A Unitarian Universalist Church | 1800 Bell Ave., Des Moines, IA 50315 | P: 515-244-8603
This Sunday: June 6, 2021
Francis David and the Light of Reason
Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw
(Link active at 9:30 am, service begins at 10 am)
**Please mute your mics before the service begins
Francis David founded the Unitarian Church of Transylvania and was the leading figure in the Notrinitarian movements during the Protestant Reformation. Come and learn about the early years of our free faith.

Or Dial In:
(301) 715 8592 • (312) 626 6799
Meeting ID: 885 408 840
Passcode: 781950
Also this Sunday:

11:30 am - 1:30 pm: Annual Meeting
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: June 6 - 12
Gene McCracken is the Pastoral Care Associate available for the week beginning at 11 am on Sunday morning, June 6. 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 2
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. At this time, we are still at LEVEL 2 but the metrics are improving rapidly. If the present trends continue, it is likely that all of the indicators will be within the Level 3 thresholds by next week. The LENS committee will review the latest data again on Tuesday evening, and will recommend appropriate changes to the Board at that time.
At our current Level 2, groups of 20 or fewer people are allowed to meet outdoors, with 10 or fewer meeting indoors. Meetings in the church building are limited to using Griffin Hall, the gathering area, or the auditorium. Groups meeting for food events are limited to outdoor locations with 10 or fewer people. Physical distancing must be maximized at all times.

The LENS Committee has recommended significant changes to the procedures that will allow additional activities with fewer restrictions at Level 3. The revised procedures will be published as soon as they are approved by the Board. While we know that some adults cannot be vaccinated, that children cannot yet be vaccinated, and that immunocompromised people, even if vaccinated may not have full protection against COVID-19 infection, we encourage everyone who can to get vaccinated as soon as possible. As we expand our activities, we will expect each person to do their part to protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated, wearing a mask if not vaccinated, and taking other precautions as outlined in the procedures. We know that the entire congregation is eager to get back together again and the LENS committee is working hard to prepare for that time. We welcome thoughts and ideas from the congregation. Please feel free to contact anyone on the LENS committee.

Note from Charles Lewis, DFA: Now that we’re at Level 2 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.
Church Annual Meeting
Sunday, June 6 @ 11:30 am
All members are invited to join First Unitarian's Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 6, at 11:30 a.m. CT via Zoom. You will receive an email packet sent from the Board of Trustees that includes the link to allow you to register for the meeting, the meeting agenda, and background information about what will be discussed. Once you have submitted your registration, you will be sent a Zoom link for the meeting. Be sure to SAVE THAT LINK, as it will not be public. Full instructions regarding participation are included in your packet.

During the meeting there will be a recap of the accomplishments from the past church year; elections for the Endowment Committee and Board of Trustees; special recognition of church members and groups, the Unsung UU award and more. There will also be bylaws changes to vote on for both the Endowment Fund and the church, and the presentation of the proposed church budget for 2021-2022. Please take time to review your Annual Meeting packet prior to attending the meeting. 
Communications Schedule
Communications Coordinator Kerrie Lee is taking some vacation time and will be unavailable between Saturday, June 12 - Sunday, June 19. Please have any communication pieces that need to be released during that time (Intercom articles, calendar events, website updates, etc.) submitted by no later than Wednesday, June 9. Thanks!
Transgender Alliance Group Meeting
Friday, June 4 @ 7 pm
On Friday, June 4th, at 7:00 pm there will be a Zoom meeting to discuss the reinvigorating and restarting of our own Transgender Alliance Group (TAG) at UCDSM. Please join us as we discuss the role TAG can play in our First Unitarian community and in the wider world.

Playground Renovation
Saturday, June 5 @ 9-11 am
Thank you Chelsea and Eric Hayes and family for getting the ball rolling on the playground renovation! Good progress was made! Thanks to Liz and Larry Bredeson, Sarah Chang, Deidre Fudge, Barb Royal and Mara Strickler for coming out to help. We were able to finish earlier because of your help. The work continues this Saturday, June 5.

