A Unitarian Universalist Church | 1800 Bell Ave., Des Moines, IA 50315 | P: 515-244-8603
This Sunday: April 25, 2021
 Pathways to Creating a New Earth Day Story
Pachamama Alliance - Iowa
(Link active at 9:30 am, service begins at 10 am)
**Please mute your mics before the service begins
Pachamama Alliance – Iowa will be leading the Worship Service at First Unitarian Church this Sunday. It will include elements of Pachamama Alliance throughout the Service with an overall Earth Day theme. Join us to celebrate Earth Day and Learn more about Pachamama Alliance – Iowa!

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:

11:15 am - 12:15 pm: Young Adults Virtual Social Hour @ Email for 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 25 - May 1
Susan Jellinger is the Pastoral Care Associate available for the week beginning at 11 am on Sunday morning, April 25. You may reach them at pastoralteam@ucdsm.org or by calling their telephone number found in the church directory.
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
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. While all metrics in Central Iowa are slightly improved and moving in the right direction this week, they do not meet criteria to move to Level 2 and as a result, we remain in 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.

On April 2, 2021, the CDC issued new guidelines, “What You Can Do Once You Are Fully Vaccinated.” The LENS committee has recommended and the Board has approved changes to First Unitarian Church’s procedures to reflect the new CDC guidelines, changing the term “family group” to “pod.”

A pod is defined as a group of six or fewer people that are either 1) from a single household, or 2) are all fully vaccinated and have mutually agreed to become members of the pod. Persons in a pod that are not from a single household should not have any unvaccinated household members who are at increased risk of complications if infected with COVID-19.

Please note that other than the redefinition of “family group” to “pod,” all other requirements of the different levels remain the same. In Level 1, face coverings are still required in small group meetings, except during food events. Please read the full, updated Lens of the Future Report for specific requirements.

If COVID rates start to rise, we may have to go back to Level 0. Take this opportunity to enjoy the outdoors 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.
Starship UCDSM:: Calling All Stewards
Yes, dear friends, that's you! Have you made a commitment for the coming church year?

What comes next for our beloved starship as we move from pandemic Level 1 to Level 2 and beyond? Be part of the imagination that creates our journey together by making your commitment today!

We are in the final push for pledges, and now is the time to make your commitment for July 2021 - June 2022.

Current Captain's Log:

# of pledges received: 184
Total raised to date: $453,856

To meet our goal and propel Starship UCDDSM to it's next planetary goal, we still need $75,725 in pledges. Pledges of any size will move us toward that goal!

If you have questions about the coming year's budget or your giving, please contact Charlie Lewis.

If you currently have an automatic payment for your pledge, you should've received an email from Charlie with details on how to update that payment; if you didn't, or you aren't sure what to do, please call Charlie.

If we haven't heard from you by the end of April, we will be in touch by phone, text, email, or teleportation. We need to hear from you.

Your Starship Stewardship Ministry Team

PS Pledges for 2020-21 do NOT roll over automatically, so we need to hear from you. Current pledges will end in June.
Board of Trustees Schedule Update
Beginning May 1, 2021 the First Unitarian Board of Trustees will not be meeting every week. The Board will meet the first Thursday of the month for visioning and attending to matters related to the pandemic, and will continue to meet for it's regular business meeting on the third Thursday of the month.
Calling All Coffee Drinkers!
In person, First Unitarian Church purchases and serves Don Justo Coffee with Dignity - Not Just a Cup of Coffee - A JUST Cup of Coffee shade-grown organic coffee from El Salvador. This is an Iowa-El Salvador community development project in the Departamento of Usulutan in NE El Salvador established by Iowans through the Des Moines Presbytery. Approximately 750 pounds of coffee is roasted and shipped to Iowa every month. This high quality “Café Altura” is sold for $10/pound and over $5.50 is returned to the community, supporting jobs for many families that helps stabilize their lives in this rural area.

You can order Don Justo Coffee directly from the program coordinators Betty and Maurice Dyer of Indianola for delivery in the Metro area.
Email: donjustocoffee@gmail.com or text/call 515-971-8406 (Betty)

Regular - Medium, Dark and French roasts in whole bean and ground - $10/lb.
Decaf - Medium and Dark roasts in whole bean or ground - currently on sale for $9/lb.

We have been growing an El Salvador Fund with contributions to eventually contribute to a project in El Salvador. Our member Kent Newman plans to lead a delegation to El Salvador when we can plan to do so safely.
Food Fair Events and Items Now on Sale
See the Bidding Instructions and Updated List of events with open seats and all auction items.

Check out the Bidding Site!

Contact member Elaine Imlau at Foodfair@ucdsm.org with questions.
REACH Grant Applications
Now Being Accepted
Due: May 15
In this time of uncertainty, let your ideas flow for radical engagement and creative happenings at church!

Applications for REACH Grants for the next fiscal church year (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022) are being accepted through May 15, 2021. REACH grants can be awarded to church members and groups for ideas related to community outreach, educational opportunities for members, or equipment purchases. This is your chance to plan a program or event beyond our usual budget limitations. We have $14,800 available for grants this year, with each individual grant capped at $2,500.

