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First Church 
Cross Notes

December 24, 2020

Drive In Christmas Eve Service
Community/Church Event
For many of our First Church families, attending worship on Christmas Eve is an important part of their Christmas tradition. As you know, 2020 has been unlike any other year and we are not able to gather in the sanctuary for our traditional Christmas Eve service.
We will be recording a Christmas Eve service that day as we complete our Advent sermon series “Company’s Coming”. Pastor Edgar’s sermon is entitled “Welcoming the Guest.” The service will be available to view on Facebook and YouTube by 3:00 on December 24th.
As important as it will be for you to watch that service, we understand it isn’t the same as gathering together to raise our voices as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. So…we are inviting you to join us in the church parking lot on December 24th at 7:00 pm. We will hear once again the Christmas story and sing together a few well-loved carols all from the comfort and safety of your car. We invite you to bring some form of light (flashlight or your cell phone) so we can replicate candlelight as we join together in singing Silent Night.

As you know during the pandemic food insecurity has grown so we invite you to bring non-perishable food donations that will be delivered to DMARC’s food pantry.
The service will last no longer than 30 minutes. Gathering together in the parking lot for Christmas Eve will be an experience you will always remember. Please join us and be sure to park facing the church building.


This Sunday,
December 27, 2020

In-person worship has been suspended due to Covid-19.

Online Worship
You can watch the service online at 
Facebook/DSMFirstChurch/ or YouTube (DSM First Church UMC)
after 3 PM on Sunday.

If you subscribe to our YouTube channel you will receive a notification when anything new is posted.

This year's Advent theme is "Company's Coming". 

December 24th Sermon will be "Welcoming the Guest"
December 27th Sermon will be "Enjoying the Company" 

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Sunday, December 27 at 7:00 PM

Virtual Observance

The Des Moines Faith Community for Peace invites you to a Feast of the Holy Innocents service on December 27 at 7:00 PM.  The theme of the service will be "Weeping for our Children".  This will be a Zoom service, with the link available later in December on the Des Moines Faith Committee for Peace Facebook page.




The year 2020 may be one we would like to forget, but God works through his people in times such as these. Two Iowa Methodist advance ministries have been present in the midst of it all, the Bidwell Riverside Center in Des Moines and Matthew 25 in Cedar Rapids.

This year’s Christmas offering will be shared by these two Iowa ministries. As we celebrate the precious gift of God’s son, our Savior, may we open our hearts to those in need.
You may either mail a check to the church and put Christmas Offering in the memo line or donate on the church website.



Once again the Outreach Committee will be offering the Alternative Gift Market as an opportunity to make Christmas gift giving more meaningful.  However, like most things today, it will be a little different.  Please see the “Shopping List” at the end of this article.  To purchase one or more of these gifts, please go to the First Church web site, and click on “Online Giving.”  Then click on “Click here to give online.”  There will be a special Alternative Gift Mart section listing these options.  There is also a certificate  (link below) that you can print out and give to the recipient.  Gifts you choose from that list will honor your friends or loved ones while providing much needed financial support to ministries that give assistance to hungry, homeless, and hurting people in our society, both locally and abroad.  Thus your gift gives twice and brings joy in double measure!


CFUM Supper Club – Provides meals five days a week to hungry people in the Trinity neighborhood.

Hawthorn Hill – Provides emergency shelter and supportive housing for homeless families for up to two years, along with case management service until they can achieve more permanent, independent housing.

Backpack Buddies – Meals are given to low income school children to insure that they have healthy food over the weekends

Heifer International

Share of rabbits $10     Share of Alpaca $20

Share of trees $10           Whole tree $60

 Share of Knitter’s Basket $48

Click here for the certificate to print out for the recipient of this gift.

Help Combat Hunger

Each year the Creative Center for Young Children helps with the Combat Hunger campaign. This year they are helping virtually!
CCYC has created TEAM CCYC.  You can click the link below to donate to help hungry Iowans.  

Donations will be accepted thru December 31st.

Click here to donate!


