Worship and Announcements for January 7, 2024

January 7, 2024

To livestream the worship service:
On Sunday morning, around 9:45, go to BCMC’s webpage at bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org 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:  https://youtube.com/live/VuqUJRWBAbQ?feature=share

January 7, 2024
Christ Candle Lighting
Centering Music—We Three Kings (D. Bish)–Will Wiebe-Friesen
Land Acknowledgement
Welcome and Prayer—Dale Schrag
*Hymn—Arise, Your Light Is Come!—VT 273
Children’s Conversation—Trent Voth
Anthem—See Whose Glory Fills the Skies (George Elderkin)–Chancel Choir; Riley King, director; Will Wiebe-Friesen, accompanist
Scripture Reading—Malachi 4:1-5; Mark 1:1-11—Addie Zerger
Sermon— Epiphanies with David, Mark, and Jesus—Trent Voth
*Hymn—Spirit of the Living God—VT 740
Prayers of God’s People
*Hymn—O Beautiful Star of Bethlehem—VT 275
Postlude—Nun ist sie erschienen (S. Vincent)–Will Wiebe-Friesen
* You are invited to stand
VT—Voices Together
Keyboard- Will Wiebe-Friesen
Audio visual—John Thiesen

Welcome Guest Speaker Trent Voth
We extend a warm welcome to Trent Voth as he preaches and facilitates the children’s conversation on January 7. Trent just completed his first semester as professor of Bible and Religion at Bethel College. He grew up in the Halstead area but he and his wife, Stephanie, and two sons, Devereaux (De-Ver-Row) and Darien moved back to the area from Toronto, Ontario, where Trent completed his PhD at the University of Toronto. Trent has a particular interest in The Gospel of Mark, anabaptist theologies, vocational discernment, and indigenous justice.

Preparing for Worship
As we gather for worship each Sunday in the sanctuary, the Worship Commission invites and encourages us to become quiet as we light the Christ Candle.  Prelude music has now been changed to Centering Music.  The Worship Commission invites your feedback as we experiment with a new order of worship.

Land Acknowledgement compiled by Florence Schloneger from words by Mark Charles and VT #878 
As we do on the first Sunday of each month,  
  we acknowledge that we worship  
  on the land of the Kanza, Osage, and Wichita.   
We thank them for their care and respect for this land      
  and acknowledge the injustice of their forced removal. 
We ask the Spirit to heal our histories 
  and find new paths of right relationships with them 
  and all of creation.   

This Week at BCMC:  January 7—14, 2024
Sunday, January 7, 2024—Epiphany
9:30 a.m.    Worship   Worship YouTube Link for this Sunday:
10:45 a.m.   Faith Formation
1:30 p.m.  Memorial Service for Jim Banman and Judy Coover in the
Kidron Bethel Hall
Memorial Service for Jim Banman and Judy Coover
 Please remember in your prayers Jim’s children, Steven, Susan, Christine, and T.J., and their families as they mourn the death of Jim on December 9.  A joint memorial service for Jim and his wife, Judith Coover, who died in 2020, will be held on January 7, 2024, 1:30 p.m. at Kidron Hall, Kidron Bethel Village.
4 p.m.  Service of Remembrance in the sanctuary—All are invited
YouTube Link for the Service of Remembrance: 

Service of Remembrance

In order to recognize and mourn the loss of our loved ones from 2023, Bethel College Mennonite Church is hosting a Service of Remembrance  today, Jan. 7, at 4 p.m., in the BCMC sanctuary.
The church nursery is staffed during worship and Sunday School
10:45 am  Faith Formation—Intergenerational class meets in  Fellowship Hall;   High School – Room 24    Adult Classes:  Agape Class meets in the 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)

Monday, January 8, 2024
7 p.m.  Facilities Committee meeting in the fellowship hall 
Tuesday, January 9, 2024
9 a.m.  Women’s Fellowship Executive Board meets in Room 14
7:00 p.m.  Finance Committee meeting in Room 14
Wednesday, January 10, 2024
7:30 p.m.  Chancel Choir Rehearsal in the sanctuary
Friday, January 12, 2024
11 a.m.      Memorial service of Nancy Hilty in the sanctuary followed by a light lunch in fellowship hall
Sunday, January 14, 2024
9:30 a.m.   Worship with sermon by Roger Neufeld Smith
10:45 a.m. Faith Formation

We offer sympathy to the family of Nancy Hilty.  Nancy died Dec. 30, 2023.  Nancy fell and suffered a massive brain bleed.  The memorial service will be at Bethel College Mennonite Church Fri., Jan. 12, 11 a.m. followed by a light lunch.  Remember in your prayers Nancy’s son Daniel, Daniel’s wife Kristen, and their children along with extended family.

