Jeanne Johnson
to become Minister of Visitation

The gifts God gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. Eph. 4:11, 12   One would be hard pressed to choose just one title for Jeanne Johnson.  Before she became a licensed minister at First-Pymouth, serving Communion and performing weddings and funerals, Jeanne was an usher for almost 30 years, Sunday school teacher, and member of various church boards and committees.  In 2015 she completed her Spiritual Director certification.  Jeanne knows many people in the church, of all ages. She leads retreats, teaches adult classes, mentors Confirmands, and makes hospital and care facility visits.  When asked what she enjoys most about her several ministries, Jeanne said, “Meeting, getting to know and helping people.” Starting in February, Jeanne will begin making regular home visits as our official Minister of Visitation.  If you would like to be added to our visitation list, please contact Pastor Barb, 402-476-7565 ext. 219 or

Planned gifts point to the future for First-Plymouth

Three new endowed funds to First-Plymouth are already making a difference in the life of the church. Interest earned from these funds will provide support for annual operating expenses in the areas of music, building maintenance and pastoral care.

A gift from the estate of Carroll Sawin will provide funding for a lead tenor for the music ministry.  Sawin, who passed away last fall, was a tenor for many years in the choir. For Carroll, music was the spirit of church as he believed it nourished our collective experience. 
The James and Barbara Stuart Building Endowment Fund was established in November.  Income from this fund will be used for the repair, renovation and maintenance of the First-Plymouth church building. 

In honor of Jim Keck’s 10 years of service as our senior minister, a pastoral care fund was established through donations from our congregation. Income from this fund will provide financial assistance to support members of the First-Plymouth family in times of crisis.

Members of the First-Plymouth Future Group have been working to increase education and awareness about the importance of planned and estate gifts for the future of our church.  These types of gifts in perpetuity are vital to expanding our ministries and mission to increase the love of God and neighbor.  If you are interested in becoming a part of this dynamic group, contact Shelly, or 402-476-7565 ext. 211.

Lectionary Readings 2017

The 2017 Lectionary Readings are now available on
or copies available in the Prayer Room.

Ecumenical Fish, Fries & Bingo!

March 24 & 31 | $10 Adults | $6 Kids
Fish and Fries: Mayflower Hall
Bingo: Pilgrim Hall

Meals on Wheels Volunteers Needed

Did you know the F-P Meals on Wheels team delivers about 60 meals to homes and apartments in the neighborhoods surrounding our church every Sunday? Would you be willing to help our team out a few times a year to increase the love of God and neighbor through the delivery of a hot meal to someone in need. Routes start from the church and take about an hour to complete.  A car and a smile are the only requirements. Contact Troy Stentz at (ph. 402-499-7246) for more information.

Soni Fabry to Become Women’s Board and Plymouth Pride Coordinator

“Yes!” That is what Soni Fabry said when I asked her if she would be willing to coordinate the Women’s Board and Plymouth Pride after my retirement. She didn’t say “I’ll see if I have time.” Or “I need to think about it.” She just said an immediate and enthusiastic “yes!” That doesn’t happen very often.

Soni has been involved in several aspects of First-Plymouth since she joined. Her participation in the early days of Plymouth Pride helped established its significance within our church community. She spent three years working with our youth in the confirmation program.

Soni is Vice President of Shared Service Systems/Midland Medical Supply. She has a busy and full life with her work, Nebraska football and her church. It is so much easier for me to hand the reins over knowing that they are going into such capable and enthusiastic hands.  Thank you Soni!    — Rev. Nancy Erickson

Are you a woman returning to school?
Could you use some financial assistance?

The Board for Women’s Ministries is pleased to announce that once again this year scholarships will be awarded to “nontraditional” female students. Priority for one scholarship will be given to a First-Plymouth member. We want to be part of helping a member of our church to reach her career goals. Other scholarships will go to community members. To download an application, visit and click on the link on the homepage. Deadline to apply: March 31. Let Soni Fabry at, know of your intent to apply. 

Annual Women’s Soup Supper

Feb 19, 5:30pm, Pilgrim Hall. Join First-Plymouth women and friends for soup, breads and desserts followed with a talk by Patty Pansing-Brooks on Sex Trafficking in Nebraska. A free will offering will be collected to support the Women’s Scholarship Fund. RSVP online to

University Singers

Sunday, February 5, 9:00 & 10:30am
The University Singers from the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will sing, accompanied by the Plymouth Brass, and conducted by Dr. Peter Eklund.

Join the Drop-in Choir at First-Plymouth East

1st Sun. monthly (Feb 5), 8:45am practice, 9:30am worship. No specific dress code or experience necessary.


