Justice in Action at Plymouth Church
Economic Justice Task Force – Focuses on problems of income inequality, living wage, worker justice, and wage theft. Collaborates with local and national advocacy organizations including Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Interfaith Worker Justice.
Mental Health and Disability Task Force – Advocates for mental health services for all who need them, heightened awareness of the unique challenges faced by people living with mental illness and improved representation of their interests in the public sphere.
Human Trafficking Task Force – Advocates for legal protections and community support of human trafficking survivors. Collaborates with a wide range of grassroots service, education, and law enforcement agencies to effect change.
Green Team/ Climate Change Coalition/ Creation Care and Justice Coalition – Advocates and educates on environmental resilience including investment in the alternative local food system, climate change mitigation, recycling, and water quality. A group of teams working on various of these issues. Partnering with Global Greens Farm, Coyote Run Farm, Wabi Sabi Farm, Drake Agricultural Law Center, Citizens Climate Lobby, Interfaith Climate Change Coalition, and Interfaith Power and Light.
AMOS Core Team – A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy intentionally builds relationships with one another, with other congregations and community organizations for the purpose of creating social change. Through grassroots listening sessions, house meetings and collective discernment, we act together for change.
Homeless Assistance Team – HAT builds breakfast casseroles for the Salvation Army, packs lunches for residents at Central Iowa Shelter and Services, delivers bread to the shelters, assembles hygiene packs, picks up donated furniture and much more.
Family Promise – As part of a metro-wide interfaith network, one week each quarter Plymouth hosts up to three families with children experiencing homelessness. We provide overnight accommodations, family-style dinner and warm hospitality for the whole family inside the church building.
RENEW Family Literacy – Saturday afternoons and Wednesday mornings Plymouth volunteers teach English and literacy to refugees and immigrants in an atmosphere of respect and hospitality.
Transition from Prison – Volunteers work in pairs with same-gender individuals referred to us by Bridges of Iowa and other community half-way houses. Partners work together for six months or so to build healthy relationships, envision new goals and add support through the transition to life on the outside.
Sustainable Food – Provides opportunities for Plymouth members to buy locally grown produce after services in summer months and to support the efforts of local growers.
Cuba Friendship Team – We seek to learn about Cuba’s history and current day reality with Plymouth member delegations to Cuba, our relationship with Ebenezer Baptist Church of Havana, and by sponsoring speakers who have had personal experience in Cuba. We can then educate our congregation through forums to impart a better understanding of what life is like in Cuba today.
Board of Benevolences – In addition to supporting the wider mission of UCC, the board works to support our local community through special offering grants at holidays, monthly shelter meals, food pantry donations, collecting for Heifer International, Family Promise, Kids in the Kitchen, and the work of the Homeless Assistance Team.
Plymouth Young Adults/SURJ – The Des Moines chapter of SURJ is part of a national organization whose focus is to organize white people in the work for Showing UP for Racial Justice. SURJ is the “white flank” of a multi-racial movement, led by people of color that seeks to end racial injustice. We seek to support efforts of justice led by people of color and take responsibility for the role white people must play in creating change.
Plymouth Grounds Coffee Shop – Volunteers and professional staff work with students with intellectual disabilities from Des Moines metro schools to develop work readiness and interpersonal skills as baristas in our full-service coffee shop. Trained volunteers work alongside baristas as they build confidence and skills that will help them enter the workforce.
Willits LGBTQ Committee – We are expanding and living into our open and affirming policy in regard to LGBTQ folks and our resolution in support of marriage equality. We partner with community advocacy organizations including Interfaith Alliance, One Iowa, Iowa Pride Network to advance LGBTQ civil rights and inclusion in the broader community.
Race Education Committee – Working to provide educational opportunities that will help Plymouth members understand the historical impact of racial discrimination and how it continues to affect our society today.
Board of Christian Social Action – BCSA grows in love of God and neighbor by exploring the relationship between our Christian faith and contemporary social issues, stimulating dialogues, and initiating and inviting action in response to Christ’s teachings of compassion for others within Plymouth Church and beyond.
Peace Committee – Advocates for Peace at the local, national and international levels. Draws attention and calls us to action to reduce gun violence and U.S.-linked militarism abroad. Partners with the Des Moines Faith Committee for Peace, Catholic Peace Ministries, American Friends Service Committee, and many more to host community peace-related events.
Women’s Career Closet – Located at the Wellmark YMCA, Plymouth women donate goods and volunteer at the Career Closet, which is the only place in the metro area where need-based women can come for free career clothes and be treated to an excellent shopping atmosphere. Each customer can select three or four complete outfits.