July 1, 2020
At the annual meeting in January, I shared “Oppression is persistent in blatant and pernicious ways.” I asked, “At Plymouth, how can we commit ourselves and actively work towards creating or recreating, diligently feeding and maintaining, a Multicultural Celebratory and Sustaining Culture as opposed to a white supremacy culture or a heteronormative culture or any other oppressive culture.” I stated, “As a community, I think we are being asked to increase our capacity [for justice] as well as increasing our capacity to follow, to be political, to vision from a place of abundance, and on and on.” Little did I know that we all would soon be confronting a world-wide pandemic and a national reckoning prompted by the killings of George Floyd and so many other Black siblings!
While maintaining social distancing, since January Plymouth’s leadership has carried on through Zoom meetings, emails and phone calls. The Council has met three times via Zoom. Here is a recap of some of what we’ve been working on.
Equitable Leadership and Recognizing Institutional Racism
The Council is in the midst of a probing discussion of how racism permeates all parts of American society, including Plymouth Church. For our own leadership development we have moved from a once a year leadership retreat to on-going professional development on white supremacy culture and equitable leadership working with Fleur Larsen Facilitation.
With God’s help, we hope to emerge from these discussions and this work better able to recognize and mitigate oppressive structural practices and ways of being, better equipped to achieve the community of faith to which we are called.
Support of the Pacific NW Conference
A special all-church meeting was held via Zoom on June 21. The congregation approved the Council’s action in authorizing the transfer of $300,000 to the Pacific NW Conference for the support of churches struggling with the effects of the pandemic. We are grateful for the widespread support that was expressed for this action.
Rev. Dr. Kelle Brown and Rev. Steven Davis
Through a five-person sub-committee led by the Moderators, the Council has been involved in redefining and improving the “collaborative ministry” model that Plymouth adopted four years ago. This work is still in progress. The Council formed an HR committee to support this work and the work of right-sizing and supporting the staff.
I will write again next week with more of what we’ve been working on.
Yours in Christ, Sue Maul, Moderator
Plymouth Church UCC Worship is experienced on a Zoom Webinar platform, on our Plymouth YouTube Channel and Facebook pages each Sunday as we return to our program year format. Please join us for Worship, then for Coffee Hour ONLINE following on the separate Zoom meeting link.
We look to God for the breaking of oppression and healing in the land. Let us stand together with one voice as we watch, fight, and pray with life prioritized.
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