Our Stephen Minister training class began in January. We ask you to keep our Stephen Minister trainees in your prayers as they nurture their gifts and acquire new skills so that they can bring Christ’s love and care to hurting people on behalf of our congregation. Also, pray for our Stephen Leaders who will guide them through their training.

“Everyday Joys” Art Exhibit in Pilgrim Hall

February 1-28 in Pilgrim Hall
“Everyday Joys” an exhibit of origami-and-paper landscapes by Lincoln artist, Linda Stephen. A member of Vine UCC Church in Lincoln, Linda grew up in Michigan and first learned origami as part of a 1980s national peace crane project with the UCC.  Her art is part of collections across the U.S. and Japan.

Nordic Choir from Luther College

February 3 | 7:30pm
Internationally acclaimed as a premier collegiate choral ensemble in the United States. Tickets for sale at or call 402.476.9933.

7th Annual Abendmusik Children’s Choir Festival

Children (3rd-5th grade) are invited to sing with the Omaha Children’s Choir and Nebraska Academy of Vocal Arts on Sat. February 11, led by guest conductor, Karol Kimmell,
All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Atlanta, GA. $10 registration (scholarships available). Rehearsals on Wednesdays, 5:45-6:40pm at First-Plymouth. Register at or email

My Funny Valentine: An Abendmusik Fundraiser

February 14 | Dinner 6:30pm & Concert 8:00pm
Tom Trenney serenades from the piano, singing a collection of love songs (Irving Berlin, the Gershwins, Cole Porter, and more). Tickets on sale at or call 402.476.9933. $50 Dinner and Concert; $25 Concert ONLY.

Abendmusik Youth Festival Concert

February 28 | 7:00pm | Free concert!
The combined choirs of Lincoln East and Norris High Schools, accompanied by talented young chamber musicians, perform alongside professional singers and instrumentalists in presenting the beautiful Requiem by Gabriel Fauré.

What’s Sacred?

Occasional brief musings by Kathryn Campbell, Minister of Spiritual Direction
Soul may be thought of as your faculty for experiencing beauty, nature, work, pain, life at a depth where there are no words.  Where the One Beyond Us is the Source bubbling up in you.

For further conversation about the deeper currents of life, contact Kathryn, or 488-3647, or, Jeanne Johnson, spiritual director, or 304-9899.  And know that it is all confidential.

Chronic Illness Support Group

1st & 3rd Sundays, 1:30-2:30pm, room 207W. Safe and confidential place to talk about challenges, roadblocks, relationship difficulties and more. Led by Karen Clarke, Open to all!

Pet Loss Support – New!

Thursdays, Feb. 2 -March 2, 6:30-8:00pm. Support for those who have recently lost
a pet or are unable to move beyond losing a pet. $10 for book.  Led by Karen Clarke, Open to all.


Pastor Hollie Schmidt, or call 402-476-7565   


Feb 12 (5-6:30pm) & MSYG- Feb 15 (6:30-7:30)
Help us reach out in love (Sharing the Love) to our neighbors.


Feb 17, 6-8pm
Fun night for adults to enjoy games, food and drinks together while all the children will have their own fun and games with supervision provided.  RSVP by Feb 13 with


Feb 26, 2-4pm
All 4th/5th graders and parents are invited to help us package meals for kids around the world.  This service project is supported by our Pancake Breakfast held in November. Sign-up with


Feb 26, 5-6:30pm
Fun night of pizza and laser tag at Laser Tag (6600 N 27th St).  RSVP to Hollie, Ella or Dylan.


March 1
We will not have our normal WNL activities for Preschool-High School kids.  Child care will be available for infants & toddlers.  We encourage families to attend the Ash Wednesday service together.  Our confirmation students will be part of the service and are required to attend.  

Wednesday Night Live!

Dinner • Choir • Adult Classes • Bible Studies
Children & Youth Programs • For ALL Ages!

Drumming Group

1st Wed of the month | 6:30-7:00pm | Resource Room. Led by Jeremy Spale

Patrick Messer’s Wednesday Night Bible Series

The Big Gamble
Continues Feb 1 -8 | 6:30-7:30pm
The story of Paul’s ministry could have played out very differently. Paul could have easily ridden off into the sunset preaching the gospel in Spain and beyond just like he wanted. But instead, he made the climatic gamble of his life by first pursuing one last act of service in Jerusalem that changed everything. Was that final mission worth a lifetime in prison? Come and find out.

A Prophet’s Struggle with God
Wed., February 15 -22 | 6:30-7:30pm
The story of Jonah that often gets told in children’s Bibles ends with a freshly regurgitated prophet preaching in Nineveh. Jonah finally does what he is supposed to, the people of Nineveh turn to God, and then everything ends happily ever after. But the book of Jonah doesn’t end that way. The rest of the story is one in which this prophet struggles to accept the mind-shattering love and inclusivity of God.