First Unitarian Aging to Saging Group and the Alzheimer's Association Presentations
Thursday, June 10 @ 7:00 pm
Effective Communication Strategies
Thursday, June 10 @ 7:00 pm
Communication is more than just talking and listening – it’s also about sending and receiving messages through attitude, tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language. As people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias progress in their journey and the ability to use words is lost, families need new ways to connect. Join us to explore how communication takes place when someone has Alzheimer’s, learn to decode the verbal and behavioral messages delivered by someone with dementia, and identify strategies to help you connect and communicate at each stage of the disease.

These two presentations will be Zoom presentations with time for questions at the end of each program. For more information contact Janis Elliott.

Food Fair Update
Final FFFFFF&M Stats
  • Amount Raised: $9,570
  • Amount Cleared After Expenses: $9,092
  • Total Participants: 70

Thank you to all who offered events or items, purchased events or items, or did both! Thank you to the food fair committee members Susan Seitz, Sally Merritt, Dagny Fidler and Barb Royal for getting the word out.

Check here for open event seats. If interested in attending or you want to be on a wait list, email your request to foodfair@ucdsm.org.

Open Seats for June Events

  • Saturday, June 12: 6 slots available Saturday afternoon for Christen Bain’s Crafternoon at the Art Center event $20 adults/$10 children.
Write Here, Write Now!
Citizenship for Immigrant Essential Workers
Due: Thursday, June 10
This month we’ll write our Senators to urge them to support pathways to citizenship for essential workers and their families, including support for S.264 – The DREAM Act, S.306 the SECURE Act (for TPS holders), and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act sent to the Senate as (H.R.1603). We’ll also urge them to go beyond that by finding ways to incorporate citizenship for essential workers and their families in must-pass legislation.

Join in writing Senators Grassley and Ernst to urge them to seize this opportunity to offer citizenship to people who’ve done so much to help us through the worst pandemic in a century, but who have been denied the benefits the rest of us are eligible to receive.
Letters are due by Thursday, June 10. 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: Senator Letters - Pathway to Citizenship 
Humanist Book Group
Sunday, June 20 @ 11:05 am
The Humanist book group meets on the first and third Sunday of each month, immediately after the church service. Please note we will not be meeting June 6th. 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 16-17. Join us at 11:05 AM on Sunday, June 20.

Send a note to HumanistBookGroup@ucdsm.org if you would like an invite to join the Zoom session.
Help Jumpstart Green Sanctuary!
Are you passionate about any of these?

Clean Drinking Water
Breathable Air
A Healthy Earth
Carbon Drawdown
Climate and Social Justice
Your Ancestors and Future Generations

Do you want to do something about it at First Unitarian? Read more on our website!
Take a Walk Around the Church Grounds
Volunteers continue to make a difference, as we begin to open up the church and grounds. Two couples routinely pick up trash around the grounds throughout the year. Thanks Barb and Bruce Martin, Al Powers and Ann Mowery. Elaine Imlau adopted the flower bed under the oaks. Sue Huber and Amanda and Alan Kruse keep the Peace Pole Garden in shape. We had a good turnout for an initial spring cleanup on May 22 with the help of Grounds Council members Theresa Miller, Sue Huber, Chuck Mertes and volunteers Liz and Larry Bredeson, Chelsea Hayes, Jean Tauber and Sachiko Murphy. Thanks to you all!

Kudos to Chelsea and Eric Hayes, who are leading the playground renovation projects with the help of a Reach Grant and a hardy band of folks willing to help make our grounds fun, kid friendly, and safe! Please come and see the work that has been accomplished so far.

We have a small group of folks who have served on the Grounds Council over the years with some areas of concentration: Doug Aupperle and Jane Rider for the Memorial Garden; Nate Hoogeveen, Chuck Mertes, Diane Ford for the trails and woods area; Ron Bowerman for bird feeders and in general; Theresa Miller and Sue Huber in general. The members spend a lot of solo time working to keep things going during Covid and after the derecho.

