Wherever you are on life`s journey, you are welcome here.

May 2015
Pastor’s Letter
Have you held the door for
a dedicated congregation
member hauling recyclables
from the church kitchen or
been caught up in a dishwashing party? Or have you
caught a glimpse of our
electric lawnmower? The
Green Team at Plymouth
reconvened on Sunday April
19 to discuss past successes - such as our all-church
initiative Mission 4/1 Earth
(Spring 2013) - and to talk
about the future asking:
where do we go from here?
Working for environmental
justice is not new to Plymouth or the wider United
Church of Christ (UCC). In
fact, the UCC first embraced
the cause almost 30 years
ago and sees this shared
mission campaign to live
out our faith - and our faith,
in Planet Earth - as an ongoing ministry and one of vital
Today, the Plymouth Green
Team is taking that concern
seriously as it works closely
Rev. Eleanor McCormick
with a local movement
known as Lawrence Ecology
Teams United for Sustainability (LETUS) on environmental advocacy and collaboration. Additionally, the
Plymouth Green Team engages in interfaith work
through Interfaith Power
and Light (IPL) and recommends to you the work of
IPL’s founder - Rev. Canon
Sally Bingham. But ultimately we take our lead
and our inspiration from the
work of our own denomination.
At the twenty-ninth General
Synod of the United Church
of Christ (2013) a resolution was passed that emphasized the need of our
church to raise its prophetic
voice regarding “the urgency of healing the climate of
the earth, our home and
God’s gift for the future of
all life, both human and all
other life.” In this resolution
- that made its way into the
national media - “all Members, Local Churches, Asso-
Wherever you are
on life’s journey,
you are welcome here.
Lawrence Ecology Teams United for Sustainability
ciations, Conferences, Agencies, Associated, Affiliated and Covenanted Ministries (and their successor bodies)” are asked to commit to “using a spectrum of strategies to reduce the use of fossil fuels,
our carbon footprint, and our complicity with the
fossil fuel industry.” We at Plymouth are taking this
call to action from the UCC seriously and continuing
our conversation on and work around the areas
that this resolution recommends such as: making
lifestyle changes to reduce the use of fossil fuels in
our lives, our homes, our church, advocating for the
creation and enforcement of carbon-reducing laws,
publicly witnessing to and creating educational programs in our church, and engaging with the wider
church in shareholder actions with companies, up
to and including the possibility of divestment from
fossil fuels.
(Continued on pg. 4)
Newsletter Deadline
May 31 is the next Rock Newsletter deadline. If you would like to
submit something, please e-mail:
[email protected]
At Worship
May 3
May 24—Pentecost
9:30 a.m. Traditional Service (Today’s service features
9:30 a.m. Traditional Service
the Chancel Choir as they perform Mozart’s Requiem. See
pg. 8 for more information.)
9:30 a.m. Reunion Libertad, Heritage Room
9:30 a.m. Reunion Libertad, Heritage Room
11 a.m. Contemporary Gathering of Grace Service
11 a.m. Contemporary Gathering of Grace Service
Scripture: Acts 2:1-21
“Thoughts on Ministry” by Rev. Luckey
Theme: “What Does it Mean to Trust in the Spirit?”
Scripture: John 15:1-8
The lesson speaks of pruning and the relationship of
a church to Christ—vine to the vine grower. What
would be some of the ways the church is being
pruned today?
May 10—Mother’s Day
9:30 a.m. Traditional Service (Today’s service features
the youth as they perform their annual musical. See pg. 9
for more information.)
9:30 a.m. Reunion Libertad, Heritage Room
11 a.m. Contemporary Gathering of Grace Service
Scripture: John 15:9-17
May 17—Graduation Sunday
9:30 a.m. Traditional Service
9:30 a.m. Reunion Libertad, Heritage Room
11 a.m. Contemporary Gathering of Grace Service
Scripture: John 17:6-19
Sermon: “Are We Set Apart?” The morning lesson is
part of Jesus’ farewell speech to the disciples. The
words were written actually much later, around 90 CE
when the church was in deep conflict with the outside world. How mush is there a sense of the church
being at odds with the world today?
