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

You are welcome to join many regular events via Zoom:

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: Every Monday @ 7:00 p.m. CT

Upcoming Service

Skin Deep and Soul Empty: Finding Depth in a Shallow Culture

with Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw

Join us in-person or on Zoom at 9:30 a.m. CT.

American culture tells us that appearance is important. How do we move beyond the surface of life and focus on the things that matter most? Join Rev. Amy Shaw for this service about the life-long search for personal and religious depth and meaning in a culture where race, handicapped status, weight, and adherence to conventional beauty standards all impact us.

Forum: Central Iowa Trauma Recovery Center

with Brenda Bash-Cooper, Director of Programs & Services

11:00 a.m. in Griffin Hall

Click here to join via Zoom

Forum ideas and presentations are welcome! Click here to coordinate a forum.

Green Rolling Hills: A Flower Communion

with Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw

Join us in-person or on Zoom at 9:30 a.m. CT.

We are one church and together we grow, through joy and sadness. We bring ourselves freely to this community, and we take away those things which help us on our life journey. Flower Communion is a symbol of that relationship and covenant, and we invite all to join us in celebrating our free church. We encourage each person to bring a small live potted plant (herbs, vegetables, flowers, or anything else growing which represents what you bring to our community) to add to the communion- at the end of the service everyone can choose a plant to take home with them. If you can’t bring a plant, please come, and join in anyway- there will be enough for everyone to participate!

Pentecost and an Ethic of Risk

with Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw

Join us in-person or on Zoom at 9:30 a.m. CT.

As Unitarian Universalists we are not often crowned with holy fire and sent out into the world. Or maybe we are. Join Rev. Amy Shaw in a service which examines the fire that sends us into the world, and the ethic which fuels it.

Forum: Churchwide Annual Meeting

11:00 a.m. in Griffin Hall

Click here to join via Zoom

Forum ideas and presentations are welcome! Click here to coordinate a forum.11:00 a.m. in Griffin Hall

Church Calendar

  • Tai Chi

    May 16, 2022  10:00 am - 11:00 am


    See more details

  • Awakening Heart Sangha

    May 16, 2022  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 more information.

    See more details

  • Soul Matters (Hilary Hippen-Leek)

    May 17, 2022  6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    Hilary Hippen-Leek; Room 114

    See more details

  • Tech Time

    May 18, 2022  5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

    Stonewall Conference Room

    Join Cody for free technical consultation

    Cody will be available to answer your questions about your computers, tablets, cell phones, bluetooth devices, password management, and many things in-between! Please bring your devices and all applicable cords, documentation, and manuals with you to First Unitarian Church. 


    Cody is also available on a volunteer basis at the following locations and times:

    Wednesdays from 2-3 p.m. at the Des Moines Public Library Central Location | Find him in the Tech Central Room!

    Saturdays from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the Dining Room at Plymouth Place

    See more details

  • Bell Choir Rehearsal

    May 18, 2022  5:45 pm - 6:45 pm

    Contact: Karen Kraemer choir@ucdsm.org

    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 in-person or via Zoom. You can also click here for directions to our building!
  2. In the front lobby of our church, you’ll be welcomed by a Membership Committee member, who will direct you to visitor information and UU information.
  3. The “Join Us on Sundays” tab at the top of this page has information about other activities we’re doing on Sundays. The Welcome page includes a video from our minister, Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw (they/them/theirs), and some basic information about our congregation.
  4. 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 spring.
  5. 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.