Thank You COVID Advisory Group!

By Karen Barstad

When Plymouth Church had to close our building in March of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, our clergy and staff had to quickly pivot to provide church in a virtual world. Determining what was necessary to protect the health of our church staff, members, children, and tenants became the work of the COVID Advisory Group.

This group— Minister Beth Hoffman Faeth, Dr. David Homans, Dr. John Davenport, Director of Operations Anne Gustafson, and Ministry Assistant for Hospitality Emily Venell—has met every week for the past year to make decisions based on ever-evolving information about this deadly virus.
They collect, decipher, and analyze data from the CDC, Minnesota Department of Health, and other scientific resources. They identify tasks each of them will undertake between meetings. They solicit feedback from Philip Brunelle, Nina Jonson, our technical staff, and our security and custodial staff. They develop protocols and communicate the requirements to all who might ask to come through our doors. In all of their recommendations, they acknowledge that ensuring our safety often means saying “no” to physical community.

“This is hard, holy work,” says Beth. “We hold the blessing and the burden of responsibility for this community.”

Plymouth Church can be grateful that this small, dedicated group is quietly and carefully making difficult decisions that always hold our health as their top priority. They ache over every decision that means we cannot share the same physical space. They explore options that make community possible. Because of the COVID Advisory Group’s time, expertise, devotion, and compassion, we can all breathe a bit easier in these breathtaking times. Theirs is a ministry that reflects our commitment to the wellbeing and inclusion of all, a ministry for which we can truly give thanks and praise.

Let’s Reconnect for Affordable Housing!!

It’s been almost 18 months since we’ve been together as a congregation. We have missed our friends and social groups and all that being together brings us. We have also missed opportunities to build new relationships within Plymouth.
With the pandemic affecting the jobs and housing of thousands of more people in Minnesota, Beacon is prioritizing policy work with “Bring It Home, MN”, a bold campaign to provide rental assistance to all who qualify in Minnesota. For this goal to be reached, we need the voices and actions of thousands of people throughout the collaboration to continue to move this action forward.
With this in mind, Plymouth’s Beacon Leadership Team would like to invite you to join us for a short gathering in Jackman Hall – or in the tent if necessary – either during the 10:00 hour or after church, on October 10th, for a brief overview of what the Beacon Leadership Team has been working on during the pandemic and to hear about Beacon’s initiative to end homelessness, “Bring It Home, MN”, and how we can help to bring this ambitious program to reality.
We would also like to visit with you one on one, perhaps over coffee or after church, at a time that works for you, to deepen our relationships and reaffirm our support for housing justice and our vision that everyone deserves a home.
If you can join us at either time on October 10th, please register with Linda Jones ( Refreshments will be served.

Introducing: The Presence Team

How full our days are: so many responsibilities, commitments, and distractions too. How do we make time to genuinely engage with critical issues in our community? Yes, we can send a donation or learn more about an issue, but in our hearts we may feel that we’d like to be truly present for issues that have a serious moral and spiritual dimension.

If you’re like me, you also sometimes feel anxious or uncertain about participating in a demonstration or joining a march or vigil if you need to do it alone. I know I’d like to be a presence, but it would feel easier if I had a friend or two with me.

Being present—in a particular place, and fully focused or involved in an issue or action—is a powerful way to live out our faith and convictions. Presence can be a truly affirming experience for us as well as those whose needs or rights we’re supporting.

In order to encourage more of us to be a living presence, Plymouth is creating a Presence Team, and you as well as any friends of the Plymouth community are invited to join us. Become part of an informal group where you can easily learn about marches/vigils/demonstrations in the Twin Cities, and join in with other Plymouth folk to participate. Many of these experiences would be appropriate to attend as a family or as a grandparent with grandchild.

The Presence Team will have event information relating to several issues: race, immigration, climate and more. Your suggestions for events to be included are welcome!

Please contact Judy Takkunen ( or Peter Eichten ( for more information.

Downtown Minneapolis Coalition for Grief Support

The Downtown Minneapolis Coalition for Grief Support will be resuming in-person sessions on Saturday mornings beginning September 4, 2021. Please check provides more details regarding times and locations.

Summer Clean-Up Day

Thank you to everyone who helped make the July 24th clean-up day a success!

About a dozen helpful volunteers worked hard to clean up the grounds at Plymouth. Weeds were pulled, bushes were trimmed, paths were swept, leaves and debris were raked, and one very full pickup truck of yard waste was hauled off.

While there’s still work to be done, our space looks a lot more tidy and ready for visitors.

All are welcome to volunteer to join the fun next time! Watch for updates on the next clean-up date, or contact Matt Thomas or Tom Anderson to let them know about your interest.

Thank you!


100 Hands Packing Event!

July 29, 2021
10 a.m.

Please join some of the members of the Board of Community Life after the service under the portico for a 100 Hands packing event to support Groveland. It’s a fun way to tangibly help our community and meet new people!

Please contact Molly Piper with questions at mollypiper (a)



Lydia Apartments Groundbreaking Ceremony

Monday, July 12th:
5 p.m.

The Groundbreaking ceremony for the Lydia Apartments addition, at 5 p.m. in the tent.

This construction will double the size of Lydia – from 40 to 80 units. Come celebrate the success of Plymouth’s first supportive affordable housing project, the first step on a journey that has led to the Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative.

Rev. Davis will give a blessing, and Minneapolis Councilmember Lisa Goodman will speak. Refreshments will be provided.

Lend Us Your Hand!

Community Art Project

Starting July 11
We are kicking off a community art project that will hang in Guild Hall to welcome us all back on Rally Sunday in September.
Please watch this video to learn more.