Announcements for January 8-15, 2023

January 8, 2023 – Epiphany

Based on CDC Guidelines Harvey County has returned to 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:

January 8, 2023

Prelude—We three kings of orient are (arr. D. Bish); Nun ist sie erschienen (arr. S. Vincent)—Will Wiebe-Friesen
Christ Candle Lighting
Welcome and Prayer—Esther Kreider Eash
*Hymn—Arise, Your Light Is Come! —VT 273
Anthem—See Whose Glory Fills the Skies (arr. Evelyn Simposon-Currenton) [VT 274]—
Chancel Choir—Riley King, director; Will Wiebe-Friesen, accompanist
Scripture Reading— Matthew 2:1-12—William Eash
Children’s Conversation—Judy Harder
*Hymn—On This Great Day of Days—VT 260
Sermon—Divine Incognito—Keith Harder
*Hymn—Unexpected and Mysterious—VT 229
Installation—Roger Neufeld Smith, Interim Pastor; Elizabeth Schmidt, Congregational Care Coordinator—VT 965
Prayers of God’s People
*Hymn—Love Came Down at Christmas—VT 255
*Benediction—Keith Harder
Postlude—Praise Ye the Lord of Hosts (Saint-Saëns)—Will Wiebe-Friesen
* You are invited to stand
VT = Voices Together
Audio visual— Ken Lamp
Pastor—Nathan Koontz

Keith Harder brings us the sermon on January 8, 2023–Epiphany Sunday
We welcome Keith Harder, retired pastor and church leader, who will bring us the sermon, on January 8.  

This Week at BCMC:  January 8-15, 2023
Sunday, Jan. 8 2023
9:30 am    Worship with sermon by Keith Harder
YouTube Link for this Sunday is:
The church nursery is staffed during worship and Sunday School
10:30 am  Faith Formation—Intergenerational class meets in  Fellowship Hall;   High School – Room 24;  
Adult Classes:  Agape Class meets in the 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)
4 pm      Service of Remembrance in the Sanctuary—all are welcome
Mon., Jan. 9, 2023
9 am       Women’s Fellowship Executive Board meeting in Fellowship Hall
Tues., Jan. 10, 2023
12 noon  Mid-Kansas Investment Club meets in Fellowship Hall
Wed., Jan. 11, 2023
7:30 pm  Chancel Choir Rehearsal in the Sanctuary
Thurs, Jan. 5, 2023
6:30 pm   Chancel Bell Rehearsal in Room B7
Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023-Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday
9:30 am    Worship with sermon by Roger Neufeld Smith; music by
Chancel Bells

In order to recognize and mourn the loss of our loved ones from 2022, Bethel College Mennonite Church is hosting a Service of Remembrance today at 4 pm, in the BCMC sanctuary. 
YouTube Link:


BCMC Women’s Fellowship Executive Board meets Monday, January 9 at 9:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.

Judy and John Kliewer—SOOP Assignment
I am pleased to share with you that John and Judy Kliewer will be participating in a SOOP assignment (Service Opportunities with Our Partners) through Mennonite Mission Network. They will be serving in Tucson for the month of January, 2023.  This will be John and Judy’s first SOOP assignment.  For more information about SOOP, please visit our website,  Please join us in praying for John and Judy as they prepare for this assignment and while they are gone.   — Arloa Bontrager, North American Regional Co-Administrator, SOOP/Youth Venture/Short-term Opportunities,  Mennonite Mission Network

During the service on January 8, we will welcome  Elizabeth Schmidt, Congregational Care Coordinator.   In addition to being our recent past church moderator, Elizabeth is a Bethel College graduate, has taken coursework for an MA in Theology at Illiff School of Theology, and has completed one unit of Extended Clinical Pastoral Education at Wesley Medical Center.  She was also Executive Director of Harvey-Marion County Community Developmental Organization from 2007 to 2019.  In this  new half-time position, Elizabeth will develop ways we can support each other, coordinate visitation for those in need of care, and work at welcoming and integrating those new to our congregation and at all stages of life.  Elizabeth began work on January 1. 

