Reverend Shaw was born in Detroit, Michigan and grew up during the rise
of inner-city gang warfare in the early 80's. Understandibly, the small, fair-skinned girl with blond hair
and blue eyes stuck out in the neighborhood and shortly became the target of adolescent violence when her family
decided to relocate to safer turf.
Reminiscing, Reverend Shaw relates a particular turning-point moment in her youth,
"I eventually realized that my father was what could be characterized as a 'bible beater.' He used to go to bars and
stand on tables preaching the Baptist word. Then one day he discovered his minister out behind the church drinking and
smoking, and doing the things that he preached against. That was when my Father turned his back on the church.
And when I knew there would be choices to be made for me soon."
During Shaw's freshman year of high school, a friend invited her and
her sister to go on a weekend retreat with her church. The youth became fascinated with the Catholic religion and converted
to Catholicism, walking some five miles to church twice a week, or more if it was a special holiday. At the age
of 19, Reverend Dana became pregnant with her daughter Chrissy, now graduated from high school and on her way to college.
This became another spiritual turning point for Shaw because she was not married and was shown the cruelty of a judgmental
religious community. Shaw says of that time, "The Catholic church turned their back on me so fast, the breeze knocked the
faith right out of me."
Having realized that it would not be her path to follow one particular faith or
another, Reverend Dana has have developed her own individual faith, and counsels others to do the same. She shared, "I
know there is a higher power. I have felt it many times. I believe that life is about loving and learning, sharing and
giving. I am a peaceful person --I'm not one for confrontation-- but I have realized I can have my own thoughts and opinions
about faith and stand my ground."
Of her spiritual journey Reverend Dana states, "I have wanted to be minister for
a long time. I just didn't want people telling me what I had to believe in order to do that. Now that I have accomplished
that, I feel like I have reached an important goal in my life. I feel that I was meant to be a minister."
Reverend Shaw was recently blessed to perform her first wedding
ceremony for two dear friends. "As soon as I was there in the moment, I knew then that I had made the right choice. I look
forward to bringing many more people together in love."
Reverend Dana currently resides in Rochester Hills with her spouse Diane, their daughter
Christina and Rema the superdog. A certified ASL interpreter and youth educator by day, her ceremonial ministry is a part-time
joy that she hopes to build and continue into retirement.