4126 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50312
October 18, 2020
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Melody Webb was born and raised in Mississippi, where she received a Bachelor of Music Education in vocal/choral music from Mississippi State University. She also completed seminary coursework at the Saint Paul School of Theology. Her early career includes teaching in an NAEYC-accredited preschool, teaching elementary music education, and leading youth and children’s choirs in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. In 2008, a job change for her husband brought her to Ankeny, IA, where she directed choirs of all ages at Ankeny First United Methodist Church for eight years, eventually serving as the Director of Worship Ministries. During that time, she began to experience a call to pastoral ministry and was licensed as a pastor in the United Methodist Church in 2018 and has served appointments as Lead Pastor of Maple Grove UMC (West Des Moines) and Polk City UMC. After a decision to leave the United Methodist denomination earlier this year over issues of inclusivity, she felt a call to return to working with children, and was excited to find an opportunity to combine her love for children, her passion for ministry, and the ability to continue pursuing a path to ordination in an affirming and inclusive church here at Plymouth! Melody is married to Thomas, who is the Associate Director of R&D at Kemin Nutrisurrance in Des Moines. Together, they have three young adult children: Anne Marie, who is a UMC Youth Director in the Denver area, Caleb, who lives in Ankeny and is finishing a degree in Computer Science, and Mary Katherine, who is studying musical theater in New York City.
Erin Moynihan comes to Plymouth from the Iowa Democratic Party where she served as Communications Director. During her time with the Iowa Democrats, she oversaw all external and internal communications including the changes related to the Iowa Caucuses and the First in the Nation status. Prior to working for the Iowa Democrats, Erin spent more than 15 years in broadcast and digital media including several years as Executive Producer at KCCI-TV. Erin is also a proud graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.
As his title suggests, Tyler will be working with children, youth, and young adults as an intern for the rest of the 2022/2023 academic year. He brings experience working with children and youth in camp programs and ministries. In 2021, Tyler served as the camp director for Wayzata Community Church, a large UCC congregation near Minneapolis. Tyler is completing his master’s degree in Child, Youth, and Family Ministries at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Tyler got married this summer, and his wife Martha is a law student at Drake. Tyler loves sports and being active in the great outdoors.
Title: Associate Pastor
Boards, Committees, Groups: Board of Membership and Building & Grounds Committee
Start: June 2022
What do you do at Plymouth? I teach Confirmation with Pastors Jack and Rushing. I love finding ways to use LEGOs to bring Bible stories to life.
Birthplace? Kansas City, Kansas
Family? I live with my wife, Allie Stroble
Pets? A cat, Milliepop
Education? I attended Doane University for college and received my M.Div from Yale Divinity School and my ministry certificate from Andover Newton Seminary.
Hobbies? Biking and hiking around Des Moines, reading, watching movies and YouTube with my wife, and playing video games.
Bucket List Item?Visit New Zealand and visit all the sites from Lord of the Rings.
Why Plymouth? It is a loving, welcoming place. I am not just lucky to work here, I am blessed to work at a church my friends, family, and wife are glad to attend.
Phone: 515.255.3149, ext. 04
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Phone: 515.255.3149, ext. 06
Title: Communications Associate
Start: September 2019
What do you do at Plymouth? Organize and maintain Plymouth’s regular communications needs: emails, bulletins, screens around the building, social media, website, and the monthly Contact magazine.
Birthplace? Marshalltown, Iowa
Family? Husband, Aaron. Plus, auntie to 6 wonderful kids.
Pets? Orange cat, Latte
Education? AAS in Design from DMACC, BA in Graphic Design and Photography from Grand View University
Hobbies? Video games, painting my nails, and listening to audiobooks.
Bucket List Item? Take a trip to Europe.
Why Plymouth? I’m a life-long church-goer and I love the progressive theology and community involvement here at Plymouth.
