Coronavirus and Climate Justice by Cybelle Shattuck In the midst of this pandemic, while home-bound and spending (too much) time online, people are excitedly sharing videos of nature “recovering” in the absence of humans. We marvel at majestic mountains unobscured by air pollution and delight at wild animals romping through towns. Our hearts lift—we feel […]
Dear People’s people, In the middle of March, when we stopped gathering in person on Sundays, I thought it would only be for a short time. I had visions that there would be a triumphant ending, a time when we could all rush back into the streets, hug each other, and be done with precautions. […]
During this time of uncertainty in the midst of this global pandemic, connection with other people looks different than we could have possibly imagined just months ago. Our People’s Church small group ministry program is opening up new Chalice Circles to help folks experience meaningful connections with fellow church members. As with much else in […]
“Comfortable with Uncertainty” This is the title of one of my favorite books by Pema Chodron. It feels especially relevant in these times! As I look toward fall, all I see is uncertainty. I am unsure how to plan for our RE program. I’ll make a variety of plans and depend on a large dose […]
“This virus doesn’t discriminate” I’m sure many of you have been hearing these words on the news from medical professionals. And thankfully, as we write this on April 8, we are beginning to hear deeper analyses on the racial disparities embedded in this crisis, where something IS discriminating. From Milwaukee we hear that “26% of […]
How you can fight the climate crisis. HOW TO STAY AT HOME AND SAVE THE EARTH Friday, April 24 is Arbor Day – PLANT TREES FROM HOME! For a small donation, ArborDay.org and 8Billiontrees.com will plant 10 trees for you in a part of the world where deforestation is causing the climate to […]
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing everything we do, including the congregational annual meeting. The People’s Church board and other leaders are finding new ways to do things that preserve our commitment to democracy and keep each other safe. To this end, we will hold the annual meeting online immediately following the May 17 service. Members […]
Dear People’s people, These are challenging times–and each of us face our own particular challenges. Some of us are directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through our work in healthcare, because people we love are sick or have died, or because we are especially vulnerable and are taking precautions. Some of us are struggling with […]
The Green Sanctuary Committee recommends that People’s Church join the Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition (KCCC) to affirm our commitment to work actively toward alleviating and remediating Climate Change. Part of the business at the People’s Church annual meeting on May 17 will be to consider and vote on this proposal. This aligns well with much […]
Many church programs from Sunday services to committee meetings are currently taking place using the Zoom Cloud Meeting program. Here is how to join in Sunday services and other gatherings: By phone: call 1-646-876-9923 and enter meeting ID: 552 766 7326. (note: this is a long-distance call.) By video: Download the Zoom Cloud Meeting App […]
We celebrate the life and mourn the death of two People’s people who died in March. Drusie Rosegrant died on March 14. You can read her full obituary at: https://www.avinkcremation.com/obituaries/Ruth-Rosegrant/#!/Obituary Edmund Tsang died on March 11. He died at Rose Arbor Hospice with his children by his side. Services for Drusie and Edmund—as well […]
Over the last few months, board and finance leaders and Rev. Rachel have been working hard to redesign administrative staffing. A draft plan will be discussed at the board meeting in early April and shared with the congregation shortly thereafter. Please check emails from the church for the latest about all of this. Our communication […]
By Ardyce Curl. Following is an interview with People’s people talking about why they came to People’s and why they continue to participate.
Dear People’s people, The last few weeks have brought unprecedented changes to our life together – a ban on large gatherings, shelter-at-home orders, cancelled schools, lost jobs, the challenges of working from home or continuing to work as an essential employee, worry, fear, isolation, and uncertainty. It is a challenging time and I anticipate that […]
Wisdom for Surreal Times I am acutely aware of how quickly life can change beyond comprehension in such a short period of time. All of the events I was busy planning for have now been cancelled. I find myself struggling to keep up with the pace of the enormous changes that have occurred this past […]
Please click this link to add your voice to this community letter that will be sent to all members of the City Commission. The letter is written already, you can fill in your information in 5 or so minutes or write more if you’d like. Either is great. For more information on ordinances please […]
In need of connection? Meet up virtually with People’s people this week. All of these gatherings can be accessed through the livestreaming app and website Zoom by following this link: https://uuma.zoom.us/j/5527667326 Or by calling 1-646-876-9923 and entering the code 552 766 7326 at the listed time. Tuesday, […]
One of the ways we are hoping to check in with one another during this time of social distancing and isolation is to make sure every People’s person gets a phone call from another church person every week. If you would like to be one of the folks who helps to make these calls, please […]
The Sunday service and Sunday morning religious education classes are cancelled through April 12.
