Author Archives: Monica Lichti

Announcements for April 5-12, 2020

We offer sympathy to Rachel and John Pannabecker on the death of Rachel’s father, David Habegger, March 30, Elkhart, IN. Rachel writes: “On behalf of the family I send our appreciation for the contributions of the congregation to Dad’s life.” Click here for a link to the obituary: David Habegger obituary

Congratulations to Elizabeth Raid and Gary Franz!
Elizabeth Raid and Gary Franz celebrated their marriage in BCMC chapel last Sunday, March 29th. Rev. June Thomsen officiated with a blessing from Pastor  Dawn. Elizabeth and Gary were former colleagues at the GCMC Newton office and have many common interests, including life long friends, Marv and Ruthann Dirks. They attended the BCMC grief support group. They welcome your prayers. 

The BCMC church retreat that was scheduled for May 2-3, 2020 at Camp Mennoscah has been cancelled.

And… Congratulations to Rebecca and Aaron Tschetter who have the following announcement:
With all the uncertainty and changes in the past month, we are excited to share some happy news with everyone! We are expecting Baby Tschetter in September 2020!

MCC Comforter Fabric Deliveries Available – Hello, Comforter-Makers! We hope you are all staying home and staying safe. We invite you to make comforter tops for MCC! There is a great need for comfort, warmth, and love in the world right now; MCC anticipates an increase in requests for comforters from MCC partners around the world as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts vulnerable and displaced people.

If you would like to work on making comforter tops for Mennonite Central Committee and need fabric to do so, we will deliver it to your doorstep! MCC has bags of color coordinated cotton fabrics that can be made into 60 X 80 comforter tops. A limited amount of pre-cut squares are also available. If you would like a bag (or bags) delivered safely to your house, please email by Wednesday, April 8th, to get on the delivery list. Already have fabric at home that you’d like to use? Please review the MCC Comforter Guidelines and instructional videos at Thank you in advance for your stitches!

Camp Mennoscah will be closed at least until April 30 with respect to your health and the statewide Stay Home order.  Camp staff will be working from home and at a distance.  You can reach us at 620-297-3290 or  Keep in touch on the Camp Mennoscah Facebook page!  We send you many prayers.  Stay healthy!

You can still sign up for summer youth camps!  Camp Mennoscah is planning to have summer youth camps, but recognizing the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 situation, a final decision will be made closer to the start of camps.  Your camp fees, including the non-refundable, non-transferable deposit, will be refunded if camp is canceled.  Further information can be found at or by calling 620-297-3290. 

With attention to the safety of all, our Retirees Retreat (scheduled for April 20-22) has been cancelled. It has not been determined if the retreat will be rescheduled for a later date. Take a moment over these next weeks, have a personal coffee break, remember a story about Camp Mennoscah, and know we are thinking of you.

Men and Boys Retreat (previously scheduled for April 3-5) at Camp Mennoscah has been rescheduled to September 4-6, 2020! 

The 2020 Camp Mennoscah tee shirt contest ends April 30!  We’re looking for three two-word phrases representing the important parts of Camp Mennoscah. The best combination of phrases will become our camp tee!  One (generic) example would be River play, Campfire songs, Love all.  Be creative!  Send all your stunning ideas to!  (Or send a message to the Camp Mennoscah Facebook page.)

Palm/Passion Sunday–April 5, 2020–You will have to click on “Read More” to access the service link

Welcome to worship on this Palm/Passion Sunday!  You can access the service by clicking this link:   Palm Sunday Service  


April 5, 2020

Today. you may want to bring these things to worship:

  • Songbooks (if you have them at home):
    the blue hymnal, Sing the Journey, and Sing the Story
  • a candle to light
  • a Bible, if you’d like to follow the scripture readings

Welcome–Pastor Dawn Yoder Harms                                                                                                                 

Lighting the Christ candle


Prelude:   Hosanna, loud Hosanna – arr. by Carter–Verlene Garber, organ                             

From Palms to Passion–Pastors Nathan Koontz and Renee Reimer                                                
Matthew 21:1-11
It was Sunday
Hymn:  HWB 239   Ride on, ride on in majesty

Matthew 21:12-17
It was Monday
Hymn: STJ 30  Jesus Christ is waiting (vs 1-3)

Matthew 23 excerpts
It was Tuesday
Hymn:  STS 68 Kyrie

Matthew 26:6-13
It was Wednesday
Hymn:  HWB 255-Open are the gifts of God  (verses 1-3

Matthew 26:1-5
It was Thursday
Hymn:  STS 85- Lay down your head

Matthew 26:57; 27:1-2, 24, 26, 27-31
It was Friday
solo: STS 82- How long, O Lord?

