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January 7-Day Challenge

In January, we offer a new 7-Day Challenge to help you explore new and different Practices. While you’re doing it, feel free to share your thoughts with Karen Jeske at kjeske@plymouthchurch.com and with each other whenever you have the chance.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these 7-Day Challenges. If you have, you’re going to love Lent at Plymouth. This year our theme will be “Practice Makes Plymouth.” We will explore the four pillars of the Strategic Plan and offer you a 40-Day Challenge to help make all of these new ideas more real for you.

1. Complete any six of these items on any six days you choose during the month of January.

  • Silence is one way we can pay attention to God. Find a Practice of silence that works for you. Start with five minutes a day, experimenting with different times of the day and building the length of time to whatever feels right for you. If you want, you can do this for each of your six days.
  • Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to get centered, then recite the Lord’s Prayer (our most well-known prayer) as often as you need to remind you of your love for God and your call to love what God loves.
  • For inspiration about how we are called to love each other, practice saying the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis. Find this prayer below.
  • Read Chapter Ten of The Heart of Christianity by Marcus Borg.
  • Do an internet search for Dr. Martin Luther King’s Letter From a Birmingham Jail and take an hour to read it, thinking about the challenge it still poses for us today.
  • Donate money or food to the Food Bank or find another organization in our community that is giving direct aid and comfort to people suffering in our community this winter.
  • Do an internet search for “Nichole Nordeman Dear Me” and listen to this beautiful song as a reminder that we all grow and change and that the ways we love God will grow and change throughout our lives as well.
  • Participate in Plymouth’s Evening Prayer Service on Facebook. This service is at 5:30 p.m. each Monday to Thursday. Let yourself be renewed in prayer and feel connected to other Plymouth members.
  • Watch your mail for a special envelope from Plymouth this month. Inside you will receive a gift of your very own Star Gift. Read the letter that comes with your Word and place your Star Gift someplace where you will see it often. See more information to the below.

Star Gifts

It’s the season of Epiphany and at Plymouth we will be using this season to explore different facets of Jesus’ identity−teacher, servant, healer, prophet. As we do so, it’s also an opportunity to explore who we are in the light of Christ.

This month, you will receive a letter in the mail from Plymouth with a bookmark that will have a special word for you printed on it. We hope you receive this word as a sign and a gift that may guide you in some new way during the season of Epiphany and maybe for all of 2021.

Place it where you will see it often, write it down in the places where you want to encounter it, and let it work with you.

Throughout this season and beyond we will encourage you to engage with this word and maybe to share it within the Plymouth community.

Peace Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.

2. For the seventh day take a rest or sabbath.

Make space for an intentional break from your work, worries, stresses, or perfectionism. Make the duration whatever length of time would feel like a true sabbath−five minutes, an hour, half a day or a whole day. Unlike God, we need to Practice rest in order to be our most loving selves.