The memorial service for George McCrea has been postponed. A new date will be announced in the near future.
Last fall you may have heard about a large undertaking of a group of dedicated People’s people: Rewriting our church Bylaws (sometimes called a Constitution). It’s been 10 years since this foundational document was reviewed and tweaked to fit who we are today. So the Bylaws Committee wanted to take a moment to update you […]
The Photosynthesis Project was an invitational endeavor for artists and writers who reside in SW Michigan, conceived by Linda Rzoska – owner of Ninth Wave Studio in Kalamazoo. Participants were asked to consider and explore the subject of photosynthesis and respond to it artistically. The first exhibit of this project was at the November Art […]
At our next meeting, the Study Group will be discussing the book Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, by the late Hans Rosling and collaborators. Rosling, a well-known public health expert, argues in this 2018 book on the side of optimism about many global trends. The […]
Dates and Topics March 7: Bob Friedel will lead a discussion on ‘Alternatives to GDP’. An introduction can be found here: https://medium.com/@designforsustainability/gdp-as-an-insufficient-economic-indicator-some-more-systemic-alternatives-91d2e8c093df March 21: Kay Spade will lead a discussion on ‘Multi-tasking: good or bad for you? Bring your own examples.” Recommended reading: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/11/the-autumn-of-the-multitaskers/306342/ The Discussion Group meets each 1st and 3rd Saturday […]
February Special Collection We collected $1,496 for the UUA as part of our February 16th Special Collection. Thanks to everyone who contributed. Special Collection for March Our March 8th Special Collection will benefit Keystone Vets Transitional Housing, a program of Kalamazoo County Public Housing Commission (KCPHC). ISAAC Housing Task Force has partnered with KCPHC since […]
Last year the Green Sanctuary Committee created the Net Zero Task Force to work with the Finance and Building & Grounds Committees, to explore the possibilities for People’s Church achieving net zero carbon emissions. After several months of discussions, interviews with outside experts and contractors, and examination of the church building components, a plan of […]
Reflections I wonder if the lens through which I see the world is clear and wide enough to “Let Everyone In” as Peter Mayer encourages us. I wonder if I have enough self-awareness to know when I am honoring the dignity and self-worth of others. I know that it is a dance, and that my […]
Article by Ardyce Curl. Following is an interview with a People’s person talking about why she came to People’s and why she continues to participate.
Dear People’s people, Every week in the service, we give thanks for all that sustains us. We say, ‘From the countless gifts we each have been given, gifts of life and love and sustenance, we bring these small portions to share in the works of love which none of us can accomplish alone.’ This sharing […]
Anti-Bias & Anti-Racism Race Prejudice + the misuse of power by systems and institutions = Racism I was fortunate to attend a training in Anti-Bias, Anti-Racism education recently. As we offer religious education for all ages at People’s Church, it is important for us to recognize that this currently occurs within the framework of white […]
If you are considering becoming a member of People’s Church, an opportune time to do so will take place on Sunday, March 22. From 10:00-10:20 a.m., we will hold a Bond of Union Signing Ceremony in Room 19. We will also welcome and recognize our newest members during the service. If you’d like to participate […]
All ages are invited to participate in this afternoon of mindfulness. We will meet in Room 19 and enjoy some activities as a whole group and then engage in a variety of stations as individuals or small family groups. These stations will contain a variety of prompts designed to cultivate mindfulness and well-being. This event […]
Get Motivated Lights blazing away? This is a great time of the year to save money and reduce your personal carbon footprint by switching to LED light bulbs. Even if you’ve been changing over to LEDs, take an inventory to see which bulbs you still need to replace. Then go straight to your favorite hardware […]
Dear People’s people, Many of you received an email on Christmas morning from someone pretending to be me. It read: ‘Good morning, are you available? Email me as soon as you get my message. God Bless, Rev. Rachel Lonberg’ Those of you who responded were then asked to buy iTunes gift cards and send the […]
