Getting Connected

Affinities and Activities

First Unitarian members and friends enjoy a variety of social and service groups. The exchange of new ideas, interests and opinions stimulates minds and builds friendships.

These groups welcome newcomers. Please see the Calendar of Events for meeting schedules.

Board Game Night (UU Social Club)

Please join fellow UU Friends for a fun night of board games in Channing Hall. Bring your favorite game as well as any beverages or snacks you might want to share. Meets the second Friday of the month, 6-8 pm, in Channing Hall. Please contact Winnie Williams with questions at winiwilliams(at)aol(dot)com

Boys' Night Out

Need a night out? This group of gentlemen gather for a variety of activities. All men are invited to participate. Watch the Weekly Intercom for the current outings. For more information contact Steve Evans, evans.steve(at)principal(dot)com; or Ryan Beck, rbeck62(at)gmail(dot)com.

Bridge Nights

Knowledge of bridge fundamentals is necessary, but beyond that, skill levels in the group range from novice to expert. Bridge meets monthly on the first Friday of the month.
There is also a Duplicate Bridge group. You will need a partner for this monthly gathering. Playing is within the duplicate bridge general structure. Duplicate Bridge meets on the third Friday of the each month. For more information, contact Jane Swanson at jswanson(at)website-center(dot)com.

Face2Face Gatherings

To help foster the connections within our ever-growing community, we are encouraging all Members, Friends, and Visitors to participate in Face2Face Gatherings this year.
You will not be asked to commit to anything, just to sit down and get to know someone for 40 minutes. Please plan on joining us and make some new UU friends! If you have questions please contact Linda Barnes, Membership Coordinator at

Great Decisions

Great Decisions, a group that has met for many years at our church, is a discussion program produced by the Foreign Policy Association, New York City, and featuring a briefing book titled Great Decisions. The latest version of the book is available for purchase. For more information, contact Fred La Croix at f.lacroix(at)mymailstation(dot)com or 277-8967. Meets monthly on the fourth Sunday at 11:00 a.m. in the Minister's Office.

Humanist Society of Iowa

The Humanist Society of Iowa, a chapter of the American Humanist Association, is an affiliate of First Unitarian Church of Des Moines.  We emphasize a non-theistic approach to living and promote a scientific, rational and naturalistic perspective of the world.  Join us the second Monday of each month, 7 - 8:30 p.m., in Channing Hall.


Interweave serves three primary purposes: (1) Provide social interaction for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people and allies, (2) Publicize the church to the greater Des Moines GLBT community and anyone seeking a liberal religious environment, and (3) Help the church further its goal of supporting social justice.
The local Interweave chapter is part of Interweave Continental, Inc.  Interweave meets for a social potluck lunch on the second Sunday of the month following the second service, and also participates in the annual Pride Parade and sponsors a booth at PrideFest.

Play UU Parenting Group

Play UU is a parenting group at First Unitarian for parents with children under age 5. Activities are varied and include family outings and parent-nights out (childcare provided). See the Calendar of Events or the Intercom Weekly email for the latest scheduled events.

Sacred Bridges CUUPs

Sacred Bridges chapter of the Covenant of Unitarian Univeralist Pagans hosts Earth-based rituals and social gatherings to create a safe, positive, and uplifting space where pagans and people who are curious about paganism can meet and learn. In addition, we gather monthly for event planning and discussion about involvement and group growth. We encourage participation in Unitarian Universalism, but membership is not required to participate in events. The chapter supports both pagan and UU paths and works to help one another and grow as a community, linking pagans together and giving others the chance to explore Earth-based spirituality.  For more information, email sacredbridgescuups(at)gmail(dot)com.

Silver & Gold Suppers

A great opportunity to make new friends! Groups of 8 will get together to share a meal on four occasions. Members and friends, singles and couples are invited to sign up for a group. A host and start-up date will be assigned for the first meal and then the group will be responsible for setting future sites, dates and times. Dinners may be held in a home or a restaurant. Home hosts provide the main dish and guests fill in the side dishes. If the group agrees, a host may choose to have the group eat in a restaurant (Dutch treat). Sign-up starts in September, suppers begin in October.

Small Group Ministry

A continuation of the Small Group Ministry format of the last 10 years. Members will meet the first and third Mondays of the month, 10am - Noon. The first hour is an opportunity for members to share recent events in their lives. The second hour is a discussion around a chosen topic from the Small Group Ministry collection. For more information, contact Carol Henderson, carol(at)hendersoncentral(dot)net or 515-491-7657; or Jill Moser, jvjmoser(at)gmail(dot)com or 515-274-5086.

Soul Matters

These small, relational groups made up of six to ten people led by trained facilitators meet once a month to establish and nurture themselves in this community, to explore and engage monthly religious service themes in more depth, and to reconnect with their deepest selves, life’s gifts, and needs greater than their own. Click here to learn more.

UU Book Club

Do you love to read and look for an opportunity to discuss what you're reading with others? The UU Book Club meets the first Tuesday of each month. See the Calendar of Events or Intercom Weekly email for the latest information.

Unity Circle - Alliance

Unity Circle-Alliance (often referred to as "Unity Circle") began as a women's service group at First Unitarian in 1879. The group has a very proud heritage of contributions over the years to our church, our city, our state, and our national American Culture. From the Women’s suffrage movement, to social issues in early Des Moines, through post-World War II support for war refugees via the national Unitarian Service Committee and into the current group’s speakers of the month, the organization has worked to improve church life and the lives of others.
Today the group is a merger of two women's groups, Unity Circle and Evening Alliance, and now admits men into its membership. Unity Circle meets the third Thursday of most months, with a potluck at noon and a program at 1:00 p.m. Our speakers are always related to something of current interest. The yearly dues are $10 per person, however, anyone is welcome to come and enjoy the lunch and the speaker. (Our informal motto is: we eat well, talk much, sit long, and laugh lots!) For more information contact the group's president, Bob Glass at


New to the church? Not so new? Looking for a way to make new friends or have a night out with the guys? Our monthly men's potluck group always welcomes newcomers interested in good food and good company. This group meets at church the first Sunday of each month. For more information contact Bill Paxson at iowapaxson(at)gmail(dot)com.

Women’s Potluck

This group of women love to visit over a shared meal. All women are welcome, and invited to bring a dish to share.

Young Adults Group (20's & 30's)

This group was created to connect people in their 20s and 30s in a meaningful way. We are currently committed to three elements of engagement: Service, Small Group Ministry & Community Building. In addition, there are a lot of spontaneous connections made through our active Facebook group - come check us out! We look forward to connecting with you!

There are three ways to stay connected with us-
Facebook: GenUU
Email: youngadultsuudsm(at)gmail(dot)com