Announcements for March 5-12, 2023

March 5, 2023 – Lent 2:  Shaped by New Birth

Based on CDC Guidelines Harvey County is still 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:

March 5, 2023
Lent 2: Shaped by New Birth

Prelude— Give me Jesus (arr. Lau); My Lord, What a Morning (arr. Lau)—Will Wiebe-Friesen, organ
Christ Candle Lighting—Dale Schrag
Land Acknowledgement—Michelle Armster
*Hymn—Breathe on Me, Breath of God—VT 737
Call to Worship—Dale Schrag
Leader: Lift your eyes to the hills—where does your help come from?
People: Our help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. All: Let us worship our God, who watches over us now and always.
Welcome and Prayer—Dale Schrag
*Hymn— O Holy Spirit, Root of Life—VT 376
Children’s Conversation—Esther Eash
Anthem—Come, Ye Disconsolate (Terre Johnson)—Chancel Choir
Scripture Reading—Genesis 12:1-4a; John 3:1-17—Aaron Tschetter, Ani Koontz
Sermon—Michelle Armster
 *Hymn—How Many Times We Start Again—VT 553
Prayers of God’s People—Dale Schrag
*Hymn—There’s a Wild Hope in the Wind—VT 828
*Benediction—Michelle Armster
Leader: The Lord watch over you
People: the Lord bless you and make you a blessing;
Leader: the sun will not harm you by day,
People: nor the moon by night.
All: The Lord will bring you to life and carry you safely home.
Postlude—I am thine, O Lord (arr. McDonald)—Will Wiebe-Friesen, piano
* You are invited to stand
VT = Voices Together
Audio visual— Ken Lamp 
YouTube Link:

We are very happy to welcome Michelle Armster this Sunday. Pastor Armster is the executive director for the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Central States.

Roger will be in Topeka most of this week. But he checks his cell phone and church email daily for important messages from BCMC folks.  Roger will return to Newton this Friday, March 10, and remain in Newton until Tuesday, March 14.

Wednesday night suppers , 6:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall.  Menus:

March 8:    Salisbury steak, potatoes, green beans, chocolate chip cookies
March 15:  Chicken Enchilada casserole, salad, cinnamon dessert
March 22:  Baked potato bar with all the fixings, dessert
March 29:  Beef vegetable curry with rice, ice cream
April 5:       Ham loaf, macaroni and cheese, peas, lemon dessert
Please bring your own table service.   Not doing so adds significant effort for the cleanup crew. 
Sign up for the March 8 supper on the bulletin board or by emailing
 BCMC Care Connections – we are starting some new ways of care connections at BCMC!  Please let Elizabeth know if you are interested in any of the following ways of showing care for BCMC’ers:  in-person visits, phone call visits, email connections, post-mail cards/letters, making care packages, delivering care packages.  Yes, you may reply as an individual, or a couple, or a household, or a family, or any/all of the above!  Additional ideas are also welcome.  
Email your interest and ideas to:
The memorial service for Grace Schroeder will be Saturday, March 25 at 11 am.

There will be a Mentor-Mentee event, Sunday, March 5 from 2-3:30 at the Goerz House.  We will be putting together care packages to be mailed to our current college students.

BCMC Offering for February 26, 2023:  General Fund  $8,174; Sr Hi Youth $100; Jr Hi Fund $70; Living Stones $1,220; Kitchen Fund $31; Women’s Fellowship $514; Vel Teichroew Memorial $100.

Sunday, March 5 at 4:00 p.m., the Newton Chorale will present their 2023 concert “A Choral Jubilee” sung in memory of Philip Koontz. The hour-long concert will be at Bethel College Mennonite Church. There is no admission charge; a free-will donation will be taken. The concert will include a chamber orchestra and soloist Dr. Matthew Schloneger in addition to the Chorale. Renae Schmidt Peters will direct. Karen Unruh is the pianist and organist for the group.

This Week at BCMC:  March 5-12, 2023
Sun., Mar. 5, 2023—Lent 2: Shaped by New Birth
9:30 am    Worship with sermon by Michelle Armster
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); Open Circle (Room 21)
Seekers (Rm 28) [They will be doing a “Ecclesiastes study” presented by Weldon Schloneger]
4 pm  Newton Chorale concert in the Sanctuary—”A Choral Jubliee” sung in memory of Philip Koontz
Wed., Mar. 8, 2023
6:00 pm    Wednesday night meal in Fellowship Hall-Menu is:
Salisbury steak, potatoes, green beans, chocolate chip cookies.  Please bring your own table service.
7 pm         Youth Group meets
7:30 pm   Chancel Choir Rehearsal in the Sanctuary
Thurs., Mar. 9, 2023
6:30 pm   Chancel Bell rehearsal in Room B7
7 pm         Finance Committee meeting in Room 14
Sun, Mar. 12, 2023—Lent 3: Shaped through thirst
9:30 am    Worship with sermon by Nathan Koontz; music by Chancel Bells

Don’t forget to complete the pastoral priorities survey!
 If you have not already done so, please complete and return the survey on pastoral priorities. The due date has been extended to Sunday, March 5 to give people an extra weekend to complete it. 
See the link at the end of the instructions below for the survey.

