Welcome to the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines! We’re glad you’ve found us and hope you find a church home with us.

At First Unitarian, we’re brave, curious, and compassionate thinkers and doers. We’re people of many beliefs and backgrounds – people with a religious background and people with none; people who believe in a God and people who don’t, and people who simply let the mystery be. And while we represent a diversity of faith, ethnicity, history and spirituality, we agree that we want to do good work in the world.

So we welcome you – your whole self, with all your truths and your doubts, your worries and your hopes. Let us support you on your faith journey.

Learn More

Access many regular and special events through

Popular Zoom Links.

Upcoming Service

If It’s Mental Illness, There’s No Lasagna

Join us LIVE at 10 am on Zoom

Sign-Up to Join the Sunday Service Watch Party – IN PERSON AT THE CHURCH

Mental illness has been called the “non-casserole disease”. When your child is seriously physically ill, it is common for neighbors and friends to bring casseroles, and offer to help. But if we learn that someone’s son is diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, or that their daughter has attempted suicide, we stay away. As Unitarians, we understand the inherent worth and dignity of all people, and our interdependence on one another. Erik Erikson, the German-American psychologist, said “Life doesn’t make any sense without interdependence. We need each other, and the sooner we learn that, the better for us all.” This service is about how we can support families in the midst of a mental health crisis.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, our church is monitoring and responding to the conditions in our county and state. Following the closing of our building in March 2020, the Lens of the Future Team was established by the Board of Trustees to make recommendations regarding how and when we might return to any level of building use. Read their report for the latest recommendations and more about all opening levels.

While our church building is open for limited in-person activities, our church community is always open! Our Sunday services, Faith Formation programming, and many groups are still meeting virtually.

Check out these options to get involved:

Until we can be together again, please stay safe, and please wear a mask!

Church Calendar

  • Sunday Service

    September 26, 2021  10:00 am - 11:00 am

    See more details

  • Children's Chapel

    September 26, 2021  10:00 am - 11:00 am

    Children’s Chapel is part of Sunday Service! No registration required.

    Who: All ages

    When: Sundays mornings, 10:00 a.m. CT

    Beginning September 19, 2021, each service is a Service for All Ages, in which all families worship together. There will be a youth led chalice lighting, meditation and Micro-Sermon or Story for All Ages in the first 30 minutes of the service. When we are able to meet in person (once all have the ability to be vaccinated) then the children under 12 will be sung out to do service trips, field trips and enjoy outside play.

    Questions, suggestions, ideas? Please email Director of Faith Formation Devon McClurken (she/her/hers) at dff@ucdsm.org.

    See more details

  • Sunday Evening High School Youth Group

    September 26, 2021  6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

    Who: Grades 9-12

    When:  Sundays at 6:00 p.m CT, September – May

    Where: Room 107

    Leaders: DFF and Youth advisors

    Our Young Religious Unitarian Universalist (YRUU) group allows teens to bond through exploration of personal and spiritual rituals, participation in engaging activities and empowering social action projects. Youth will plan events and projects, check in with each other, play games and enjoy some snacks.

    See more details

  • Humanism Event

    September 27, 2021  7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    Please join us for Samantha Sokol from Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Samantha will be speaking to us about Project Blitz which is the organization working behind the scenes at both the state and federal levels to change the United States into a Christian Nationalist country. 

    See more details

  • Monday Night Pagan Social

    September 27, 2021  7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Virtual Meeting


    Join us for a weekly chat with other Pagans as we talk about Sabbats, Full Moons, Tarot, Astrology, Mystic Dreams, book recommendations, articles we've read Pagan websites, and other Pagan-y stuff as we move through these weeks of Social Distancing. We want to meet you! Please join us and tell us about your Pagan path and your spiritual journey!

    See more details

View Calendar

I’m New Here

Ready to explore Unitarian Universalism and our church? We’re ready for you, even during the pandemic!

  1. Start by joining us for our Sunday service at 10:00 a.m. CT via Zoom.  Our Membership Coordinator, Lyra Halsten (she/her/hers), will be available after the service in a Zoom breakout room to answer questions about our church and how to get connected.
  2. The “Join Us on Sundays” tab at the top of this page has information about what else we’re doing virtually on Sundays right now while our building is closed. The Welcome page includes a video from our minister, Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw (they/them/theirs), and some basic information about our congregation.
  3. Even though we aren’t seeing each other in person right now, there are still activities for adults and children to engage in. Check out our Affinity Groups for adults. All groups that are meeting virtually are open to new participants. New programs will be announced for children, youth and adults in the fall.
  4. And finally, explore our website! There’s a lot to see and we encourage you to reach out to the contact people listed throughout the site if you have questions or want to get involved.