Interested in becoming a member of Bethel College Mennonite Church?
If you are interested in becoming a member, or transferring membership, or learning more about  membership at BCMC, please contact Elizabeth Schmidt, Pastor of Congregational Care.  She will be happy to visit with you!
Roger’s Whereabouts :  Roger will be back in Newton on Wednesday, January 10. 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).
BCMC Offering for December 31, 2023:  General $9,684.29; Memorial Fund $25; Plant Fund $50; Library Reserve Fund $55; Kitchen Fund $13; Solar Fund $1,000.

A Thank You from Beaty and Jim Robb
We wish to thank the congregation for helping us celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.  We appreciate the many kind words expressed in
person or in the sentiments expressed on cards.  It was good to share cake and punch with our congregational family being a part of the BCMC
congregation for 41 of our 50 years of marriage.  The connections and friendships we have made run deep and we cherish our time with you.
Thanks need to go specifically to Adam and Jill for their efforts planning  and carrying out this event. Getting together with you all on Sunday morning in the Gathering Place was a great way to celebrate.
With love and good will...Beaty and Jim Robb

From the Board:
Congregational Meeting:
Our next congregational meeting will be held at 12:45 p.m. on January 28, 2024.  The following two items will be on the agenda:

Welcome Statement:
The BCMC board has approved a recommendation from the Inclusion Task Group to revise our congregation’s welcome statement which is in the church’s constitution.  This announcement constitutes the required 30 day notice for a vote on a constitutional change.  The revised version follows: 
Bethel College Mennonite Church is an open and affirming congregation centered in the life and teachings of Jesus. Embracing the divine within each person, we warmly welcome any and all  into fellowship without regard to race, ethnic background, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, economic status, marital status and age.

Change in Moderator Model:
The Board has proposed a bylaws change to shift church officer positions from Moderator Elect and Moderator, each serving two-year terms with a total commitment of four years, to Moderator Elect, Moderator, and Past Moderator.  In the new model, each position would be held for one year with the Moderator Elect moving on to Moderator and Past Moderator in the following years, thus serving a three-year commitment.  In summary, the new model shortens the term of commitment by one year and establishes a three-person leadership team. 
The proposal and rationale can be accessed here. 

Pastoral News:
The Board has renewed Roger Neufeld Smith’s half-time contract for an additional year (or less if a new regular pastor is found).  We are so grateful for his willingness to continue offering his fine work, administrative and communication skills, and wisdom to our congregation in this transitional time. 
The Board has also renewed Elizabeth Schmidt’s half-time contract for an additional year.  Since she is now credentialed, her title has been changed to Pastor of Congregational Care.  Her job description, although revised, remains fundamentally the same.  Feedback from those working most closely with her was overwhelmingly positive and confirmed her pastoral gifts, organizational skills, and caring concern for congregants.  Thank you, Elizabeth!

Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza: Call for Prayer and Action for Peace and Justice in Israel and Palestine.   Witness Commission 

On Dec. 19 Mennonite Action brought together nearly 2000 Mennonites and interfaith allies across North America to call for an immediate cease fire.  Some of our members joined other Kansas Mennonites at the offices of Senators Moran and Marshall in Wichita and Topeka.  Members can read Bob Atchison’s article in the Jan. 2 issue of the Newton Kansan.  Atchison chairs the Mennonite Palestine Israel Network and the Western District Task Force.  On Jan. 16, Mennonite Action, see online, is organizing action in Washington D.C.  Members  might also consider registering on zoom for the “Emergency Summit for Gaza” Jan. 12-13 in Chicago organized by the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR).    The Witness Commission urges: 1. Support for the MCC humanitarian relief effort in Gaza; 2. Prayer for President Biden and other political leaders to support an immediate and permanent cease fire in Gaza; 3. Phone calls to the Wichita offices of Senators Moran and Marshall.  

