Grace and Peace to You

An updated message by Plymouth's Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Valerie Miller-Coleman in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Beloved Saints of Plymouth Church,

we’ve come a long way. It’s a little over a month since we made the urgent swing into broadcast-only worship. At that time we didn’t know what to expect next. All we knew was that our public health officials would guide us well. We’ve paid close attention to their guidance at each step of this unfamiliar road; that trust was well-placed. By shifting our collective life to broadcast and video-conference formats we’ve offered vital intervention in the spread of a deadly pandemic.

Along the way, we’ve become a leader in broadcast worship, attracting record numbers of participants in holy week services. We’ve mobilized dozens of volunteers to care for members identified as belonging to vulnerable populations - calling to check in with folks on a regular basis, sewing masks for public wear, connecting folks with grocery resources. Our prayer team, youth ministry, Wednesday bible study, Sunday school and spring women’s retreat are all moving ahead, using technology to close the gap between us. Plymouth Church, we’ve come a long way.

And we have a long way to go. I love you. I will tell you the truth: we have a long way yet to go.

The research tells us this wave of the COVID-19 pandemic will reach a peak in our state early this month. That’s when there will be the highest number of deaths per capita each day in Kansas.

May our vulnerable neighbors be safe. May our doctors, nurses, aides and cleaning crews be courageous and wise. May we stay safe at home until the worst has passed. And then, may we also be wise as we plan for what comes next.

I don’t know what our lives will be like a month from now or two months from now. I do trust our public health officials to guide us well. We will pay close attention to their directives for public gathering as the weeks progress. In the meantime, we do need to make some plans and I want you to know what they look like.

We will continue our new Wednesday night Vespers service and host all face to face programming by Zoom. A new small group pilot will launch in that format as well. But we will not gather for worship in person. After Pentecost, we will begin a five-week worship series, ‘Why Christian?’ The series will be broadcast-only.

Inspired by the Apostle Paul, Caroline and I will ‘argue the case’ for Christianity in today’s context. We’ll tackle what it means to be an Open and Affirming congregation and celebrate our inaugural Pride Sunday on June 14. You don’t want to miss this series; in fact, you may want to invite your friends and family to tune in. I believe there are people in our community who’ve given up on church because they have no idea a place like Plymouth exists. Here’s our chance to share the good news!

Regardless of how we gather, I am committed to sharing soul-stirring worship with excellence every week. Our worship team is talented, inspired, and dedicated to their work. These may be strange and unsettling times, but the spirit of Plymouth is strong. We are anchored in the firm foundation of God’s steadfast love and I can’t think of any place I’d rather be.

If you have questions, concerns or ideas for how we might live together more faithfully during this season, I am always interested to hear from you. Just drop me a line.

God be with you til we meet again, Valerie Miller-Coleman Senior Pastor, Plymouth Church


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