By Ardyce Curl

Megan Reynolds and Sarah Hill first attended People’s in 2009 looking for religious education and a church community for their daughters.

The couple, who have been together 18 years, were married in 2015 by Jill McAllister after the Obergefell decision brought marriage equality to Michigan. Megan had attended Catholic schools in Wilmington, Delaware. Sarah attended an Episcopalian Church. The couple moved to Kalamazoo when Sarah was hired as a professor at WMU.

“I heard about People’s from neighbors in the Hillcrest neighborhood,” Megan said. “We came looking for religious education and a church community for the girls. I was pleasantly surprised that over time People’s became a place I came to for myself, not just for the kids.”

Sarah said, “I met Diane Melvin when I drove to People’s for her help with a class that I would teach at WMU and then I followed Megan’s interest in coming to People’s as I’d tried two Episcopal congregations and decided they were not a good fit.”

At People’s Sarah has found a community, wise counsel and spiritual practices that give her hope.

She said compassion, acceptance, open-minded kindness and an overall place for their kids to feel welcome are important for them and that they have found that at People’s. Sarah enjoys Rachel’s sermons, the music and the sense of community. Living out our highest values is the most important part of the mission statement for her.

Megan said, “Here, I’ve found encouragement in the spiritual practice of being in this world, awake and aware to the pain and suffering in this world, without losing heart. I’ve learned lessons from sermons, the embodiment of that practice in ministers who serve and have served this church, our shared ministries of service and social justice, and the love and kindness that have been offered to me by members of the community.

“I find coming to the service every week comforting and enriching,” Megan added. “The elders of this church are role models for me—strong, kind, generous and unconventional. Other parents of this community have provided us emotional and practical support over the years.

“Our older kids have become enthusiastic about the middle school and high school program,” Megan added. “I feel grateful that they get up on Sundays looking forward to coming to church,”

Megan has served on the RE Committee, the Board of Trustees and was on the committee that hired Dave Johnson as interim minister. She is now on the Stewardship committee and coordinates the cashiering team for the Bazaar.

Sarah has been on the nominating committee and is a member of the AV team. She has put together slide shows for the silent auction and volunteered as a specialty class teacher. She enjoys photography and is happy to continue working on AV. She said she would like to see more diversity in the congregation.

(Megan Reynolds, 44, is an attorney administrator for the Family Division of the Circuit Court in Calhoun County. Sarah Hill, 55, is a WMU Professor in the Institute of Environment & Sustainability. The couple have two daughters: Georgia, 13, and Rosalie, 9, and twin nephews: Nolan and Keegan, 14. )

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