The Sacred in the Mundane Beloved UU religious educator Sophia Lyons Fahs said that, “Life becomes religious whenever we make it so.” All around us are opportunities to notice sacred moments, even in the midst of the mundane. What daily rituals do you and/or your family engage in? Activities as simple as teeth brushing and […]
Reverend Rachel is planning her upcoming sabbatical for February 2021-July 2021. We invite all members to meet in town hall meetings to explore the congregational needs during a time of ministerial sabbatical. Board of Trustees will share our ideas for the sabbatical, facilitate discussion and capture the ideas shared. Three times are offered below: Sunday, […]
The Green Sanctuary Committee of People’s Church is pleased to participate in the Kalamazoo Public Library’s Reading Together 2020 by sponsoring a book discussion of Jonathon Saffron Foer’s We Are the Weather. All are welcome to this discussion, whether you have read the book or not. Join us in Room L2 to learn about the […]
Presentation: “The Green New Deal” with Dr. Denise Keele Snacks will be available. We’ll meet in Room 19.
This one-day workshop (9 a.m.-4p .m.)facilitated by ERACCE provides an introductory process for developing greater understanding and awareness of how systemic racism and bias affect children and youth. This workshop will introduce the four goals of anti-bias and anti-racism (ABAR) education and look at some basic steps to bring these goals into parenting and other […]
If you are considering becoming a member of People’s Church or would simply like to know more about the church and/or Unitarian Universalism, please plan to attend our Membership Orientation after the service on February 16, in Room 19 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. Rev. Rachel will be there, along with representatives from the Membership, Religious Education, […]
January Special Collection We collected $1119 for Open Doors as part of our January 12 Special Collection. Thanks to everyone who contributed. Special Collection for The Unitarian Universalist Association Sunday, February 16 The UUA helps our church thrive. From religious education curricula to hymnals containing the songs we sing to advice for our bylaws committee […]
All ages are invited to enjoy this evening of fun together hosted by the Youth Group. With a Winter Wonderland theme, there will be a photo booth, refreshments and of course dancing. Youth will sell baked goods to fundraise to attend the General Assembly in June 2021. The dance is family friendly, runs from 7-10 […]
Special Collection—Sunday, January 12 The Special Collection on January 12th will benefit Open Doors, a non-profit organization that People’s Church is partnering with in our community. For more than 40 years, Open Doors has been helping families achieve housing success through programs, partnerships and advocacy. Open Doors began as a coffee house/drop-in center offering support […]
Curated by Tom and Lauri Holmes. On display from January 10 through the end of February. A reception is scheduled for February 9, after the Sunday Service. This exhibit features artists who fled Syria eight years ago for refuge in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan which houses about 60,000 people. Some were professional artists […]
Young Adult UU CONference All 18-35-year-olds are invited to participate in this inspirational and informative weekend. Enjoy a variety of hands-on workshops, meaningful worship experiences, games, laughter, connection and a fun coffee house. Register at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1AWBl2TD2Tc-Vk-bDeDdXH7npBTQ0LTZX6dwityBLqyA/viewform?fbclid=IwAR0ipvgVbmI1OnqnJvTo7Aiofr89pcyFfjtZOiJyjPSriRHen19aJrheykg&edit_requested=true
Climate Forum in 2020 The tide is rising, and so are we. The task is mighty, and so are we. The land is holy, and so are we. This is where we are called to be. —Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman and Yotam Schachter 2020 is going to be a year for climate action, a time […]
When I agreed to join the Dismantling Racism Within People’s Church Steering Team last fall, I had a very specific idea of what the work would look like and be, relative to my experience as a former Board of Trustees member, Religious Education Committee member and volunteer, and my 20-year tenure as a participant and […]
Come ring in the New Year! Join us January 13th, 2020 for a dance held at the People’s Church in The Commons. Doors @ 6:30pm Lesson @ 7:00pm Dance @ 7:30pm $8 to dance or more if you can. ALL AGES! Caller: Mike Clark Band: Aaron Jonah Lewis and Friends
Article by Ardyce Curl. Suzanne B. Siegel grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she attended Reform Jewish Temple Emanuel. She said she became aware of Unitarianism while living in California in the 1960s where she attended the Unitarian church in Santa Barbara.
