Announcements for September 11-18, 2020

Peace Sunday
Next Sunday we will be celebrating Peace Sunday with Dr. Christine Miller Hesed as a guest speaker.  Miller Hesed is an environmental anthropologist and conservation biologist whose work focuses on engaging underrepresented communities in climate change adaptation planning. She was the project director of Engaging Faith Communities for Coastal Resilience, an applied research project that brought together rural church communities with county and state government employees to address climate change on the Chesapeake Bay. Her work involves cultural consensus analysis and ethnographic methods to understand differences and similarities in cultural knowledge within and across stakeholder groups. Her doctoral research focused on rural African American communities on the Chesapeake Bay in order to understand environmental justice, vulnerability, adaptation, and resilience to sea-level rise. Miller Hesed is a former EPA STAR Fellow. She currently lives in Hesston, Kansas with her husband and young children.

Zoom practice sessions
Renee will be holding 2 Zoom practice/tutorial sessions before the Zoom September 20th worship service. Please note, Renee does not know everything but can help you get started on a few things. If you have never used Zoom before you will need to download the application onto your computer. You can do this here: You will also need a microphone and camera on your computer/tablet/smartphone to fully participate and interact with others during the discussion session following the service. If you’d like to practice getting on Zoom before this worship service, please let Renee know at The two drop in Zoom practice sessions will be Monday, September 14th from 4-5pm and Thursday, September 17th from 1-2pm. This service will also be recorded and uploaded to YouTube (like we normally do on Sunday mornings). 

This week’s “Hello” video comes from Monica Lichti. Click here to join Monica, Lucy, and Faith on a tour of the Fellowship Hall remodel to see what’s being done while we’ve been away.  You can see the video at:

Donna and Jerry Friesen who live at Kidron Bethel Village ask for your prayers as Jerry is in hospice care.  We pray for strength for Donna and others as they provide physical and emotional support, and for patience, comfort, and love as Donna and Jerry enter into this last stage of life together.

BCMC is responsible for meals and volunteers at New Hope Shelter this week from Sept. 9 through Sept. 15.  Please remember our volunteers as they serve the homeless in our community. 

Porch Portraits 
We love seeing your pictures and want to keep seeing more! Please send your porch portraits to Renee at so we can include your smiles to our collection. View photos by following this link:  New photos have been added and will continue to be added in this ongoing project. 

Updating Church Directory
Monica Lichti is working hard at updating our church directory for this coming year. Please take a look at your contact information and your families contact information from the yellow 2019 directory. If anything is incorrect, please let Monica know by September 16.

This is a gentle reminder from the Library Committee that our wonderful library is open whenever the church is. Please feel free to come and explore our collection-either at home through TinyCat or on the computer here at church. As an added incentive, we have begun choosing genres/themes that will change every other month or so. Currently, we have pulled the books that share the theme “Racial Justice”. This healthy collection is on the shelves in back of the library check out desk. Also, those of you that have had books checked out since February or before, please return them as soon as possible. If you still don’t feel comfortable bringing them back yourselves, one of us will be glad to pick it up.   You can access the church library catalog by going to the BCMC website, click on Resources, then click on Library.  Happy Reading! Kathryn Simmons, Margaret Goering, Rose Haury, Barb Koontz, Sondra Koontz, LaVonne Sawatsky

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:  Join Mennonite Mission Network in praising God that no students, staff, or faculty of the Near East School of Theology were injured when last month’s explosion rocked Beirut, Lebanon. Pray for wisdom for George Sabra, the school’s president, and for the necessary resources to repair the extensive damage done to the eight-floor building. Pray also for all who have lost loved ones and homes.
Western District Conference Prayer Request:  Pray for the Holy Spirit’s wisdom, guidance and joy for Lois Barrett, as she begins serving as the new moderator for WDC.

Join KIPCOR ONLINE for their 2020-2021 Peace Lecture Series kickoff
Thank you so much for your patience since the beginning of the year when we announced Sarah Smarsh as our 2020 Peace Lecturer.   After much discussion with her team, we have decided that the best way to safely host the event is to do it virtually.  Therefore, we will be live-streaming the event on Thursday evening, November 5, 2020.  The author, speaker, and journalist will present, “Bridging the Cultural Divide in Difficult Times.”     Sarah focuses on socioeconomic class and rural America. Her book Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, an instant New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the National Book Award, examines economic inequality through her upbringing among the working poor on a Kansas farm.
Sarah has reported on socioeconomic class for The Guardian, the New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper’s, and many other publications.  Heartland was named a “best of 2018” by NPR, Fresh Air, the Boston Globe, Amazon, Buzzfeed, Barnes and Noble, and Publishers Weekly.  In addition to being short-listed for the National Book Award, Heartland was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, the Lukas Prize, the Indie Choice Award, and an Audie Award for Smarsh’s reading of her audiobook.  Actor-producer Sarah Jessica Parker selected the title for the American Library Association’s Book Club Central. Sarah is a regular political commentator in national media and has spoken internationally on poverty, rural issues, and cultural divides at venues ranging from small-town libraries to Sydney Opera House. Sarah was recently a Fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.  In 2019, Sarah released a podcast entitled The Homecomers, which focuses on how a national blind spot toward rural and working-class America is driving misleading headlines, broken politics, and dangerous fissures in our social fabric.  The podcast showcases stories of people who, as residents or advocates, remain committed to their complex, embattled homes.  This event is a fundraiser.  Registration details will be provided at a later date. For the most up to date information, please see our website at

