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First U Think

Author: Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw and guests

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First U Think is a podcast designed to feed your mind. I'm Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw, and along with some special guests, I'll be bringing you weekly talks about the topics that matter. Living with values. Caring about the world and the people in it. Making a difference. Learning about prophetic people and their work. Want to change the world? First you think. First U Think is brought to you by the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines IA.
31 Episodes
Pouring Out Our Hearts

Pouring Out Our Hearts


After over a year of COVID isolation, we long to embrace the possibilities of returning to community. Join us for this water communion service, and celebrate our beloved communitySupport the show (
Making A Joyful Noise

Making A Joyful Noise


Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year- a time for both being judged and letting go of old mistakes. It is time to begin the work of new creation, and to allow life to lead you in new ways. Come and see how this holiday can make a difference in your life, and make a joyful noise!Support the show (
It has been said that all that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing. What does it look like, then, for good people to interrupt evil? Must we be rude? In a word: yes. Yes, we must.Support the show (
Sometimes friends, family, fun, and shared philosophies are what it is all about. Join Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw for this warm look at finding joy and support in our daily lives.Support the show (
Life is often complex. Sometimes wisdom comes from the simplest things. Let's come together and talk about the wisdom we find in the stories we tell to children.Support the show (
Holly Near sang "I'm afraid of what you do in the name of your God," but as UUs prove religion is about so much more than individual spiritual beliefs. As the pandemic lessens and we begin the work of finding a new normal, today we're going to talk about the deep value of  religious community.
Change the Harvest

Change the Harvest


For some witches and Pagans, Lammas is the first of three points in the year honoring the harvest. It asks us to focus on the “first harvests” of our lives and in the world around us. Literal harvests often go through changes to become the products we love, and we can also apply this observation to our metaphorical harvests. Join us in considering what we harvest in our lives, how we transform it, and how it transforms us in turn. Join us for this service with Birch Spick which explores the things we harvest in the world.Support the show (
As the landscape around us continues to shift seemingly from one day to the next, how do we transition from a state of languishing – not quite depressed, but not really thriving – to one in which we can flourish? Join us as we explore what positive psychology has to teach us about living into wellbeing, even in the midst of uncertainty.Join us for this service lead by Heidi Levine.Support the show (
Australian Indigenous activist, Lilla Watson, says, “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” Join our guest preachers, the Rev. Laura Randall and Heather Vickery of UUSC, as we explore how to create together the beloved community. 
Fill Up Your Cups

Fill Up Your Cups


As Unitarian Universalists, we're compelled to heal and help others by refilling their vessels. But sometimes, we're refilling from our own empty vessels. This service is about learning to fill and heal ourselves first, before we take care of others. Join music therapist and UCDSM member Meghan Westphal for this engaging service using music and imagery. 
Interdependence Day

Interdependence Day


Our Unitarian Universalist faith values independence -- freedom of belief, freedom of thought, and more -- but we also value interdependence -- connection to and support of one another, connection to and honoring of the earth and its creatures.  So for this holiday weekend we'll look at how to hold these things in balance in our faith and in our lives.Join Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum and explore connection.Support the show (
Francis David founded the Unitarian Church of Transylvania and was the leading figure in the Notrinitarian movements during the Protestant Reformation. Come and learn about the early years of our free faith.
A church is not a building. A church is a community of human hands and hearts. 2020 and 2021 have been a church year like no other, and today we will honor with joy our beloved community, and recognize that we have come through Fields of Fire to reach this day.Support the show (



The Awakening Hearts Sangha of the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines presents this lovely celebration of the Buddhist holiday of Vesak
Mothers help to shape the lives of their children. For good and bad, it’s a role that never ends. Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw recognizes today all those who share the responsibility for shaping another human life.
No matter who we are, making sense of our lives and seeking out direction is a profound commonality we share as human beings. It is a journey that many people make in each other’s company, often in religious or spiritual communities. But for a variety of reasons, many LGBTQ people struggle to feel welcome in joining and staying in these communities. Join us as we consider what it means to be LGBTQ and spiritual, religious, or seeking deeper meaning in our lives.Support the show (
Join Janice Hawkins, Linda Lemons, and Ron Heideman as they discuss Earth Day and Pachamama Alliance of IowaSupport the show (
Come and explore faith and the wonderful world of Monty Python. A lighthearted look at absurdism, religion, and the meaning of life.
 Boys will be boys. Feminism. Womanist. Separatist. Sexist. Misogynist. When images of men and women are often dictated by popular literature and the media, how do we live our values and embrace people of all genders? How do we move beyond “Rape Culture” and reach Beloved Community?Support the show (
Rise Up (Easter)

Rise Up (Easter)


Come and join us for a joyous Easter celebration. The gloom of any tomb can be overcome by the light of hope.Support the show (
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