A Unitarian Universalist Church | 1800 Bell Ave., Des Moines, IA 50315 | P: 515-244-8603
This Sunday: April 4, 2021
Rise Up (Easter)
Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw
(Link active at 9:30 am, service begins at 10 am)
**Please mute your mics before the service begins
Come and join us for a joyous Easter celebration. The gloom of any tomb can be overcome by the light of hope.

Or Dial In:
(301) 715 8592 • (312) 626 6799
Meeting ID: 885 408 840
Passcode: 781950
Children's Chapel
Children's Chapel at 9:15 am on Zoom

Please visit our Facebook page for more details. https://www.facebook.com/ucdsm.re
Also this Sunday:

11:05 am - 12:05 pm: Humanism Book Discussion @ Email for Online Meeting Link
Joys & Concerns for Sunday should be submitted by noon on Friday.
If you are in need of temporary assistance, such as meals or rides, OR if you would like to help please click here to visit the Caring Ministry webpage.
Pastoral Care: April 4 - 10
Jim Carty is the Pastoral Care Associate available for the week beginning at 11 am on Sunday morning, April 4. You may reach them at pastoralteam@ucdsm.org or by calling their telephone number found in the church directory.
In Memoriam: Nancy Link
Nancy, a former member and long-time friend of our church, died March 16. She was an artist, poet, dancer, performer, and animal lover. She and her late husband Larry lived for many years on a century farm near Maxwell where he farmed and she painted. They were active in the local theater and loved dressing up in costume. Nancy and Larry were active members of our church in the late 60's and 70's. They led the YRUU youth group. They were also part of the original Drama Workshop group that got its start meeting in our church. They remained friends of the church over the years where Nancy held art shows and she and Larry taught ballroom dancing. No service is planned due to the Covid pandemic. Marilyn Lantz can provide more information; the church directory has her contact information.
Submissions to the Intercom Weekly are due on Wednesday at noon. Submissions after the deadline cannot be guaranteed a spot in that week's newsletter.
Lens of the Future Update
Current Level: Level 1
Oh, the pandemic has been such a strain;
Isolation, fear, boredom, and pain.
But Covid rates have begun
To go down! At Level One
We can be social in person again!

The Lens of the Future Committee is continuing to monitor the incidence of Covid 19 infections in the community and the status indicators that were adopted by the Board that we are using to determine the level of activity. Metrics have been declining or stabilizing, and as a result we have moved to LEVEL 1. 

We can now meet outdoors in small groups (ten or less). Social distancing and face masks are still required by all attendees. Building use is limited to single persons for set up and bathroom use for groups meeting on the church grounds.

If Covid rates start to rise, we may have to go back to Level 0. Take this opportunity to enjoy the outside and your UU community!

Note from Charles Lewis, DFA: Now that we’re at Level 1 for building access, I’d like to remind everyone to schedule their visits to the property. This is so we can manage how many people are on the grounds at any given time and coordinate with our custodial contractor on cleaning the building. You can contact me (director@ucdsm.org) or Kerrie Lee (communications@ucdsm.org) to submit your scheduling request.
Board of Trustees Meeting Highlights
March 18, 2021
Executive and Administrative Items – The Board thanked Rev. Shaw for the more extensive Executive Report. We encourage all members to review this document each month.

Financial Oversight Committee – The Committee met, thoroughly reviewed and made recommendations for the 2021-2022 draft budget. Special thanks to the Committee and Charlie for working together to establish the draft budget document.

Nominating Committee – Three applications have been received for Board of Trustees and we are still seeking applications for the Endowment and Financial Oversight Committees.

Lens of the Future – We are now at Level 1!

Endowment Committee – The Committee approved the $60,000 to be send on the lift project. The $40,000 for the kitchen was expected to be approved by the end of the week. The next step will be presenting to the membership at the annual meeting.

Kitchen Committee – It was formally approved at tonight's meeting with the following members: Ann Mowrey, Misti Craig, Laura Dammerell and Sue Huber.

Call for the Unsung UU Award – It's that time of the year, forms will be posted on the website.