January 1 marked the beginning of work for Roger Neufeld Smith, our new half-time Interim Pastor.  He comes with 30 years of experience as pastor at Southern Hills Mennonite Church in Topeka and has recently been an interim pastor in Beatrice, Nebraska.  We will welcome him officially during the worship service on January 8 with his first sermon planned for January 15, Martin Luther King, Jr Sunday.  In addition to preaching about once per month, he will also work with committees and commissions and be involved with visitation in collaboration with Pastor Nathan and the Congregational Care Coordinator. 

To reach Elizabeth or Pastor Roger Neufeld Smith you can use their emails:

Thanks for your warm welcome this week as I began my ministry at Bethel College Mennonite Church. I will be returning to Topeka this afternoon, but I will be checking my BCMC email regularly while in
Topeka ( I’m also available by voice mail or text when necessary (785-220-1968). I will be back in the BCMC office from Thursday to Sunday this coming week, January 12-15. As I settle into ministry here, I hope to establish a regular pattern of when I will be in Newton. Thanks for your patience and prayers as we work together in the kin-dom of Christ. 
 — Pastor Roger Neufeld Smith

Menno Ringers—All students 4th grade through 8th grade interested in ringing handbells are welcome!  Rehearsals begin Jan. 11, 2023, 6:30 pm in Room B7. 

Celebration of Life for Gwen Claassen
There will be a celebration of life for Gwen Claassen on Saturday, January 14, 3 p.m. at the Dyck Arboretum in Hesston, KS

Pastor Nathan Koontz will be away January 14-16, 2023.  

BCMC Offering for January 1:  General Fund $3,560; Caring Fund $50; Living Stones $50; Kitchen Fund $26.75; Women’s Fellowship $10.

College scholarships available:   Everence offers college scholarships for Everence members and their children. Eligible students receive scholarships up to $3,000 for the 2023-2024 academic year. Applications are accepted Jan. 1 through Feb. 28.Visit for eligibility guidelines and application.  Information is also available by contacting Jim Robb.

Bethel College Announcements
· Mon., Jan. 16 – Bethel College celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, featuring Marche Fleming-Randle, “Together We Can Be the Dream,” 7 p.m., Memorial Hall 
· Sun., Jan. 22 – Bethel College Music Department Honors Recital, 4 p.m., Administration Building chapel, featuring freshman, sophomore and junior vocal and instrumental students who performed exceptionally during the fall 2022 semester.
· Save the date: Sat., Jan. 28 – Kauffman Museum annual Kansas Day event, “Kansans Create!,” noon-4 p.m., museum parking lot and grounds. For more information, see the Kauffman Museum Facebook page or

New Hope Shelter Announcement
We greatly need to increase our volunteer base as we head into the new year and with the new building only one year away, do as much as we can to provide two volunteers each evening per shift.  If you have anyone who is interested in volunteering, please let me know. My volunteer training sessions are normally planned at the end of each month based on availability and need.  — Shonda M Suddeth, Shelter/Volunteer Coordinator (316) 283-7711,  Please contact Valetta Seymour if you can consider becoming a New Hope Shelter volunteer.  Generally, we have people to provide meals, but evening volunteers are needed.  Contact:  620-217-7536

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.

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 the following link:  If you want to help but don’t want to use the link, call Margaret Toews at 316-258-8900, or email at

WANTED:  Your stories. To share at the “Schweitzers and Friends” 150th celebration of Swiss Volhynian Mennonites coming to the U.S. in 1874, planned for Aug. 23-25, 2024.  Everyone loves the stories told about days gone by.  This event gives us opportunity to collect ancestor stories.  Brian Adams from Massachusetts would like to edit stories for a Swiss Volhynian book with the help of his daughter Casey Adams (  Brian says no stories are too small or inconsequential.  He has heard stories from his Grandfather Jacob (Red Jake) Krehbiel from Moundridge.  Think of a story you could share and send to Brian.  Themes could be family, faith, agriculture, language.  We would all love to read those stories at the celebration event in 2024.  Brian’s contacts:  Phone: 413-586-3063 and he could interview you by phone.     –Kathy Goering for the planners

Everence Opportunities:  Everence makes it easy to find ways to give back and support your favorite charity.  My Neighbor Card:  Everence donates 1.50% of every purchase you make to the charity of your choice.  Donor Advised Funds allows you to grow funds intended for charitable giving at any time.

