The Reverend Walter Vernon was a minister at Plymouth Congregational Church in the 1970’s. He came up with the idea of a Lenten Speaker Series and that is the reason he is honored by having the series be named after him. After leaving Plymouth he served as the Interim Minister of the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles.
The Plymouth Men’s Club took his idea with his blessing and organized the series to cover the seven weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter. Community leaders and notables were invited to offer a thirty-five-minute presentation. In its early years attendees enjoyed a delicious breakfast. In later years, The Men’s Club incorporated it into the Wednesday Evening Fellowship Dinners during Lent. It has gained in attendance ever since that move. When the Seder Dinner came into being, it provided a major event in the week just before Easter the series became an event of six speakers.
Speakers are invited to talk on any subject they desire and urged to share interesting aspects of their professional and personal life. In addition, if they would like to share their thoughts on the events and people who have shaped their faith, that would be of interest also, but is definitely not mandatory.
The series has been a success with both the audience and the speakers. It provides a good opportunity for Plymouth Church to hear from leaders such as mayors, school superintendents, college presidents and professors, media personalities, and numbers of notable people from Wichita and Kansas. The Men’s Club takes pride in the value this series adds to The Plymouth Experience.