Thank Yous & Gratitude

On Aug. 13-14, four First Unitarians and 10 other community volunteers presented at the Des Moines Public School District’s 3rd Annual Summit on School Culture and Climate. The Summit was held at the Iowa Events Center and was attended by 2,100 teachers and administrators from Iowa and beyond. The four UU’s are Linda Bacon, Bob Glass, Harvey Harrison, and Ellen Taylor. These 14 volunteers are trained in the Restorative Practice called Peacemaking Circles. We presented 10 Community-Building Circle sessions over the course of the two-day conference. Jake Troja, Director of School Climate Transformation at DMPS, says our ratings were 10 out of 10 points from every participant in the Circles. The DMPS school climate is shifting toward Restorative Practices, especially at the elementary level. We’ve been invited to keep working with the schools through this year, and to present again next August. The other 10 trained volunteers are familiar faces in our church: Dee Martin, Cheryl Hayes, Charice Williams, Rev. Fred Gaddy, Heidi Bagg, Scarlett Lunning, Arnold Woods, Joyce Bruce, Vikki Spencer, and Marilyn Elliott.

Thank you to Jill Philby for facilitating our summer session of the Newcomer Circle. Your welcoming presence is so appreciated!

Over the past several weeks, we have had teams from YRUU, Faith Formation, Board of Trustees, Bent Needles, Soul Matters, and the Young Adult Group help to paint the classrooms on the lower level of the church. These volunteers have provided the gifts of time and talent to help to improve our church’s building. In doing this work, these volunteers are fulfilling our second end statement to support one another and honor the web of life. Much gratitude to these volunteers: Felicia Williams, Madeline Echternacht, Devon McClurken, Gene McCracken, Sally Boeckholt, Judy Walden, Gene McCracken, Sue Huber, Theresa Miller, Fern Stewart, Liz and Larry Bredeson, Judy Davis, Elaine Imlau, Sally Boeckholt, Sonja Chesnik, Kathryn Sutton, Don Godfree, Amy Luebbert, Kasey Ninneman, Amanda Hegestrom, Anna Lemons, Ben Spick, and Barb Hendricks.