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

WDC’s Hope Fund
 assists WDC congregations and commissions in response to the impact of the COVID pandemic, natural disasters and other emergencies resulting in added expenses, stress, and loss of income. Thanks to generous contributions from WDC congregations, members and friends, 28 grants were made from 2020 to 2022, totaling over $62,000. Nearly a third of WDC congregations and the Ministerial Leadership Commission have received grants (some receiving multiple grants) to assist with needs such as rent, utility bills, facility repairs, groceries, medical costs, transportation, children’s daycare, mental health counseling and coaching. After all this good work, the Hope Fund is running low and seeks new contributions in 2023! Donations designated “Hope Fund” may be made online at or sent to Western District Conference at PO Box 306, North Newton, KS 67117. Thank you for sharing in this ministry of mutual encouragement within WDC. For more information and application see

“Reimagining the Call: Finding and Forming the Leaders God is Calling”

with David Boshart, Heidi Regier Kreider, & Clarence Rempel 

 January 13, 2023 – 12-1:30p.m. at
Water’s Edge Restaurant, 701 S. Main St., Hesston 

Is your congregation being proactive about calling people to leadership in the church? How can future leaders for your congregation and the broader church be identified and prepared? 

Pastors, congregational leaders, and interested laypersons are invited to a luncheon on Friday, January 13 from noon to 1:30 pm at Water’s Edge Restaurant, 701 S. Main Street, Hesston. Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary president David Boshart will be offering perspectives on calling and nurturing leaders from within congregations, followed by a conversation with Heidi Regier Kreider (conference minister for Western District Conference) and Clarence Rempel (regional ministry coach for South Central Conference). 

Lunch will be served, compliments of AMBS; RSVP by Friday, January 6 using the following link.

RSVP Here or 574.296.6210

Are you looking for a resolution for the new year? Why not add “Volunteer with Mennonite Central Committee’s SWAP” to your list?
Volunteering with SWAP gives you the opportunity to share the love of Christ in tangible ways as you work with homeowners to make their homes safe, warm and dry. Located in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky and West Virginia, SWAP volunteers grow and learn as they serve and experience Appalachian culture. For more information and to register, visit

For Mennonite Central Committee In Touch press here
For Mennonite World Conference press here
For Mennonite Mission Network News and Beyond press here

Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp News

See The RMMC News & Stories From December

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

Mennonite Church USA Announcements
Mennonite Church USA will host its annual Hope for the Future conference Feb. 3-5 in Atlanta. The conference welcomes MC USA-affiliated BIPOC leaders and young adults for a time of networking and mutual edification. Register by Jan. 18. Learn more here: 

Area conference ministers from Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada gathered in San Francisco in early December for renewal, training and collaborative work around a new misconduct accountability and prevention guide.

Menno Snapshots
The topic of money is sensitive and complex. For this reason, church leaders often struggle with how to approach the topic within the church. Michael Danner, the associate executive director for Church Vitality in Mennonite Church USA, offers some insights into how to embrace regularly incorporating financial messages in the church, in his recent article in Leader magazine,” Christians and our money.”

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:   Mennonite Mission Network praises God for the 40 SOOP participants who are serving this month in places like Kykotsmovi, Phoenix, and Tucson, Arizona; Gotha, Florida; Americus, Georgia; Meridian, Mississippi; Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania; and San Antonio, Texas. Pray that they will be instruments of God’s justice, peace and love.

Western District Conference Prayer Request:  Pray for generous contributions to WDC as the fiscal year ends in January, to support conference ministries of equipping ministers, resourcing congregations, and networking church planting partnerships.