Plymouth Clean-Up Day

Saturday, July 24
9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Are you looking for a fun way to come out and join with your fellow Plymouth friends?
Many hands make light work, and Plymouth Clean-Up Day, on July 24, is a great opportunity to volunteer to help make our physical space become more beautiful and welcoming. Together, we will be doing a variety of outdoor chores on the Plymouth grounds. All church members and friends are invited to take advantage of this time to help make our space ready for us all to be present again. There are many tasks to be done and something for everyone. Work in the wildflower rain garden, clean up the edge of the parking lot, trim shrubbery, help with lawn work, groom the area around the food shelf entrance, and many more things to do.
Interested? Please contact Matt Thomas or Tom Anderson for details.

Habitat for Humanity – Volunteer Opportunity

Plymouth members and friends will be doing a Habitat for Humanity, Brush With Kindness project on a home located at 4254 Portland Ave S, Mpls, from Tuesday, August 17 through Friday, August 20. We will be doing exterior repairs, including a deck rebuild, and painting this Habitat home. We will be in week three of a four-week project. We need 10 volunteers each day, so please consider joining us for one or more days on this project. All are welcome, every skill level is needed and all tools, supplies, etc., are supplied by Habitat. For additional information and to register, please go to:
http://plymouthcongregational.tchabitat.volunteerhub.com/

For questions, please contacts Jim Christenson at 651-895-0644(call or text)or christensonjim@msn.com.

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.

The Stewardship Corner – Making an Impact on Our Community

I first entered Plymouth Congregational Church in the year 2000 as a member of the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers. Drawn into the church community by the rich music programs, I did not experience a worship service until my wife Jenny joined the Plymouth Choir as a soloist in 2010, at which point we both began regularly attending on Sundays. We became members in the fall of 2012, when we were expecting our first daughter and sought a permanent church home. While we got to know Plymouth through the arts and Sunday worship, we fell in love with so much more: family and adult education programs, social justice work, and the church community itself.

Our story is not unique. So many of you have similar tales of initially narrow intersections that blossom into deeper engagement. We enter Plymouth through different “doors,” on our own timelines, and for a variety of reasons, but this diversity of backgrounds, motivations, and experiences makes us a strong community. That strength of community has one thing in common—something that calls us back week after week: making an impact.

Plymouth clearly makes an impact on me and my family. It challenges me (in a good way), informs my worldview, and strengthens my commitment to the local community. Plymouth inspires me by how, as a collective body, we can also impact society through our work with our immediate neighborhood and the Groveland Food Shelf, or a community COVID vaccination clinic, and statewide through our work to defeat the marriage amendment in 2012. And those are just a few examples of how Plymouth impacts all of us in powerful ways.

Impact on society is what keeps the French family coming back to and deepening our engagement with Plymouth Church. It’s also what inspired us to stretch our giving this past year. To put it simply, having an impact on society isn’t free. We, of course, need to give of our time and talent to make the world a more just and equitable place, but we also need to support this work financially. If you really think about it, when you make a gift to Plymouth you’re not only giving to Plymouth, but giving through Plymouth to have that impact on our congregation, our neighborhood, and ultimately society.

In addition to needing to cover the expenses related to maintaining the Plymouth of today, we know that Plymouth needs our support in order to become the Plymouth of tomorrow . . . to expand what it does, to elevate its level of service to others . . . to make a bigger impact.

As we approach the end of our fiscal year, I’m hoping you can join us by making a financial commitment, no matter the level, to support Plymouth and its work in our community. For those of you who have already made your pledge for the year, thank you. If your financial situation allows, please consider an additional contribution to help us meet our annual goal. Together we can make a difference for our church home and put Plymouth in a position of financial strength for tomorrow.

—Ryan French

Worship For All Ages Under The Big Top!