Phone: 515.255.3149, ext. 10
Phone: 515.255.3149, ext. 03
Title: Director of Creative Arts
Susan joined the Plymouth staff in 2006 as the Director of Youth and Children’s Music. She had previously served as the Director of Music at Walnut Hills United Methodist Church in Urbandale, Iowa for nine years.
In November, 2011, Susan received a Certificate in Progressive Youth Theology through the Iowa & Minnesota UCC Conferences. In January, 2012 her title changed to Director of Youth Ministry. Susan oversees the Youth Ministry Program at Plymouth Church as well as hands on musical direction of the Matins Choir (9-12th grade). Beginning fall 2021, Susan Waller will become Director of Creative Arts. She continues to oversee Matins Choir activities and direction.
Susan is also a Spiritual Director with a certificate from the Spirations Institute of Interspiritual Formation. She holds two degrees in vocal performance: a bachelor’s from Simpson College and a master’s from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. She has taught on the Adjunct Music Faculty at Simpson College and the vocal department at the Drake Community School of Music.
Title: Director of Transition into Ministry Programs
Boards, Committees, Groups: Transition into Ministry
Start: April 2017
What do you do at Plymouth? I help equip pastoral residents and members of the congregation to effectively use their gifts, time, interests, and talents to grow and serve in meaningful ways at Plymouth Church and beyond. In other words, I help members and our TiM Residents explore and fulfill their unique calls to ministry.
Birthplace? Ames, Iowa
Family? Married to Doug. Auntie to eight nieces and nephews.
Pets? Wellington, our beloved West Highland White Terrier
Education? B.S from Iowa State in Distributed Studies, Masters in Urban Planning, Ph.D. in Sociology
Hobbies? Reading, Writing, and Learning the Piano (Former Hobby: Cooking)
Bucket List Item? Parasailing, Writing a Novel, Seeing the Northern Lights
Why Plymouth? I’ve been a member since 1998, Plymouth is my community and has helped me grow in love of God and neighbor in the most surprising ways. More than anything, I desire helping others to do the same.
When did you start at Plymouth: October 2021
What do you do at Plymouth? Youth Ministry, Wednesday Evening Bible Study, Stephen Ministries.
Birthplace? Granby, Connecticut
Education?Undergrad at Franklin & Marshall and Graduate at Yale Divinity School
Hobbies?Painting, Drawing, Reading, Athletic Training, Cooking, Hiking
Bucket List Item?Go to Antarctica
Why Plymouth? Plymouth allows me walk with God in a new place, with a new congregation.
Anything else? I am a Chaplain Candidate in the United States Navy.
Title: Director of Music & Fine Arts
Boards, Committees, Groups: Board of Music and Fine Arts, Chancel Choir Council, Children’s Choir Guild, Board of Deacons, all arts committees and musical ensembles
Start: September 2017
What do you do at Plymouth? I administrate the Music & Fine Arts programs at Plymouth Church, including directing the Chancel Choir, Chancel Chorale, Instrumental Ensemble, and assisting with the Matins Choir. I work with 30+ gifted professional musicians and directors on staff at Plymouth and over 300 volunteers in our Music and Fine Arts programs.
Birthplace? Knoxville, TN
Family? I’m an only child. My extended family live in East Tennessee.
Pets? Three cats: Louis, Sam, and Miss Kitty.
Education? Bachelor of Music in Music Education, Wind Percussion Emphasis (cum laude) from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Doctoral Candidate in the Doctor of Worship Studies program at the Robert Webber Institute for Worship Studies, Jacksonville, Florida.
Hobbies? I play clarinet in the Central Iowa Wind Ensemble and the Thornwood Clarinet Quartet. I also enjoy playing tennis recreationally, cooking/baking, walks/hiking, travel, men’s style, and personal finance.
Bucket List Item? I hope to travel more in the next five years.
Why Plymouth? I was attracted to the Music and Fine Arts program at Plymouth and willing to move from coastal Georgia to be in ministry here. I find Plymouth people to be thoughtful, conscientious, curious, open to new experiences, and appreciative of music and the arts.
