Weekly Bulletin
Sunday, January 9, 2022
Joys and Concerns

Sundays at 1:00 pm

Our weekly joys and concerns check-in continues Sunday. Please join this Zoom call at 1:00 pm for a time to name something we are grateful for, a concern we have, and to be in prayer together.

Those unable to join by video can call 1-253-215-8782, then enter the code 944-1809-2407#, then # when asked for the password.

Order of Worship


Call to Worship: Isaiah 43:1-2

Hymn No. 407 “How Firm a Foundation” |FOUNDATION

Welcome & Announcements
Invocation & Lord's Prayer

Passing the Peace

Response Song “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me”

Peace Prayer

Welcoming of New Members

Pastoral Prayer


Scripture: Acts 8:1-17

Sermon: “Joining for the Right Reasons”

Hymn: No. 82 “Go, My Children, with My Blessing” | AR HYD Y NOS


New Member Bios
Ean Degitz (he/him)
Hi, I grew up in Adams County as a member of the Decatur Zion United Church of Christ. I am currently finishing my degree in Construction Engineering at PFW. One of my hobbies is detailing vehicles, and I also enjoy spending time with family and friends. I am eager to begin my membership with Plymouth Congregational Church to expand my faith community.

Alexis Hathaway (she/her)
Hello, I am from Ossian, growing up in a rural municipality has inspired me to continue working for the public with Allen County. In Ossian, I grew up in the United Methodist Church, but I have found the faith I needed in Plymouth Congregational Church. I’m looking forward to maintaining an active membership with Plymouth, as Ean and I will be beginning our marriage here this spring. We are thankful for the opportunity to grow in our faith journeys and futures with the congregation.

Sara Ofner-Seals (she/her)
Sara is originally from Davenport, Iowa, but has spent most of her adult life before now on the east coast. Before arriving at Plymouth, she served two churches in Connecticut, in Norwich and New London. Before becoming a pastor, Sara received a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Millikin University and a Master of Music degree in early music performance from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA. After completing her studies in music, Sara went on to receive her Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School in 2010 and was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2012. Sara enjoys reading, singing, yoga, cooking, hiking, camping, and hanging out with her husband Barrett and their two rescue dogs, Maya and Amos.

Lindsay Davenport Solon (she/her)
Lindsay began attending Plymouth in 2018 with her husband, Greg. Lindsay found a Church home in Plymouth’s warm and welcoming community and felt her values were reflected in Plymouth’s core covenants. Lindsay and Greg are the proud parents of August (“Gus”) 2 ½ years old and will welcome a daughter to their family in February 2022. Lindsay is an attorney and partner at Fletcher Van Gilder, a local law firm, focusing her practice on Social Security disability advocacy and family law. Lindsay looks forward to becoming more invested in Plymouth Church and finding ways to serve our community as a new member.

Wayne Peterson-Stephan (he/him)
I was born and raised in Huntington, Indiana. I have a husband (Jordan), a 9-year-old daughter (Londyn) and a 14-year-old son (Matthew). I am the Director of Addiction Recovery Services with the Bowen Center, but previously I was also a youth/children's director at a United Methodist Church. I have my Master of Divinity degree and have felt called to ordained ministry for many years, but it has been hard finding a path to get there, but I am now pursuing ordination within the United Church of Christ. As far as hobbies are concerned, I love music and singing (I was a Show Choir kid). I also enjoy board games, Dungeons & Dragons, video games, watching movies, and nature walks. I also love all things fantasy-- especially Lord of the Rings. I am excited to be a part of this church family and to get more involved in the life of the church. Within the context of church my passions tend to be around discipleship/education, worship, youth, LGBTQIA belonging, and mental health/wellness.

Beck Spitler (he/him)
Beck’s hobbies include animal care, art, reading and music, to name a few. He has volunteered at animal shelters, food pantries, music events, helping neighbors, soup kitchens and helping the homeless as he meets them. He also enjoys helping with kids, cleaning, music, and activism.

Konrad Spitzer (he/him)
History is one of Konrad's favorite subjects. He loves ​to learn and discuss it with anyone who will listen. He is ​an avid gamer, especially for historically based strategy games. Konrad is still discerning what he would like to do as he gets older, but teaching history is definitely on his list. He is also interested in working with his hands and is considering CNC machining or metal working.

