Welcome. Bienvenido(a).

Welcome to Trinity, a place of radical hospitality and "holy chaos"! As you visit our web site, we hope that you will catch a glimpse of the reign of God and that you will be encouraged to visit us and learn more about all that happens at the church with the Red Doors on the corner of College and 8th Street in Des Moines.

Trinity United Methodist Church is a diverse, inclusive community of people who care deeply about the integration of faith, social justice and being community. Las Americas Comunidad de Fe is a Spanish-speaking faith community at Trinity that is in ministry with the Hispanic/Latino community.

Together we gather for weekly bi-lingual worship, Christian education and are sent out to be disciples who transform the world through their actions of love, hospitality and social justice. We welcome our neighbors and partner with community organizations.

Trinity's ministry includes hospitality for hundreds of people who come through our Red Doors every day to participate in the ministries under our roof offered through Trinity, Las Americas Comunidad de Fe, Children and Family Urban Movement, 8th & College Connections, or other partners.

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Mission and Vision

We are a Christ-centered community which seeks to empower disciples and provide a glimpse of the reign of God through inclusive multilingual worship, outreach, and social justice.

Somos una comunidad centrada en Cristo que busca la manera de empoderar discípulos y de ofrecer una mirada del reino de Dios por medio de una adoración inclusiva y multilingüe, extendiéndonos a los de alrededor, y por la justicia social.

Christ-centered: Through the grace of God, we are constantly being transformed as part of the Body of Christ to participate in God's transforming work in the world.

Community: As we worship, serve, and allow ourselves to be served by one another, we are bound together in a unity that celebrates the uniqueness and contribution of each person.

Inclusive: Made up of individuals from the neighborhood and surrounding suburbs, our congregation is ethnically, socially, racially, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse. As a reconciling congregation in the United Methodist Church, we welcome all into full participation of the church regardless of sexual orientation.

Social Justice: Everything we do flows from our faith that God is a God of justice and mercy, actively engaged in the transformation of the world. Specific ministries of discipleship, justice, and mercy flow in response to the prophetic word that calls us to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).

As followers of Jesus Christ we want to continue with the work we have been called to do; working for social justice, empowering everyone, seeking to be disciples of Jesus and accepting all people regardless of race or background. We are not two churches; we are one because we need each other as members of the body of Christ. We are a multicultural, multilingual, and inclusive worshiping community where all are welcome to share in the faith and love of Christ.

Somos seguidores de Jesús Cristo. Queremos continuar con el trabajo al que hemos sido llamado sin excluir a nadie, trabajando para traer justicia social, empoderando a cada uno, buscando a ser discípulos de Jesús y aceptando todas personas sin importar su raza o condición. No somos dos iglesias, somos una porque nos necesitamos mutualmente porque somos miembros del cuerpo de Jesús. Somos una comunidad de adoración multicultural, multilingüe, e inclusiva en que todos están bienvenidos a compartir la fe y el amor de Jesús Cristo.

Church and Society

Trinity United Methodist Church has long taken a progressive stance in matters of peace and justice. The congregation believes that the church has a prophetic role in society. For more than a century The United Methodist Church has spoken out addressing the concerns of the world. The Social Creed, written in 1908 and continues to be a guiding belief statement.

Social Creed

We believe in God, Creator of the world; and in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of creation. We believe in the Holy Spirit, through whom we acknowledge God's gifts, and we repent of our sin in misusing these gifts to idolatrous ends. We affirm the natural world as God's handiwork and dedicate ourselves to its preservation, enhancement, and faithful use by humankind. We joyfully receive for ourselves and others the blessings of community, sexuality, marriage, and the family. We commit ourselves to the rights of men, women, children, youth, young adults, the aging, and people with disabilities; to improvement of the quality of life; and to the rights and dignity of all persons. We believe in the right and duty of persons to work for the glory of God and the good of themselves and others and in the protection of their welfare in so doing; in the rights to property as a trust from God, collective bargaining, and responsible consumption; and in the elimination of economic and social distress. We dedicate ourselves to peace throughout the world, to the rule of justice and law among nations, and to individual freedom for all people of the world. We believe in the present and final triumph of God's Word in human affairs and gladly accept our commission to manifest the life of the gospel in the world. Amen.

Radical Hospitality

This is hospitality that is offered not only to those who are like us but to those who may be quite different from us. Trinity/Las Americas is one of the most diverse congregations in the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Trinity, the English-speaking congregation, and Las Americas, the Spanish-speaking congregation, come together to worship bilingually every Sunday morning at 10am. Using projection screens and skilled interpreters, the service is comprehensible to English-speakers and Spanish-speakers alike - in fact, it is a bit like Pentecost every Sunday - especially as we say the Lord's Prayer in unison in both English & Spanish!

Welcome Statement

Trinity United Methodist Church, as the first United Methodist Reconciling Congregation in Iowa, has a long history of welcoming people who have been excluded from other congregations.  Trinity and Las Americas continue our bold witness of welcoming all, including status in the criminal justice system, all genders, sexual orientations, immigration status, age, ethnicity, family configuration, and people with physical and mental challenges.  All who worship at Trinity/Las Americas are welcome to fully participate in our community as we worship God together and then disperse to share God’s love in the world.

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Meet Our Staff

 

Pastor Barb Dinnen serves as pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church, while Las Americas is served by Pastor Alejandro Alfariz-Santiz, who also pastors Wesley United Methodist Church in Des Moines.
Visit the Staff page for more about those who lead and serve Trinity/Las Americas.  

