Statement from Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw, Senior Minister

To the Congregation of the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines:
After a full year of deep and mindful discernment, and repeated discussion with Board Leadership, I intend to end my call at UCDSM effective July 31st, 2022. The Board and I agree that this is an expected and appropriate course of action at this time.

I was called to the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines in 2019, and my call was as a Senior Minister supported by a full-time Associate Minister. This staffing ratio was appropriate for a congregation this size and reflected the needs of the governance structure. I took this call, in part, in order to work in a multi-minister environment.

Unfortunately, the financial situation of the church required the almost immediate removal of the second minister’s position. At the time I was direct in telling the Board and congregation that the loss of the second position could be accommodated for one year, and probably, more poorly, for a second year, but that a third year or beyond was not possible while meeting congregational expectations.

Because the pandemic and accompanying building shut-down happened eight months into the first year of our shared ministry, the church was able to go forward longer than expected with one minister, but as we look toward another year of solo ministry, and a full return to in-person events and meetings, I am, sadly, unable to continue in this position which does not reflect the nature of my original call.
Thank you to everyone who did so much to support and sustain both my ministry and the various ministries of the church; you are amazing.

For the next four weeks I will be wrapping up and transitioning my workflows, and my last day in the pulpit will be June 12th. I will begin vacation on June 14th. My last day as called minister will be August 2nd and I will be available for emergencies from June 14th until then.

May your journey be wonderous.