Worship service and announcements for May 26-June 2, 2024

FOR MAY 26, 2024


Our faith in a God of love leads us, by the power of the Spirit,
to follow Jesus in doing justice, loving mercy, 
and walking humbly with God

To livestream the worship service:
On Sunday morning, around 9:20 a.m., 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/A-9vgBiF2r0?feature=share

May 26, 2024

Christ Candle Lighting
Centering Music— ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus (arr. Harold DeCou)—Will Wiebe-Friesen
Welcome—Elizabeth Schmidt
*Hymn—The Love of Go—VT 162
Children’s Conversation—Carol Flickinger
Old Testament Reading–Isaiah 6:1-8—Megan Leary & Ron Flickinger
Special Music—Largo from Xerxes (Handel, arr. Mittel)—Joan Griffing, violin, Will Wiebe-Friesen, organ
Gospel Reading, part 1—John 3:1-9
*Hymn—As the Wind Song through the Trees—VT 373
Gospel Reading, part 2—John 3:9-17
Sermon—A Faith Worth Dying For—Roger Neufeld Smith
*Hymn of Response—God of Grace and God of Glory—VT 716
Prayers of God’s People
*Hymn—When We Walk with the Lord—VT 570
People with April and May birthdays come forward for a blessing,
please bring a hymnal
Birthday Blessing & Benediction
Postlude –Christ ist erstanden (JS Bach)—Will Wiebe-Friesen
*You are invited to stand
VT—Voices Together
Audio visual— John Thiesen

The Next Week at BCMC:  May 26-June 2, 2024
Sunday, May 26, 2024
9:30 a.m. Worship Service—YouTube Link for this Sunday:
Monday, May 27, 2024—Memorial Day
Church building will be locked; church office closed

Tuesday,  May 28, 2024—Vacation Bible School
3:45 p.m.      Worship Commission meeting by Zoom
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
5:30—6:30 p.m.  Grief Group meets in the BCMC Nursery
Saturday, June 1, 2024
11 a.m.      Memorial service for Howard Schmidt in the Sanctuary
Sunday, June 2, 2024—VBS Sunday—VBS Church Communities Join worship on the Bethel College Green—There will be no worship service in the BCMC building

The next Women’s Fellowship  Executive Board meeting will be Wednesday, August 21, at 9 a.m. in Room 14 for a planning meeting.  There will be no meetings this summer.


BCMC Offering for May 19, 2024 General Fund $8,151.50; Sr Hi Youth $50; Kitchen Fund $16; Solar Fund $4,525. 

Roger Neufeld Smith will be driving back to Topeka on Sunday, May 26. He will be back in Newton on June 5. Roger checks his email and phone regularly.  Feel free to contact him via email, text or phone (785-220-1968.)

Vacation Bible School

VBS is almost here!  
Newton Mennonite Vacation Bible School will meet at Shalom Mennonite Church, 5:30-7:30pm, May 28-31. On Sunday Morning, June 2, all our congregations will worship together on the Bethel College Green. VBS is open to all students from age 4 to grade 4, and we also need adult, high school, and junior high volunteers! To register students, visit https://bit.ly/newtonvbskids   and to register as a volunteer, please visit https://bit.ly/newtonvbsvols . Our congregation’s contact people for VBS are Jill Robb and Mary Ellen Hodge.  

VBS Worship on the green, June 2: On Sunday Morning, June 2, all participating VBS congregations are invited to a joint worship service on the Bethel College green. Come worship with the VBS participants and celebrate everything we learned together! Please bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on, and a dish or two to share for the potluck to follow. Worship will begin at 10:30 am. In case of rain, we will gather in Memorial Hall. See you at worship!

You are invited to a congregational potluck picnic on Monday, June 3, 5:30 p.m. hosted by Hugo and Mary Ann Boschmann and Ron and Carol Peters, in the Boschmann backyard at 304 Witwarmsum West, North Newton.  The main entree (with a gluten free option) and beverage will be provided as well as tableware .  Bring your lawn chair or blanket and a “dish to share”.  

