In a way it feels strange to us to make “service” a separate category, because at Plymouth we feel that the gospel of Jesus Christ calls us to an integrated life of faith not just as a matter of what we believe and how it guides our personal lives, but also a public faith of love of neighbor near and far. We feel it is vital for a congregation to be an active and integral part of its community.
Many of our members live within a one-mile radius of the church, although we also have members from as far away as Waunakee, McFarland, and Madison’s west side. We live out our commitment to community in many ways:
- We open our building for use by a number of community groups, including Girl Scouts, 12-step programs, and even music recitals.
- Housed at Plymouth is one of the area’s Personal Essentials Pantries (PEP) and their director’s office. This nonprofit organization provides household necessities (e.g., laundry soap, diapers, and other household and personal care products) that people in need are not able to get with other forms of assistance such as SNAP.
- For a few years now we have grown hundreds of pounds of produce in the community garden beds in our backyard, all of which have been donated to the food pantry at the Goodman Center.
- Helping “missions”: throughout the year Plymouth and its members engage in a number of helping missions in our community associated with Madison Urban Ministry, the Jail Ministry, collections of clothes and household goods for Open Doors for Refugees and for two Native American communities out west, the Goodman Center, and many others.
- Advocacy: voicing concerns for those whose voices are often ignored is an important mission at Plymouth. In spring 2017 we plan to host a community forum/workshop to help any who are interested to learn what are the most effective ways to advocate for social justice in our state and country.
- Special events open to all, including Gallery Night (first Friday of May and October), Make Music Madison (first day of summer), Blessing of the Pets (summer or fall). January 2017 we were blessed to offer for free to our community the 30th Anniversary Old Befana Concert given by Ken Lonnquist and Friends.
It is a rare day indeed when something is not happening at Plymouth; most days of the year, someone is making use of this wonderful space on Atwood Avenue to bring people together and expand the sense of community in our world.