Announcements for November 26–December 3, 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 26, 2023
Thanksgiving Sunday

Prelude—Cello Suite No. 4  (J.S. Bach) and  Bourrée  (Transcribed by Alamiro Giampieri) and Justin Mathis, clarinet
Christ Candle Lighting
Welcome and Prayer—Margaret Toews
*Hymn—Sing to the Lord of Harvest—VT 122
Children’s Conversation—Jim Robb
Special Music—Romance from Five Bagatelles for Clarinet and Piano  (by Gerald Finzi)
Justin Mathis, clarinet; Karen Schlabaugh, piano
Scripture Reading – Psalm 103:1-8,13-18; Philippians 1:1-7, 4:4-7 Richard Friesen and Dorothy Nickel Friesen
Sermon—Radical Gratitude—Roger Neufeld Smith
*Hymn—Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah—VT 606
Prayers of God’s People
*Hymn—God, Whose Giving—VT 745
People with November birthdays come forward for a blessing,
please bring a hymnal
Postlude—Postlude on Beata nobis gaudia (Robert Powell)—Karen Schlabaugh

 *You are invited to stand     VT—Voices Together     Audio visual— John Thiesen
 Keyboard—Karen Schlabaugh

The Kobzar, a folk minstrel who was both an entertainer and sage, was an institution in the life of the Ukrainian people.  This Dancing Kobzar sculpture, part of the John Klassen art exhibit now on display in the Gathering Place, is on loan from Cynthia Neufeld Smith.

We welcome clarinetist Justin Mathis to worship with us Sunday, November 26.
Instructor of clarinet at Colorado Christian University and principal clarinetist for Denver Pops Orchestra, Justin is married to Lyn and Naomi Krause’s daughter, Cheri. 
Roger’s Whereabouts :  Roger will be driving back to Topeka this afternoon. He will be back in Newton next Sunday for worship (his wife Cynthia will be playing the organ prelude!). He will be in Newton until Thursday night, December 7. 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 is on vacation from Nov. 22-26. 
Thank you to Susie Swartley and Kathy Stucky for the Thanksgiving
display on the steps of the Chancel Area.

BCMC Offering for November 19, 2023: 
 General Fund $6,685.33; Community Play School $250; Wed. Night Supper $282.50; Plant Fund $608.33; Gen Fund 2024 $10,025; Caring Fund $138.29; Flower Fund $150; Kitchen Fund $23. 

This Week at BCMC:  November 26—December 3, 2023
Sun., November 26, 2023—Thanksgiving Sunday
9:30 a.m.  Worship   10:45 a.m. Faith Formation
Worship YouTube Link for this Sunday:
The church nursery is staffed during worship and Sunday School
10:45 a.m.  Faith Formation—Intergenerational class (Fellowship Hall);   High School (Room 24)    Adult Classes:  Agape (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)
Mon., November 27, 2023
10 a.m.  Library Committee meeting in Room 14
Wed., November 29, 2023
6:30 p.m.  Chancel Bell rehearsal in Room B7
7 p.m.        Abuse Prevention and Response Committee meeting in Room 14
7:30 p.m.  Chancel Choir rehearsal in the sanctuary
Thurs., November 30, 2023
7 p.m.         Deacon Commission meeting in Room 14
Sun., Dec. 3, 2023—First Sunday of Advent
9:30 a.m.  Worship with sermon by Nathan Koontz; music by Chancel Choir; communion will be served; 10:45 a.m. Faith Formation

The bcmcXpress is lagging a bit.  As of Monday Nov. 20, we had 84 intents for a total dollar amount pledged of about $258,000.  That’s a lot of money, but it is less than half of the proposed budget.  The challenge is to get that total up.  We know that many people have not pledged.  Please consider your obligation and make a pledge.  If you have already pledged consider raising the amount.  BCMC has met these challenges in the past and we will again, but it means we all need to pull together.  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

A Celebration of Life for Gladys Niles and Gail Niles Stucky is scheduled for 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 26, at Shalom Mennonite Church, Newton.  In lieu of flowers, those who wish to honor Gladys’ and Gail’s memories are encourage to make a gift to support Bethel College, Bethel College Mennonite Church, or Shalom Mennonite Church.  

Kauffman Museum will celebrate Museum Store Sunday, November 26.  Museum members will receive 20% off their entire Store purchase and non-members will receive 10% off. More than 2,100 Museum Stores representing all 50 states, 25 countries and 5 continents take part in this event. For more information about and to find participating stores, go to
Kauffman Museum’s normal business hours are Sunday 1:30-4:30 p.m.

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.

The cost of the training is $300 prior to December 1 and $350 afterwards.  If you are interested in receiving scholarship money to help reimburse registration costs, please contact the church office at  The Witness Commission strongly encourages your participation and is happy to answer any questions you may have.  Please contact the church office to be in contact with someone from the Witness Commission. 

To register click here.  

The church board is calling a brief special congregational meeting following worship in the sanctuary December 10, 2023 to act on the following board recommendation:
Does BCMC approve the initiation of a pledge drive for the purpose of soliciting funds and support for the solar project? The details of a pledge drive will be worked out if an initial vote indicates significant support.
The purpose of this vote is to determine the level of support from the congregation for a roof-top solar installation on our church.  A review of the solar project as presented at the September congregational meeting and in two subsequent SS hour meetings will be distributed to mailboxes the week of November 27.

