Welcome Ariel Merivil

First-Plymouth’s New Associate Minister of Music

Ariel Merivil comes to First-Plymouth Church from Atlanta First United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia where he served as Director of Music, Worship, and Administration designing worship, conducting the choral ensembles and leading weekly worship as organist-choirmaster, pianist, and vocalist. As an administrator, Ariel provided executive leadership and oversight for organizational operations at Atlanta First.

A collegiate and high school choral conductor and instructor, Ariel served the choral departments at Georgia State University and Atlanta Adventist Academy in addition to his work at Atlanta First. He frequently served as a collaborative keyboardist for many ensembles and soloists in the southeast including the Georgia Boy Choir, The Wendell P. Whalum Community Chorus and The Sons of Lafayette Men’s Choir. 

Active in the Atlanta music community, Ariel serves as the Repertoire and Resources Chair for Music in Worship for the Georgia Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and serves on the Executive Committee of the Atlanta Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. As a vocalist, Ariel sang with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and with Atlanta’s Chorale—New Creation. 

A passionate and gifted musician, Ariel enjoys leading congregations in diverse and meaningful expressions of music in worship that allow others to experience the divine presence of God in a powerful way. A graduate of the Georgia State University School of Music, Ariel earned a dual-concentration Master of Music degree in choral conducting and organ performance and also received the Bachelor of Architecture degree from Southern Polytechnic State University (Kennesaw State University). Ariel has an active love for design, photography, and technology and actively competes as an amateur powerlifting athlete with USA Powerlifting.

Ariel is excited about joining the ministry team at First-Plymouth Church and looks forward to contributing to the longstanding legacy of excellence in music ministry at First-Plymouth Church. Ariel plans to move to Nebraska in late June and will officially begin his ministry among us on July 16, 2017. 

Abendmusik Community Summer Sing
Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi

July 19, 7:00pm at First-Plymouth

Just come as you are and within two hours, we will have shared in an "instant performance" of Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria. Snow-cones available after the concert and 20% of the proceeds go towards Abendmusik. No sign-up necessary.  Come ready to sing!

Grounds Clean-Up
Gardeners of all ages and experience levels are welcome to help wake our beds on June 3, 9:00-11:00am. Bring tools, gloves, and water. Contact Margo Young at 402-432-8492. 

God’s Garden
Outside on the patio! Gardeners please bring items that we can sell. Congregants, stop by to see our offerings. All proceeds promote sustainable environmental projects at church.

Message from Pastor Patrick

I love summer! The rising temperatures seem to awaken an adventurous spirit in us. We explore. We try new things. We get sunburned in the process…at least those of us who are fair-skinned. Well, did you know that First Plymouth has a summer slate of new adventures for you to try out? It’s true! No sunscreen required! This summer, you can dive into new depths of thought about the nature of God and what it means to be human. Just come out to Theology on Tap every Sunday Night at 6pm at Grata on 70th & A.  

Have you ever been to church in a bar? Not many have. Why not try FP Presents out? There is live music, a sermon, food, and drinks every Sunday night (except 2nd Sundays) at 7pm at Grata on 70th & A. 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to enter a medieval monastery at sunset? Well, step into the First-Plymouth sanctuary at 9pm on Second Sundays and experience Compline. 

This summer, get adventurous! Try something new at FP!  

First-Plymouth video joins – um, well—Churchill Downs

The list is a ‘who’s who,’ or at least a ‘what’s what’ in the world of video:
Churchill Downs
University of Iowa sports
Cincinnati Bengals
Tennessee Titans
Vanderbilt sports
Oklahoma State University sports
First-Plymouth Church

Field Engineer Carl Klitzing has worked on all of these installations before spending all of April at First-Plymouth installing new high definition video equipment for use in the sanctuary for services and events such as weddings, speakers and concerts. The new equipment also has the capability to live stream programs on social media and firstplymouth.org.

Carl and his team carefully guided all aspects of the project and trained First-Plymouth staff members on the use of the new equipment. Besides the list above, the company that assigned Carl to First-Plymouth, Alpha Video, also works on Husker Vision. 

The updated equipment purchase was made possible by a gift from First-Plymouth Media Director Tammy Alvis, who served in that position from 1984 to 2014. And the new equipment places First-Plymouth’s video output in an elite category--the resolution (picture quality) is, for now, the best in all of Lincoln, including Husker Vision. 

A Message From the Church Moderator

Fellow First Plymouth Folks - 
As you probably know, Easter week services were not only amazing, but generated a record or near record attendance. We are a church that, despite national trends, is continuing to grow in numbers attending and in expanded programming.

That means new people are walking in to our church to visit us, try us and possibly become one of us.

So, here’s my moderator request . . . say “hi” to someone if you don’t know them. Say “welcome.” Especially if they look like this is a first time visit.

If you’re like me, it’s easy to head into church; talk to our friends; find our usual spot to sit and enjoy life at First Plymouth.

