Become a Part of First-Plymouth

Are you ready to make First-Plymouth your church home? Learn more on Wed. April 5, 6:30-7:30pm 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. RSVP to

dates: Gardeners are always needed to weed, water and maintain our lovely grounds. April 15 and May 5, 8:00-10:00am. 

Electronic Recycling
Sunday, April 30, in the church's EAST parking lot.  All electronics (any item with a cord!) accepted as well as packing peanuts! A small charge for console/CRT tv’s and microwaves. Sponsored by the Sustainable Living Ministry.

Spring into Giving!
In April, stop by the Giving Tree (sponsored by Board of Christian Outreach). Organizations this spring include: Released and Restored Prison Ministry, Center for Legal Immigration Assistance, CEDARS, and Refugee Resettlement. Lots of items needed in a variety of price ranges. 

May Food Drive
The Board of Christian Outreach will be collecting canned food items for the Lincoln Food Bank.  Look for donation barrels starting in May and how to make a monetary donation! 

2017 Church Directory
An organizational meeting, April 24, 1:30pm at the church. If you would like to help with the directory we encourage you to attend. We are also in need of anyone who can help format/layout pictures. Contact

Opportunities for Refugee and Immigrant Support

The impact from recent changes in immigration and travel policy is sobering. The issues are complex, and it is easy to get overwhelmed, shrug and turn off the news, wishing there was something you could do. First Plymouth has a long history of supporting refugees who seek to make our community home. There is so much we don’t know, but here is what we do know:

*Our local refugees and immigrants are in need of extra legal support, and the Center for Legal Immigration Assistance (CLIA) is working hard to meet this need. In turn, they need OUR help to get the job done. CLIA is looking for donations of time, talent and, yes, treasure.

*Many churches, agencies and volunteers are rising to the call to welcome the stranger, and these efforts are emerging into more coordinated efforts such as the Facebook Group Refugee Support LNK. This work is making it easier to tie willing helpers to the right need.

Join the Board of Christian Outreach on Thurs. April 20, 6:30pm in Pilgrim Hall, for a presentation by Max Graves of CLIA. Learn the status update on current policy impact, information on CLIA’s work (and how to help), and help matching your talents or offerings to a need in our community. Contact Kristin Ness,

Meteor Shower Spiritual Retreat

Plan some time for you and God. Join spiritual director Jeanne Johnson at the Creighton University Retreat Center in Griswold, Iowa to watch the Perseid meteor shower. August 13-15. This retreat will include introvert and extrovert time: campfire, star gazing, great meals, labyrinth, silence, hiking trails, prayer gardens, air conditioned cabins and more. Email for more information.

First-Plymouth Family

Contact Rev. Hollie Schmidt,

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 receive a 0.5% donation from AmazonSmile into our Youth Mission Fund.

Golf Tournament

Youth Missions Fundraiser: May 27 (Registration now open)
Join us for a morning of golf at Hidden Valley Golf Course as we support youth missions. Register a team or individual at  If you would like to sponsor the tournament, contact

Sweet Roll Youth Missions Fundraiser
April 2 after 9:00am & 10:30am services. $2.00 each

Lent Workshop
April 2, 2:00-4:00pm. Crafts & activities for the whole family.  

EASTer Egg Hunt at First-Plymouth East
April 8. See details in the FP East announcements in the right column.

Matt Talbot for K-5th Families
April 8, 4:30-7:00pm. Help prepare and serve a meal. Sign up with

5th Graders Move Up to Middle School Youth Group
April 19, 6:30-7:30pm. 
8th Graders Move Up to High School Youth Group
April 30, 5-6:30pm.
Parents welcome; Pastor Hollie will be available to answer any questions.  

High School Spring Retreat
April 22-23. Registrations (due April 9) available now. Contact

FP Families Night
April 21, 6-8pm. Family fun & fellowship.

Spaghetti Dinner & Talent Show
April 26, 5:00-7:30pm. Dinner in Pilgrim Hall, 5:00-6:00pm, prepared and served by our youth. $10/adult & youth, ages 10 & under are free.  6:30pm Talent Show, Mayflower Hall.  Our youth will be showcasing their incredible gifts and talents and our children’s choirs will also be part of the entertainment!  

