Ancient Worship for the Modern Soul
Sunday, February 11, 7:00pm

Lent: Compassion Through Music

Considering Matthew Shepard  
February 25, 7:30 PM, Lied Center. Sponsored by Abendmusik
In October 1998, Matthew Shepard, a young, gay student in Wyoming, was kidnapped, severely beaten, tied to a fence and left to die in a lonely field. Approaching the 20th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s  tragic death, composer Craig Hella Johnson leads his celebrated Grammy® award-winning choir, Conspirare, in the Nebraska premiere of Considering Matthew Shepard. Tickets at or 402-472-4747.

featuring Nebr. Wesleyan University Choir, The Plymouth Choir & Guest Conductor Anton Armstrong
Good Friday worship service, March 30, 7:00pm at First-Plymouth Church
John Muehleisen’s poignant and moving Pietà addresses, in concentric circles, the sorrow and pain of mothers who lose their sons — the innermost being the death of Mary’s son, Jesus; next the loss of a World War I soldier; and the outermost, our losses today, and the importance of healing and forgiveness worldwide.


Pastor Barb to Retire in July

When I began seminary, I dreamed of being the sole pastor of a small, rural church, complete with parsonage, adjoining cemetery and wrought iron fence. I am so glad my dream did not come true. I thank God every Sunday for First-Plymouth Church and its ministry of inclusive love and outreach and for the wonderful people I am blessed to work with and serve every week. The past 13 years with you have been a source of deep joy for me and I thank you with all my heart and soul. 

Scripture says, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” I strongly sense this is the time in my life when my purpose is to help my family. I will be spending a great deal of time in Weeping Water helping my father retire, selling our family business and helping my mother manage all the changes that occur with having cancer and undergoing treatment. I will be retiring on July 1st. Pastor Jim has graciously allowed me to continue leading the Anybody Everybody Worship Service on Saturday nights. This is not goodbye. God is doing a “new thing” among us as we will welcome a new minister into our amazing community this year and progress forward with our strong mission to expand the reach of God’s love to our neighbors and beyond every day!  

-Rev. Barb Smisek

Annual Women’s Ministry Soup Supper Fundraiser

February 18, 5:30-7:00pm, in Mayflower Hall. Enjoy a variety of soups, bread, and desserts, and meet the young women who have received First-Plymouth’s non-traditional students’ scholarships. In addition, Pat Leach, Lincoln City Libraries Director, will present “The Power of Reading.” Tickets $5. Purchase in hallway after the 10:30 services on Feb. 4 and 18 or at Men are welcome.

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FP East

Have you heard what’s going on at FP East? For starters, there is major effort to reach out to new people in order to introduce east Lincoln to the full openness and joy of First-Plymouth Church. One of the most exciting ways in which FP East is demonstrating that inclusiveness is by inviting folks to rediscover the Bible. By offering completely new ways of engaging Scripture, we are looking at old texts with new eyes. We are developing a Scriptural imagination that sees a God of love that leaves no one on the outside looking in. If you or someone you know would like to experience the energy and excitement at FP East, don’t be shy. Join us at Kloefkorn Elementary School each Sunday at 9:30am. We’ll see you there!

Drop-in Choir @ FP East
February 4, arrive at Kloefkorn School (6601 Glass Ridge Dr) 
at 8:45am to prepare for the 9:30am service. Open to all!

Church Social 

February 16, 6:30-9:00pm in Pilgrim Hall. Hosts: Gloria & Mike Aron. Bring an appetizer and beverage (most bring wine) to share. RSVP to or call 402-730-5921 to RSVP.

Peace & Justice Coffee & Conversation

February 3 and March 3, 9:00-10:00am, Meadowlark Coffee (16th & South). Discuss contemporary peace and justice issues. All welcome.

Singles Ministry Events

  • Superbowl Party – Feb. 4
  • ”Well” play at NWU Theatre – Feb. 18


February 14 – Ash Wednesday
Dinner 4:45-6:15pm. Worship 6:30pm Sanctuary.
No other WNL programs that night.

WNL Wednesday Opportunities for Adults 

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

4 Pastors & Compassion Series
February 21-March 7.

Be Creative! Intro. to Mixed Media Art
Feb. 7-Mar. 7 (skip Feb. 14), 6:45-7:30pm. $15 art supplies.
Artist Diedra Shoemaker will help you create a beautiful textured large canvas art piece using mixed media. 

Relaxation Massage
Feb. 7, 6:45pm. Led by Margaret Rickers. $5.
Learn how to massage another hand and do a trade. It is a relaxing experience and also works with different meridians that affect the entire body. Invite a friend.

How To Say No Without Feeling Guilty
Feb. 21, 6:45-7:30pm. Led by Joyce Strout. Strout & Co.
Is it difficult for you to say “No” to a request when you’re busy and have obligations of your own? Or do you say “Yes” and feel guilty for it? Learn how to say “No” without that feeling of guilt and stress. 

