VBS No Longer Shipwrecked

This year’s VBS included a week of palm trees, ocean waves, crazy monkeys and island fun!  In 11 years of leading VBS programs I have never experienced anything quite so incredible as this year’s Vacation Bible School.  We had over 56 volunteers that gave of their time, energy and love to welcome 143 kids through our doors.  These volunteers told of great bible stories at Island Tales and helped kids connect to the heart of giving at the Serving Shack.  They helped kids connect the faith lessons to beautiful crafts at Coconut Creations and let them run off some energy at Ship Rec Games.  Let’s not forget the yummy snacks at Tropical Treats or the off the wall science experiments at Sail Away Science.  However, I think my favorite new addition to this year’s VBS was the music crew; which included 2 of our WNL Band members with our music director (Amanda) that brought live music to the stage.  

Our week ended with one of the most amazing experiences in my years of ministry- 125 of our kids on stage in the sanctuary with over 300 people experiencing the joy, laughter and love of music and skits as we celebrated our rescue from Shipwreck Island which also included the full WNL band.  Vacation Bible School is more than just games and snacks, it is a week of experiencing the joy of faith.  I am so grateful for my staff, my volunteers, this church and most of all the kids and families who were part of this incredible week.  I say every chance I get that VBS is like Christmas for me- and it truly is- because it is a week where kids experience the gift of being part of church!  Thank you to all that had a hand in making this week truly one of the best yet.  I can’t wait for next year!  

-Pastor Hollie Schmidt

Reach Out & Live Programming Change – July 1

On Sunday July 1, our Reach Out & Live program airing on Fox KFXL and Fox KPTM will be preempted due to World Cup Soccer. It will air instead July 1 at 10:00pm and return to its regularly scheduled time the following Sunday.


Community Summer Sing – Brahms’ REQUIEM
Aug 1, 7:00pm. FREE – Freewill Offering. Join singers of all levels for a rehearsal and performance.


July 4, 1776: America’s Birthday, Say What?

Special message by Robert Bartle | Sunday, July 1, 8:00am Chapel

The Fourth of July was neither a birthday nor the beginning of independence for the American colonies---so what happened in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776 and why do we care? Join Dr. Jim Keck and guest  Robert Bartle on Sunday, July 1, at the 8:00am chapel service to find out more.

Support Offered

Stephen Ministers have been specially trained to meet your emotional and spiritual needs. If you or someone you know is hurting, find out more about Stephen Ministry by talking with KJ Langlais, 402-476-7565.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Part Two

A Message from the Moderator


Previously in what I’m sure was a riveting and much anticipated “note from the moderator,” I mentioned a team of First-Plymouth’s volunteer legal and financial experts were working on making it easy to include our church in your will and estate planning.

We, as a church, are expanding our existing relationship with the Lincoln Community Foundation. This means you can designate funds from your will or estate to be directed to your particular interest in First-Plymouth quite easily. Or if you’re impatient like me and don’t want to wait until your will goes into effect (and you’re no longer enjoying your morning coffee, if you know what I mean) why not give a gift to an endowed fund now?

How easy is it? You’re probably asking yourself.

Call Krista Rickman at First-Plymouth. 402-476-7565 ext.245.

Or email her.  Krista@firstplymouth.org

Or have your financial planner or attorney call her.

Krista will put you or your planner in touch with the appropriate person at LCF. That person will reach out back to you or your planner to initiate the process, listen to your wishes and finalize your plans.

Take a minute and think about one of the many aspects of First-Plymouth that you enjoy. How inspiring and educational our sermons and classes are. How our music makes you feel. How wonderful it is to see so many children and youth growing up in a nurturing, learning environment. How inclusive we are as a church. What a wonderful building we have. Those thoughts and the appreciation that you feel, that's something you can help sustain and grow through your commitment to First-Plymouth Church.

Make a difference now. Grow something in the future.

Include First-Plymouth in your will. Please. And thanks for your generous support of our church. 

Jim Lauerman, Moderator
jlauerman@blne.email  |  402-525-9700

Soaring To Success

First-Plymouth, 2 years ago, made a 3-year pledge of $15,000 towards Community Action’s Soaring to Success Campaign. The money helped fund a new Head Start Program that enrolled 255 preschoolers and employed over 55 staff. Pastor Barb Smisek visited the site and was warmly greeted by the teachers and toddlers in the First-Plymouth Giraffe Room. Head Start gives our community’s youngest and most vulnerable children an opportunity to succeed.

