Mission work at Plymouth is a top priority and one we take seriously.
From active partnering with local service groups to our justice-seeking Working Groups, we strive to live out our faith in community with others. Often compromising the effectiveness of this work can be the policies and proposed legislation at the local and state levels. Community partners have realized considerable change at the local level, but we have not had a concentrated effort at the state level. Since 2020 the Plymouth Mission and Service Board has been examining this gap and considering possible solutions. This past March, the Kansas Legislature proposed - and came very close to passing - bills discriminating against our transgender children. The need for effective, immediate responses to issues that do not align with our mission and faith was pushed to the forefront. Our Open and Affirming working group wrote a beautiful statement telling our children that God and the people of Plymouth accept them as they are and for who they are, but we had no mechanism in our Church governance to share the statement publicly. Thus the creation of the Advocacy Process Discernment Team (APDT). We seek to define a procedure and rubric that will allow Plymouth to identify and take action on a position for or against an issue. We both welcome and seek your input. In the next few months, we will schedule listening sessions between the services and in Zoom meetings. Some of our questions for the congregation include the following:
Should Plymouth take positions on issues happening in our community, state, country, and world?
What process should be followed in determining positions?
Who will be responsible for discerning if requested actions are in line with Plymouth positions?
On Sunday, August 8, Devon Kim provided the Mission Moment during both services to introduce the APDT, the goals being defined, and the questions being asked. The APDT also lead a Fellowship Forum between services in the Chapel to gather immediate feedback from the Mission Moment sharing. On Wednesday, August 11, the APDT held its first Zoom listening session. Look for information on more zoom meetings to come.
Sunday, August 15
The Kansas Interfaith Action (KIFA), a multi-faith legislative advocacy organization, will present the Moment for Mission on Sunday, August 15. During that time, Rabbi Moti Reiber will share information about how KIFA “puts faith into action” by educating, engaging, and advocating on behalf of people of faith and the public regarding critical social, economic, and climate justice issues. We hope you will join us!