VBS- Save the Date & Volunteers Needed
June 5-8 @ 9:00-11:30am (20th & D)
June 21-23 @ 9:00am-12:00pm (FP East 6601 Glassridge Rd)

First-Plymouth East

Message from Pastor Patrick
C.S. Lewis, the author of The Screwtape Letters, once wrote, “Friendship is the greatest of worldly goods. Certainly to me it is the chief happiness of life.” I have to agree!  These past four months of shared worship, conversation, and meals have produced this richest of blessings. When we gather together on Sunday mornings to draw closer to God, we are, by divine design, knit into a fellowship, a community - a family.  If you are looking for a place to connect with others and drink deep of the joy of friendship, come out to FP-East. Meet some fabulous people and enjoy some food for the soul in worship.  For those of you who already worship there regularly, let me repeat Paul’s words to the Philippians:  “I thank my God every time I remember you…because of your fellowship in the gospel form the first day until now” (Phil. 1:3-5).  

FP EASTer Egg Hunt
Sat. April 8, 10:00am-Noon, Kloefkorn Elementary
Games, a craft, egg hunt for different ages, and treats from Fireworks restaurant. Hosted by FP East.

We are excited to welcome Madeline Weiland as our new caregiver for our infants.  Come say hi in our newly equipped nursery in the Attica room in the rear of the auditorium.  

Kids will perform the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Rehearsal will take place during kids’ classes on April 2. 

Gloria! A Joyful

Choral/Orchestral Celebration

April 30, 4:00pm. Abendmusik Chorus and Orchestra, and Concordia Univ. A Cappella Choir in Francis Poulenc's Gloria and Puccini's Messa di Gloria. Tickets: 402-476-9933 or

Wednesday Night Live

Drumming Group
April 5, 6:30-7:00pm, Resource Room. Led by Jeremy Spale

The Wounds of Whiteclay: Nebraska’s Shameful Legacy
April 5, 7:00-8:30pm, Mayflower Hall
UNL Professor and Author Joe Starita along with UNL students from his class on Whiteclay, Neb. will share their experiences and the heart wrenching stories in photo and narrative. Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks will provide an overview on the LB407 which will create a Task Force to Examine Health Issues caused by alcohol sales in the unincorporated town of Whiteclay.  The evening is sponsored by: First-Plymouth Peace & Justice Team; St. Monica’s Behavioral Health Services Mary Barry-Magsamen, Exec. Director; Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks; Joe Starita, M. A. Professor of Journalism and Mass Communicators UNL ; and University of Nebraska / Lincoln students.

Apostolic Fathers
Wed. April 5, 19 & 26, 6:30-7:30pm. Led by Dr. Dan Clanton, Assistant Prof. Religious Studies, Doane University
We all know that Christian writing didn’t end with the New Testament. A remarkable and influential group of texts called the Apostolic Fathers-written from the end of the 1st century to the beginning of the 2nd century-has survived, and bears witness to some of the most important issues in the early Church.  Read and discuss some of these texts, including The Epistle of Barnabas and The Martyrdom of Polycarp, to ascertain their relevance for Christianity today.  

Origami: Creative Imagination 
April 5-26, 6:30-7:30pm. Led by Andy Lewicki, certified by the Japanese Origami Association
Learn the basics of this beautiful Japanese art.  Register by April 3 with

Discover How the Five Love Languages Can Strengthen All Relationships   
April 12, 6:30pm-7:30pm. Led by Jen Davidson, lay pastor
Discover your dominant love language and learn strategies for creating dialogue with family, friends and workmates to understand others’ love languages and to “build the beloved community” we seek to grow within and beyond First-Plymouth. 

We Know Not What We Do Documentary Screening
April 19, 6:30pm -7:30pm, Mayflower Hall. Sponsored by FP Sustainable Living Ministry
Documentary about the religious and moral response to climate change. Evangelical and Nebraska leaders are featured, including Rev. Kim Morrow, Mary Pipher, Duane Hovorka, John Hansen, and John Atkeison.

Recycling 101
April 26, 6:30pm. Sponsored by FP Sustainable Living Ministry
Learn how to figure out exactly what to put in each receptacle at First-Plymouth. General questions about recycling/composting welcome!

Carillon/Bell Tower Tour
April 26, 6:30pm. Kathie Johnson, carillonneur
Meet in back of the sanctuary.

What, in God’s name, would we do without our ushers?

Our thanks to retiring ushers Hertzler, Roper and Steele

First-Plymouth’s usher team provides an important service, making each person who enters the sanctuary for worship feel at home, in just the perfect seat. Each usher covers all Sundays of every third month of the year. That’s four months, or 16 Sundays a year. 

Three great ushers—the ones who know where you want to sit before you tell them—are about to ‘hang it up’—put the ‘orders of service’ down and move out of their ushering role: Charles “Pooch” Roper, Lucia Ann Hertzler and Klyda Steele. 