In addition to scheduled volunteer work days, we need more folks to "adopt" areas. We need someone to regularly weed along the hostas along the east stairway. We need someone to regularly weed around the patio and sweep it occasionally. We need someone to weed along the west side of the building, clip any suckers at the base of trees, and trim branches that might hang too low over the sidewalk. We need someone to keep an eye on the walks and stairs and sweep them when necessary. We need someone to help weed the Memorial Garden on a regular basis. We need new Grounds Council members! These duties may be once a week, twice a month or even only once a month, but would be a big help.

If you think you can take any of these duties on, or if you have other ideas, please contact grounds@ucdsm.org and we will help get you started.
Thank You to the
Immigration Justice Outreach Team
I would like to thank members of the Immigration Justice Outreach Team for their work this past year to maintain and create connections with immigrants and organizations working on behalf of immigrants, including:

  • Offering volunteer activities and financial support through a Faith in Action partnership that furthered the work of Proteus, Al Exito, and AFSC
  • Supporting AFSC and Iowa JFON as they merged to form the new organization Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice (IMMJ) 
  • Supporting Al Exito’s annual Mary Campos scholarship dinner 
  • Supporting Knock and Drop, an immigrant-led organization that works to alleviate food insecurity among our immigrant neighbors,
  • Working with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and Iowans For Immigrant Freedom (IFIF) to raise funds for commissary accounts of persons detained by ICE in the Hardin County Jail. Funds enable those detained to place phone calls to family and legal consul
  • Maintaining relations with the Iowa Sanctuary Movement and chairing the Iowa Sanctuary Movement Finance team

I am grateful that the Immigration Justice Outreach Team found ways to further justice for our immigrant neighbors despite the pandemic, and I am grateful that members of the Congregation contributed funds supporting this work.

Thank you.
Michael Lauer, Immigration Justice Outreach Team
Asylum Support Team Recognition
As our sponsorship of an asylum seeker comes to an end, with Briana soon leaving Iowa for Sacramento, California, I would like to give special recognition to the few people who made our sponsorship possible over the past year.

First, thank you to all in our First Unitarian Community who donated financially - without you, sponsorship would not have been possible.

While the asylum support “team” is large, the work of accompanying Briana as she transitioned to life in the states was managed by just a handful.

Megan and Lisa Irey, Sue Huber, Elaine Imlau, Morgan Dredge, Sally Boekholdt, Dave Witke, and Judy Davis.

When it looked as if we wouldn’t have sponsors, Megan and Lisa answered the call - literally, I emailed them to ask if they would consider sponsorship and within a day they were all-in. They jumped into the unknown to offer their home and their friendship to a woman they had never met and whose language they didn’t speak. They remain Briana’s friends and staunchest advocates.

The Irey’s, Elaine, Sue, and Morgan variously housed Briana, took her to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, and to ICE when we finally convinced them to remove her ankle monitor. They took her on bike rides, had her over for dinner, and celebrated her birthday and Christmas.

They helped her move into her own apartment, ran interference w/the apartment management when needed, interpreted for her, answered texts and calls at any hour, helped set up her phone, television, bank account, and helped Briana manage her finances.

This past month they all have worked to make Briana’s move to California a reality.

Lisa Irey took on the legal role and worked with the student lawyers from Drake assigned to B’s asylum case.

Speaking of finances - Sally Boekholdt and Judy Davis raised funds, thanked donors, and kept the wider Iowa Sanctuary Movement members and donors informed about sponsorship.

Dave Witke was at nearly every zoom team meeting - internet permitting! And was always ready with his trademark sage advice and to offer support in any and every way.

What makes this truly extraordinary isn’t just the “work” itself, but the loving accompaniment given freely to a woman who simply wants the freedom and safety to be her true self - something most of us take for granted.

And this was - and continues- during a pandemic.

So let’s all make a point of thanking these tireless volunteers who spent this past year truly living their UU faith.

Thank you.

Karen Lauer
Immigration Justice Asylum Support Team and Outreach Team
Kitchen Committee
The church kitchen serves 10,000 cups of coffee and thousands of meals in a typical year. It is time for a refresh and we want your input. We are looking to understand how groups and individuals utilize the kitchen space. We want to not just replace the appliances, but also design a better traffic flow and better perform food and drink prep and service. How are you using it now and what would you like to see for the future?

