Joys & Concerns Form | Request Caring Assistance
Provide Caring Assistance | Caring Ministry Coordinator Email

Caring Ministry is all about community and how we in our church can be of service to each other. This ministry is shared by our professional staff, lay leaders, and potentially, everyone who is a part of First Unitarian Church.

Caring Ministry Structure

Terry Lambert, our Caring Ministry Coordinator, is a professional staff member with 25 years of experience in Social Services. Terry works (officially) ten hours per week, and is assisted by a team of volunteer coordinators for each of the areas listed below.

Terry can be reached at caring@ucdsm.org, or by calling (515) 657-7672. Note the links at the top of this page for submitting a joy or concern, requesting caring assistance, or providing caring assistance.

In addition, several “Caring Associates” are available to be a confidential, supportive presence for people going through difficult times with medical or emotional situations. They may make visits to homes or hospitals, or make personal calls to people in need. These individuals may serve as a resource for referral to more specific services.

Some of the ways that we can show that we care are through:

  • New Baby Arrival – meals, mommy/daddy relief, baby quilt
  • Rides – to church (temporary basis only) or to the doctor
  • Meals – during illness or injury, new baby in the family, or in a time of distress
  • Household tasks – lawn care, housecleaning, etc. (temporary basis only)
  • Hospital or Home Visits – for support as needed
  • Check-in Calls – when knowing that someone will check in might be reassuring
  • Cards – when you might not be up to or need visitors, but an encouraging word, or something humorous would be appreciated

Want to help sometime? If you haven’t already signed up to be available for one or more of the above ways of helping, please offer to Provide Caring Assistance. If you are interested in becoming a Caring Associate, please email caring@ucdsm.org.

Joys & Concerns 

We set aside time during each service to share the Joys and Concerns that touch our lives: the news of significant personal challenges, successes, and milestones too important not to be shared. Joys & Concerns submitted on-line before noon on Friday will be shared at the Sunday services. Written joys & concerns are also accepted before Sunday services. Look for the forms on the Caring Ministry table in the foyer.

Memorial Services

Our ministers and the Memorial Support Team support memorial services and receptions for congregants. Services and receptions for other families who seek us out in time of need can be provided by arrangement. Contact Rev. Erin Gingrich at sjminister@ucdsm.org or (515) 244-8603 ext. 121 if you need to plan a memorial service for a loved one.

When to Reach Out to a Minister

Rev. Jennifer Brooks and Rev. Erin Gingrich welcome pastoral conversations with members and friends of our church. When might you want to schedule a chat?

When you don’t know your minister(s), but would like to…

When you are facing a problem with your job, children, parents or anything or anyone else where a conversation with a careful listener might be helpful…

When you’ve lost your job…

When you’re considering a new career…

When you’re having trouble in your relationship or marriage…

When you’d like to invite a friend to church but you’re not sure how to go about it…

When there is illness or hospitalization. We won’t be able to visit and bring your church

family’s thoughts/prayers if you don’t let us know…

When someone close to you has died, is critically ill, is struggling or is facing an operation…

When you are considering a divorce…

When you must make an important decision…

When you are pregnant and glad you are or wish you weren’t.

When you would like to have children but can’t…

When you feel ready to join First Unitarian…

When you are unhappy about First Unitarian…

When you need someone to talk with in confidence…

When you are facing a religious struggle…

When you have religious questions…

When you want to have your child dedicated…

When you are feeling joyful and want to share your joy…

When you are delighted with First Unitarian…

You could also contact them if you win the lottery, want to request a favorite hymn or have a good joke to tell. They will appreciate the opportunity to become better acquainted with you.

Rev. Erin Gingrich: (P) 244-8603 ext. 121 or sjminister@ucdsm.org.