Ancient Worship for the Modern Soul
Sunday, February 11, 7:00pm

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Lent: Compassion

The season of Lent is an ancient and sacred journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. This year at First-Plymouth, we will make this journey together using the theme of Compassion as our guide. What does it mean to be a compassionate people made in the image of a compassionate God? Come and explore this in worship each week; be inspired by music that portrays compassion in living color; and consider joining a Lenten group that will provide you with companions seeking to cultivate compassionate hearts. However you choose to journey through Lent, we are excited to make the journey with you.

FP East sermon series focuses on radical love
“For the Bible Tells Me So”

During the month of March, First-Plymouth East pastor Patrick Messer will present a series of sermons, “For the Bible Tells Me So,” exploring the Bible’s messages of radical love.
“I believe the Bible offers the most expansive and liberating vision of the world ever conceived,” said Messer. “The Scriptures invite every generation into its timeless mission of remaking the world in love. It’s voice is as fresh and profound today as it ever has been. In this new series, I am going to redefine what it means to have a ‘biblical’ perspective on the most pressing issues of our time.”

Here is preview of the new sermon series starting March 4:

Refugees and Immigrants are ALWAYS welcome…for the Bible tells me so.
Patriarchy is Sinful…for the Bible tells me so.
Gay, Straight, and Transgender - all are precious in God’s sight…for the Bible tells me so.
Don’t condemn other faiths, learn from them…for the Bible tells me so.
The goal of the sermon series is to give us new eyes to see the God of the Bible, new hearts to love like that God, and new courage to embody God’s vision for the world.

First-Plymouth East services are held each Sunday at 9:30 am at Kloefkorn Elementary School, 6601 Glassridge Drive in east Lincoln. First-Plymouth Church is a Congregational church dedicated to its timeless mission of increasing the love of God and neighbor. 

First-Plymouth services are open to all.  

Drop-in Choir @ FP East

All are welcome to join on Sunday, March 4. Arrive at Kloefkorn School (6601 Glass Ridge Dr) at 8:45am to prepare for the 9:30am service. Open to all!

Wendesday Night Live

WNL Worship @ 6:15pm
Hear a Lenten message, sing with the worship band, and receive communion - all in 30 minutes. For all ages.

FP Kids Studio
New March sessions begin.  Register

WNL Wednesday Opportunities for Adults

Classes held 6:45-7:30pm. Register with

4 Pastors and Compassion: Lent Series
Last session March 7. Led by Revs. Jim Keck, Barb Smisek, Patrick Messer, and Hollie Schmidt. 

Jerusalem in Bible & Archaeology
March 7 & 21. Led by Dr. Lucas Schulte
What was Jerusalem like between the Old and New Testaments? Using archaeology, explore Jerusalem from ancient times 

Early Encounters betweenJudaism and Christianity
Wed. March 21 - April 11. Led by Dr. Dan Clanton, Associate Professor of Religion, Doane Univ.
It’s a sad fact of history that Jews have been persecuted, relocated, attacked, and murdered because of religious reasons. But where did those religious ideas come from? Join us as we examine some of the earliest literary and historical layers of Christian engagement with “Jews” and “Judaism” that lay the theological groundwork for what we now call Antisemitism.

Pre-Worship Talk "Holy Week" Led by Dr. Jim Keck
March 28, 5:50-6:15pm, in Calvert Parlor. 

Pietà: A Conversation with Composer John Muehleisen
March 28, 6:45pm, Mayflower Hall. 

Friendly Fire: 
An evangelical pastor debates three key scriptures with a more liberal(ish) Mainline
Protestant Minister

March 21, 6:45pm, Mayflower Hall. Rev. Stu Kerns, Zion Church and Dr. Jim Keck, First-Plymouth
Join the civil and good-spirited conversation about three scriptures (2nd Timothy 3:16, John 3:16 and Matthew 1:23) whose interpretations have proven divisive among different Christian groups. Christians have disagreed about key theological issues from the very beginning, but isn’t it time to simply recognize that Jim’s positions are the right ones? Just kidding! Come and join this theological romp!

First-Plymouth Peace & Justice Team by Beth Peterson

From its beginnings in 1996 as the F-P Ethnic Harmony Team to the present group, Peace & Justice Team, its members have presented educational programs, workshops, and panel discussions, focused on nurturing a faith journey toward peace and justice and activism. Topics have included bullying, suicide prevention, the plight of Pine Ridge and Whiteclay, the Interfaith Peacemaking Coalition, immigration, and more.

The Peace and Justice team believes that we all can make a difference in the lives of many by accepting the responsibility of citizenship, by using our compassion and understanding to make the world around us a better place for all. Currently, the team is working with other First-Plymouth representatives to achieve a “Just Peace” designation by the National UCC, hoping to integrate efforts to bring justice and peace to all.  If interested, please check the church bulletin inserts for the next meeting of the Just Peace group.

If you would like to find out more about this group you are welcome to attend the meetings held the first Wednesday of each month at First-Plymouth at 5:15pm in room 203W or socialize with the group at Coffee and Conversations the first Saturday of each month (March 3 & April 7) at Meadowlark Coffee House, 9:00-10:00am. All are welcome.  

Guatemala 2019 Mission & Culture

Join Jeanne Johnson & Karen Buchfink in February 2019 as we learn more about Mayan culture traveling to Tikal, Panajachel, la Casa del Mundo on Lake Atitlan and build homes in Xepatan. Watch for a display at the fish fry event. First meeting: March 12, 7:00pm, Art Room.

Adult Classes, Discussions Groups & Bible Studies

For a complete listing visit To register contact Addie Vortherms, Program Director at or call 476-7550. 

