Eighty & Energetic


Eighty and Energetic is a new small group for 80+ year olds who self-define as healthy. We meet in the Greenwood room the third Wednesday of every month from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. As interest arises, other groups meet. Watch for these events. A history discussion on Russia is coming up on December 1.

Join us on Wednesday, November 16, Plymouth staff members Connie Brioch and Pam Kenyon will show us all the neat things we can do with Church Center. Don’t know how to use it? Bring your mobile phone or your laptop. Connie and Pam will show us how. While some are getting individual help the rest will be enjoying hanging out and nibbling on munchies.


AMOS: Grounded Solutions Training


Grounded Solutions Training

Community Land Trusts are a proven model for communities to control land and development.

Community land trusts (CLTs) are nonprofit organizations governed by a board of CLT residents, community residents and public representatives that provide lasting community assets and shared equity homeownership opportunities for families and communities. CLTs develop rural and urban agriculture projects, commercial spaces to serve local communities, affordable rental and cooperative housing projects, and conserve land or urban green spaces. However, the heart of their work is the creation of homes that remain permanently affordable, providing successful homeownership opportunities for generations of lower income families. There are over 225 community land trusts in the United States.

Presented by AMOS and Grounded Solutions Network, a national organization, and sponsored by the City of Des Moines

WHAT: In-depth sessions on community land trusts by Jason Webb

WHEN: Wednesday, November 16 and Thursday, November 17, 2022

WHERE: Grace United Methodist Church- 3700 Cottage Grove Des Moines 50311

DEADLINE: Registration closes Monday, November 14, 2022

WHY: Vulnerable people in changing neighborhoods are too often pushed out by the rising costs of living. This is particularly true for communities of color. Grounded Solutions Network promotes housing solutions that will stay affordable for generations to combat systemic inequity.

All sessions will include a thorough explanation of:

  • how Community Land Trusts work
  • are financed
  • build community
  • have the same quality as other neighborhood properties
  • build wealth among lower income groups
  • stay affordable forever


Each is appropriate for all audiences and questions from any sector are welcome at each session.

Training Session Options

  • Wednesday, November 16: Offered 4 times: Early morning session open only to public officials and city managers. At all sessions, specific audience concerns and questions will be addressed.
  • Thursday, November 17: This session covers the basics and digs much deeper into the history, structure, and governance of CLTs. At all sessions, specific audience concerns and questions will be addressed.
  • Thursday, November 17 p.m.: Evening session open only to individuals from AMOS’ 40 member organizations. How CLTs change housing affordability.


Event Contact: Cheryl Long, First Unitarian Des Moines

AMOS members attending the Thursday night session would be great.

IF people can’t make that session any of the others would work. The sessions on Wednesday will pretty much repeat each other except for questions from the audience. Thursday is the long day with people that are really, really interested in all the details.

Also please share with others interested in permanent affordable housing.


LEGO Series


Ages 4 to 99+. That’s the age range displayed on most LEGO sets. If you are not a kid or teenager, when was the last time you experienced the simple joy of snapping two bricks together? Maybe you had the chance to build a car for the “LEGO Series: Racing the Road to Emmaus” event on October 22 or watched me test and crash cars on the twenty-foot LEGO track on Oct 16.

More exciting LEGO events are on the way! Look forward to:

LEGO Noah’s Ark:
What floats (or sinks) your boat? Let’s find out! Join Pastor Peter on Saturday, November 19 at 10 a.m. in Waveland Hall for the LEGO Series: Build Your Own Ark. All ages are welcome. We will be building LEGO boats and seeing if they can float. Prizes will be given out for the boat that holds the most pennies without sinking. See you there!

LEGO Christmas Village:
We will need all hands on deck to create a LEGO Christmas Village. This event will be held in early December. Final date and time is to be determined. Look forward to more details coming soon!

Do you have LEGO or DUPLO that are gathering dust in an attic or garage?
Pastor Peter is collecting LEGO and DUPLO to use for themed events. Our recent LEGO events have been a big hit, and we have more in store for the program year. If you have any bricks that you would like to donate, you can contact Pastor Peter at or 515.690.5015. During the week LEGO and DUPLO can be dropped off at the Volunteer Office.


