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.

Sunday Service: Sundays @ 9:30 a.m. CT

Sunday Forum:  Sundays @ 11:00 a.m. CT

Board of Trustees Meetings (FIRST Thursday of the Month): First Thursday of the Month @ 6:00 p.m. CT

Board of Trustees Meetings (THIRD Thursday of the Month): Third Thursday of the Month @ 6:00 p.m. CT

Awakening Heart Sangha: Mondays @ 7:00 p.m. CT

Monday Night Pagan Social: Second and Fourth Monday of the Month @ 7:00 p.m. CT

Bent Needles: First Wednesdays @ 6:30 p.m. CT

Charles Lewis (DFA) Open Zoom Office Hours: Wednesdays @ 6:00 p.m. CT

Around the World in 11 Religions: Fridays @ 6:00 p.m. CT

Upcoming Service


Join us in person in the auditorium!

Or join us on: Zoom

There are things we hold onto long after they have dried up and faded away, like the ghosts in a ghost story. Let’s talk today about the relationships we have with the things we want to leave behind, and how to cut the ropes that tie us to these dead ideas.

ALERT!  The Des Moines Marathon is Sunday. Check out their website and plan accordingly!


This Sunday, October 17, stay after the service and learn about the proposed plans for an update to our kitchen. Join the Kitchen Committee and the architects to see drawings and learn about the costs to bring our 1957 kitchen into the 21st century.

If you can’t join us in person, join us on Zoom!


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

  • Around the World in 11 Faiths: A Comparative Religion Overview

    October 15, 2021  6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

    Who: All

    Leader: Amy Petrie Shaw

    Meets: Fridays beginning September 10, 2021; 6:00 p.m. CT

    Where: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84835170541?pwd=M1NqMnNJaXhOYjNxek9MUDhxTmZIZz09

    This class will review a group of religious beliefs and practices possibly less familiar to Unitarian Universalists: Mormonism, Baha’i, Sikhism, Jainism, Rastafari, Santeria/Vu du, Modern Church of Satan, Christian Science, Zoroastrianism, Shinto, and the Unification Church.

    Come and join Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw and have fun learning about some areas of religion you may never have explored. A book list will be provided for those who want to do more reading on any given faith.

    See more details

  • Children's Chapel

    October 17, 2021  9:30 am - 10:30 am

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

    Who: All ages

    When: Sundays mornings 9:30 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 Service In Person! ( Zoom also available )

    October 17, 2021  9:30 am - 10:30 am

    See more details

  • Sunday Forum

    October 17, 2021  11:00 am - 12:00 pm


    Kitchen Renovation Preview

    This Sunday, you can meet our Kitchen Committee and our project architect in the Auditorium after the service at 11:00 a.m. to learn about how we can bring our kitchen back to life and meet our future needs. 

    Whether you’ve used the kitchen a little or a lot, this is the time to ask questions and find out what it will cost to bring our kitchen into the 21st century. In the next few months, the congregation will be asked to vote on whether this project moves forward and at what price tag. So don’t miss this opportunity!

    See more details

  • Humanism Book Discussion

    October 17, 2021  11:05 am - 12:05 pm

    Library and Zoom

    Send a note to HumanistBookGroup@ucdsm.org if you would like to participate.

    Contact: Brenda Trickler/Warren Stine

    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 9:30 a.m. CT via Zoom. Our minister or members of our Membership Committee will remain after the service if you have questions. Please stay in the main room, and don’t go into a breakout room, if you have questions or want to speak to our minister or Membership Committee members.
  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.