Volunteers are needed to help prepare the evening meal for the Central Iowa Shelter on Saturday, January 2.   

If you are able to help, please email or call Shirley Christoffersen at 276-3112.

You Can Make A Difference in One Minute

AMOS, A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy, continues to work diligently on Children's Crisis Mental Health Services.  Kids and teens in Polk County are in crisis every day.  COVID-filled emergency rooms or potentially dangerous interactions are often the only options for families.  YOU can work with AMOS to make a better option available to them!  

PLEASE complete the survey/petition below regarding the need for children's crisis mental health services.   Then share it with others you know in Polk County who care about children's needs.  You do not need to be a member of an AMOS institution to complete the survey/petition.  

The survey/petition provides you the opportunity to request more information as well as attend a future training meeting if you are interested in becoming more involved.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jacque Coulson at 515-279-2473.

Information on other issues AMOS is working on at this time is available below.


AMOS, A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy, has multiple research teams working on different issues in the Des Moines metro.  Here is a brief update of each including ways you can become involved. 
Children's Mental Health Crisis Services

See the above Cross Notes article asking you to complete and distribute the survey/petition regarding the need for children's crisis mental health services.  If you have already done this, thank you.  Your actions will make a difference!

If you are interested in becoming more involved, please consider attending the Mental Health Stakeholder Meeting Training: Thursday 1/21/21 @ 5:30 p.m.

Contact: Connie McKeen – or Linda Krypel – to register for this event.

Affordable Housing
The Affordable Housing Research Action Team is rebooting after taking a hiatus with the Covid outbreak.  However, in 2019, team members were very busy, meeting with 14 different individuals or groups to learn about housing issues in Des Moines.  Now they are ready to begin learning more and developing an action plan. The team is looking for more people who want to learn about and act together to improve the availability of affordable housing for our community. 

Want to learn more? Contact Cheryl Fraracci at

Grubb YMCA/River Bend Strategy
The River Bend Neighborhood Association, one of our member institutions, is working on a strategy to have input into the future of the land/building currently occupied by the Grubb YMCA. Do you live in the general area of the Y, or have family/friends who do? Consider getting involved in this strategy. They will be holding house meetings over the winter to get input from the community about the best use of this important neighborhood property. They welcome anyone's energy to work on this.

River Bend Organizing Meeting - Thursday 1/7/21 @ 6:30 – ZOOM 

Contact: Breann Bye – to register for this event.

If you have any questions or want more information regarding AMOS, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the AMOS Core team at First Church -- Eloise Cranke (515-262-5974), Jacque Coulson (515-279-2473), Cyndi Grosing (515-480-6207) or Wanda Wendt (515-229-6399).

Mental Health Clinic

Many people are experiencing changes in their mental wellness-to-illness continuum.

If you're experiencing a mental health crisis, UnityPoint Health – Behavioral Health Urgent Care is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 1250 East 9th Street in Des Moines.  (515) 263-2632

This is a walk-in clinic for adults and/or children, staffed with professionals to determine if the feelings are a temporary situational effect or of clinical concern. Either way, they can suggest resources and/or referrals to help. 
Did you know that you can now give online? Go to the church website On the left hand side of the page you will see online giving. Click there and you will be directed to the giving page. If you would rather, please feel free to mail your weekly check to the church. The address is 1001 Pleasant St. Des Moines, IA 50309. Thank you!

Caregivers at Unity Point can use some encouragement as they prepare for what might be coming. If you would like to offer a word of encouragement, click link here:

The church office will be closed when the Des Moines Public School system is closed due to winter weather.
Worship ~ We Welcome Everyone
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.

Check out our Website:

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DSM First Church UMC


Click above for the most recent issue of the LIGHT.

LIGHT Articles are due by the 20th of each month.

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Our mailing address is:

First United Methodist Church
1001 Pleasant Street
Des Moines, IA  50309
(515) 244-6209

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Des Moines First United Methodist Church · 1001 Pleasant St · Des Moines, IA 50309-2611 · USA

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