Announcements for November 27-December 4, 2022

November 27, 2022 – First Sunday of Advent

Based on CDC Guidelines Harvey County is 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’s worship service:


First Sunday of Advent November 27, 2022
Watch: The Day is Almost Here
Prelude—Rebecca & Matt Schloneger

Advent Candle Lighting—Justina Neufeld

Hymn—O Come, O Come, Immanuel—VT 210
Congregation sings verses 1 & 6 during processional and lighting

Candle lighting liturgy
Leader: Watch! You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep.
People: The night is far gone, the day is near.
Leader: As we watch, we light this candle as a sign of our hope.
People: Bring your restoration to your people, we pray.

Welcome—Brad Kohlman
Leader: Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel; you who sit on the mercy seat between the cherubim, we stand in your presence, seeking your face.
People: Shine forth, O Lord, in the sight of your people, that we may see you clearly. Stir up your strength in us; come, rescue us.
Leader: The time is near, we are watching; restore us again, O God. People: Cause your face to shine and we shall be saved,made whole by your gracious love and kindness.
All: We are watching and waiting for you, O Lord.

*Hymn—Hark! The Glad Sound!—VT 217

Children’s Conversation & Christmas Ornaments—Jill Robb

Scripture Readings—Psalm 122; Matthew 24:36-44—Lincoln Kohlman and Megan Kohlman

Sermon—Watch, Pray, Believe—Jim Robb

*Hymn—Comfort, Comfort, O My People—VT 212

Communion—Megan Kohlman, Carolyn Penner, Nathan Koontz

Prayers of God’s People

*Hymn—Now the Heavens Start to Whisper—VT 237
People with November birthdays come forward for a blessing, please bring a hymnal

*Birthday Blessing & Benediction—Jim Robb

Postlude—Wake, Wake, for Night Is Flying  (Paul Manz)—Karen Schlabaugh

* You are invited to stand
VT = Voices Together
Audio visual— John Thiesen
Pastor—Nathan Koontz

This Week at BCMC:  November 27—December 4, 2022
Sun., Nov. 27—First Sunday of Advent
9:15 am      Prelude by Rebecca and Matt Schloneger
9:30 am      Worship with sermon by Jim Robb; November birthday recognition
10:15 am    Coffee/Water/Fellowship in the Gathering Place
10:30 am     Faith Formation—Intergenerational class of pre-school through high school meets in Fellowship Hall — Adult Classes:  Agape Class (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)   
YouTube link for today’s service:
Tues, Nov. 29
7 pm       Deacon Commission meeting in Room 14
Wed., Nov. 30
7:30 pm  Chancel Choir practice in the sanctuary
Thurs., Dec. 1
6:30 pm   Chancel Bell practice in Room B7
7 pm         Church Board meeting in Room 14
Sun., Dec. 4—Second Sunday of Advent

9:15 am    Prelude by the Schowalter Villa Choir; Leland Flickinger, director
9:30 am    Worship with sermon by  Nathan Koontz
10:15 am  Coffee/Water/Fellowship in the Gathering Place
10:30 am  Faith Formation

The 2022 Stewardship Campaign needs your attention!  As of 2PM Tuesday we had 88 pledges of support for a total of about $260,000.  That is about HALF the proposed budget.  Last year we had about 170 pledges.  We desperately need people to get their pledges in; we need people who have pledged to take a second look.  We are ever grateful for your support.  Please pray fully consider what your responsibility to support BCMC is.  We thank you for all you have done and we wish for each of you a happy Thanksgiving holiday season.  The Finance Committee

To Make your Pledge

 You can access the online form  here.

“Restoration is Near!” is the theme of the Advent at Home 2022 worship guide which can be found at the Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) website Using the theme developed for Leader magazine, the guide offers weekly and daily Scriptures from the lectionary texts, worship rituals, prayers, activities, and background information to help individuals and households of all ages prepare for Advent through Epiphany.  If you prefer printed copies of the worship guide, these are located on the ledge between the mailboxes in the Gathering Place.

You are invited to share a poinsettia for the sanctuary for the Christmas
season.  The Worship Decorating Committee 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 Dec. 4.  There will be forms at a table in the back of the sanctuary this Sunday, Nov. 27, if you wish to fill out a form in person.  Contributors may pick up a poinsettia Dec. 24 after the 5 pm Christmas program or after the Christmas Eve, 9 pm program; or, if you can, leave them for the service on Dec. 25.