Remember our signature.  Love. First Plymouth.

Your greeting and welcome is a great way to live our mission—to increase the love of God and neighbor.

Thanks for your help.
Jim Lauerman, Moderator

Calling All Singles! 

Singles 20th Anniversary Picnic Celebration

Sunday, June 11, 5:30-7:30pm, Cooper Park Picnic Shelter (8th & D Streets)
Celebrate 20 years of First-Plymouth Singles and Singles Plus+ Ministries at the most popular event of the year! Live music from The Wildwoods band. We will provide the BBQ sandwiches, drinks and table service; you bring a side dish or dessert to share with the group. Family and friends are welcome! RSVP to Addie@firstplymouth.org.

Join First-Plymouth’s First-Ever Orchestra Band
All ages and abilities welcome! All band and orchestra instruments welcome!
One Rehearsal: Sat. July 1 at 9:00am
Two Services: Sun. July 2 at 9:00 and 10:30am
Contact lacey@firstplymouth.org to sign-up.

Join the Summer Drop-in Choir at First-Plymouth!
No prior reservations, rehearsals, experience, or expertise necessary!
June 18 & 25 July 2, 9, 16, 23, & 30. 9:45AM Rehearsal - 10:30AM Service

Women’s Salad Supper

Wednesday, June 21, 5:30pm, Mayflower Hall
The Board for Women’s Ministries welcomes you to join us as we award scholarships, including the inaugural Rev. Nancy Erickson Scholarship, to four non-traditional female students.  You are are invited to honor Rev. Nancy and these incredible women during our annual salad supper. Tickets $10. RSVP at womenssaladsupper.eventbrite.com or soni@firstplymouth.org by June 19. You may support the Rev. Nancy Erickson Scholarship with a donation at the supper or with a check to First-Plymouth noting Rev. Nancy Erickson Scholarship in the memo line.

Gazing Up, Out & Within Spiritual Retreat

August 13, 5:00pm – August 15, 1:00pm
Join spiritual director, Jeanne Johnson at the Creighton University Retreat Center (40 min. east of Omaha) for a spiritual retreat and to watch the Perseids meteor shower. Register by July 1 for the early registration price $175! Cost increases to $185 after July 1-Aug 1. Register with addie@firstplymouth.org or online at gazingup.eventbrite.com (online web charges apply). Includes two nights in air conditioned rooms, five great meals, hiking trails, time together and in silence on your own with God. Questions? Contact jeanne@firstplymouth.org. An information meeting will be held  Sun. June 4, 9:45am, Otis Young Room. 

Habitat for Humanity

First-Plymouth will once again be taking part in Habitat for Humanity build this summer. The Board of Christian Outreach wanted to let those interested in helping with a build know that they should watch the Weekly Word for summer build dates and sign-up opportunities. 

First-Plymouth Family

Contact Rev. Hollie Schmidt, hollie@firstplymouth.org

MSYG Lock-Out! Friday, June 2, 7pm-11pm
All middle school youth are invited to a fun night of food, games, and Defy Gravity. 

Guatemala Mission Trip Commissioning, June 4
Join us in worship to pray over the 22 adults & youth traveling to Guatemala on June 10-18.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers while they are there serving.  And a special thank you to all of you for supporting them to make this possible.

VBS @ FP East - Mega Sports Camp, June 21-23
Join us for some summer fun with VBS @ FP East, June 21-23, 9:00am-Noon, at Kloefkorn Elementary (6601 Glass Ridge Dr). Registrations available (due by June 9) at firstplymouth.org/vbs. Special VBS Celebration on Sunday, June 25 at FP East with food and games following worship. If you would like to volunteer, contact jessica@firstplymouth.org.

Matt Talbot, June 10 @ 4:30-7:00pm
Our preschool-5th grader teachers will be serving along side our K-5th Grade Families. If your family would like to sign up to help contact Deb (deb@firstplymouth.org)

FP Family Night: Cook Out at the Park, June 16, 6-8PM
Families are invited to join us for a Cookout at the Park!  Watch for more information soon or contact Deb.

FPYG Summer Sand Volleyball, June 21 @ 7-8pm
All middle & high school youth are invited to Holmes Lake for sand volleyball.

MSYG Mission Trip, July 15-16
All interested middle school youth will be traveling to Manhattan, KS for a weekend of serving, fun, and worship. To register contact hollie@firstplymouth.org.

AmazonSmile for First-Plymouth Church
If you order from Amazon, why not order from AmazonSmile and choose First-Plymouth Church!  Every order you place we then receive a 0.5% donation from AmazonSmile into our Youth Mission Fund.

F-P Kindergarten-5th grade families helped prepare and serve a meal at Matt Talbot Kitchen in April.

F-P Kindergarten-5th grade families helped prepare and serve a meal at Matt Talbot Kitchen in April.

