Red (-And-Blue) –Letter Bible


Sunday, November 20, 12:45-2:00pm. Walk-in’s welcome
Optional $6 sack lunch. Register for lunch by Thurs. Nov. 17
Imagine a scene: Worshippers are making their way into a large American church, each carrying a marked and worn Bible under an arm or in a hand. What kind of church is it? You likely answer, “conservative/evangelical/fundamentalist.” Why is that? In this session, we will ask about the politics of the Bible, asking “Is the book big enough for all of us?”

Dr. Allen Hilton Returns to Preach
Sun. November 20, at FP East (Sun. 9:30am @ Kloefkorn Elementary) and FP Presents, 7:00pm at Brewsky’s in the Haymarket. 

Celebrating Doane University 

November 6, 9:00 & 10:30am worship
Celebrating our historic relationship with Doane University—with the Doane Choir and remarks from President Jacque Carter. 

Special Children’s Worship

Sunday, Nov. 13, 9:00am Worship
Special music by all of the church’s children’s choirs, along with the Nebraska Academy of Vocal Arts Children’s Choir, youth instrumentalists, and more. All 1st Graders will also receive a Bible during the service.

“sounding light” Sings Handel

Sunday, Nov. 27, 10:30am Worship
“sounding light” is the chamber choir led by its founder, Tom Trenney.  sounding light has recently been invited to sing at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in 2017.

Let Us Give Thanks
Thanksgiving Eve Service

Wednesday, November 23, 7:00pm, Saint Paul United Methodist (1144 M St)
Two churches gather to give thanks at a community worship service at Saint Paul Methodist Church. Clergy from First-Plymouth and Saint Paul will share the thanksgiving message. The Plymouth Choir and the Chancel Choir of Saint Paul will combine under the direction of Dr. Wyman and Tom Trenney. The community is invited to attend the service.

Pete Allman To Preach at 11:59am

Pete Allman

Pete Allman

Sunday, November 27
Jesus was called Wonderful Counselor. Among the other wise titles given to Jesus, this one is a perfect description of His sacred life purpose: A Wonderful Counselor guides us in the right direction, listens to us, loves us, and always has our best interests at heart. Author Pete Allman’s sermon, Shrink-Proof Your Life: Top Ten Ways to Stay Off the Therapist’s Couch will hopefully re-start your journey toward happiness. Discover how to break away from unhealthy and negative habits that are keeping you stuck and unhappy in life.

Artists Wanted

Seeking new artists to display their art in Pilgrim Hall.  Contact Lucia Ann at 402-488-7067.

Sponsor 2017 Altar Flowers 

Sign-up chart is posted in the main hallway until Nov. 30.  Cost $50. Note: Flowers will remain in the building throughout the week to provide beauty for church events.

First-Plymouth 150th Anniversary Ornament

$20 ea. or 2/$30. Available at the end of November.

Love of Neighbor Award will help prison inmates rebuild their lives through education

As part of the celebration of First-Plymouth’s 150 year mission to increase the love of God and neighbor, a $10,000 award has been presented to support “College is the Key to Inmates’ Tomorrow.” The program was conceptualized by Nebraska Wesleyan Professor James Perry, who leads college students in a pilot educational program at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. 
College students and inmates work together to study, learn and earn college credits by completing a course in criminal justice; students help teach inmates. The program is designed to build more resilient, employable inmates post-release, and increase college students’ awareness of the criminal justice system, according to Perry. 

“With the support of the Love of Neighbor Award, participating inmates will build an understanding of their capabilities to engage in higher learning and earn college credit, will have further reasons to stay out of trouble while in prison, and will be better prepared for successful life upon reentering life after prison, with a way to demonstrate to future employers that they are smart and responsible,” Perry explained.

“By making it possible for inmates to earn college credit, we are providing them with building blocks for a productive life as good citizens after release from prison. Hope is a very important element in their lives, and this places hope within their grasp,” said Perry. 

Inmates are realizing the program offers a path toward a productive future. “I would like to be successful after my incarceration in more ways that just financially stable,” said one inmate participant. “I would like to take in all knowledge that I can to become a better man for not only my surroundings but for my child.  I don’t want my incarceration to be what my people remember me for. Taking these courses does help out with my future goals.”

Nebraska Wesleyan University student Taylon Sumners, a student in the course helping to teach inmates, had this to say about the program: “In my opinion the most important aspect of the Teaching Inmates course is bridging the gap that is placed between the offender and the community. The first time I went to the prison to teach I was a little nervous and I had no idea what to expect, however I was pleasantly surprised. The gentlemen we have the opportunity to work with are not only intelligent, but they treat the student teachers with more respect than I would typically receive from someone out on the street. By working with inmates, we as members of the community are able humanize people that are continuously placed out of sight and out of mind.“

“I look forward to continuing the work with inmates in a way that can help them to put their lives back together,” said Perry. 

Twenty-four nominees for the award were carefully reviewed. 