Everence and MCC to host hygiene kit-making event on Nov. 29 
You can help make the world a better place by joining Everence® and MCC to assemble hygiene kits on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m. The kits will be distributed through worldwide relief organizations to places like crowded refugee camps where unclean conditions can lead to the spread of serious diseases. The event will take place at Hesston Mennonite Church Community Center. 
You can also help by donating supplies to MCC or your Everence office in North Newton or by making a financial contribution to MCC. For more details, contact MCC at 316-283-2720 or Everence at 316-283-3800.

The Newton Treble Clef Annual Vespers will be Sun., Dec. 4, 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 900 Columbus, Newton.  The prelude will begin at 2:45 with Vada Snider, flute; and Karen Loucks, piano.  Program includes the
prelude; Treble Clef Chorus; Hearts 4 Him–Men’s Ensemble; Josue Coy Dick, violin solo;  Prairie Bronze Handbell Ensemble.  A freewill offering  will be taken for the scholarship fund that will be awarded to high school seniors pursuing a music major.

Change in COVID-19 Protocol
The Church Board has changed its policy regarding open windows in the sanctuary during gatherings.  The windows will no longer be opened during worship or other gatherings in the sanctuary unless Harvey County moves into Red status for COVID-19 based on the CDC guidelines.  As long as Harvey County is in green or yellow status, windows will remain closed.     
BCMC Library Announcements
Sixteen books have been recently added to our collection either through our budget or donation. Come find your next new read. As always, Sondra Koontz has written a brief summary of each book to help you make your decision. The book summaries are near the library computer.
Also, the Library Committee will be highlighting books added to our collection though the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery study group. These books, along with the handouts from the Loss of Turtle Island activit, are or will be on the north wall of the library. Come check us out!
BCMC Offering for November 20:  General $10,357.67; MCC $25; Wed. Supper $322.10; MCC Meat Canning $200; Gen. Fund 2023 $1,525; Caring Fund $50; Living Stones $108.33; Kitchen Fund $1; Women’s Fellowship $417. 

From the Board:
Applications Sought for Congregational Care Coordinator:  Closing December 1
 The half-time Congregational Care Coordinator, a new lay position, 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.  The person will work in collaboration with pastors and their visitation plans.  The position is set to begin January 1.  Please contact the church office for application and job description. Applications for the position will be taken through December 1.  

Roots of Justice Anti-Racism Training  
Newton Community for Racial Justice invites you to join in the work of building racial understanding, justice, and equity in our local community by participating in our next Roots of Justice Anti-Racism training coming during the MLK weekend ,January 13-15. The goal of the training is to be exposed to an analysis of racism and build a common understanding of racism, to work together as a team to develop team relationships, and to deepen the philosophical foundations for antiracism work. Bethel College Mennonite Church is happy to financially sponsor your participation. Please contact Pastor Nathan if you would like more details. Early registration is December 1.

Safe Sanctuary Video

You are encouraged to watch this year’s safe sanctuary video created by Jill Robb and Bethany Schrag from BCMC’s Abuse Prevention and Response Committee.  Those who work directly with children and youth are required to watch this video as part of their yearly training, but this resource is helpful for all in our church as we seek to create a culture of safety within our congregation.  Click here to watch the video.  For those of you who work with youth and are required to watch this video, please contact, for follow-up material.  

Bethel College Announcements

Sat., Dec. 3 – 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. 3 – Five Places of Christmas, the annual holiday open house, includes Kauffman Museum and Goerz House on the Bethel College campus, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. No charge for admission. The Bethel College Women’s Association (BCWA) is the host at Goerz House, where there will be baked goods, candy by the pound and other items for sale. Kauffman Museum features Ten Thousand Villages and many other gift items in the museum store, a Weave Your Own Ornament activity, the special exhibition “Reeds and Wool: Patterned Screens of Central Asia” and the permanent exhibits indoors and out. (Other Five Places of Christmas locations: Warkentin House, Harvey County Historical Museum and Carriage Factory Gallery, all in Newton.)
All bakers and craft makers are invited to make items for 5 Places of Christmas on Saturday, December 3 at Goerz House, Bethel College, Bethel College Women’s Association will again be selling baked goods, candy, craft items and poinsettias. Christmas candy, cookies, zwieback, peppernuts, poppyseed rolls and cinnamon rolls are always great sellers. Please bring your items on Friday, December 2 from 1:30-4:30pm or Saturday, December 3, from 8:30-10:00am to Goerz House. Thank you for your support of Bethel College.

