A Unitarian Universalist Church | 1800 Bell Ave., Des Moines, IA 50315 | P: 515-244-8603
This Sunday: May 9, 2021
 Mamas Don't Let You Babies
Grow Up to be Cowboys
Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw
(Link active at 9:30 am, service begins at 10 am)
**Please mute your mics before the service begins
Mothers help to shape the lives of their children. For good and bad, it’s a role that never ends. We recognize today all those who share the responsibility for shaping another human life.

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
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: May 9 - 15
Ann Mowery is the Pastoral Care Associate available for the week beginning at 11 am on Sunday morning, May 9. 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.

For the first time since we began monitoring, all metrics in Central Iowa are Green, within the criteria we set to move to Level 2. While this is very encouraging news, the LENS Committee does not yet recommend actually moving to Level 2. Taking a cautious approach, metrics must remain stable, within the criteria, for at least two or three weeks before the Committee will consider recommending to the Board that we move to Level 2. 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.

The Center of Disease Control (CDC) recently provided an updated guideline showing the relative risk for various activities (insert a link to the graphic). We know that those of you who are fully vaccinated may be enjoying activities that you have missed or are looking forward to those activities. The Lens of the Future Committee’s response is a bit more measured as we consider those of you that aren’t fully vaccinated and/or have been fully vaccinated but may have incomplete protection due to immune-compromised conditions. As the CDC says, the “CDC cannot provide the speci­fic risk level for every activity in every community. It is important to consider your own personal situation and the risk to you, your family, and your community before venturing out.”

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.
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:

Church Grounds Clean-Up
Sunday, May 9 @ 2 pm
Al Powers and Eric Hayes will be clearing dead wood and brush around the church grounds wood this Sunday, May 9 @ 2:00 pm. Additional volunteers would be very much appreciated! Please bring your own gloves, equipment, water, etc.
Food Fair Sales End 6 pm, Sunday May 9
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.
Widening the Circle of Concern
Tuesday, May 11 & Tuesday, May 25 @ 6 pm
This year we spent 12 weeks reading and exploring the UUA's Widening the Circle of Concern report. So, where do we go from here?

Join Rev. Amy and some members of the Board on Tuesday, May 11 and Tuesday, May 25 at 6 pm to hear about current plans for next year and to propose ideas of your own! Both meetings will us the same ZOOM link.

Asylum for Our Siblings:
Briana's on the Move!
Friday & Saturday, May 14 - 15
For the past year, our congregation has supported Briana, who came to Iowa seeking asylum from her native country of Honduras. Sponsored by Lisa and Megan Irey, she started out her pandemic stay living with them, and then moved into her own apartment as we awaited both the vaccine and a work permit so she could move forward.

The work of this support has involved a team of church members who have provided translation services, transportation, social support, and more. Many members of the congregation have contributed financially through regular and sustained giving to the Iowa Sanctuary Movement's Asylum Seeker Fund. We are so grateful for all the support!

Briana was finally able to apply for her work permit in April, and it is expected to arrive this month. She is making plans - with our team for support and encouragement! - for the next chapter in her life. An ongoing friendship with another asylum seeker has created an opportunity for her to move to Sacramento, CA. We are working on details of that move right now. Our hope is to provide two months of financial support post-move, to give her time to settle in and find a job, then "Our Briana" will be launched into her next chapter. What a gift it has been to accompany her this past year!

We are participating in a neighborhood garage sale on Friday-Saturday, May 14-15 where much of her household items will be sold. We are looking for help with that sale, so if you have an hour or two available, please sign up here:

The sale will on 45th Street in Des Moines, between Franklin and Carpenter Ave. If you have questions on the sale, please contact Morgan Dredge at garagesale@ucdsm.org.
REACH Grant Applications
Now Being Accepted
Due: Saturday, 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.
Unsung UU Nominations
Due: Saturday, May 15
Each year the Board of Trustees presents the Unsung UU Award to a member or friend of our church who works tirelessly behind the scenes, is someone we can always count on, and is always willing to assist when needed.

Email completed form to Greg Nichols at gsnpolitic@yahoo.com by Saturday, May 15, 2021.
Humanist Book Group
Sunday, May 16 @ 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 13 - 15. Join us on Sunday, May 16 at 11:05 am.

Send a note to HumanistBookGroup@ucdsm.org if you would like an invite to join the Zoom session.
General Assembly (GA) 2021
Due: Monday, May 17
The annual international conference of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) will be held virtually from June 23-27, 2021. ALL are welcome to attend, and it’s an amazing experience!

BIG NEWS: The Ware Lecture this year will be given by two of the leading voting rights advocates in the nation - Stacey Abrams and Desmond Meade.

Anyone may register for and attend GA, but you must be also be a delegate to vote on matters raised during the business sessions. We are allotted nine delegates this year. Registration for GA is $200, and financial assistance is available for delegates. We don’t want anyone to not be able to participate because of financial need.

To be a voting delegate from our church, complete your application and return it to Board of Trustees@ucdsm.org by May 17, 2021.
Volunteer Spring Clean and Weed
Saturday, May 22 @ 9 am - 12 noon
It’s that time of year again when hope springs anew, flowers bloom and weeds abound. The Unitarian Church Grounds Council is planning a spring work day to rake and weed the various gardens and walkways on the church grounds, and we need some folks to help for a couple of hours.

We will assign small groups to the different work areas (less than 10 to a group), and we will wear masks and socially distance, following all covid safety guidelines. The downstairs bathroom will be available for volunteers, one person at a time. Water and snacks will be supplied.

