Events coming up this week

Please put up a comment if you know of an important event I’ve left out.

Keep me posted about upcoming events by e-mailing desmoinesdem AT

Monday, May 5:

Free screening of the documentary film “For the Bible Tells Me So,” which explores questions such as, “Does God really condemn loving homosexual relationships?  Is the Bible an excuse to hate?” The film will be shown at 6:30 pm at Drake University in the Parents Hall in the Olmstead Center. The documentary’s director, Daniel Karslake, will be there for a discussion after the screening. More on the movie:

Through the experiences of five very normal, Christian, American families, including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child or family member.  Includes the respected voices of Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard’s Reverend Peter Gomes, & Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg.

Tuesday, May 6:

It’s World Asthma Day in connection with Asthma Awareness Month. I mention this because thousands of Iowans will become more aware of asthma if the coal-fired power plant approved last week by the Iowa Utilities Board ever gets built in Marshalltown.

The Iowa Global Warming Campaign, Sierra Club and I-Renew are hosting a special “green” event on Tuesday, May 6, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Fairfield Public Library, 140 West Adams in Fairfield. The event offers free admission and refreshments and will feature a film screening of “Global Warming: the Signs and the Science,” a film that uses expert dialogues on global warming to talk about how we can reverse its course. After the film, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in a discussion about the film and related issues.

Wallace House Foundation dialogue dinner, “The Greening of Des Moines” beginning at 6 pm. Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie, Lynnae Hentzen of the Center for Sustainable Communities, Marian Gelb from the Iowa Environmental Council, and Bob Riley from the Waterworks Board are confirmed for the event. Former Des Moines Mayor Preston Daniels will be one of the facilitators. Dialogue dinners invite community experts and residents to gather around the dinner table for a shared meal and facilitated conversation about a current issue. Reservations are required and can be made by emailing or calling 515-243-7063. Cost is $20 per person for the program and catered meal. Dialogue dinners are recorded so participants must sign an authorization and release. The Wallace House Foundation is located at 756 Sixteenth Street in Des Moines.

Wednesday, May 7:

Come meet Nate Willems, candidate for Iowa House District 29, at a house party hosted by David Adelman, 2841 Gilmore Avenue in Des Moines, 5 pm to 7 pm. Suggested guest donation: $25. To RSVP, call (515) 491-1015 or e-mail Willems is running for the seat being vacated by Democrat Ro Foege, who is retiring. This is an important hold. You can donate to the campaign through this page at Act Blue.

Join Ed Fallon at the Young Professionals Club gathering, starting at 5:30 pm at the Raccoon River Brew Pub, 200 10th St. Des Moines.

Thursday, May 8:

Celebrate Nurses Week with Womankind Author Nancy Harless, who will be at the Des Moines Public Library’s Central Library in downtown Des Moines at 6:30 pm. “Womankind: Connection and Wisdom Around the World” is a collection of women’s stories gained from Harless’s international nursing experiences and travels.  The Iowa nurse and author invites readers along on her real-life journey through inspiring, sometimes heart-wrenching stories. Harless will visit the library to discuss the writing of Womankind and to answer questions from the audience. Her books will be for sale by The Book Store and she will be signing them following the program.

House party for Ed Fallon at the home of Cory Ernst in Altoona. Space is limited so RSVP to Jamie at (515) 822-4284.

Reservations due for The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Annual Award Dinner, which costs $50 and will be held on Tuesday, May 13 at the Hotel Fort Des Moines, 1000 Walnut Street in Des Moines (Reception at 6 pm, Dinner at 7 pm). The Keynote Speaker will be The Right Reverend Jane Holmes Dixon, retired Episcopal Bishop of Washington, second woman in the United States to be elevated to the office of Bishop. The Interfaith Award will be presented to Rekha Basu. The Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus will perform. For more information or to RSVP, email or call (515) 279-8715.

Women volunteers are needed to create “wellness bags” for women cancer patients, which will be distributed through John Stoddard Cancer Center and Mercy Medical Center. To volunteer for this event, which will be at Southridge Mall on May 8 from 7 pm to 9 pm, contact Kelly Thevenot at 287-3881 or Kelly.thevenot AT

Friday, May 9:

The Iowa Renewable Energy Association will be sponsoring a free screening of the film “Revolution Green” at the Solon Public Library (event starts at 6:30 pm, film starts at 7 pm). “Revolution Green” shows how truly sustainable biofuels are not only possible but are being made in America at this time. After the film, we will discuss the real-world experience in our own, local community of making and using sustainable biofuel. This is biofuel that consumes no food crops and cuts carbon emissions hugely. Please come and join the discussion of sustainable transportation options for our area. Popcorn and tasty tap water provided! (please bring your own bowl & cup, containers available if you forget) Save gas! Please car pool and share rides by checking or calling I-Renew at (319) 643-3160.

Saturday, May 10:

It’s the beginning of the sixth annual Bike to Work Week, which runs from May 10-16. Lots of information about the week’s special events, plus discounts for commuters who participate, can be found at BikeIowa’s Bike to Work website.

It’s the first day of the farmers’ market in downtown Des Moines, which runs from 7 am to 12 pm on Court Avenue and a couple of side streets. I think there will be a Bike to Work week event at the market too.

Greater Des Moines Hike To Help Refugees, starting at 11 am at Gray’s Lake in Des Moines. The event will raise money for the UN Refugee Agency and for Lutheran Services of Iowa Refugee Resettlement Program. You can participate even if you are unable to do the 4.5 mile hike. For more information, go to

May 10 is also World Fair Trade Day. I am not aware of any local events marking this, but click the link if you want more information or ideas about how to get involved with the fair trade movement.

On Saturday and Sunday, Greenpeace is organizing “Mommy Meetups” related to global warming all over the country. More information on that is after the jump.

What would you say if you had 30 seconds to tell Congress, and the whole world, how you felt about global warming? Well, this Mother’s Day weekend we’re organizing Mommy Meetups throughout the country so you and your family can do just that.

The idea is simple: On May 10th and 11th, families will gather in parks and homes for group photos. At these gatherings, people will use cell phones to record short voicemail messages calling on Congress to commit to passing legislation that would stop the most severe consequences of climate change. Those voicemails will be featured as an audio collage on our website, along with the group photos, so that Congress, the press, and the public can see and hear from families everywhere. It’s a fun way for moms and kids to add their unique faces and voices to the issue of global warming.

Make sure your family’s voice is heard. Sign up to host or attend a Mommy Meetup in your community today.

You don’t have to be a mom yourself to host or RSVP a Mommy Meetup. In fact, what mom wouldn’t be thrilled to get together with her family and speak out about the future of our planet this Mother’s Day weekend?

Mother’s Day was originally founded in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe, a social justice activist calling for a peaceful and sustainable future. Today, moms have the very same dreams. Global warming is the single biggest threat to those dreams. But if we act now, it won’t be too late.

So, in the original spirit of Mother’s Day, sign up to host or attend a Mommy Meetup, and be sure to add your family’s voices (and faces) to the call for a healthy, sustainable future.

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