Pie Weekend


Who doesn’t love a good party? At Plymouth Church, that means celebrating with PIE! We’re not talking pie charts here, though it’s true that the Board of Christian Stewardship has been known to toss a few around each annual stewardship campaign. No, we’re talking about eating, not calculating, pie this time. This is an exciting time for Plymouth’s future and there is no better way to celebrate this season of giving than with PIE! Apple, blueberry, peach, cherry, pumpkin. Even Martha Stewart would be impressed by the assortment of delicious slices that will be served on the tables in Waveland Hall before and after service on Saturday, November 19 and from 9:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 20.

There’s still time to be part of Plymouth’s wave of giving by filling out an estimate of giving form here. You can also flex your Julia Child muscles (or good taste at your local bakery) by signing up to bring a pie to share as we celebrate the abundance of Plymouth Church and the conclusion of the 2022 Stewardship Campaign here. Three cheers for pie!

(to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”)

Chocolate, custard, pecan, and lime,
strawberry, cherry, all are fine.
Pumpkin, apple, coconut, peach,
rhubarb, cheesecake, or one of each.
After service, join us there
Waveland Hall’s the place to share!

Abundant love, abundant life
wrapped in a crust and sure to delight.
Buy one, bake one, we don’t care,
always plenty just to share.
Carbs galore, and lots of choice
Please come join us, see you there!


Thanksgiving Special Offering 2022


This year Plymouth’s Thanksgiving Special Offering will be the weekend prior to Thanksgiving (November 19 and 20). These “special” offering collection funds will be gifted to the following initiatives:

  • Family Promise of Greater Des Moines:
    Family Promise provides temporary housing and daily needs, as well as counseling services, to help obtain jobs, keep children in school, and find new housing. Last year Family Promise served 22 families, where 51% of the children were under 5 years. Family Promise will also receive matching funds from the Marlon Laverman Memorial Fund, whose priority is “at-risk” children.
  • Shelter Meals:
    Meals are provided by Plymouth Church on the 26 and 27 of each month at Central Iowa Shelter & Services. These funds help to pay CISS staff to purchase and prepare the meal, freeing Plymouth members to simply help serve the meals. All are encouraged to sign-up to help serve a meal.
  • Plymouth’s Good Samaritan Fund:
    This fund provides for urgent, usually emergency funds for community members, covering costs such as rent assistance, utility bills, medical and medicine, and bus/travel expense.


Be sure to mark your donation as designated for the Thanksgiving Special Offering gifts. This includes all envelopes, checks and on-line donations. Your online gifts may be made at and please notate for Thanksgiving Offering. Checks may be mailed to the address below. Please include a memo for Thanksgiving Offering.

Plymouth Church ATTN: Nancy Bassett
4126 Ingersoll Ave. Des Moines, IA 50312

Thank you for your generosity in helping homeless Des Moines families.
− Plymouth Board of Benevolences


Margaret Eaton Memorial Funds


Jay and Kathy Eaton provide this information regarding the artwork recently acquired for Plymouth Church.

After moving from Waukon, Iowa to Deerfield Retirement Community, Margaret Eaton became a member of Plymouth Church until her death.

Margaret supported many young children throughout her life, including teaching Sunday school, teaching reading in public school, mentoring children, and contributing time and financing to organizations that support young women and families in need.

The sculpture Epiphany, gifted through memorial funds from Margaret’s family and friends, honors Margaret and all who nurture the precious wonder and love in our children. Epiphany is installed on the brick wall in the south hallway on the second floor of the church.

Gary “Chris” Christopherson is a sculptor of abstract art, focused on “Thrive! Achieving health and well-being for people, communities and the world.” All proceeds from his art sales are donated for college scholarships. The plaque on the wall beside the sculpture would read: Honoring Margaret Holmes Eaton and all who nurture the precious wonder and love in our children.


Healthy Converstions


We agree to differ, we resolve to love, we unite to serve. It is a beautiful sentiment, but what does it look like to really live our motto in the world? Human beings are designed for connection and community, but when those connections are damaged a distance is created that makes it easier to cast people as “the other,” and conflict is more likely to arise. If we are all made in God’s image, then we all have a higher self and gifts to share with the world and we can’t raise each other up from arm’s length.

