Groups for Self-Exploration

Awakening Heart Sangha

Contact: Debra Rogers, sangha@ucdsm.org

Meets: Mondays;  7:00 – 8:30 p.m. CT; Zoom

Welcome: All levels; drop-ins welcome

Awakening Heart Sangha is a mindfulness practice group in the Plum Village Tradition of Vietnamese Zen teacher Thích Nhất Hạnh, or ‘Thay’. All levels of practice are welcome, regardless of whether you are a newcomer to meditation or have had a meditation practice for a while. Brief meditation instruction will be offered at each meeting as needed for any newcomers. At each meeting, we will check in, practice 20 minutes of sitting meditation and 10 minutes of walking meditation followed by a short reading and discussion.

Leader Debra Rogers has a Master of Divinity degree in Buddhist Chaplaincy and was ordained in 2013 by Thich Nhat Hanh as a lay-practitioner in the Order of Interbeing as True Chrysanthemum Garden.

Activity Schedule:

  • 1st Monday: Book Reading (a book by Thích Nhất Hạnh or another Dharma teacher)
  • 2nd Monday: Recitation of the Five Mindfulness Trainings
  • 3rd Monday: Book Reading (a book by Thích Nhất Hạnh or another Dharma teacher)
  • 4th Monday: People of Color and Inclusivity Focus with Book Reading
  • 5th Monday: Fourteen Mindfulness Training or alternate program

Chalice Groups

In response to the overwhelming desire for social connections, we offer Chalice Groups via Zoom. When it is safe to do so, groups can meet in-person. These member-facilitated groups of 6-10 people are casual. Unlike Soul Matters groups, there is no curriculum. Chalice Groups can be formed around shared hobbies and interests, or for conversation. Groups are open to members and visitors. For more information, contact us at membership@ucdsm.org.


Contact: Sachiko Murphy, wordwithyou@ucdsm.org

Meets: Last Tuesday of the month; 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT

Welcome: All

“A Word With You” meets once a month in person to discuss topics of interest to members. We welcome new-comers to our church as well as long-time members. We meet on the patio area on the east side of our church, eat lunch, do check-ins, and discuss topics presented just by one word. The topics vary from environment to personalities. Currently we have five members regularly attending, and would love to share this opportunity with up to five more people. (If the weather is inclement, we will have our meeting on indoors or on Zoom.)

Humanist Society of Iowa

Contact: Al Powers, humanist@ucdsm.org

Meets: Varies – watch church calendar

Welcome: All

The Humanist Society of Iowa, a chapter of the American Humanist Association, emphasizes a non-theistic life-stance promoting caring, fairness, community and science. Join them for their book group (listed above) or quarterly business meeting, which features a speaker on a current topic of general interest.

For more information about Humanism and our local group, explore the Humanist Society of Iowa.

Sacred Bridges Covenant of UU Pagans

Contact: Andrea LeMeuse, sacredbridgescuups@gmail.com

Meets: Mondays;  7:00 p.m. CT; Zoom

Welcome: All; church membership encouraged, but not required

Our Sacred Bridges chapter of the Covenant of Unitarian Univeralist Pagans (CUUPs) hosts Earth-based rituals and social gatherings to create a safe, positive, and uplifting space where Pagans, and people who are curious about Paganism, can meet and learn. In addition, we gather monthly for event planning and discussion about involvement and group growth. We encourage participation in Unitarian Universalism, but membership is not required to participate in events. The chapter supports both pagan and UU paths and works to help one another and grow as a community, linking pagans together and giving others the chance to explore Earth-based spirituality.

Small Group Ministry

ON HIATUS

Contacts: Jill Moser

Meets: First and third Mondays, 10:00 a.m. – noon CT; Game Room at Scottish Rite Park (2909 Woodland Ave, DM)

Welcome: All

Small Group Ministry is an opportunity for you to get to know other UUs more deeply. The first hour is an opportunity for members to share recent events in their lives. The second hour is a discussion around a chosen topic from the Small Group Ministry collection.