Title: Senior Pastor
Jared came to Plymouth Church in 2021 after serving at Peachtree Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Midtown Atlanta. He is passionate about faith formation for all ages and believes the church is at its best when difference is held together through thoughtful discussion, engaged relationships, and meaningful advocacy. His time spent in growing urban congregations and developing ministries has been invaluable in his development as a faith and community leader.
He earned his doctorate from Emory University, where he explored theological, sociological, and philosophical assessments of dementia. His dissertation, “Re-Membering Who We Are: Congregational Care in the Face of Dementia,” explored what it means for a person’s faith journey to continue—even if they no longer recall the names, faces, and practices that were once familiar—and the role congregations play in upholding and dignifying the lives and stories of those facing memory loss.
Jared graduated with a Master of Theological Studies from The Divinity School at Duke University with an emphasis in New Testament and Christian origins. His master’s thesis addressed Jewish-Christian relations and how dynamics of power played a role in textual interpretation and social development. He has also completed coursework at Harvard Law School, Harvard Divinity School, and Emory Medical School.
Jared’s writing has been published in academic journals, and he has been an invited presenter and guest lecturer for churches, colleges and universities, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the American Academy of Religion. He is married to Katrina, and they have three young children.
Title: Executive Assistant
Started at Plymouth: June 2021
What do you do at Plymouth? Provide administrative support to the Senior Minister, pastoral staff, and Director of Operations and Finance.
Birthplace? Fort Dodge, Iowa
Pets? Francis, English Springer Spaniel
Education? BBA – University of Iowa, MTS – St. Paul School of Theology
Hobbies? Watercolor, Cooking, Books
Boards, Committees, Groups: Board of Christian Stewardship, Board of Trustees, Board of Christian Social Action, Board of Benevolences.
Start: June 2020
Birthplace? Orlando, FL
Education? Master of Divinity from Emory University / BA International Studies from the University of North Florida.
Hobbies? I like to go hiking, camping, rafting, and go on walks around Des Moines. I also like to experience a new city through food.
Bucket List Item? I want to visit all 50 states and 5 territories.
Why Plymouth? Plymouth is an open and affirming congregation and committed to social justice.
Title: Interim Child and Family Ministries
Boards, Committees, Groups: Board of Christian Education
Start: April 2020
What do you do at Plymouth? Some activities I oversee are favorites: Church School, Vacation Bible School and the Kid’s Cart that has started showing up at worship services. An added bonus to my work at Plymouth has been getting to know children, their families, Church School teachers, Board of Christian Education members and so many Plymouth members who have offered to help with child and family programming!
Birthplace? Biloxi, Mississippi
Family? My husband, Rick, and I live in Urbandale. Our daughter and her wife live in La Crosse, Wisconsin, our daughter-in-law lives nearby and we have extended family across the U.S.
Education? My degrees from Radford University (VA), Western Illinois University, and Indiana University- Bloomington have focused on early childhood, special education and speech pathology.
Hobbies? Cooking, gardening, travel, and recently, downsizing!!
Why Plymouth? Plymouth has provided a church home that has challenged us to think about our faith and our faith-in-action for over 20 years. Our church family including ministers, staff and members has celebrated our joys and has been a source of strength and support during difficult times. We are blessed to have Plymouth church in our lives.
Anything else? My dad was in the Air Force and we moved A LOT! I attended five different schools in 1st grade!
Title: Admin Assistant for Music & Fine Arts
Boards, Committees, groups: Board of Music & Fine Arts, Gallery Committee, sometimes Chancel Arts, Children’s Choir Guild, Chancel Choir Council, to name a few…
When did you start at Plymouth: November 2013
What do you do at Plymouth? All clerical support for Pre-K – age 101 Music & Fine Arts. Help fill in the weekly bulletins. Whatever is needed. Music library, instrument organization & storage, ensemble attendance, Gallery signage, Still learning new things! Currently also supporting Child & Family Ministries, Flowers, etc.