Greetings from the BCMC Pastoral Search Committee: 
As described in the Kin-dom Report during the worship service on Sunday, February 19, 2023, the Search Committee is beginning its work to identify and call the next pastor of BCMC. To that end, we are seeking congregational input in two important ways at this time.
1.    Provide us names of potential candidates
First, if you have individuals in mind that you believe the search committee should consider, please share those names with a committee member. These potential candidates do not have to be currently looking for a position, nor do you need to know whether they are interested in our position. We have a process in place to vet that information. For now, we simply invite you to share with us the names of people you think might be a good fit for BCMC. For your reference, committee members include Heather Zerger (Chair), Megan Kohlman, Lois Preheim, John Waltner, and Doug Penner. We will gladly accept your recommendations in person, or by phone, text or email.
2.    Please complete the Survey on Pastoral Priorities
Second, we also want to understand what you, the congregation, believe are our most important priorities for the next pastor of BCMC. To help us do this, we ask that each participant in the life of the congregation complete a survey provided by Western District Conference that ranks various pastoral priorities in the order of their importance to you. The survey is either enclosed or attached.
        a.  For participants receiving the survey electronically        
If you are receiving this communication by email, we ask you to complete the survey electronically using the link in the email message to which this is attached. If you share an email address with other BCMC congregants, the survey link can be used by each of you, so that all BCMC participants may fill out a survey. We simply ask that each BCMC participant fill out the survey only one time. 
        b.    For participants receiving the survey by mail
If you are receiving this communication by mail in paper form, enough copies of the survey are enclosed for each participant in your household to complete. Please use the enclosed, self-addressed stamped envelope to return all your surveys to the Church. Alternatively, you may drop them off at the Church office or in Jon and Heather Zerger’s church mailbox, if that is more convenient.   
        c.    Instructions for filling out the survey
The survey asks you to rank various pastoral tasks in the order of their importance to you—either low, medium or high priority. You will see, there are actually two levels at the low priority, three at the medium priority, and two at the high priority, so that you may differentiate even further between tasks. The survey has specific instructions on how many tasks you can rank at each level. Please read the instructions carefully and give thought to how you rank the listed pastoral tasks. Your answers should reflect what you believe are priorities of BCMC now and into the future, which may or may not be what you perceive priorities were in the past. 
        d.    Deadline for completing the survey
Whether you fill out your survey electronically or on paper, we ask each of you to fill it out by March 2. This information will help us to match the skill set and passions of potential candidates with what BCMC considers are its greatest priorities at this time in the life of the congregation. If you have any questions about how to fill out the survey, please reach out to any member of the search committee listed above. Thank you in advance for your assistance in these two important ways. And thank you for your prayerful support as we undertake the work of identifying and calling our next pastor.

Click on the blue link below for the electronic survey.  If you prefer a paper survey, contact the church office. 

BCMC Pastoral Priorities

Join the BCMC Creation Care Task Group!
God calls the church to participate in the redemption of individuals, all of humanity and creation.  Therefore ministries of environmental stewardship and environmental justice are important here at BCMC.  The Creation Care Task Group has been on hiatus for a few years and is now beginning again. Areas of focus to promote creation care for this task group include worship, education, lifestyle practices, and community, national, and global environmental activities.  If you are interested in participating with this group, please contact the church office at  You can also contact Duane Friesen from the Witness Commission if you have questions regarding the work of this group.
BCMC has an AED (Automated External Defibrillator)  for emergency use but needs congregation members to administer it’s use, if and when necessary.
Bill Swartley has offered to do a training session to facilitate this.  Anyone who is interested and willing to assist with using the AED, may contact the church office at office@bethelcollegemennonite
Bill will then set up a time for training.

