News at Plymouth

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.

Plymouth Film Club: Kiss the Ground

See the movie on your own; join us for discussion April 18!
Guest hosted by Plymouth’s Climate and Environmental Justice group 

Plymouth Film Club Discussion April 18 of Kiss the Ground, guest hosted by Plymouth’s Climate and Environmental Justice Committee
by Jan Neville and Richard Jewell

Plymouth Film Club is offering a discussion of Kiss the Ground (2020, 84 min., documentary, all ages welcome) Sunday, April 18, 12:30-1:30 pm on Zoom. Guest host Plymouth CEJ–Climate and Environmental Justice committee–chose the film.

Seth Patterson and organic farmer Emma Homans will facilitate the discussion. Please view it on your own before the discussion: see options below.

What if a simple solution existed to help balance our climate, replenish our freshwater supplies, and feed the world?

In the beginning of Kiss the Ground, the film’s narrator, actor Woody Harrelson, states, “Earth–it’s a great place to live, but when it comes to the future of our small planet, there is so much bad news…. The fear that we are headed for a cliff puts most of us into a state of paralysis. But what if there was another path? This is the story of a simple solution, a way to heal our planet. In fact, the solution I am talking about is right under our feet, and it is as old as dirt.”

Kiss the Ground documents how we can grow our food using a method that builds and protects our precious soil. It restores our ecosystems instead of destroying them. It absorbs carbon dioxide safely back into the ground, rather than releasing it to destroy the atmosphere. “Regenerative agriculture” is the key. A farmer, an agronomist, a scientist, a government expert, and others show us how we can help rehabilitate the Earth.

Critics call the film “passionate” (TV Guide), “compelling” (SF Chronicle), “innovative” (People), and “groundbreaking” (Awards Daily). The New York Times says it “inspires a rare feeling of hope.” The LA Times declares it “Earth’s climate savior.” The film also has won four awards and four nominations at recent film festivals.


You’ll immediately receive the discussion’s link. (If you’ve never used Zoom, join us 10 min. early to download the simple, safe software.)


Trailer/Preview: (2½ min.)

Full movie free online: Password: kiss

Subscription: Netflix (by subscription), Vimeo (subscription + $1)

Purchase DVD: Walmart ($7), Target ($16), et al.

A Conversation with the Congregation

Please join the Deacons on Sunday, April 11, at 11:30 a.m. for a “Conversation with the Congregation” to learn about how Plymouth Church might implement the recommendations in the report: “Advancing Plymouth Church 2019-2022: A Visioning Document from the Growth Task Force.” Lynn Moline, the chair of the Growth Task Force, will give an overview of the report and the possibilities it presents. We will discuss the proposed Marketing/Communication Task Force and will invite your ideas for fostering growth.

As you listen to Lynn’s presentation and discuss among each other, we want you to consider these questions:

  • In which areas do you think Plymouth has the greatest potential for growth?
  • What are some things you think Plymouth should do to foster growth?
  • What are you personally willing to commit to in that effort?

Please Join here at 11:30 April 11, for this one-hour Zoom session.

The Deacons and Leadership Council are eager to hear your response to the Growth Task Force’s report and your ideas for bringing it to life. We look forward to being with you in virtual community!

A Conversation with the Congregation

Please join the Deacons on Sunday, February 21, at 11:30 a.m. for a “Conversation with the Congregation” to hear what we’re working on and to solicit your thoughts on what Plymouth Church should be doing in the coming months. We will reflect on:

Moderator’s Midyear Report

  • Our exploration of the history and use of our real estate
  • How the Purposes of the Church inform our work
  • Resources we use to ground our work in our spirituality
  • Our involvement with saying farewell to Paula and welcoming DeWayne
  • Our discussions of what it means to be antiracist

Congregation’s Thoughts and Questions

  • What resources that Plymouth currently provides are giving you spiritual sustenance these days?
  • Are there Plymouth activities that you thought were important (pre-COVID) that you find you aren’t missing?
  • What has COVID taught us about what is important at Plymouth?
  • How can we grow into an authentic community with one another?

The Deacons are eager to hear what’s on your minds and address your questions. Our conversation will be less about reports by the presenters and more about what you have to say. We look forward to being in virtual community with you!

Register Here

The Changing Definition of the Racism Problem

by Hazel Lutz, a member of the Racial Justice Initiative

The last century’s format for addressing the problem of racism defined it as a problem of the actions of racist individuals. Certain individuals were viewed as  a cancer, so to speak, on an assumed, largely healthy society. Society-wide efforts to address racism focused on the removal of segregation signs; education, or re-education, of individuals; busing for educational equality and some government programs to give people living in poverty a “leg up.” The goal of equal opportunity was draped in words and phrases like “tolerance” and “getting along with each other.” Equal opportunity programs and the social safety net of government programs created during the War on Poverty, however, have slowly lost funding, been altered or closed down altogether through the last six decades in response to the attacks of politicians who blame the victims of racism and economic oppression for their situations.

The 21st Century format for viewing the problem of racial inequality has broadened the focus to include not just bigoted individuals, but the whole structure of our society; its history; American White culture; and the hearts and minds of every individual. Now we are looking at a societal problem — systemic racism. This is defined as racial prejudice + power. The overwhelming proportion of people occupying the positions of authority in government, businesses, churches, schools, colleges, museums, NGOs, etc. are white. They make decisions based upon assumptions and methods of evaluation originating in their European cultural heritage. The cultures of people of color have little chance to influence important decisions about our American life. In fact, the dominant white culture of our society’s leaders consciously, but more often unconsciously, work against the interests of people of color.

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