First Presbyterian Church Closes after 173 years in Des Moines
We celebrated one last Sunday service together on April 24, 2022. Our heartfelt thanks to all of our friends who joined us to fill the sanctuary one last time. A special word of thanks to our pastor, Doug Basler, for his service to our congregation through this difficult time and for making our final celebration of a Sunday service truly exceptional.
The Des Moines Register covered the closure of the church this week, sharing a nice story about our members and the impact of the church in the community for 173 years: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/local/des-moines/2022/04/19/first-presbyterian-church-des-moines-closing-covid-membership-finances/9467446002/?fbclid=IwAR3bdjXTxx6H1_PXnTtHA763hzV1ws1K42gh25WNwSJrn5adAfuWT0XhYis
KCCI also covered the closure here: https://www.kcci.com/article/des-moines-iowa-historic-church-closes-its-doors-after-nearly-170-years/39776939?fbclid=IwAR3qgCl3ubtb6h4WW6trD4Ix36d2vKkHiz8jy-E_8lfSmhjBUUd-ueN34aQ
Maundy Thursday – We are hosting Maundy Thursday this year, with Union Park Presbyterian Church, April 14. Worship and the Lord’s Supper at 6pm.
Final Worship Service is scheduled for April 24 at 11am with a lunch celebration afterwards. Please contact anyone you know who might be interested in attending this last Sunday with us.
First Presbyterian Church set to Close in April
Sadly, our congregation had made the difficult decision to close at the end of April. The Final Worship Service is scheduled for April 24 at 11am. Please contact anyone you know who might be interested in attending this last Sunday with us.
The church was decorated for advent on November 28 by members of the congregation. Join us at our Sunday services during the month of December as we sing Advent and Christmas hymns and celebrate the joy of this special time of year together.
New Sunday Service Time, Monthly Potlucks
OUR NEW WORSHIP TIME STARTING SEPTEMBER 5th WILL BE 11:00am
Starting September 5th we will begin meeting at 11am on Sunday mornings instead of 10:30. Please mark your calendars.
Congregation Potluck and Conversation – Mark your calendars for Sunday September 19. After our recent potluck and conversation we decided to hold these monthly for the time being. Join us September 19 for lunch and conversation about where God is leading us next.
Church Potluck and Discussion
After Sunday services concluded on August 8, the congregation gathered for a potluck lunch and discussion about potential new activities and programs as part of the church revitalization process. With 2021 being the 60th anniversary of the building and 2023 being the 175th anniversary of First Presbyterian Church’s founding in Des Moines, there is plenty of excitement surrounding the church as we look forward to our next phase in our worship and mission work in east Des Moines.
Our next Congregation Potluck and Conversation will be after the regular Sunday services on Sunday, September 19.
Video and Community Discussion on Climate Change and Sustainability
We hosted an event where members of our church and local community came together to watch “The Other Side of the Hill” and engage in a discussion on climate change and our role as a church and as a local community. We look forward to more events like this where we host speakers and view documentaries as part of an ongoing reflection on our church’s mission and finding opportunities to have a positive impact on the world around us.
Finding a New “Normal” at Church
We are working to return to more and more of a sense of normalcy in our services and activities, and that includes weekly Sunday worship services in-person in the church, with sermons, songs, and scriptures being shared with our congregation again. We will continue to restore regular church activities and operations as we follow CDC recommendations on how to do so safely. For now, our Sunday
Easter Sunday service, Resuming Regular In-Person Services
It was good to gather together: We enjoyed perfect conditions for an outdoor service on Easter Sunday as we welcomed Pastor Doug Basler with his first in-person worship service. Now, we can look forward to April 25 as our return to weekly in-person service while keeping a focus on doing so safely.
New Pastor, Bible Study, Regular Services on Facebook
A New Pastor for a New Beginning: Please help us welcome and celebrate the selection of Doug Basler, who has been chosen as the new Part-time Stated Supply Pastor for Revitalization. What does that title mean? In terms of part time, Doug will be generally working 20 hours a week and the plan is to divide that time in half; 10 hours a week on sermon prep, Sunday services, and administration and 10 hours building relationships and discipleship with the members of the congregation.
Stated Supply simply means that the congregation didn’t go through a full search process for fully installed pastor but instead the Session of Elders worked with the Committee on Ministry from Des Moines Presbytery in the hiring process.