May 31
9:30 a.m. Traditional Service
9:30 a.m. Reunion Libertad, Heritage Room
11 a.m. Contemporary Gathering of Grace Service
Scripture: John 3:1-17
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to pray for…
to remember…
Deron McGee
long-time member Betty
Strasser who died on
March 27. A gravesite
service was held April 1.
Roy Taylor
Nancy Hambleton
George Learned
Ruth Harwood
Bob Cobb
Margaret Merrion
Verna Davidson
Deb Graber
Beverly Bronaugh
Doris Hockenberger
Helen Buhler
Dorothy Williams
Wiley Mitchell
Anne Woodbury on the
death of her father, Fred,
on April 10.
Johannah Cox on the
death of her father, William Powell, on April 18.
Millie Cooper who died
on April 22. Millie was
a 62 year member of
Plymouth. A service to
celebrate Millie’s life was
held at Warren McElwain
on April 27.
There is a time
for everything,
and a season for
every activity
under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3.1
Katherine Stannard
Kathleen Neeley
Ruby DeHoff
June Preston
June Collins
Carol Floersch
Shirley Kasper
Ginny Meserve
Jo Scannell
Leticia Bryant Cole
Tammi Hawk’s mom
Annie Neri’s mom
Karin Denes Collar’s dad
Marvin Voth’s sister
Bob Gent’s dad
Debby Wedel’s sister
Alice Ann’s sister
to celebrate…
the baptism of Cara
Michelle Britton, daughter of Clay & Katy Britton
on April 12.
the baptism of Oliver
Myers, son of Caitlin &
Dustin Myers, grandson
of Ken & Chris Johnson &
great-grandson of Joyce
Mullenix & the late Stanley Mullenix on April 19.
the confirmation of 8
Plymouth youth on April
26. Andrew Anderson,
Olivia Collar, Nickolas
Guerrero, Maleena Hatfield*, Mariana Heatwole,
Olive Olson, Cole Phillips*
and Adelai Spears.
The Stephen Ministers will meet on Monday, May 4,
at 7 p.m. in the Mayflower room for a program
featuring Sherry Warren, former interim associate
pastor, to discuss ways to address diversity in caring
Christian relationships.
Everyone is welcome to join us.
Stephen Ministers are members of Plymouth who are
specially trained to listen, care, encourage and support people who are going through tough times. To
learn more, talk with Peter Luckey at (785) 843-3220
or any Stephen Minister.
Pl ym ou t h R o c k / 3
Pastor’s Letter (Continued from pg. 1)
This is a denomination wide and a congregation wide conversation that deserves our
hope-filled commitment. Therefore, I encourage you to get more involved in Plymouth's
Green Team by contacting [email protected] and I leave you with these words
from the United Church of Christ’s Minister for Environmental Justice:
“When confronted with environmental responsibility, people of faith now face an additional choice: to live in despair or to live with hope. We in the United Church of Christ
are called to live with hope. We are called to go beyond lifestyle adjustment. We are
called to spiritual and lifestyle transformation based on justice and reverence for all of
God's creatures and creation. We are called by Jesus to love God and love our neighbor
as ourselves. With God's grace, we invite individuals to transform their lives and their
communities to become hopeful, restorative, and just.”
Fellowship Opportunities
Prayer Shawl Group
Come join this group that
crafts each shawl with prayers and blessings for the recipient. Beginners welcome!
The meeting date is every
1st Wednesday at 3 p.m. The
next meeting is May 6 in the
Heritage Room.
Pastor at the Pub! Join Eleanor on Wednesday May 6th and the first Wednesday of each month going forward from 5:30—7:30 p.m. at Merchant’s Pub and Plate, 746
Massachusetts Street. It’s church in the public sphere.
It’s church for the mid-week. It’s church for those in love
4th Sunday Potluck
Every 4th Sunday of the
month has a potluck meal
following the 11 a.m. service.
Bring some food to share
and enjoy the fellowship of
your church friends!
Next “Gather 4th” is May 24!
4 / Pl ym ou t h R o c k
with church. It’s church for those exploring what it means
and what it doesn’t mean to be church in the 21st century
too. Conversation starters and quotes to contemplate will
be posted on Plymouth’s Facebook page the week before
each gathering. We hope you will join us! We hope you will
invite others!