Family? Retired hubby, 6 adult kids (his, mine, & ours) 3 of which are married. 5 grandkids, 3 granddogs, & a grandcat.
Pets? None, but the neighbor’s chickens sometimes come sit on our porch swing!
Education? Urbandale High School, BMus Simpson College, MMus Northwestern University
Hobbies? Knitting, sewing, bread baking
Bucket List Item? Visiting the UK and Germany again
Why Plymouth? Because my job and I are a good fit, I like my boss, and I really enjoy all the people I work with.
Anything else? Sunday mornings find me at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, where I’m in the choir, and am a member of the Chapter (think “Episcopal version of Church Council”).
Title: Program Assistant/Childcare Coordinator
What do you do at Plymouth? I help create, organize and set up art and activities for Church school and Child Care.
Birthplace? Des Moines, Iowa
Family? My husband Mark and I have two wonderful kids.
Hobbies? Hiking, Road trips, Museums, Antiques, Art
Bucket List Item? Travel to Ireland and Norway
Why Plymouth? I am proud to work at an affirming and progressive church.
Title: Director of Technology
Boards, Committees, groups: Technology Advisory Group
When did you start at Plymouth: November 2021
What do you do at Plymouth? I oversee all things related to technology: wireless access, phones, computers, software, etc.
Birthplace? Lake View, Iowa
Family? I am the youngest of six kids. There are three brothers and two sisters who paved the way for me.
Pets? Currently, I only have one kitty, Stella. Always looking to expand the family.
Education? B.S. in English Education (Morningside University); M.S. in Curriculum & Instructional Technology (Iowa State University)
Hobbies? Reading, theatre, cooking, gardening, walking, yoga, spending time with friends
Bucket List Item? Travel to New Zealand
Why Plymouth? I have been a member of Plymouth for many years, and appreciate the progressive theology and opportunities to learn and grow spiritually. I am happy to share my talents with Plymouth’s staff and help in any way to continue the work for the greater community.
Phone: 515.255.3149, ext. 15
A native from the Foothills of the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, Brandon has been a member of church choirs and worship teams since he was in middle school. Since then, he has always found a way to be able to worship and make music.
A tenor, Brandon graduated from the University of Sioux Falls and holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education and minors in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy. As a lifelong learner, he is currently working on a Masters degree in Urban and Culturally Responsive Education from Drake University. When not directing Soul Singers, Brandon is the Director of Choirs at Hiatt Middle School, Music Director and Stage Manager at the Des Moines Playhouse, and a voice and piano teacher at City Voices. Brandon has sung and conducted nationally and internationally as a soloist and with choirs all over the world.
As well as singing and directing choral music, Brandon has performed and directed many stage productions. When not making music, Brandon enjoys being outside, cooking, socializing with friends and family, and spending time with his puppy, Fynn.
Bloyce has a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Iowa. He has done post-graduate work in music at the University of Iowa and Garret-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and continuing education in music, including several years of hand bell/chime training and performance at FUMMWA (Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts) regional and national convocations, learning from nationally known conductors and composers.
Before coming to Plymouth, Bloyce was a music educator in Iowa and Wisconsin in grades 5-12 instrumental music and K-12 vocal music for over 14 years. He was Director of Music and Worship at West Des Moines United Methodist Church for 10 years, including substitute player and director for bell/chimes. After serving 6 years as director of HandChimes, Bloyce is looking forward to a fun, exciting year with the new Youth Handbell Ensemble.
Kelli has a BA in Music Education from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, and has received further certification in Orff (levels I & II) and Kodaly (level I) methods of music teaching from Drake. She is starting her 17th year teaching elementary music, having taught in Marshalltown, Marion, and now in Johnston. Kelli currently serves as the membership chair for the Iowa Music Educator’s Association. She has attended Plymouth for 10 years, and is starting her ninth year as the director of the Treble Choir (grades 3 AND 4). Miss Kelli loves spending time with her husband and three daughters, reading, and baking. She also plays saxophone, piano, and sings with the all-educator funk band, “Faculty Lounge.”
