" …We are a congregation that experiences the Divine in relationship. By being together in intimate small groups, we experience healing, hope and transformation. We hear Spirit.
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Plymouth UCC Vision: Plymouth Church UCC is a Christian Community open to the transforming Spirit of God.
Plymouth UCC Purpose: Growing people of faith who participate in God's work in the world.
Lori Kaid – MODERATOR
Bing – VICE MODERATOR
Madeline Beery – SECRETARY
Courtney Hashimoto – TREASURER
Kyna Shilling, Katherine Guthrie, Mike Pierson, Elizabeth Gordon, Karen Clark, Debbie Baden
Faith Formation Board (formerly Adult Education/Children, Youth & Family Board): Curtis Martin, Beth Paul-Russell, Janet Gwilym, Becky Colwell, Mark Sandstrom, Indigo Brown, Jennifer Castle (staff liaison)
Community & Care Board: Co-Chairs Susan Berry and Susan MacRae, Al Bentley, Morgan Gwilym Tso, Margaret Kitchell, Michael Gordon, Betty Eberharter, J Wong, June Hayakawa-Fung (staff liaison)
Community Service & Social Action: Chair Joanie Stultz, Sally Andrews, Bill Zook, Anna Florey, Dorothy Mann, Maryann Counts, Rev. Dr. Kelle Brown (staff liaison)
Nominating Committee: Chair Kathryn Guthrie, Jade Turner, Mae Bell, John Daniels, David Allen
Finance Committee: Chair Courtney Hashimoto, Dan Landes, Doug James, Madeline Beery, Rev. Steve Davis (staff liaison)
Investment Committee: Chair Edie Lackland, John Daniels, Tad Anderson, Bing Tso, Margaret Kitchell, Jane Dunkel (Council Rep), Dorothy Mann (CSSA Reg) Gary Magnuson, Rev. Steve Davis (staff liaison)
Library Committee: Ingrid Holmlund, Len Anderson, Kathy Rood, Carrie Stultz, Susan Wahlborg, Don Bell, Suzanne Sanderson (Librarian) Jennifer Castle (staff liaison)
In 2016, Plymouth Church embarked upon collective conversations and discernment on three key topics:
Conversations took place at both Horizon House and Plymouth Church. Summaries of comments shared during these informative, thoughtful gatherings below…
Belief and Identity
Horizon House Responses
The word Christian is vitally important to our identitk Sandstrom, Bing Tso, Lori Kaidy.
It is strange that Christian is not stated in the UCC Identity statement; it matters!
Is being a Christian now any different now than in other times and places?
Yes, our body of knowledge is greater now than 300 years ago.
Using the term “Christian” comes with deep responsibility.
Christian is extremely important – the example of Christ is what we follow.
Is the lack of the word Christian in UCC statement intentional? To avoid confusion about what kind of Christian?
Followers of Christ, Golden Rule, example of being inclusive.
What about our Congregational identity?
Growing people of “faith” – Faith in what? Whom? Is faith the same as belief?
We struggle with faith.
Faith is more about hope – hope that God hasn’t neglected us.
Faith is belief in love.
Faith is trust that the journey is worthwhile.
Faith includes passion and being called.
Belief sounds more intellectual than faith. Belief is based more on evidence.
Belief = Beloving? per Marcus Borg. Belief is relational.
Christ vs. Jesus?
Better to say “Jesus as the anointed one” or “Jesus as the Christ.” There is no “Christ” without Jesus.
Triune God, resurrected Christ, Lord and Savior – those words don’t resonate. Prefer “transformed Jesus.” Other language reflects ancient times before scientific discovery.
Are we created to belong to a community of faith?
Does scripture still speak today?
Language is ancient, times are different; we need new language. New language may not be “Christian” language. What about non-Christian scripture? What is scripture? Interpretations and translations, etc. Scripture can only speak when you are engaged with it.
Church – what is it?
Church is not confined to location. It is the people. It does exist even when not gathered. Support one another.
If Jesus points to a universal “way” is there anything unique about Christianity?
Are other faiths also working and reworking their identities?
In the name United Church of Christ, Christian is implicit.
Progressive identity of Plymouth is important.
“Christian” is very important, not negotiable.
If Christian were not in neon lights I wouldn’t be here.
Need to add “progressive” and reclaim Christian as progressive.
