Nativity on Time
With Dr. Allen Hilton

Sunday, December 4, 12:45-2:00pm. Walk-in’s welcome

Optional $6 sack lunch. Register for lunch by Thurs. December 1 with

Dr. Allen Hilton

Dr. Allen Hilton

Jesus will arrive at just the right time again this year. We’ll rush through crowds to buy presents. We’ll fight over whether nativity scenes should grace public squares. We’ll revisit the “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays” controversy. Frantic will reign around us and threaten to reign in us. But then, from a quiet corner of the ancient world, nativity. Join us as we look again at the story of Jesus’ birth from its two biblical tellers, Matthew and Luke.  

The Rev. Dr. Allen Hilton is the founder and leader of House United, a non-profit dedicated to bringing people together across political, religious, and racial division for the common good. 

Dr. Allen Hilton Returns to Preach
Sun. December 4, at FP East (9:30am Kloefkorn Elementary), 11:59am (20th & D), and FP Presents (7:00pm Brewsky’s Haymarket).

Message from our New Associate Minister Patrick Messer

Patrick Messer

Patrick Messer

Greetings FP! I am so excited to begin a new chapter serving as your new Associate Pastor. Upon my arrival this December, here is what you can expect: We’re going to plunge ourselves into the mysterious depths of God’s radical love for this world; we’ll explore that love through worship and classes so it can soak into our souls; we’ll experiment in ways of being church that will capture the imagination of our city. In other words, we’ll be disciples of Jesus together. I can’t wait! -- Patrick

The church offices/building will be closed on December 26 and January 2
in observance of the holidays.

Celebrate the Holidays with Abendmusik!
Purchase tickets on Sundays between worship,, or call 402-476-9933

Come, Let Us Adore Him: Dec. 11, 4:00pm and Dec. 12, 7:00pm. 
The Plymouth Choir, Plymouth Ringers, and Abendmusik Orchestra share the message of Christmas. 

Last Blast! With The Plymouth Brass: Dec. 31, 8:00pm. Ring in the new year with the Plymouth Brass, led by guest conductor and saxophonist David Sharp. 

The Plymouth Ringers and Friends Present Bells of Christmas
Dec. 4, 4:00pm, Sanctuary. Ring in the Christmas season with First-Plymouth’s handbell choirs and Lincoln’s handbell ensemble, Bell-issimo. Free and open to the public.

Give the Music and Memories of First-Plymouth this Holiday Season
Choir CD’s, the new 150th Anniversary Ornament ($20 each or 2 for $30), and ornaments from the past decades are available for purchase between services. Proceeds to the music ministry.

Holiday Bake Sale December 11 & 18
The choir will be selling baked goods between services. Proceeds to the music ministry.

7th Annual Abendmusik Children’s Choir Festival
February 11. Children (3rd-5th grade) are invited to sing with the Omaha Children’s Choir and Nebraska Academy of Vocal Arts on February 11. $10 registration (scholarships available). Rehearsals start Jan. 11 at First-Plymouth. Register at or email

A Message from Sustainable Living Ministry

Thank you for your generous support of God’s Garden this year. We plan to return May 7 - Oct. 15, 2017.  The produce shared and dollars contributed helped us with providing labeled recycling and composting receptacles throughout the church and for the composting program through Prairieland Dairy. We hope to help with tree trimming projects to make our grounds safe for you and your vehicles.

Spiritual Direction

When you are making a decision, weighing pro’s and con’s, it is good to open the matter to God for the light that brings. If it would be helpful to talk it out, confidentially, contact Kathryn Campbell, Minister of Spiritual Direction, 488-3647, or or Jeanne Johnson, spiritual director, 304-9899,

Cut-Off Times for Contributions 2016

Walk-ins – Dec. 30 at Noon.
By Mail – must be postmarked by 12/30/16.
IRA/Stock Gifts – Notify Kristin Buntemayer (, 402-476-7565 ext207) by 12/23/16.

Children and Family Coordinator at FP East
(part time position) 

Does it jazz you up to think about bringing more kids to worship at our church? First-Plymouth is looking for a person to help grow our children, youth and family ministry at FP East - our 9:30 worship service at Kloefkorn Elementary. This position will work with Pastors Patrick Messer and Hollie Schmidt. 15-20 hours per week. Must be available Sunday mornings from 8:30 – 11:00 a.m. Other hours arranged with Patrick. Experience working with children is preferred. Contact Shelly Wachman for more information or to submit a resume. 

