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

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

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

Upcoming Service

I have Learned to Love the Fallow Way

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

What is the relationship between Unitarian Universalism and Buddhism? join us for a look at how Buddhist thought and UUism fit together, and on the way we’ll talk about yoga mats, Dollar stores, and a little bit more!


Forum: Meeting with Rev. Amy

11:00 a.m. CT in Griffin Hall

Join us here on Zoom!

Click the image above to see the latest Covid-19 information

Church Calendar

  • “Widening the Circle of Concern” Study Guide Class

    December 7, 2021  7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

    Who: All

    Leader: Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw

    Meets: 1st and 3rd Tuesdays beginning October 5, 2021; 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. CT

    Where: Zoom (Link will be sent to registrants.)

    To Register: Please email Rev. Shaw, revamy@ucdsm.org to sign up by September 26.

    Last year we did a whole church read of “Widening the Circle of Concern.” This year, Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw will lead an 11-12 session class based on the UUA’s “Widening the Circle of Concern” Study Guide. The study guide is available for download here: Widening the Circle of Concern Study Guide pdf or online here: https://www.uua.org/widening/guide . This thought-provoking class explores welcome and inclusion and the systemic barriers to that welcome and inclusion. Come and explore the ideas presented and offer your own ideas about what our congregation is doing well, and where we have opportunities to grow! Please sign up by emailing Rev. Amy at revamy@ucdsm.org.

    This is an 11-12 session class that will continue through January 2022. There will be no class in February, but class will meet either once or twice in April to wrap up the course.

    We need to have eight to ten people participating for this class to be offered so please sign up by September 26. Class will be on Zoom until we are fully back in the building.

    See more details

  • Bell Choir Rehearsal

    December 8, 2021  5:45 pm - 6:45 pm

    Contact: Karen Kraemer choir@ucdsm.org

    See more details

  • Outside Church

    December 8, 2021  6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

    Registration opens September 1; new children may join at any time.

    Who: Grades 4 – 6

    When: 6:00- 7:15 p.m. CT, Staring September 29

    Where: Outside as weather permits, then moves to Zoom.

    Leader(s): Cale Finnegan, Kim Kurchinski

    Please note: We will start meeting outside and stay outside as long as weather permits.

    Youth need time to be together and to process what has changed within themselves and in the world. They will explore the surroundings of the church by learning outside and learning about the outside. We will use our Toolbox of Faith to direct this time together.

    See more details

  • At Home In Our Church

    December 8, 2021  6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

    Registration opens September 1; new children may join at any time.

    Who: Grades K – 3

    When: 6:00 – 7:15 p.m.CT, Starting September 29

    Where: Outside as weather permits, then moves to Zoom

    Leader(s): Terry Meeks

    Please note: We will start meeting outside and stay outside as long as weather permits.

    This program helps children develop a basic understanding of church as a physical place which reflects a shared set of values and beliefs. The group will explore questions about the purpose of having a church as a place of belonging, and the functions of different church spaces. We will introduce the concept of a “faith home”—your congregation—which shares some characteristics with a family home, including both amenities and responsibilities. To understand these you must begin by understanding why the building and grounds are the way they are.

    See more details

  • Our Whole Lives (OWL) Human Sexuality Curriculum

    December 8, 2021  6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

    Registration OPEN (Closes on September 15)

    Who: Grade 7 – 8

    When: 6:00-7:30 p.m. CT, September 15 – May 25

    Where: Outside, Room 107

    Leader(s): Kim Gunnes, Chelsea Hayes, Ben Spadt, Holly Hanson

    Specially trained volunteer facilitators help participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. The curriculum equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.

    OWL for 7/8 Grade will be capped at 12 participants, with priority given to First Unitarian member families. If a substantially higher number of participants is expected, other options will be explored with the Director of Faith Formation.

    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.