Pastor means the basic role is to care for the Spiritual needs of the congregation – preaching, teaching, prayer, counseling, moderating the Session, and discipleship. So, Pastor for Revitalization means that as Doug goes about the duties of being our pastor, he will focus with a question in mind: What does God want to do in and through this particular congregation in this particular place at this particular time?
About Doug: “I have been married to Katie for 16 years. We have three children, Addie (12), Jackson (10), and Isaac (5). I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and have pastored churches in Montana, Illinois and for the past 11.5 years in Aberdeen, Washington. We moved to Des Moines in August of 2020 to help care for my dad and he is now living with us in Urbandale. We love the outdoors and are involved in sports of all sorts. I was an English major in college and so I read a lot and dabble in some writing. I am a teacher at heart and I believe that ministry should always be personal which means my goal is to get to know each of you personally – what are you passionate about, what are the joys in your life, and the struggles, what makes you tick and where might you fit in to God’s purposes here? I am excited for the opportunity and look forward to meeting you in the coming weeks.”
Sunday worship will be available on-line on our Facebook Page at https://m.facebook.com/FirstPresbyterianDM/. These 30 minute videos will include Scripture, Prayer and a short message and will be uploaded by 10am each week.
Bible study is every Sunday at 11am on Zoom. Zoom links will be sent out each week with a reminder. If you have trouble getting on Zoom please contact the office for help.
Prayer Requests: Please continue to pray for front-line workers in hospitals, nursing homes and others who are continuing to care for those who are sick during the pandemic.
Pray for God’s wisdom and Spirit to lead the Session as we begin to think through what are the first steps for our First Presbyterian Church of Des Moines in 2021.
Pray for those within the congregation and within our neighborhoods who are especially lonely and isolated during this unique time and for creative ways to connect to one another on a regular basis.
Fall/Winter 2020 Update
Services Continue on Facebook, Sunday School Resuming over Zoom
While we were blessed to have a few chances for members to gather outdoors at some socially distanced (and masked) meet-ups this past summer, we continue to hold off on in-person services until we feel it is safe to resume gathering together again. We will have services and messages shared on out Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FirstPresbyterianDM/) during the public health emergency, and look forward to our next chance to worship together when it is safe to do so.
If you are interested in participating in our all ages Sunday school program, we will have our first class December 6. Interested persons can get details or sign up through the website contract form.
Easter 2020 Update
Easter Sunday Service on Facebook
Our moderator, Pastor Annika Stroope will deliver a brief Easter message from our pulpit which you can access live from our Facebook page at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. It will stay on the Facebook page and you can watch anytime: https://www.facebook.com/FirstPresbyterianDM/
Sunday Services Suspended
The safety of our congregation is of the utmost importance to our church. It is with that in mind that Session has suspended all meetings including Sunday services. This is following the guidance of both the state and Presbytery during this public heath emergency. Please stay safe and follow our Facebook page for updates and messages during this extraordinary period: https://www.facebook.com/FirstPresbyterianDM/
Special Children’s Music Rings in March
Thank you to Rev. Ekram Kachu who not only joined us in the pulpit March 1, but also brought with her a children’s choir to perform two songs for us during our Sunday service.
Pastor Ken Stuber’s Retirement
We held a special Sunday service on December 29 to celebrate Pastor Ken Stuber’s decades of leadership to our congregation, including featured musical guests and a post-service reception. Thank you, Ken, for your dedication to our church and your spiritual guidance to so many for so many years.
New Elders and Deacons
Our newly-chosen elders and deacons were installed November 3. Thank you and congratulations to our new congregational leaders and servants.
Fall Sale Saturday, October 26 from 10am-4pm
We are hosting our annual Fall Sale featuring church members, our youth group, and vendors with baked goods, crafts, and rummage sale items.
Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/events/2938270249731733/?ti=icl
Grandview Park Anniversary
Church members will be volunteering at the Grandview Park 125th Anniversary celebration after church on the 28th of July. Let Pastor Stuber or any member of session know if you are interested in joining us!
We will be placing an order for T-shirts shortly. Please place your order through the order form outside the sanctuary.
We welcomed three visitors from Saratoga, New York to our worship service on Sunday, June 30. They were on their way to a barbershop quartet competition in Utah and their voices added greatly to our hymns!
Thank you to everyone who helped in our church cleanup events inside and outside the church this year.
We welcome new members Tim and Maria Patterson to our congregation!
We will have a Maundy Thursday service and soup supper on Thursday, April 18 at 5:30pm.
Sunday School will not meet on Easter Sunday (April 20) as the Easter Breakfast takes place. Please join us for breakfast before our Easter Sunday services.