Announcements for November 19-26, 2023



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 below 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:

November 19, 2023
Twenty Fifth Sunday After Pentecost

Prelude—Little Prelude and Fugue in C (JS Bach); Now Thank We All Our God (Bach/Fox)—
Will Wiebe-Friesen
Christ Candle Lighting
Welcome and Prayer—Elizabeth Schmidt
*Hymn—Guide My Feet—VT 816
Children’s Conversation—Jeanette Leary
Anthem—A Song of Thanksgiving (John Ferguson)—Chancel Choir; Riley King, director; Will Wiebe-Friesen, accompanist
Scripture Reading—Psalm 105:4-13; Luke 3:4-9; Deut. 26:1-5—Emma Gering
Sermon—Fugitives in the Family Tree—Lauren Friesen
*Hymn—Lift Every Voice and Sing—VT 611
Prayers of God’s People
*Hymn—Praise to the Living God—VT 204
Postlude—Precious Lord Take My Hand (arr. Schrader)—Will Wiebe-Friesen
* You are invited to stand
VT—Voices Together
Keyboard- Will Wiebe-Friesen
Audio visual— Ben Lichti

Welcome to Lauren Friesen
We welcome Lauren to deliver the sermon at BCMC today.  Lauren and his partner Janet joined BCMC last May.  Previously they had been active at Chicago Community Mennonite Church where Lauren often preached.  Prior to their time in Chicago, Lauren was a professor at the University of Michigan. We are glad that he and Janet have wandered their way into this community!

The church board is calling a special brief congregational meeting following worship in the sanctuary Sunday, Nov. 19, to act on the following board recommendation:
“That Bethel College Mennonite Church join the Repair Network, a binational network of congregations engaged in efforts to repair damages done to indigenous groups over the last centuries.  Joining the network entails, among other things, a commitment of funds within the witness commission budget to support the ongoing efforts of the organization.  This commitment would involve a commitment of $3,000 in the 2024 church budget, with the expectation that in 2025 the amount would be $4,000 and 2026 and years following $5,000, approximately 1% of the BCMC budget.  It is understood that actions on budget beyond 2024 would follow normal budget development and action processes.”

This Week at BCMC:  November 19—26, 2023
Sun., November 19, 2023
9:30 a.m. Worship; 10:45 a.m. Faith Formation
Brief Congregational Meeting will follow worship in the sanctuary
Worship YouTube Link for this Sunday:
The church nursery is staffed during worship and Sunday School
10:45 a.m.  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)
Tues., November 21, 2023
3 p.m.      Worship Commission meeting by Zoom
7 p.m.      Women’s Fellowship meeting in Fellowship Hall 
Wed., November 22, 2023—No Chancel Choir rehearsal tonight
Thurs., November 23, 2023—Thanksgiving Day—Church office closed; building locked for the holiday
Fri., November 24, 2023—Church office will be closed today

Sun., November 26, 2023—Thanksgiving Sunday
9:30 a.m.  Worship with sermon by Roger Neufeld Smith; music by Justin Mathis, clarinet; November birthday recognition

BCMC Women’s Fellowship meets Tuesday, November 21, in Fellowship Hall at 7:00 p.m. We will discuss mental health and teen motherhood. Use the south-east door.

BCMC Offering for November 12, 2023: 
 General Fund $11,542; MCC $25; Wed. supper $428; Library Reserve Fund $10; Flower Fund $20; Bethel College Scholarship Fund $500; Kitchen Fund $18.25.

The BCMC Board continues to discuss the solar project and hopes to have more details about next steps sometime in December.  Thank you for your patience!   Margaret Toews and Jon Zerger for the board

Save the date, January 28, 2024 for Congregational Meeting and Soup Luncheon prior to the congregational meeting and the next fun-filled congregation and youth activity!

We offer sympathy to the family of Gladys Niles and Gail Stucky.  Gladys died November 5 at Kidron Bethel Village.  Gladys’ daughter, Gail, died Nov. 15, at Paramount Community Living in Newton.  A celebration of life is scheduled for both Gladys and Gail at 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 26, at Shalom Mennonite Church, Newton. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to honor Gail’s and Gladys’ memories are encouraged to make a gift to support Bethel College, Bethel College Mennonite Church, or Shalom Mennonite Church.
For Gladys’ obituary press here
For Gail’s obituary press here


Roger’s Whereabouts :  Roger will be back in the BCMC office Monday morning (11/20) until Wednesday (11/22). He will return to Topeka for a Smith Thanksgiving celebration, then be back in Newton on Saturday (11/25) to preach on Sunday (11/26).  Whether he’s in Newton or Topeka, Roger checks his email and phone regularly, so feel free to contact him via email, text or phone call (785-220-1968).
Pastor Nathan Koontz will be on vacation from Nov. 22-26. 
bcmcXpress:  If you have not done so already, please fill out your intent for giving to BCMC for the 2024 budget.  This is very helpful in setting the budget for the coming year.  Your generous contributions for 2023 are greatly appreciated.  The Finance Committee
For the online form press here.

