Adult Programs

Circles of trust: Parker Palmer’s A Hidden Wholeness

These book groups will meet twice a month as they work to form circles of trust to shape an integral life, explore the meaning of community, learn to teach and search for transformation, and promote nonviolent social change. All sessions are free, the only cost is to purchase the book. Register here.

  • September–February, the second and fourth Sundays of the month, from 11:00 am. to 12:30 p.m., at the church, facilitated by Hilary Hippen-Leek;
  • September–February, the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., at the church, facilitated by Todd Lackmann; and
  • September–February, the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m., at the church, facilitated by Linda Lemons

Join one of the three free book discussion groups purposefully creating sacred space to welcome the wisdom and guidance of our shy, wild souls. Small, covenant-based groups will meet bimonthly to cultivate circles of trust and develop deep listening to one another and our inner teachers. We’ll encourage and support participants in self-study and book study. Silence will be a part of each gathering as we strive to speak to our center without seeking to fix, save, or advise. We endeavor to form a community of solitudes. We invite you to join us as we read and discuss the book and practice the principles Palmer offers us.

Register now!

Circle Suppers

The circles are made of 4-5 households who come together once a month for as many months as there are members to host 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 now for the next round of suppers starting in January 2023. Organized by Susan Seitz and JoAnn Fitz. Circle suppers are free, except for the cost of your contribution to the food.

Register here!

Inuit Art: History and Culture

Led By Chris Rinner. The Inuit of the Canadian Arctic have created an art form of striking imagery and exquisite beauty, deep spirituality, and occasional whimsy. Through this powerful artistic expression, the Inuit’s unique way of life, their traditional myths and beliefs, and the animals of the Arctic spring vividly to life. This class will examine and celebrate some of the major regional, community and individual artists in sculpture and graphic arts by presenting the cultural and historical background of Inuit art. The class will show a wide variety of carvings, prints, cultural artifacts. We will view videos of Inuit culture and lifestyle as well as Inuit artists at work.

Wednesday, Jan. 11, 18, and 25 from 6-8pm at First Unitarian. This class is free.

Register here!

mUUvie Nights

This group meets monthly to view a movie and discuss the themes that are provoked.

First Unitarian Church – Griffin Hall/Gathering Space. All sessions are free. RSVP to muuvie@ucdsm.org  so we can gauge the number of attendees and send you reminder messages! Organized by a small group of members including Christen Bain, Kerry George, Megan Klee, Heidi Lackmann & Anne Rozeboom.

Please message muuvie@ucdsm.org  if you’d like to be involved in the next planning meeting.

Song writing

Led by Doug Hoffman. If you play a musical instrument, at any level of proficiency, and have ever thought about or tried to write a song, this may be for you. In this 2-hour seminar, we’ll do a few exercises to get the creative juices flowing and see what happens. Bring pencil and paper and your instrument, if it’s portable. There will be a piano available. Wednesday, 9/14 and 10/12 at 7-9pm at First Unitarian. This class is free.

Register here!

Soul Matters

Four group options

  • Third Monday of the month, 6:30 p.m., Judy Davis’s home ( 1537 44th St, Des Moines), facilitated by Elaine Imlau and Judy Davis
  • Third Tuesday of the month, 6:30 p.m., church, facilitated by Tracy Beck
  • Fourth Tuesdays of the month, 10:00 am. Jo Fitz’s home 3825 127th St. Urbandale, facilitated by Jo Fitz and Susan Seitz.
  • Fourth Saturday of the month, 10:00 a.m., church or TBD, facilitated by Hilary Hippen-Leek

Soul Matters is a way of engaging our monthly themes through deep listening and open-hearted sharing. Groups of 8-10 committed participants come together once a month with a trained leader to nurture spiritual growth in the community. We do this by listening in three distinct ways:

  • First, we listen to each other.
  • Second, we listen to our lives.
  • Finally, we listen to our deepest selves.

Together, these sacred practices of listening — to each other, the world, and our deepest selves — adds up to a more intentional and authentic life. It’s a journey back to connection, and ultimately a journey back home. These groups are free.

Register now!

Tai Chi

Tai chi is an ancient form of gentle exercise sometimes called ‘moving’ meditation. This class will focus on a short form (Sun style) designed specifically to improve joint movement (which may decrease pain) and improve balance and prevent falls. In addition to these benefits, research has also shown tai chi may reduce stress. Basic aspects of tai chi will be discussed and practiced, including breathing, weight shift, posture, slow circular movements, elongation and focus to enhance the flow of chi. The classes are taught by repetitively practicing small portions and gradually adding until the entire form has been covered. Regular attendance is encouraged for the full benefit. There is modest fee for participants.

Day session: Mondays and Thursdays at 10:00am. Outside sessions are currently being held at the American Legion Park in West Des Moines on 4th and Vine. When the weather cools we will meet indoors at  First Unitarian Church.

Evening session: Wednesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. 10 sessions between Labor Day and Thanksgiving at First Unitarian Church

Register here!

UU and You: A Two-Part Class

Are you interested in learning more about our Unitarian Universalist history? Do you want to know more about membership in this congregation, and how you can join? Bring your questions and attend one – or both! – of these classes this fall. Sign up below!

Intro to Unitarian Universalism: Sat. 10/29 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Who is this for?

  • Visitors & friends of the congregation who want to know more about our tradition
  • Members who want to know about our tradition’s history

What will we discuss?

  • Unitarian & Universalist Histories
  • Our Living Tradition
  • Our Congregation’s History

Pathway to Membership: Sat. 11/05 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Who is this for?

  • Visitors & friends of the congregation considering membership and who have taken the Intro to Unitarian Universalism class
  • Visitors & friends who have been part of other Unitarian Universalist communities

What will we discuss?

  • Our Congregation’s Life
  • The Role of Membership

UU & You Sign-Up Form

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Your Name*
Are you interested in becoming a member of the church?
Do you need childcare for children 0-4 years-old?

UU Writers Small Group / Soul Matters

Third Monday of the month, 6:30 p.m., church, facilitated by Sally Boeckholt and Sarah Lauer.

UU Writers Group explores the monthly Soul Matters themes and engages in spiritual discernment through the art of creative writing.

Format and Approach: Monthly packets contain options for a personal warm up and 3-4 writing projects/exercises centered around the month’s theme. Participants pick one of the writing exercises and work on it in advance of the group meeting. In the meeting, facilitators guide the group through a warm up exercise, sharing the pieces group members have written and a closing ritual.

The Vision: Writing is a long-loved path to personal insight, spiritual discernment and self-expression. By bringing the practice of writing to the exploration of our monthly themes, we hope to provide participants not only with another channel of self-discovery, but also with the gift of being witnessed in a new and precious way.

This group is free.

Register now!

Affinity Groups

Please see our Affinity Groups for more adult programming.