A Unitarian Universalist Church | 1800 Bell Ave. Des Moines, IA 50315 | P: 515-244-8603
This Sunday, July 31, 2022
9:30 a.m. in the Auditorium & via Zoom
Come Into This Place
with Louise Alcorn & Birch Spick
Amid summer business and a hectic world, many of us can use some calm, collected presence right now. Join members Birch Spick and Louise Alcorn for a melange of wisdom, humor and faith, served chilled after this hot, hot July week. Come and be calm and cool and together.

Zoom Passcode: Safford
(Please mute your mic before the service begins!)
No Forum

Forums are over for the 2021-2022 church year. Please join us this autumn when we resume our regularly scheduled programming!
Joys & Concerns
Joys & Concerns for Sunday should be submitted by noon on Friday.
Click on the Caring Community webpage for the following options:

  • Caring Ministry – for temporary assistance, such as meals or rides, or to volunteer 
  • Please note: the Caring Ministry phone number is now
  • 515-244-8603 ext. 108
  • Pastoral Care – for support through a difficult time 
Pastoral Care: July 31 – August 6
Gene McCracken is the Pastoral Care Associate available for the week beginning at
10:30 a.m. this Sunday. Email pastoralcareteam@ucdsm.org for assistance or call the Associate's telephone number in the church directory.
Bob Glass

Long-time member and friend Bob Glass died peacefully at home Tuesday with his wife, Barb, at his side after struggling with Trigeminal Neuralgia. A service celebrating his life will be held in September.

Please contact Pastoral Care for information on where to send cards and condolences.
Thank You to Our Church
Cleaning Volunteers!
from First Unitarian Church of Des Moines Staff

Thank you to our gracious volunteers, Kathy Meitl (and kids), who stepped up to clean the church this week!
There's a light at the end of the tunnel for church cleaning! Jani-King puts our start date, tentatively, at the second full week of August. Thank you so much for all your help as we worked together to find this solution!

It looks like we have just one week of volunteer cleaning left. Feel free to sign up for a section if you have time, using the link below.

UU Ringers Receive Reach Grant
from Karen Kraemer, Choir Director
The handbell choir is grateful to announce it is a recipient of a Reach Grant to refurbish the brass handbells and chimes and properly maintain these beautiful bells for years to come! A Reach grant will also provide funds to purchase a bell tree stand for individual solo bell ringing, new music folders, and bell ringer development for ringers to attend the 2022 Mid-Iowa Handbell Festival in October. The UU Ringers thank the Reach Grant committee for this generous funding!

New Ringers are encouraged to join! 
We actually would like to recruit one or two more ringers! Please contact Karen Kraemer, Director of Choirs, at choir@ucdsm.org with your interest.
Don't Forget!
Sign Up for Adult RE Programming
Registration is still open for the following Adult RE Programs:

  • Parker Palmer Book Groups
  • Tai Chi
  • Soul Matters
  • Song-writing
  • Inuit Art & Culture

Visit the Adult Programming page at ucdsm.org for more information.
Our New Kitchen Dishwasher
Has Arrived!!!!
from the Kitchen Project Committee
The passing of our old dishwasher was noted a few months ago in this space. It was well-loved, well-used and its time had come. This week we are delighted to announce the arrival of our BRAND NEW dishwasher! You can check it out in Griffin Hall as it is uncrated and fully visible. Here is a photo from the manufacturer. 