If you have questions or would like to discuss your project prior to completing the application, please e-mail the Endowment Committee at Endowment@UCDSM.org
Website Scavenger Hunt!
Explore our new website and win FABULOUS PRIZES! Answer questions that help you discover amazing things. Submit your answer form by Sunday, April 25.

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 10-12. Join us on Sunday, May 2 at 11:05 am.

Send a note to HumanistBookGroup@ucdsm.org if you would like an invite to join the Zoom session.
Progressive Voices Concert Series
Ellis Delaney: Saturday, May 8 @ 7:30 pm
Join us from the comfort of your living room for this virtual, live concert on Saturday, May 8 at 7:30 pm. This concert will be available on both Facebook and YouTube.

Click the links below to view the live concert:

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." 
2020-21 Outreach Partners
Central Iowa Immigrant Support Coalition &
Planned Parenthood North Central States - Iowa
Central Iowa Immigrant Support Coalition
Mary Campos Scholarship Luncheon is Sunday 

The needs of our immigrant neighbors during this long-lasting pandemic have been so severe that all the major large-grant money that the coalition gathered has been used up. This means our congregation’s Sunday contributions, and those of other smaller civic groups, have become even more important.
Each of the coalition members (Al Exito, Proteus, and American Friends Service Committee) have some remaining non-coalition funds that are still being applied to relief and to their traditional services.
One such program – Al Exito’s annual Mary Campos Scholarships luncheon – is scheduled for this Sunday, April 25, at 2 p.m. via Zoom.

Fifteen Latinx students will be honored with scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,500.
First Unitarian has hosted this event in the past and has long helped support it. Some of our congregation members are scholarship contributors.

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.
Social Justice Ministry Leadership Team Letter of Conscience
As Unitarian Universalists, the principles of our faith call us to strive for justice, equity, and compassion in human relations for everyone. The Social Justice Ministry Leadership Team, a group of activists from the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines that look to support Social Justice Activism and Activists with Knowledge, Connection and Encouragement, have sent to our State Senators and Representatives and our Governor a Letter of Conscience that many of you have signed asking to hear us as they consider this year’s legislation. Even in the midst of this pandemic, we UU’s are acting on the Side of Love.

People Detained by ICE Need Our Help
ICE reportedly is ending its contract with the Hardin County Jail as a warehouse for people under ICE hold.

Tuesday, April 20, ICE was holding 21 people at Hardin County Jail, down from 88 a couple of years ago. The next morning ICE moved 12 people from the Hardin County Jail. One of these individuals was deported. The other 11 were moved to other holding facilities: 2 in Pottawatomie County Jail and the others in Hall County Jail in Grand Island Nebraska. Nine individuals remain in ICE custody in the Hardin County Jail. It is possible that one of the individuals in Grand Island was or will be deported, too. The situation is murky.

Please consider making a donation so we can add money to the commissary accounts of the 20 people still being detained by ICE. Money in commissary accounts can be used for incidental expenses such as a phone call. One 20-minute phone call costs $8.

Click here and donate to the Minister's Discretionary Fund on our website. Or send a check to First Unitarian and indicate 'Minister's Discretionary Fund' on the memo line.

We wish to raise $500 so that we can add $25 to the commissary account of each of these 20 detained individuals. This small amount of money could be of great psychological value. We are standing ready to provide short-term housing support if that is required by someone ICE releases.

We have enjoyed such strong support from our First Unitarian community in Immigration Justice issues. Thank you! We ask you to support this effort to help mitigate some of the harm our government has inflicted on these individuals.

Immigration Justice Outreach Team of First Unitarian: Dave Witke, Gene McCracken, Judy Davis, Sue Huber, Theresa Miller, Karen Lauer, and Mike Lauer.
The killing of Daunte Wright by a law enforcement officer, only days before another former law enforcement officer was about to be convicted of murdering George Floyd in that same community, now weighs heavily on our hearts and minds. That scores of other black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) have also been killed by police officers throughout this country only underscores the gravity of our concern. We, as members and friends of the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, categorically proclaim that these extrajudicial killings by police officers must stop nationwide. This has gone on far too long. We are not blind to it, nor are we numb to the pain that it has inflicted upon BIPOC communities. We hear their cries for justice. 
Our principles call us to strive for justice, equity, and compassion in human relations for everyone. They also call us to work toward creating a world community of peace, liberty, and justice for all. Institutionalized structures of racism violate these principles, so we must be called to the vital work of dismantling and replacing those structures. Because this is what believe, we will join with Black Lives Matter (BLM), Standing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and all of those who rightly aim to take down institutions that perpetuate systemic racism and build up in their place those that better uphold mutual liberation and equal justice.  

If you desire to engage as in allyship, please visit our website to view and consider opportunities. There are so many ways to show up, find what works for you; such as donating on an on-going or one-time basis, provided time and donations.  
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 23 | Laughing at God @ Virtual Class, 6:00 - 7:00 pm

Apr 26 | Monday Night Pagan Social @ Virtual Meeting, 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Apr 26 | Awakening Heart Sangha @ Email for link, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Apr 29 | Board of Trustees Informal Gathering @ Virtual Meeting, 6:00 - 7:00 pm

Apr 30 | 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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