Jade will be starting her 15th year teaching as a K-5 General Music Teacher at Webster Elementary in Urbandale. She graduated with her Bachelor of Music degree from Simpson College in 2008 and finished her Masters in Music Education in 2017 from the University of Northern Iowa. She has been a member at Plymouth for ten years, but has been attending church at Plymouth for much longer. Jade loves to run, be outside, and anything musical! This will be Jade’s third year directing the Hallelujah! Choir.
Lydia is an Urbandale resident who grew up in Carroll, Iowa. She attended Simpson College for her Bachelor of Music Education and teaches K-5th grade music in Johnston CSD. She has additional training in Kodaly, Orff, and Dalcroze approaches to music teaching. In her free time, Lydia plays ukulele, practices yoga, and plays with her niece. She loves working with musicians of all ages and is excited to help cultivate young musicians here at Plymouth
Brianne received her B.A. in Music Education from Luther College. She directed the Glory Choir for 10 years, and is looking forward to a new year directing Chorister Choir. Bri loves to spend time with her amazing kiddos (Eleanor, 7 and Asa, 4), directing musicals, acting, being creative, and cheering on the Hawkeyes!
Linda has been the Cherub Director for over 25 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and Master of Science in Music Education from Northwest Missouri State University. For 16 years she was an instrumental and vocal music teacher in the Saydel Community Schools. She transitioned to a career in Real Estate which allows her the time and flexibility to sing in the Plymouth Chancel Choir, direct the Cherub Choir, and play flute in an ensemble or choir anthem. Linda is looking forward to welcoming your first grader to Cherub Choir in September. “Through our singing we tell stories from the Bible and celebrate special times during the Church Year. Life experiences, even the sad times, are more bearable in our singing.”
Dr. Barb Rush is a 1980 graduate of Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She was raised in North Dakota and has lived in the Des Moines area for more than 40 years. Upon graduation, she began practice in Des Moines and started Rush Animal Care Clinic in March of 1992. Dr. Rush is an Elite Fear Free Certified veterinarian and has four dogs: Murphy, Brody, Colin (left to right) and Zorro. What else would they be but Shelties!! Only the best breed! She has 2 grown daughters, as well.
In her free time, Dr. Rush is a pianist. She has played for the West Des Moines United Methodist Church, Urbandale Community Theater, and helped with other small groups. Dr. Barb is the director of the Christ Chimers group at West Des Moines United Methodist, a position she has held for over 15 years. Currently she is on the keyboard for the praise band at Union Park United Methodist Church in Des Moines and is an accompanist for the Edgewater Singers (Wesley Life community in West Des Moines). Dr. Barb is excited to be a part of the Plymouth Church Arts family and is very much looking forward to meeting folks and helping build enthusiasm for the handchime program.
Phone: 515.255.3149, ext. 01
Phone: 515.255.3149, ext. 19
Phone: 515.255.3149, ext. 17
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Phone: 515.255.3149, ext. 14
Phone: 515.255.3149, ext. 08
Boards, Committees, groups: Finance Committee
Start: November 2010
What do you do at Plymouth? Accounting
Family? All grown children
Pets? One dog, Stanley
Education? University of Iowa; CPA
Title: Pastor of Care and Welcome
Birthplace? Glendale, California
Family? Married to Tracy. Two wonderful step-sons. Parents in Pheonix. Only sibling and his family live in Holland, MI.
Pets? Home is currently shared with Grizly, a mini golden doodle and Mellie, a mini Bernie doodle.
Education? B.A in Art Education (K-12) from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. M. Div. from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, CA
Hobbies? Being in nature, cooking from scratch, reading cookbooks
Phone: 515.255.3149, ext. 11
Phone: 515.255.3149, ext. 02
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Phone: 515.255.3149, ext. 18
Phone: 515.255.3149, ext. 12
Phone: 515.255.3149, ext. 16
Phone: 515.255.3149, ext. 13