Sue States, 2023 Recipient of the Rev. Susan Plymell Memorial Award

September 19, 2023
The Mountain Sky Conference’s Rev. Susan Plymell Memorial Award seeks to honor Rev. Susan Plymell’s legacy of courageous leadership and selfless sacrifice by recognizing leaders - clergy and laity - within the Mountain Sky Conference that exhibit similar inspirational qualities, including:
  • A resurrection witness shaped on following Christ, seeking after and accepting the Divine, always finding new life,
  • A bold ministry actively creating space for the Holy Spirit to enter and move people to action,
  • A humble spirit, passionately committed to service to others ahead of self,
  • A vision seeking to build the Kingdom for people we don't know and may never meet, and
  • Leadership representing the United Methodist tradition with professionalism and pride.

This year’s Plymell Award recipient is Sue States, FUMC Platteville, CO. The Rev. Daniel Viehland shares,
“Sue served as a licensed local pastor at North Park Community Church in Walden, CO, before returning to Platteville UMC, where she serves as a certified lay minister, lay leader, and member of Annual Conference. In those capacities she is an essential part of the congregation, frequently leading worship when I am unable to be there, providing good counsel and a deeper connection to the congregation, participating in regular Bible studies, and generally stepping up to meet whatever needs arise. 

But her passion isn’t just focused inwardly with the congregation. She frequently brings forth opportunities for the congregation to engage in justice ministries, encouraging us to do more and engage deeper in mission. She has devoted herself to works of mercy and justice, making the church a hub for activism in the local community and beyond. She is working with advocates for healthcare reform to create a more just health care system, including writing an extensively researched editorial on the financial impact of health costs on low-income Coloradans. But perhaps her biggest passion is working with the poor and unhoused in Northeastern Colorado. She had been working hard to form the Homeless Outreach Cooperative Ministry, a coalition of UMC churches seeking to address homelessness in our area.” 

While gathering care package supplies for unhoused neighbors and families at Guadalupe House in Greeley, CO, Sue has expanded her circle of welcome as she invited three other churches into the coalition. And her reach stretches beyond her community as she works for change across Colorado. Accessible healthcare is another passion of Sue’s, and she shares her research on the link between stable housing and accessibility to medical care in the article, The Undeniable Connection Between Health Care Affordability and Homelessness.

Like Rev. Plymell, Sue is actively creating space for the Holy Spirit to enter and move people to action, and her humble spirit to serve others above self gives us an Christ-like example to follow.