Dear People’s people, At the December board meeting, your board approved a sabbatical for me. I will be on sabbatical February 15 to July 15, 2021. Why sabbatical? A sabbatical is a rare and precious benefit that the church, as an employer concerned about the well-being of its staff, offers to program staff. Our religious […]
Reflection and Intentions The new year always provides an opportunity to reflect upon the previous year and take stock. I like to begin the new year by writing in my journal and setting goals and intentions of how I most wish to live. I often begin by recalling my deepest held values and ideals of […]
This year was even more successful than last year in gross sales and in a spirit of joy and teamwork that was palpable. Our Bazaar has become a beloved event in the community and a special way for us all to lean in and accomplish this miracle for our church. It is a profound teaching […]
Special Collections The November Special Collection for Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition – Fridays for the Future netted $1169. For more information about upcoming Friday events sponsored by the Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition go to https://www.swmgsierra.org/mc-events/fridays-for-future-meet-the-kalamazoo-climate-crisis-coalition/. You can also check the Social Justice Kiosk where Community Social Justice Events are posted for the coming week. […]
Alternative Giving 2019 This year you can resolve to have a greener, cheaper, more meaningful holiday season through alternative giving! Instead of just going to the mall and spending more than you should, create your own original presents, purchase green products that express your values, or make a donation in someone’s name. Use your imagination! […]
Exhibit on display in The Commons through December 31.
Racist: A description instead of a judgment? How much easier would it be to talk about race if the word racist was a description of having been mis-shapened throughout our lives by a culture sick with oppressive policies and structures, instead of being a personal attack on our character? What if that word identified a […]
Two National Public Radio reporters created a podcast to document their reinvestigation the death of Rev. James Reeb, a Unitarian Universalist minister who was killed in Selma, Alabama in 1965. Three men were tried and acquitted for the murder. This podcast ‘exposes the lies that kept the murder from being solved and uncovers a story […]
Following is an interview with a People’s person talking about why she came to People’s and why she continues to participate. Article by Ardyce Curl.
If you are considering becoming a member of People’s Church, the next opportunity to do so will take place on Sunday, December 15th. From 10:00-10:20 a.m., we will hold a Bond of Union Signing Ceremony in Room 19. We will also welcome and recognize our newest members during the service. If you’d like to participate […]
Dear People’s people, Some changes are ahead in how we manage the financial, administrative, and communications tasks necessary to keep People’s Church running smoothly. Our church has been well-served by a devoted team of volunteers who have kept our financial house in order for years. These dedicated folks include Allan Hunt, Barb Davis, Mary Carroll […]
Gratitude In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season it is so important to occasionally pause and remember to express gratitude for our blessings. Meister Eckhart says “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” December often brings up a range of emotions in folks from elation and […]
Please join us for an intergenerational, fun, activity-centered party that will offer an opportunity for connections with other church members. This party is sponsored by the Membership/Connections Committee and the Social Justice Coordinating Committee. In addition to enjoying a fun event with other church members we are including a social justice component by requesting donations […]
Please join the People’s singers as they go caroling on Saturday, December 21st. We will meet at the church at 2:00 and carpool to visit and sing to members and church friends. We will end the event with cookies and hot chocolate back at church. All ages and singing abilities are welcome. Questions? Contact Rick […]
A Climate of Change: Creating a Net-Zero Church, by Tom Hackley What is Net Zero? If oil company A, natural gas company B, and coal company C provide 100% of the energy needed to operate your home, you are using 100% carbon based energy, or Net 100. But, if you can conserve 30% of your energy needs by […]
November Special Collection, Sunday, November 17 Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition—Fridays for Future The mission of the Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition (KCCC) is to unite local climate action groups, share resources and information and sustain high levels of citizen mobilization to address the climate crisis. Their three primary goals are to: Drastically Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, […]
Following is an interview with People’s people talking about why they came to People’s and why they continue to participate. Article by Ardyce Curl.