For a review of information on the solar panels press here

For your calendars

  • December 24, 2023 — there will be no Sunday School — Worship will start at 10 a.m.
  • December 31, 2023 — there will be no Sunday School — Worship will start at 10 a.m.
  • 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!

Bethel College Announcements
· Fri., Dec. 1 – Senior Art Exhibit I opens in the Regier Art Gallery and the Drama Lab, both in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College, featuring the work of Rachel Geyer (lab) and Edel Miller (gallery). Hours are Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 2-4 p.m.
· Friday, Dec. 1 — Student-directed one-act plays, 7:30 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College. Please note: May contain adult language and themes and may not be suitable for children.
· Sat., Dec. 2 – Kauffman Museum bird walk, 8 a.m. start time in the museum parking lot at the corner of Main and 27th streets (2801 N. Main St., North Newton 67117). Experienced birders lead a walk of 1-1.5 hours in Chisholm Park and on Sand Creek Trail (terrain is mostly wood-chip path and sometimes uneven/sloping).
· 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.
· Weds., Dec. 6 – Singalong to Christmas portions of Handel’s Messiah, 11 a.m
., with chamber orchestra and soloists, At Bethel College Mennonite Church. Scores will be provided. 
· Thurs., Dec. 7 – Gala Jazz, directed by Joel Boettger, 7:30 p.m.
, Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center 
· Sun., Dec. 10 – 37th annual Lighting of the Green , 8 p.m. on the Bethel
    College campus

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). Questions are always welcome, please contact brociamueller@mcc.orgor 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.

Peace Connections is 40 years old!  You are invited to an Open House Celebrating Peace Connections 40 years on November 30, 6 to 8 p.m. at 209 S. Pine Street, Newton.  Share S’mores and Hot Chocolate while hearing stories of Peace Connections’ past impact, current programs, and their future story.

M&M Project Update:  End of Year GIving!

Please consider giving to Camp Mennoscah and/or the M&M Project on Giving Tuesday – this year on November 28 – or as part of your end-of-the-year giving. It’s not that we aren’t thankful for all you’ve done – but there is a lot to be done at  Camp, and we already know that God has touched your hearts and called many to be part of Camp’s mission. Let’s not just finish the M&M Project strong – let’s finish the year strong!

Thank you for being a part of Camp Mennoscah! 75 years – There is still so much ahead!

Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp Announcements· Scrapbook Retreat, Jan. 26-28 is your opportunity to create paper or digital photo books and share ideas and good conversation with other scrapbook participants. Lisa Longacher will return as our program resource for the retreat and help facilitate a variety of activities. Please come for retreat and community in God’s creation here at Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp. Register online ( and save a space to join in.
· Join us for Men’s Retreat March 1-3, 2024 to spend time with God and fellow men in the beauty of creation with worship times, foosball, ping pong, chess, human curling, snowshoeing, musical jam sessions, great fellowship and more! The Friday before 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 @
· 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, and fellowship. This weekend is for women ages 18 and older to come together. Theme to be announced!  Visit to register.

For Mennonite Mission Network “News and Beyond” press here
For Mennonite World Conference “Info” press here
For Mennonite Mission Network “News from around the world” press here

Mennonite Church USA Announcements
Menno Snapshots

As part of Mennonite Church USA’s latest Learn, Pray, Join initiative, End Gun Violence, Jonny Rashid, pastor for West Philadelphia Mennonite Fellowship, a member church of Allegheny Mennonite Conference, shared a prayer of lament about gun violence. Read it here:

Anabaptist musicians from a variety of countries met this spring in Canada for a songwriting retreat sponsored by Anabaptist Worship Network. George Makinto, director of worship at Los Angeles (California) Faith Chapel, recounts how he experienced hope through the gathering of such a diverse group of people worshipping God together. Read more here:

Michael George, a Palestinian-American and facilitator of MennoPIN’s “Twinning with Gaza” Initiative, a Mennonite Church USA affinity group, laments the recent attacks from Hamas and ongoing war in Israel/Palestine. Read it here:

Rachel Ringenberg Miller, denominational minister for ministerial leadership for Mennonite Church USA, reminds us that Anabaptist congregational leadership requires collaboration, from the leaders and from the congregation. The process to make changes takes time, but the inclusive nature of the process is worth it. Read more here: Mission Network Prayer Request:  Jonah and Memee Yang began serving with Mennonite Mission Network in September. Pray for Jonah as he teaches Hmong and Thai students in Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary’s Journey Program and for Memee as she offers Sister Care seminars. The Yangs live in Minnesota and will travel to Thailand twice each year.
Western District Conference Prayer Request:  Pray for chaplains and other ministers in WDC who offer pastoral care for members of our communities experiencing pain, loneliness, loss or grief, particularly during this holiday season.

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:  Jonah and Memee Yang began serving with Mennonite Mission Network in September. Pray for Jonah as he teaches Hmong and Thai students in Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary’s Journey Program and for Memee as she offers Sister Care seminars. The Yangs live in Minnesota and will travel to Thailand twice each year.

Western District Conference Prayer Request:  Pray for chaplains and other ministers in WDC who offer pastoral care for members of our communities experiencing pain, loneliness, loss or grief, particularly during this holiday season.