Moderator’s Letter
It is with a heavy heart that I inform the congregation that I am moving out of state
and must therefore resign as Moderator. I have accepted a faculty position at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, a residential public school for
gifted 11th and 12th graders. While I am tremendously excited about the opportunity to
advance my professional career, leaving Plymouth will certainly be the hardest part of
moving from Lawrence.
Neil Oatsvall
[email protected]
First off, the nuts and bolts of what this means for the church: very soon the pastoral
and lay leadership will meet to select an Interim Moderator. Instead of asking Kim
Booth or Julia Gaughn to take on extra duties and leaving the moderator triumvirate
shorthanded we feel that bringing on someone else to finish out my term is best for
the church. That person will take over Moderator duties on or about June 1 (when I
leave town). Drawing from such a talented congregation, I have no doubt the church
will be in more than capable hands.
While I know that Plymouth will be fine in my absence, I must admit that there will be
a hole in my heart. This church has been the first house of worship that truly felt like it
was my church. Other churches have felt like home, but none of them have had the
impact on my life that Plymouth has.
That is funny, because my first experience at Plymouth was not perfect (mainly because I am incredibly imperfect). Peter’s sermon that day made me so mad that I didn’t attend for a year. I was a complete fool. When my wife made me come back I could
not remember why I was angry in the first place—sorry Peter!—and immediately loved
everything about the church. From the people to the message, the stained glass to the
hospitality and social justice, everything was what I had been looking for my whole life.
My wife, in dragging me back, was right. Yet again.
Plymouth has been a place that nurtured me both spiritually and intellectually. In the
spirit of Ecclesiastes 3, it has been a place to weep and to laugh, to mourn and to
dance, a place to be silent and to speak, and a place to love each other and hate injustice. Sarah and I have seen our daughter be baptized and join the ranks of the
Gathering of Grace’s liturgical dancers. We have seen some of our dearest friends get
married as the KS legal system finally starts to catch up to God’s love. We have also
seen old friends go and new friends arrive. Now we are some of the old friends leaving.
It may be clichéd to say so, but life is a journey. Please know that I will always carry
part of Plymouth in my heart wherever that journey takes me. And I will always know
that, wherever I am on life’s journey, I will be welcome at Plymouth. God’s love will
bind us together even from that other Kansas (the AR-Kansas).
P.S. I will write one last Moderator’s Letter for next month. Stay tuned!
Pl ym ou t h R o c k / 5
We Need You!
Plymouth’s biggest fundraiser of the year is the all church Garage Sale which will be held Thursday through Saturday, August 6-8. Mark your calendar now to contribute to this event in two or more of the following ways:
► Donate the best gently used items you can.
The success of the sale depends greatly upon the quality of the
items available to buy!
► Set aside some hours after church on Setup Sunday, August 2 to carry, sort and distribute donated items.
Pizza lunch for all workers! We could really use folks that can comfortably lift and carry heavy loads today.
► Set aside some hours to work the days before the sale—both day and evening shifts are available.
► Volunteer to work during the garage sale itself—both weekday and Saturday shifts available.
have your resume when you get to heaven!
► Start telling everyone you know to put the Garage Sale on their calendar!
To volunteer contact Toni Dudley: [email protected]
10 minutes Can Make A Lot of Money for Plymouth!
Plymouth can get money every time you swipe your Dillons Plus Card when you
shop! Through March, we got $185 from Dillons because 24 families registered
their Dillons Plus Cards. Think what we could do if we had 100 families registered! It’s easy to register—you can do it on your phone in less than 10 minutes.
Here’s How
► You’ll need a Dillon’s Plus Card, available at any store by asking an
associate, a valid email address and a personalized account at Dillon’s
► then go to: www.dillons.com/communityrewards
► Sign in OR create an account.
1. Once at the website, click on “Register” at the top of the page.
2. Enter your email address, password, and zip code.
3. Click on “Create Account” at the bottom of the page.
4. You will then receive an email confirmation. To activate your account
click on the link in the body of the email and enter your sign in information to confirm.
► Once signed in or registered, enter Plymouth’s Non Profit Organization (NPO) # 36058.