Email suggestions or questions to: uukitchencommittee@groups.outlook.com
Pride Month Events
Sunday, June 13; Sunday, June 27
Capitol City Pride events are going on now through the end of June. Please check out the schedule at https://www.capitalcitypride.org.

First Unitarian has applied to participate in the activities on Sunday, June 13 and in the Car Parade on June 27. The parade will be held in Waterworks Park. Cars will drive through to see stationary “floats.” If we are approved, we will need folks to take shifts working a table on June 13, as well as designing, building, and being on hand to help with the float for the parade. We will let you know as soon as we find out if we’ve been accepted.

Volunteers will be need from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm on June 13. The June 27 parade begins at 3:00 pm, but volunteers will be needed to plan, construct our float for that date, as well as to set it up, work, and tear it down. We’re accepting tentative volunteers for these activities.

Please email Membership Coordinator Lyra Halsten at membership@ucdsm.org and specify the dates and times you will be available. After confirmation is received, Lyra will be in touch with you to coordinate our plans.
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
Our Contributions Add Up

So far this church year, our congregation has contributed more than $4,000 to the work of the Coalition, a nonprofit organized to help our immigrant neighbors meet their basic life needs during the Covid-19 crisis.

All three Coalition partners -- Al Exito, Proteus, and American Friends Service Committee-- have sent us their thanks, especially since many of their other contribution sources have dried up.

The assistance is crucial, because many immigrant families do not qualify for the federal programs launched to ease the pandemic’s economic effects. Our contributions have helped with food, housing, utilities, medical costs, school expenses, etc.

Our contributions come from the Sunday collection plate, with half of the collection going toward our own church’s social justice work and the other half being divided equally between our year’s two social justice partners: the Coalition and Planned Parenthood. So a total of more than $8,000 has gone to our year’s two partners so far.

New partners will be chosen at the church’s annual meeting this Sunday (June 6), so contribute to the collection plate soon.
Voting Sunday for
21-22 Faith in Action Partners
Faith in Action is excited to announce that we have three nominated organizations for the 2021-2022 partnership. Out of these three organizations, membership will vote to choose two at the annual meeting this coming Sunday. To learn more about the organizations, what volunteer opportunities will be available, and how the funds will be used click the links below.

Knock and Drop (and other Immigration Justice partners) – Knock and Drop was established just over a year ago, originally setting out to provide meals to members of the Latino Community quarantining at motels and away from their families. Organizers quickly expanded the program to include providing food to families. Knock and Drop is an organization for positive community action that implements programs beneficial to the Latinx Community.

Just Voices – Just Voices works to document data and collect stories from Black and Brown people and their experiences with racially biased policing. The work of Just Voices is twofold – sharing stories via their website to educate and working with city and state governments to pass laws that ban racial profiling in Iowa.

US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants: Des Moines – USCRI has served refugees and immigrants, supporting their transition to a dignified life, since the early 1900s. In the last ten years, USCRI welcomed over 4,000 refugees to Iowa. Currently, the Des Moines office is working on providing apartment set-up to refugees and trafficking survivors and connecting refugees and immigrant families to their new home and communities through the Family Friends initiative.
More Upcoming Meetings & Events
If you wish to add your virtual event to our calendar,
please contact Kerrie Lee: communications@ucdsm.org.

We do not list rentals, closed groups and committee meetings in this email. 
For a FULL list of upcoming meetings and events, click on:
June 4 | Transgender Alliance Group Meeting @ Virtual Meeting, 7:00 - 8:00 pm

June 5 | Playground Renovation @ First Unitarian Church, 9:00 - 11:00 am

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

June 8 | Saging Book Club @ Email for Link, 10:30 am - 12:00 noon

June 8 | UU Women's Lunch Bunch @ Virtual Meeting, 1:00 - 2:00 pm

June 10 | Aging to Saging Presentation @ Virtual Meeting @ 7:00 - 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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