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TOP people: Amy Bauer-Heald

TOP people: Amy Bauer-Heald

The speakers are wonderful and the music is unparalleled but it's the people you meet and the connections you form that make One project gatherings so unforgettable. In the weeks leading up to our Seattle gathering (February 14-16, 2016), we'll be highlighting a few of the faces you can look out for around the ballroom at the Westin Hotel.

Amy Bauer-Heald

"The One project has been food for my soul these last four years. At TOP Seattle 2012 I wept—OK, I ached, I’m not a crier—while we sang “In Christ Alone," hardly realizing how starved I had become for Jesus. All. I told Alex Bryan that it was the first time in years I’d felt proud to be an Adventist."

"To know me is to understand how much I love to eat. Parse my life for a biography and you can trace my course—not unlike those archeologists who’ve told us what the Bog Man ate before he died—from the contents of my stomach.

"Childhood ice-cream cones from the marina at Lake Powell are followed by birthright-worthy lentil soup, eaten at reverent Friday night meals with my family. History and English degrees from PUC came served with chocolate gateau from a professor’s oven and rowdy Greek feasts around my mentor’s table. I shared tea and my first taste of real clotted cream in the shadow of Salisbury Cathedral and spent months on a lonely Marshallese atoll—where the fresh coconut was a serious front-runner for the best thing that happened all year. Graduate school was fueled by conciliatory pastries and much coffee. And then there was real life.

"Real life was returning to the Napa Valley to share a birthday piadine with a dying friend—his treat—and his last meal out. Real life served wedding cake and, nearly a decade later, crepes at my baby showers. It has been flavored with gelato in Venice and freshly-pressed pomegranate juice in cobbled Turkish villages—always with a chaser of airplane food, returning me to North Idaho.

"The flavors are more mundane these days. Annually there is apple pie—hundreds and hundreds of them—assembled each fall as a fundraiser so my husband and I can take his middle-school students to Washington, D.C. And there is humble pie. Humble pie served heaping as I’ve learned to live and work and love others outside the academic environment where I was raised. Tonight it will be blue box mac’n’cheese and tomorrow, Sabbath, snack cups filled with fishy crackers as part of my job in children’s ministries."

A native of California, Amy was raised in St. Helena and earned degrees from Pacific Union College and the University of California, Davis. She is married to Geoff and they currently live in Coeur d’Alene Idaho with their two children, Atticus and Vesper. Amy has worked at Summit NW Ministries in Post Falls for nearly ten years. She has done everything from youth and children’s ministries to Easter and Christmas theatrical productions—and has even preached the occasional sermon.

Reflecting on the One project, Amy says, "What I look forward to most eagerly when I return to TOP is the renewed opportunity to gather at a table with other believers who are hungry for Christ. Leonard Sweet, at TOP Seattle 2014, reminded us that the table matters. It’s where we share food, stories, and faith. I don’t feel threatened at a table. I can share my doubts and my frustrations, but I know I will come away filled. Drizzled with the Holy Spirit, satiated by my Savior."

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