Amy Lewis Meyer
As a young girl in the 1960s, Amy Lewis Meyer attended People’s Church downtown in Kalamazoo. Her parents George Lewis—who died in 2002—and Mary Lewis, were both long time members of People’s.
“Sunday School classes were in the basement with the coal bin,” Amy said.
“It was dark and felt like an old castle. The most exciting time was when Roger Greeley dressed up as Santa and swung by a rope from the balcony. Then he called each child to get a present.”
Growing up, Amy attended other churches with extended family or school friends.
“But those churches felt stiff and intimidating,” she said. ‘I left those services feeling lucky to escape. I felt unsettled and vaguely guilty.
“In my young adulthood I didn’t attend church,” she said. “Finally, in my 40s, I visited Horizon UU Church in Carrollton, Texas. My immediate reaction was, ‘Here are my people!’ I always identified myself as a UU, but I didn’t join a church until last year here at People’s.
“People’s has always seemed like a sanctuary to me,” she added. “The specialty classes were especially interesting. Children were encouraged to think. These classes would go for several weeks. Some of my favorites were photography, sex education and behavior training of pigeons.
I even had a pet pigeon for that class.
“I didn’t realize until I returned to People’s how much I had learned as a child and how ingrained those lessons became,” she said.
Here, Amy has volunteered in the Religious Education department and the annual bazaar and is a member of the bell choir.
“I love to attend the sing-a-longs,” she said.
Amy said the following three principles of the mission statement have shaped her attitude towards people her entire life:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person
- Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement of human growth
“People’s is a safe place and I’m surrounded by people I’ve known all my life,” Amy said. “I’m also meeting new people and making new connections. The community of the church is important to me. I’ve seen how much we lift each other up and help out when needed. I feel lucky to have been a UU my whole life.”
(Amy, 55, is employed at Hoffman Brothers Excavating in Battle Creek as an accounting specialist. Her son Drew and wife, her daughter Kelly and husband and their son Kolby, 7, live in Texas.)