This fall as we prepare to gather with family and friends over the holidays, the Board of Spiritual Growth is hosting a three-part workshop to help people learn how to bridge divides, repair connections, and start communicating well again. Plymouth Member Kristen Boldt is a trained and experienced facilitator in non-violent communication tools, helping individuals repair past damage and learn to hear each other differently. Kristen will discuss the insight theory of conflict to provide a new understanding of where conflict comes from and how we can use hope and curiosity to break the cycle of defensiveness. The workshop series will be interactive with small group exercises. Participants will have an opportunity to become more aware of their language and gently change their patterns and habits to form healthier communication. When we can change how people engage with the world, the world starts to change.

The three part workshop is as follows:

  • Saturday, November 12 from 10 a.m. to noon: Learn new communications tools and practice as a small group.
  • Saturday, December 10 from 10 a.m. to noon: Follow-up session and gain additional understanding of what to adjust for your given family environment.
  • Saturday, January 7 from 10 a.m. to noon: Final follow-up session to discuss how your communication has evolved and to learn how to use it in other areas of your life.


To sign up, please go to the church website or use Church Center to locate “Healthy Conversations Workshops”. For more information, please contact Kristen directly at


Brian and LeAnn’s Book Look


Join Brian and LeAnn’s Book Look for our Advent Study, The First Christmas by Marcus Borg & John Dominic Crossan. This is an account of the two nativity narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Borg and Crossan focus on discovering the actual literary story that the Gospels tell. Borg and Crossan feel that history has biased our readings of these texts; we are all so familiar with the nativity story that we don’t really hear it anymore. The First Christmas will help us see the nativity story afresh and be able to appreciate the powerful message the Gospels contain. We will begin the study on Sunday, November 27 at 4 p.m. and continue the next three Sundays of Advent. The study will be on Zoom.

To register, or if you have questions, please contact Brian Leckrone at


Common Ground on the Border


The Welcoming Migrants Committee is organizing a delegation to attend the Common Ground on the Border conference, taking place January 12-14, at Good Shepherd United Church of Christ in Sahuarita, Arizona, near the U.S.-Mexico border.

About the Conference

The United States-Mexico borderlands has always been a beautiful mix of culture, language, cuisine, economies, and people. It has also been a place of struggle, high and low temperatures, a fragile environment, and the push and pull of immigration.

The Borderlands is the perfect place to explore the arts, touch the culture, and have deeper conversations about the complicated issues that collide there.

  • On Friday and Saturday afternoons, attendees will enjoy the wisdom and gifts of artist-in-residence, Brenda Grauer, and musicians-in-residence, Sparky and Rhonda Rucker. Session details here.
  • Saturday morning will feature three border information lectures with stimulating national and international scholars and activists sharing their perspectives on our current border and immigration crisis. Keynote speakers listed here.
  • In addition, there will be field trips to the border, into the desert, and other nearby locations on Thursday.
  • And, of course, dynamic concerts on Friday and Saturday nights.

Video from 2021

View photos from previous events here.

Conference registration: $100

If you are interested in being part of the delegation, please contact Neil Fagan ( The deadline to register is soon.


Welcome New Members!


We’re glad to have you as part of Plymouth’s faith family. Welcome!

Charla Bruce
Charla is a lifelong church-goer. She grew up in Colorado, and has lived and loves the Midwest. She has a daughter, Kat, who is a grad student at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. Charla is retired from a career in university fundraising. She is currently president of the Alpha Delta Pi House Corporation in Ames, and has volunteered for many years with the Ronald McDonald House.

Paul Hovey and Megan Burkett
Paul is a computer engineer for a tech firm and Megan is a project manager for a marketing and advertising agency. Both are Des Moines natives and recently engaged! They now reside in the Waterbury neighborhood with their cat and French bulldog. Paul grew up attending Plymouth through high school and is excited to reaffirm his faith with Megan and find ways to get involved. They enjoy cooking and all things outdoors, especially hiking and biking. You can find them spending Saturday mornings supporting local coffee shops.

Rev. Dr. Bob and Bev Croskery
Bob and Bev recently moved here from Cincinnati, Ohio. They wanted to be closer to family. They now love at Wesley Acres. Bob is a retired Congregational UCC pastor. Bev loves Plymouth and is excited that she can finally sit next to Bob in church, instead of watching him at the pulpit!