Matthew 27:45-46, 50, 57-61
It was Saturday
Hymn:  HWB 257 Were you there (verses 1 and 4

Prayers of God’s people

Sending hymn:  HWB 105-Christ we do all adore thee


Thank you to the Garber family (Verlene, Ron, Joel, Gyles, Nathan, Caleb, and Matthew) for their musical contributions in this service!

“It was…” stories were adapted from Stages on the Way: Resources for Lent, Holy Week and Easter, by the Iona Community Wild Goose Worship Group, GIA Publications, Inc. (Chicago), 2000.  Used with permission.

Announcements for this week

Lectionary Texts for March 29:  Lent 5 — Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:6-11; John 11:1-45

In light of what is happening in our community, the women and girls banquet that was scheduled for April 14 has been cancelled. We felt that it was best to reduce the possible risks at this time. Please continue to engage and look after others by social media, and we will look forward to celebrating with each other in our new kitchen and Fellowship Hall space next season.  ~ Women’s Fellowship Executive Board

Our elevator is broken!   The concerning news is that it will cost an estimated $60,000 to repair it.  We will be able to cover the required upfront $15,000 from our plant reserve fund, and still leave $10,000 in that fund.  However, the remaining $45,000 will be due upon completion, hopefully by the first of August.  This unexpected expense comes on top of our decision to renovate the kitchen and fellowship hall.  We have funds in hand to cover nearly all of the basement renovation.  However, a special fund is being set up to meet the remaining cost of repairing the elevator.  Please seriously consider helping with this project, as we have all been inconvenienced by its demise, and are anxious for its return.

BCMC for March 22:  General Fund $6,655; Living Stones $40.00; Women’s Fellowship $494; Plant Fund $175; Flower Fund $7; Bequests $15,000; Elevator Repair $2,000; Maurine Hean Memorial $580.

The giving reports for the first quarter of 2020 will be sent out soon.  If you don’t already receive them via email, please provide your email address to help save postage and time.  Email  Reports will be mailed if an email address is not on file.

March 29, 2020–Lent 6–You will have to press “Read More” to obtain the link for the service

Worship this week is led by Pastors Nathan Koontz and Renee Reimer and joined musically by John, Anne, and Esther Koontz. Ben Lichti ran our sound and helped with technology for this recording. Thank you to Monica Lichti to for all her behind the scenes work that enable all of this to happen. 
Join us for worship virtually using this video link from YouTube. 
As you worship with us, we invite you to light a Christ candle in your home at the beginning of our worship service. 
Join us in singing by using the attached songs or singing out of Hymnal: A Worship Book and Sing the Story.When we face an unknown future (sung to the tune HWB 26 Holy Spirit come with power) lyrics attachedHWB 143 Amazing GraceSTS 16 Peace before us
Engage the text with us by opening your Bibles to John 11:1-45 and reflecting on these questions:What do you notice? What strikes you? What do you wonder about? What invitation do your hear? 
You can continue to participate in offering by giving online on the church website, setting up direct deposit with our treasurer Mike Claassen, or sending in a check to the church office. We now have a special line item in the Support BCMC tab on our website for donations for community assistance during this Covid outbreak. Give to the Caring Fund if you would like to provide help to those in need in Harvey county.
We are facing an unknown future, but this future is also filled with God’s love. 
Pastor Renee (on behalf of the Pastoral Team)


Bethel College Mennonite Church
March 29, 2020 – 9:30 a.m. Worship—Open our Eyes—Lent 5


Lighting the Christ Candle—Renee Reimer– The prelude invites us into a time of silence as we open ourselves to God’s presence among us.                                     

Prelude–Misty (by Erroll Garner and Johnny Burke)—John Mark Koontz                                                

Welcome, prayer—Nathan Koontz                                                                                                                    

Hymn of praise–When We Face an Unknown Future— (to the tune of HWB 26)                                      


Engaging the Text–John 11:1-45—Renee Reimer and Nathan Koontz
What do you notice?
What strikes you?
What do you wonder about?
What invitation do you hear?


Hymn of response-Amazing graceHWB 143—Verses 1,2, 3, and 6 (click on the hymn title and it will take you to the hymn)

Prayer of God’s people–Renee Reimer

Community sharing (announcements, sharing hope) –Renee Reimer and Nathan Koontz


Benediction–Renee Reimer

Sending hymn-Peace before usSTS 16 (click on the hymn title and it will take you to the hymn)

When We Face an Unknown Future                 

Sung to the tune of Holy spirit come with power (HWB 26)
When we face an unknown future that we can’t imagine yet,
when the closeness we have treasured turns from blessing into threat—
As we miss our friends and loved ones, as we crave community,
may we look, God, in this season, for a whole new way to be.
Jesus faced the lonely desert as a time to look within.
There he met such trial and conflict; there he knew you were with him.
In this time of separation when we miss the life we’ve known,
may we hear your voice proclaiming: “I am here! You’re not alone.”
May we cherish those around us as we never have before.
May we think much less of profit; may we learn what matters more.
May we hear our neighbors’ suffering; may we see our neighbors’ pain.
May we learn new ways of offering life and health and hope again.
God, when illness comes to threaten, and when so much here goes wrong,
may we know this thing for certain— that your love is sure and strong.
You’re beside us in our suffering, and when times are surely tough,
we may face an unknown future, but it’s filled, Lord, with your love.

