Courtyard Carillon Concert Set for May 20th

Parker Ludwig

Parker Ludwig

Guest carillonneur Parker Ludwig will perform a spring carillon concert Saturday, May 20th at 4:00pm in the church courtyard.

Ludwig is a carillonneur and organist from Salt Lake City, Utah.  He completed his Bachelor of Music degree at Brigham Young University in 2016, where he was an associate carillonneur. He is a member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA), and played his exam recital at the 2016 GCNA Congress at Yale University. 

Ludwig holds a position as guest organist at the Mormon Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.  He won first place in the 2011 regional competition for young organists sponsored by the American Guild of Organists.  He currently resides in Omaha and is a medical student at Creighton University.First-Plymouth’s carillon, the first true carillon in Nebraska, was dedicated in 1931. The original 48 bells were cast by John Taylor & Sons Foundry in Loughborough, England.  

A major renovation was completed in 1990 that replaced the framework and increased the number of bells to 57. The largest bell weighs more than 5,000 pounds and the smallest bell weighs 30 pounds.  

This outdoor concert is free and open to the public. Bring a blanket or lawn chair to the courtyard and enjoy this beautiful and majestic instrument. In case of rain, the concert can be heard inside.

Stephen Ministry Commissioning Ceremony

Stephen Ministers.jpg

On March 26, eleven new Stephen Ministers were commissioned during the 10:30am service. These newly-commissioned Stephen Ministers began their training in January and will join the existing group of fully-trained lay ministers at First-Plymouth who are more than ready to walk alongside anyone who is going through a challenging time—whether from a divorce, grief from a loss through death, problems with a relationship, or even problems with a job situation. Stephen Ministers can help anyone in the community write a more positive end to a challenging story. Collectively, they’ve already done just that for more than 30 individuals this year—completely free and confidentially.

If you or someone you know could benefit from working with a Stephen Minister, contact Pastor Barb Smisek, 402-476-7565 or

Grounds Clean-Up
Gardeners of all ages and experience levels are welcome to help wake our beds on May 5, 8:00-10:00am. Bring tools, gloves, and water. Contact Margo Young at 402-432-8492.

God’s Garden Begins May 14
Outside on the patio! Gardeners bring produce and plants that we can sell. Congregants, stop by to see our offerings. All proceeds promote sustainable environmental projects at church.

Become a Part of First-Plymouth
Are you ready to make First-Plymouth your church home? Learn more on Sunday, June 11, 11:30am 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

First-Plymouth East

Message from Pastor Patrick
Easter at First Plymouth sure lives up to the hype! When we celebrate the resurrection we really celebrate! Ever since Easter Sunday, that sacred declaration from Psalm 23 has been echoing in my heart: “My cup overflows.” It overflows with gratitude for this church family with whom I journeyed through Holy Week.  It overflows with renewed amazement at the God who showed us that true power is manifested in self-sacrificial love. And because of that divine love, the cup of creation now overflows with new life that simply cannot and will not be outmatched by violence, injustice, and even death itself.

It really does boggle the imagination to just sit down and think about the cosmic implications of what took place on a cross in Jerusalem. It is the ultimate paradox and yet the clearest insight into the nature of God. At First-Plymouth East we are plumbing the depths of that mystery by asking this question: What does the crucifixion mean? Curious? Come out and join the exploration!

New FP East Facebook Group  

Marathon Sunday May 7
Avoid The Traffic And Head to East! 

The dominant story of the crucifixion has long been that God needed a grand transaction in order to offer humanity forgiveness. The price was impossibly steep, but “Jesus Paid it All”. You’ve heard the songs. But what if the cross shook up the cosmos in a much more profound way? What if Good Friday unleashed a revolution of love emanating from those Jesus calls disciples? Join us as we take a fresh look at the meaning of the cross.  

Kids’ Musical Performance - May 14
The FP East kids will perform several new songs as our special music during worship. 

Blessing of the Bikes - May 21
Whether you're a kid, an occasional biker, or an avid cyclist, bring your bike for a blessing.  

Theology On Tap
Starts  May 7,  6:00pm  at  Brewsky's  Haymarket with  Pastor  Patrick  Messer. 

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! This new weekly conversation group will follow the FP Presents schedule and locations. 