Dear People’s people, You might think that a community of about 450 people (roughly 250 church members, 150 kids, and 50 adults who have not signed the Bond of Union to become members), is too small to contain separate dialects. You would be wrong. Over the past few weeks, staff, lay leaders, and I have […]
Aligning our Beliefs, Values and Actions As Unitarian Universalists we have no creeds that unite us, instead we gather around shared values. When raising children in most religious traditions, they learn the common creeds and beliefs of the faith. Raising Unitarian Universalist children and youth can be a bit trickier – especially when they are […]
Peter Mayer is the singer-songwriter who created ‘Holy Now,’ ‘Everybody In,’ and the lyrics of ‘Blue Boat Home.’ We use his beautiful music in Sunday services regularly and hearing him in concert is sure to be a gift to us all and a wonderful way to find solace and rejuvenation after what is, for many […]
Members and friends of People’s Church have expressed an interest in having a time to go more deeply into specific topics of racism/anti-racism. This will be the first meeting in a series of monthly meetings that will be guided over time by attendees, and will always hover around a deeper understanding of our individual and […]
Over the summer and into the early fall we have begun implementing our new model addressing racism/antiracism transformation within People’s Church. The former ARAOMC Committee and newly named Dismantling Racism Within People’s Church Implementation Team met for their annual retreat on September 6th. We shared a meal and spent time in deep conversation continuing to […]
The Climate Strike Was Just the Beginning of Local Climate Action When a crowd of about 1,500 gathered at Kalamazoo’s Arcadia Festival Place on September 20, a number of People’s people were there to emphasize the need for significant and prompt action to combat climate change. There were inspiring and informative speakers, including several of […]
Special Collections A big thank you to all who donated to the Lincoln Elementary School Special Collection on September 15. We were able to raise $1,295 for the teachers and students. Our next Special Collection will be on October 13. Douglass Community Association has a mission to create a culture of equity and inclusion that […]
By Ardyce Curl. Following is an interview with a People’s person talking about why he came to People’s and why he
continues to participate.
Enjoy time to play and relax with games, low ropes challenge course, gaga pit, wagon ride, campfire, archery, boating, fishing and carpet ball! October 11-13, 2019 REGISTRATION FEE: $95 per person. Either pay online here or make checks payable to People’s Church with Mystic Lake in the memo line and send to People’s Church […]
Dear People’s people, I mentioned in a recent sermon that our Transgender Inclusion in Congregations class has been a source of learning, reflection, and spiritual and personal growth for me over the last several months. The course consists of six video lectures by Zr. Alex Kapitan and Rev. Mychal Slack, trans UU religious professionals and […]
Children Leading the Way to a Better World I write this shortly after global climate strikes took place around the world. I felt encouraged by the level of involvement of people both in Kalamazoo as well as across the globe. Contemplating the enormity of climate change can be terrifying for adults much less for kids. […]
Ekphrastic Exhibit of Drawing and Poetry (Ekphrastic refers to a form of writing, mostly poetry, wherein the author describes another work of art, usually visual.) Artist Statement I close my eyes and start making marks randomly, with a pencilon paper- long and short, wavy and straight, continuous and dashed all without looking. I fill the […]
We are reading House Girl by Tara Conklin for our first discussion. Please join us on Thursday, October, 3, 5:30-7:30 in Room 12. All are welcome, whether you’ve finished it or not (but expect spoilers!) For more information, you may contact Pat Nelson.
For many years People’s people have been intertwined with the students and staff at Lincoln Elementary. We have had tutors and mentors there for as long as I can remember. We hold a special annual collection for them at the beginning of the church/school year (that will be on Sunday, Sept. 15th). We have done […]
Please join us after the service on Sunday, September 8 for a potluck lunch in The Commons. Please bring a dish to share. See you there!