Tune: The Sacred Harp, 1844; attributed to Benjamin Franklin White
Text: Copyright © 2020 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:
Used with permission.

COVID-19 Update

Given that the US Center for Disease Control currently recommends that gatherings of 50 people or more be postponed or cancelled for the next eight weeks, BCMC will be cancelling worship services and church activities until April 5, at which point the situation will be reassessed.  Cancellations include Wednesday evening suppers, choirs, and children’s clubs.  It is up to the discretion of commission and committees as to whether or not they will meet.
We have made this decision out of concern for our congregation (a vulnerable demographic), as well as for our community, as we work together to slow the spread of the virus (help flatten the curve of the pandemic) so as not to overwhelm health care systems.  This is a step we can take now for the greater good.
This is an anxious time for many of us and we will miss gathering together for support.  However, this is also a time for slowing down, intentionally connecting with friends, family, and members of the church community via phone or other technology, going for walks, and enjoying the signs of spring emerging around us.
It is also time for creativity!  The pastoral team is currently working on ways to help us to stay connected and spiritually nourished during this very unusual time.  Look for an email later this week with plans and ideas for interacting together as church community at a distance. We are looking forward to the possibilities!
In the meantime, if you need support or care along the way, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with any of the pastors.  We are available by phone or email.  We are also glad to share your prayer requests with BCMC’s prayer network.
Our prayers are holding you all during this unsettled time. May the peace of God that transcends all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Pastor Dawn
(on behalf of the Pastoral Team)

Watch this space for announcements concerning changes to schedules

We have not yet decided about Wednesday evening suppers–watch this space for changes. ——–

From 6 pm to 6:15 pm:   The meal serving line will be open to get food, be seated, and begin eating. There will be one basket at the food line to receive donations for supper. Suggested donation is $5 per person or $15 per family. (Proceeds above food expenses go to the Kitchen Fund for supplies and future improvements).  Please bring your own table service.

Wednesday’s menu is Chili, vegetable soup, crackers, cinnamon rolls

Served by the Issues and Christianity Sunday school class

After the meal there will be Chancel Choir, and Chancel Bell rehearsals. No Junior or Cherub Choir rehearsal this week due to school Spring Break and no Journey or Junior High Club this week.

Happy New Year!

2019 budget update:  The final numbers are in.  Thanks to your generosity and commitment to BCMC, all the goals set as part of the 2019 budget have been met, and we have a surplus of $890!  We are grateful, and look forward to 2020!  ~ Michael Claassen, Finance Manager

Epiphany 2020

December 29, 2019—Christmas One~

9:30 am    A Christmas worship service filled with lots of music and storytelling. No Sunday school following worship. Bring Christmas goodies to share during fellowship time.

January 5, 2020—Epiphany

9:30 am   Worship with sermon by Dawn Yoder Harms; music by Mark Kreider, piano; Andrew Thiesen, trombone

4 pm  Service of Remembrance of BCMC members and friends who died in 2019 — BCMC Sanctuary


Advent giving project:  The BCMC Witness Commission invites you to
participate in this year’s project benefiting the Bethel College Food Pantry.  List of items needed is on the BCMC bulletin board (on pink paper!)

The Pony Express is Coming–November 3

Communities of Abundance.Today is the beginning of BCMC’s annual Pony Express, a financial commitment process for the 2020 budget, including a blessing as neighborhood captains, appointed by the Finance Committee, come forward during the dedication hymn.  Join the Pony Express by prayerfully anticipating your intentions to give for 2020.  Fill out the intent form when materials arrive at your home, return the form according to the directions in the packet, and pass the packet on to your neighbor. The Pony Express concludes on Nov. 17, when captains return packets during worship

Wednesday Suppers

Wednesday Night Schedule in Fellowship Hall
From 6 pm to 7:30 pm
From 6 pm to 6:15 pm:   The meal serving line will be open to get food, be seated, and begin eating. There will be one basket at the food line to receive donations for supper. Suggested donation is $5 per person or $15 per family. (Proceeds above food expenses go to the Kitchen Fund for supplies and future improvements).  Please bring your own table service.
At 6:20 pm:  A welcome, announcements and a meal blessing. There are no programs scheduled after these suppers, so come, eat, and relax if you are not going to a club or choir afterwards.  This Wednesday’s supper is Bangers and Mash, carrots, rice krispie bars

Wednesday, October 23 supper:  Coneys, potato salad, chili and cheese, cake and ice cream