Becoming a “Just Peace” Church

The FP Peace and Justice Team has initiated the process to have our church be designated in the UCC as a “Just Peace” church, as defined by the guidelines published by the National UCC and approved by the World Council of Churches. People representing church boards around the world created and affirmed this covenant.

Becoming a Just Peace Church requires us to bring Shalom into our church, home, community, nation and world. This means we are committed for all to live free from fear, that all life is sustained on our beautiful planet, that all may live in dignity and that there is peace among nations.

Why are we working toward such a designation, since our church is already doing so many good things towards peace and justice? We feel it is important to articulate our position as a Just Peace church in a covenantal form, a promise. 

Achieving this designation requires approval from our membership at our annual meeting in January. We hope that you will attend and support this initiative for First-Plymouth.

A Special Sunday with the UCC Justice Ministries

Rev. Michael Neuroth, Policy Advocate for International Issues in the United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries’ office will be guest preaching on Sunday, December 9, at both the 8:00am Chapel (20th & D) and at 9:30am FP East services. We will also give thanks for our Just Peace Committee and Peace & Justice Team.


Addie Vortherms Promoted to Director of Operations & Programs

For a long time, Addie Vortherms has been a key part of creating the dynamic ministry of First-Plymouth. For over 13 years she has ensured that our church programs are diverse, edifying and inspirational.

The Board of Trustees has just promoted her to Director of Operations and Programs. Addie will now play a more central role in strategy and administration.

Way to go, Addie!

Adult Classes, Discussions Groups & Bible Studies

To register contact Addie Vortherms at or call 476-7565.

W= Walk-ins R= Registration Required

Tuesday Bible Study W
Tuesdays, 9:30-11am, Calvert Parlor. Led by Carolyn Zeisset.
Nov. 6 & 13 Trying Paul, led by Carolyn Zeisset; Nov. 20 Did the Disciples Write the Gospels? Nov. 27 Do We Have the Original New Testament? Led by Rev. Bob Rademacher.

Academic Bible Study W
Sundays, 9-10am, Resource Room. Led by Dr. Luke Schulte. Will not meet Nov. 4 & 18. In November, explore the first half of Exodus. Dr. Luke Schulte is a religion scholar currently teaching both at UNL and Eden Theological Seminary.

Writing Your Memoir R
Saturday, Nov. 3, 1:30-3:30pm. Led by Becky Breed & Lucy Adkins, authors, poets. $35. When we share stories, we help to ensure that our personal histories and life legacies will be passed on to the next generation. We all have a story or two to tell, and whether you’re interested in capturing a few of the most memorable, or writing a full length memoir, this workshop will help get you started!

Grief Around the Holidays R
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 6:00-8:00pm. Facilitated by Lisa Borchardt. Free, however, please register with This workshop will; provide an introduction to grief and mourning, discuss dilemmas associated with the holiday seasons, and share ideas about “how to approach” the holidays & self-care during this cultural time of celebration and tradition.

Introduction to the Chakras R
Saturday, Nov. 17, 1:00-5:50pm. Facilitated by Margaret Rickers, healing touch and reiki practionner and Rachel Miller, meditation teacher. $50 before Nov. 12, $60 after.

Discover the energy centers in the body called Chakras. They are energetic non-visible power centers located in different areas of the body that affect how our body, mind and spirit perceive and interpret life circumstances. 

Wednesday Night Live

FP Kids Studio: November: CHANGE!  Don’t miss out on the “changes” we have in store. Register online!
MSYG: Focus on what it really means to be thankful!
HSYG: Focus on "Behind the Curtain."
Preschoolers: New projects on thankfulness!

Worship on Wednesdays - 6:15pm Sanctuary. Live Band, Inspiring Mid-Week Message, Communion

November Classes for Adults (6:45-7:30pm) Additional details at

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4 Pastors & The Bible
What I DON’T Believe About the Christian Faith
Nov. 7 & 14 | Revs. Jim Keck, Patrick Messer, Hollie Schmidt & KJ Langlais.

Feel Good Yoga
Nov 7, 14 & 28 | Led by Kerry Amend. $5 a class. Beginners welcome.