“All were very worthy; this one stood out as a way to reach a marginalized group with a strong message of hope and support,” said Associate Minister Barbara Smisek. “Our selection committee was inspired by the many possibilities represented, and the gratitude shown in the group of nominees,” said Smisek.

First-Plymouth will provide more about each of the other nominees in the coming weeks to elevate awareness about these remarkable acts of kindness. 

The list included the following organizations:
Lincoln Literacy
Clinic with a Heart
Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach
Fresh Start
Lincoln Bike Kitchen (2 nominations)
Bridges to Hope (4 nominations)
PFLAG –  Parents, Family & Friends United with LGBTQ to Move Equity Forward
NeighborWorks Lincoln
Citizens for Improved Transit
Lincoln Parks and Rec Foundation (Christie Dionisopoulos) 
Nebraska for Cystic Fibrosis
Kick for Kids – Spirit of Hope Lutheran Church
Lincoln Citizen Advocacy (Bonnie Arrowsmith)
Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln
Mission Infinity
Center for Legal Immigration Assistance (Max Graves)

The nominees also included the following individuals:
Suzy Campbell
Sara Chesbro
Nate Blum
Virginia Chramosta
Steve Loos
Willie Shafer
Joan Liescheski

Habitat For Humainty

For many years, our church has raised funds and sent volunteer teams to help Habitat for Humanity build new homes. In November our volunteers will help with work on another home. Habitat’s program for qualified families promotes home ownership by giving them the opportunity to buy affordable, safe housing. In Lincoln alone, Habitat has built over 400 homes, but the need for these homes remains great. We thank you for your generous past and future support. Send donations to the church (with Habit for Humanity in the memo line.) 
Habitat work day: Nov 12. Contact to volunteer labor or food. Sponsored by the Board of Christian Outreach. 

Rev. Nancy Erickson

Rev. Nancy Erickson

Nancy Erickson to Retire In January

Pastor Nancy Erickson has announced her plans to retire the end of January after serving First-Plymouth as an associate minister for more than 12 years. Prior to officially joining the staff, she volunteered in many capacities.
“Nancy has been a strong, inspirational leader of the Board of Women’s Ministries and the Plymouth Pride group, and has very capably led worship, retreats, special services and events that have touched thousands of lives,” said Senior Minister Jim Keck. “She is much beloved by many, and will leave her position with a wonderful, positive legacy.  I know she will be greatly missed.”

“I am very gratified to be part of this amazing church for almost 30 years, and to have had thousands of opportunities over the course of my tenure for meaningful interactions with so many members of our congregation. I look ahead to retirement with no regrets and a very full heart, knowing I will continue to be a part of this congregation, and with new opportunities on the horizon,” said Erickson. 

“Plans are being discussed now for a smooth transitional plan for covering the many bases that Nancy handles so well,” said Keck. 

Plans are pending for a January celebration of Nancy’s ministry. 

Transgender Day of Resilience (and) Remembrance

Nov 20, 1:30pm-3:30pm, at The Unitarian Church (6300 A St).  Join us in gathering to celebrate what we have gained, and the strength we have attained as transgender, genderqueer, non-binary,  and gender non conforming individuals. An interactive program  including commentary, song, stories of survival and resilience from local citizens, clergy including Dr. Jim Keck, and city representatives. Sponsored by Lincoln TDORR. 

“Murder at Crooked House” Youth Musical Dinner Fundraiser

November 18 & 19. All proceeds will help support our youth mission trip to Guatemala in 2017. Tickets on sale now for Nov. 18.

Raffle Ticket Fundraiser
The  Board for Christian Outreach will be hosting a fundraiser in conjunction with the youth’s mystery dinner (Nov 18-19). Purchase a raffle ticket between services through Nov. 13 in the hallway. Tickets $1 or 6/$5. Raffle held Nov. 19. You do not need to be present to win.
Another opportunity to support missions will be offered during the intermission of the mystery dinner. Our goal is to raise $3000 each night, the amount it takes to build a home in Guatemala. You will have the opportunity to “purchase” a piece of a house to help us reach our goal. Cash and checks only.

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

Nov 6 Jim Keck
Nov 20 Allen Hilton, former Yale religion professor
Nov 27 Pete Allman, author of  Shrink-Proof Your Life: Top Ten Ways to Stay Off the Therapist’s Couch

Music Opportunities for Middle and High Schooler’s

If interested in joining the small ensembles, youth orchestra, FP Singers, youth handbells, or Celtic Band, contact

Abendmusik presents Handel’s Messiah and Dixit Dominus

Sun. Nov 27 at 3:00pm. This tradition continues with Abendmusik’s newly appointed chamber choir in residence, “sounding light.” Tickets at or call 402.476.9933.