It is a super-duper energy efficient and sleek CMA-180-VL High Temperature, 3-Door, Single Rack Dishwasher. Were it a car, it would be like a cross of the Batmobile and an Audi Q6. But this baby will get our pots and coffee cups clean before you can say “Holy baked on ziti, Batman!”  The system can run on a 90-second cycle (60 second wash/rinse and 30 second steam evacuation) using only 0.89 gallons of water per rack. Based on this 90 second cycle, the dishwasher could clean 40 racks/hour! 
The new “ventless heat recovery system condensation removal system” captures and distributes normally exhausted (via a ceiling hood) heat from the wash/rinse tank, using this FREE energy to pre-heat cold water prior to feeding the booster heater to bring the water to 180 degrees. How cool is this! Incidentally, the “180” in the unit’s name represents the temperature of the heat sanitizing process.
Here are more details for the mechanical nerds among us: The water vapor from the wash and rinse cycles is condensed to heat the incoming cold water and evacuate the steam from the wash chamber.  The final rinse valve receives cold water (41-65F) that is processed through the “heat recovery system,” providing nearly cost free heating capabilities for water supplied to the booster heater, which reduces the recovery time for the booster.  The 12kW electrical booster heater assures 180F sanitizing rinse every cycle. The wash tank uses a 6kW tank heater. Wash tank screens, which filter re-circulating wash water, prevent soil from entering the spray arms. 
In addition to the savings in operational costs, we also save THOUSANDS of $$$ on installation as no venting through the roof is required. This unit is all durable stainless steel and comes with many safety features to insure ease of operation which makes it a perfect choice for our church kitchen. The cost was $19,000 which includes the stainless steel counter, sink and back splash. Our local vender is Bolton & Hay; thanks to Pat Headley and Janet Thurtell of the Furnishings team for all the homework to find us this state-of-the-art machine!
This long awaited kitchen improvement won’t be hooked up until we have the necessary electric and plumbing installed. But, the Kitchen Project Committee is so excited that there’s talk of putting together an interpretive dance to depict this awesome technology at a future worship service. Stay tuned!
Entrance Via East/West Doors
We anticipate work to begin soon on the installation of the kitchen grease “trap” outside the west entrance and the new lift inside the east entrance. During this work, the east exterior doors will be still be accessible but the lower auditorium doors will need to be moved a bit to accommodate the lift. Al Powers is working closely with the carpenter and anticipates the work will begin next week. We expect these interruptions to be brief but they may overlap a Sunday. Watch for future notices and do catch Al Powers’ Construction Spotlight during this Sunday’s service (along with a VERY special announcement from Ann Mowery).   

The installation of the grease interceptor is scheduled to start on Monday, August 8, and is expected to take approximately 3 weeks to complete. The sidewalk outside of the west entry doors will be removed and replaced, and the west entrance will be closed for the duration of the construction. We expect the west entrance will be closed for three Sundays – August 13, 20, and 27. During that time the handicapped entrance will be through the south doors.
Urge Congress to Fix
the Electoral Count Act Now!
from Write Here, Write Now
This month we’ll write our Senators to urge them to support legislation amending the Electoral Count Act to prevent actions such as Donald Trump and his minions attempted to prevent the last election from succeeding.

The Electoral Count Act must be amended to do the following, and more:
  • Ensure the Vice President cannot reject Electoral College Electors certified by state
  • increase the number of members of Congress required to raise an objection to a state's submission of electoral votes

At least two draft Senate bills are being discussed. They include Sen. Amy Klobuchar's extensive bill and a bipartisan bill filed by Senators Susan Collins and Joe Manchin. Either bill would be a significant improvement over current law and would effectively prevent the election abuses Trump attempted in 2020-21. Neither Senator Grassley nor Senator Ernst were among the bipartisan group of Senators working on the Collins-Manchin Bill.
Join in writing Senators Grassley and Ernst to urge them to ensure our government is not thrown into chaos by bad actors seeking to overthrow legitimate elections.  
Letters have no specific deadline, but we urge you to write as soon as possible as Senate action on legislation could come soon. You can send your letters by US Mail, by e-mail, or by direct online submission. The details, including a model letter are available Via the link below or on request via e-mail to: writenow@ucdsm.org.
Link to model letter and information, including a link to send your letters online: UUSJ Model Letter.
Green Sanctuary:
Upcoming Events & Meetings
Forums and Classes
We’re planning future Forums and classes to help First Unitarian members think about climate change. We would like your help. What would you like us to offer? Below are some ideas to get you thinking. You may recommend another topic. Email us at green@ucdsm.org
  • How will we use our new kitchen responsibly: Reusables vs. Disposables?
  • What is Regenerative Farming and how can it help our climate?
  • How can we inspire our youth to get involved in environmental work at our church?
  • What are Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFOS) and why are they bad for our state?
  • What life-style changes can my family make to help the environment?
  • What are some environmental issues in the Des Moines area?
  • What is Earth consciousness?
  • What is our church doing to become more climate-friendly?
  • How can we lower our use of fossil fuels through solar panels and geothermal?
  • Are electric cars sustainable?
  • Do you have suggestions of environmental documentaries?
  • What is materialism and why should we avoid it?
  • How should we care for our church grounds?

Statement of Conscience and Reusables
The Green Sanctuary Team of First Unitarian of Des Moines recognizes the UUA Statement of Conscience and proposes that the church follow sustainable practices by using washable, reusable tableware for serving and consuming food on site and at events sponsored by the church. We understand there may be rare instances when washable, reusable tableware cannot be used. In those cases, we recommend the use of compostable products that congregants will compost in local bins. 