Tues., Dec. 6 – Bethel College Steel Drum Ensemble concert, directed by Brad Shores, 7 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center
Weds., Dec. 7 – Singalong to Christmas portions of Handel’s Messiah, 11 a.m., with chamber orchestra and soloists, Bethel College Mennonite Church. Scores provided.
Fri., Dec. 9 – Christmas Gala Jazz concert, directed by Joel Boettger, 8 p.m.Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center
Sun., Dec. 11 – 37th annual Lighting of the Green , 8 p.m. on the Bethel College campus

Invitation to support our sister church:  Iglesia Menonita Casa Betania in Newton plans to welcome a Mennonite pastoral couple from Mexico to provide transitional ministry beginning Jan. 2023, for up to 6-12 months. Casa Betania is working with Western District Conference to seek affordable lodging and transportation for the pastoral couple, and to invite financial contributions to help cover expenses during this time.  If you know of a small, low-cost apartment (e.g. one that is part of someone’s home) or a car available for loan, please contact WDC at 316-283-6300 or  Financial contributions
may be sent to Iglesia Menonita Casa Betania, Box 102, Newton, KS, 67114.  Thank you for sharing in support for this Anabaptist ministry among Spanish-speaking members of our community!
Graciela Tijerina, the pastor of Casa Betania, is retiring and moving back to her home community in Texas. Her last Sunday at Casa Betania is this Sunday, Nov 27, with a 3 pm reception, 4 pm worship with release/blessing, and supper following.  All are welcome to attend.  Translation services are provided.

Everence® to hold December 6 Medicare webinar
Everence will hold an informative Medicare webinar on Tuesday, Dec. 6, starting at 6:30 p.m. Topics will include, when and where to sign up for Medicare, what Medicare does (and doesn’t) cover, Medicare Parts A, B, C and D in clear, understandable language plus budgeting for health care costs in retirement. There will also be time for your questions.
Information will be presented by staff from the Everence offices in Central Kansas.
To register contact Everence at 316-283-3800, 877-467-7294 or
Attendance recommended for those approaching retirement or those ready to sign up for Medicare.
Securities offered through Concourse Financial Group Securities, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Investments and other products are not NCUA or otherwise federally insured, may involve loss of principal and have no credit union guarantee.
Products and services offered through Everence Trust Company and other Everence entities are independent of and are not guaran­teed or endorsed by Concourse Financial Group Securities, or its affiliates.

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

Hesston College Announcements

December 2 to 4 – Prairie Lights
Experience the quiet beauty of Kansas at Prairie Lights at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains December 2 to 4: native grasses shifting in the wind, lights reflecting in the pond and leafless trees lit like living sculptures. Observing tens of thousands of twinkle lights adorning the arboretum and illuminating the grounds is a great way to kick off the Christmas season and find renewed appreciation for the prairie landscape. Tickets available online at

December 3 – Nursing Open House
If you are considering a career in nursing, you will not want to miss the Hesston College Nursing Open House on December 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can learn about the BSN or LPN to BSN program, hear from current students and faculty and tour the college’s wonderful facilities. Hesston College is proud to offer a strong tradition in nursing. Register at

December 3 – Holly Jolly Community Day
Join Hesston College for Holly Jolly Community Day on December 3 at Yost Center. Guests receive free admission to the Lark women’s and men’s basketball games that day. At 1 p.m. the Lark women will take on Bethel College JV and at 3 p.m. the Lark men will take on Haskell Indian Nations University. The day includes free popcorn for all in attendance, Christmas activities for kids, a holiday photo booth and performances by the HC dance team.