W= Walk-ins     R= Registration Required

Tuesday Bible Study  W
9:30-11:00am, Calvert Parlor. Led by Carolyn Zeisset. 
One Passion Story, Four Parallel Accounts: Continuing through March 27th. Compare accounts in the four gospels of the story of Jesus: arrest, crucifixion, resurrection.

Theology on Tap  W
Mondays, 5:30-6:30pm, at The Mill (S. 21st & L). Led by Rev. Patrick Messer.
Each Monday night we zoom out far enough to see the big picture of the whole Bible. Then we zoom in on the fine details of the Bible’s individual pieces to see how they all fit together. If you’ve never come before, give it a try! It’s never too late to get caught up in the transformative story of Scripture.

Finding the Poet Within  R
Sat. March 3 & 10, 1:00-3:00pm, Art Room. $40 person. Led by author, poet, Lucy Adkins. Explore the world of poetry  designed to help each participant find the poet within. Learn ways to jumpstart the creative process, and working from writing exercises, we will write our own poems. Registration required.  Contact, 402-476-7565 ext.239 to register prior to the first class.

Spirituality Discussion Group  W
“Hinduism as Revealed in the Bhagavad Gita”, March 28, Noon, in Calvert Parlor. Presented by Nancy Ludden. All are invited to learn about this ancient story of a spiritual journey. 

Between Services Book Discussion  W
Sundays, 9:45am, Tower Room. Gospel of Luke. March 18, Chapters 1, 2, 3. All are welcome.

First-Plymouth Family

Contact Rev. Hollie Schmidt,
For full event descriptions visit

Lenten Workshop & FP Family Night, March 23 @ 6-8pm
Dinner, ice cream sundaes, and crafts. This will take place instead of our Sunday afternoon workshop. Families with kids of all ages are invited.

FP Kids Studio: March
New session focusing on patience. Look online for classes and registration.

New! FP Midsingers    
6th-8th graders who are interested in singing are invited. Wednesdays, 4:45-6:15pm. Contact

HSYG Spring Retreat, April 7-8
Register by March 25.  Registration form in youth room and online.

No WNL Programs March 14
No HSYG March 11 or April 1

March 4 - Visit Islamic Foundation of Lincoln for Sunset Prayer (5:45pm)
March 18 - Visit Buddhist Temple (10:15am);  No HSYG @ 6:00pm
March 25 - Visit Sacred Winds (6:00pm)
MSYG: Game Night, March 7


The Concordia Choir
March 9, 7:00pm, at First-Plymouth  
Concordia Choir from Moorhead, Minnesota, led by Grammy award-winning conductor and composer René Clausen returns to Lincoln. 

Prayer Shawls Available

Prayer shawls, made by the Prayer Shawl Ministry, are available for any church member who wants to take one to a friend or family member who would be buoyed up on a rough road by having one. Each shawl is individually blessed with the laying on of hands and prayer by the members of the group.

The Prayer Shawl Ministry is always glad to welcome new knitters or crocheters who would like to join in helping to provide prayer shawls as well as knitted hats for some of our inner-city schools.  The group meets at 5:00pm every Monday in Calvert Parlor.
If you would like a prayer shawl for a special friend or more information about the Ministry, contact Margaret Rickers, or Judy Schmidt

Easter at First-Plymouth CD
Enjoy classics such as, The Pines of Rome, Jesus Christ is Risen Today, and more.  Contact to purchase.

Adult Fellowship Groups

Get connected . . . join a group. All Adult fellowship groups have e-newsletters. To be added to a specialized list, email

Peace & JusticeCoffee & Conversation

March 3 & April 7, 9:00-10:00am, Meadowlark Coffee (16th & South). Discuss contemporary peace and justice issues. All welcome.

Singles Ministry Events
Oscar Awards Party – Mar 4
Bridges of Madison County play at NWU – Mar 18
UNL Baseball Game – Mar 24

Sunday NightDinner Club
March 11, 6:00pm, Pilgrim Hall. Pastor Tom Barber, CEO of People’s City Mission will present. Bring a potluck dish, and your table service. RSVP Darlene/Mike Harris, 402-540-9344.   

Plymouth Pride Game Night
March 18, 6:00pm, Mayflower Hall. Bring your favorite board game or choose from the many that will be available. Potato bar with LOTS of toppings provided. Contact


Usher teams serve only four months a year and duties include: Greeting and handing out bulletins, assisting worshipers as needed, collecting the offering, counting attendance. Serving as an usher requires just a few extra minutes of your time on the Sunday you serve. 
Interested? Email 

Ecumenical Fish, Fries, & Bingo

Please join us for a great meal; a fun night of bingo and prizes; and an opportunity to donate to the 2018 First Plymouth Mission trips to Guatemala, Ghana, and Pine Ridge Reservation.

Building Community in a Divided World with Preeta Bansal

Sunday, March 4, 11:59am Worship at First-Plymouth
Preeta Bansal recently moved back to Lincoln after 35 years, where she originally grew up, attended Lincoln Public Schools K-12, and graduated from Lincoln East High School. Currently, Preeta is a Lecturer at MIT and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School. She has worked in the White House during President Obama’s first term as General Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor. Prior to that, she was Solicitor General of the State of New York; and Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, in which capacity she served as US diplomat advocating for human rights and religious freedom abroad, and advised on the drafting of the Afghan and Iraqi constitutions. She also was global general counsel for HSBC in London from 2012-2014. During 2015-2016, she was a committee chair of President Obama’s Advisory Committee on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which focused on poverty and inequality in America. She is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.