DSM First Church

The season of Lent is forty days, not counting Sundays. This year Lent begins on February14th, Ash Wednesday. Lent is a time of reflection as we prepare for Easter. Following is information on the various Lenten activities here at First Church.

Lenten Study

Our Lenten Study is entitled Hallelujah. It is a continuation on our Advent Study but it is not necessary to have attended the earlier study. This study will examine Parts II and III of Handel's Messiah. We will be exploring passages as they fit within the biblical setting as well as within the context of Handel's work. We will study the biblical passages and listen to a number of the pieces of this well-known oratorio.

The study will begin at 6:30 PM on February 21, 28, March 7, 14, 21 and 28. Books are available for purchase but they are not necessary. The cost is $17.

This class will help you appreciate Handel's Messiah at a much deeper level. Call the church office to register your attendance.

Ash Wednesday Services

First Church will be conducting two services on Ash Wednesday, February 14th. If you work downtown or are not available Wednesday evening we invite you to join us for a one-half hour service beginning at 12:15 pm. Our other service will begin at 7:00 pm.

Holy Thursday Service

On Thursday, March 29th at 7:00 pm First Church will have a service to commemorate the supper Jesus shared with his disciples before his crucifixion. In the United Methodist Church all are welcome to partake of Holy Communion. You do not have to be a member of First Church or a United Methodist. All we ask is that you want to live the kind of life Christ has called you to live.

Good Friday Services

At 12:15 pm on Good Friday, March 30th we will have a contemplative service that will offer those in attendance a time to reflect on Jesus' passion, crucifixion and death.

At 7:00 pm that same day we will have a Service of Tenebrae. This powerful service of darkness is based on a twelfth-century service and is an extended meditation on the passion of Christ.

Each year on Good Friday (March 30) the Bridge, a coalition of downtown churches (First UMC, St. John's Lutheran, St. Paul's Episcopal and St. Ambrose Cathedral) sponsors a reflective walk through the streets of downtown. At the various stops there will be shared reflections. The walk begins at the front steps of First Church at 1:30 pm.

Lenten Music Series

Please join us four Wednesday evenings during Lent for our Lenten Music Series. Concerts begin at 5:30 and end at 6:00 pm. Dates for this year's concerts are February 28, March 7, March 14 and March 21. All concerts are free and open to the public. Click here to read more.



First Church has a New Missionary

Being in mission is important to the members of First Church. We are excited to announce that we have a new missionary  we are supporting. His name is Chin Cho and he is serving in Mongolia. Click here to read about his work.



Here at First Church we are about "making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." We believe that if we live our lives following the example of Jesus, we can make a positive impact on this world that God loves and cares about.

We are all on a faith journey. Some of us have just begun that journey. Others have only taken a few steps and others have been on the road for a long time. Some of us are discouraged travelers, some have made wrong turns and we all have experienced peaks, valleys and plateaus. Once we have declared that we will follow Jesus, the faith journey begins and it is a life-long journey.

We invite you to join us on the journey. It won't always be easy but as United Methodists we believe that God's unmerited love surrounds us, encourages us, goes before us and upholds us.

Let us walk this faith journey together. Join us for worship or any of our ministries and activities. Let's work together to transform this world!

Our Pathways to Discipleship

As with any journey there are many pathways we take to reach our destination. Each pathway is important. Disciples here at First Church are asked to explore five different pathways. These pathways help us grow in our faith and we ask that members intentionally traverse them on an on-going basis.

Christian Education is an essential ministry of the church because to be a disciple of Jesus is to be a learner. Learning is essential to discipleship formation and growth.

John Wesley the founder of Methodism believed that prayer is "the grand means of drawing near to God." Prayer deepens our relationship with God and raises our awareness of God's presence in our lives.

Attending worship is a way to draw ourselves away from the nitty gritty of life and into the presence of God. Where two or three are gathered, God will be present.

Like the Jesus we follow, Christians are willing to give their lives for the sake of others and are willing to become agents of change and reconciliation. We are the hands and feet of Jesus.

All we have is a gift from God. We are called upon to give our financial resources, our time and our talents to further the Kingdom of God.

May you be blessed as you walk your journey of faith.

Measuring Your Discipleship Pathway Progress

On any journey it is important to periodically stop and check the map (or GPS) and see where you are.

Ask yourself:


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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