July 29, 2015
Congregational Council, at the recommendation of Senior Minister Brigitta Remole, contacted the Center for Progressive Renewal (CPR) to help Plymouth re-focus our journey and priorities by building on our recent congregational conversations. CPR’s focus is to renew Christianity through training, supporting the birth of new congregations and to renew and strengthen existing churches. Dr. Bill McKinney, Dean Emeritus of the Pacific School of Religion at Berkeley (one of CPR’s many collaborative resources), visited Plymouth in June. He spoke to over 60 members; he listened to their dreams, concerns, hopes and suggestions for Plymouth. Resulting from the visit, Dr. McKinney wrote a 26-page report that Council received. Council conducted a Skype session with Dr. McKinney, Tuesday, July 28, when he shared a verbal report. We plan to share this report with Plymouth members within the next month.
I scheduled three opportunities for the full congregation to hear the report: after the 10:30 am service Sunday,
August 16 and 23, in Hildebrand and 9:30 am, Sunday, September 6, in the Lounge.
Following the report, we move into a new phase: action! Rev. Cameron Trimble, Executive Director of CPR, will coach Brigitta and Council on action plans to make changes. She will also preach Sunday, October 4, as we celebrate Plymouth’s 145th Anniversary. Save the entire weekend; Rev. Trimble will lead a workshop Saturday, October 3 and will speak at Plymouth Forum Sunday, October 4. All of this introspection and conversation celebrates our past and prepares us for our future.
What can you do? I’m glad you asked! Attend meetings and read the report. Be open to change. Be willing to listen and continue to love and support each other. And most of all, please be patient. To move this large, loving church takes time. I assure you; prompt action and thorough follow-through will take place as plans are implemented. My commitment to you is to be available for conversation. I will withhold judgment about your concerns and try not to be defensive. I am passionate about this church that I love with all my heart. At times, I can push back, perhaps a bit hard. Your thoughts and concerns are important to me, and I respect your viewpoint.
Talk with me and/or other Council members Sunday at “Council Corner” during hospitality hour. Drop by and let us know what you think. Thank you for all the support and love you give me and our church; many blessings to you. –Jon Palmason, Moderator