On the spiritual path, we all seek meaning: ways to connect personal fulfillment to something larger. Meaning is here as a conversation partner in our shared quest for spiritual understanding. In each episode, host Chris Bohnhoff engages members from Plymouth Congregational Church of Minneapolis in a conversation about the deeper significance of the things they do. A series of questions ends each episode, helping you to reflect on each guest’s wisdom and how it may illuminate your own spiritual path. Plymouth is a large, vibrant, progressive Christian church on the edge of downtown Minneapolis, home to a wide spectrum of spiritual seekers. Our commitments to social justice work and the arts as an avenue to the sacred provide a rich, varied backdrop to our efforts to bridge what can sometimes feel like a huge gap between work and connection to the divine. Plymouth is an opening and affirming church offering radical hospitality to all. Whoever you are, wherever you are on your life’s journey, we welcome you and offer you God’s love.

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Tuesday Mar 07, 2023

As this episode hits the interwebs, we find ourselves early in the season of Lent: a special time in the Christian church for contemplating our own spiritual state in the time leading up to Easter and the resurrection story. We’re invited to follow the example of Jesus, who spent 40 days praying in the wilderness before starting his healing work. At Plymouth, our Lenten theme is “Embracing the Wholeness of Creation,” and it provides a lens through which to approach the season. Lead Minister DeWayne Davis and I discussed the concept of wholeness as described by theologians Frederick Buechner, Howard Thurman, Martin Luther King Jr, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the competing forces that seek to disconnect and fragment us every day.

Thursday Feb 16, 2023

This past month, Plymouth Church has hosted Transfer of Memory, an exhibit of portraits of Holocaust survivors, accompanied by brief biographical sketches of each person’s story. And so you may have seen photos of this episode’s guest, Manny Gabler, hanging near the door of Jones Commons and read how his family escaped the war when Manny was a baby and spent nine years in Shanghai before immigrating to the U.S. in 1948.
We started our conversation talking about those nine years in Shanghai, through the lens of a trip he took in 1998, 50 years after leaving China for the U.S.

Friday Jan 20, 2023

Host Chris Bohnhoff and Rev. Seth Patterson unpack the meaning of 'performance' and how it relates to acting, preaching, public speaking, and everyday interactions.

Friday Jan 06, 2023

Today’s conversation partner is Jay Matre, who began a two-year term as church Moderator in the summer of 2022. In Plymouth’s system of governance, the Moderator is the chair of the Board of Deacons, who you could think of as the church’s board of directors. We talked about Jay’s relationship to Plymouth, about what he’s learned so far in his time as Moderator, and about the energy in the air as we enter 2023.

Thursday Dec 15, 2022

In this episode, Plymouth Minister Beth Hoffman Faeth shares the joys, lessons, and unexpected obstacles (like the restlessness of rest) from her three-month sabbatical over the summer, as well as her efforts to find new sabbath practices now that she's back.

Thursday Dec 01, 2022

Central to Plymouth Church’s identity is the recognition that the arts are a conduit to the sacred. And in the universe of artistic expression, choral music holds an honored place in Plymouth life. I spoke with Dan Dressen, now in his 45th year as the Tenor soloist in the Plymouth Adult Choir about the voice, and about the magic of ensemble singing.

Tuesday Nov 01, 2022

This fall, the Plymouth community has been gifted with the presence of spoken word artist, rapper, teacher, and preacher, Pierre Fulford. Pierre brought his love of language and storytelling to the church’s Midweek Mingle Wednesday night activities, working with our youth to help them develop a spoken word piece that was performed at the October 16, 2022 9AM service.
Prior to our conversation, what I knew about Pierre was his passion for helping kids find and use their unique voices. As I learned, the teaching he blessed our children with brought him full circle from his own childhood beginnings, and the nurturing he received from his grandmother and his own church community.
You can check out Pierre's music on Soundcloud and his preaching and inspirational messages on YouTube.

Monday Oct 17, 2022

Truth telling can mean different things in different contexts: from the legalistic reporting of objective facts, to the more vulnerable task of naming the motivations and underpinnings of events that are ambiguous or fraught. In this episode, host Chris Bohnhoff and talks with Plymouth Lead Minister DeWayne Davis about how truth telling has shown up recently in his involvement in the reparations work being done through the Minnesota Council of Churches, in his teaching at United Theological Seminary, and in recent conversations surrounding social justice.

Friday Sep 30, 2022

To introduce our guest, Tara Bauer, I need to do a little quick nerding out. If you were to click around Plymouth’s website to the Clergy and Staff page, you’d see that Tara is listed as a Covenant Partner. If you’re not a seminarian you’d be excused for not knowing what that means, but it’s rooted in how the United Church of Christ thinks about sending people out into the world to do ministry. Unlike some denominations, the UCC assigns ordination status through a local church body. So even for chaplains like Tara, who has served as an Air Force chaplain since her pastoral residency at Plymouth from 2011-2013, a covenanted relationship with a local church is required to stay in good standing with the denomination. But the huge importance of covenant in our church and in our denomination is a topic for another day. For now, let’s dive into my conversation with Tara and the meaning she finds in military chaplaincy.

Thursday Sep 15, 2022

It's happened to all of us. An amazing idea comes to us and practically as soon as it does, our inner critic throws up a cloud of reasons why it can't happen: not enough resources, not enough know how, nobody to help make it real. And this doesn't just happen to individuals; institutions have their own inner critics who are skeptical of growth and new initiatives. In this episode, host Chris Bohnhoff talks to Seth Patterson about making meaning out of those perceived barriers and the liminal space of bouncing on the diving board before your body decides to jump.

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