Announcements for February 19-February 26, 2021

Supportive Communities Network
Learning Opportunities and Upcoming Survey

 Church board chair and moderator Elizabeth Schmidt announced last week that BCMC is entering a process of learning about and possibly affiliating with the Supportive Communities Network (SCN). SCN is a network of Mennonite and Church of the Brethren communities who are publicly affirming of gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual members. The Network’s goals are:

            >to offer support, resources and opportunities for dialogue among congregations which welcome gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual members,

            >to encourage meaningful dialogue at the denominational level,

            >to offer support and resources for individuals who are working toward welcome.

More information about SCN will follow in the next weeks after which we will launch a survey of active BCMC congregants to determine our openness to affiliating with SCN. This survey will take place from March 15 through March 29. Based on the congregation’s consent, the Church Board will then make a decision about BCMC joining the Network.

For this initial learning opportunity you are invited to follow the two SCN links below. The first links to a video titled “One Congregation’s Story”. It is the story of why Assembly Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana chose to affiliate with Supportive Communities Network. The second links to the Supportive Communities Network page of the Brethren and Mennonite Council on LGBTQ interests. This page contains an abundance of information helpful to our exploration of SCN.

“One Congregation’s Story”:

Supportive Communities Network:

With open and affirming heart. soul and mind,

The Inclusion Task Group
Karen Ediger
Megan Kohlman
John Kliewer
Nathan Koontz
Karen Penner

SAVE THE DATE for the BCMC Youth Group Drive-Thru Soup Fundraiser – Sunday, March 7th from 11:30am-1:00pm. More info on how to sign up coming next week. 

We offer sympathy to Hank, Elaine, and Austin Prouty on the death of their nephew and cousin, Levi Minkevitch, Feb. 18, 2021. 

Thinking about Becoming a Member at BCMC?
If you have been thinking about becoming a member of Bethel College Mennonite Church, please contact Pastor Nathan or the church office. We simply want to gage interest and discuss possible timeframes and educational formats for new members.  I hope you will consider this small step towards possible membership.  As our Welcoming Statement says, “Bethel College Mennonite Church welcomes into fellowship and membership all persons who confess faith in Jesus Christ, without regard to their race, ethnic background, gender, age, sexual orientation, education, ability, and other factors which give rise to discrimination and marginalization. May you feel welcome here. 

In the Introduction to Lent email Tuesday, February 16, was the following paragraph:
Consider using the Lent at Home Worship Guide, provided by Mennonite Church US (attached).  This interactive guide is designed for people of all ages, including children! 

The link was not attached.  Here it is:  Lent at Home Worship Guide

Our new hymnal, Voices Together, has arrived! 
You can order your own copy
 through Faith and Life Bookstore (316-283-2210), or through MennoMedia (  We will continue to show music on the screen during live-streamed worship so that you are able to sing along!

If you’re interested in Creation Care centered devotional material for Lent, consider the attached Lent Action and Reflection guide from Creation Care Ministries.  Press here for the guide.

The Everence Sharing Fund provided $6000 in matching funds to support special needs in our church last year. Jim Robb serves as the Everence advocate for our congregation. Please contact him for more information.Now on display in the Regier Art Gallery, Luyken Fine Arts Center, at Bethel College: “After the End of the End of the World,” a collaboration between Rachel Epp Buller and Derek Owens. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Fri. (Because of the pandemic, there will be no public reception for this exhibit.) Please note that face coverings must be worn and physical distancing practiced on the Bethel campus.

Mennonite Central Committee Comforter Blitz: At Home update
We are half-way through the blitz and have received 193 completed comforters. The goal is to receive 300 completed comforters at MCC in North Newton by the end of March! All the details and information on getting comforter making supplies from MCC are at Share pictures of your work on the MCC Comforter Blitz Facebook page. Contact or 316.804.8432 with questions. Need batting? Contact Charlotte’s Sew Natural for their special MCC batting price at 316.284.2547. And THANK YOU to everyone working to create beautiful comforters for MCC!