Sunday, Sept. 13– KIPCOR, the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Bethel College, is hosting a Zoom call, starting at 2 pm, featuring Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot, a 40-minute documentary about a group of Alabama students and teachers who nonviolently resisted a century of Jim Crow in a segregationist state to win voting rights for Blacks, followed by a talk-back session with Larry Burks Sr., president of the Wichita branch of the NAACP. If you signed up, don’t forget to tune in!

Now in the Regier Art Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College: work by three seniors from the Class of 2020 — Georgia Anderson, Blayne Stump and Anna Wiens. Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Receptions will be individual and by invitation only. Face masks must be worn on the Bethel College campus.

You are invited to read the September/October/November issue of WDC’s quarterly newsletter, WDC Garden, now available at: 

Everence will host its workshopMake Medicare an easy step, as a webinar on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will learn about the various Medicare plans and what they cover; plans that supplement Medicare; and enrollment details and deadlines. This webinar is free. Please register by contacting our office at 877-467-7294, 316-283-3800 or

Bethel College Women’s Association has worked to raise money for Bethel for many years.  This August we are opening our first online store,  We invite you to help us support Bethel by checking this online market for crafts, jewelry, Bethel-themed items and much more. Our inventory will change over time so please check in to find that special gift or item for your home.  If circumstances allow, on September 1 we will begin accepting orders for baked goods to be picked up on Fall Fest weekend, October 1-3.  Please check the website for updated information.

Mennonite Central Committee announcements:

If you can tie a knot you can help MCC! There are lots of comforters at MCC in North Newton that need to be tied and we’re looking for volunteers! If you would be interested in borrowing a set of sticks/stands from the MCC Workroom to set up and tie comforters at home, please contact Kate Mast at (, ‪316-804-8432).
Mennonite Central Committee invites you join Celebration 2020: MCC at 100, a livestreamed event commemorating a century of MCC’s ministry on Saturday, Oct. 17, starting at 6:50 pm. (EDT). The event will feature photos, videos and storytelling that highlight MCC’s work over the years. Former MCC leader and pastor Leonard Dow of Philadelphia will inspire participants to walk boldly into the next century of MCC’s ministry while talented musicians will lead in prayer and thanksgiving. You can find more information about MCC’s centennial and log in for the livestreamed event at 
Register NOW for the MCC Flatlander Bicycle Ride! Due to COVID-19, the ride is a “virtual” event this year and open to EVERYONE.  Riders may register any time until September 29. Register online at Join us in raising money for MCC to fund the construction of new wells and repair existing water and sanitary systems at schools in Nicaragua. With these improvements, students will have safe water to drink and wash their hands. In this global pandemic, access to clean water is more essential than ever. Donations from non-riders are welcome! Checks to MCC Flatlander Bike Ride may be sent to MCC Central States, PO Box 235, North Newton, KS 67117.

The Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale is sponsoring an online auction at this time.  Here is the Acutria Auction site.
Bidding began last week on September 1 with bidding to close at 5 pm, September 26. This auction will feature donations that would have been sold at the silent or general auction at the KMRS event last April.  Currently there are over 20 donations and items will continue to be added through the time period of the auction so check out the auction site often.  There will not be any quilts sold at this auction but the quilt committee is putting together a quilt online auction for October.  More details will follow as those details are worked out.  This is an opportunity to contribute to the continuing needs of the Mennonite Central Committee. The auction site is easy to use and is geared for non-profit charitable organizations.  Items purchased may be picked up at a distribution points in North Newton, Topeka and Hutchinson.  Shipping or delivery will be considered upon request.  
Again, here is the Acutria Auction website 
Please check out the items on the auction site and bid.  If you have something you would like to donate or have questions, please contact me at or 620-747-0186.
You have been very generous in your donations and contributions to KMRS and MCC.  For this we are thankful.  But in this centennial year we should consider stretching ourselves as the original supporters of MCC did.  The best way to celebrate is to “give in the name of Christ.”  Jim Robb,  KMRS Chair