Giving Tree

The Board for Christian Outreach will be collecting items for organizations and families in need. Consider stopping by our booth in the hallway on Sundays to pick up a tag for an item that has been requested. Return items unwrapped to First-Plymouth by Dec. 11. 

Family and Senior Weeks on Pine Ridge Reservation

Family Week: NEW DATE  July 29-Aug. 4 (kids 8-11) | Senior Week:  Sept. 16-22
Spend one week at Pine Ridge and help construct, repair and provide basic necessities. Hear Native American speakers, visit Wounded Knee and the Badlands. Family Camp reservations due now (deposits by 12/1). 
Contact or 402-476-7565.


Contact Pastor Hollie Schmidt, or call 402-476-7565

Advent/Christmas Family Workshop
Dec. 4, 2:00-4:00pm, Mayflower Hall. Celebrate with crafts and treats.

CHRISTMAS PAGEANT: Angels & Shepherds
All K-5th graders are invited to be part of our Christmas Pageant. Children are invited to join choir for December so that they will be familiar with the songs. Rehearsals Wed. nights. Contact to register.

See page 1 for a listing of family friendly Christmas Eve services.

Christmas Parties For All Ages
FP Family – December 16, 6-8pm, Mayflower Hall. RSVP to
Middle School  – December 14, 6:30pm.
High School – December 18, 5:00-6:30pm.

We will not meet on Wed, Dec 21 or 28; or Sun, Dec 25 or Jan 1.  All WNL activities begin Jan 4 and HSYG on Jan 8. 

Join An Adult Class or Discussion Group @ F-P

W= Walk-ins     R= Registration Required.   Contact

Shrink-Proof Your Life:  Top Ten Ways to Stay Off the Therapist’s Couch  R
Thurs | Dec 1 & 8 | 6:30-7:30pm | Led by Pete Allman | FREE
Ideal for anyone interested in healing, self-growth, and psychological/spiritual development. Led by Pete Allman, a psychotherapist for over 20 years, co-founder and president of Lighthouse, and a teacher at Doane.  

Between Services Book Discussion
Sun | Dec 4 | 9:45- 10:30am | Tower Rm   
Black Elk Speaks - 2017 One Book One Nebraska.

The First Amendment (Religious liberty and its impact on social policy)
Mon | Dec 5 | 7:00-8:30pm |  Pilgrim  Hall  
Sponsored by FP Peace and Justice Team & Nebraskans For Peace
Discussion led by Patty-Pansing Brooks, Nebraska State Senator, and Loel Brooks, Attorney at Law. Hear about the growing problem of groups, because of their religion, wanting to set aside laws and make exceptions using the First Amendment as leverage to isolate themselves from government action in areas including foster care, education, health care, and taxes.  

Grief Group: For Death and Life Losses  R
Tues | Dec 20-Jan 3 | 6:30-8:00pm | $35 (scholarships available) 
Led by Lisa Borchardt, LCSW
Loss and death are not endings but an opportunity for transformation and growth. Learn helpful tools to use when we encounter situations that turn our lives upside down.


Go deeper each week by attending one of our Bible studies. 
Full schedule at Walk-ins welcome.

Tuesday Bible Study
9:30-11:00am, Calv. Parlor. Led by Carolyn Zeisset.  Nov 29-Dec 20: Christmas Hymns Where Did Those Words Come From?

Not Your Ordinary Bible Study With Dr. Jim Keck
Thursdays at Noon, Choir Room. 

Academic Bible Study  With Dr. David Peabody
Sundays, 9:00 am, Resource Room. The Gospel of Jesus by William R. Farmer.

FIVE –Group For 20’s 30’s
Sundays, 11:30 am, 211W. Contact

First-Plymouth Presents

Sundays, 7:00pm Brewsky’s Haymarket (201 N. 8th St)
Fun, relaxed atmosphere with live music
*Will not meet 2nd Sunday, return to 20th & D for Compline service

Dec 4
Allen Hilton, former Yale religion professor; music by Andrea VonKampen.

