Begin the new year in a peaceful spirit.
Sunday, January 14, 7:00pm


It's On Us

Rape Culture and Community Response

Pre-Compline Talk | Sunday, January 14, 6:00-7:00pm, Chapel

God is absent in three stories in the Bible involving rape: Genesis 34, Judges 19, and 2 Samuel 13. This presentation will address some of the theological and literary implications of God’s absence, and will situate these rape narratives in their historical context. Biblical rape scenes represent a community in crisis and a violation of the covenantal relationship between God and Israel. With an increase in reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment over the past year, we must ask ourselves: How can we challenge rape culture today by drawing on the historical and literary context of these biblical rape narratives? 

Dr. Leah Rediger Schulte is the Director of Religious & Spiritual Life at Doane University. She holds a Ph.D. in Women’s Studies in Religion with an emphasis in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament from Claremont Graduate University. She is the author of the recently published book, The Absence of God in Biblical Rape Narratives.

If rushing around Sunday
morning is not your cup of tea, try 1:30PM at FP

Christ’s Way or the Highway?


Rev. Dr. Eric Elnes - January 28, at 11:59am

Is it possible to be faithfully Christian without denying the legitimacy of other faiths? Rev. Dr. Eric Elnes, Senior Minister at Countryside Community Church (Omaha, NE) will guest preach on Sunday, January 28, at 11:59am worship. 

Rev. Dr. Eric Elnes and Countryside Community congregation are a part of Omaha’s “Tri-Faith Initiative” which is made up of three Abrahamic faith groups who have chosen to be in relationship together as neighbors on one campus, committed to practicing respect, acceptance and trust. The three members are of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths: Temple Israel, Countryside Community Church (UCC) and The American Muslim Institute. The shared building/commons is the only undertaking of its kind in the world, and it's right here in Omaha! 

Join us in worship, as Dr. Elnes share about the Tri-Faith Initiative and its mission of co-locating Jewish, Christian, and Muslim houses of worship to promote dialogue, transcend differences, foster acceptance, and build bridges of respect and trust.

Rev. Dr. Eric Elnes is a minister, author, internet television personality, and biblical scholar with Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Princeton Theological Seminary.  He has served as Countryside’s Senior Minister since 2008. In 2010, Dr. Elnes helped create and host Countryside’s internet television program, Darkwood Brew ( which became the world’s first faith-based, weekly, interactive web television program and has produced the world’s largest collection of progressive small group video resources.

Eric's books include, Igniting Worship: The Seven Deadly Sins, and Gifts of the Dark Wood: Seven Blessings for Soulful Skeptics (and Other Wanderers), and his new book, The Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity.  

ANNUAL MEETING - Our 2018 budget will be presented to the Congregation and voted on at our Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 21, 9:45am, in the Sanctuary.  All members are invited to attend.  Annual reports will be available in the office after January 8.

Wednesday Night Live

WNL resumes January 10th

WNL Worship @ 6:15pm

A brand new worship experience for ALL ages. Full worship band and an inspirational message from Pastor Patrick Messer.

FP Kids Studio

New classes start January 10.  Register 

Middle School Youth Group
There’s a Whole New Look to MSYG starting January 10!  Game Night Jan 31.  

Wednesday Opportunities for Adults 

Classes held 6:45-7:30pm. Register with

American Styles of Worship
Why First-Plymouth strives to Evade Any Easy Category

January 10, 5:50-6:15pm, Chapel | Led by Dr. Jim Keck
First-Plymouth revels in the high worship of classic Reformed Protestant lineage which utilizes master choral works, lush liturgies, prayers, and preaching from a pulpit. But we also have some contemporary worship services and our Wednesday night service even uses a praise band. What's up? Join Dr. Jim Keck for a brief discussion about American styles of worship and why First-Plymouth strives to evade any easy category. Afterwards, stay for the worship.

What is An Evangelical?  
January 10-31, 6:45-7:30pm, Mayflower Hall. Led by Rev. Patrick Messer
There are few words that are as polarizing as “evangelical” in both religious and political contexts. Evangelicals are the largest group in American Christianity and comprise over a quarter of the U.S. population. Who are they? Where did they come from? Join us on Wednesday nights as we explore the evolution and future of evangelicalism in this country while dialoguing with evangelical leaders in Lincoln.

The Whole-Brain Child
January 17-February 7, 6:45-7:30pm. Led by James Tucci, MA, LIMHP
Parents and caregivers workshop that will explore the workbook based on the NYT bestselling book. Explore whole-brain strategies, exercises, and activities that address sibling conflict, tantrums and meltdowns, struggles with homework, and more. Workshop is free, however a $12 workbook purchase is required per parent.  Registration required with Send payment to the church prior to the first class to First-Plymouth, Attn: Addie/WB workshop.

