AT THIS TIME CLASSES ARE NOT MEETING IN PERSON DUE TO THE COVID-19 SITUATION. YOU CAN FIND ZOOM LOGIN INFORMATION FOR OPEN SESSIONS ON THE CHURCH CALENDAR OR FROM YOUR GROUP’S LEADER.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE EMAIL DRE@UCDSM.ORG

Lifelong Learners

First Unitarian offers adults opportunities to grow in knowledge, wisdom, and spirit. Classes range from small group ministry, discussion, book clubs, and social justice movements.
We strive to bring people together as seekers and teachers in a community of learning and provide small groups that foster individual growth and build our social community.
Adult Classes challenge us to learn and grow throughout our lives! Information can also be found in the weekly intercom.
For more information or to enroll in a class, email Devon McClurken at dre@ucdsm.org

Meditation & Mindfulness

Awakening Heart Sangha-
Mondays,  7 – 8:30 pm- Online contact dre@ucdsm.org for info
Awakening Heart Sangha is a mindfulness practice group in the Plum Village Tradition of Vietnamese Zen teacher Thích Nhất Hạnh, or ‘Thay’. All are welcome on a drop-in basis to this ongoing group. All levels of practice are welcome, regardless of whether you are a new-comer 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. Chairs will be provided. If you prefer a meditation cushion, you are free to bring your own. Please plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to help set up chairs.
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.
Activity Schedule:

  • 1st Monday: Book Reading (Nothing Special: Living Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck)
  • 2nd Monday: Five Mindfulness Training
  • 3rd Monday: Book Reading (Nothing Special: Living Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck)
  • 4th Monday: People of Color and Inclusivity Focus with Book Reading (Nothing Special: Living Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck)
  • 5th Monday: Fourteen Mindfulness Training or alternate program

Facilitator: Debra Rodgers.
Debra 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.
No registration needed. Drop-ins welcome.

Faith & Theology

Humanism Book Discussion 
1st & 3rd Sundays, on-going, 11 am Zoom – email humanistbookgroup@ucdsm.org for link 

We invite UU’s or non-UU’s who are Humanists or wonder if they might be, to explore life issues, philosophy, psychology, and ethics through guided discussions of current writings by well-known authors.

Materials Needed: Group members nominate books and vote to decide which book to read and discuss. You may purchase the book or check it out from public libraries when possible.  Facilitator: Dian Curran

For more information about Humanism and our local group, see: The Humanist Society of Iowa at:  https://www.ucdsm.org/connect/affinity-activity-groups/

Register here


Everything You Want to Know About the Bible But Were Afraid to Ask

Rev.  Amy takes you through the lesser know bible stories every Friday on Zoom, 6:00 – 8:30 pm

Register here


Wellspring Deep Questions

The Deep Questions program alternates between sessions on the seven UU principles (and the eighth to be voted on at General Assembly 2019) and sessions on the deep questions of our lives, offering a total of nineteen sessions. The homework for each session includes pre-work – usually at least one reading, plus a chapter from one of the books, How, Then, Shall We Live? by Wayne Muller, and/or The Seven Principles in Word and Worship, edited by Ellen Brandenburg. The curriculum alternates between sessions on:
• The seven principles of Unitarian Universalism
• The deep questions of our lives, including human nature,
forgiveness, accountability and our relationship to the planet

1st and the 3rd Wednesdays 9:30-11:30 AM, Starting September 23rd

Register here


Wellspring Faithful Actions

As people who have made the commitment to explore and deepen our spiritual lives in the company of others, Faithful Actions attempts to create a space in which to examine the “so what” more deeply, to consider how each of us puts our own faith into action, without guilt, without obligation, with love, and with the spiritual grounding that gives meaning to our lives and energy to the work we do in the world.

Participants will:
• Explore the many areas in which we can put our faith into
action
• Commit to offering intentional service over the course of the
program
• Address questions of burnout, hopelessness, and maintaining
our own spiritual health while trying to repair the brokenness
of the world

2nd and 4th Sundays of the month from 6-8 p.m., starting September 13th

Register here

 

Social Justice and Community Building

Truth and Post-Truth Book Group

Mondays 6:30 to 8 PM – weekly from October 5th through November 23rd

Our 4th UU Principle is a “Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning”

We will read and discuss Post-Truth by Lee McIntyre. This concise (about 200 pages) book was published in 2018.

Book description (from Amazon) – “Are we living in a post-truth world, where “alternative facts” replace actual facts and feelings have more weight than evidence? How did we get here? In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Lee McIntyre traces the development of the post-truth phenomenon from science denial through the rise of “fake news,” from our psychological blind spots to the public’s retreat into “information silos”……..

What, exactly, is post-truth? McIntyre argues that we can fight post-truth, and that the first step in fighting post-truth is to understand it.”

How do we live out our 4th principle in a world characterized by “alternate truths”?

Contact: Gene McCraken

Register here

 

Sage Programs

Sage Bookgroup 
2nd & 4th Tuesdays, 10:30 am Zoom- — email dre@ucdsm.org for link

The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life by Katy Butler

A reassuring and thoroughly researched guide to maintaining a high quality of life—from resilient old age to the first inklings of a serious illness to the final breath—by the New York Times bestselling author of Knocking on Heaven’s Door

Join us for lively, thoughtful discussions.

Register here


Saging Seminars
On one Thursday a month starting October 10 @ 1:15 pm

Topic vary widely.

Register here


End of LIfe Preferences

Thursdays 2-3:30 PM on 10/8, 10/22, 11/12 and 12/3 

The Conversation Project is a public engagement initiative with a goal to have every person’s wishes for end-of-life care expressed and respected. It is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.  Participants will discuss and then individually complete an outline that will help them share their preferences with their loved ones.

Website – https://theconversationproject.org/    Contact Gene McCraken

Register here


Writing Your Spiritual Will

Thursdays 2 to 3:30 PM on 10/1, 10/15, 11/5 and 11/19

This four-part series will be based on the appendix of the book In Later Years by Bruce T Marshall. This book was used last year in the Saging and Aging book group.

Most of us have I will not many have a spiritual will. A spiritual is similar to a regular will in the that it passes assets on to the next generation but while a typical will is concerned with material assets, a spiritual will offers an account of our values what we have lived for, what has mattered to us – the wisdom we have accumulated through years of living we are offering ring a class to help participants create their spiritual will.

Contact: Gene McCraken

Register here

Covenant of UU Pagans (CUUPS)

 Paganism 101

Monday starting in October

CUUPs will host a Paganism 101 class via ZOOM with Andrea LeMeuse as facilitator.

Join us on Zoom meeting platform for an Introduction to Modern Paganism course taught by Andrea LeMeuse from the Sacred Bridges chapter of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPs).  This will be a 4-session class, with PowerPoint presentation and an opportunity to discuss with other participants.  Andrea has taught this class in some form yearly for the past 7 years, and this will be the first time ever for a virtual class experience.  Come on in, even if you have been Pagan for a while, or if you are brand new at all of this, the class is open to all who want to learn and connect.

Register here


Pagan Social Chat 

Monday night August 3rd and continuing until October 26th 7PM on Zoom