► Then just select “Plymouth” and click “Enroll”.
Questions or needed assistance on setting
up an online account should be directed to
Dillon’s help line at 1-800-576-4377
(option 3).
Thanks for your participation in this
new program. And of course you can still
purchase Grocery Bucks from Hy-Vee,
Checkers and the Merc.
Prison Ministry
I was in prison, and you visited me.
Matthew 25:37
Judith Galas
[email protected]
If reaching out to a person in prison or jail interests you, but traveling to a facility
does not, please consider adopting an inmate as a pen pal. Letters and cards are
potent reminders that someone cares. Through the mail, you can help a person think
through his or her short-term and long-term goals and prepare for a healthy, sustainable life free of crime and addictions.
You can become a pen pal in one of two ways. You can take a
one-day training through the Kansas Department of Corrections
and be matched to an inmate through its Compassionate Correspondent Program. The KDOC offers trainings throughout the
year, and you can find a date and location either by visiting the
KDOC’s web site at www.doc.ks.gov/help-out/mentoring/training
or you can contact me at [email protected]
A letter relationship could lead to a face-to-face mentorship, but
it doesn’t have to. My own role as a post-release mentor grew
from a four-year pen pal relationship I had with an inmate who
then released to Lawrence.
You can also be matched to an inmate via Plymouth, friends and family of current
inmates, or by reaching out to someone you have heard or read about. As long as
your letters are correctly addressed to a specific inmate, you do not have to be approved to write letters.
However, you do, need to follow the institution’s rules regarding proper address,
weight, and permissible content. At Plymouth, Chuck Corbett has been an active pen
pal for several years, sometimes corresponding with people long after their release.
He would be happy to share his experiences and suggestions, and you can reach him
at [email protected]
If you have questions about Plymouth’s prison ministry, don’t hesitate to contact Dick
Stuntz, Mari White, or me.
Judith Galas, 842-4958 or [email protected]
Dick Stuntz, 766-6796, or [email protected]
Mari White, 785-233-7701, or [email protected]
Pl ym ou t h R o c k / 7
Music & Fine Arts
Kim Manz
Director of Music &
Fine Arts
[email protected]
785-843-3220, ext. 15
Chancel Choir Major Choral Work – May 3
The Chancel Choir will be singing portions of
“Requiem” by W.A. Mozart. The Requiem Mass, commissioned anonymously by Count Walsegg to commemorate the anniversary of his wife’s death, was
composed in 1791 and left unfinished at Mozart’s
death on December 5 of that year. The Mass was
completed by Xaver Süssmayr, a talented pupil of Mozart.
Adding to the mythology surrounding the “Requiem” is
Peter Shaffer’s 1979 play Amadeus, in which a mysterious messenger orders Mozart to write a requiem
mass, giving no explanation for the order; Mozart (in
the play) then comes to believe that the piece is
meant to be the requiem mass for his own funeral.
Plan to support the Chancel Choir by worshipping that
day and inviting others to experience this powerful
and moving music.
Practices & Rehearsals
Children’s Choirs Sunday Practices
Handbell Choirs Sunday Rehearsals
Plymouth Strings
Cherub Choir (PreK—1st grade)
Paula Aiken, director
Meets in Room 205S, 10:25 a.m.
Youth Handbell Choir (6th—12th gr.)
Kim Manz, director
Meets in Room 207N, 11 a.m.
The youth handbell group is open to
all in grades 6-12. Please contact
Kim Manz for more information.
Rehearsals are each Wednesday
at 7 p.m. in the Althaus Chapel.
Please speak to Kim Manz if you
have interest in playing in this
ensemble or know of someone
in the wider Lawrence community
that would enjoy participating in
this group.
Carol Choir (2nd—4th grade)
Kathy Bowen, director
Meets in Room 204S, 10:25 a.m.
Chapel Choir (5th—7th grade)
Jeff Morrison, director
Meets in Althaus Chapel, 10:25 a.m.
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Adult Handbell Choir
Bill Kelly, director
Meets in Room 207N, 5:30 p.m.
