Caring Community

How can we help?

Our Caring Community is all about how we can be of service to each other. This ministry is shared by our professional staff, lay leaders and teams, and potentially everyone who is part of First Unitarian. Here’s how we break it down:

    • Caring Ministry – meets short term, immediate needs
    • Pastoral Care – provides listening and support over a period of time
    • Minister – addresses acute issues

Another way that we support each other is through sharing of important milestones,  joys and concerns with each other.  Please see our Joys & Concerns page for more information.

Caring Ministry

There are many reasons you might need a bit of help now and then. Caring Ministry involves a broad group of volunteers who are ready to give you a hand with a variety of needs, such as:

  • New baby arrival – meals, mommy/daddy relief, baby quilt
  • Rides – to church (temporary basis only) or to the doctor
  • Meals – during illness or injury, new baby in the family, or in a time of distress
  • Household tasks – lawn care, housecleaning, etc. (temporary basis only)
  • Cards – when you might not want visitors, but an encouraging word or something humorous would be appreciated
  • Errands/shopping – to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to keep safe those in our community who are most vulnerable

If you need help please don’t hesitate to request assistance from our Caring Ministry Team.

And we always welcome new people who want to lend a hand to our church community members in need. If you would like to be included in our helper list, please let us know.

If you have any questions, please contact our volunteer Caring Ministry Coordinator, Jude Cigrand at caring@ucdsm.org.

Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care is a lay-led ministry providing a listening ear so that no one in the congregation feels alone during difficult times in their life. Our specially trained team works collaboratively with our minister to expand the congregation’s pastoral care presence.

If you’re struggling with a challenge and you need someone to talk to, to help process what is happening, or to share your grief, our team can offer a compassionate, listening ear. Learn more in our Mission Statement.

Example of concerns you might bring to the Pastoral Team include:

    • When you are facing a problem with your children, parents or anyone else…
    • When you’ve lost your job or are considering a new career…
    • When you’re having trouble in your relationship or marriage…
    • When there is illness, hospitalization or death…
    • When you are facing an important decision…
    • When you or someone you are close to is dealing with addiction or a mental health issue…

If you would like pastoral care for yourself or someone else, please contact the Pastoral Care team at pastoralcareteam@ucdsm.org. Members include:

    • Ann Mowery (she/her/hers) (chair)
    • Jim Carty (he/him/his)
    • Susan Jellinger (she/her/hers)
    • Gene McCracken (he/him/his)
    • Ellen Taylor (she/her/hers)

You may also reach out to our Minister, Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw (they/them/their), at revamy@ucdsm.org. See more information on their staff page.

Grief Support Circle

If you are looking for support during a grieving process, our lay-led Grief Support Circle exists to provide a place to gather with others and share. It’s a place for tears and laughter, fear and hope, and light within a time of darkness. The group meets on Mondays from 6:30-8:00 p.m. CT. To participate, contact Sally Boeckholt (she/her/hers) at griefsupport@ucdsm.org.

The Grief Support Circle uses the circle format during meetings. This consists of:

  • A chalice lighting
  • Welcome and introductions
  • Sharing around the circle
  • Follow up to sharing
  • Opportunity for circle leadership

Circle leadership comes from the circle itself. Currently, Sally Boeckholt and Suzanne Popson (she/her/hers) provide leadership – arriving a few minutes early and leading the group through the format. You’re welcome to offer to lead if you’d like to. There is no pressure, only an opportunity. Each week a calendar of upcoming dates will be made available for members to pick a week if they choose.