Sundays at 9 a.m.
June 6 – September 5

How wonderful it will be to gather each Sunday to worship together in the parking lot of Plymouth Church! Here are a few instructions to keep our community safe and joyful during our time together:

  • Please bring your own lawn chair. We will have some chairs available, but we encourage you to bring your own. If you need assistance getting your chair from your vehicle to the tent, clergy and staff will be happy to assist.
  • Parking is available in the Plymouth lot and in the Park Nicollet lot. I encourage those who are able to use the Park Nicollet lot so that Plymouth’s parking spaces can be used by those with mobility limitations.
  • We will not be collecting an offering during worship; rather, we hope you will continue to give via text or online.
  • There will be access to restrooms inside the church, although the rest of the building will remain closed.
  • There will be listening devices available.
  • The tent will protect us from rain. However, in case of severe summer weather cancellation of services will be posted on the website by 7 a.m. on that Sunday.
  • Worship from the sanctuary will continue to be live-streamed throughout the summer at 11:00 a.m., with the prelude beginning at 10:50 a.m.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns. I rejoice in being able to greet you in person and am so glad I can sign this note, “See you at church!”

Blessings,

Rev. Beth Hoffman Faeth, Minister for Congregational Care & Worship

Prayer Circle Re-Dedication Saturday, May 8th at 9:00 a.m.

The Prayer Circle outside Jones Commons was created on Earth Day, 2020 with guidance from Ojibwe elder Sharon M. Day. It is a circle of natural elements, made of anything that is available – a place for gathering, reflecting, praying, and connecting with the earth.

Day guided us in making this prayer circle in the same manner as the circles created at the end of every day on indigenous-led water walking ceremonies that travel the lengths of rivers. She invites us to see all these prayer circles as creating a network, and together they are “spreading love like honey.” Plymouth’s prayer circle took on new meaning in 2020 when it became the only accessible physical space dedicated to prayer on Plymouth’s otherwise locked grounds. It is open to everyone at all times. People are welcome to add a flower or a small stone at any time, or simply a prayer in their heart, to the circle. It’s like lighting a candle, yet it has an added dimension of bringing us into a deeper relationship and conversation with the earth herself.

The prayer circle was originally created with stones. For safety reasons, we are going to re-set the prayer circle with a braid of willows. Come join in the process of intentionally re-dedicating this place for connection, reflection, and prayer right at this major intersection in our wounded city. We will gather outside Jones Commons at 9:00 and first walk a very large circle around all of Plymouth to center ourselves in the place where we are. Then we will set the prayer circle and have a time for sharing our highest hopes for the healing that may unfold from something as simple as a prayer circle.

Please wear a mask and bring a flower to add to the circle along with your prayer. If you plan to participate, please RSVP to the Climate and Environmental Justice group at CEJ.plymouth@gmail.com.

Statement from the Downtown Interfaith Clergy

Dear Plymouth Members and Friends,
Below is a statement from the Downtown Interfaith Clergy, a group in which Rev. Dr. DeWayne L. Davis represents our Plymouth Community.
—————————-
The world is watching to see if justice will be done in Minneapolis.
As the murder trial continues for the police killing of George Floyd, we, the Minneapolis Downtown Interfaith Senior Clergy, now also mourn the police killing of Daunte Wright. We underline our cry for justice and our condemnation of racism and white supremacy culture in the strongest terms. We call for transparency and accountability in the handling of the facts of both of these cases, and we stand in solidarity with those actively and peacefully working to dismantle the racial injustice that continues to permeate our communities.
We just celebrated Passover and Easter, and are observing Ramadan. Our traditions call us to move from degradation to dignity. Our religious teachings are clear on this point: all human beings are siblings. Every person has a spark of the divine. Every life is precious. All must breathe free. We invite our neighbors to join us in prayer for hearts and lives broken by violent systems.
Firmly rooted in our faith traditions, we stand united in our call for love and justice because, as Black theologian Cornel West phrases it, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” We know that a just society is always a work in progress – but helping create a society where all may live, grow, and flourish is our calling.
We are committed to finding hope in even the most hopeless of circumstances. We know that many people, especially people of color, are traumatized and hurting. We are committed to healing in our congregations, our community, our nation, and our world.
Together, we echo the words of Isaiah,
You will rebuild the ancient ruins,
raise foundations from ages past,
and be called “Repairer of broken walls,
Restorer of streets to live in.” (58:12)
In solidarity and in faith,
Rev. Elijah McDavid III, Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church
Imam Makram Nu’Man El-Amin, Masjid An-Nur
Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman, Temple Israel
Rev. Dr. DeWayne Davis, Plymouth Congregational Church
Rev. Dr. Tim Hart-Andersen, Westminster Presbyterian Church
Rev. Jia Starr Brown, First Covenant Church
Rev. Dr. David Breeden, First Unitarian Society
Rev. Kevin Kenney, Saint Olaf Catholic Church
Rev. Judy Zabel, Hennepin Avenue United Methodist
Imam Dr. Hamdy El-Sawaf, Islamic Community Center of Minnesota/Masjid Al-Iman
Rev. Dr. Laurie Pound Feille, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rev. Peter Nycklemoe, Central Lutheran Church
Rev. Jen Crow, First Universalist Church
Rev. Justin Schroeder, First Universalist Church
The Very Rev. Paul J. Lebens-Englund, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedra

Inquirer’s Classes

In this time of pandemic and racial reckoning, during which we are experiencing both isolation and a call to action, the community has never been more important. And while it may seem unusual to host new member classes during this time, yet I think now is exactly the right time to consider if joining Plymouth Church is the right thing for you. We believe that Plymouth provides unique ways to explore and experience progressive Christianity, personal spirituality, the arts, and social justice, all within a supportive congregation. To know the care and concern of others during these uncertain days is a special blessing, and feeling rooted within a spiritual community can be life-affirming.
I plan to offer a series in two Zoom sessions (date and time to be determined based on participants’ availability) called “Inquirer’s Classes,” during which some history of Plymouth will be shared along with relevant information on governance, programs and activities, and vision for the future. Participating in the series does not obligate you to church membership. Following the classes, for those who are interested, we will design a special Membership Sunday, during which our new members would participate remotely. Please email me (bethf (a) plymouth.org) to let me know of your interest in participating in the “Inquirer’s Classes” and ask any questions you might have. I look forward to hearing from you . . . and to creating community with you!
Blessings,
Beth Hoffman Faeth
Minister for Congregational Care & Worship

Spiritual Exploration Committee Expands Programming To Year-Round Offerings  

Plymouth members will now have the opportunity to enjoy Spiritual Exploration classes throughout the year.  Starting in May, the Spiritual Exploration Committee is introducing a new term that will run through August.  The next term will go from September through December, and a third term will run January through April.  The committee hopes the change will provide more options to meet seasonal and intergenerational needs.

Classes scheduled to kick off the Spring/Summer term include

  • “The Color of Law:  A Forgotten History of How Government Segregated America,” presented by the Racial Justice Initiative, and related to an April Zoom presentation by Richard Rothstein;
  • “Pilgrimage to the Lake of the Isles,” presented by the Plymouth Contemplatives and led by Emily Jarrett Hughes;
  • “Forest Bathing,” a series of monthly walks presented by Johanna Schussler, Certified Forest Therapy guide with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs (ANFT);
  • a book study presented by the Racial Justice Initiative on “When They Call You A Terrorist;”
  • two Zoom classes and a nature walk led by David Astin, entitled “The Spirit of Nature:  What Gifts Does the Spring Bird Migration Bestow?” and;
  • a book study lead by Rev. Beth Hoffman Faeth based on Sarah Griffith Lund’s “Blessed Are Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family, and Church.”

 

More details will be available in early April.  Visit the Plymouth web site under the menu option “Explore.”  If you have ideas for future programming, please feel free to seek a Proposal Form by contacting any member of the Spiritual Exploration Committee, including Jan Rabbers, Anne Fabel Cheatham, Bonnie Janda, Joan Thompson, Diane Boruff, Linda Seime or Seth Patterson.