“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?  Thanks to the 74 participants in this February 26 event with 10 households hosting.  It was fun getting to know congregants on a more personal level complete with a wonderful meal.  — Hospitality Commission, Marlene V.Faul, chair

We are grateful to Tim Schrag who will serve as the new gardener and sexton for the Peace Garden at BCMC.  Tim offers his gifts of gardening and landscape management experience, previously at Kidron Bethel Village and currently at Hesston College. 
The Peace Garden is a witness to the beauty and wonder of God’s creation, designed to invite joyful delight, worship, and quiet meditation. The garden incorporates native flowers, grasses, and shrubs to attract birds and pollinators.  It is a laboratory for Christian faith formation, a natural outdoor space to be used for education about our local ecosystems. The Peace Garden provides two alternatives for handling ashes when cremation is chosen, a columbarium with niches for ashes, and garden spaces where ashes can be scattered and raked into the soil, modeling ecological cycling of death and rebirth of all life on earth (“from dust to dust”).  Engraved plaques on the niches of the columbarium and engraved pavers on a walkway honor the memory of loved ones and the “cloud of witnesses” that surround the living body of Christ.

Everence is looking for a full-time Receptionist/Administrative Assistant to support the sales efforts of the office by providing clerical, administrative support and sales assistance to the Kansas team.  Qualified candidates will have exceptional client service capabilities, ability to handle multiple tasks, and experience or aptitude to learn PC-based software programs.  For more information about the responsibilities and qualifications of this position and/or to apply, please visit our website,

Update and request from the Funeral Committee. Thanks for understanding as we flexed during COVID, doing meals in varied ways, and thanks to those who have already volunteered to bake cookies for meals and receptions. Now, with COVID waning and Breadbasket able to deliver most food items, we can offer either a faspa or sandwich buffet lunch, but may need help at large events. To be an on-call volunteer, please contact the church office:  (Other committee members are Dennis and Kathy Campbell, Tom Jackson, Kathryn Simmons and Dave Linscheid). Thank you.

Bethel College Announcements:
· Bethel College is on spring break March 6-10. Most offices and services are open but some may be on reduced hours. The Regier Gallery is closed (new exhibit opens March 17).
· Sun., March 12 – Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum program, 3 p.m., Kauffman Museum. Nationally recognized local artist Phil Epp will present “Images of Art and Design in Central Asia,” a program related to the museum’s current special exhibit, “Reeds & Wool: Patterned Screens of Central Asia.”
· SAVE THE DATE: March 24-26, spring musical at Bethel College: tick, tick … BOOM! by Jonathan Larson

The January 12, 1888, blizzard will be the focus for Lois Preheim, author and educator, who will be the speaker at the annual meeting of the Swiss Mennonite Cultural and Historical Association. Her book, “Trailing the Schoolchildren’s Blizzard” chronicles experiences of families living in ten locations along the storm’s route extending from Canada down through the United States. Dr. Preheim has degrees from Freeman Junior College, the University of Nebraska and Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. She is a retired kindergarten-twelve principal having taught pre-school through college age students. Currently she resides in Newton. The annual meeting will be March 12, 2:30 p.m. at the First Mennonite Church of Christian in Moundridge.

New Hope Shelter is in need of the following:  Pinesol,  Scotch Tape, Laundry Pods,  Dishwasher Pods, Dishwashing Soap, 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper, 55+ gallon trash bags, Coffee, Creamer, Sugar, Bread, Napkins, Mayonnaise, Granola bars, Pudding Cups.   If you can provide some of these supplies, they can be taken to New Hope, 900 West Broadway, Bldg. #7.

Come to Men and Boys Retreat, Mar. 31-Apr. 2 , at Camp Mennoscah,  a long-standing, guys-only retreat.  Enjoy time fishing, canoeing, worshiping, sitting by the fire, or visiting with friends in fellowship. The official beginning to the weekend is Saturday morning, but many arrive on Friday. There will be a worship service on Sunday morning. Meals can be purchased for Saturday night, Sunday morning and lunch. No pre-registration. Registration and payment will take place upon arrival.  More information contact Kevin Neufeld at 316-322-5515

Mennonite Central Committee Announcements
· Put your faith in action by volunteering with SWAP this summer! MCC’s SWAP (Sharing With Appalachian People) home repair program provides short-term service and learning opportunities for churches, school and university groups, families, other groups and individuals. Now is the time to make your summer plans and sign up! More information and registration at or (606) 634-4418.
· SAVE THE DATE! Come join the fun at 15th annual MCC Comforter Blitz on March 6, 7 and 8 on the Journey Yoder Campus, one mile north of Yoder, KS. Times are Monday and Tuesday 9-5 and Wednesday 9-4.  No sewing skills are required, we will teach you.  Lunch is available by donation each day, or you may bring your own sack lunch.  Bring snacks to share during the workday.  This event is hosted by Kansas Friends of MCC to make comforters for relief to be sent to refugees or places after natural disasters. Please contact the MCC Central States office with questions at #316-283-2720, or check the Comforter Blitz Facebook Page, “Kansas MCC Comforter Blitz”.