Spring Food Drive
The Board of Christian Outreach is asking for your help with our Spring Food Drive to help fight community hunger and poverty. Throughout the month of May, barrels and totes from the Food Bank of Lincoln will be available inside the west entrance to the church (and at FP East) for non-perishable food and personal care items. Watch for announcements in the Weekly Word for specific items the food bank needs or contact Faith Andrews (, or make a monetary donation at

Helping the Dogs/Helping the People: Rescue on the Pine Ridge Reservation
May 3, 6:30-8:00pm, Mayflower Hall. Sponsored by FP Animal Ministry and Outreach Board
KC Willis, Executive Director of Light Shine Canine will share the story of Light Shine Canine, a non-profit organization that works with the Lakota people to rescue and relocate abandoned, injured, or abused dogs from the Pine Ridge Reservation. Light Shine has rescued and relocated more than 2,800 animals since the beginning of 2016. Visit for more info. This presentation is free and open to the public. A free-will donation will be collected.

Animal Blessing
Sunday, June 4, 11:59am service
All people attending this service are invited to bring their well-behaved pets on leashes or in crates or cages. Following the service, the clergy will offer an individual blessing in the courtyard. In addition, a blessing will be offered to photos of pets not present as well as to a child’s favorite stuffed animal. The blessing is free and open to the public; a free-will offering will go to Pine Ridge Reservation animal welfare and Hearts United for Animals. 

First-Plymouth Program Receives 2017 Compassion Award


Every Sunday morning at about 11:00, four sets of coolers are dropped off inside the west vestibule of First-Plymouth Church by a van driver from the Tabitha Meals on Wheels program. And every Sunday those four sets of coolers are delivered by members of our congregation to provide a hot meal and a smile to an average of 50 homes and apartments in the neighborhoods surrounding our church.  

This effort started in 2014 as the vision of Kathleen Maynard who gathered about 20 individuals and families to form the first teams of delivery drivers.  Over time, Lora Carpenter-Janike joined Kathleen in helping train and organize additional volunteers (now totaling over 40 and growing).  On April 5th, at the annual Tabitha “Into the Blue” luncheon, First-Plymouth Church and our Meals on Wheels team were honored to receive the 2017 Compassion Award in recognition of our efforts to serve our neighbors.

We’re always looking for more help and as we grow our team we hope to add more routes.  If you’re interested in helping, please contact Troy Stentz ( or 402-499-7246).

We thank the following individuals and families that currently participate in this outreach:

Andrea Canon
Carlson-Dokken Family
Carpenter-Janike Family
Conway-Folkers Family
Kerri Denell
Emily Faubel
Mary Fisher
Greg and Diane Freese
Sonya Friesel
Green Family
Arlene Grever
Beth Hartman
Hellmuth Family
Kaseman Family
Keim Family
Jennie Maier
Maynard Family
Sarah McCurley
Gwen Manaman

Judy Miller
Moberly Family
Mohr Family
Mueller-Malone Family
Kristen Ness
Rich-Vopalensky Family
Lisa Rosar and Troy Stentz
Nancy Shelley
Beth Smith
Soliz Family
Kathie Starkweather
Steinke Family
Shari Stenberg and Jason Keese
Terry Stentz
Kelly and Shawn Tyrrell
Kris and Roger VanLaningham
Walker Family
Walton Family

First-Plymouth Family

Contact Rev. Hollie Schmidt,

Confirmation Worship, Sat. May 6 @ 5:30pm

Confirmation 2017-18 
Class Information Meeting, May 10 @ 5:30pm
If you will have an 8th grader next year and want more information about Confirmation and to register join Pastor Hollie in the youth room. 

Matt Talbot, May 13 @ 4:30pm
Calling all Middle School & High School Youth to come help us prepare and serve a meal.

Sweet Rolls for Mother’s Day, May 14
The youth will be selling sweet rolls following the 9:00am & 10:30am services.  $2/roll; all proceeds support youth missions.

FP Family Night, May 19 @ 6:00-8:00pm
Join us for a Disney showdown for all ages! We will meet and eat in Mayflower Hall for a taco bar potluck and some fun. Contact

Golf Tournament, May 27
(Registration now open)
Join us for a morning of golf at Hidden Valley Golf Course as we support First-Plymouth youth missions. Register to play as a team or as an individual. If you would like to sponsor the tournament or have questions contact

Middle School Youth Group Lock-Out!  
June 2, 7:00pm-11:00pm
Food, games, and Defy Gravity. Contact

AmazonSmile for First-Plymouth Church
If you order from Amazon, why not order from AmazonSmile and choose First-Plymouth Church! For every order you place we receive a 0.5%  donation from AmazonSmile towards our youth mission fund.

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 or online at (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

An information Meeting will be held  Sun. June 4, 9:45am, Otis Young Room. 

Abendmusik  |  May 18 - Give To Lincoln Day
Consider donating to Abendmusik on the 6th Annual Lincoln non-profit Fundraiser!