If you plan to give via the electronic transfer system in 2024, please make a request via email to BCMC Financial Manager Michael Claassen –
This is separate from the online giving option found on the website.
For the 2024 Budget Information for Bethel College Mennonite Church (the budget narrative) click the button.  If you would like a paper copy of the 2024 Budget Narrative, you can pick one up from the ledge in the Gathering Place.
2024 Narrative Budget

You are invited to share a poinsettia for the sanctuary for the Christmas season.  BCMC will purchase the poinsettias, and have them delivered to the church.  To contribute, email the following to the office or fill it out and put it in the offering plate: 
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 Nov. 21. There will be forms at a table in the back of the sanctuary this Sunday if you wish to fill out a form in person. 


Antiracism Analysis Training
You are invited to join a 2 1/2 day training covering topics such as Racial and cultural identity; White privilege; Institutions and institutional racism; Racism as a systemic reality, and more.
Training is January 12-14, 2024 at the Newton REC Center.  There is a poster on the BCMC bulletin board.  For the poster you can also click here.

To register click here.  Note that there is early bird registration by December 1, 2023.  

Bethel College Announcements
·  (Sun., Nov. 19) – Joint junior recital by Emil Benavides and Dylan Yoder, voice, 4 p.m., Administration Building chapel at Bethel College 
· Mon., Nov. 20 – Bethel College Wind Ensemble, directed by Chris Miertschin, 7 p.m., featuring the music of Satie, Smith, Bernstein and more; Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center or livestreamed at
· Sat., Dec. 2 – Five Places of Christmas, featuring Kauffman Museum and the Bethel College Women’s Association at Goerz House, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Other locations are Carriage Factory Gallery, Harvey County Historical Museum and Warkentin House, all in Newton.
· All bakers and craft makers are invited to make items for 5 Places of Christmas Sat., December 2, at Goerz House, Bethel College.
  Bethel College Women’s Association will again be selling baked goods, candy, craft items and poinsettias.  Your home-baked cookies, zwiebach, cinnamon rolls, peppernuts and poppyseed rolls are always great sellers. This year we are especially asking for homemade candies such as peanut clusters, peanut butter balls, peanut brittle or fudge.  Please bring your items to Goerz House on Friday, December 1, from 1-4 p.m. or on Saturday from 9-10 a.m.

Mennonite Central Committee  (MCC) Announcements
· An Evening of Service at MCC on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 6:30-8 p.m. at MCC in North Newton. Bring new dark colored hand towels to pack hygiene kits.  MCC partner Offender Victim Ministries will be here with supplies to write holiday greetings to prisoners, we’ll have comforters to tie and delicious snacks to enjoy.  A great way to give on Giving Tuesday.  
· SAVE THE DATE – The MCC Comforter Blitz will be March 4-6 in Yoder.
· Mennonite Central Committee responding to the Palestine and Israel conflict – As conflict has escalated in the region, MCC laments the violence and mourns all lives lost in Palestine and Israel. MCC remains committed to a just peace for all, and we invite you to join us in praying for an end to the violence. MCC is planning an emergency response to the current crisis with existing partners. Our response will focus on the humanitarian needs in Gaza, given the vulnerability of the population and lack of resources available to families. MCC’s work will build on previous responses to the ongoing conflict, including the distribution of food and bedding. We are also planning to offer trauma healing support and housing reconstruction. Donate online at or call 1-888-563-4676.   

  • MCC Material Resources Center in North Newton critically low on inventory: An MCC kit cannot be distributed until each item for the kit is assembled, but some supplies in the Material Resources Center are so low that kits cannot be processed for shipping. You can help by filling the following needs: new infant onesies and sleepers (6-12 month sizes); new bath towels (dark colored, light to medium weight); new hand towels (dark colored). Locally, MCC distributes prisoner care and returning citizen care kits, for those kits we currently need:men’s shirts (sizes XL, 2XL, 3XL — any color) and men’s underwear (sizes 2XL, 3XL — any color). Buy online and ship it to MCC or bring items to MCC in North Newton (121 E. 30th St, North Newton, KS 67117). Questions are always welcome, please contact or 316.283.2720. A full list of MCC kit contents can be found at

Western District Conference invites you to visit our website to read the latest news, stories and announcements.

