Announcements for September 12–September 19, 2021

BACKPACK BLESSING–Bring your backpacks to church Sunday – September 12
Students, teachers, Sunday school teachers, Wednesday night club leaders, school administrators and staff: Bring your backpacks, satchels, briefcases, and school bags to worship on Sunday to receive a backpack blessing for the school year! 

Children and Youth Sunday School classes start Sunday – September 12
Sunday is the start of children and youth Sunday School classes! All ages will be meeting every week this year from 10:30-11:30 am.
Preschoolers – Room B4
Middlers (3rd-8th graders) – Room 26
High School – Room 22
Koinonia (college students welcome!) – The Agape House (across the street by the FAC)

BCMC Congregational meeting is this Sunday, September 12
BCMC Congregational meeting, Sept 12, 1pm, via Zoom. The agenda follows and the Zoom link for the meeting is below.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 828 0406 3690
Congregational Meeting Agenda
Sunday, September 12, 2021, 1 pm, via ZOOM

1.  Call to order and Centering Prayer – Elizabeth Schmidt, Moderator

            God of life, we thank you that whether we meet in person or by zoom,
            we gather in your presence. Come among us and guide our time together. 
            In our reporting, give us honesty; in our listening, give us compassion;
            in our uncertainties, give us direction; in our deciding, give us graciousness. 
            Even amidst rising COVID variants, fill us with the creative contagion of
            your love, a love that calls us, by the power of the Spirit, to follow Jesus in
            doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with all your Beloved creation.
            Amen.  (revised from Voices Together, #952, Prayer before a Meeting)

2.   May 2, 2021 congregational meeting minutes – Elizabeth

3.   Financial report – Michael Claassen, Finance Manager

4.   Officer Election – replace Clerk Pat Friesen, who resigned due to move out of state.            

            Margaret Toews is nominated for Clerk through remainder of term, May 31, 2023.

            Action:  Vote via Zoom poll function, Yes to approve, No to disapprove.

5.   Abuse Prevention and Response Committee report – Jill Robb, Chair

6.   Reopening Task Group update – Dawn Yoder Harms, Pastor

7.   Technology Task Group update – Bill Swartley 

8.   Columbarium Expansion Task Group update – Glen Ediger

9.   Other items?

10. Closing Prayer – Pastor Dawn

Press here for the agenda in pdf form.  

Press here for the minutes from the last congregational meeting – May 2, 2021

Paper copies of the agenda will be at the back of the church on Sunday, September 12 

Peace Sunday
Mel Lehman will be our guest speaker for Peace Sunday, September 19.  Mel is a long time peace activist and director of Common Humanity which focuses on peacemaking through understanding, respect, and friendship with the Middle East and Muslim world.  Mel lives part-time in Hesston and the remainder of the time in New York City where he is a deacon at Manhattan Mennonite Fellowship.  Please join us in-person or live-streaming for the worship service at 9:30 and for a discussion time in the sanctuary at 10:45.  For more information about Common Humanity, go to

Memorial Service for Lynn Loucks
A memorial service to remember Lynn will be Saturday, September 18 at First Presbyterian Church, 900 Columbus Avenue, at 1:30 PM.  Masks will be required.


Due to quickly rising COVID-19 cases in Harvey County and the stress on our area healthcare systems, the Reopening Task Group has decided to postpone the reconvening of Chancel Choir this fall for two months. This decision will be revisited as the task group continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation in our community.  
We will continue to gather for worship via livestream and in-person (with masks and keeping distance). 
Faith Formation classes will begin on Sept 12, as classes feel comfortable to meet (masked when meeting indoors). Please do not come to in-person gatherings if you are not feeling well.
You can find current BCMC COVID-19 guidelines on BCMC’s website by following this link: BCMC during COVID-19 – Bethel College Mennonite Church.

BCMC Kaleidoscope
Click here for the 2020-2021 COVID-19 Edition of the BCMC Newsletter Kaleidoscope.
Because of the length of the newsletter, we will not be printing a copy for each mailbox here at the church.  If you wish to have a paper copy, call the office or email the church at  Paper copies of the Kaleidoscope are available at the church in the racks in the foyer or by the mailboxes.

If you like to bake…..
Pastor Renee is looking for food goodies for college students this semester! There are two opportunities to give: The Red Tenants Bible study on Wednesday evenings or the Koininia Sunday School class on Sunday mornings. If you are interested in baking some goodies for either of these occasions, please reach out to Renee at

Safe Sanctuary Training will be offered 2 more times for volunteers working with children and youth (Sunday school teachers, sponsors, club leaders, and mentors): Sunday, September 12th at 10:30am in the fellowship hall or Sunday, September 26th at 7pm on zoom (Please email Renee for a link). While this 1 hour training is required for all people working with children and youth each year, others from BCMC are invited to attend this training as well to learn more about abuse prevention and how to model good boundaries in our relationships with one another. 

Wichita Pride Parade
BCMC will be participating in the Wichita Pride Parade hosted by Wichita Pride on Sunday, September 26 at 1:00.  The Wichita Pride Parade follows an approximate one-mile route on Main Street from the Historic Sedgwick County Courthouse to Douglas Street, right on Douglas Street to Century II.  If you are interested in participating, meet at the BCMC east parking lot at 12:00 for carpooling options, or meet at the Historic Sedgwick County Courthouse in Wichita at 12:45. This parade is part of a wider weekend of events in Wichita celebrating LGBTQ+ communities.  If you would like more information about the entire schedule of events, go to  If you plan on participating in the parade, an email, text, or phone call to Nathan Koontz would be helpful but not necessary.