Camp Mennoscah announcements
· Limited number of openings! Camp Mennoscah’s Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats will take place on Oct. 30-Nov. 1 and Nov. 6-8.  Masks and physical distancing guidelines will be followed and the facility used has been changed.  More spaces will be opened as determined safe and feasible, so put your name on the waitlist!  Register online at!  Call 620-297-3290 for further information.
· Camp Mennoscah welcomes guests!  Camping areas and cabins are open to guests/groups for overnight stays and day visits.  Spend time in the river, have a campfire cookout, and enjoy the open spaces of the tallgrass prairie and the Ninnescah River!  Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 to make a reservation and to inquire about use of additional facilities.  We can’t wait to see you!

Women’s Retreat 2020:  And now for something completely different!  After much discussion and prayer, the Retreat Committee has decided not to meet in person at Camp Menoscah this year.  We will miss all of you and the energy and joy you bring to camp.  However we WILL gather virtually on Saturday night, September 12 from 7-8:30 pm via Zoom for a worship service.  Our goal is to connect to and encourage each other through Christ and His love for us.  Susan Jantzen (interim pastor of Worship/Visitation at First Mennonite in Newton) will lead us on “Reflections on God as Keeper”.  Bethany Martin from Faith and Life Bookstore will review a few books.  Annelle Claassen (Retreat Committee Chair) will lead singing, and Karen Mascho (Pastor and Retreat Committee) will lead communion together.  No masks required!  For free registration or questions, send your email to Tammy Duvanel Unruh at by Thursday, September 10.  Save the date and we look forward to seeing your whole face!

The Mennonite Heritage and Cultural Museum in Goessel, has an ongoing display of Marie and Martha Voth’s Wheat Marquetry Art till the end of September. Over 25 larger works (both paintings and wheat art) and many, many smaller items and greeting cards. Museum Hours are Tues. through Sat. 10 am – 5 pm. Regular admission applies and free admission for museum members. 

Now at Kauffman Museum (through Nov. 29) – “Sorting Out Race: Examining Racial Identity and Stereotypes in Thrift Store Donations.” Regular hours are Tues.-Fri. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 1:30-4:30 p.m., closed Mondays and major holidays, but with ever-changing COVID-19 protocols, you are advised to check the museum website,, or Facebook page or call 316-283-1612 before planning a visit.

The Israel Palestine Relations Task Force of Western District Conference Israel Palestine Task Force/Mennonite Church USA is sponsoring a webinar on September 21, 7 to 8 pm (CT). UN’s International Day of Peace entitled Racial Justice from US to Palestine features Jonathan Kuttab, Alex Awad and Sarah Thompson Nahar.  Call Western District Conference for instructions on how to join the webinar.

Wurst Fundraiser Ever: You’re invited to a German-themed drive-through carryout meal fundraiser to benefit Mennonite Central Committee Sept. 26 held at Shalom Mennonite Church in Newton, Kan. Tim and Heidi Huber’s family will be offering bratwurst, sides, dessert and drinks, with an RSVP deadline of Sept. 19 or 300 reservations by calling 316-217-1932.  Hope to see you there!

From the Mennonite Creation Care Network
Jim Musselman, creation care liaison from First Mennonite Church of San Francisco Mennonite Church writes:
September 13, 2020. 
Please pause for a moment to grieve the devastation and suffering from the forest fires in California right now. For those of us with some understanding of climate change, it is a double grief. See what Jim has to say below. Lament and beg for God’s mercy, respond with advocacy and action as you can; leave the rest in God’s hands. 
The Day the Sun Did Not Come Up
For those of us in Northern California, September 9, 2020, was “The Day The Sun Didn’t Come Up.” As I write this at 2:20 pm, the sun still had not risen here in San Francisco. 
Yesterday the NY Times reported that wildfires in California have now burned more acreage than in any prior year in recorded history, plus we still have four months left in our fire season. Amy Goodman, on the Democracy Now news show, reported not only that the acreage burned this year exceeded all prior recorded years, but also that these record breaking wildfires are caused by global warming. Thank you, Amy Goodman, and thank you to all the news agencies that have had the integrity to link these record-breaking fires to climate change instead of regarding global warming as a radical leftist hoax. 
My friends and family in Dublin California, 60 miles to the southeast; Aptos California, 70 miles south; and Salinas California 105 miles south, have all reported today that the sun did not come up there either.
I cannot help but take this phenomenon as a warning that we must alter how we live and begin to de-grow our human enterprise across the planet. We seem to have completely lost touch with the natural world and forgotten that we are an integral part of it.