Give in to Hope Day 8: Yash Gupta

Like so many kids, Yash Gupta wears glasses. One day, his glasses broke, and he had to go to school without them. He realized that it was impossible for him to learn without being able to see, and he wondered how many kids around the world were struggling to learn because they didn’t have access to glasses. Rather than just keep wondering, he decided to start collecting glasses and connecting these glasses with kids who needed them. His small project turned into a big deal, helping over 20,000 kids in 5 countries see better and find more success in school!

To learn more about Yash Gupta, and his organization Sight Learning:

Humans have 5 senses–sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch. Which of these would be the hardest for you to live without? How would being without one of those senses affect your learning at school?

Closing prayer: Dear God, please let us look at others, even those who are different, and SEE that we have more in common than we think. Amen.

Give in to Hope Day 7: Gitanjali Rao

When she was only 10, budding scientist Gitanjali Rao heard about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, where the entire city’s water supply was so contaminated with lead that none of it was safe to drink or cook with.  Even though Gitanjali does not live in Flint and was not directly affected by this, she knows that water is a requirement for life, and she wanted to help. Already quite accomplished in different areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Gitanjali was able to develop a tool that could measure lead levels in water and communicate that to people via Bluetooth, letting not only individuals, but entire communities know whether their water was safe to drink. Gitanjali was able to work with 3M to produce this product on a large scale, and because of her work, was named Time Magazine’s first ever Kid of the Year. Gitanjali has also created an app that can detect and warn parents and teachers of early stages of cyberbullying that their kids may be engaging in or victims of. Gitanjali is using her skills and talents to impact change in multiple ways!

To learn more about Gitanjali:

Gitanjali has used her skills and resources to create solutions for multiple problems! If you could be a part of solving 2 problems in the world, what would you want to work on?

Gitanjali is lucky to have access to lots of cool adults who believe in her and helped her ideas become reality. Who are some adults you know who could help you solve problems?

Closing prayer: Dear God, help us to always look for ways to make changes in the world, whether they impact us or not, for we are ALL connected. Amen.


Give in to Hope Day 6: Louis Braille

At only 3 years old, Louis Braille was accidentally blinded when a tool he was playing with poked him in the eye. This was over 200 years ago, and there were not very many resources for a blind person, but he managed to get accepted into a special school for blind children. While he was there, he learned about a special code that the military used to send messages back and forth, and figured out how to turn it into a series of raised dots that represented letters. By “reading” these raised dots with fingers, and understanding the code, blind people could read! With that, the Braille language was born!

To learn more about Louis Braille:

What would you miss most if you lost your sight? How do you think blind people felt once they learned Braille and were able to read?

Closing prayer: Dear God, Even if there are times where it feels like we are sightless, help us find ways to see. Amen

Give in to Hope Day 5: Jaylen Arnold

At only 8 years old, Jaylen Arnold set out to end bullying. Jaylen has Tourette’s Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is on the Autism Spectrum–diagnoses that cause him to act differently than his peers on occasion, have difficulty socializing, and be a target for bullies. Rather than let the bullies get to him, Jaylen stood up, spoke out, and formed his own organization, Jaylen’s Challenge, that travels around the country educating kids on how to stand up to bullies, how to not become a bully, and how to respect and celebrate the differences in one another. Now in college, Jaylen continues to educate thousands of kids each year, and is determined to end bullying in schools.

To learn more about Jaylen:

Have you ever seen anyone treated poorly because of how they looked or talked? At the time, did you do anything to help? What would you do now, if you could go back to that situation?

Closing prayer: Dear God, help us stand up for one another, and include people, rather than exclude them. Amen.

Give in to Hope Day 4: Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg

On February 14, 2018, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Highschool in Parkland, Florida was the site of a horrendous tragedy–17 students were shot and killed, with 17 more injured, all victims of gun violence. Out of this horrific event, students from the school, including Seniors Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg, became outspoken activitists and proponents of gun control reform. These brave students, in the face of incredible terror and grief, founded March for Our Lives, and their first demonstration, which took place in Washington D.C. only 5 weeks after the tragedy, drew 800,000 participants, and became the blueprint for other modern-day demonstrations including the Women’s March.

To learn more about Emma Gonzalez David Hogg and the other teen founders of the March for Our Lives: (content warning: does mention the school shooting and the large death toll).

Can you imagine talking in front of 800,000 people? That is a really huge number! What is something that you care about so much that you’d use all your bravery to talk about?

Closing prayer: Dear God, help us make our country safer for children and teenagers in schools. Amen.


Give in to Hope Day 3: Xiutezcatl Martinez

Now 20, Xiutezcatl (pronounced Shoe-TEZ-cat) has been passionate about protecting the environment since he was just 6 years old! With the encouragement of his activist mother, he gave talks in his home state of Colorado, before moving on to speaking to young people across the country and the globe about the dangers of climate change, and the role of young people in making the world cleaner and greener. Xiutezcatl also spreads his message as the leader of an environmental non-profit Earth Guardians, and writes and performs hip hop with a social justice theme!

To learn more about Xiutezcatl:

Xiutezcatl uses one of his talents, writing song lyrics, to help share information with young people about climate change. What are some of your talents that you could use to let people know about things you care about?

Closing prayer: Dear God, help us use our talents to fight for things we care about. Amen

Give in to Hope Day 2: Malala Yousafzai

When Malala Yousafzai was just 11 years old, a group of extremists took over her community in Pakistan, and enforced extremely strict rules, particularly on women, including that girls were no longer allowed to attend school. Malala, daughter of a life-long educator and activist, refused to go along with what was happening. She shared stories of life in her village under Taliban rule, and was not shy about talking about how the rights of girls were being taken away. Malala was shot in an attempt to keep her quiet, but she refused, and worked harder than ever to ensure that girls not only in Pakistan, but all over the world have a right to learn, and a right to be heard.