Relief Print Making: Designing, Carving, Printing
Nov 7- Dec. 5 | Joan Phelan, art instructor | $20 includes supplies that you keep | Open to all ages (11+)

Lie to make your own greeting cards? Like the appearance of graphic art? Learn some tips for effective printed designs, try some different types of blocks to carve, learn how to pull prints, and explore the concept of positive and negative spaces before beginning our new blocks. Register with

How Effective Parents Praise the Small Stuff to Get the Big Stuff
Nov 28 | Presented by facilitators from Boys Town Nebraska.
Parenting can be tough. If you have a child, chances are you’ve had your fair share of challenging days. Learn how to balance discipline with affection; praise your child’s good behavior; reduce a child’s problem behavior; power struggles between you and the child; and effective communication.

The Reel Bible: Bible in Film
Nov 28-Dec 19 | Dr. Dan Clanton, Associate Professor of Philosophy & Religion, Doane University.
Far more people have encountered Scripture on the Big Screen than on the printed page. Join us as we examine key films that adapt biblical literature and some of the ways cinema has interpreted the Bible through a multi-media session.

Become a Part of FP

Are you ready to make First-Plymouth your church home? Meet with Dr. Jim Keck and others who are also joining the church on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 6:45pm in Calvert Parlor. Come early to grab some dinner and attend WNL worship.

New art expresses First-Plymouth love

Artist Steven DeLair’s new work can be seen in west hallway

Three years ago, Lincoln artist and First-Plymouth member Steven DeLair, inspired by the beauty of the sanctuary, came up with the idea to extend the dramatic blue and gold motifs into the west hallway that connects the sanctuary to Pilgrim Hall. DeLair saw a stunning opportunity to create visual continuity between the spaces, and at the same time, to reinforce the “soul” of First-Plymouth.

DeLair served on an usher team with architect and First-Plymouth Building Committee member Wynn Mehlhaff and casually mentioned the idea to create a large painting for the space, which Mehlhaff encouraged. Some time later, DeLair brought the idea to Senior Minister Jim Keck, and with his blessing, got to work on a massive project that was eight months in the making—a daunting creative challenge.

The result, after countless drafts leading to a design inspired by both love and the sanctuary-- specifically the blue and gold design in the arcades--followed by countless hours of meticulous artistic craftsmanship, is a stunning blue and gold 84” x 72” acrylic on canvas painting that visually connects perfectly with the sanctuary and carries the idea of First-Plymouth’s major theme-- love.

“I wanted my concept to embody the essence of what First-Plymouth means in 2018. For me, that distillation comes down to the word, ‘love’. First-Plymouth is dedicated to the expansion of love. We aspire to inhabit love and live a life of love,” said DeLair.

The canvas carries the word “love” 134 times in a scroll effect, echoing the visual repetition seen in the sanctuary arcades. The words, “live” and “now” are each repeated 14 times. Each element, every letter, some forming a cross as the centerpiece of the work, are hand-painted, the intentional imperfections adding to the authenticity of its message, even as we strive imperfectly towards a life of love, according to DeLair.

“First-Plymouth is a big picture church. Love inhabits and encourages the big picture,” said DeLair.  “To love the whole world is a decision which leads to universal love.”

We Will Rise!

November 4, 3:00pm Free concert with freewill offering.

Winner of the 2016 American Choral Prize, the Wartburg College Choir from Waverly, Iowa, joins the Plymouth Choir in an uplifting program designed and conducted by Abendmusik’s own Tom Trenney in celebration of his tenth anniversary at First-Plymouth.

Messiah Community Sing-Along

November 25, 4:00pm | Hat/Glove/Scarf Drive & Freewill Offering to benefit Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach

A special community sing to gather and to support Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach in their mission to defeat hunger and homeless and to restore hope.


A Composer & a Preacher

Sunday, November 11, 8:00am, Chapel
Join Tom Trenney and Patrick Messer for a special worship message.

Do you Love to Write?

We are looking for volunteers to write a brief reflection on a passage of scripture for the 2019 Lenten season. Please consider offering your voice. Contact Dale Hauptmeier at or (402) 429-1371 for more information.

Sponsor Altar Flowers

2019 sign-up chart will be posted in the main hallway. Cost $60. Note: Flowers will remain in the building throughout the week to provide beauty for church events.