Preparing a God Box: Surrender Our Worries
Jan. 24, 6:45-7:30pm. Led by Margaret Rickers. $5 pay at the door
Explore the ancient idea that we can actually surrender our worries and concerns to God and get a sense of freedom in doing so. Learn the principle of Surrender and then begin to put it into action. Bring a basket, bowl, or box which will serve as your container. 

Parenting Kids from Hard Places
Parent group for parents caring for and raising kids that have faced trauma (abuse, neglect, foster care, loss though death, divorce etc.) Contact

The Table (ages 18-25)
Dinner and discussion on hot topics facing our world today. Dinner is free! Stay for the worship.


Pet Loss Support

Thursdays, February
8 -March 1, 6:30-8:00pm. Support for those who have recently lost a pet or are unable to move beyond losing a pet.  Contact Karen Clarke, 

Join An Usher Team

Make a difference in 2018 by stepping into a new usher role at the 9:00am or 10:30am services! Usher teams serve only four months a year. Contact

Writers Needed for Lenten Devotional Book

First Plymouth is looking for volunteers to write a brief reflection on a passage of scripture. Please consider offering your voice. Contact Dale Hauptmeier at, 402- 429-1371.

Peace & Justice Team Celebrates 20 Years

January 2018 marks the 20th Anniversary of the first congregation wide event sponsored by what is now the Peace & Justice Team.  January 1998 we sponsored an “All Church Dream” contest asking members to reflect on Martin Luther King, Jr’s I have a dream speech and offer their dreams for our church to advance our mission of increasing the love of God and neighbor.

The inspiration for our group came from the Peacemaking Workshop, April 1996 speaker, Joseph Lowery, a contemporary of Dr. King, who encouraged the Lincoln community to “walk the walk of peace and justice for all, not just talk the talk.”  From that event emerged Community Peacemakers, which urged each church participating to form a group seeking justice and peace.

Our group grew from the “racism committee” of the Board of Christian Outreach under the direction of Rev. Kathryn Campbell. We began as the Ethnic Harmony Team. Jeanne Johnson was the first chair of the committee, followed by Ginny Schnabel, and during Deb Egan’s tenure as chair we became the Peace and Justice Team.  Steve DeLair, Linda Stephenson, Ron Oleson, Renee Ninneman and Beth Peterson have also served as leaders. 

We continue as part of the Outreach board. We currently meet for a social coffee the first Saturday of each month at 9:00am in the Meadowlark Coffee Shop and to plan on the first Wednesday of the month at 5:15pm. Our programming over the years has included: Loving Jesus and Other People of Color, sponsoring world religions discussions after 9/11/01 in partnership with the Singles Ministry, sharing about various ethnic groups in our community and their contributions to Lincoln, human trafficking, discrimination, payday lending, immigration, the death penalty, Whiteclay and more.

Nebraskans for Peace, Nebraska Appleseed, Quinn Chapel AME, Voices for Hope and the local cultural centers have been among our partners. On February 25 we host for a second year Quinn Chapel’s Soul Food Feast.

As we look toward to the future we invite you to join us in taking steps toward becoming recognized in the United Church of Christ and our community as a Just Peace Church.  We need people from various groups in the church to help write our Just Peace Covenant. Watch for news of our revival speaker this year.

If you are interested in learning more about Just Peace you can see the handbook

Plymouth Pioneers Scholarship

The new Board of Women’s Ministry scholarship, the Plymouth Pioneers Scholarship is targeted for young women leaving high school who will be the first in their families to attend higher education. Applications at (due no later than January 8). Contact Kelly Tyrrell, 402-416-3257.

Did you know that First-Plymouth has decreased landfill waste by approximately (40%) by using a commercial composter.  Prairieland Dairy sells the compost locally. 
- FP Sustainable Living Ministry.

God’s Garden Thank You
The Sustainable Living Ministry is very grateful for the support parishioners gave to God's Garden in 2017 - both for gardeners who donated and those who purchased items. Profits will be used to purchase trees for the east lot. Keep us in mind when planning gardens next spring. God's Garden resumes April 2018 and we will also start collecting used batteries and beauty/personal care containers for recycling.

First-Plymouth Family

Contact Rev. Hollie Schmidt,
See Full Event Descriptions

FP Kids Studio: Wednesdays in January
New classes start January 10.  Register

FP Kids: Sundays in January
Creative and interactive activities for K-5th graders. “Wandering in the Wilderness” begins January 7!

Parenting Kids from Hard Places
Parent group for parents caring for and raising kids that have faced trauma. Resumes Wed. January 10, 6:45-7:30pm. Contact

High School Youth Group

  • Movie night Jan. 7. 
  • Lock-In Jan. 12, 9pm-7am. Registration forms available on the high school page on our website. 
  • No HSYG Jan. 14.
  • World Religions begins Jan. 21.  