Bohne berrogie bake day for the MCC Sale is April 8 at Moundridge High School.  Volunteers wanting to help, can sign up on the MCC Sale website.

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

Camp Mennoscah Announcements
Youth Needed for Fun Times and Service!  
Youth in Grades 6-12 are invited to the Youth Volunteer Weekend on March 24-25 for a focused time of worship and service.  The retreat begins on Friday at 7pm with registration followed by snacks, games, and campfire.  Rachel and Isaac, the Senior High Camp program directors, will lead activities.  Ben Woodward-Breckbill will lead worship times.  Register in the Summer Youth Camp section by adding a person or session, if you have already registered for camp. 
Other events and happenings:

  • The dam will be put back in on March 12 at approx. 2:30pm.  Everyone is welcome to join in or to watch.  Gather at the shelter. (The actual putting in of the boards is not for young ages.)  The event will go forward, whatever the weather, unless deemed unsafe.  Call Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290, if uncertain. 
  • Welcome Summer Staff 2023!  While we may be adding to the number of summer staff, here is the crew as of March 1:  Peter Buller, Schyler Entz, Daniel Miller, Edel Miller, and Jacob Schrag.  Additional staff are needed for lifeguarding and grounds.  Apply here.  We are excited to have them at camp this summer!
  • Kitchen staff and nurses needed for summer youth camps from June 4 through July 28.  Most people come out for a camp week, but we will also schedule partial weeks, as needed.  Kitchen staff receive a camper discount for up to full camp fees and need to be able to follow directions with a willing spirit.  Nurses must be an RN and can receive either a stipend or a camper discount.  Contact us at 620-297-3290 or!
  • Click to register Summer youth camp registration is open and Camp Mennoscah is receiving registrations.  The summer theme is FruitFULL Faith.  Get ready to learn and sing about the Fruit of the Spirit this summer–it’s not a coconut!
  • Spring Scrapbook and Craft Retreat registration is open!Online registration can be found here.  Croppers and crafters of all skill levels are welcome.  Participants at the Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats will have lodging in the Retreat Center and work space at the Dining Hall.  Grade 3 and above are welcome with an accompanying adult.   Further details available on the website or at 620-297-3290.  See you in March!

For Mennonite Church USA MennoCon press here
For Mennonite World Conference press here

For Mennonite Mission Network News and Beyond press here
For Mennonite Men press here
Mennonite Mission Network Urgent Prayer Request press here

Hesston College Announcements

March 1 to 5 – Spring Musical

Hesston College Performing Arts will stage a production of The Apple Tree. Join us for this fantastic performance by the same duo that wrote Fiddler on the Roof. It’s a series of three musical playlets – The Diary of Adam & Eve, The Lady or the Tiger, Passionella. Learn more at

March 11 – Go Green Leprechaun Run

Dyck Arboretum will host the 11th annual Leprechaun Run on March 11 at 8:30 a.m. There will be a 2 mile fun run/walk and a 10K. Registration will close March 9. You are encouraged to wear green and come run or walk. All proceeds go to help underwrite educational programming. Learn more, register, or sign up to volunteer at

Mennonite Church USA Announcements

The African American Mennonite Association (AAMA), one of the racial ethnic groups that make up the Racial Ethnic Council of Mennonite Church USA, has prepared a new master class curriculum for Black Mennonite church leaders. Learn more here:

Mennonite Central Committee and Mennonite Church USA are partnering in a year-long focus on alternatives to the current prison system and mass incarceration. A four-part webinar series, “Beyond Incarceration,” will be followed by learning tours across the U.S. Register for the learning tours here: Register for the webinar series here:


Registration for MennoCon23 is now open. Mennocon23 will be held in Kansas City, Mo., July 3-6, immediately followed by the Mennonite Church USA Delegate Assembly and the new Youth & Young Adult Climate Summit. Register here: View a downloadable printer-friendly flier here:


Change and transformation is a constant in life. For Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz, Mennonite Church USA’s denominational minister for Peace and Justice, relationships have been an important part of the transformation in her own life and have sustained her throughout those changes. Read more of her reflections here:

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:  Participants from three Mennonite Mission Network Service Adventure units are in Newton for five days of fellowship, during which they will share the importance of service with potential participants. A similar event will be held in two weeks in Elkhart, Indiana. Pray that current and future participants will grow in their commitment to active faith through these events.
Western District Conference Prayer Request:  Pray for the four WDC Commissions as they work to resource congregations, equip ministers and congregational leaders, nurture emerging congregations, and encourage generous giving and stewardship to support WDC’s mission.