The View from Here

Rev. Dr. Valerie Miller-Coleman's monthly column.

This time of year always feels to me a bit like we’re creeping up the first hill of a rollercoaster. Click, click, click, up and up, and then slowly cresting that highest point. You can see for a long way from up here, and oh, my goodness, what a ride it will be.


The church staff and lay leaders have spent the summer evaluating the impact of our ministries and setting goals for the year ahead. We’ve dug into the corners of our mission spending plan and thought about whether another three hundred dollars here might make a significant impact or, if possible, combine functions and streamline expenses in another area. We’ve drawn charts on the whiteboard and laid out the choreography for church events, classes, worship, and more through June 2023.


The view from here is pretty stunning. It’s humbling and a little awe-inducing to see how abundantly we’ve been blessed with dreams and visions for the months ahead. As Jacob said upon waking from his night of dreams and visions, “Surely, God is in this place.”


It’s true. I see God’s fingerprints all over Plymouth Church these days. We sent Liz Smith, our Coordinator of Care and Welcome, out into her next chapter of life with blessings and celebration. We welcomed the Rev. Heather Coates into the role of Pastor of Care and Welcome. Our Director of Faith Formation, Kara Holcombe, shepherded our Youth Service Corps team through a clean-up day at Tall Oaks Conference Center in Linwood – holy ground where our confirmation students will retreat for spiritual formation and discernment.


A brilliant new Sunday School curriculum is being prepared for our classrooms this fall, as are outstanding Plymouth Academy offerings. Dinner Theater is back this fall for a night of music, good food, and fun. Our Stephen Ministers are operating at full capacity and preparing to train a new class. We commissioned Sarah Witten to serve among them as a highly trained Stephen Leader.


Moderator-elect Scott Morgan is putting the Bylaws Task Force through our paces as we review the history and functions of good governance in this congregation. Moderator Devon Kim continues to ably guide the Facilities Master Plan to its final stage – a vision of a church building ready for all that God is preparing to do among us.


See what I mean? We’re in a season of preparation for growth. You can feel the energy and focus building as the last details come together for the launch of fall programs. This month’s Rock Magazine is coming to you at home, so you’ll have it in hand as you set your calendar for the months ahead. I can’t wait to see what God will do with us next. It’s going to be so beautiful. I promise you don’t want to miss this.


See you in church!