Middle School Youth Group
There’s a Whole New Look to MSYG starting January 10th! Game Night Jan 31.  

Cinnamon Rolls, Jan. 14
Available for sale following the 9:00 & 10:30am services. $2 each. Proceeds support youth missions. 

FP Family Night, Jan 19: Soup Supper
All families of kids 5th grade and younger are welcome.

Pancake Breakfast, Jan 28
Support 4th & 5th graders’ mission project.

Family Ski Trip to Mt Crescent, Feb. 17
Registration forms due by Jan. 31. Forms, information and fees posted on our website.  


Adult Fellowship Groups

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

Church Social
January 19, 6:30-9:00pm at Ellen & Pat Bean's home. Get to know others who attend FP! Bring an appetizer and beverage (most bring wine) to share. RSVP to for directions.

Peace & Justice Coffee and Conversation
January 6 & February 3, 9:00-10:00am, Meadowlark Coffee (16th & South). 
Discuss contemporary peace and justice issues.

Plymouth Pride Fellowship
January 21, 6:00pm in Mayflower Hall. Learn about healthy activities for your mind, body and soul. Bring a healthy snack (and the recipe) to share. Contact

Singles Ministry Events –

  • Dinner and a Movie – Jan. 12
  • Death of a Salesman at NWU – Jan. 21
  • Bowling at Parkway – Jan. 27

Adult Classes, Discussion Groups & Bible Studies

To register contact Addie Vortherms, or call 476-7550.  W= Walk-ins   R= Registration Required

Tuesday Bible Study Reformation Consequences  W
Tuesdays. 9:30-11:00am, Calvert Parlor. Led by Carolyn Zeisset. January 9 - February 13: What were consequences of the Reformation in understandings of areas such as faith, family, governance, education, the arts?

Early Birds Men's Discussion  W
Thursdays, 7:00am in Pilgrim Hall. Stimulating religious and secular discussion and fellowship. Cereal and toast breakfast. Contact Bob Reeves 402-464-1803,

Between Services Book Discussion  W
Sundays, 9:45-10:30am, Tower Room. 
New book starts Jan. 7: How Jesus Became God by Bart Erhman. 

Yoga  W
Mondays 9:00-10:00am, Mayflower Hall  and Tuesdays 5:30-6:30pm, Chapel. $5 pay at the door. Beginners welcome!


Save the Dates!

My Funny Valentine: Dinner and Concert Fundraiser | February 9
VOCES8: British Classical Vocal Ensemble | February 11

Tickets: 402.476.9933 or

mill vertical2.jpg

Theology on Tap Moving to Monday's @ The Mill

In 2018, Theology on Tap is tackling the Bible over beer and coffee at the brand new site of the Mill on 21st & L St., Mondays at 5:30pm. Beginning January 15th

The Bible is confusing! It’s filled with diverse genres of literature, overlapping timelines, evolving theology, and dissonant convictions. Not to mention, every part of Scripture emerged from times, places, and cultures completely foreign to us. This year, let’s get to know the Bible. Join us at Theology on Tap as we bring the big picture into focus by learning how all the parts of Scripture tell a common story: our story. 

Reach Out & Live Television Broadcast Change

As of January 1, 2018, Reach Out & Live will no longer air Mondays, 7:30am on KXVO/The CW. For a complete listing of our broadcasts visit 

Soul Food Festival
with the Quinn Chapel AME Church
Sunday, February 25, 11:30am-3:00pm, at First-Plymouth. Tickets available soon.

Are You Experiencing a Winter in Your Life?
If you are going through a difficult time, our Stephen Ministers can bring God’s warm love back into your life. They provide confidential, one-to-one Christian care. They will meet with you privately on a weekly basis to listen, support, and encourage you, to pray with and for you, and to walk with you for the duration of your crisis. Learn more by contacting Pastor Barb Smisek, 402-476-7565 ext. 219.

Become a Part of First-Plymouth
Are you ready to make First-Plymouth your church home? Learn more on Wed. January 31, 6:45pm in Calvert Parlor, at our new member welcome hour. Meet with Pastor Jim Keck and others who have become new members or 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

Fall Food Drive Results
The Board of Christian Outreach thanks everyone at First-Plymouth and Abendmusik for making our Fall Food Drive a tremendous success. We set a goal to collect over 1,000 pounds of food and personal hygiene items and at least $1,000 in monetary donations for the Food Bank of Lincoln. Including the freewill donations collected at the Abendmusik Community Sing event, we smashed our goal! 2,158 pounds and $5,235. The equivalent of 17,500 meals!