Adult Classes, Discussions Groups & Bible Studies

For a complete listing visit firstplymouth.org. To register contact Addie Vortherms, Program Director at addie@firstplymouth.org or call 476-7550.      

W= Walk-ins   R= Registration Required

Tuesday Bible Study - Summer Series  W
July 17, Aug. 21, 9:30-11:00am, Calvert Parlor. Led by Carolyn Zeisset. Jerusalem in the time of David & Solomon: video instructors discuss archaeological and literary evidence about ancient Jerusalem. 

5 Books and 5 Big Ideas Book Talks  W
Sponsored by Third Chapter Ministries. Summer series held at First-Plymouth from 6:30-7:30pm. Visit firstplymouth.org for the full book session descriptions. Reading the book prior to the session is suggested, but not required. Open to all! 
July 31 – Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult, by Bruce Hardy. Presented by Leslie Huerta, owner of Francie & Finch bookstore.
Aug 21 – Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, by Carlo Rovelli. Presented by Dr. Tim Gay, FP member and professor of physics at UNL.

Savor with all your Senses
5th Annual Retreat with Spiritual Director Jeanne Johnson  R
Movement led by Lauren Phillips and Music by Sylvia Griffith
Fri. September 14, 3:00pm – Sun. September 16, 1:00pm, at the Creighton U Retreat Center (Griswold, IA) creighton.edu/ministry/retreatcenter/ 
This weekend will offer time to savor your senses in silence and through movement. Retreat limit is 22. Includes campfire, singing, great meals, labyrinth, hiking trails, yoga, prayer gardens, silence, dance and time to interact. Contact Jeanne@firstplymouth.org or laurenphillips111@gmail.com for more info. arly Registration is $175 due by August 15 register with Addie@firstplymouth.org or https://fpspiritualretreat.eventbrite.com (price increases to $190 August 16-31).


35th Annual Nebraskans for Peace Memorial for Nuclear Victims & Lantern Float

August 11, 7:00pm, at Holmes Lake
Co-sponsored by the FP Peace & Justice Team

The theme for this year’s float is denuclearization, the dangers of nuclear climate change, and Nebraska’s role in denuclearization. UNL Scientists, who will look into nuclear explosions and their likely effect on climate change, have been invited to speak at the event. There will be a message from Japan recalling the long-suffering of people afflicted with nuclear sickness after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At the end participants will be invited to float the lanterns they’ve decorated on the lake.

Adult Fellowship Groups

All Adult fellowship groups have e-newsletters. Email addie@firstplymouth.org

Peace & Justice 1st Saturday Coffee and Conversation
July 7 and August 4, 9:00-10:00am, Meadowlark Coffee (16th & South). 

Church Social
July 20, 6:30-9:00pm, at Linda and Lynn Jones home. A great way to meet others who attend First-Plymouth and FP East! Bring an appetizer and beverage (most bring wine) to share. RSVP for directions by emailing lindajones3449@gmail.com or call/text 402-432-9523.

Become a Part of First-Plymouth
Are you ready to make First-Plymouth your church home? All invited to the New Member Welcome on August 5, at 11:30am, Calvert Parlor. Meet with Dr. Jim Keck and others who are also joining the church. RSVP to krista@firstplymouth.org.

Pine Ridge Mission Trip
(Sept 15-21, 2018) – Two Spots Now Open!  
Just over the Nebraska border in South Dakota, spend 5 days on the Pine Ridge Reservation doing construction projects, touring the badlands and learning about the Ogalala Lakota people from Native speakers. One, maybe two spots open. Contact Cindy Cox at cynthia.cox@nebraska.gov or Krista Rickman at 402-476-7565 or krista@firstplymouth.org.

Wed Night Live Volunteers Needed

We are looking for some help this fall during Wed Night Live nights to help greet and direct folks during dinner and before worship. If you are interested in helping, contact addie@firstplymouth.org

Tend to Church Grounds

Volunteers needed July 13 & 14, and Aug 10 & 11, 9:30am-11:00am, in the courtyard. Bring your own tools (rakes, clippers, gloves). Contact margoyoung@huskers.unl.edu. Sponsored by Sustainable Living Ministry.

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.

Feel Good Yoga

The yoga class on Tuesdays 5:30-6:30pm in the Chapel will not meet in July. Classes will resume in August. $5.

First-Plymouth Family

Contact Rev. Hollie Schmidt, hollie@firstplymouth.org
for full event descriptions visit firstplymouth.org/children-youth

HSYG Laser Tag, July 8, 5-7pm
All high school youth are invited for a fun night of Laser tag and pizza!

