Worship with Wellspring at the Thoreau Center

3500 Kingman Blvd - Des Moines  

 10:00 a.m. Sunday Mornings

Nursery available for ages 0-5

     Children's Church grades 1-5 (9 a.m.)    Youth Group grades 6-12 (9 a.m.)  

Why should your youth attend youth group on Sunday mornings? Click here to find out!

Thoreau Center Door

Who are we? 

At Wellspring we value questions.

Wellspring Community Church is a faith community that has been reaching out to other progressive Christians for 23 years.  We believe in the historical Jesus who came to show people the way to God through love, forgiveness and inclusion.  We believe faith is not a doctrine but a transformative experience that shapes the lens by which we see and live our lives.  The teachings of Jesus and questions relevant to our current realities are integral to the culture of Wellspring.


We are a church without real estate.

For Wellspring, this means we desire to create a community that is fluid.  We meet on Sunday mornings to worship; to share our stories, renew our hope and vision for life and then to live into our understanding of faith in the community at large.

There is no building program; our by-laws provide that we will not own real estate. We choose to put our resources of time and money into action, rather than maintaining a building. We meet in a comfortable and inviting rented space, the Thoreau Center, where we can adapt our space as needed.

introducing our co-pastors

Naomi (left) and Carmen (right)

Naomi (left) and Carmen (right)

naomi kirstein, m.div.

Naomi Kirstein grew up in Montana and began her career teaching school in Seattle, Washington. A few years after relocating to Des Moines, Naomi answered the call to attend seminary. After earning her M.Div. from Central Baptist Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri and being ordained in the American Baptist Church, Naomi and a small group of people formed Wellspring Community Church, a “church without walls.” Twenty-three years later, the church continues to live out its mission to serve in the larger community without the constraints of owning real estate, and to create an inclusive and welcoming gathering of people whose motivation is based on Christian traditions, beliefs and principles.

A bi-vocational pastor from the beginning, Naomi initially served as Executive Director for the Polk County Child Abuse Prevention Council. After leaving that position, she was the Program Director for Gender Specific Programs at Children and Family Urban Movement (CFUM) in Des Moines for ten years. At CFUM, Naomi developed middle school and high school after-school programs for youth living with the stresses of poverty.  Wellspring served as a broad volunteer base for the programs, serving on advisory boards and providing tutoring and mentoring for girls and boys in the programs. The church continues to serve meals regularly at the CFUM supper club. 

For the past eight years, Naomi has led groups of men and women from Wellspring on week-long spiritual and hiking retreats in the mountains of Montana. Naomi and her husband Dave have three grown children and one grandchild.

Carmen lampe zeitler, m.div.

Carmen Lampe Zeitler grew up in Iowa, spending most of her childhood in Mount Pleasant. She received her M.Div. from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Chicago and was ordained in the American Baptist Church. She served American Baptist and Presbyterian congregations in Mount Pleasant, Ottumwa, Wilmette, Mount Ayr, and Des Moines. Carmen was the Executive Director of Children and Family Urban Movement (CFUM) in Des Moines for twenty years, helping to create and sustain programs for children, youth and families to support educational success, healthy living and community engagement. She stepped down in June 2016. Carmen has been involved for many years with the Des Moines Faith Committee for Peace, planning numerous prayer services and vigils for peace in the community.  

Carmen’s passion lies in advocacy for communities where all are included and valued.  At the heart of that passion is particular a concern for children, especially those whose lives are threatened by poverty, racism, and classism.  She is also a believer in the power of words and is particularly an advocate for the power of poetry in our lives and our life together.   

Carmen and her husband John live in Des Moines. In the summer, you are likely to find Carmen at the baseball park or listening to her beloved New York Yankees (or any other baseball team) on the radio.



Worship at Wellspring is a time to enter into the wisdom of God. We practice worship through reflection, song and shared conversation on the Biblical text of the day.  We are an inclusive community of faith, where all are welcome at the table of communion.  We invite everyone to enter the story of God where they are able.

Wayne Muller, in his book "Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight In Our Busy Lives," describes the purpose of Sabbath Worship:

Sabbath is more than the absence of work; it is not just a day off, when we catch up on television or errands. It is the presence of something that arises when we consecrate a period of time to listen to what is most deeply beautiful, nourishing, or true. It is time consecrated with our attention, our mindfulness, honoring those quiet forces of grace or spirit that sustain and heal us.

Please join us for Sabbath Worship on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m.