Charles Roper

Charles Roper

For Charles “Pooch” Roper, his 62 years adds up to nearly 1,000 services since, well, since Rosa Parks ushered in the Civil Rights Movement by refusing to sit at the back of a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. That was in 1955. He had wrapped up his Air Force duty in 1953, and was looking for a church home as he settled into life in Lincoln. New to First-Plymouth, but not to ushering, he had served as an usher in his boyhood home church in Crawford, Nebraska. 
“First-Plymouth was it,” he said. And he immediately became a part of the usher team. 

A thousand times Pooch has capably helped to organize the chaos of the assembling congregation, putting people in their favorite pew, all with a smile and a sense of humor. “I had a lady ask to sit half way down and on the aisle. I told her we usually reserve those seats for Presbyterians.”

“The camaraderie, getting to know people – it’s been enjoyable.” said Roper. 

Lucia Ann Hertzler

Lucia Ann Hertzler

Lucia Ann Hertzler has been a member of First-Plymouth since 1939—and an usher for about 40 of those 78 years--since women were first allowed to be ushers. As a girl, she walked to church with her mother from 32nd and Randolph—no car. In 1946, her wedding with Wayne Hertzler happened at First-Plymouth. Their three children were baptized and confirmed at First-Plymouth. 

Lucia Ann and Wayne served on many other church boards, stuffed envelopes for mailings—rolled up their sleeves and helped in a 100 ways—gave rides to others; she answered phones and greeted visitors many weekdays. 

“It’s been an honor. I’ve enjoyed the people, and I am very proud of my church,” she said. 
One happy benefit of this high involvement is the group of great friends made through First-Plymouth who have dined together for 50-plus years and counting. 

Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are taking notes on how Lucia Ann’s service to the mission of First-Plymouth translates into a stronger church, and personal satisfaction. 

Klyda Steele

Klyda Steele

Klyda Steele has been ushering for 15 years. She stepped up to serve in 2002 when her husband, Gene, passed away, leaving a void on the team. “I felt honored to be asked and immediately felt welcomed,” said Klyda. 

“Over the years, I’ve met so many people through ushering.  You see some of the same people every week and you get to know them-- get to know their families.  It’s really a great way to meet people and make friends,” she continued.

Gene had been an usher for 40 years. Klyda and Gene joined First-Plymouth in 1962 when they moved their family to Lincoln from Cambridge, Nebraska. Their children and grandchildren grew up at First-Plymouth. It’s been the scene of family weddings, baptisms and funerals. 

Klyda has also served as a Sunday School teacher, a Circle leader, a Vacation Bible School teacher, and in the kitchen, preparing food for events. For years, she and Gene provided rides to church for two elderly sisters, which turned into a wonderful friendship. 

“Members of the church are so friendly and giving.  It’s truly a place of belonging. I’m proud of the work the church does and of our outreach into the neighborhood and the community.
“First Plymouth is just ‘home’ to me – and to my entire family,” she said.

2nd Annual Faith, Hope, & Love Revival with Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III

Senior Pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago
Wednesday, May 24, 7:00pm, Sanctuary
How does an open-minded, inclusive, and diverse church do a revival? Come and see…
Be inspired by Dr. Moss’s powerful message, and be uplifted with the wonderful music from the Plymouth Choir and Lied Organ -- it will enlighten your week!

Adult Fellowship Groups

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

Peace & Justice Coffee and Conversation
April 1, 9:00-10:00am, Cottonwood Café (440 S. 11th)
Informal conversation about contemporary peace and justice issues.

Widow-to-Widow Support & Friendship
Call Phyllis Arth, 402-421-1732, for more information and monthly events.

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

Where can you find a dynamic gathering of the LGBTQ community?
Where can you find a spiritual home which strengthens and nurtures your soul?
Where can you safely ask questions about faith and God without judgement?

Your questions (and pizza), can be explored at the next meeting of Plymouth Pride Fellowship.
April 30, 1:00pm, Mayflower Hall. ALL are welcome, including allies. If you have any questions or would like to talk about Plymouth Pride, contact Soni Fabry,

First-Plymouth Presents

Exploring the big questions about life, love, and soul
Sermon • Live Music • Cash Bar
Patrick Messer & Jim Keck  |  Sundays, 7:00pm
First-Plymouth Presents is on the move in March — check out where we'll meet:

March 5
The Local
2755 Jamie Lane
Music: Sam Stacy

March 19
The Grata (70th & A) Music: Bassel & 
The SuperNaturals

March 26
201 N. 8th Street

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.