The Rev. Amanda Hendler-Voss joyfully serves the community of First Church as the Senior Minister. Raised in a suburb of Detroit, working for the Appalachia Service Project cultivated a love for the mountains that compelled her to move south. There, she initially worked with those living with HIV/AIDS and fell in love with the United Church of Christ, an open and affirming denomination. As a Woodruff scholar at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Amanda earned her Masters of Divinity with certificates in Black Church Studies and Church and Community programs. In Atlanta she coordinated the Georgia chapter of Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND), organizing anti-war protests and educational programs, as well as authoring a new curriculum, Faith Seeking Peace, on redirecting federal budget priorities to meet human and environmental needs.
Amanda was ordained in the western North Carolina Association of the UCC in 2006 while serving as a Minister of Faith Formation. In 2009, Amanda co-founded the thriving community of Land of the Sky United Church of Christ in Asheville, NC, where she served as Co-Pastor for eight years in an intentional, power-sharing model. Her vocation as a pastor is shaped by Amanda’s particular calling to racial justice. At Land of the Sky UCC she launched a racial justice ministry in which she co-led dismantling racism training, engaged in a racial justice audit of ministries, created programming for children and youth to highlight the testimonies of local leaders of color, and launched conversations about reparations. In August of 2017, she engaged in sacred activism in Charlottesville where she served as an on-call chaplain to those impacted by the tragic violence of white supremacy. Amanda recently completed a yearlong training as part of the first cohort of UCC leaders equipped to facilitate Sacred Conversations to End Racism 2. She consistently seeks new opportunities to learn and grow on the lifelong journey of dismantling racism within and without.
In 2017, Amanda relocated to northern Virginia with her spouse, Seth, and boys, Myles (13) and Simon (7) to enter a reflective season of ministry. A lover of words and contemplative spirituality, Amanda has served in recent years as a freelance writer, Spiritual Director, and Co-Facilitator of a clergy Community of Practice in the Potomac Association. She enjoys hiking, baking, running, reading, and snuggling her adopted dog, Ginger. Perhaps most importantly, she seeks to honor the sacred in every person she encounters and the well-being of the Earth’s family of all living things.