Statement of Conscience
In 2006, the Unitarian Universalist Association developed a Statement of Conscience addressing the threat of global warming/climate change. Portions of this document are quoted below.
“Earth is our home. We are part of this world and its destiny is our own. Life on this planet will be gravely affected unless we embrace new practices, ethics, and values to guide our lives on a warming planet. As Unitarian Universalists, how can our faith inform our actions to remedy and mitigate global warming/climate change? We declare by this Statement of Conscience that we will not acquiesce to the ongoing degradation and destruction of life that human actions are leaving to our children and grandchildren. We as Unitarian Universalists are called to join with others to halt practices that fuel global warming/climate change, to instigate sustainable alternatives, and to mitigate the impending effects of global warming/climate change with just and ethical responses. As a people of faith, we commit to a renewed reverence for life and respect for the interdependent web of all existence."

Congregational Actions:
  • Treat environmentally responsible practices as a spiritual discipline;
  • Educate ourselves, our children, and future generations on sustainable ways to live interdependently;
  • Practice environmentally responsible consumption and encourage voluntary simplicity among members.

Upcoming Event
Pachamama Alliance-Iowa will host a Regeneration: Food “Share, Community, Action” event on Wednesday, August 10, at 7:00 p.m. This is a hybrid event, and you can register for a Zoom link here. Email PachamamaAllianceIowa@gmail.com for more information.

Next Meeting: Church members are always welcome to join us. Our next meeting will be Wednesday, August 3, 7:30 p.m. on Zoom.
Submissions to the Intercom Weekly are due on Wednesday at 12 noon. Submissions after the deadline cannot be guaranteed a spot in that week's newsletter.
 For a full list of upcoming meetings and events, please visit our church calendar.
Mark Your Calendar Now For the Next mUUvie Night!
from the mUUvie Crew
Sunday, August 14, at 7:30pm 

First Unitarian Church - Griffin Hall/Gathering Space

RSVP to muuvie@ucdsm.org so we can gauge the number of attendees and send you a reminder message!

August 14 - Hunt for the Wilderpeople - This award-winning New Zealand comedy features Ricky, a defiant young city kid who finds himself on the run with his cantankerous foster uncle in the bush. A national manhunt ensues, and the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together.

These are films that include public performance rights on Kanopy (not all films do), so we can gather and watch them together at Church without infringing on copyright laws.
A Remembrance & Committment
from Linda Lemons
Monday, August 8, 7:00 p.m.

In music, poetry, and words of recommitment, we will recall and grieve the unfolding of the nuclear age, the horrendous costs to the people of Japan, and the 
continuing costs and threats to people all over the globe. 
We will renew, to our children and future generations, our commitment of "Never Again."

Rain Location:
If you wish to add your meeting or event to our calendar, please contact: calendar@ucdsm.org
Circle Suppers
from the Circle Suppers Team
The circles are made of 4-5 households who come together once a month for as many months as there are members for a potluck dinner. The purpose is for church members to get to know one another better in an informal setting with the bigger goal of building a caring church community. The first round closed June 25th but interested people can register here for the next round of suppers starting soon. Organized by Susan Seitz and JoAnn Fitz.
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." 
Food Pantry Donations Needed
Let's drag the red barrel out of the coat closet and do some good! Non-perishable food items go a long way in our community, especially with kids out of school for the summer. Bring canned and dry goods to church with you on Sunday and deposit them in the red barrel in the main entry hallway.

Donations will be distributed to food pantries in the Des Moines metro area. Contact feds@ucdsm.org for more information and for volunteer opportunities.
Faith in Action Partners
Knock and Drop | Just Voices
Our current partnerships run from September 2021 through August 2022. They were selected by our members at our June 2021 annual meeting. The organizations are:
Our Champion is Gene McCracken
Our Champion is Harvey Harrison
Staff Office Hours & Contact Info
Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw, Senior Minister

Alice J. Stewart, Director of Finance and Administration
515-244-8603 ext. 101
Mondays: by appointment
Tuesdays – Thursdays: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Fridays: by appointment
Zoom meetings available on request

Emily Petty, Communications Coordinator
515-244-8603 ext. 103
Off Mondays
Tuesday-Friday, Sunday: by appointment
To submit an item for the Intercom, email communications@ucdsm.org

Hannah Notch, Social Media and Executive Support Specialist
Tuesday - Friday: 1:00 - 5:00 pm
To have an event or meeting added to the church calendar, email Hannah at calendar@ucdsm.org
Intercom Weekly Submissions
Deadline: Wednesday @ 12 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 12:00 p.m.

  • 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 @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 submit your information.
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