Fall Highway Clean-up Day

Sat. November 10, 9:00am. Meet at the Subway/Gas Station on the northeast corner of Highway 77 and Saltillo Road. Contact Doug Campbell,

“Seeing” Guatemala in a Better Perspective

The people of Xepetan, Guatemala are in need of reading glasses (both young and old). Donations accepted in hallway between services beginning Nov. 4. For your donation, receive a free eye glass holder. Glasses will be taken down on the next mission trip. Donation table in the hallway between services beginning Nov. 4. Sponsored by FP Guatemala Missions group.

First-Plymouth Family

Contact Rev. Hollie Schmidt,

Keep Up with CYFM
All current information about FP Kids, FP Kids Studio, MSYG & HSYG and more on Updated monthly - check it out!

Wed Night Live!
See page 3 for our November line-up!

FP Kids will be exploring the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 with all new stations!

“King Artie & the Knights of the Rad Table”
Youth Musical: Nov 30 & Dec 1
Tickets go on Sale Nov 4!  Don’t miss this comical show complete with a 90s theme!  teo shows Fri. November 30, 6:30pm includes a full 4-course meal for $25/person or Sat. December 1, 1:00pm includes dessert served at intermission for $10/person.

HSYG Mission Trip to Guatemala- Last Chance! 
A few spots are left. Register online asap!

3pm Christmas Eve Pageant for K-5th Graders
Registration available online beginning Nov 15 for this year’s Christmas Eve pageant.  Every K-5th grader can be part of this service as a shepherd or an angel.  Rehearsals Mon. Dec 10 & 17, 6:00-7:30pm , Dress Rehearsal Dec. 22, 9:00-10:30am. Register online. Register online or

FP Family Night
Fri. November 15, 6-8pm.  Details TBA.

Youth Orchestra Gathers For Holiday Season
If you are interested in joining contact 
Rehearsal – Sat. Dec 15, 10:00am-Noon, Sat. Dec 22, 10:15am-1:00pm (with lunch).
Performance – Sun. Dec 24, 5:00pm Youth Christmas Eve Worship Service.

First-Plymouth Christmas Ornament

$20 ea./ 2 for $30. The ornament features the two large tiles (peacock and phoenix) on either side of the rose window above the Sanctuary entrance. Will be sold Sundays in the hallway. Sponsored by the Music and Fine Arts board.

Church Social

Friday, Nov. 9, 6:30-9:00pm. Hosted by Joyce & Dan Strout. RSVP for directions to

Peace & Justice 1st Saturday Coffee and Conversation

Nov. 3 & Dec. 1, 9am, Meadowlark Coffee (16th & South).

FP Singles Ministry

Events @


Every fall, we ask members of our faith community to consider making a financial pledge that helps strengthen the expression of our mission to increase the love of God and neighbor.

If you’ve never made a financial pledge before to First-Plymouth, but are thinking about it, now’s the time. Any first-time pledge received on or before Nov. 18 will leverage matching funds that will also go to support the annual budget. Every gift, no matter how big or small, has a very positive impact on the lives of everyone else in our congregation and our community. For more information on ways to give or to track the progress of our Courageous LOVE pledge drive, visit

Her Voice Matters Monday, Noveber 5, 7:00 PM

What has been happening in the news has become emotionally disturbing and exhausting for many women in our community and around the country. In response to the climate around issues of sexual violence and harassment, First-Plymouth would like to respond with a voice of compassion and hope.  

So, we are starting an initiative this coming year around the theme “Her Voice: Matters.” We will hold education opportunities with speakers, table forums, small groups and more for all ages and genders.  

To begin this new initiative, the women clergy of First-Plymouth will hold a special worship service on Mon. November 5, at 7:00pm. Our aim is to use this as an opportunity to have a faithful voice of compassion, comfort, strength and encouragement for those who are feeling the weight of all that has been in the news. Our hope is that through this service we are able to speak comfort to those who are struggling with their own experiences of abuse, give a voice of encouragement to those who are striving to find a way to make a difference in the climate we live in, a voice of strength for those who are seeking support as they speak out against the harassment & abuse of women; but overall we want it to be a service of compassion that brings people of all genders & ages together as a united community of faith. - Pastor Hollie