Big Changes in 2010 – Peter and Amy moving to Boston

Channing Church, Newport, RI - Photo by Matthew Cohen

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I’ve started receiving emails and calls asking for clarity about our recent announcement.  Boy, we sure are part of an interdependent web! Here’s the scoop. Please share this information as you’d like.  My purpose in sharing is to squash any faulty speculation about this transition.

On Sunday, January 10th my wife Amy – that’s the Rev. Amy Freedman – announced that she will conclude her ministry at Channing Memorial Church in Newport, RI at the end of this church year. After an amazing 9 years at Channing, Amy is going to take a breather from full time ministry, spend a little more time with our daughter, and get ready for that which comes next.

In her announcements to the congregation Amy answered the question, “Why now?” I’m happy to report that there are no conflicts, no huge looming challenges. Channing is doing great.  Actually, AMAZING is more accurate.

Those interested in details can read Amy’s Jan. 10, 2010 sermon on the Channing website. In this sermon she shares highlights of all she and the congregation have accomplished together. Channing truly has a shared ministry. And characteristic of Amy’s ministry, she decided to conclude this settlement at its peak.

Channing’s ministry has deepened and expanded over the last nine years. A family church when Amy arrived, today the congregation is actively working on the transition from pastoral to program church with a strong vision and strategic plan in hand.  The congregation has worked hard and earns the distinction of, by Jan. 2009 stats, having the most net growth in our district.

The congregation has also done wonders with building restoration. Sanctuary floors redone, restored stained glass windows, and a newly rebuilt stone steeple. Channing’s next minister will appreciate not inheriting a steeple on the brink of collapse. A number of years ago the bells started “gonging” on their own as bricks fell from within. You can learn more about this project and watch stages of its progress on the Channing Youtube channel at

What’s next for us?

This Summer we will be moving to Boston where Amy grew up and where much of my work is. I’ve been commuting on our filming days since Amy and I were married in 2004. Many of you may not realize that in addition to my UU growth work, I am a television producer and media consultant working primarily out of Boston.

The details of Amy’s plans are hers to share. Though I can tell you there are a number of Unitarian Universalist media and resource development projects we’d like to work on together, funding sources permitting. These range from new videos for both adults and children to a modular series of resources for small groups / adult RE.

You will continue to find me here on the UU Growth Blog.  As for contact info, that is staying the same as my phone numbers moved to Boston years ago.

In faith,
Peter Freedman Bowden

Amy & Peter enjoying the beach in Newport, RI

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