The Education and Service Scholarship Committee report given at the May 19 congregational meeting contained an error.  The report stated that the BCMC Mission and Service Endowment Fund was accepting donations to help fund the above-budget annual amount for college scholarships.  In fact, the annual amount needed to fund college scholarships IS in the budget. Please direct any gifts to the Bethel College Scholarship Fund.  Apologies for the confusion. 
—Margaret Toews, ESSC

Community Playschool, Inc. has recently completed our 58th school year! Eighteen children of the Newton community participated in the program this year at a minimal cost to their families, thanks to five area sponsoring churches. We again want to thank BCMC for being one of those supporting churches through monetary donations, the use of the facilities, secretarial and custodial services and a welcoming attitude toward our program. It is nice to have a home here! We also are grateful for the matching grant that we received from this church through the Everence Sharing Fund. I want to acknowledge the service of Cliff Dick as BCMC’s representative on our board, also serving as treasurer. Barb Voran, Stahli Claassen, Carolyn Penner and Cynthia Linscheid, served respectively as teacher, helpers, and substitute this year. These volunteers help make it possible for us to continue to provide an affordable preschool experience to families who need it most. A big thanks to Monica Lichti for her extra duties related to our being housed here at BCMC!
     An organization such as ours relies heavily on volunteer workers to keep our costs to a minimum. As many of our volunteers have retired from our program and as we look ahead to the next school year, we know that we need more volunteer helpers to be able to provide the attentive relationships and safe environment that we have always sought to maintain for our children and families. As members of a sponsoring church, we hope that you might consider whether you could help us out and become a one or two day a week helper for the coming school year. These volunteer positions have not only helped the children we serve but have also proved to be a rewarding experience for many of our adult helpers. Please give your church representative or us a call if you would like to have more information about our program and the opportunities that we have for you!  We solicit your prayers and continued support for the future of our organization. With gratitude,
Co- Directors, Kasey Newell (316 772-3350) and Jeanette Leary (316 217-2548)

If you have read Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing of The Doctrine Of Discovery by Mark Charles, you are invited to participate in a Zoom meeting with the author, Mark Charles, June 13, at Kidron Bethel Village, Classroom A, at 7 p.m.  A small group of readers have developed a BIG question for Mark to answer — “How do we use and become the four elements—earth, fire, water, and air—to facilitate change?”  Since Mark Charles ran for president in 2020, we hope he will focus his suggestions for change in the political system.  If you have questions contact Naomi Krause at naomikrause@gmail.com

Save the Date: Peace Witness Event, Sept. 15-16
The BCMC Witness Commission is very pleased to announce plans for a peace witness event around Peace Sunday on September 15-16.  Our church along with the Bible and Religion Dept. Bethel College and in collaboration with area churches invites you engage with Christianity and Democracy let by well known author, academic, and presenter, David P. Gushee (https://davidpgushee.com). 
Gushee will be providing the sermon and Sunday school discussion at BCMC on Sunday morning, September 15.  The afternoon events at Memorial Hall include a keynote address, question and dialogue panel response, table discussion groups, and a closing keynote address.  On Sept.16, Gushee will present at Convocation at BC followed by a lunch with area pastors and time with BC in the classroom in the afternoon.  Funding for this event is provided by excess benevolences from the 2023 BCMC budget. 
Please reserve this date on your calendar and spread the word!  You are also encouraged to obtain Gushee’s most recent book, Defending Democracy from its Christian Enemies.  Read it, study it in Sunday School, discuss it with friends and neighbors.  Let’s help to bring important aspects of democracy in focus as we near the presidential election and proceed with faithfulness.  As Gushee writes,“The Baptists [Anabaptists] insisted that the way Jesus made disciples was by teaching and persuasion, not by coercion.  They held that government has no competence in religion, and when it seeks to enforce faith it creates wars of religion and hypocrites who claim a faith they do not actually hold.” We hope that we can be a witness to peace in these times where it seems like the confluence of religion and government are leading to death and destruction. 

From the Board:

After the final votes, including a few late emails and texts, the congregation voted to approve the board’s recommendation to extend an invitation to Joanna Harader to become our full-time Co-Pastor with 169 “yes” votes and two “no” votes.  The invitation was extended to Joanna.  She accepted within a few hours, saying she has “felt God’s leading throughout my discernment process, and the overwhelming affirmation of the congregational vote is a welcome confirmation of this call I have been sensing.”  She is looking forward to joining us all in the ministries of BCMC on August 11 when a new phase of transition will begin for our church.  Thanks again to the Search Committee and to all in the congregation who participated in her candidating weekend and in voting—joy is in order!

