Living out our Faith
Living out our Faith
Pursuing God’s shalom in the world
Ministries led by our members:
The Christian Help Ministry searches out ways for Plymouth members to share our bounty with a broken world – giving both our money and our time in ways that transform both the lives of others and our own. Christian Help is responsible for the distribution of restricted funds from church endowments earmarked by donors for external benevolences, missions, and other related purposes. In 2013, Christian Help distributed $421,000 in grants — $250,000 of which was made to longer term, partner organizations. Christian Help also organized volunteer opportunities at local organizations fighting poverty and homelessness and with community groups responding to the devastation resulting from Superstorm Sandy. A popular “inhouse” service project of Christian Help is operating a men’s homeless shelter during the month of October, where over 50 members welcome, cook, share a meal with, and offer fellowship to 12 men, Sunday through Thursday.
The Stewardship Ministry encourages generous and committed financial giving from our membership rather than “enforcing” generosity. We understand that generosity is a very personal expression of gratitude to God, and we ask that each member prayerfully seek God’s guidance when making his or her financial commitment to Plymouth. Our annual stewardship campaign runs each spring and we also conduct a “Gifts for the King” campaign is conducted during Advent. In the 2012-13 church year, 185 family units either made a pledge or a contribution translating into a 90% participation rate, with gifts totaling $377,322.
The Underground Thrift Store was launched in 2011 with a three-fold mission: 1) to recycle goods and raise funds for the church; 2) to provide members with an opportunity to serve together in a small group setting; and 3) to reconnect the church to its historical roots by donating 25% of the store’s net profits to groups fighting modern day slavery. Located in the loft above the gym at 65 Hicks Street, the Underground Thrift Store is open to the public on Sundays from 12:30pm-4pm and to church members, staff and Plymouth Church school families on Friday mornings from 9am to noon. Approximately 20 volunteers gather to sort donations on Friday mornings and rotate working in the store on Sundays. Since its launch, the Underground Thrift Store has donated over $9,000 to two groups: the Somali-Mam Foundation and Free the Slaves.
The Anti-Trafficking Ministry is evolving in response to many members’ interest in reconnecting to Plymouth’s historic roots in the Abolitionist Movement, and bringing that powerful objective into the present day. The ministry has a tri-fold purpose: to educate, motivate and raise awareness of this terrible blight as it exists here in our backyard and abroad; to involve congregants in hands-on work in both short-term goal-oriented projects as well as long-term programs; and to raise and direct funds to non-profits who serve survivors. Recent projects have included a very successful letter-writing campaign (over 350 letters sent) to NY State legislators regarding New York’s Safe Harbor Law (which has since passed); a weekend of activities open to the public centered around this year’s National Anti-Trafficking Awareness Day that included a over-subscribed panel discussion co-sponsored by the Brooklyn Historical Society paired with a major musical fundraising event; and maintaining a presence at the monthly New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition meetings in order to network, keep current with human trafficking issues and search for volunteer opportunities for our members.
Ministries led by staff:
Plymouth Church School (PCS) is a fully accredited nursery school serving over 200 children from multiple religious, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds from ages 2 through kindergarten. Founded in 1993 as an outreach to the Brooklyn Heights community and as an opportunity to maximize the use of our church facility, PCS has become a highly successful and sought-after preschool, serving families coming from many neighborhoods in South Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan as well as the immediate area. Our carefully designed spaces—including nine classrooms, an art atelier, a library, and a music room plus our expansive gymnasium and outdoor playground—inspire discovery and learning. Children 3 and older attend a weekly community gathering called Chapel that includes music, stories, and discussion on such topics as cooperation and compassion. Religious and cultural holidays that are important to our school and affirm the diversity of God’s family are celebrated. The ministers of Plymouth Church, as well as other special guests, participate periodically in the Chapel service.