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FAQs

What is Plymouth Church all about?
Plymouth Church is called to be a place where people are transformed through friendship, faith, and service.  We are part of the United Church of Christ.  Reverend Dr. Shawnthea Monroe is our Senior Minister, who blends history, humor, compassion and practical advice in her engaging sermons each week.  These sermons are also available on our website.

What does “open and affirming” mean?
It means we welcome all persons to join in all activities of the church, regardless of age, color, ability, gender identity or sexual orientation. We celebrate and find strength in our diversity and view it as a way to understand the inclusiveness of God.

What do you offer for children and youth?
For younger children, we offer Nursery Care, Preschool Church, and a vibrant Sunday School program under the creative and energetic leadership of Leslie Szalay, Director of Christian Education.  Their warmth and wit draw children and youth into our Christian community with a sense of belonging.  There are also special events like SummerFest, More Light worship services during Lent, the AND (“A New Day”) program, and the Sugar Plum Workshop, where children can make a variety of crafts for Christmas.

For older children and teens, there are active Junior and Senior High Youth Groups, frequent Youth Service Trips, a challenging and engaging Confirmation Program, and OWL (“Our Whole Lives”) comprehensive sexuality education program.

What kind of music programs do you offer?
Jim Riggs, Minister of Music & The Arts,  leads our outstanding adult and children’s choirs, as well as “Plymouth Ringers” our beautiful handbell choir.  Members lead “Plymouth Pulse,” our world percussion group, Jubilate, our instrumental group and The Plymouth Folk Revival.  From guitars to brass, there is an opportunity to participate for every age and ability.

Frequent special programs by ArtsPlymouth are dedicated to presenting arts events for the spiritual enrichment of the congregation of Plymouth Church and the community which it serves.

What kind of fellowship groups are at Plymouth?
We have many active groups such as the Young Adults Group, The Plymouth Lunch Club, Fossil Fuels,  plus friendly neighbors around every corner. We also have small group ministries entitled ChristCare groups which meet biweekly, some of them for nearly a decade now!

Where can I learn more about the Bible and my own faith development?
Our Adult Education programs offer interesting topics and speakers, weekly Bible study, book study groups and special presentations (e.g. the achievement gap between white and non-white students, and Veterans for Peace.) We also offer monthly Theology on Tap discussion, and New(er) Dads Group.

If you don’t require any particular beliefs of your members, what is it that joins you together?
We are joined together by this covenant:

Nurtured by God’s grace,
challenged by Christ’s witness,
emboldened by the Holy Spirit,
we are creating a true community, each of us a diverse expression of One God.

Acknowledging our role in God’s mission,
through our faith and amidst our doubts,
we explore our call to live the Gospel.

Opening our hearts to God’s ongoing revelation,
we steward our gifts in faithful discipleship.

Leading lives of compassion, sharing and celebration,
We join with God in building a world of peace, justice and liberation.

Even in living out that covenant, we have our differences – what we mean by “God,” what a “true community” is, what it means to build a “world of peace, justice and liberation” – but we struggle with those differences together.

Can you tell me about the governance of Plymouth Church?
Our revised Constitution became effective January 1, 2013. Plymouth Constitution PDF

How do you participate and serve in the larger community?
We contribute our time, money, and talents to our local community:

  • We volunteer and provide resources to local, inner-city schools
  • We host homeless families multiple times each year through Family Promise (formerly the Interfaith Hospitality Network)
  • We partner with a number of local organizations, including the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, the Botanical Garden Green Corps, the Care Alliance, the Cleveland FoodBank, Recovery Resources

We respond to needs in our country and the world:

  • Our Junior and Senior High Youth Groups have helped build schools and houses as part of mission trips in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Colorado, among other places
  • Through the UCC, we support global ministries, work for peace and justice, and assist relief efforts throughout the United States and around the world.

How can I join Plymouth Church? 
Just speak with any of our ministers.  We offer Membership Receptions 3 times a year.  You must be baptized to join.  We can baptize people at any age.

Where can I learn more about having a Baptism, Wedding or Holy Union at Plymouth Church?
Speak with our Senior Minister, Reverend Dr. Shawnthea Monroe and read more on our website.


Want to learn more? Talk with any of our helpful Plymouth staff or volunteers!
Call: 216.921.3510
Email: info@plymouthchurchucc.org