Earlier this year I attended Doing Our Own Work: An Anti-racism seminar for White People, facilitated by Allies for Change and held at Peoples Church. I intentionally chose to explore racism and anti-racism with other white people. I wanted to confront my own denial, confusion, pain and anger about racism. If I/we felt resistance or […]
SAVE the DATE! People’s Church Fine Arts Sale & Holiday Bazaar will be Saturday, November 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 23rd will be the 18th Annual Bazaar, our all-church fun(d)raiser, welcoming all of our members, visitors, and friends. If you have helped or shopped, you know that this event fills the church and requires many hands. Please ask your friends to plan to join you to “shop local” for one-of-a-kind gifts and enjoy […]
By Ardyce Curl. Following is an interview with a People’s person talking about why she came to People’s and why she continues to participate.
Open Doors Partnership: a team of eight church members donated their time,108 hours total, and skills to rehabilitate a one-bedroom apartment on Park Street for a new tenant: a grateful young mother who moved into her new home on August 26th. Refugee Resettlement: People’s Church housed a two-week Summer Enrichment Program in July for 18 […]
Dear People’s People, As we prepare for the beginning of the church program year, I wanted to let you know about two changes to your Sunday morning experience: the end of routine announcements during the service and the beginning of worship circles for children and youth. We will be ending routine verbal announcements in our […]
September Start Up And the cycle of the year turns yet again as it’s time for a new church year to begin. This begins my 19th year serving as your religious education director. We just completed our summer RE Committee retreat and I’m excited to have an enthusiastic and energetic group of folks serving our […]
9 a.m. – noon People’s people clearly said they want the church to do more justice work. How? What? Who? When? Join us for a morning of worship, learning, and conversation, as we reflect on what the church is doing now, explore what we as individuals and a congregation are called to do next, and […]
How much of your life is influenced by the environment in which you live? How much of your own perception is influenced by the people and attitudes around you? How does one small change grow and spread until it overtakes the hegemony? Come and join us in mulling over these brain-teasers and playing some games […]
Please express your interest in a Chalice Circle by writing your name and contact number on the sign-up sheet in the foyer. We will schedule Circles to accommodate those who sign up. Chalice Circles offer an opportunity to meet with others around a commitment to practice listening and sharing in ways that allow us to […]
The Study Group will be meeting next on Monday, September 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 18. We will be discussing the book The Portable Hannah Arendt. Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was a renowned political thinker who has recently garnered renewed interest because of her analyses of totalitarian movements and thinking, and of the nature of […]
Our planning meeting for the upcoming church yearwill be on August 15, 1:30-3:30 in Room 19. We plan to meet monthly, usually the 3rd Thursday of the month. A schedule will be posted in the foyer. Newcomers are welcome to any meeting. Anyone who would like to review a book (optional) should try to bring […]
The following are the newsletter deadlines for the entire church year. Please email your newsletter articles to: email@example.com. Monday, September 23, 2019, noon Monday, October 21, 2019, noon Monday, November 18, 2019, noon Monday, December 16, 2019 noon Monday, January 20, 2020, noon Monday, February 24, 2020, noon Monday, March 23, 2020, noon […]
Equity and Justice Diversity asks, ‘Who’s in the room?’ Equity responds: “Who is trying to get in the room but can’t? Whose presence in the room is under constant threat of erasure?” Inclusion asks, “Have everyone’s ideas been heard?” Justice responds. “Whose ideas won’t be taken as seriously because they aren’t in the majority?” Diversity […]
Save The Date! September 7, 9 a.m. – noon In our Widening Our Welcome Survey last year, People’s people expressed that they want the church to do more justice work. Come to this gathering, led by Rev. Rachel and the Social Justice Coordinating Committee to talk about what issues we are most passionate about and […]
Rev. Rachel will be on study leave July 8 to August 4. During this time, she will be (mostly) away from normal duties to focus on research, learning, and planning for the upcoming program year. Her projects include planning the children’s worship circles that will launch in the fall; setting the schedule for service leaders […]
Help Available for Some with Lead-based Paint in their Homes Do you live in an older home? Do you have young children? Are you wondering whether you have lead-based paint in your home that may be putting your children at risk? The City of Kalamazoo has received a grant for lead-based paint hazard intervention. You […]