Leslie Spitler (she/her)
I was a life-long Lutheran and was consecrated as a deaconess in 1993. I have served in social service capacities since then. I have decided to join Plymouth Congregational because my entire family is welcomed here. I enjoy reading, hiking, writing, and simply being. I have much to offer in service among siblings in Christ. I would appreciate time to heal before jumping in. I would enjoy starting out in a quiet(ish) way, although I don't know what that could look like yet. I want to help others be as welcomed as my family has been.

Ryan Throop-Voors
Ryan grew up in the central Michigan area within a conservative church. While it has been a process of unlearning certain religious baggage, he is overall thankful for the moral compass and faith foundation laid before him. After graduating from Central Michigan University, he moved away from home to begin his career as a teacher. He has taught both elementary and middle school (he’s crazy enough to prefer working with middle school scholars) in both rural and urban districts. Throughout the past several years as an educator, he has been recognized as a building and district Teacher of the Year over multiple years. Most recently he was honored by Indiana University in 2019 as an Armstrong Educator and had the honor of working with pre-service teachers at the college level. He now serves as an instructional coach at a middle school in Fort Wayne. It was in Toledo, Ohio where he first met Jess. Shortly after dating, he was easily convinced to participate in Plymouth’s Boar’s Head Festival over holiday break that year, where he realized a faith journey didn’t have to be rooted in unhealthy religious ideologies. In 2016, Ryan and Jess were married in Fort Wayne and became the “Throop-Voors,” or “The TVs” as many affectionately called them. About four years ago, they moved to Fort Wayne (Jess returning to the area after being away). In 2020 (one week before the world shut down) Caspian was born and life has since become a fast-paced adventure. In his spare time, Ryan loves books, running, food (cooking and eating), gardening, and visiting new places. Most Saturdays you’ll find him, and Caspian, at the Farmer’s Markets.
This Week
January 9
Tina Logan
Ella Moore

January 11
Kyle Miller

January 13
Mark Glassley

January 15
Carol Shedd

Next Week's Birthdays

January 16
January Simpson

January 20
Dan Kaufman

January 21
Karen Jenkins
Peg Schilb
Max Watson
Sunday, January 9
8:30 am Fellowship Hour
9:00 am Education Hour (online)
9:00 am Worship Rehearsal
10:00 am Worship Service
11:00 am Safe Church Policy Forum
1:00 pm Joys and Concerns (online)

Monday, January 10
Office Closed

Tuesday, January 11
1:00 pm Staff Meeting
5:30 pm Benevolence Committee Meeting
5:30 pm Centering Prayer Group

Wednesday, January 12
3:00 pm Study Connection
5:15 pm Wednesday Night Live

Thursday, January 13
12:30 pm to 4:30 pm Open Prayer in the Sanctuary
1:00 pm Study Group (online)

Saturday, January 15
9:00 am Deacons' Board Retreat

Sunday, January 16
8:30 am Fellowship Hour
9:00 am Education Hour
9:00 am Worship Rehearsal
10:00 am Worship Service
11:30 am Board Member Training
1:00 pm Joys and Concerns (online)
4:00 pm Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Service
Sunday, January 9: Safe Church Policy Forum
Following the Executive Council’s decision to recommend certain language being removed from the draft Safe Church Policy, and in preparation for the congregational meeting on January 23 to vote on the proposed policy, there will be an after-church forum on Sunday, January 9 in the Folsom Room. Attendees will discuss the revised policy (linked below), particularly regarding to the lines removed that had previously constituted an unconditional prohibition of certain categories of people. Attendees will also be able to ask any additional questions they would like discussed in detail ahead of the congregational meeting. This forum should last approximately 1 hour.
Sunday, January 9: Rev. Dr. Michael Spath Chapel Class
Rev. Dr. Michael Spath returns this month to lead teaching of the Chinese Religions (Taoism and Confucianism) at 9:00 am on the following Sunday mornings:

  • January 9: The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao” (Tao te Ching 1)
  • This class will meet over Zoom.* You can watch the Zoom presentation from home at the link below, or join us in the chapel at 9:00 am to watch together. The Zoom password is 195519.
  • January 16: No class this Sunday
  • January 23: Taoism, "the Way of Water"
  • January 30: Confucius and the Confucian Virtues

