Masters of the Sky Raptor Show

Saturday, February 24, 1:00 p.m.

Join us for this special event! The World Bird Sanctuary staff from St. Louis Missouri, will be coming to Carpenter Nature Center in Hastings, MN, to present a captivating program about birds of prey. Tickets are $15 and limited. Make your reservation at https://secure.lglforms.com/form_engine/s/f-xyrtiI7Fw3SgLBhbduxQ and then let Rexanne know of your plan by Feb. 17. Once she knows how many are coming, a plan about hiking and eating will be made. Questions? Contact Rexanne Warner (rexiwarner@gmail.com).

2023 Christmas Offering

Thank you!

With much gratitude to the entire Plymouth community, the Board of Outreach is pleased to report that the congregation’s contributions to the 2023 Christmas Offering exceeded all expectations, raising just under $65,000! Thank you all for the generosity and love for our neighbors!

This funding supports the year-round work of Plymouth’s Housing Justice partnerships: Align Minneapolis (formerly Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness), Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, Simpson Housing Services, Habitat for Humanity – Twin Cities, Avivo, and zAmya Theater. With funds from the Christmas Offering, Plymouth will also begin a relationship with Urban Homeworks. We’re excited to begin this journey together, as we at the same time continue and deepen our relationships with long-time partners.

Like that stable owner so long ago, we ask you to donate to this year’s Christmas Offering in support of Plymouth’s Housing Justice partnerships.

Housing justice is the idea that everyone deserves safe, affordable, and health-promoting housing. It seeks not only to ensure warm homes but also to remedy the longstanding discrimination that has led to housing inequities in the neighborhoods we call our own. For decades, Plymouth’s actions, relationships, and community have promoted housing justice, but the work is hardly complete. Let us carry the momentum and give generously to the 2023 Christmas Offering!

Each December, the Christmas Offering is intended to be a reflection and culmination of the year-round work that Plymouth and its members do to advance justice. This year’s offering is a time to reflect on Plymouth’s ongoing work to ensure dignified shelter for all. Your gift, shepherded by the Housing Justice Committee, will be used to continue and deepen our relationship with our current partners (the exact recipients will be determined by the Board of Outreach): Align MPLS (formerly Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness), Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, Simpson Housing Services, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Avivo, and zAmya Theater.

For all of our neighbors without access to a safe, comfortable home, we are grateful for your generosity and love

With love and gratitude,
Plymouth’s Board of Outreach and its Housing Justice Committee

Our Forum on Sunday, December 10, discussed the beneficiaries of this year’s Christmas Offering:

Celebrate Larry Johnson!

Larry Johnson, our Drop In Coordinator, is retiring from his position at the end of December. For 15 years Larry has produced meaningful programs for our Drop In participants and has developed transformational relationships with those he has served. You are invited to a celebration of Larry’s ministry with us at a reception on Wednesday, December 20, at 2 p.m. in Jones Commons.  (This will immediately follow our Drop In Christmas Chapel at 1 p.m.)  Please come and offer gratitude to Larry for his tremendous ministry, enjoy some cake, and visit with our Drop In community.

At the reception for Larry, Philip Brunelle and Maria Jette presented a song: previously unknown lyrics (“discovered” by Philip) to “My Favorite Things” by Rodgers and Hammerstein:

Larry’s a Johnson and grew up in Bloomington;
Married Elaine, wrote a book titled “Sixty One.”
He loves to walk, many miles is his style;
Give him a chance and he’d swim in the Nile.

He drives a Prius, a one-car family;
Works for the veterans, for him there’s no enemy.
He’s very musical: everyone knows:
Conch shell and faucet, and even a hose.

Educator, instigator,
And a TV guy.
He loves telling stories—it’s his kind of work.
He’ll always has more—his perk.

Larry’s a guy who partakes in athletics.
Starting with track he was never pathetic.
Little league sports got him right from the start—
He had a passion that never would part.

Larry tells stories and educates people,
Out in the woods or in church with a steeple.
Themes about climate or peaceful resolve:
He is the master as stories evolve.

Drop In Center—he’s the mentor—
Always on the ball!
We thank you dear Larry for all you have done,
It’s time to relax—have fun!

Parenting Circle – Middle School

September 27, October 11, October 25
5:30-6 p.m.

The Grace of Being Unfinished

Published May 26, 3023

This Week at Plymouth

By Rev. Dr. DeWayne L. Davis

 

And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it. Somehow, we do it. Somehow, we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished—Amanda Gorman, The Hill We Climb

 

A few days ago, news came out of Florida that an elementary school in Miami-Dade County banned the poem poet Amanda Gorman recited at the Presidential Inauguration of Joe Biden in 2021, The Hill We Climb. In the complaint, the person requesting the removal of the now-published work reported that the poem was “not educational” and included “hate messages.” The complainant also argued that the poem’s function was to “cause confusion and indoctrinate students.” I searched my memory of hearing the poem, trying to recall any hateful words, claims, or phrases. The complainant pointed to pages 12-13 as containing the offending material. On those pages, Gorman recounts learning that the “norms and notions” of what constitutes justice are not always just but that we collectively have “witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.” That struck a hopeful, gracious note in me. In light of a nation that witnessed the viral video of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police, overwhelmed by gun violence and mass shootings, and navigating what appears to be a simmering civil war, Gorman still refuses to call our nation broken. Her poem testifies to the belief that we can be and do better.

 

Perhaps the person complaining about this poem had a different edition from what I was reading, so I looked at the surrounding pages. In those pages, Gorman did refer to herself as a “skinny black girl” and a descendant of the enslaved. She also invited us to think less about perfecting our union and strive “to forge our union with purpose.” I’ve tried in vain to see how any of these words could inadvertently spread hate or cause confusion. However, I recalled just how hopeful and gracious a poet Gorman is. I would not have thought it odd or inaccurate if she had referred to our nation as broken. But she called us unfinished, recognizing our potential to be a more complete, inclusive, and diverse nation.

 

In the church of my youth, I often heard the adults testify, “I may not be where I want to be, but God is not through with me yet.” They were attesting to their faith in a gracious God who would make a beloved but unfinished creation better and more whole. Maybe the objection to the poem is cynical political maneuvering. However, because I revisited this poem, I have a newfound appreciation for the power of grace. To see ourselves as unfinished rather than broken invites us not to see ourselves as hopelessly unrepairable but to see our potential for growth and progress. That we have within us the power and promise to do better. God is not through with the United States yet. Amen.

 

Notice of Annual Meeting 2023

Notice is hereby given that the Annual Meeting of Plymouth Congregational Church of Minneapolis will be held on Sunday, June 11, 2023, 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.

Agenda

Approve minutes from:
June 12, 2022 Annual Meeting

Reports:
Lead Minister
Moderator
Leadership Council
Nominating Committee
Roll Call of:
New 50-year Members
Deceased Members
Staff Milestones

Action Items:*
Budget for Fiscal Year 2024**
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). To participate via Zoom, you will need either a smartphone, electronic tablet, laptop, or computer.

*Observers are welcome; only Plymouth Church members may vote on the Action Items.

**Materials for the 2024 fiscal year budget are available here.