Proposed 2021-2022 Budget – The Board spent time discussing the draft budget including the use of reserve funds, expenses to accommodate hybrid services, as well as staffing increases once the church reopens. Also discussed were the safety precautions that will be necessary once the building is open. The Board recognized that there are set, non-negotiable expenses that have to be covered. It was the Board's belief that there is nothing left to cut if we are to have a viable community. The Board moved to accept the draft 2021-2022 budget as presented.

Spring Board of Trustees Retreat is scheduled on April 4th from 3-5:00.

GA and Mid-American Delegates will be placed on the April agenda.
Congratulations, Charlie!
DFA Charles Lewis will be moving to Davis, California, late this summer because of a new position his wife has taken. However, that doesn’t mean we’re losing Charlie! He will continue to fulfill his duties as Director of Finance & Administration remotely. To facilitate this shift, we will be filling the bookkeeper and administrative assistant vacancies later this spring instead of next winter. We will also be reforging a Building Council, a task that had just gotten started when the pandemic hit and subsequently had to be put on hold.

Congratulations to Charlie and his family as they look ahead to a new adventure!
Check Out Our New Website!
Our new church website – ucdsm.org – has arrived! The Communications Team invites you to experience the new look and reorganized information. The goals of the new site are to 1) be an attractive, welcoming place for those looking for a new church home, and 2) make church information easy to find for current members and friends.

Here are a few things that are new:
  • Easy access within the site thanks to more accessible menus
  • Quick links at the bottom of every page to information like the church calendar, Joys & Concerns, and the latest Board of Trustees documents
  • A welcome video from Rev. Amy
  • A page that brings together all the ways to connect with the church or sign up to get information
  • A comprehensive lists of all Affinity Groups so you can find new interests

Please note: The transition began yesterday, April 1, and it make take up to 24 hours for everyone to see the new content, so please be patient. Also, some sections currently have COVID-related alerts letting people know what’s not happening or not happening in person. As we reopen the church in the coming months, updates will happen for those activities and the alerts will be taken down.
Communications Schedule
Communications Coordinator Kerrie Lee is taking some vacation time and will be unavailable between Saturday, April 10 - Sunday, April 18. Any communication pieces submitted during this time will be published the following week.
Budget Roundtables
Thursday, April 8 @ 7 pm
Sunday, April 11 @ 11:30 am
Tuesday, April 13 @ 6 pm
Budget Forums to discuss the budget proposed for Church Year 2021-22 will be held via Zoom on Thursday, April 8, at 7 pm; Sunday, April 11, at 11:30am; and Tuesday, April 13, at 6pm.

The Draft Budget and Notes can be found on the website: https://www.ucdsm.org/board-of-trustees/

Please review the notes as the most frequently asked questions are addressed there. We hope to see you there!

Help the Church Become More Welcoming
As we prepare to re-open the Church and as we hope to incorporate a more welcoming feel as directed by Widening the Circle, the Pastoral Care Team would like you to share with it and Reverend Amy what would make church enjoyable for you, and your children and elders? But before we ask for your thoughts, we want you to know that some changes are in the works--installation of a new sound system, additional close parking marked as handicapped accessible, push button door openings at major entrances and a new lift.

Here’s how you can help us. You or someone you know may have special needs that are not being met because we are unaware. For example, do we need to act differently, speak differently, have things on hand that would be soothing, or help you find your way through the building? Is there anything challenging about church that you'd like to be fixed or would make you or someone you know more comfortable? We'd like to work with you to make changes happen. Your feedback can be held in confidence of the Pastoral Care Team, if you desire. Address your comments to pastoralteam@ucdsm.org or call Ann Mowery, whose number is in the directory.
Humanist Book Group
Sundays @ 11:05 am
The Humanist book group meets on the first and third Sunday of each month, immediately after the church service. In our next meeting we are discussing Steven Pinker’s book – Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress. We will cover chapters 4-6. Join us on Sunday, March 21 at 11:05 am.

