Roots of Justice Anti-Racism Training  
Newton Community for Racial Justice invites you to join in the work of building racial understanding, justice, and equity in our local community by participating in our next Roots of Justice Anti-Racism training coming during the MLK weekend , January 13-15. The goal of the training is to be exposed to an analysis of racism and build a common understanding of racism, to work together as a team to develop team relationships, and to deepen the philosophical foundations for antiracism work. Bethel College Mennonite Church is happy to financially sponsor your participation. Please contact Pastor Nathan if you would like more details. Early registration is December 1.

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

For Mennonite World Conference Info press here

For Mennonite Mission Network News and Beyond press here

For Mennonite Mission Network Seeds of Peace press here

Mennonite Church USA Announcements

The denominational Advent at Home worship guide is now available. The guide is designed for families and people of all ages, offering weekly Scriptures, background information, prayers, activities and rituals around this year’s theme from Leader magazine, “Restoration is Near.” Look for it here:

The African American Mennonite Association (AAMA), a recognized racial ethnic group of Mennonite Church USA, and Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, Virginia, have teamed up to provide scholarships for Black ministry leaders interested in completing EMS’ new graduate certificate in faith-based peacebuilding. The deadline for the spring semester is Dec. 31, 2022. Learn more here:

Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) Executive Board staff has posted the new “Guidelines for Developing Organizational Resolutions and Church Statements in Mennonite Church USA” on the MC USA website. The guidelines are effective immediately and apply to proposed organizational resolutions or church statements submitted for consideration by the 2023 Delegate Assembly (Kansas City, Missouri, July 7-8, 2023). Learn more here:, Pray, Join: Mass Incarceration

Read a prayer of lamentation about mass incarceration by writer Kayla Berkley. The prayer is part of Mennonite Church USA’s “Learn, Pray, Join: Mass Incarceration” initiative, which examines the injustices in our criminal legal system through an Anabaptist lens. Read the prayer here:

As members of Mennonite Church USA, let us look ahead to the new year and to focus on living into our Renewed Commitments to follow Jesus, witness to God’s peace and help our communities experience transformation. Your financial gifts to Mennonite Church USA help to equip and empower our conferences, congregations and our diverse body of believers to tell the transformative story of the birth, life and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:   Cassidy Bush, Anna Lubbers, Rachel Miller and Eli Reimer make up Mennonite Mission Network’s San Francisco (California) Mennonite Voluntary Service unit. Pray for them as they join First Mennonite Church of San Francisco in ministries that work toward reducing poverty and homelessness and promoting social justice, education, and health.

Western District Conference Prayer Request:    In this Advent season, give thanks for God’s gifts of wisdom, vision and hope for WDC congregations navigating transitions and other discernment processes.