Chris Semelbauer has been attending People’s about 13 years. She grew up as a Catholic in Battle Creek and attended a small Catholic school 12 years. Her father is Lutheran, so she says she had exposure to that denomination as well.
Growing up she says she was dedicated and involved in church life but said a high school teacher taught her about other major world religions.
“That opened up the realization to me that Catholicism was not the only way to be a good person or to get to heaven,” Chris said.
“After not attending any church for almost ten years, I discovered People’s when looking up non-denominational churches in the area.” Chris said. “I wanted our son to grow up in a community as I had but without specific dogma of the Catholic Church. At that time I wasn’t able to really articulate any religious philosophy or values, but I felt comfortable at People’s and was impressed that a church could be spiritual and soulful and also not tell me what or who to believe.”
She added, “When we sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” the second or third time I attended, that sealed People’s for me.
“I continue to appreciate that at People’s I have a community that supports the values I believe in and that challenges me to be a better person,” she said.
Chris teaches in the Religious Education program. “I have always enjoyed working with kids and I learn so much from them,” she said. “We have amazing, thoughtful kids here.”
She has also served on the RE Committee, WOW Committee written RE curriculum and has volunteered for the Holiday Bazaar and Capital Campaign.
Chris enjoys reading, supporting the boys in their school and band endeavors and being crafty when she has time. She has been part of an art group, the Multimedia Mavens for 14 years and enjoys the friendships and art that they’ve shared through the years.
(Chris, 45, is married to Todd Semelbauer. They have two sons, Ethan and Kevin. Chris is currently a special education paraprofessional in the Kalamazoo Public Schools.