New Staff

Worship Commission announces the filling of two music vacancies:

  • Will Wiebe-Friesen, Music Co-Coordinator, beginning June 1.
  • Joel Garber, Chancel Choir Director, beginning in August.

Thank you, Barbara Thiesen! 

A huge THANK YOU to Barbara Thiesen for her eight years as BCMC Music Coordinator (the last two as co-coordinator with Verlene Garber). We have appreciated your attention to detail as you gave leadership and scheduling oversight to special music, organists, ensembles, maintenance of instruments, and so much more. Barbara leaves the position at the end of this month.

The memorial service for Howard Schmidt will be Saturday, June 1, 2024, 11 a.m. at Bethel College Mennonite Church.  It will be live-streamed.  On June 1 you can click here for the live-stream link:  https://youtube.com/live/eq_jpQvKo5Y?feature=share

BCMC Prayer Network: The Prayer Network is an email-based prayer network comprised of Deacon Commission members and  BCMC congregants.  Participants make a one-year commitment to this prayer ministry which is coordinated by Pastors and the Office and Facilities Manager. Pastors respond to prayer requests and determine when and how these requests are distributed.  Specific prayer requests are shared only with the permission of the person(s) involved. If you would like to join the BCMC prayer network, please email your interest to office@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org.  Thanks to all who serve BCMC in the Prayer Network.

CARE CONNECTIONS, sponsored by Deacon Commission, offers a variety of  opportunities for extending care.  Do you enjoy conversation?  In-person visiting?  Visiting by phone?  Writing caring messages in cards, email or text? Preparing food or care packages?  Delivering food or care packages?  Individualized creative care possibilities?  To learn more, express interest, or share ideas, please contact Elizabeth Schmidt, Pastor for Congregational Care.  

Congratulations once again to BCMC graduates this year!
From High School:  
Abby Koontz (daughter of Matt and Jennifer Koontz) and
Justin Zerger (son of Heather and Jonathan Zerger)

From 8th Grade: Collin Gaeddert (son of Joel and Crystal Gaeddert, Addie Zerger (daughter of Heather and Jonathan Zerger) and Alli and Madey Zerger (daughters of Brian and Kristin Zerger)

From the Bethel College Mennonite Church Witness Commission
The Western District Conference Israel-Palestine Task Force encourages you to support the volunteer work of Gaza Palestinian worker, Tareq Abuhalima
.  Tareq came and spoke at BCMC last August. Tareq will be a volunteer intern this summer with the nonprofit,  Churches for Middle East Peace.  His work with the Lion and the Lamb Peace Center, Bluffton University, is a nine month contract.  To learn more about how to support Tareq see attached flyer which details how to contribute by check or PayPal.
For the flyer press here

Bethel College Announcements
· Sat., June 1 – An outdoor trifecta! 6 a.m.-8 p.m., the public is invited to Walk Sand Creek Trail Day, part of National Trails Day®. Water will be available for people and leashed dogs at the trailhead at Memorial Grove on the Bethel College campus, courtesy of the Sand Creek Trail Committee, with members there to answer any questions about the trail. At 7 a.m. the Kauffman Museum monthly bird walk, led by experienced local birders; At 9 a.m. the Kauffman Museum-sponsored wildflower walk with Brad Guhr of Dyck Arboretum in Hesston. The bird walk begins at the kiosk in the museum parking lot at the corner of North Main and 27th streets in North Newton, the wildflower walk begins at the museum, and both walks will follow part of Sand Creek Trail. 
· Enrollment is open for Uncle Carl’s Camp at Kauffman Museum at Bethel College. Half-day camps are offered in art, history and nature for kids ages 4-18. New this year is Creative Writing Camp for students finishing grades 7-12, with instructor Lydia Chappell Deckert. The writing camp starts June 3, so sign up soon! Go to  www.kauffmanmuseum.org/uncle-carls-camp/ for more information about this and other camps with space still available, and to register online.

Everence® May workshop: Make Medicare an Easy Step  Everence will hold its  Medicare workshop at its office at 3179 N. Main St. Suite 1B, North Newton, Tues., May 28 ,6:30 p.m. Topics include when and where to sign up for Medicare, what Medicare covers, plus an explanation of Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D. Attendance is recommended for those approaching retirement or those ready to sign up for Medicare.  If interested in attending, contact the Everence office at 316-283-3800, 877-467-7294 or central.kansas@everence.com.

