First Unitarian phone: (515) 244-8603


Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw
Senior Minister

Ext. 102  •  >> Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw was called to First Unitarian Church of Des Moines as Senior Minister in August 2019. Rev. Shaw has previously served congregations in Cincinnati, Ohio and Hartland, Wisconsin, and is currently also a Dedicated Continental Good Officer (conflict mediation specialist) serving trans UU religious professionals. Rev. Shaw assists the many ministries of the congregation to find ways to live into their mission and vision, and is responsible for staff structure and oversight.

Religious Education

Devon McClurken
Director of Faith Formation

Ext. 104 • or >> Devon joined the staff in April 2018 as both the RE Assistant and High School Youth Coordinator. Devon became Director of Faith Formation in September of 2019 and oversees children and family ministries as well as religious education programming for preschool to adults at First Unitarian Church of Des Moines. This includes a Coming of Age program for middle school youth, Our Whole Lives for upper elementary and middle school youth, high school youth group, and adult religious education programming.


Lyra Halsten
Membership Coordinator

Ext. 103  •  >> As Membership Coordinator for 20 hours/week, Lyra oversees the welcoming of visitors and guests, connecting them to areas of church life that match their interests. Lyra is also responsible for new member classes and membership ceremonies as well as gathering feedback from new members and others. She is also the staff liaison for affinity groups.

Julie Morocho
Child Care Coordinator >> As a 9 hours/week Child Care Coordinator, Julie facilitates requests for child care needs at our church and coordinates our child care staff to fill those needs. Julie joined the staff in 2019.


Karen Kraemer
Choir Director

Karenis the founding director of the Bell Ave Ringers and director of the UU Singers. Having spent her youth and adult life singing in church and community choirs, Karen returned to college as a “life-long learner” and received a BA degree in music. In addition to serving as the choir director at First Unitarian Church, she is a part-time audiologist, tennis enthusiast, and avid music composer.

Bruce Martin

The musical talents of First Unitarian member Bruce Martin are demonstrated whenever he is at the keyboard of the auditorium’s grand piano.  His musical versatility surprises and delights all, whether he is accompanying congregational singing, joining in concert with frequent guest musical performers on stage, or in his virtuoso solo performances.

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Barb Martin
Special Music Coordinator  >> Barb joined the staff in June 2017 as the Special Music Coordinator to plan and coordinate special music for church services. The Special Music Coordinator position is approximately 2 hours/week.

Administrative Staff

Charles Lewis
Director of Finance and Administration

Ext. 101  •  >> Charles joined the staff in February of 2018.  He previously served Eliot Unitarian Chapel in Kirkwood, Missouri for over nine years.  He is a member and board member of the Association of Unitarian Universalist Administrators. As the DFA, he is responsible for all aspects of the Church’s administration, and supervises the administrative staff.

Jane White
Office Assistant

Ext. 107  •  >> Jane joined the First Unitarian staff in November of 2010 in this 16 hours/week position. Jane is responsible for space/calendar reservations, the Order of Service, entering information in the data base and preparing mailings.

Kerrie Lee
Communications Coordinator

Ext. 108  •  >> Kerrie joined the staff in July of 2019. She is responsible for the Intercom Weekly email, web site updates, social media posts, updating the UCDSM app, maintaining our YouTube channel, and creating various print communication pieces for the church. The Communication Coordinator position is 30 hours/week.