Abendmusik Holiday Pack - 3 Concerts 1 Low Price

$50 Adults/ $40 Seniors /$20 Students. Visit or call 402.476.9933
Nov 27, 3:00pm – Handel’s Messiah and Dixit Dominus
Dec 11, 4:00pm & Dec 12,  7:00pm – O Come, Let Us Adore Him
Dec 31, 8:00pm – Last Blast! with the Plymouth Brass


Contact Pastor Hollie Schmidt, or call 402-476-7565    
No WNL on Nov 23 and no HSYG Nov 27

Urban Plunge Nov 5-6
Our confirmation students will be serving our community this weekend, spending the night in the courtyard and learning about meeting the needs of those who are hungry, homeless and hurting. 

Arky Arky 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run
Nov 12 @ Pioneers Park
Register here at First-Plymouth or online: Arky Arky 5K $30/person or $50 if you register as a Team of 2! Animal costumes encouraged for all ages. 

Can you sew?  
We need volunteers to help us make more angel & shepherd costumes for this year’s Christmas Pageant. If you can help please contact Deb (

Pageant Rehearsals @ 5:45pm 
All rehearsals are in the sanctuary.  Costume fittings will be in the Tower Room.
Nov 30/Dec 7- Shepherds rehearse/ Angels costume fitting
Dec 14-Angels rehearse
Dec 21-Dress Rehearsal with choirs singing

Advent Workshop
Sun, Dec 4 @ 2-4pm
Join us for an afternoon of holiday crafts, cookies & more!  All families welcome!

1st Grade Bibles
Sunday Nov 13 @ 9am
Our 1st graders will receive their bibles during a special Second Sunday 9am service. Please contact Deb you haven’t received information about your child receiving a Bible.  

Preschool Community 
Service Project  Nov. 1st-20th
Preschoolers are asked to bring cans of pie filling & boxes of crust mix to go into the baskets our youth will distribute to the F Street Rec Center on Nov 20 for a special Thanksgiving Mission Project.

Wednesday Night Live

4 Pastors: White Privilege: Let’s Talk
Wed. | Nov. 2-16 | 6:30-7:30pm | Walk-ins welcome
The Rev. John C. Dorhauer, President of the United Church of Christ, has written: “It is time this still largely white denomination wrestles with its investment in whiteness, and learns all it can about the manifestations and impact of White Privilege.” We agree-and are offering an opportunity for a safe, meaningful and substantive conversation on race and privilege in this three evening series based on resources from our denominational headquarters. 

Understanding Your Middle Schooler
Wed | Nov 2-30 (skip 23rd) | 6:30-7:30pm | Led by James Tucci | $10 person/$15 couple
Discuss common struggles and obstacles your child faces and effective strategies to parent your middle schooler. Register with

Missionary or Tourist? First-Plymouth Seeing and Serving Beyond Lincoln
Wed | Nov. 30 | 6:30-7:30pm
Curious about the places FP has been doing mission work? Hear from our members who have attended trips in Guatemala, Pine Ridge, and Ghana. Learn about their work and the ways it has touched their soul. *Handmade jewelry and weavings from Guatemala women will  be for sale by Fire Wheel Designs on Nov. 27, 30 and Dec.4. 

Live Inspired. Give Inspired. 

2017 Pledge Campaign

As we recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of our church, it was truly inspiring to see how our congregation continues to live our founding mission - To increase the love of God and neighbor.  First-time visitors and long-time members usually say the same thing about First-Plymouth. “There’s something special going on here.” Membership is at an all-time high. Attendance is up. Programs and classes are expanding.  A recent worship attendance of 1,539 tied the 3rd largest attendance ever in our church history, excluding Christmas and Easter. 
We need your help to continue this special momentum. Each fall, we ask you to consider your financial commitment to church for the upcoming year. All of our day-to-day operations, programs and ministries depend on the generosity of our church family and congregation. Virtually 100% of our annual budget comes from pledges and gifts. 

You will be receiving a packet soon with more information.  You will see that our 2017 pledge goal increases slightly to $1,700,000 for expanding programs and folding a couple outreach missions into the budget.  That’s up $50,000 over what we raised in pledge income this year. We can get there by adding some new pledges and the rest of us slightly increasing our current pledge.  

Please don’t hesitate to contact Shelly with any questions about the budget or pledge process. ( / 402-476-7565 ext. 211).  Please let Shelly know your pledging intentions by November 27 as members of our Board of Trustees and Council will be finalizing the 2017 budget in December.

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. Contact or 402-476-7565 ext. 211.  

Plymouth Pride Fellowship Christmas Party

Sun., Dec. 4, 5:30PM
Catered meal and entertainment provided by jazz and blues vocalist Sarah Phelps. $15 Reservations required by Nov. 28th,

2017 Pine Ridge Mission Trips

Info Mtg. Nov. 14th, 6:30 Pm Calvert Parlor
Family Week: July 16-21 or 22-28 (TBD)
Adult Week: Sept. 17-22
Discover the beauty of a land that offers deep silence and endless skies while helping construct much needed bunk beds, wheelchair ramps, outhouses and more for the residents of the Pine Ridge. Spaces limited. Contact Barb Smisek, or 402-476-7565.