Contact Bill if you would like to join
the adult choir at:
[email protected]
Music & Fine Arts
Kim Manz
Director of Music &
Fine Arts
[email protected]
785-843-3220, ext. 15
Children’s Musical
May 10
9:30 a.m. service
Come celebrate and support
grades 2 through 8 as
they present the musical
Night” (the story of Daniel in the lion’s den) on
Mother’s Day at Plymouth Church. The musical is full of characters
like Taxalot, the keeper
of the royal vault; Astrofar, the royal astrologer;
Crushafo, the captain of
the guard; Heralds, King
Darius, and of course
Daniel and some lions.
This is one Sunday you
won’t want to miss!
Pl ym ou t h R o c k / 9
Christian Education
Heather Coates
Confirmation Sunday
Dir. of Christian Education
Plymouth celebrated Confirmation on Sunday, April 26th at the 9:30am service. We
[email protected] confirmed eight students and baptized two. It was a wonderful, inspiring morning. A
sunflower.com huge thank you to Norine Spears, Doug Eason & Derrick Hurst who taught and walked
with these students this year. They were amazing.
785-843-3220, ext. 19
The Plymouth Confirmation class of 2015:
Andrew Phillip Anderson
Katie Marie Babbit
Olivia Grace Collar
Alexander French Eason
Nickolas Mickel Guerrero
Maleena Lea Hatfield
Mariana Elizabeth Heatwole
Olive Sainte-Hortense Olson
Oliver Dale Pepin
Cole Alexander Phillips
Alyssa Jane Russell
Adelai Ann Spears
Rose Naramore Winfrey
Summer School Teachers Needed!
Sunday school for preK/K and grade school children is in session for the
summer months. Please consider signing up to teach.
Ideally, preK/K teachers will volunteer to teach one Sunday/month, June
– August. Grade school teachers will volunteer to teach four Sundays, in
either June or July. However, because of summer vacations, if you could
make a teaching commitment for just a part of these times, we will take
that too!
Contact Heather Coates, [email protected]
or 785-843-3220 if you would like to volunteer.
1 0 / Pl ym ou t h R o c k
Christian Education
Conversations on Race
During Lent, Plymouth Academy tried something different. We offered only one class
for adults (we usually offer several), Sacred Conversations on Race. We did this
because the conversation is so important, and we wanted to invite people in. More
than forty people gathered. The class was led by our Conference Minister, Edith
Heather Coates
Dir. of Christian Education
[email protected]
785-843-3220, ext. 19
The class began with introspective conversation, asking participants to examine their
own lives. When did they first realize race exists? What early memories and experiences of race do we still carry? How do these memories and experiences shape our
lives? Many stories were shared – funny stories, thoughtful stories, difficult stories.
Participants saw that racism, whether consciously or not, is still a pervasive presence
in our world.
For the next two weeks, two guest speakers joined the class - Rev. DaVita McCallister, Associate Conference Minister for Leadership and Vitality in the Connecticut Conference and Rev. Verdell Taylor, pastor of St. Luke’s AME Church. Rev. McCallister
has been a leading voice at the UCC national setting for the Sacred Conversations on
Race program. Rev. Taylor has done much work for racial equity and diversity here in
Lawrence, KS.
Rev. McCallister challenged participants with first person stories of Ferguson, MO.
When events such as Ferguson happen, she explained, we fall into something she
calls the “cycle of remembering and forgetting.” We remember that race is an issue.
We reach out to neighbors. We have classes and conversations. But then time passes and we forget, until something happens again and then we remember again. Rev.
McCallister challenged us not to forget, to continue the conversation. And to do
some practical things in our community, such as joining a citizen’s council for our
local police, to be a voice for racial justice.
The following week, Rev. Taylor reminded us of Lawrence’s difficult racial history, as
recently as the 1960s and 1970s, including events that happened at his own church
in East Lawrence. And though he commended the work that Lawrence has done to
be a racially equitable community, he told us we still have work to do.
When asked her thoughts on the class, Edith Guffey said that it was clear that there
are very few safe places where people can have open and honest dialogue about
race, and that she was so pleased that Plymouth could be a place where this can
happen. There was a desire in the class to keep the conversation going.
