One More Chair Summer Picnic

Wednesday, July 19, 5–8 p.m. Wabun Shelter A, Minnehaha Falls Park

One More Chair invites everyone to celebrate summer in the park with Plymouth’s church family!

Directions and pictures:

Food—keep it simple! Bring your own picnic food/drink and tableware. Cold water will be provided. Grills with hot coals (and grill utensils) will be available. If you would like to bring cookies or a finger dessert to share, that would be appreciated.

Facilities: Rain or shine—the picnic will go on! This is a covered pavilion with lots of picnic tables! There is a wading pool and playground as well as a large grassy area for games. Bring croquet or corn hole, or other fun games to share. If you want more seating options, bring a lawn chair. Free parking is adjacent to the shelter.

Other information: The picnic is free; however, donations to help cover the fee for the rental of the shelter will be appreciated. To help the planning committee make any additional plans and to offer ride-sharing, please let us know if you are planning to come.

Please respond by Sunday, July 16, to Judy Schneebeck:, and let Judy know:

  • The number of people planning to come,
  • If you would like a ride, and
  • If you are able to drive people from the church to the picnic (and how many you can bring).

If your plans fall through or you decide you can come at the last minute, that’s fine.

All are welcome! Think about inviting someone new to Plymouth! There is always One More Chair.

New Member Spotlight

On June 4, 2023, we welcomed new members into our congregation.

Brandon Hallstrand 

I grew up going to church in rural Wisconsin and have attended numerous churches over the years looking for a better fit. Plymouth has been by far the most welcoming and best match to my inner compass, and I’m glad to become a member. I am a mid-career finance professional, who enjoys being active in the outdoors, dance, volleyball, travel, etc. I have an interest in understanding other cultures and faiths and really appreciate Plymouth’s accepting attitude towards different perspectives as well as its advocacy for those in need. Thanks for making Plymouth the great place that it is, and for the privilege of joining such a great congregation! 


Cathy Gustafson

Cathy is a freelance writer and consultant with special expertise in nonprofit management, including 15 years of teaching in higher education. She is a long-term resident of Bloomington, sharing her home with Frankie, her mischievous Yorkshire Terrier. 

Cael Foster (fiancée: Eve Burdick)

I am drawn to Plymouth because of its wonderfully open community and progressive values. I’m also hopeful to make long-term friends around my age, something that’s usually difficult in my stage of life.

I’m a metadata analyst for an educational publishing company. My interests include gaming, reading, movies, and Dungeons & Dragons.

Gina DelCorazon

Gina and their family found Plymouth at Rally Sunday last fall, and theyve loved it ever since. Initially visiting to explore the childrens choir for their son, Toño, Gina has found friends and a community they treasure already. The progressive vision of a more just world that Plymouth hopes to help create is exactly what they have been searching for, at a place that embraces their queer, multiracial family. Gina is a research scientist at a network of free preschools for low-income families and is trying to learn how to garden this far north, with many Plymouth folks generously helping coach and support them on this journey. 

Linda Causey

I moved here from Maryland 18 years ago as a Presbyterian, which I still am until the service ends today. My choirmaster from Maryland said I should choose my new church based on the quality of the bell choir, and the Presbyterian one did not pass muster. So he sent me to the Methodist church just up the street. Since many of my family came to this church, I figured out how I could ring the prelude at the Methodist church and then quickly drive over here in time for the prelude and an additional number. But when time schedules changed, I could only ring in one church, and I chose Plymouth, of which I am now a brand new member. Thank you for letting Little Late Lindaas my Mother called mejoin you all. 

Eve Burdick (fiancé: Cael Foster)

My name is Eve, and I am so excited to be joining such a wonderful community! Im very excited to be involved with Plymouth Choir and to have our wedding here! I cant wait to see how I can serve this wonderful community. 

Carrie Bassett

Carrie has been involved with this church for more than ten years as part of the Literary Witnesses Committee. For the last five or six years, she has organized and hosted the annual program Plymouth Reads Poetry. She spends a good deal of time writing poetry, too.

Carrie has two grown daughters and four grandchildren, one in town and three in Virginia. She has had an academic career, having worked for Walden University and Capella University.

A transplant from the East Coast, Carrie finds the Twin Cities her spiritual home, enjoying the range of cultural opportunities this community has to offer, liking many aspects of winter, and pulling ropes of creeping charlie from her garden in the growing season.

