Children, Youth and Families

Children have a very special place at Plymouth. We teach our young people Biblical stories through a progressive Christian lens. We emphasize the arts and social justice from a young age. The work and development of our young people are integrated into every part of building our church community.

As children grow up at Plymouth they move into the Youth Program, the youth of our congregation are actively living their spirituality, exploring relevant issues, and learning the history of the Christian faith. Our Children and Youth leadership develop and offer service activities, retreats, and camps to benefit our young people’s spiritual development and meet them, exactly where they are on their journey.

For more information, contact our Director or Children and Youth Ministries Nina Jonson, ninaj (at) plymouth.org.

Updates From Nina

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXvs1vwiD0M

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOyTflNqTiE

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.

Blessings,

Nina

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

IN-PERSON ACTIVITIES–THIS WEEKEND!
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!
JUST FOR TEENS:
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.
LENTEN SUBMISSIONS NEEDED!
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 ninaj@plymouth.org!
HELP OUR YOUNG PEOPLE HELP OTHERS:
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: https://events.lls.org/mn/mplsSOY21/lebeling2d4
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)

NIGHTTIME WITH NINA

with Nina Jonson

Other videos in this series are available here.

Events with Children

Events with Youth