Plymouth Alto Soloist Lisa Drew is one of 14 featured artists at the Minneapolis Convention Center through December 2022 as part of the SmartArt bi-annual program. Selected from an open call for Minneapolis artists, Lisa is one of two photographers currently on exhibit featuring 10 of her large-scale photographs of Minneapolis on all four levels of the Convention Center. Walking Maps are available at the front desk, or go on a ‘scavenger hunt’ and see if you can find all 10!
Tuesday, June 28
In-person and Online
ATTENTION ALL PLYMOUTH MEMBERS:
Please join us at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28, for our third police encounter dilemma and discussion. It is not necessary to have participated in the first or second discussion. All are welcome. We will hold our discussion live and in person at the church, but will also offer a Zoom streaming option.
Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington has given us our third police encounter dilemma scenario for feedback, a dilemma he faced as a young police officer, involving an encounter at night, answering a frantic 911 caller’s demand for police support.
Commissioner Harrington has thanked participating congregations for our feedback from the first two sessions and is eager to have our continuing feedback from this third session.
PLEASE REGISTER TO JOIN FELLOW PLYMOUTH MEMBERS FOR THIS THIRD SESSION DISCUSSION
As with our first two sessions, this third session will focus on a specific police encounter dilemma that Commissioner Harrington has prepared for each faith community’s detailed discussion and feedback. We will view a video about this dilemma, followed by a discussion of our immediate and visceral reactions to this dilemma. Then Rev. Dr. DeWayne Davis will introduce a faith reading that bears on this dilemma, and we will break into small groups to discuss how the values of our faith tradition may change our views about this dilemma. This feedback will be given to Commissioner Harrington.
Important to Note: During this session, we will be showing a video that discusses police fear in the dark of night about a possibly armed and non-compliant suspect. We encourage everyone to prepare themselves emotionally for this and to mute and/or turn off video if you sense that this may be traumatizing to you.
Registration is required.
Monday, May 23, 2022
Some questions I hope we will consider and use for deep listening and reflection:
What system of belief does the summer embroidery present and represent? Is it a shared belief? To what extent has there been communal reflection, conversation, and interrogation of that system of belief outside of the attempt to defend or indict the embroidery or outside of the decision to possibly rest it?
What values does the summer embroidery communicate? Not so much what we intend or even the history or narrative we hope to transmit, but what others may glean from it. Communication is a mutual and dialectical process. We won’t be able to avoid that the values, messages, and system of beliefs we hope we are communicating, and transmitting have undergone reinterpretation and reconsideration, distortion and politicization, and readjustment due to new discoveries, new information, and an unfolding, expanded historiography.
Mary Carson is reported to have maintained in reference to the summer embroidery, “our freedoms release us from elitism, persecution, rigidity of long-held customs and laws.” How do we guard against those same pitfalls in the images, symbols, and messages found in our words, liturgies, and art?
In what cultural, political, and economic context was the summer embroidery conceived, created, and understood? What was going on in Plymouth? Was there an engagement or negotiation with the larger Plymouth community about the images and messages of the embroideries?
What was going on in the Twin Cities and in the United States at the time? What cultural and political debates, conflicts, and realignments was the nation experiencing at that time? What theological discussions were happening? How were we influenced by the cultural and political context?
What ideology or ideologies does the summer embroidery project? Whatever the ideology or ideologies may be, are they outdated or in need of counter-message? Do we have a way of forecasting that we acknowledge that it may be outdated? And if the projection of the ideology is outdated or in need of a counter-message, then has it outlived its usefulness? How do we separate ourselves from negative or outdated sentiments and ideologies from an earlier time that may reside in the embroidery? Are we spending more time on a counter-message than on our hoped-for message? Are we lending our imprimatur to negative or outdated sentiments and ideologies in a piece of art that contains no context or no argument upon being seen?
Where in the display of the summer embroidery or even in our programming do we get the chance as an institution to express our regret, our reconsideration of some of those sentiments and ideologies? How do we account for the silencing and suppression of voices and perspectives of those depicted in the summer embroidery when we invited their voices and participation in other parts of our institution?
Even if we are able to contextualize the message transmitted or ideologies transmitted through the summer embroidery, to what extent does that effort to contextualize it undermine other values and commitments we hold? Does it undermine relationships with others in our community? Does it undermine potential partnerships?
Does it betray our efforts at solidarity with marginalized groups? Are we inadvertently asking certain people who attend Plymouth or visit our church to gird themselves to confront images or messages that relegate them to loaded, demeaning, and stereotypical spaces? If we are prepared to hold onto images that cannot be fully contextualized or whose potential harm cannot be mitigated, is Plymouth also prepared to repent and repair? Can Plymouth be trusted?
June 12, 2022
Notice of Annual Meeting
Notice is hereby given that the Annual Meeting of Plymouth Congregational Church of Minneapolis will be held on Sunday, June 12, 2022, at 12:15 p.m. at the church. To ensure that all who wish to attend will be able to do so, the meeting will be available via Zoom as well as in person.
Approve minutes from:
June 13, 2021 Annual Meeting
Roll Call of:
New 50-year Members
Budget for Fiscal Year 2023**
Election of Church Leaders
No other business may come before the meeting.
If you wish to attend virtually, you may register to attend via Zoom at the church’s website (www.plymouth.org).
Information regarding how to participate via Zoom will be provided to registrants in advance of the meeting. To participate via Zoom, you will need either a smartphone, electronic tablet, laptop, or computer.
*While observers are welcome, only Plymouth Church members may vote on the Action Items.
**Materials for the 2023 fiscal year budget will be available at Plymouth.org.
Rev. Jia Starr Brown’s experience in community education, engagement, and outreach encompass more than 25 years.
Conversationally fluent in three languages, she has served as a diversity trainer and community educator, continuing to be a fierce advocate for underrepresented and marginalized communities. Pastor Jia’s passion to increase accessibility of affordable academic and enrichment opportunities for all youth and families led her to design – and facilitate – more than 160 educational programs in the Twin Cities, receiving a Congressional Award for her service in 2015.
Upon receiving the call to serve God and the Church, Pastor Jia received her Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary and went right into pastoral ministry. In 2019, Rev. Brown was the recipient of the Frederick Buechner Preaching Award and an honoree of the MN African American Heritage Calendar Award.
Embarking on her final year of doctoral studies as a PhD student, Pastor Jia’s heart remains at the intersection of faith, education, and justice – studying societal conditions that lead oppressed to become oppressors, and how the Church – particularly teachers and preachers – can and should interrupt these violent systems.
Living out loud as a lesbian African American pastor, Pastor Jia is a truth-teller, known for her activism and advocacy, and her innovation of interfaith learning platforms that permeate the fringed boundaries of faith, race, and access.
Rev. Brown is the Project Designer and Coordinator of the ACTION Project, a three-year immersive journey toward intercultural competence, now offered to congregations throughout the state in partnership with the Minnesota Council of Churches; and, is Adjunct Faculty at United Theological Seminary.
Pastor Jia is married to her wife, Jennifer, and is the mother of five inspiring children ranging in age from teenagers to young adults…with her first grandchild on the way! Her life philosophy: “I give what I need.”
Join other members at the Round Table conversations. We are eager to hear your thoughts and dreams about how we can make our church, property and land more hospitable to our neighbors and guests and to create a stronger sense of community.
One hour discussions will be held on
- Sunday, May 22 at 10 a.m. in the Parsons Room.
- Zoom conversations will be held on Tuesday, May 24 at 6:30 p.m.
- Zoom conversations on Wednesday, May 25 at 10 a.m.
Join Zoom Session here: