DSM First Church


Serve. Learn. Enjoy. 

Lenten Music Concert Series

Our two remaining concerts are scheduled for April 5th and 12th at 5:30 in the sanctuary. Click here to see the schedule.


From Palm Sunday through Easter we will remember the last week of Jesus' earthly life. Here are the ways we will commemorate this special week in the life of the Church. Everyone is welcome at First Church!

Sunday, April 9th we will celebrate Palm Sunday and remember Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Our service begins at 10:30 am in the sanctuary. In the afternoon please attend the Palm Sunday Procession for Peace. See details below.


Thursday, April 13th we will remember Jesus breaking bread with his disciples and the Last Supper he shared with those who were closest to him. The service will begin at 5:30 pm in the sanctuary. We will celebrate Holy Communion and as always, in the United Methodist Church, Communion is open to all who seek to live in peace with one another and lead the kind of life God calls us to live. Come and feast!


Friday, April 14th we will be commemorating the last day of Jesus' earthly life. At 1:30 pm the Way of the Cross Procession will begin on the front steps of the church. This solemn walk will take us through downtown Des Moines. At each of the stops there will be a brief scripture reading and devotion. This event is sponsored by The Bridge an ecumenical partnership between the four downtown churches (First United Methodist Church, Cathedral Church of St. Paul (Episcopal), St. Ambrose Cathedral and St. John's Lutheran Church).

Then at 5:30 pm in the sanctuary we will have a service of Tenebrae. This service of "Darkness" is based on a 12th century late night or early morning service. It is an extended meditation on the passion of Christ. You will find this service to be somber but especially meaningful.


Sunday, April 16th join us for Easter, the most holy day of the Christian year. Our celebration begins with breakfast at 8:30 am in Fellowship Hall. Your freewill donation will help us support our missionary in Israel/Palestine, Rev. Kristen Brown. At 10:00 am the sanctuary will be filled with the music of the Central Iowa Brass Quintet and the aroma of lilies. At 10:30 we will begin our time of worship as we celebrate the risen Christ.


Palm Sunday Procession and Prayer Service for Peace

This year is the 11th year the Des Moines Faith Committee for Peace has sponsored their Palm Sunday Procession and Prayer Service. The Procession will begin at Grace United Methodist Church (38th and Cottage Grove) at 3:00 pm and end at First Christian Church at 25th and University. The Prayer Service will begin at 3:30 pm.

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's sermon at Riverside Church, "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence," and the 50th anniversary of his assassination. In 1959 Dr. King spoke at First Christian Church at the invitation of the NAACP. This year's service will feature a re-enactment of Dr. King's sermon by award-winning local actor, Aaron Smith. Included in the service will be some of the powerful music of the day, along with a call to renew the work to end "racism, militarism, and materialism" and moved toward what Dr. King called the Beloved Community.

We hope you will join us for this important community observance of Lent and Holy Week.


Church Office hours

The church office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.


Subscribe to Cross Notes, our weekly E-Newsletter that includes Pastor Eric's weekly devotion,"First Thoughts"!

First Church's weekly e-newsletter is delivered Friday mornings.

If you want to subscribe, you may do so here.

1001 Pleasant Street
Des Moines, IA 50309

Copyright 2009-2011 First United Methodist Church.  Photographs above of the empty sanctuary and the Kingman Stained Glass window in the sanctuary ceiling are used courtesy of Main Street Studio.  Photograph of children's time in worship with children wearing hats is copyrighted by Carrie Yonley and used with her permission.  She retains the copyright to this photo.


We Welcome All

First United Methodist Church, at the top of 10th Street in downtown Des Moines, strives to love others as Christ loves us and, in doing so, to be the Body of Christ in word and deed.

As the Body of Christ, we welcome all of God's children, knowing that each is created in the image of God.  We welcome people of all gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, races, ethnicities, family configurations, and physical and mental capabilities to join us in full participation as we come together to worship God and then go out to share God's love in the world around us.

Worship with us every Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

To read Pastor Eric's weekly devotion "First Thoughts," sign up for our weekly e-newsletter, Cross Notes, here.

Alternative worship service, The Grapevine, every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. at Spaghetti Works, 310 Court Avenue.







For information on how to make a gift to support First Church's ministries, click here.

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