Dec 18
Patrick Messer and Jim Keck; music by Daniel Christen Band.

Dec 25 & Jan 1
No FP Presents.

FP Future

Consider making First-Plymouth part of your estate plans. An unrestricted gift is the best way to ensure the continuation of First-Plymouth’s ministries for generations to come. If you would like more information or have already made provisions to include First-Plymouth in your will or estate plans, contact or 402-476-7565 ext. 211.

Become part of First-Plymouth

Maybe you recently joined us for worship for the first time. Maybe you’ve been coming on and off for a while. Maybe you’ve been coming for years and are ready to make First-Plymouth your church home. Whatever the case, learn more on Wed. December 14, 6:30-7:30pm in the Otis Young Room for our new member welcome hour. Meet with Dr. Jim Keck and others who are interested in becoming part of our church community. Or, simply come to learn more about our church and faith as we focus on love and inclusion for all. Join us. You’ll be glad you did.

Arrive early for dinner (5:00- 6:15pm in Pilgrim Hall) $6/ person.  

Contact Shelly at or 402-476-7565 ext 211 with questions and to RSVP. 

Adult Fellowship Groups

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

Peace & Justice Coffee and Conversation
Dec 3, Jan 7, 9-10am, Meadowlark Coffee (17th & South).

Plymouth Pride Christmas Party
Dec. 4, 5:30PM, Pilgrim Hall. Catered meal and entertainment provided by jazz and blues vocalist Sarah Phelps. $15. Reservations required by Nov. 28th, 

20’s 30’s Social
Attend “What Type of Church is First-Plymouth?” led by Pastors Keck and Smisek. Contact
Widow-to-Widow Support and Friendship
Dec. 11, 3:00pm at Alice Lauer’s home. Contact Phyllis Arth at 402-417-9810.

F-P Singles Ministry Christmas Dinner Party
Dec. 18, 5:30-7:00pm, Pilgrim Hall. Elegant catered meal and Christmas entertainment provided by tenor Drew Duncan, and pianist Jack Rinke.  Bring a book for the book exchange! Reservations and payment required by Dec. 15 with

Stitchers Needed
Help knit and crochet hats, prayers shawls, and baby blankets with friends. Mondays at 5:00pm. Contact Suzy Taylor 402-423-2976.


Wednesday Night Live

Dinner | Choir | Adult Classes | Bible Studies Children & Youth Programs
For ALL Ages! 
Schedule, dinner menu, programs, classes, choirs
No WNL December 21 & 28

Women in the Bible  R
Wed. Nov. 30-Dec. 14 | 6:30-7:30pm | Dr. Dan Clanton, assist. professor of religious studies, Doane University
Explore the books of Ruth & Esther; discuss how Paul and Jesus interacted with women; and encounter an early Christian woman named Thecla, who became a famous apostle. 

Drumming Group Begins
First Wed of the month (Dec 1) | 6:30-7:00pm Resource Room. Led by Jeremy Spale.

What Type of Church is First-Plymouth?
Dec. 7 | 6:30-7:30pm | Dr. Jim Keck and Rev. Barb Smisek
Delve into the historical and theological aspects of First-Plymouth and our denomination The United Church of Christ.

Live Inspired. Give Inspired.  

First-Plymouth is a place of Love for all. Inclusion for all. 

Members recently shared these thoughts: There’s something special going on here. From the time I attended my very first service at First-Plymouth, I knew I had found my church home.  I feel welcome.  I feel challenged to grow in my faith. First-Plymouth is our community, a foundation in our lives and the lives of our children. First-Plymouth is the only church I’ve ever belonged to that always makes sense. 

Thanks to everyone who has responded with your pledging intentions for 2017.  We now need to hear from the rest of you. A pledge is simply a good faith estimate on what you plan to give to church in the coming year.  As we set the budget for next year, we look to match the dreams of ministries to the reality of finances. Your pledge helps us plan.  Each and every pledge matters.  Over 85% of our pledge income comes from a range of pledges from $10 to $10,000. We do not rely on a few large gifts.  We need every member of our church to give something to be able to keep moving our ministries forward. 

Email your pledge to  Or complete this online form.  Easy. Quick. And done. 

We hope First-Plymouth is a source of inspiration in your life. Help us continue to provide this inspiration to others with a pledge today.