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

What Does God Say About My Relationships?
Wed. Feb. 28-Mar 28, (skip March 14), 6:45-7:30pm. 
Led by Suzanne Jouvenat, MA, LIMHP, LADC, LPC. 
We learn the most about ourselves through all our relationships. Consider the sacredness of those with family, life partners, work, vocations, church and the self. Registration required with 

Jerusalem In Bible & Archeaology: From the Return to the Time of Jesus
Feb. 21-Mar. 21 (skip Mar. 14), 6:45pm. 
Led by Dr. Lucas Schulte, Professor.
Using archaeology studies, the Bible, and ancient Jewish scriptures that did not make it into the Bible, this class will explore Jerusalem from the return to the time of Jesus. See the palaces outside of Jerusalem and other important archaeology sites.

Parenting Kids from Hard Places
6:45pm, Otis Young Room. 
Support for parents caring for and raising kids that have faced trauma. Contact

Lenten Devotional Book

Pick up your copy of the Lenten Devotional book from the literature racks. Thank you to Dale Hauptmeier for organizing this project.

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

Ghana Mission Trip Information Meeting

Learn more about the mission trip to Ghana in March 2019 led by Ann Kaseman and Pastor Hollie Schmidt. February 6, 7:00pm Room 203W. Contact

Soul Food Festival

with the Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church

Sunday, February 25, 11:30am-2:30pm, in Mayflower Hall
Enjoy chicken, ham, greens, sweet potatoes, and more!
Tickets $10.00 per person. Purchase tickets in the hallway on Sundays. Limited number of tickets available at the door. Co-Sponsored by First-Plymouth Peace & Justice Team.

Ecumenical Fish, Fries & Bingo

Mission  Trips  Fundraiser

Friday, March 2, 2018  •  5-7:30 PM  •  Mayflower Hall
Tickets:  Adults  $12; Kids (5-12)  $6; 4 and under Free

Adult Classes, Discussions Groups & Bible Studies

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

One Passion Story, Four Parallel Accounts  W
Tuesdays, Feb. 20-Mar. 27, 9:30-11:00am, Calv. Parlor. Led by Carolyn Zeisset. 
Feb. 20-March 27. Compare accounts in the four gospels of the story of Jesus = arrest, crucifixion, resurrection.

Theology on Tap  W
Mondays, 5:30-6:30pm, at The Mill (S. 21st & L). 
Led by Rev. Patrick Messer.
Each Monday night we zoom out to see the big picture of the Bible, then zoom in on the fine details to see how they all fit together. 

Finding the Poet Within  R
Led by author, poet, Lucy Adkins. Sat. March 3 & 10, 1:00-3:00pm, Art Room. $40. Explore the world of poetry. Additional info. at

5 Books on Spirituality & Aging  W
Third Chapter Ministries (55+) book talks will return this summer. 
Braving the Wilderness, by Brené Brown.
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, by Carlo Rovelle.
Wild Things, The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult, by Bruce Handy.
The End of Your Life Book Club, by Will Schwalbe.
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, by Daniel H. Pink.



Dimensions Eat & Explore Family Night Fundraiser
February 1, 5:00-7:00pm. Spaghetti dinner. Adults $10, Ages 2-12 $5; under 2 are free. Tours available.
Registration for Dimensions two locations begins in mid-February

  • Summer 2018 at the First-Plymouth site
  • School year 2018-19 at both locations. (First-Plymouth and 7700 A Street)

Call 402-476-8304 for more info about registration or to reserve your Eat & Explore tickets. 

First-Plymouth Family

Contact Rev. Hollie Schmidt, 
for full event descriptions visit

Super Bowl of Caring, Feb 3 & 4
Youth will be collecting donations after each service to support our monthly meal to Matt Talbot Kitchen.

MSYG: February
Wednesdays, 6:45-7:30pm. Special mission and service projects that spread the Love of Neighbor.

No WNL Activities, Feb 14

In February and March, the HSYG will be learning about many different faith traditions.

  • Feb 11:  Love of Neighbor/Share the Warmth mission project, 6:00-7:30pm.
  • HSYG Summer Mission Trip to Pine Ridge Reservation, June 23-30. Open to all current 8th-12th graders. Register online or email

FP Family Parent Game Night Feb 16, 6-8pm
Parents will get to have their own fun as the kids are busy with activities. RSVP with

Cinnamon Roll Fundraiser, Feb 18
$2 a roll. Support youth missions.

Save the Date: VBS 2018
June 11-14 with a special kick-off event June 10 and a Pool Party on June 16.

NEW! FP Midsingers
6th-8th  graders who are interested in singing are invited. Wednesdays, 4:45-5:15pm. 

FP Kids cooking for those in need.

FP Kids cooking for those in need.

The Many Ways Children & Youth Serve Our Community

The children and youth of First-Plymouth take seriously the church mission to Increase the Love of God and Neighbor.  Throughout the year we serve our community and beyond in many ways.
In January, we put a strong emphasis on mission as part of our FP Kids Studio on Wednesday evenings. Our K-5th graders are in classes that each focus on serving others. One class has made blankets, scarves, hats and earmuffs for the homeless. Another class cooked meals to provide nourishment the hungry, and the other two classes focused on kids helping kids and our animal friends.  