Pl ym ou t h R o c k / 1 1
Plymouth Youth
Eleanor McCormick
Associate Pastor
[email protected]
785-843-3220, ext. 13
We have several more youth group
gatherings before school is out! Join
us by grabbing a calendar outside the
main office or by emailing Eleanor. This summer we will enjoy a trip
to Schlitterbahn in Kansas City, a
hike at the Konza Prairie and a bonfire or two. Look for updates over
email and on Plymouth's Facebook
1 2 / Pl ym ou t h R o c k
Vacation Bible School Form
Pl ym ou t h R o c k / 1 3
1 4 / Pl ym ou t h R o c k
Justice Matters
Justice Matters is an Interfaith organization made up of twenty-one religious congregations in Lawrence, Kansas. The congregations have
come together to move our city toward a City of God where justice rolls
down like a mighty river. We work toward this vision as an expression
of our faith and values of love, relationship, and justice. We lift up
these “neighborly” values in contrast to a culture dominated by the pursuit of material consumption and individualism.
The way we work can be described in five steps: (1) collectively listening to the concerns and vision for our city among its many residents,
(2) voting to select priorities, (3) researching the underlying problems
we face and solutions that work, (4) creating the public will to improve
our city at system-wide levels through the power of organized people,
and (5) monitoring results to ensure the improvements are realized.
May 7th Action Assembly at the Lied Center
2,000 tickets have been distributed for the Nehemiah Action Assembly
Thursday, May 7th at 6:45 p.m. at the Lied Center. We have 400
standby seats available. Please come and join us on May 7th with or
without a ticket. Doors open at 6 p.m.
If you would like a free ticket please contact Plymouth member, Barbara Palmer at [email protected]
Upcoming Events for your Calendar
April 30 Plymouth Language Program Fiesta! 8 p.m. in the Mayflower Room
May 3
Food Collection for Just Food (Collection cart in front of Mayflower Room)
Special Music at the 9:30 a.m. service.
May 4
Stephen Ministers Program, 7 p.m. in the Mayflower Room
May 6
Pastor at the Pub, 5:30 p.m. at Merchants Pub and Plate, 746 Massachusetts Street
May 7
Justice Matters Action Assembly, 6:45 p.m. at the Lied Center
May 10
Children’s Musical at the 9:30 a.m. service
May 17
High School Graduation Recognition Day (Breakfast for graduate families at 8:30 a.m.)
May 24
Gather 4th for Food (Pot Luck for all after the Gathering of Grace service, approx. 12:15 p.m.)
Pl ym ou t h R o c k / 1 5
Plymouth is
A United Church
of Christ
An Open & Affirming
925 Vermont Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66044
Plymouth’s Covenant
Contact Information
In the love of truth and in the spirit of
Jesus, we unite for the worship of God
and the service of all. We seek to
know the will of God and to walk in
God’s ways, made known or to be
made known to us; to love one another; to proclaim the Gospel to all the
world; to work and pray for the progress of knowledge, the promotion of
justice, the reign of peace, and the
realization of our shared humanity.
And we look with faith for the triumph
of righteousness and the gift of life
eternal. Amen.
Associate Pastor, Eleanor McCormick
Senior Pastor, Peter Luckey
e-mail: [email protected]
e-mail: [email protected]
Hispanic Ministries Pastor, Enrique Peñaloza
Administrative Assistant, Jeremy Winfrey
Bell Choir Director, Bill Kelly
e-mail: [email protected]
e-mail: [email protected]
e-mail: [email protected]
Business Administrator, Barbara Holland
e-mail: [email protected]
Director of Christian Education, Heather Coates
e-mail: [email protected]
Director of Plymouth Language Prog., Joshua Spain
Director of Music and Fine Arts, Kim Manz
Facilities Manager, Rex Russell
Financial Clerk, Becky Foster
e-mail: [email protected]
e-mail: [email protected]
e-mail: [email protected]
e-mail: [email protected]
Gathering of Grace Band Dir., Pam Gibbs
Membership Associate, Kay Koch
Moderator, Neil Oatsvall
e-mail: [email protected]
e-mail: [email protected]
e-mail: [email protected]
Wedding Coordinator, Deb Chaussee
e-mail: [email protected]
Hospitality/Safety Associate, Jesse Rowley