You are invited to attend the dedication and celebration of the new Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Cabinet Shop and Warehouse, Sun., June 9 at 604 E. Main St., Goessel, KS from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free.  During the celebration, we will offer tours of the cabinet shop and warehouse, and an opportunity to learn more about this innovative MDS initiative to draft and distribute kitchen cabinets to be installed in MDS volunteer-built homes across the U.S. We have already distributed cabinets to more than 75 homes. Also featured will be a fundraising concert at 5:30 p.m. by September River, a family band featuring Jude and Doug Krehbiel and daughter Stefanie (Krehbiel) Giffin. The band incorporates elements of bluegrass, gospel, blues, acoustic rock, Irish, and folk music.  The MDS Storm Encounter will also be on hand for those who want to experience a simulated tornado—then see how MDS volunteers respond to bring hope to communities impacted by disaster. 

Hesston College Announcement
June 16 to 22 – Summer Theatre Camp  Student actors ages 11 to 18 are invited to stage a live theatre performance at Hesston College’s annual summer theatre camp June 16 to 22. The weeklong theatre immersion will culminate in a public performance of the musical “Mean Girls” at 2 p.m., Saturday, June 22, in the Hesston Mennonite Church sanctuary on the Hesston College campus. Theatre camp registration is $335 per person and includes lodging and meals for seven days and six nights, or $285 for day camp only. A discount is available for families registering more than one student. Participants can visit hesston.edu/theatrecamp to register online. Registration is due June 10.

Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp Announcements

ROCKY MOUNTAIN SUMMER YOUTH CAMPS – Here comes the summer! Camp offers a slice of summer where campers experience the outdoors in a fun and safe community. Campers experience a new adventure while growing in their faith and exploring the Rocky Mountains. Rocky Mountain is blessed to have scholarships funded by donors who want to ensure money is not a barrier for a youth to enjoy a summer camp experience. Please contact Corbin Graber (Executive Dir. – 719-687-9506 – corbin@rmmc.org) about what would be helpful.

Colorado Roots Music Camp II at RMMC August 11-17: Break out of your routine and be inspired by a variety of styles, first-rate musicians, and the incredible experience of being immersed in acoustic music. Our instructors are some of the top players in the nation, but they were chosen because they’re known by peers and students as great instructors for all levels. As always at Roots, it’s great music with a side of biscuits and gravy! Visit rmmc.org for more information and registration.

You’re invited to Concert on the Concrete, June 9, 5 p.m. Featuring Newton
Senior Center’s Golden Notes Choir, along with a sing along, in the parking lot across from the Senior Center, 122 E. 6th, Newton .   If rain, the concert will move inside. Free will offering to be used for building renovations.

Western District Conference invites you to visit our website to read the latest news, stories and announcements.
For Mennonite Mission Network “News and Beyond” press here

Mennonite Church USA Announcements
For Mennonite Church USA Climate Justice Ministry Webinar on June 30 “Energy Efficiency and Faithful Action press here

The MC USA Constituency Leaders Council reflected on the question, “What does it mean to do church together?” at its biannual meeting at College Mennonite Church, Goshen, Indiana, on March 21-23, 2024. Read more here: mennoniteusa.org/news/clc-stories

Menno Snapshots

Ingrid Friesen Moser, wellness coordinator for MC USA’s The Corinthian Plan, uses controlled breath to help her worship when she is troubled by anxious thoughts. Read her Menno Snapshots reflection here: mennoniteusa.org/breath

In February, Chialis Thuan Santoso attended MC USA’s Hope for the Future 2024 conference. In her Menno Snapshots blog, she reflects on what she learned and how it applies to her life as a sojourner in Christ. Read her reflections here: mennoniteusa.org/sojourner-in-christ

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:  Christy Harrison and Peter Sensenig are serving in Chad, with their three children, through Eastern Mennonite Missions and Mennonite Mission Network. Pray for Christy as she works as a nurse-midwife and for Peter as he teaches at Shalom: Evangelical Theological Seminary. Pray also for the children as they build relationships with their neighbors. 

Western District Conference Prayer Request:  The Western District Conference Church Planting Commission (CPC) invites your prayers for WDC congregations to be alert to opportunities to share God’s love in their community, and for the CPC to support your calling.

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, or age.