Mennonite Central Committee Webinar:International service worker Are you ready to step out and into service? To gain new skills and experiences while working for relief, development and peace in the name of Christ? Join MCC on February 25, 7:00 p.m. CST / 6:00 p.m. MST for a 30-minute information session to learn about MCC’s long-term service opportunities in relief, development and peace work. This webinar will include a short presentation and time for Q&A. Register today! More information can be found at

Beginning in March, BCMC will begin inviting small groups of people for in-person worship. Live streaming will continue to take place as is.
Below is a schedule that includes an option to attend in-person worship for all people during March or April. We ask that if your Sunday School group or age bracket is signed up for a specific date, that you also RSVP to the church office by noon on Friday. Email or call 316-283-3667.  Entire households are invited to attend even if only one person fits into the listed small group. While the small groups designated for each Sunday will hopefully keep numbers to a safe capacity that our sanctuary can seat everyone socially distantly, we want to be able to monitor that initially and be able to contact trace if necessary.

March 7:   Agape and Mosaic
March 14: Bible Study and Seekers
March 21: Fellowship and Catacombs
March 28: Fine Arts and Sojourners
April 4: to be determined
April 11:     Issues in Christianity and Open Circle
April 18: 70 and younger not associated with a Sunday School Class
April 25: 71 + not associated with a Sunday School Class

Please RSVP by noon on Friday of the week you plan to attend. 

In addition: those attending in-person worship are expected to observe the Participant Commitments below:  


Stay home if you are unwell and/or when in doubt.
Prioritize south entrance for those with accessibility/proximity needs. 
Prioritize front (west) entrance for those able to walk farther. 
Please do not arrive earlier than 9:20 am.
Wear masks on church grounds.Keep 6 feet of space between households – indoors and out.
Sit in the main sanctuary.
There will be no balcony seating.
Sit where there are blue pieces of tape on the pews, in order to maintain 6 feet of distance from other worship participants. 
Family groupings: please sit together in the same pew.
Keep coats/hats/gloves/scarves together with you, and dress warmly, as sanctuary windows will be partially open for ventilation.
Refrain from congregational singing.
Refrain from gathering in Gathering Place and around mailboxes. (coffee will not be served).
Plan to use restrooms at home to minimize coming together with others in enclosed spaces. (Restrooms will be open for urgent need).
Exit the building promptly after the service ends, using the same door you entered. 
Visit with others outside, wearing masks, 6 feet apart. 
The nursery will be closed. Children may stay with family during worship service (including Children’s Conversation) and may exit to Gathering Place during service if needed.
Please stay clear of church office, balcony, basement.
Notify church office if you test positive for COVID 19 within 48 hours of attending worship. 

We look forward to being together again for worship, even in this modified way!

Plants and Things
     Planning is now underway for the 2021 Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale (KMRS) to be held July 2 and 3 at the fairgrounds in Hutchinson.

     One of the most popular booths at the KMRS is “Plants and Things”.  As many of you know, this is the place to purchase a variety of things for your gardens. You traditionally have been able to buy flowers, shrubs, and garden plants.  Many people have counted on being able to get their tomato plants, cabbage starts, melon seedlings, annual flowers, bulbs, etc. at the KMRS.  Because July 2 and 3 is a bit late to be thinking about purchasing plants and starting or adding to a garden, the “Plants and Things” booth will be open on April 10,  the time our sale is regularly scheduled.  “Plants and Things” will be set up at the Mennonite Central Committee Building in North Newton utilizing the parking lot and the warehouse facilities.  Some things are yet to be decided such as opening and closing times, drop off hours, flat pick up, etc., but we wanted you to know that we will be accepting the plants that you wish to bring to the sale. So please start the seeds that will become a part of your contribution to MCC and the sale event.  More information will follow, but we want to encourage you to start those plants to donate to the KMRS Early Plants and Things Sale.
     For more information and answers to questions, please contact Kristi Unruh at 620-3456867or by email at or you can contact Jim Robb at 620-747-0186 or by email at