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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Upcoming Service

One This Journey Together

Join us LIVE at 10 am on Zoom

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.

Happy (Volunteer Appreciation)

Join us LIVE at 10 am on Zoom

The Millennials have been called selfish, and self-centered, lazy, entitled, and Generation Me. They are also confident, tolerant, civic-minded, and in general more upbeat about the future despite massive student loan debt and often a need to live with parents or friends well into their 20s or 30s. What do we need to learn from this generation about living purposefully and refusing to be miserable?


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.
Pandemic Response Level: 1
Check out these options to get involved:

You can also access many of our regular and special events through our Popular Zoom Links.

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


Church Calendar

  • Monday Night Pagan Social

    April 12, 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

  • Awakening Heart Sangha

    April 12, 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

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 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.