Worship and Communion

Our bi-lingual worship service is each Sunday at 10:00 am. You will find a diverse community of English and Spanish speakers, a multi-cultural gathering of casually dressed followers of Jesus who welcome all people – and all means ALL. We are passionate about social justice issues as they affect the lives of people in our neighborhood and across the globe. You are invited to join us in searching for answers to hard questions as we look to the Bible for answers and our community to put our learning into practice. Prayers of the community: Sharing our thanksgivings, joys and concerns are an important communal aspect of our worshipOur music for worship is equally diverse – Mexican guitars, blues piano or traditional organ are blended into worship where everything is in Spanish and English. Childcare is available for small children.

Communion, known in some faith traditions as the Eucharist or the Lord's Supper, is celebrated during the weekly Sunday morning worship service at Trinity. It is open to all persons regardless of age, religious background, or faith tradition. Grape juice is used instead of wine.

The Lord's Supper (Communion, Eucharist)
· The Lord's Supper is a holy meal of bread and grape juice that symbolizes the body and blood of Christ.
· The Lord's Supper recalls the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and celebrates the unity of all the members of God's family.
· By sharing this meal, we give thanks for Christ's sacrifice and are nourished and empowered to go into the world in mission and ministry.

We practice "open communion," welcoming all who love Christ, repent of their sin, and seek to live in peace with one another.

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Partners in the Community

Trinity's ministry includes hospitality for hundreds of people who come through our Red Doors every day to participate in the ministries under our roof offered through Trinity, Las Americas Comunidad de Fe, Children & Family Urban Movement or other partners. These partners provide education, nutrition, transportation and programs to strengthen the community around us.  

The mission of the varied programs through Children & Family Urban Movement is to create a community that supports the potential of children, youth and families through educational success, healthy living and community engagement. There are many more stories to tell; read more about these vital partnerships here.

Trinity United Methodist Church History

For 120 years, one Methodist congregation has cared for the people of the River Bend community of Des Moines.  Through eras of being an upscale neighborhood to one struggling through the ravages of urban unrest to a multi-cultural part of the city, the people of the United Methodist Church, now known by the name Trinity, have been a witness for peace and social justice and a haven for compassion, feeding both body and soul.

The origins of Trinity United Methodist Church go back to 1887 when the Prospect Park Methodist Episcopal Church was built on the corner of Washington and Eighth streets.  “The development of Prospect Park progressed somewhat slower than anticipated.  It appears that, by about 1900, the congregation of this church had decided to broaden its horizons for membership.  In that year, the name of the parish was changed to North Des Moines Methodist Episcopal Church.”

In 1910 the renowned Des Moines architectural firm Proudfoot, Bird and Rawson, designers of such landmarks as the Equitable Building, Memorial Union on the Iowa State campus, field house on the University of Iowa campus, Abraham Lincoln High School, Register-Tribune Newspaper building, Masonic Temple, and Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines, was commissioned to create the new Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church.  “Trinity Church is significant…because it calls attention to late 19th and early 20th Century Revival styling.”

Stained glass rose-shaped windows are on the north and south walls of the sanctuary, which has a balcony that wraps around three sides of the sacred space.  There is a stained glass dome over the central portion of the sanctuary. The original oak pews remain.  

A pipe organ was installed in the church at the time of construction, 1911.  “This is a small instrument, built along a standardized design by John Hinners of Pekin, Illinois.” A 17-rank tracker originally had “a hand pumped bellows (that) supplied the wind for the pipes.” Though now an electronic motor provides the wind, “the hand pump remains.”

The second floor “contains a balcony within the sanctuary and Sunday School rooms in the west wing” and the basement has a kitchen and serving room, large dining room, and CFUM offices.

All of this magnificent architecture and wonderful pipe organ provide tradition-rich worship, education, and community space for the Sunday morning service, study and prayer group, and after church discussion forum. A major renovation was launched under the banner "Cornerstone" with the sanctuary completed in 2011 and the kitchen in 2014. The "Red Door Campaign" is ongoing, seeking funding for additional renovations that are on the drawing board.

It’s clear that the people who began the faith community that is now Trinity United Methodist Church had a strong commitment to the people in the neighborhood. Peace and social justice ministries move forward in 2015 using a process called asset-based community building.

In 1968, at the suggestion of leaders of local Black Panthers, a Breakfast Club began, with the support of the Inner City Cooperative Parish.  One of the three United Methodist congregations of the Cooperative Parish, Trinity agreed to host the children for breakfast.  In response to community need the Supper Club was begun in 1987, in collaboration with Our City Kitchen, a publicly and privately funded community meal program.  Today both meals are programs of Children & Family Urban Movement, which is based in the Trinity Church building.

The commitment to the mission of the church is also expressed through a prison van ministry that provides low-cost rides for family members to visit loved ones imprisoned in Iowa.  English Language Learners (ELL) classes are offered twice weekly.  “In 1992 Trinity became the first Iowa (United) Methodist church to become a ‘Reconciling Congregation,’ indicating welcome and full participation of all people regardless of sexual orientation.  

Despite the fact that “Mainline congregations, including Lutheran, Presbyterian and Baptist (that) were founded in the neighborhood…closed their doors as the neighborhood changed…Trinity United Methodist has stayed.” As one former parishioner said, “Trinity continues to go out of its way to be a beacon and a refuge (bringing)…hope to those without hope, joy to the sorrowful (and) relief to the marginalized of society.”

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