Reclaim the justice of Christ. Critical and vital.
Church is a hospital to the wounded rather than a courtroom.
Jesus is historical, human, rabbi, teacher, carpenter, healer.
Christ is divine, resurrected, the anointed one, the transformative part of Jesus.
Need room for both. We try to nurture “Christ-like” qualities.
Is the term “Christ” exclusivist? It carries a bigger burden of responsibility.
Resonate more with life of Jesus than “resurrected.”
Progressive Christianity is less exclusive than other forms.
What is important about Christianity?
Jesus is a doorway to what is universal, and makes God attainable. Jesus is the “way” to a universal truth. The incarnation.
Emphasis on love! Emphasis on re-birth.
I don’t need to have Christianity be unique!
Less emphasis on Creed and more on Covenant language.
Less on belief and more on practice.
We have our traditions and scriptures, and not a monopoly on God.
Rather than focusing on “transcending,” Jesus is in the world and in life.
Focused on love, acceptance, community and radical compassion.
We want to be serving and engaged in this way of life.
A way of life that leads to life.
In May, 2013, Plymouth Church Council hosted our annual All-Church Retreat. The outcome of the retreat saw an overwhelming reaffirmation and commitment to our downtown location. We celebrate the fact that we are a city church; it is an asset and a gift. We serve our neighborhood!
-We want Plymouth to be the church of choice for families with children in downtown.
-We want Plymouth to be a catalyst for outreach and service by young adults and for young adults.
-We want Plymouth to be a spiritual center and sanctuary in the midst of the city through its vital worship, music and the arts.
Also, in 2013-14, Plymouth will embark on the installation of our new Fisk organ. Sanctuary improvements will be made during that process to enhance the worship experience. Find out more every Sunday this summer between the 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services. The Sanctuary Improvement Project Committee will be available to answer questions. Or email us: sanctuary @plymouthchurchseattle.org.
Plymouth Congregational Church, Seattle, has called the Rev. Brandon Duran as its Associate Pastor for Youth and Young Adults. He has served Plymouth for the prior two years as Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. In his new role, he will develop new forms of outreach and ministry with young adults, oversee existing Plymouth faith formation programs for high school youth, and assist in leading Sunday worship.
This decision is a significant step in alignment with congregational priorities identified in May 2012, which included an emphasis on programs for youth and young adults.
On Oct. 13 and 14th, members of the congregation met to explore how to live into our congregational priorities. The timing of these events, and a related gathering planned for the weekend of Nov. 10, were triggered by the offer of a significant financial gift to provide a new Fisk organ for the Sanctuary. The Plymouth Council convened the gatherings to understand the congregation's hopes and visions related to our priorities.
At the meetings, participants heard two presentations. One was about the state of Plymouth's organ and the proposed Fisk organ. The other, prepared by the Worship, Art and Music board, was about lessons learned from this summer's experiments with new forms of worship.
Participants then picked one of three congregational priorities as their focus, and spent time in teams developing visions for how they would like to see Plymouth live out that priority. The work of the vision teams was shared out with the large group before adjourning.
If you were not able to be part of the conversations this weekend, you are welcome to create a vision worksheet and submit it to the church office by Friday, Oct. 19.
Notes from all the vision teams will be compiled and posted on the Priorities page as they are available. Details of the next events in this process will be announced. Please watch for an announcement in The Herald in the coming weeks.
The Gift and The Organ (Clicking this link will download a Powerpoint File. Click on the downloaded file to make the Slideshow play)
Enormous thanks to Eppie Williamson who transcribed all the notes from the two conversations.
Sticky Notes - Includes Titles of Visions and Common Ground Areas.
Vision Worksheets -- Includes all Vision Worksheets completed and turned in, including YF worksheets which are the last four in the document.
The Plymouth community gathered on Saturday Nov. 10 and Sunday Nov. 11 to take the next step in our discussion of congregational priorities. The conversations were triggered by the offer of a new organ for the sanctuary and focused on questions of changes to the building that will better enable Plymouth to live into its priorities. Read Entire Article Here.
PDF of Exhibits from Presentation Includes a summary of the themes that emerged from the October conversations and concept drawings for changes to the Sanctuary, the church entrance, Hildebrand, the Chapel and the lobby. This is a large file, please allow sufficient time for it to open.