December 3 – It’s a Wonderful Life
Get in the holiday spirit with Hesston College’s Performing Arts department’s presentation of It’s a Wonderful Life: The Live Radio Play. The performance will be on December 3 at 7 p.m. in Hesston Mennonite Church. Join Hesston College performing arts for this holiday classic. Admissions is free to the public and will also be live streamed at

December 6 – Sunflower Performing Arts presents Calmus: Christmas A Cappella
This outstanding vocal quintet based in Leipzig, Germany, comes to Hesston College to bring a concert featuring Christmas songs from around the world. Hesston College Bel Canto Singers will perform with Calmus on select nu Join us on December 6 at 7pm in Hesston Mennonite Church for a great Christmas performance. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 620-327-8158.

For Mennonite Mission Network News and Beyond click here

For Mennonite Mission Network News from around the world click here

Camp Mennoscah Announcements

Application and further details for summer staffers here!We are seeking stunning summer staff to fill the following leadership positions for the 2023 summer:  crafts, lifeguard, music, nature, office, and grounds.  These positions are typically filled by college-age students, are summer-long and receive a stipend.A summer of fun, service and faith formation!
Other events and happenings: 

  • Giving Tuesday is November 29!  Help us celebrate faith formation and camping with a gift to Camp Mennoscah.  Support with a donation, prayers or by volunteering–all are needed to make this program successful for the approximately 400 campers and almost 50 groups.  Your donation is a gift not only to Camp Mennoscah, but also to every person who visits!Donate here! 
  • Help us Plan for the Future!  A seven-question survey will help us know how camp is used and what you would like to see in the future.  Click here to tell us what you think!
  • Thank you to those who helped with the amphitheater in November!  The work is not yet finished, but we are closer!  Keep looking for the next opportunity to help out!
  • Camps that run from Sunday to Saturday will now end on Friday. This is only a change for Junior and Junior High Camps. It will not affect First Camp, PreJunior, or Senior High Camps. Weekend groups will not be affected either.For several weeks, the Programming Committee requested thoughts and comments on ending a full-week camp on Friday instead of Saturday.  While responses were both for and against a switch to a Friday checkout, responses weighed more heavily to the positive.  There are benefits to both campers and staff when staff is better rested.  Groups and families will also have additional opportunities to spend time at camp with the change.  The checkout time on the last day of Junior/Junior High camps will move to 10:30-11:30am (previously 9-10am) to allow for a more relaxed checkout.

Mennonite Church USA Announcements


The worship planning committee for Mennonite Church USA’s MennoCon23 convention has officially begun preparing for the event, which will take place at the Kansas City (Missouri) Convention Center, July 3-8, 2023. The committee spends the year prior to the event organizing the worship services for MennoCon. Read more here:

Save the date! Hope for the Future, an annual gathering of Black, Indigenous and people of color leaders from across Mennonite Church USA, will be held February 3-5, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia. Learn more here:

Dirt and composting are powerful tools for learning how to serve. Just ask Melissa Marquez Weaver of Immanuel Mennonite Church, who was recently inspired to dig through mud. “At the bottom of my muck pile was the brown gold I’d been searching for. Soft and rich and ready to help our plants and flowers thrive.” Read more in her #BeTransformed blog here:

Cincinnati Mennonite Fellowship artist Christian Dallas painted a mural that makes a powerful statement to the church’s neighborhood. Titled (by a church vote) “The Beauty of Peace,” the approximately 500 sq. ft. mural spans three walls. See a photo and learn more here:

This Giving Tuesday, Mennonite Church USA thanks you for your support and gifts throughout the year. Every gift to the General Fund helps to support the work and ministries of the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board and staff, which in turn, supports area conferences, congregations and members. Learn more here.

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:   Austin Roberts, who is serving through Mennonite Mission Network, requests prayer for Northern Ireland, where Queen Elizabeth’s death has fueled tensions between Catholics and Protestants. Inflation and the rise in heating oil prices and electricity, a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, add to the unrest. He asks us to join him in his plea for “a swift and peaceful end to this aggression,” for the benefit of the people of Ukraine, all of Europe and the world.

Western District Conference Prayer Request:    We are about to finish this year 2022, I surely believe that our God has led us, and care in the process and stages of life within the kingdom of God. And we continue to face each challenge, but God has also opened doors, relationships and many more things, the work was not only of one, but all in unity and harmony of the Spirit of God. We present to God the new challenges that will come, so that He may take care of all of us, in this Church Plant Commission and the other WDC Commissions. In the name of Jesus, Amen. -WDC Church Planting Commission