Camp Mennoscah Announcements

The application for 2024 Summer Staff at Camp Mennoscah is open!  Summer staff must be 18 years old or older.  The staff leadership positions receiving stipends are naturalist, crafts leader, lifeguard, grounds/maintenance, music leader, and office/media.  Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled. The 2024 summer camp season begins June 2 with orientation for summer-long positions and ends August 4.  We can’t wait to hear from you! 

Other events and happenings:

  • Volunteers are needed immediately to work (M-F) alongside the facilities director on general maintenance tasks.  Working on these regular maintenance tasks will allow more time for planning and preparation for the Retreat Center HVAC project.  The project is running behind and we need to make up time!  Call or text Jordan at 316-613-1848.  Volunteer hours are available from 8am-5pm or a portion of that time.  Please bring a water bottle and your lunch. 
  • Thank you to everyone who stopped by the Camp Mennoscah booth during the Camp Days at Hesston, Tabor and Bethel!  There was great conversation with students interested in being on summer staff for the 2024 Summer Youth Camps.  What a great time to speak with you! 

Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp Announcements

Men’s Retreat: Join us for Men’s Retreat March 1-3, 2024 to spend time with God and fellow men in the beauty of creation. The festivities for the weekend include worship times, foosball, ping pong, chess, human curling, snowshoeing, musical jam sessions, great fellowship and more! On the Friday prior to Men’s Retreat, participants have a tradition of tackling necessary projects at camp. This day of volunteering helps RMMC better serve campers and guests. Register @

Women! Mark your calendars now for Women’s Retreat at RMMC, March 8-10, 2024. Come to the mountains for a weekend away. Retreat, hike, explore, rest, fellowship, laugh, cry, and so much more. This weekend is geared towards women ages 18 and older to come together for laughter, fun, and great fellowship. Theme to be announced! Please visit to register.

Historian to present ‘Mennonites on the Silk Road’ at Newton Public Library
Historian and pastor John Sharp will return to Newton Public Library for a follow-up talk focusing on the Mennonite experience in Central Asia, Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m.
Sharp’s presentation will begin with excerpts from Sofia Samatar’s highly-acclaimed “The White Mosque,” which was the focus of a community book discussion that Sharp led at the library earlier this fall.
Shortly after leading that discussion, Sharp accompanied a group of travelers on an educational tour in Uzbekistan, revisiting the regions discussed in the book.
“Uzbeks cherish their history but also plan for the future, as was abundantly clear on our September tour,” Sharp said. “Uzbekistan is promoting tourism with its new and upgraded hotels and restaurants. With photos and commentary, I will highlight the ways this is changing the sites related to the Mennonite story.”
This is a hybrid program. Participants can attend in person, join online via Zoom webinars, or head to the Newton Public Library Facebook page at the time of the event for a livestream. 
Click here to mark yourself “Going” and share the event on Facebook.

For Mennonite Mission Network “Giving Tuesday” press here

For Mennonite Men “Fall Update” press here

For Mennonite Disaster Service “On the Level” press here

For Mennonite Mission Network “News and Beyond” press here

Mennonite Church USA Announcements
Menno Snapshots

During the Korean War, Sue Park-Hur’s Aunt Hwasil was separated from her mother and brothers. After 40 years, she was finally able to reunite with her family, a privilege that many other Korean families have not been able to enjoy. Park-Hur is Mennonite Church USA’s director of racial/ethnic engagement. Read her blog here:

After researching the experiences of women in ministry, Amy Zimbelman, conference minister of Mountain States Mennonite Conference, explains that the best gift many congregations can give to their pastor is support through a Pastor-Congregation Relations Committee (PCRC). Read more here:

Sarah Werner, author of “Rooted Faith: Practices for Living Well on a Fragile Planet,” and communications coordinator for Central District Conference, a Mennonite Church USA conference, gives hope and tangible ideas for how to Christians can live a life that is faithful to their beliefs amid rapid climate change. Read more here:

Subscribe to PeaceMail and receive all the news and blogs from Mennonite Church USA in one weekly email: View the PDF here:

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:  Tomorrow, Barb Thuma will complete a seven-week Mennonite Mission Network assignment at La Casa Grande, a children’s home in Benin. Pray that the love she shared with the children, through teaching English and working with them on the agricultural program, will bear fruit in the lives of each person she learned to know.

Western District Conference Prayer Request:  Give thanks for changing seasons, and pray that WDC congregations may discern God’s presence and guidance in the midst of the opportunities and challenges that they face.