MSYG Mission Trip, July 13-14
Register now! Online registration forms available at firstplymouth.org. Scholarships available. 

FP Family Camp @ Kamp Kaleo, July 20-22
Come be part of this fun family weekend. Registration information on firstplymouth.org. Contact ella@firstplymouth.org.

FPYG Sand Volleyball, July 11 & 25, 7:00pm
All Middle & High School youth are welcome to join us at Holmes Lake for a sand volleyball game!  Haven’t played before?  Come learn & have some fun!

WNL Worship on Wednesdays, July 18
A family friendly evening of food, worship & more.  Dinner begins at 5:30pm.  Bring a lawn chair and enjoy an evening in the courtyard.

FP Kids-July Summer Session begins July 1
Kids will be learning all about the story of Moses & the Red Sea through games, cooking, science & more!  Don’t miss the fun at 9am and 10:30am or at 9:30am at FP East.

MSYG Lock-Out- Aug 3
All middle school youth are invited to be part of this night of fun!  

FP Kids, FP Kids Studio & Youth Group Volunteers Needed for Fall 2018!
We are looking for some new volunteers to help with our growing kids & youth programming beginning this September.  If you are interested in being part of these CYF Ministries check out the link on our website! Contact hollie@firstplymouth.org.

Message from the Just Peace Committee

As First-Plymouth members focus on the Just Peace designation process, we all can take a step toward eliminating violence. Sometimes the best place to start is within ourselves: take a moment to think about how you talk to yourself. Is your interior language loving or damaging? Would you speak to anyone else that way? Peace IS an “inside job.” Then observe how violence seeps into daily life. In your home or group of friends talk about types of violence: physical, verbal, or in imagery. Consider how you talk with others, especially when angry. Think about media you use and if they include violence. Decide which sources not to use and support each other in a “fast from violence”.  As we work toward a statement expressing our intentions to fulfill God’s promise of peace, your input and questions are welcome. Contact jeanne@firstplymouth or bassaxhorn@aol.com, or visit ucc.org/justice_just-peace

Summer Chapel at 8AM

This summer, kick off your Sundays with our NEW Summer Chapel worship starting at 8:00am. Experience the richness of 2 hymns and a sermon along with communion all in 30 minutes! It’s casual, short and sweet that leaves your Summer Sundays wide open.

 South Street Temple

Third Chapter Ministries (55+) and Rev. Jen Davidson recently toured the Greek Annunciation Church and South Street Temple on their 3rd Multi Faith Pilgrimage. Email addie@firstplymouth.org if you would like to receive Third Chapter Ministry event announcements.

Summer Drop-in Choir for 10:30 Service

July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29. All are welcome to sing with the Drop-in Choir. No reservations, rehearsals, resumes, or robes required. Meet in the Choir Room at 9:45am to practice for the 10:30 service.

Orchaband Sign-up

Play for worship on July 8 at both 9:00am & 10:30am services.  Rehearsal July 7, 10:30am - Noon. Sign-up with ariel@firstplymouth.org.


Celebrate Rev. Barb Smisek's Last Weekend

Sat. June 30, 5:30pm and Sun. July 1, 9:00 & 10:30
with refreshments between services to celebrate her retirement.

Food Drive

Sponsored by the FP Board of Christian Outreach 

  • Drop your non-perishable items in the collection barrel at church
  • Donate online at lincolnfoodbank.org/firstplymouth
  • Donate by text Type Firstplymouth to 73256 and select “Food Support” from the dropdown menu


Wednesday Night Summer Worship in the Courtyard

Live Music  |  Dinner  |  Inspiring Message  |  Summer Fun for All Ages!

July 18  |  August 8  |  August 22

5:30-6:15pm Dinner Served (freewill donation).  July 18th, the dinner and freewill donations will go towards The Zambia Project, and First-Plymouth’s commitment to improving the lives of children in Zambia. Come experience Zambian culture in song, dance, and food. Sponsored by FP Board of Outreach.
5:30-6:15pm Live Music and Zambian dancing in the Courtyard
6:15-6:45pm Inspiring Mid-Week Worship

Bring a blanket or a lawn chair and join the fun!  For all ages!
In case of inclement weather, service will be moved indoors.

zambia project.jpg

Want to learn more about First-Plymouth’s support of the Zambia Project? 
Donations of time, talent and treasure will also be accepted.  
Interested in an internship in Zambia, one of the most impoverished countries on earth? Want to join a mission group to Zambia? Contact Barbara@firstplymouth.org for more information.