A fun way our 4th & 5th graders raise money for missions is our Pancake Breakfast.  Each year they raise approximately $1800 that goes to Kids Against Hunger to provide food for kids locally, in other communities and around the world. Using the funds raised, they spend an afternoon packaging the meals.  

Our middle and high school youth continue to serve each month at Matt Talbot by providing, cooking, and serving a warm meal. Plus, every month our youth groups have a service week where they find new ways to care for our community.

Scarves and Blankets made by FP Kids Studio

Scarves and Blankets made by FP Kids Studio

Beyond this our confirmation class spends an entire weekend immersed in serving Lincoln as we put in hours helping at as many organizations in town as possible by cleaning, picking up trash, cooking, and so much more.  Learning about the needs in our community is one thing, but our youth want to get involved in ministering to our community through visiting those in nursing homes, providing for our neighbors, going on mission trips to Pine Ridge, Guatemala and even our middle school youth do a weekend service trip every summer. 

In the coming months watch for a new way our Children, Youth & Family ministries will begin to serve those right around First-Plymouth by providing for basic family needs such as shampoos, soaps, feminine products, and other household items not easily afforded by many.  It is incredibly heartwarming to see the energy, excitement and passion that our kids and youth have for serving others.

When Jesus said ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.’ he did not mean that only adults could serve others.  We want our children and youth to know that they too can make a difference, that they too can serve others that they too can provide for those who are in need and that they too are serving Jesus. 


Sing Around Nebraska Children’s Choir Festival Concert
February 3, 3:00pm. FREE Concert. 150 children from the Lincoln area will gather to sing, led by guest conductor, Emily Ellsworth.
My Funny Valentine Fundraiser
February 9, 6:30 PM. Tom Trenney will
sing classic love songs from the piano. 
$60 Dinner & Concert | $20 Concert ONLY.
British Classical Vocal Ensemble

February 11, 4:00pm. $20 Adults | $15 Seniors | $10 Students.
Youth Masterworks Festival
February 20, 7:00pm. Free. Mozart’s Coronation Mass featuring Nebraska’s high school choirs and orchestras, and professional musicians. 
Considering Matthew Shepard  
February 25, 7:30 PM, Lied Center. 
Tickets at the Lied Center 402-472-4747, $28 Adults | $14 Students

Confronting Hate, Considering Compassion: A Community Forum
February 19, 5:30pm. Nebr. Union Auditorium (1400 R St.) Free. Panel discussion includes Tom Trenney, artistic director of Abendmusik; Patty Pansing-Brooks, Neb. State Senator; Reverend Karla Cooper, faith leader; Jason Marsden, former Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation; and John Bender, professor at the UNL College of Journalism and Communication. Meet Jason Marsdent at the 11:59am service on Feb. 18.


More of our mission to increase the love of God and neighbor. February 11-14
As we move into Lent, which begins Feb. 14, we prepare room in our hearts for more of God’s love. First-Plymouth’s new Development Council has organized a first-ever giving event, a four-day LOVEfest. 

On Feb. 11, 12, 13 and 14, coinciding with the beginning of Lent, a one-time special gift to First-Plymouth will help support all of the ways we, as a church, live our mission:

  • Lincoln Food Bank’s Backpack program 
  • Matt Talbot’s Kitchen and Outreach
  • Mission trips 
  • FP Kids programs
  • Special speakers for the entire community
  • Wednesday Night Live meals
  • Confirmation
  • Music Ministries

As a congregation, we, together, have secured $1.8 million in pledges, meeting our goal for pledged income toward the total 2018 budget of $2.3 million. That means we still have $500,000 yet to raise in order to cover the entire 2018 budget. While historical numbers tell us we can anticipate non-pledged income to cover the remaining $500,000, LOVEfest is a great way to help assure with greater certainty that the remaining budget gap will be covered through one-time gifts—thoughtful statements of support for the work of our beloved church. Such a gift can also be a way to honor a loved one. 

Our Development Council will provide further information this month. LOVEfest help stations will be available between services to make giving to our missions as easy as possible. 
For more information visit or call Kristin Buntemeyer in the church office.

Spiritual Check-up? 

Just as we have a medical check-up to see what’s going well, what’s changed, and what needs attention, a Spiritual Check-up conversation can help you take a long, loving look at your spiritual life and see what’s going well, what’s changed, what you are being invited to. Kathryn or Jeanne will listen and perhaps gently ask questions to help you look at how far God has brought you and what is restless in your soul now.  Then, without any preconceived ideas of what might be next, she will listen with you to hear what is being suggested as a possible next step. 
Contact Kathryn Campbell, Minister of Spiritual Direction,, or Jeanne Johnson, Spiritual Director,, to arrange for your annual Spiritual Check-up.  For more information visit