Please come and help if you can! We’ll work rain or shine, so dress accordingly. Bring work gloves and extra rakes, pruners and weeding tools if you have them. (We also have a supply of tools at the church.) You might see the fox, the badger family, beavers (we think), and several species of birds, as well as other critters. Children under 14 should be accompanied by an adult.

Please rsvp to Diane Ford if you can help: grounds@ucdsm.org.
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.
Street Clean-Up
Volunteers Needed
Good news! The City of Des Moines has approved the application for its Adopt-a-Street program! We will be cleaning Keosauqua Way between Enos Avenue and 19th Street. This is north of downtown and north of the freeway. Our signs haven’t been posted yet, but we can start working on the clean-up anyway. The sooner the better. It’s extremely littered, and it will take some effort to get everything picked up initially.

We are looking for teams of ten with one team leader. Team leaders will be responsible for things like ensuring that the City’s Program and Safety Guidelines are followed, conducting safety tailgate meetings before each cleanup, and collecting liability release forms before the work starts. Leaders may also be responsible for picking up the trash bags and equipment (safety vests, trash grabbers) before the clean-up and making sure it is thoroughly cleaned and returned. We will work with team leaders on this.

We are looking for two individuals to help with the coordination and scheduling of the cleanups. We will need to decide how often we’ll be scheduling cleanups and communicating with the teams. Please email Lyra Halsten at membership@ucdsm.org to volunteer to be a coordinator and/or a team leader.

Setting the Table:
Coming Together Again
How are we going to do church? 
Have you asked yourself that question? Are you wondering when and how we will be able to be together again?

Many of us would welcome a Wednesday night meal at church; or enjoy a cup of coffee after service with friendly faces; or just be together in the auditorium and hear the choir.
Perhaps you have adjusted to Zoom services on Sunday mornings, when you don’t have to get dressed and drive to church! Some of you have found it easier to attend meetings when you simply click a link on your laptop. We must admit, it is not all bad!
So, what will our future together look like? 
Will we begin with Drive-In church, where we park in the church lot and enjoy services broadcast to our car radios? How will multi-platform, or hybrid, Zoom and real space services work? Will Children's Chapel become a part of adult church? How will the exciting new RE curriculums work on Wednesdays and what the heck is year 'round pledging?
We have so many great ideas to talk about!
We are planning small group get-togethers (both virtual and in-person) to hear your thoughts, concerns and ideas for coming together again.

Watch for future events and opportunities to share your answers to the question “what does our future look like?” and to hear what fellow members and friends have to say.

And if you just cannot wait to share your thoughts, feel free to contact any of these friendly can’t-wait-to-see-you folks: Katie Allen, Sally Boeckholt, Bill Brauch, Liz Bredeson, Darin Jensen, Greg Nichols, Patty Notch, Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw.
Patio Clean Up Chalice Group
and CUUPS Labyrinth Clean-Up
Thank you!
A big thank you to everyone who helped to clean up the patio and areas around the church! Becky Jones, Liz and Larry Bredeson, Linda Bacon, Theresa Miller, Jude Cigrand spent several hours on April 17 picking up trash and a total of 28 bags of leaves were filled! Members of CUUPS worked to clear debris around the labyrinth, as well as the path leading to it, and repainted all of the stones. It was wonderful to be back!
Website Scavenger Hunt Completed!
The entries revealed two people who thoroughly explored our new website and demonstrated their knowledge with perfect scores: Elaine Imlau and Sarah Chang. They are now website experts! For their hard work they will receive gift certificates to our online shop, and a surprise gift provided by the Communications Team. Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to all who submitted responses!
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
First Unitarian Gets Thanks at Mary Campos Event 

Al Éxito, one of the members of the immigrant-support coalition our contributions support, held its annual Mary Campos Scholarship ceremony on April 25, and 15 Latinx students received college grants ranging from $500 to $2,500. These funds are separate from the Pandemic relief fund that receives our Sunday contributions.
Two First Unitarian members were recognized as scholarship sponsors (Barb Royal and Ellen Taylor), and our church was acknowledged as an ally of Al Éxito. 

Meanwhile, the large-money grants that initially fueled the Coalition’s relief work have run out, making our weekly contributions even more important as the Coalition continues assistance to hard-hit immigrant families who are not eligible for the federal stimulus programs.

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.

First Unitarian Succeeds
in Funding Commissary Accounts!
Thank you to everyone who donated to help the Immigration Justice OutreachTeam raise money for the commissary accounts of people being detained by ICE.

Together we passed our goal to raise $500 for 20 detained individuals. A few of these folks are still being held in the Hardin County jail. Most have been shifted to other jails by ICE, and at least one was deported.

Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and Iowans for Immigrant Freedom (IFIF) have been able to track those still in detention so they will receive funds. This money will allow those harmed by our government to contact families, friends, and legal assistance.

Thank you.
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:
May 7 | Laughing at God @ Virtual Class, 6:00 - 7:00 pm

May 8 | PVC Series: Ellis Delaney @ Facebook & YouTube, 7:30 - 9:00 am

May 10 | Monday Night Pagan Social @ Virtual Meeting, 7:00 - 8:00 pm

May 10 | Awakening Heart Sangha @ Email for link, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

May 11 | UU Women's Lunch Bunch @ Virtual Meeting, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

May 11 | Beyond Widening the Circle of Concern @ Virtual Meeting, 6:00 - 7:00 pm

May 14 | 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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