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.

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Access many regular and special events through

Popular Zoom Links.

Upcoming Service

Change the Harvest

Join us LIVE at 10 am on Zoom

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.

Upcoming Services Previous Services


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 currently closed for in-person activities, our church community is open! Our Sunday services, Faith Formation programming, and many groups are 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

  • Saging Book Group

    July 27, 2021  10:30 am - 12:00 pm

    Email dre@ucdsm.org for link.

    See more details

  • A Word With You

    July 27, 2021  10:30 am - 12:30 pm

    “A Word With You” meets once a month in person and discuss topics that interest members. We would like to invite new-comers (or old ones) to our church who could join us or just visit with us. We meet on the last Tuesday of the month at 11:00 am at the patio area in our church, eat lunch, do check-ins, and discuss topics presented just by one word. The topics vary from environment to personalities. Currently we have five members regularly attending, and would love to share this opportunity with up to five more people. (If the weather is inclement, we will have our meeting on Zoom.) 

    Please contact Sachiko Murphy (wordwithyou@ucdsm.org) if you are interested.

    See more details

  • Endowment Committee

    August 2, 2021  6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


    See more details

  • Awakening Heart Sangha

    August 2, 2021  7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

    Awakening Heart Sangha is a mindfulness practice group in the Plum Village Tradition of Vietnamese Zen teacher Thích Nhất Hạnh, or ‘Thay’. All are welcome on a drop-in basis to this ongoing group. All levels of practice are welcome, regardless of whether you are a newcomer to meditation or have had a meditation practice for a while. Brief meditation instruction will be offered at each meeting as needed for any newcomers. Chairs will be provided. If you prefer a meditation cushion, you are free to bring your own. Please plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to help set up chairs.At each meeting, we will check-in, practice 20 minutes of sitting meditation and 10 minutes of walking meditation followed by a short reading and discussion.

    Email sangha@ucdsm.org for link

    See more details

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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 and the Wednesday night activities for children. All groups that are meeting virtually are open to new participants.
  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.