Heather Groben
Heather Groben lives near Plymouth Church with her husband, Luke, and nine-year-old son, Broderick, who sings in Treble Choir. She is a developmental psychologist and teaches courses in research methods and biostatistics to health science students at Drake University. Heather is passionate about lifelong learning and enjoys reading, writing, cooking, meditation, and spending time outdoors locally and in northern Minnesota.

Barbi and Briggs Hamor
The Hamors are transferring their membership from Worthington Presbyterian in Columbus, Ohio, after moving to Des Moines last month. Briggs is a regional president with Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Barbi was an ad executive, who is trying to decide what to do next. They have two grown children, a son in Minneapolis and a daughter in Bloomington at Indiana University, and a husky.

Sarah Hayes
Sarah is an internal medicine physician at McFarland Clinic in Ames. She chose Plymouth as her church home because she feels Plymouth does a great job of living out the command of Jesus to love your neighbor, by welcoming immigrants and feeling the hungry. She is looking forward to getting involved in the many opportunities that Plymouth offers. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Jim, and their two teenage daughters. She enjoys hiking, travel, book club, and being a member of Moms Demand Action.

Ann Hutchings
Ann was born and raised in a small town in Connecticut. She headed west for college, a few years in California, and then law school where she met her future husband, Steve Hutchings. Following school, they went to Alaska for adventure and stayed 45 years. Their four sons were born there. Steve is a native Iowa, and last year they moved here.

Desira Johnson
Desira is transferring her membership from UCC in Urbandale. Desira is a special education teacher for the Pleasantville School District. She has one daughter and is about to be a grandma to twin boys. She volunteers in many school activities. Currently, she is completing The Master Gardener volunteer program. She is looking forward to meeting new friends in the Plymouth family.

Sharon Lahn
Sharon is transferring her longtime membership at the Grinnell UCC after moving to Des Moines last year. Her ties to Plymouth go back to 2008 when her son Ethan was confirmed here. When she is not travelling for work or to see family, she enjoys live music, biking/walking, cooking, and Steelers football. Sharon is looking forward to becoming part of the Plymouth family.

Kathleen Laurila
Kathleen returned to Des Moines from Minneapolis last year when she retired from an organization that protects civilians in conflict zones without the use of guns. As a volunteer, she continues to work for justice at the United Nations. In her first career as a commercial interior designer in Des Moines, she saved oodles of fabrics to use “someday.” Now that day has arrived and her sewing machine is unpacked.

Marie Nalan
Marie is from Minnesota, but moved to Des Moines about five years ago. She recently graduated from Drake University. She loves to knit and craft, and she have a black cat.

Debi O’Connell

Danielle Reier
Danielle is originally from Minnesota and is an ESL instructor for DMACC. She’s a recently widowed mother of twins, Violet and Collin. They love reading, listening to audio books together, and spending time with their pets. Danielle has been attending Plymouth off and on for over 12 years. She is looking forward to her kids participating in Confirmation and to giving back to the Plymouth community, which has been so kind to them.

Conner Standfield
Conner is an admissions counselor at Grinnell College. He was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico before attending Grinnell College, where he earned a degree in sociology and theater. Conner is looking forward to joining this community of faith and serving the church and community, however his time and talents permit.

Allie and Peter Strobel
Allie recently moved to Des Moines with her husband, Peter, who is one of the TiM pastors at Plymouth. Allie is currently a tutor to people with dyslexia and other similar learning struggles. She enjoys crafts and doodling, as well as walks in nearby parks. She is thrilled to get to join such a lovely and welcoming congregation.

Layton and Jan Stump
Layton and Jan currently live in West Des Moines, but are moving to Scottish Rite Park next year. Layton is retired from working in credit union. Jan is a retired teacher, which included 14 happy years at Plymouth Nursery School. They are looking forward to calling Plymouth their new church home.

Jim Taylor

Jon and Barb Yankey
Jon and Barb are joining the church by reaffirmation of faith. They were members of First Presbyterian Church in Davenport, Iowa. Jon is a part-time physician with Unity Point, and Barb is a retired hospice social worker. They are interested in social justice programs working to secure the future for their three grown children, five grandchildren, and citizens of our country.