Relaxation Response

Wed. Feb. 8 | 6:30-7:30pm | Led by Margaret Rickers, Lic. massage therapist, cert. healing touch practitioner, Reiki master | $5
Stress is a part of all of our lives. This meditative technique was developed by Dr. Herbert Benson in the 70’s and continues to be used by many as a way to harness in the ‘‘monkey mind.” Research also has been shown that there are many health benefits to finding a time of quiet and being in contrast to doing.

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
Feb 4, Mar 4, 9-10am, Meadowlark Coffee (17th & South).

Church Social
Meet others who attend First-Plymouth! February 24, 6:30-9:30pm, at 709 Pier 2. Hosts: Pat & Ellen Beans. RSVP for directions to: or call/text 402-314-2883.

Widow-to-Widow Support & Friendship
Feb. 5: Eloise Hiatt’s home. Attend Southeast Community Colleges’ culinary lunches; attend movies; and plan to view the Bridges exhibit at the Hildegard Center for the Arts. Call Phyllis Arth: 402-417-9810

Adult Classes, Discussions Groups
and Bible Studies

For a complete listing visit 
W= Walk-ins    R= Registration Required

Mothers in Genesis R
Sat. Feb. 4-25 | 10:00-11:00am | Led by Leah Rediger Schulte, Ph.D. | $5
Discuss their impact on the future of the Israelite community from their influence on the patriarchs’ decisions, their communication with God, and role as mothers. Class will follow the book Mothers of Promise: Women in the Book of Genesis, by Tammi J. Schneider. Copies of the book available with registration. Leah Rediger Schulte holds a PhD in Women’s Studies in Religion, with an emphasis in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. 

Loss, Grief and Mourning R
Sat. Feb. 11, 9:00-10:30am | Led by Lisa Borchardt, LCSW
Distinguish death from tangible and intangible losses and discuss hope and living with your whole heart. Register by Feb. 8.

Writing the Stories of Our Lives R
Sat. Feb. 18 | 1:00-3:30pm | Led by Becky Breed and Lucy Adkins| $35
Sharing our stories is a way to insure that our personal histories and life legacies will be passed on to the next generation. In the workshop, participants will reflect upon their significant life stories and complete a series of structured writing exercises to capture them.

Support for Parents who Experienced a Stillbirth R
Thurs. Feb. 23 – March 9, 6:30-8:00pm| Led by Lisa Borchardt, LCSW

Normal Personality: Typical Differences R
Sat. February 25 | 9:00am-1:00pm | Led by Ray and Carolyn Zeisset. | $10
Using the research-based, time-tested framework of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, we will explore implications of typical, normal personality differences in communication, work, and religious expressions.

First-Plymouth Presents

Exploring the big questions about life, love, and soul
Sermon • Live Music • Cash Bar

Join us for live music, food, and drinks in the basement of the Haymarket Brewsky’s
(201 N. 8th).  This is a great way to hear Patrick or Jim’s message from the morning if you missed it, to grab a friend and a beverage, and go more in-depth in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. First-Plymouth Presents is held every Sunday at 7pm except for the second Sundays when we will return to 20th & D for our meditative Compline service.

A Holy Tailgate

Sunday, February 5
4:00-5:00pm in Mayflower Hall at First-Plymouth Church

On Superbowl Sunday get a great message before you head home to watch the big football game! Tailgate snacks and beverages available. Live Music!

Love. First-Plymouth.

At our Annual Meeting a couple weeks ago, our congregation approved the 2017 budget which includes $1,700,000 in projected income from pledge contributions. To date, we have commitments just over $1,550,000, so we are asking for your help to get us to the finish line.   

If you have not made a pledge for this year, please consider doing so now.  A pledge is simply an estimate of what you plan to give to church this year.

Go online to to complete an easy pledge form. Or shoot an email to or call Shelly at 402-476-7565 ext. 211 to let us know your giving intentions this year.

First-Plymouth’s spirit of love and inclusivity is on fire!  Help us continue to move our mission forward as we continue to strive for ways to increase the love of God and neighbor.

Jim Miller joins First-Plymouth pastoral team

First-Plymouth welcomed Jim Miller to its pastoral team Feb. 1. Miller, a retired Methodist minister, will provide care, counseling and support for individuals in need, as well as offer general ministerial coverage for our church.
“We are very fortunate to be able to add Jim Miller to our team,” said Senior Minister Jim Keck. “Both his credentials and his personal dedication to caring for individuals make him a good fit with the First-Plymouth community. I look forward to working with him.”
Miller most recently served as Senior Minister at Christ United Methodist Church in Lincoln. He retired from that position in 2015. Miller says this new part-time role is a perfect fit for him because he has a passion for ministry and a desire to serve a vibrant spiritual community like First-Plymouth.