Share a Little Love with MCC

toiletries backlitFrom February 1 to 18, 2024, the Immigrant Welcoming Working Group is sponsoring a collection of personal hygiene and household items for the Metropolitan Council of Churches Refugee Services. We will collect the following items in the barrel in Jones Commons:

  1. Deodorant (non-gender specific)
  2. Razors (men’s disposable)
  3. Shampoo (not conditioner)
  4. Bar soap
  5. Liquid hand soap pumps
  6. Laundry detergent (liquid; not pods)
  7. Sponges
  8. 13-Gallon tall kitchen garbage bags

Please Share a Little Love with MCC this Valentine’s Day.

 

 

 

Warming Hearts and Bodies!

The Immigrant Welcoming Working Group is happy to report that our recent collection for warm coats and jackets was a huge success, thanks to so many generous Plymouth members!

We collected 154 jackets/coats, lots of warm hats, scarves, and gloves, plus $1,470 in cash donations. Coats, jackets, and accessories were distributed to ICOM (Interfaith Coalition on Immigration), the Minnesota Church Center, and Community Emergency Services for use by new immigrants in Minnesota.

We are sending the cash donations to Casa Alitas Shelter in Tucson, AZ, to buy warm jackets for border region immigrants who are being placed with sponsors in cold northern states.

After just enduring a genuinely cold period, know that the garments you donated are making a huge difference for many vulnerable people. Thank you!

Winter Coat Drive

Winter is upon us, and many newly arrived immigrants as well as our unhoused neighbors are in desperate need of winter outerwear! Drop off gently used or new winter coats, jackets, hats, mittens/gloves in Jones Commons starting Sunday, November 19 through December 10. Cash/check/online donations are welcome (designate “coat drive”) and will be used to purchase winter jackets for immigrants arriving at the border. Sponsored by Immigrant Welcoming and the Outreach Board.

 

 

 

Two RiCS sessions, Aug. 30 and Sept. 6

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.

Watch Pride with Your Plymouth Community.

Group of adults and youth in jones commons with rainbow flag and Amplify Love t-shirts.

Group of adults and youth in jones commons with rainbow flag and Amplify Love t-shirts.

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.

Plymouth at PRIDE!

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!

Gun Violence Prevention: How You Can Act Right Now

Published in UCCmn.org, April 12, 2023

Original article here: https://www.uccmn.org/2023/04/12/an-easter-call-to-resurrecting-action-prevent-gun-violence-now/

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.

Civic Buzz Town Hall: MPD Chief Brian O’Hara to Speak at Plymouth on Police Reform and Community Safety

Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara will be the guest speaker at a Town Hall at Plymouth Congregational Church at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 2. The Town Hall is co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters Minneapolis (LWVMpls), Plymouth’s Re-Imagining Community Safety Committee and Mill City Commons.

 

Plymouth’s lead minister Rev. Dr. DeWayne Davis will welcome attendees. Ellen van Iwaarden, program director of the LWVMpls, will facilitate the discussion.

 

O’Hara is expected to talk about the complexities of police reform and his plans to increase public safety in the City of Minneapolis. O’Hara was named Minneapolis Police Department chief in November 2022 after previously serving as the deputy mayor of the City of Newark. Throughout his career, Chief Brian A. O’Hara has worked collaboratively with communities and other public safety divisions, including alternatives to policing strategies, to enact enduring change.

LMVMpls is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in all levels of government, works to increase understanding of major policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Its Civic Buzz interactive town halls feature pressing local issues, focused discussion and knowledgeable speakers.

Plymouth Congregational Church is a progressive faith community grounded in the Christian tradition. It has a long history of being committed to racial, economic, social and climate justice. Its Re-Imagining Community Safety committee was formed nearly three years ago after the death of George Floyd to actively promote the re-imagining of community safety in the City of Minneapolis, on the basis of faith values.

 

Earth Sunday Guest Speaker

Michael Noble – Climate Policy Change Champion

Michael Noble will speak on a life in climate policy, with special emphasis on how progress in Minnesota has remained steady while the power of money thwarted meaningful federal action for 32 years. He will describe the game-changing momentum of the new energy provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act and the 100 percent Clean Electricity Standard recently passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Walz.

Michael is executive director and a founder of Fresh Energy, a nonprofit public policy energy advocacy organization. Stepping down this spring after 30 years to support generational change, under his leadership Fresh Energy persistently and effectively advocated for clean energy policies and systems in the state, region, and nation, advocacy that has driven bold public policies on the path toward an equitable carbon neutral economy.

Make a Joyful Noise – with Ukuleles!

Third Monday of each Month – Starting February 20th

10:30 a.m. in the Chapel

Facilitator – Jill Nelson

Looking for uke players of any level who want to meet others and play music together. We will focus on songs of joy, community and inspiration. I’ll have some songs to get us started and I’m hoping you’ll find songs to share with the group. Bring your ukulele and a music stand (if you have one). Questions? Email Jill at jillary17@comcast.net

Want to encourage voting in November?

Please join us to write personalized, non-partisan letters urging sometime voters to vote this November. Work with others at our table in Jones Commons 9:45–11:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 18 and 25, and October 2, 16, and 23. We will provide names, addresses, examples, and stamps.

Sponsored by the Racial Justice Initiative