Send a note to HumanistBookGroup@ucdsm.org if you would like an invite to join the Zoom session for the book club.
Progressive Voices Concert Series
Teneia: Saturday, April 17 @ 7 pm
Join us from the comfort of your living room for this virtual, live concert on Saturday, April 17 at 7 pm. This concert will be available on both Facebook and YouTube.

Click the links below to view the live concert:

On Your Mark... Get Set...
Go! The UU Virtual Easter Egg Hunt 2021 is a go! 

The hunt begins Saturday, April 3, 2021 - the day before Easter - and will remain active throughout April. Spend the whole month exploring the UU net!
Playground Renovation
Last year, a REACH grant was approved to renovate the children’s play area. Chelsea Hayes is leading the effort. The progress was temporarily delayed due to the pandemic, but it’s time to get things back on track and make this happen! It will make our grounds more safe and even more beautiful!
The grant is going to expire soon and additional help. If you have construction, design skills, and landscaping skills, we need you! For more information, please send an email to playground@ucdsm.org. Thank you!
Affinity and Activity Groups
Information Survey
First Unitarian Church of Des Moines encourages and supports grassroots initiatives to create activities, including programs, groups, and events. These things enhance our vibrant community. To marshal our resources appropriately, encourage a diversity of programs, and meet the needs of the church and the wider community, the Membership Coordinator and Membership Council would like to track the activities that are being offered or considered through First Unitarian. If you would like to form a group through First Unitarian, please complete the survey below. Doing so will help us in supporting your efforts and coordinating organizational details as necessary.

For us to accurately track all groups, we are asking current groups, including those that are on hiatus due to the pandemic, to complete this survey as well. Thank you! 
Member Spotlight:
Ysandril (Ysa) Morrigan
Ysandril is originally from the suburbs of Washington, DC and moved to Des Moines in 2012. She lives in West Des Moines with her wife, Gwen, and her 8-year-old daughter, Isabella. “They are my world,” Ysandril said. They share their home with a Dutch bunny named Cinnamon. Ysa is a Licensed Massage Therapist. She describes herself as “a nerd” and loves philosophy, learning and growing, and playing online games.

Ysandril joined First Unitarian in November 2019. When she first began to attend, she met the person who would become her best friend! Some of the things that brought her to our community are our social justice work, the inclusivity she found here, and the pagan community. Some of the things she loves about First Unitarian are its genuine acceptance, inclusivity, and opportunities to connect. Ysa has been active in Sacred Bridges CUUPS (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans), but Covid-19 has severely curtailed her participation. She enjoys meeting up with other CUUPS members during the Monday evening Zoom sessions. 
If you'd like to set up a regular (weekly or monthly) contribution to our social justice activities, click here and enter the dollar amount for "Donation." 
Community Partner Nominations & Champions Wanted!
Faith in Action is a bridge connecting First Unitarian with the service organizations of our community. Each year our congregation selects 2 community organizations as partners. Each selected organization has a champion from the congregation who serves as a conduit for engagement activities with the selected groups.

The organizations receive ½ of the Sunday collections and also offer opportunities for our members to engage in activities and programs which allow for focused involvement.

At our next congregation annual meeting we will again select 2 organizations for the coming year beginning September 2021 and ending August 2022.

The Faith in Action Committee is seeking nominee organizations for the coming year. If you know of an organization you believe will be a good fit with our UU Community and are willing to serve as a Champion now is the time to begin the nomination process.

We have an application available on the First Unitarian web site. The Champion will help the organization complete the application. The applications will be reviewed by the Faith in Action Committee and the nominees will have opportunities to communicate their programs to our UU Community during the month of May.


March 8 through April 19 - Applications submitted.

April 19 through May 3 – Applications reviewed by Faith in Action.

May 3 through June 4 – Organizations communication activities.

June 6 – Annual Congregation Meeting – Organizations selected by ballot

PLEASE DIRECT QUESTIONS TO Faith in Action faithinaction@ucdsm.org.
2020-21 Outreach Partners
Central Iowa Immigrant Support Coalition &
Planned Parenthood North Central States - Iowa
Central Iowa Immigrant Support Coalition 

The COVID 19 Central Iowa Immigrant Emergency Fund was created last April in response to the need for relief and support for undocumented families and individuals - most are not eligible for government assistance. It is a partnership of Al Exito, AFSC Iowa and Proteus. Thanks for your continued support of this coalition.