Annual Budget Meeting

Plymouth Looking Forward

May/June 2023


As we’ve been in preparation for the June 11 Annual Meeting, the Deacons see anew that dealing with the budget leads us into significant questions about Plymouth’s future. Because our decisions reflect our values and faith commitments, they will define the future of Plymouth Church. We propose then a six-month period of conversations that will culminate in a budget that will be voted on at a Special Congregational Meeting in December and will also be part of the larger work of congregational renewal.


Last summer, Plymouth set a budget that anticipated a “new normal,” following the acute phase of the coronavirus pandemic. We estimated a strong response to our stewardship campaign and did our best to forecast the expenses to support a full return to in-person activities.


In the year since, we have learned much. On the income side, individual givers continue making the same or greater contributions, but the count of givers continues its downward trend, and income is well below what we had budgeted. On the expense side, we see upward pressure from inflation as well as the effects of discretionary and non-discretionary choices, and as a result, expenses are above budget. While church staff are working to align spending and income, the current year’s gap is substantial.


Unfortunately, the pressures experienced through this year seem likely to continue. For FY24, Church staff proposed a budget that incorporated current cost estimates, some cuts, and some additional spending in line with Plymouth’s priorities. The Board of Finance and Administration reviewed the budget and recommended that it be revised with a lower income forecast and less spending. The Board, in recognition of the impact of the cuts necessary to align with their recommendation, also suggested that an interim budget be proposed in June, to give the congregation an opportunity to provide input on what comes next.


The Church staff brought a revised budget to the Deacons for approval. In summary, it is a short-term budget provides time determining what comes next. It covers a 6-month period instead of a full year. It incorporates a lower income forecast. It adopts many cuts that, while not painless, were tolerable and/or reversible. It does incorporate salary increases recommended by the Human Resources committee, which are largely irreversible. This budget requires a higher draw than the Board recommended.


The Deacons approved this budget for consideration during the Annual Meeting on June 11. In addition, the Deacons will propose a set of activities in the immediate, medium, and long terms to help discern the best course through this transformation.


Immediate (Now – June):

Make visible and explicit the link between the budget and our values, vision, and future.
Adopt a lead minister-proposed 6mo budget for July- December 2023.
Convene two overlapping but differently aimed conversations related to the budget
Focusing on the budget itself, led by DeWayne, Mike McCallister, Treasurer, and Anne Gustafson, Director of Operations (in person and on Zoom)

Wednesday, May 31 at 6 p.m.

Thursday, June 1 at 3 p.m.

Focusing on the spiritual dimensions of our budget-making: What’s at Stake:

The Spiritual Heart of Plymouth’s Budget, led by the Deacons

Sunday, June 4, 10 a.m. in the Chapel

Sunday, June 4, 12 p.m. in the Sanctuary


We also have a plan for medium and longer-term responses that we’ll be sending out in the next weeks.


We look forward to your participation in this soulful work.

Yoga at Plymouth

Gentle Yoga

Saturdays 9:30 – 10:45 am, starting March 25th.

Plymouth Church Gallery


Start your weekend with this soulful, welcoming yoga class, skillfully led by long-time Plymouth members Summer, Steve and Sharon Hills-Bonczyk. Each 75-minute class will include meditation, slow, flowing postures with attention to alignment and deep relaxation. Poses are guided with in-depth, non-intimidating cues to ensure comfort and rejuvenation for all bodies. Appropriate for beginners to seasoned practitioners – anyone looking for a spiritually-informed, meditative yoga class to build strength, flexibility, balance and tools for navigating life’s ups and downs. All teachers are certified Kripalu yoga instructors. The word Kripalu means compassion. This yoga style is accessible, safe and informed by authentic yogic wisdom. We are very pleased to be sharing our deep dedication for the art and practice of yoga with the Plymouth Church community. We hope to see you there!

This is a donation-based class. Meaning that no one will be turned away if they cannot pay. All are welcome. $10 – 20 recommended donation. (Ages 15 – 100)

 Saturdays, 9:30 – 10:45 am, drop-in (no registration required), Bring your own yoga mat or let us know if you need one. Please contact with questions.


Summer Hills-Bonczyk (she/her) is an advanced Kripalu Yoga and Meditation teacher. Her style is creative, gentle and alignment-based. She loves yoga philosophy and integrates it into her teaching. During the week Summer is a professor at Macalester College where she teaches Ceramic Art. She is an independent artist, performer and JourneyDance teacher. She guides immersive yoga and performance art retreats locally and internationally.

