Plymouth is one of the largest congregations in the United Church of Christ, with an active membership of more than 2,500. Plymouth currently has four weekend services and plans to add a fifth weekend service in the fall of 2023. Plymouth has more than 20 full-time pastoral and program staff members and more than 20 part-time staff members. These part-time positions support Plymouth’s dynamic and expansive children and adult music programs.
Plymouth United Church of Christ, Des Moines, Iowa, seeks a full-time pastor for social justice and teens. This position will work closely with the pastor of children and families and report to the senior pastor.
Plymouth’s bold social justice presence is a hallmark in the community and is often cited as a reason for new members joining the congregation. We are unapologetic in advancing justice, equity, and compassion in and beyond our community. The candidate filling this position will be the key staff leader overseeing Plymouth’s Board of Christian Social Action, implementing an intergenerational approach to social justice education, collaboration, and advocacy. Plymouth has numerous social justice committees actively engaging in anti-racism work, LGBTQ+ advocacy, creation care justice, citywide food and housing collaborations, peace and nonviolence initiatives, refugee resettlement, and broad-based community organizing. We are compelled that justice work at Plymouth is at its best when it is informed, intergenerational, and supported. We value situating social justice work in a way that locates teens as active and engaged participants in causes for good. The candidate filling this role will shepherd this established and critical area of mission at Plymouth.
Not only will this candidate focus on social justice, but the candidate will also be responsible for developing and sustaining robust theological formation for teens and their families. Special attention will be given to developmental transitions with a goal of increased incorporation of teens and families into the worshipping life of the congregation. The successful candidate will be responsible for casting and guiding a vision for teen ministry that offers a range of engagement and spiritual formation opportunities while also addressing the challenges of time-pressed students and families. The successful candidate must be able to work collaboratively and creatively with Plymouth’s music staff, prioritizing the vibrancy of both music and non-music programs. In recent years, much of Plymouth’s teen programming has occurred in conjunction with our Matins choir, a 65-student high school choir, that currently leads worship at our 9 a.m. service during the academic year. Plymouth’s Matins choir director of 17 years will be retiring in the summer of 2023, and we anticipate hiring a Matins choir director by late summer. We value a strong Matins program while also expanding our non-music offerings for teens and their families. The candidate will need to be comfortable with Plymouth’s many diverse family structures. We seek to be a place where teens and their families can grow, learn, and ask questions in a faith environment that is loving, accepting, and fully inclusive.
Plymouth welcomes candidates from various denominational backgrounds. Plymouth values diversity in all facets, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status. Successful candidates’ key characteristics are openness to learning, the ability to work in a collaborative environment, a strong theological foundation, and a keen eye for purposeful innovation and relationship building.
To apply, please submit a letter of interest and resume to Rev. Dr. Jared Wortman, emailing these materials to [email protected]