*Only the January 9 class will meet on Zoom. We will resume in-person classes on January 23. No class on January 16.
 Wednesday, January 12: The Practice of Lectio Divina
Starting on Wednesday, January 12, Rev. Sara will be leading a Lectio Divina practice in the chapel at 6:45 pm, as part of Wednesday Night Live activities. Lectio Divina is Latin for “sacred reading” and is an ancient practice of reading scripture in a meditative, contemplative way. Each session will feature a time of fellowship, a short moment of instruction, and approximately 20 minutes of lectio. We will use sources from scripture as well as other spiritual texts. All are welcome regardless of your level of experience.
Upcoming Events
Tuesday, January 18: Women's Book Study
The next meeting of Plymouth’s Women's Book Study will be on Tuesday, January 18 from 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm in the Amistad Room. Any reader who self-identifies as a woman is welcome, whether you've attended before or not. We shall be reading This Is How It Always Is, by Laurie Frankel.

"This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl...." One family learns and grows with a child who wants to change in a way many people don't understand.

For further information, contact Judith Beineke at [email protected].
Thursday, January 20: ICMEP Program
Terry Dougherty, the ICMEP board chair, is one of the foremost experts on Afghanistan in our region. An Afghanistan Peace Corps Volunteer, and long-time board member of a residential girls’ school in Kabul (SOLA-School of Leadership Afghanistan), Terry facilitated scores of Afghan exchange students, and recently visited Camp Atterbury.

Terry will discuss all things Afghanistan – US foreign policy, past and present; the resurgence of the Taliban and the present political situation; and girls’ education, especially his involvement (from the beginning) with the School of Leadership Afghanistan, and its dynamic leader, Shabana Basij-Rasikh. The program will also be live-streamed on the ICMEP Facebook page. Join us at 6:30 pm at Plymouth Church on Thursday, January 20. This event is free and open to the public. Masks are required.
Sunday, January 23: Annual Business Meeting
Plymouth’s Annual Business Meeting will be taking place after worship on January 23. Action items will include approval of past congregational meeting minutes, the 2022 budget, and the revised Safe Church Policy. Look for more details in next week’s bulletin!
General Announcements
Artists Needed
During Lent, our Sunday school will explore how all the pieces of Jesus’ story fit together. We are looking for 13 artists to each illustrate one story from Jesus’ life. The kids in class will get first dibs, then we are hoping to find several teen and adult artists to fill in the rest of the spaces. If you would like a story to illustrate, please contact Katie Watson.
Quarantine Kits for Kids
Between COVID-19 and all the other germs going around, it seems like most of our families will get stuck at home at some point this winter. If your family is quarantined and missing your Plymouth friends, we’ve got a Quarantine Kit full of goodies for your child! Contact Katie Watson to arrange a Quarantine Kit drop-off.
Volunteers Needed for Receptionist Desk
Plymouth is in need of volunteers to cover the receptionist desk during staff meetings on Tuesdays from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. We have a particular need for December 28 and the months of January and February. Anyone interested in volunteering should either see Jake in the office, or email him at [email protected]. Thank you.
COVID-19 Vaccination Update
Children ages 5-11 are now eligible to be vaccinated with the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine.
Additionally, booster shots are available for all individuals age 18+ after 6 months or more from their initial series.
You can click the button below to schedule an appointment. If you have difficulty registering online, you can dial 211 from any phone for assistance.
Open Prayer in Sanctuary on Thursdays
For a time of personal prayer, visit the sanctuary on Thursdays from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Please enter through the Berry Street office entrance and check in with our receptionist. Contact Jake Slone at (260) 423-9424 or [email protected] with any questions.
Plymouth Church Linktree
The following links can be found on our Linktree:

  • Grants and Scholarship Opportunities Information
  • 2022 Stewardship Campaign Page
  • Chancel Flower Sign Up Form
  • Study Connection Volunteer Sign Up
  • Plymouth Google Calendar
  • Plymouth's Social Medias
Plymouth Office Hours
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Friday: By appointment only 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Questions? Contact the office at 260-423-9424 or [email protected]