Al Exito is busy working with students as they complete this chaotic school year. Scholarships will be awarded for those continuing with post-educ education in the next month or two. First Unitarian members provided generous support for the Mary E Campos Scholarship luncheon last November. Thank you ❤️!

We have a new Immigrant Justice organization emerging this month - Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice (Iowa MMJ). Here is an IPR news article on it. Exciting - lots of crucial work on immigrant justice!

This new organization is being created by the merger of the immigration efforts of the Iowa office of American Friends Service Committee (AFSC - Iowa) and Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors (Iowa JFON). We have supported, and have been supported by, these two organizations over the past years in our Sanctuary and Immigration Justice ministry. We are looking forward to growing these relationships in the months and years ahead as we continue this ministry.

Planned Parenthood in the Community, part 2

In the face of the pandemic, our Community Engagement and Education team rolled out virtual programming. In addition to developing methods to engage with students via online platforms like Zoom, CEE created podcasts, social media videos, resource guides for teachers and families, and other media to help meet the needs of the moment. These programs also allow access for those with limited mobility and in rural parts of the state. Some examples include:

  • In Des Moines, our education team bolstered relationships with a number of community partners led by the Polk County Health Department to plan and implement a program called the Mighty Girls Empowerment Series. This free program for female identifying youth ages 9-12 was hosted by the Des Moines Public Library and included conversations about empowerment, self-esteem, healthy friendships and relationships, puberty and periods, LGBTQ inclusivity, and stress management.
  • In Council Bluffs, CEE created a podcast called “What You Didn’t Learn in School” to provide an alternative method for sharing sexual and reproductive health information during the pandemic.
  • CEE staff participated in a Menstruation Celebration last summer hosted by the Ames Public Library. It was a fabulous opportunity to reduce shame and stigma around periods and have an open conversation about all people who may experience them regardless of their gender identity.
  • CEE staff organized a virtual presentation for 20 parents to help them understand effective ways to discuss body parts and consent with their young children under the age of six.
More Upcoming Meetings & Events
If you wish to add your virtual event to our calendar,
please contact Kerrie Lee: communications@ucdsm.org or 515-244-8603 ext. 107

We do not list rentals, closed groups and committee meetings in this email. 
For a FULL list of upcoming meetings and events, click on:
Apr 2 | Laughing at God @ Virtual Class, 6:00 - 7:00 pm

Apr 5 | Food Fair Submissions DUE

Apr 5 | Monday Night Pagan Social @ Virtual Meeting, 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Apr 5 | Awakening Heart Sangha @ Email for link, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Apr 8 | Board of Trustees Informal Meeting @ Virtual Meeting, 6:00 - 7:00 pm

Apr 8 | Budget Roundtable @ Virtual Meeting, 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Apr 9 | Laughing at God @ Virtual Class, 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Intercom Weekly Submissions
Deadline: Wednesday @ noon

  • In the body of an email, please include a title, relevant dates and times, contact information, and a brief description of your event or announcement.

  • Please proofread your article before submitting (or ask a trusted friend to proofread if you need help!) We try to check every article, but we still miss things.

  • An image can help make your article stand out! Please feel free to attach an image to your email. (JPG or PNG files are preferred.) Note: images that violate copyright laws will be rejected.

  • The Intercom Weekly is sent out to our mailing list on Friday at 7:00 am.

  • The deadline is Wednesday at noon. Submissions after the deadline cannot be guaranteed a spot in that week's newsletter.

  • We run announcements for no more than three consecutive weeks, so please plan accordingly.

  • Per church policy, we do not share private email addresses or phone numbers in our communications. We will set up an official looking @ucdsm.org email address for you as the contact person for your group which will automatically forward to your private email, so you won't have to do anything special to view it. (Please allow a few extra days for us to set up the email when you submit your announcement.)

Please email communications@ucdsm.org to have your event added to both the calendar and the newsletter.
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