Bethel College Announcements
Sunday, Sept. 12 – KIPCOR Film Series resumes live, with The Prison Within, a film by Katherin Hervey, 2 p.m.Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College. Individuals incarcerated in San Quentin Prison, charged with murder, take a journey of redemption through participation in a restorative justice program. Audience discussion with Hervey, film director, producer and writer, and Leonard Rubio, executive director of Insight Prison Project, live via Zoom. Bethel’s current COVID-19 protocols require mask-wearing indoors, and physical distancing to the extent possible, regardless of vaccination status.

Thursday, Sept. 16 – Artist reception for Rick McNary and “Doing Good with Wood,” 6-8 p.m., Regier Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College. Exhibit closes Friday, Sept. 17. Gallery hours: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, 2-4 p.m. Bethel’s current COVID-19 protocols require mask-wearing indoors, and physical distancing to the extent possible, regardless of vaccination status.

Thursday, Sept. 30 – KIPCOR Peace Lecture with Mark McCormick, “Peace: It’s a Choice,” 7 p.m., in Memorial Hall. McCormick is a former columnist for the Wichita Eagle and former executive director of The Kansas African American Museum in Wichita, and is currently director of strategic communications for the ACLU of Kansas. Bethel’s current COVID-19 protocols require mask-wearing indoors, and physical distancing to the extent possible, regardless of vaccination status.

Bethel College’s Fall Festival is Sept. 30-Oct. 3, with most activities taking place Saturday, Oct. 2, on campus. Features include music, food, class reunions, football, the comedy The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), and the STEM Symposium honoring Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Richard Zerger. See for the complete schedule.

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



Camp Mennoscah Announcements

Fall Scrapbook and Crafts Retreat, November 5-7, at Camp Mennoscah!  Register at!  There is only one Fall Scrapbook and Crafts Retreat.  Lodging will be in the Retreat Center and cropping/crafting will be in the Main Camp dining hall.  Space heaters will be available for both areas since the repairs for the furnaces will not be complete by the beginning of November.  Fees for the Scrapbook and Crafts Retreat have increased to $150 to meet higher costs and the use of multiple facilities.  For those who find the increase prohibitive, there is an option to receive up to $25 in scholarship funds per person as part of the registration process. 

Other events and happenings: 

  • We need help mowing!  The grass that is usually cut short is doing its best to compete with the tallgrass prairie in height.  Volunteer to mow (with a riding lawn mower) for whatever length of time you can offer or grab a string trimmer to chase back those wily weeds.  Contact Camp Mennoscah at or 620-297-3290.
  • September 26 is a Camp Mennoscah Combo!  It’s the Hymn Sing-Dessert Auction and Annual Meeting all in one! Plan on singing hymns (masked & distanced), bidding on delectable desserts, and information about Camp Mennoscah’s year. The start time is yet to be finalized, but be ready to join us for an afternoon of fun!
  • There are volunteer opportunities for you (and a Wish List)! Camp Mennoscah has year-round work to support the maintenance and upkeep of the campus and facilities. We can accommodate every group size, skill set and length of project you would like to tackle. Check out these ways to Get Involved!  Email or call 620-297-3290 to volunteer.  See the attached Wish List for other ways to support Camp Mennoscah!
  • Camp Mennoscah has openings for a part-time custodial/housekeeping position (10 hours) and a part-time office/administrative position (30 hours).  Some of the office/administrative tasks can be done from home.  Contact Olivia at for more information.
  • Camp Mennoscah is seeking a full-time Director of Development, Marketing & Communications to lead our ongoing operational and advancement needs. This position reports directly to the Board of Directors while taking directive from the Executive Director when related to operational considerations. As a member of a small, very hands-on staff, the role is expected to be highly collaborative. This professional must embrace the mission of Camp Mennoscah, have an established background in coordinating nonprofit donation strategies, possess strong written, interpersonal, leadership and relationship building skills, and work as an independent contributor with good organization and follow-through. Most of the work will commence off campus, however some in-person time at camp is required.
    This role involves organizing broad-based fundraising initiatives, advocating for Camp Mennoscah through speaking engagements, promotional materials, and social media, as well as recruiting volunteers, and building relationships with board members, donors and staff.
    Our ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of five years of fund development experience, or equivalent experience in church relations, and a passion for Camp Mennoscah. They should also be familiar with office related applications, and other technology used for communication and social media. Experience with CampBrain and the associated donor database is a plus.
    Applications will be accepted until the position is filled and early submission is encouraged. Please send application materials (resume, cover letter, references and salary requirements) to

Mennonite Central Committee In Touch Newsletter click here

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:  Jane and Jerrell Ross Richer’s family is together on the North American part of their two-way mission — between Ecuador and the United States — through Mennonite Mission Network. Pray for God’s leading, as health issues and logistical problems, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have caused many changes to their plans.
Western District Conference Prayer Request:   Pray for Western District Women in Mission, as they host their annual women’s retreat at Camp Mennoscah this weekend.