Adult Classes, Discussions Groups and Bible Studies

To register contact Addie Vortherms, Program Director at addie@firstplymouth.org or call 402-475-7565 ext.239. 

W= Walk-ins     R= Registration Required

Listening As An Act of Love   R
Thurs. June 22-July 6, 6:30-7:45pm, Art Room. Cost: $15. Facilitated by Jen Davidson, lay pastor.  Sponsored by Third Chapter Ministries (open to adults 55+)
We’re all taught to speak, first as babies and likely again in a public speaking course. Communication experts tell us that equally important are listening skills. Yet, we’re seldom taught tools for being an effective, caring listener. Come to this 3-part course to learn and practice useful listening skills to strengthen your relationships with friends and family, especially your grandchildren and build beloved community! This is a skills based course. Attending all three sessions is important. 

Multi-Faith Pilgrimage   R
Sat. July 8, 9:00am-2:00pm. Sponsored by Third Chapter Ministries (adults 55+)
Hop on the bus and head downtown to take a tour of the newly constructed St. Thomas of Aquinas (Newman Center) with architect Kevin Clark. Then head over to Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church for a tour with Rev. Karla Cooper, followed by a homecooked lunch at Quinn Chapel. $25 includes lunch and a bus. Registration is only confirmed once payment is received. Register with addie@firstplymouth.org by June 23.

Beginnings of Judaism Tuesday Bible Study   W
June 20, July 18, August 15, 9:30-11:00am. Led by Carolyn Zeisset
Video instructor Isaiah M. Gafni of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem discusses the reshaping of Judaism after the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 CE.

Adult Fellowship Groups

Get connected…join a group. All adult fellowship groups have e-newsletters. To be added to a particular list, email addie@firstplymouth.org

Peace & Justice Coffee and Conversation
June 3, 9:00-10:00am, Cottonwood Café (440 S. 11th). Informal conversation about contemporary peace and justice issues.

Widow-to-Widow Support and Friendship
Contact Phyllis Arth for details, 402-417-9810. We meet randomly, often in our homes, for dinner and friendship. 

Singles Plus+ (55+) Bridge
2nd & 4th Wednesdays (June 14 & 28), 1:00-4:00pm, Otis Young Room. Contact Marlys 402-499-5565.

Sunday Night Dinner Club
June 11, 6:00pm in Pilgrim Hall. Pastor Patrick Messer will be the guest speaker. Singles and couples are welcome to join. Bring a hot dish or salad to share (it’s potluck) and bring your own table service. Beverages and dessert provided. RSVP to Darlene Harris at 402-613-8485.

20's & 30's Night at the Ballpark
June 30 @ 6:30pm. Come for a fun summer night out at Haymarket Park. Whether you have kids or not, bring the whole crew! This is a great way to meet other 20s and 30s connected to First Plymouth. RSVP to patrick@firstplymouth.org by June 22! Cost is $11/person.  

Pentecost Sunday - June 4
Pentecost comes 50 days after Easter and marks the birthday of the Christian Church when the holy spirit descended upon the apostles. Bright colors - red, orange, and yellow - will remind us of the inspiration of the holy spirit. Our Pentecost celebration will include a sermon by Rev. Patrick Messer and cake.  

Reach Out & Live Television Broadcast

We have a few schedule changes coming up. Our 7:00am Sunday broadcast will be switching back to 9:00am on KPTM Fox NE KFXL beginning June 4, and our 9:00am show on NBC Nebraska (Ch. 6) on Sundays at 9:00am will end on July 9.  We hope that you will be able to tune in and enjoy our weekly program.

8:00am FOX NE KFXL, Ch. 18, DISH 17 & 51 (Lincoln & Central Neb.)
9:00am KPTM FOX 42, Ch. 9 (Omaha & Lincoln) -- NEW
 9:00am KNOP Ch. 2 (North Platte)

7:30am KXVO/The CW, Ch. 15 (Omaha & Lincoln)

Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable), Ch. 13
Sunday 7:00pm, Monday 6:30pm, Wednesday 5:30pm, Thursday 11:30pm

Radio Broadcast Sunday, 9:00am KFOR 1240AM or 24/7 on firstplymouth.org

Become a Part of First-Plymouth

Are you ready to make First-Plymouth your church home? Learn more on Sunday, June 11, 11:30am in Calvert Parlor, at 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. RSVP to Karen@firstplymouth.org.

First-Plymouth Presents


7:00pm, Grata Bar & Lounge (70th & A), June-August

Exploring the big questions about life, love, and soul
Sermon * Live Music * Cash Bar
Patrick Messer & Jim Keck

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 with live music. 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.

Summer Party in the Courtyard
- July 2 with The 402 band
- August 20 with Daniel Christian Band

Theology on Tap With Pastor Patrick Messer

Sunday's This Summer, 6:00-6:45pm at Grata (70th & A)
Do you like wrestling with profound questions about God and the world? Do you like discussing these questions with other folks over your beverage of choice? Then this group is for you!