Newton Community for Racial Justice is hosting its annual anti-racism training workshop from January 12 – 14 at the Newton Rec Center.  If you are willing to provide snacks, help setup and serve Sunday lunch, or monitor the coffee pot for 2 hours, please click here  to sign up.  Thank you, Margaret Toews for NCRJ

Bethel College Announcements
·  (Sun., Jan. 7) – Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum, “The Western Meadowlark: The State Bird, but Not the Only Exceptional Bird in Kansas,” with local birding expert Gregg Friesen, 3 p.m., Kauffman Museum at Bethel College.
· Sun., Jan. 21 – Bethel College Music Department Honors Recital, 4 p.m., Administration Building chapel, featuring freshman, sophomore and junior vocal and instrumental students who performed exceptionally during the fall 2023 semester. 
· Bethel College’s Faculty Speaker series begins Friday, Jan. 26, and continues through April 19. During that time, seven different Bethel faculty members will discuss how listening opens up opportunities for learning as well as pathways for building, renewing and repairing relationships. All lectures are from 11 a.m.-noon in Kidron Hall at Kidron Bethel Village in North Newton, and are open to the public. Watch for further details!

Footsteps of Paul in Greece + 3-Night Cruise May 27 – June 6, 2024. Led by Pastor Weldon Martens, Grace Hill Mennonite Church; Whitewater, KS. This is a 11-Day Tour & Cruise to Athens, Thessalonica, Philippi, Corinth, Crete, Patmos, Ephesus, Mykonos & Santorini. Cost: $3,219 + flights. Registration: Due by January 18, 2024.  Contact Pastor Weldon Martens at: weldon.martens@gmail.com / 402-202-9276. Complete tour information & registration at www.tourwithweldon.com

Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp 
RMMC Scrapbook Retreat, Jan. 26-28 – Creating paper or digital photo books and sharing ideas and conversation is just another day for scrapbook participants.  You still have time to register and spend the weekend documenting life memories and fellowshipping with others. Register at rmmc.org!

Everence® January Workshop: Social Security and retirement income
Everence® will hold an informative Social Security and retirement income workshop on Thursday, January 25, starting at 6:30 p.m. Topics will include, Social Security strategies, including when to begin taking benefits, risks that can impact your retirement savings plus strategies to help your income last throughout retirement. There will also be plenty of time for questions.
The in-person workshop will be at the Everence office: 3179 N. Main St. Suite 1B, North Newton, KS. 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 central.kansas@everence.com.

For Mennonite Mission Network “News and Beyond” press here
For Mennonite Central Committee “In Touch” press here
For Mennonite Men “Engage” press here 


I’m writing to share about the Winter 2024 issue of Intersections: MCC Theory and Practice Quarterly, on the theme of “education for displaced children.” It is available now on-line here. Compiled by Lynn Longenecker, this issue features learning from and analysis of MCC’s support for children who are either refugees outside their country or are internally displaced within it. Authors reflect on the contextualized ways MCC works at education for displaced children in DR Congo, Guatemala, Uganda, Canada, Lebanon and Egypt.

As always, we welcome any feedback you have about this or other issues of Intersections! Send any thoughts, affirmations, critiques, and counsel you might have to intersections@mcc.org. Thanks for being a loyal reader!

Warm regards,

Alain Epp Weaver

Mennonite Church USA Announcements
Safe Church, Mennonite Church USA’s newly formed abuse prevention ministry, now has a webpage available on the MC USA website. The webpage offers resources, including the updated Circle of Grace curriculum, to help faith communities keep children, youth and vulnerable adults safe from all abuse. Read more here: mennoniteusa.org/safechurch
Menno Snapshots

Mennonite Action, a grassroots movement, united more than 800 Mennonites representing 250 congregations across the U.S. and Canada in a mobilizing call for peace, on Tuesday, Nov. 28, on Zoom. The “Call to Action” served as a resounding demand for a ceasefire, an end to the U.S.- and Western-funded occupation of Palestine, and a push for lasting peace. Read more here: mennoniteusa.org/mennonite-action

Join us for Hope for the Future in Dallas, Texas on February 9-11, 2024. Hope for the Future is an annual gathering that brings together Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) leaders connected to Mennonite Church USA from across the nation. View the PDF here: mennoniteusa.org/slide/hftf23-savedate Learn more here: mennoniteusa.org/hopeforthefuture

Western District Conference Announcements
Western District Conference invites you to visit our website to read the latest news, stories and announcements.


Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request: Mennonite Mission Network requests prayer for Lora Nafziger and Mitch Rhodes, who began a three-year assignment in September with United Mission to Nepal (UMN), working from the United States. Pray for this family, as Lora, Mitch and two of their four sons take up residence in Kathmandu, Nepal, this month. Lora is serving as UMN’s staff support and counseling advisor, and Mitch serves as the expatriate coordinator.

Western District Conference Prayer Request: Pray for WDC and all its congregations as we begin a new year, remembering that the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, and God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning!