Thursday, December 14, 2023. March begins at 5 p.m., service at 6 p.m., and community meal at 7 p.m.
Feeds Bulletin Board
Outreach in Action: Every Meal Volunteers
Have some free time on Fridays? Please consider joining other Plymouth volunteers at Green Central Elementary School to distribute weekend food to kids and their families. This is the second year that Plymouth has partnered with Every Meal, to support children with food insecurity. We meet at 10 a.m., fill up our carts with bags of non-perishable food, and head off to place the food discreetly into kids’ backpacks in their lockers or cubbies. We’re usually finished by 11:30. This is Outreach in Action!
If you are interested please contact Mary Jordan, maryjordan13 (at) gmail.com or 612-308-6170.
The Reimagining Community Safety Committee’s (RiCS) guiding principle has been “We are watching, we expect results, and we are not going away.”
As part of its continuing work, RiCS will provide Plymouth members with opportunities to provide input on the implementation of the court enforceable Settlement Agreement between the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) and the City of Minneapolis. The settlement agreement is intended to end racially discriminatory policing in Minneapolis.
The Settlement Agreement requires the City and the Minneapolis Police Department to hold regular listening sessions with the community to seek input on the reforms and the progress being made under the Settlement Agreement.
Plymouth is privileged to host two of these MDHR listening sessions: Wednesday. August 30, in Guild Hall, and Wednesday, September 6, in the Jackman Room. Both will run from 6 to 8 p.m.
These listening sessions will be hosted by City representatives, and the topic at each meeting will be non-discriminatory policing, as well as the overall mission, vision, values and goals of public safety. We encourage all of our members to attend one of these listening sessions. Our city and our Plymouth neighborhood will benefit from our input.
Last spring, RiCS hosted a Town Hall Forum on the Settlement Agreement, featuring MDHR Commissioner Rebecca Lucero; Justin Terrell, Executive Director of the Minnesota Justice Research Center; and Michael Lansing, a historian and professor at Augsburg University.
RiCS is a committee of the Racial Justice Initiative at Plymouth.
Next Date: Saturday, October 28, 9 a.m.
We have told the City of Minneapolis that we will be cleaning Nicollet Avenue from Franklin Avenue to Grant Street once every three months, and our next date is October 28. We will begin at Plymouth—the corner of Nicollet & Franklin—at 9:00 a.m. and continue for approximately 6 blocks to the corner of Grant Street & Nicollet Avenue. The City will provide collection/garbage bags for us. Volunteers are welcome to wear their PCC shirts to publicize who is behind this effort, and the City will be placing a sign on Nicollet announcing who is responsible for the clean-up effort!
Please let Jerry and Fran Davis know that you’re able to help: Jerry (763-370-9806), Fran (612-889-0822), or email fandjontheroad (at) gmail.com.
If you are interested in going to watch the Ashley Rukes Pride Parade this Sunday, meet Nina and Heidi McCallister in Jones Commons immediately following the 9 a.m. service. We will have face paint, some rainbow flags, stickers, and a chance to fill water bottles and take bathroom breaks before heading over to watch the parade. Wear your Plymouth t-shirt, and bring sunblock, water, snacks, and a bag to collect free goodies!
Keep an eye out for Gina and Toño del Corazon, Jon, Ozkar, and Delilah Bauer, and Sara Ohotto Bauer representing Plymouth in the Minnesota Conference UCC float, unit 76!
We will walk over and watch together, after the parade people can peel off and go to the festival or back to the church on their own time.
If you go into Loring Park for the Festival, find the MN Conference UCC booth! Throughout the weekend, Plymouth will be well represented at the booth by Matt, Maggie, and Rosalie Smith, Tim Brunelle, Carrie and Mary Kay Sauter, John and Carole Humphrey, and Steve and Sally Cassellius. Go Plymouth! The UCC booth is located in the Purple Section, right on the lake. If you take the pedestrian bridge from the Sculpture Garden over into Loring Park and stay on the main path until you have to turn, go right and you’ll run into the booth.
Twin Cities Pride–let’s get involved!
This year there are myriad ways for Plymouth Church members to participate in the Twin Cities Pride celebration–but we need your help!
Teens, attend Pride with the Youth Group: 7th-12th graders can attend the festival in Loring Park as a group on Saturday, June 24th, from 2-5 p.m. Email Nina to participate. We will meet at church and walk as a group to Loring Park. Families and kids will coordinate their own pick-up at or after 5 p.m.
The table in Loring Park: This year, Plymouth, along with other congregations state-wide, will be participating in Twin Cities Pride at the MN Conference UCC Booth. This means that there need to be at least 2 people staffing the UCC booth for the entire duration of the festival. That is a lot of slots to fill, even if we are dividing it up between 15 congregations! At the booth, you will meet people wearing your Amplify Love t-shirt (available at the front desk) and handing out fun buttons, seed packets, and information to help people find an open and affirming church (including Plymouth) where they live! You don’t have to be an expert on all churches; you just need to be willing to talk to people and answer questions! If you are interested in picking up a shift, sign up today! There are MANY open slots. This is a great opportunity to tell people about our church and be the embodiment of an expansively loving, affirming church! Our congregation is larger than all of the others who are staffing the booth, so we should help and fill in some slots! Here is the link to the signup genius.
March in the parade: 6 Plymouth members can also represent us by marching in the parade as part of the MN Conference UCC float. If you are interested in walking in the parade (estimated time commitment 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.), please contact Nina.
Watch the parade: We will also have a group from Plymouth gather after the 9 a.m. service, get decked out in rainbow face paint and stickers, and walk together to go watch the parade. Our spectator organizers are Gina DelCorazon and Sara Ohotto Bauer. No need to sign up. Just wear your rainbow clothes, bring water, a blanket or a portable chair, sunblock, and comfy walking shoes, and meet in Jones Commons immediately following the 9 a.m service on Sunday, June 25th!
The released court-enforceable settlement agreement between the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) and the City of Minneapolis is the topic of a town hall forum on Tuesday, May 23, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis.
The court-enforceable settlement agreement lays out a road map for achieving non-discriminatory policing and better support for community safety in Minneapolis. The agreement has a four-year term, after which it may be reviewed on an annual basis until compliance is met.
The in-person event on May 23, “Police Reform: What to Expect from the Court-Enforceable Settlement Agreement Between the City of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR),” is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.
Speakers include MDHR Commissioner Rebecca Lucero, who will address MDHR’s perspective, and Justin Terrell from the Minnesota Justice Research Center (MNJRC), an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to driving meaningful change to Minnesota’s criminal legal system. The MNJRC conducted community meetings for the MDHR during 2022 seeking input on the types of reforms the community was seeking from the Minneapolis Police Department.
The evening’s moderator is Dr. Michael Lansing, a professor of history at Augsburg University. Lansing has done considerable research and writing on the topic of police reform. Since the murder of George Floyd three years ago, local media have frequently turned to Lansing for historical context about the Minneapolis Police Department, police leadership and police reform. He is currently writing a book titled “A Police State: Politics and Public Safety in Minneapolis, 1945-2020,” a book that explores the rise of and resistance to police power in Minneapolis. He and an academic colleague, Dr. Yohuru Williams from the University of St. Thomas, have initiated a racial justice project called “Overpoliced and Underprotected in MSP.”
Event hosts include Plymouth’s Re-Imagining Community Safety Committee, which is part of the church’s Racial Justice Initiative; the League of Women Voters Minneapolis; and the Minnesota Justice Research Center.
Racial Justice Sunday
May 21, 2023
Plymouth Congregational Church will host its first-ever Racial Justice Sunday on Sunday, May 21. The reasons we’re doing this are to call attention to and to advance our Racial Justice Initiative’s purpose statement, goals and spiritual principles. See below for RJI’s purpose statement, goals and spiritual principles.
Racial Justice Sunday will feature two worship services at 9 and 11 a.m. with a racial justice theme. Rev. Jessica Chapman Lape – a womanist pastoral theologian, chaplain and doula rooted in faith, love and reproductive justice – will speak at both services. The Asiginaak Singers, a hand drum and singing group, will perform at both services.
The Forum speaker for Racial Justice Sunday will be Kenya McKnight-Ahad, founder and CEO of Black Women’s Wealth Alliance (BWWA). BWWA is a culturally specific institution that has been serving Black women-owned businesses, workers and students since 2014. McKnight-Ahad will talk about the power, responsibility and opportunity women have in healing generational traumas, closing the racial wealth gap, and helping to cultivate a more just and fair society for our collective future.
Small Group Discussion
A small group discussion for children, youth and adults will be held at 10 a.m. in the Howard Conn Gallery. Young people have grown up in a very different society as it pertains to race, and they have perspectives that can challenge and change us. Join co-facilitators Nina Jonson, director of Children and Youth Ministry, and Aiysha Mustapha, Advancement and Equity Specialist in Robbinsdale Public Schools, for an intergenerational conversation on race. Don’t miss this chance to hear from, interact with and share conversation with the children and teens who are the future of our church and our country.
Please check out Plymouth’s website and join us for 21 Days of Justice. If you opt-in for this series of messages, you will receive actions for the day that are designed
to increase your awareness, move you out of your comfort zone, and leave you with actionable items to increase racial justice and equity in your life and work.
In anticipation of Plymouth churches, racial justice Sunday on May 21st, and the third annual George Floyd memorial gathering on May 25th, our Plymouth community is engaging in 21 days of justice.
Sign up to receive a daily email beginning on May 1st, with an action for the day designed to increase your awareness, move you out of your comfort zone, and leave you with actionable items to increase racial justice and equity in your life and work.
Each email will include two activity options, one more specifically focused on children and youth and one for the general population.
Our 21 days of Justice Will culminate on racial justice Sunday, but the work will never be completed.
Commit today to join your fellow Plymouthites’ life-giving anti-racist work.
Published in UCCmn.org, April 12, 2023
Gun violence will continue to wreak havoc on communities and families until we determine to make a substantive change in policy and cultural norms. There are things we can do right now to make our voices heard and mobilize for change. This list offers a start, including some immediate action needed in Minnesota to effect policy change.
- Watch this April 11 press conference with Protect Minnesota and Attorney General Keith Ellison to learn more about the bills being considered and the urgency to the issue.
- Contact your state Senators to express your support for these bills. Find their contact info here. Consider a letter-writing campaign in your congregation.
- If you’re a pastor, consider signing this letter written by the Interfaith Alliance of Protect Minnesota directed to Senators about the hearings and related bills this week.
- Reach out to Jared at Protect Minnesota to learn more about their Interfaith Alliance and be part of the ongoing movement in Minnesota to reduce gun violence.
- Download the Congregational Toolkit from Protect Minnesota to help you have conversations about gun violence and take action for its prevention in your congregation and in your community.
- Join the momentum toward a federal assaults weapons ban. The House of Representatives narrowly passed such a ban in 2022; it’s time for the Senate to do the same. Reach out to our Senators easily using this form from March for Our Lives, telling them to vote YES to an assault weapons ban.
- Lift personal and congregational prayers: for grieving victims’ families and friends, for traumatized communities, for medical and law enforcement personnel and chaplains who respond, for a nation and a state to find the will and the means to meaningfully change gun safety policy and prevent gun violence in our time.