Adult Classes, Discussions Groups and Bible Studies

First-Plymouth offers a wide variety of Bible studies, educational classes, and discussion groups. For a complete listing visit To register contact Addie Vortherms, Program Director at or call 402-475-7565 ext.239. 

W= Walk-ins     R= Registration Required

Tuesday Bible Study: The World of Herod the Great   W
May 9-30, 9:30-11:00am. Leaders: Carolyn Zeisset and Rev. Robert Rademacher
From the Bible we know the name Herod. Video instructor and Biblical archaeologist Jodi Magness provides a fuller picture of this complex historical figure. May 9: From Roman Annexation to Herod the Great; May 16: Herod as Builder–Jerusalem’s Temple Mount; May 23: Caesarea Maritima–Harbor and Showcase City; May 30: From Herod’s Last Years to
Pontius Pilate.

T-Shirt Scarf Making Class   R
Wed. May 3, 6:30-7:45pm. Led by Joyce Strout, J.B. Strout & Co
Make some fab scarves out of colorful T-Shirts! Bring a sharp pair of scissors and a couple of colorful old T-shirts with no side seams. It doesn’t matter if there is printing on the shirts. If you want a multi-colored scarf, bring several shirts. 

Rebuilding After Your Relationship Ends   R
Wed. May 10-June 14, 6:30-8:00pm. Led by Gary Summers, $35 fee (includes book). Scholarships available
Divorce or the end of a long relationship is not easy and can be extremely painful. This class will help you and others who are going through this major life change in a small class and caring environment.

The Relaxation Response: Class Refresher   R
Wed. May 10, 7:00-8:00pm, Art Room. Led by Margaret Rickers.
The Relaxation Response is a type of meditation to help us become more centered, quiet and relaxed.  There are many health benefits. You are welcome to join us to begin or be supported to continue with this process.  

Adult Fellowship Groups

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

Continuing the Faithful Fight
Many of you were with us in March when Pastor Kim Morrow invited us to consider our own faith-based social justice action. Are you ready to take a next best step? Join the Peace & Justice Team potluck brunch on May 13, 9:00am – 12:00pm as we make plans for future programs and actions. Contact for directions and more details.

Plymouth Pride Coffee Talk
May 20, 10:30-11:30am, Meadowlark Coffee (16th & South). Join us to find common “grounds” in a relaxed atmosphere with fellow LGBTQ friends and allies. 

Peace & Justice Coffee and Conversation
May 6, June 3, 9:00-10:00am, Meadowlark Coffee (16th & South)
Informal conversation about contemporary peace and justice issues.

Widow-to-Widow Support and Friendship
Several May events planned. Call Phyllis Arth 402-421-1732, for more information.

Singles Ministry Outreach
Volunteer to serve a meal to the children at the F Street Rec. Center on May 22, at 4:30pm. Sign-up with
Singles Plus+ Bridge
2nd & 4th Wednesdays, 1:00-4:00pm, Otis Young Room. Contact Marlys 402-499-5565.

A Voice to End Rape Culture

(how to be a voice in Lincoln to end rape)
Wed. May 10, 6:30-7:30pm, Mayflower Hall. Sponsored by FP Peace and Justice Team. 
Voices of Hope Executive Director, Marcee Metzger, will share her 40 year journey working to end violence against women and children. Voices of Hope provides crisis intervention, case management, and is available 24 hours each day to provide multiple services to victims of abuse. Hear about strategies to prevent sexual assault and about the many services this agency provides. Free and open to the public.


Join us for some summer fun! Registrations available now (due May 21)
June 5-8, 9:00-11:30am @ 20th & D, Maker Fun Factory
June 21-23, 9:00am-12:00pm @ FP East, Mega Sports Camp

We are looking for volunteers to help with both locations. If you'd like to volunteer contact

Women’s Salad Supper
June 18, 5:30pm, Mayflower Hall. We will entertain with a lighthearted speaker and highlight the winners of our fall semester scholarships for non-traditional female students. Tickets $10. RSVP at or by June 12. 
Childcare available upon request. Sponsored by the Board of Women’s Ministries.

First-Plymouth Is On The Move

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

Sunday, May 7,  7:00pm
Brewsky's Haymarket
201 N. 8th St
Music: Daniel Christian Band 

Thursday, May 18, 7:00pm
The Local
2755 Jamie Lane
Music: Will Hutchinson

Sunday, May 28
70th & A
Music: Orion Walsh

Easter Sunday 2017 hit a historic attendance record for First-Plymouth.
3300 people attended our 10 Easter services that day.