Hi. I am Amy Glass, FCC Moderator for 2021. I am married to Ross Chapman and mom to Hannah Glass-Chapman, now in her second year at University of Michigan. Our far-flung family also includes 4 adult kids, their spouses, and 9 spectacular grandchildren, living in places it will be fun to visit again when Covid is over. We share our fur-covered household with 2 huge dogs, Maggie & Taylor Pie, and a large cat named Nathan (no relation to our current pastor).
My family and I joined FCC in 2012. We were drawn to this place by the Pastor Nathan’s sermons, the music, the gorgeous sanctuary, and FCC’s commitment to social justice. I grew up attending an historic church on the northwest side of Grand Rapids. FCC is the first church that has felt like home the way my first church did.
I was introduced to the UCC some 20 years ago through my service on the national board of Faith@Work (now Lumunos) and resulting friendships with pastors and lay leaders from UCC churches around the country, including Seekers churches in the Washington DC area. Their emphasis on right relationship, servant leadership, and doing God’s work in the world enlivened my faith and helped me learn to listen to God’s call in my own life. What Buechner tells us is true, call is that intersection between our great joy and the world’s great need. Henri Nouwen’s work is a steady encouragement and guide to my work.
My day job is my “call” too. I am a mediator. Trained as a lawyer and with a background in litigation and employment law, my work since 1995 has been mediation. I work with individuals and organizations resolving disputes of all kinds, designing dispute resolution systems, and teaching mediation, usually to lawyers and judges. In recent years I have served as a federal court-appointed neutral, evaluating claims brought by employee plaintiffs in several employment race discrimination class action cases. Interviewing individual plaintiffs (all POC) in these cases, I have listened to first-hand accounts of devastating, unjust financial losses, damage to families, emotional and physical suffering. This work has given me a grim education about systemic racism and the ways it persists and compounds over generations. Knowing this has changed me. Bearing witness to profound pain and being open to learn what to do about it is an emerging call.
I have more hobbies than time to do them all but here are my favorites: long dog walks in all weather, painting, writing, music, gathering with friends & family. Covid has put the kibosh on work and leisure travel these days but I’m learning Spanish anyway.
FCC has been a place of spiritual growth for me, helping me refine my sense of call, in ways I did not expect. .