Sharon Hills-Bonczyk (she/her) holds advanced certifications from the Kripalu Yoga school as well as Vishoka meditation training from the Himalayan Institute. She is also a certified Ayurvedic educator. She leads international yoga retreats with her yoga-teacher family. Sharon’s smooth, meditative voice, deep wisdom informed by 35+ years of personal practice and authenticity draw people to her classes. She has an interest in Yoga therapy and enjoys helping people with physical issues find a yoga practice that is supportive and kind.

Steve Bonczyk (he/him) is a certified Kripalu yoga teacher. He brings a gentle sense of humor to his teaching; creating a playful, inclusive community environment. He loves showing people that not all yogis look like you’d expect. He is a dedicated meditator, Ayurvedic home cook, gardener and sought-after handyman.

Climate and Environmental Justice Speaker Series

Monday, March 13, 6:00-7:00 pm via zoom
Solar Opportunities for Your Home

Are you interested in shifting to solar energy for your home? Considering adding solar panels to your roof or possibly subscribing to a solar garden instead? Join us to learn the basics of solar energy, get resources to determine if solar is right for your home and find out about financial incentives for installing solar. Join the Clean Energy revolution!

Speaker: Diana McKeown, Metro CERTs (Clean Energy Resource Teams) Director

Zoom meeting. Please register in advance

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

Midwinter: Winter Revival (ages 0–adult)

For the next two months, Sandy Spieler, our truly remarkable Children, and Youth Specialist will help us create a liturgy and performance around the importance of water in our lives. This performance, which will include masks, puppetry, music, and movement, is designed to be intergenerational.
There are two options to participate:


January 11, 18, 25,
February 1, 8, 15, 22
7:15-8 p.m.
Room 204
Sandy will be working with a core group of adults, teens, and children to create the performance that happens during the worship service on February 26.
People who sign up for this are committing to attend these 7 sessions with Sandy and will be creating masks of different animals that live by and interact with water, as well as a “liturgy” that will be used on Sunday, February 26.  Register here!
Please note: participating on Wednesdays means you are committing to being part of BOTH the 9 and 11 a.m. worship services on February 26. We will present at both services; participants will be at church from approximately 8:30-noon on that Sunday.

Sundays, as you are able to

January 8, 15, 22, 29
February 5, 12, 19
10-10:50 a.m.
Rooms 205, 204, and 203
All ages are invited to come work on an art installation that will be put together as part of the worship service on February 26.
We will be making art for the worship service, including “box puppets,” where each puppet interacts with a river. All the boxes together will form a long river that will be incorporated into the worship service. Every young person ages three and up through high school who is present on Sundays from 10-10:50 will participate in this art-making, and any and all adults are invited to participate as well. Creating art alongside one another is a wonderful way to make new friends and acquaintances.


Plymouth Film Club: “Gold Fever”

Sun., Jan. 29. Guest Host—Immigration Welcoming Group

On Sunday, Jan. 29, Plymouth Film Club is showing “Gold Fever” (2013, 84 min., documentary) at 12:30 pm. Guest host Plymouth Immigration Welcoming Group chose the film and will lead a discussion afterward.

The film shows the impoverished lives of those controlled, says, by “gold, an obsession of men and nations; a symbol of wealth and power. For Diodora, Gregoria, Crisanta and the people living near the Marlin Mine in Guatemala’s highlands, gold represents oppression, intimidation, pollution and even murder. With the rising price of gold, the mine’s owner, Goldcorp, posts record profits, while these courageous women live in resistance to the mine’s unstoppable hunger.”

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, well known in the Twin Cities as a pacifist author, Minnesota politician, and University of St. Thomas professor, and Noam Chomsky, the celebrated U.S. linguist and social critic, are among the cast who portray themselves. The film has been featured at several film festivals and well shows why immigrants leave their countries to pursue new lives in the U.S.

Film Club uses large-wall projection downstairs in Jackman Hall with wide spacing for seating and with the folding doors to the Lenmark Room open at its back. For the discussion, we may move into Lenmark.

Coffee and tea available. Lunch: Bring your own, go to Cajun Boiling (open at noon) for takeout (sandwiches et al.), or call Social House (Ethiopian) after 10 am for takeout. Tables in Jackman for eating. Be back by 12:30 for the start of the film!