To learn more about Malala:

All over the world, there are children that don’t get to go to school, because it is too expensive, or because they need to work to help their families, or it is too far, or because they are a girl, or so many other reasons. Why do you think school is so important? What about school are you grateful for?

Closing prayer: Dear God, help us be the people who use our voice to speak up for others. Amen


Give in to hope, Day 1: Easton LaChapelle

At just 16 years old, tinkerer, inventor, and 3-D printer enthusiast Easton LaChapelle was compelled to do something after he met a little girl at his high school science fair who needed a prosthetic arm but couldn’t afford the nearly 80,000 dollar price tag! Inspired to make a difference, LaChapelle worked and experimented until he created a working prosthetic arm that could be printed using a 3-D printer, can be made with different skin tones, and will cost only about $5,000! His invention has changed the way prosthetics are made around the world, and he has inspired other companies to make prosthetics in a more affordable way. His goal is to get enough funding that his prosthetics can be given away to those in need for free!

To learn more about Easton:

Imagine you had to do everything for the next week without one of your hands working? What things might be easy for you? What would really challenge you? If you could make something today that would make life easier for someone else, what would you make?

Closing prayer: Dear God, help us be the kind of people who see problems and are inspired to find solutions. Amen.

Welcome to Lent 2021: 40 Days of World Changers

Dear families,

Welcome to the season of Lent—40 days of prayer and preparation leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, and resurrection. While many choose to give up tangible things for Lent, such as junk food or social media, we are inviting our children, youth and families instead to give in—to possibility, potential and hope. Each day during Lent (at 4pm) we will be sharing with you a brief story about a young person (or group of people) who have made their mark on the world in a positive way. This story will be followed by a question, designed to spark conversation with your family, and a prayer, to close your time together. Whether you can do each day as a family, or only pop on occasionally over the next 6 weeks is up to you, but either way, we hope that these inspiring young people give you ideas for the ways you can change the world, and help you give in to wonder and joy.



Here’s the “Scoop” For Families This Week, January 30- February 6


For kids grade 8 and below:
Have you signed your child or young person up for one of our IN-PERSON hikes on Saturday January 30th or Sunday January 31st! In small groups, we will explore the MN Wildlife Refuge in Bloomington, look for animal tracks, see if we can find any geocaches, and catch up with friends! Please register your child today!
Sunday January 31st at noon, youth grades 9 and up will walk around Lake Bde Maka Ska. Sign your high schooler up for this walk here.
If your child is missing their friends from church and has been unable to participate in our offerings, we encourage parents and guardians to plan and facilitate ways for them to see each other. Nina can help connect families to one another, or you can reach out to other members through the church directory! Log in on our Plymouth website to access directories, register for adult education programs, and more!
**It seems that people have had some issues lately joining zooms where the links are included in this email. I apologize for that. I have recreated the meetings with new links, but in case the link above is NOT working for you, the Sunday school meeting code (for this Sunday and every Sunday) is 233 943 5058.**
9:10-9:40 Ages 3-grade 2
9:45-10:15 Grades 3-5 AND 6-8 (changing the time of middle school to let them sleep later!)
9th grade and up
Youth Group will move to THURSDAY evenings starting this week, to better accommodate the young people’s schedules. Class will meet from 8 to 830ish Thursday evenings. See you February 4th!
Looking for something to do after school on Tuesdays? Join Dylan from 4:30-5:30 on Zoom for fun and games!
Additional afterschool programming begins the week of February 15th! Next week’s email will have more information and sign-ups for the clubs.
One of the pieces of feedback we heard from church members was how much they enjoyed Advent in a Box as a way to connect spiritually as a family throughout the month of December. The Committee for Children, Youth and Families would like to create a digital family devotional for Lent, but we need your help, and we need it quickly! We are looking for:
  • Dinner table discussion questions–what is a question that you and your family have had great conversations about in the past
  • Family evening prayers, graces, or meditations–is there something that you and your family say before every meal? As part of your evening prayers? A grace that you sing?
  • Drawings/art/illustrations that depict how you or your family envision God or Jesus.
These items are due to Nina Jonson by February 9th! Please send to!
My name is Lexi Ebeling, I am a 9th grader in Plymouth’s Youth Group, and I wanted to tell you about a very important project I am currently taking on– I am running for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Student of the Year Campaign, and my good friend Kat Klopotek is my co-candidate. (Lexi is pictured on the left, Kat on the right). Students of the Year (SOY) is a fundraising campaign that runs from January 7- February 28, 2021. Our team “Team F.A.C’s “(Fighting Against Cancers) is working hard to reach our fundraising goal of $50,000! When we reach our goal, we can link our names to an LLS-funded research portfolio in honor of a friend, Jake Rodriguez.
In 2018 Jake was diagnosed with lymphoma, and Jake lost his biological mom to blood cancer when he was 3. Finding out he had cancer was heartbreaking. Jake was in and out of the hospital for months. His twin brother, Ben, was upset having his brother in the hospital especially after the loss of their mom. My co-candidate Kat remembers visiting Jake in the hospital with her brother Kyle and Jake’s brother Ben. Jake couldn’t really talk at the time. By the end of their visit, Jake was talking and laughing just as much as the other two boys. It filled Kat’s heart with joy seeing how having the boys together made Jake feel better.
Team F.A.C.s wants to support other kids fighting this disease and be there for them by providing critical research dollars. We would greatly appreciate your support by going to our website:
Like LLS, Team F.A.C.’s is dedicated to help find a cure! Thank you very much for your generosity and joining us in making an impact!
Lexi Ebeling
Team F.A.C.s (Fighting Against Cancers)