By Ardyce Curl

Julie and Brian Schneeberger are among the newest members of People’s Church, having first attended in February. They signed the bond of union soon after.

Julie said, “I looked up People’s online while searching for an open-minded congregation to match up with my changing spiritual attitudes.”

Brian, who grew up attending the First Baptist Church in Kalamazoo, said he first came to People’s because he was curious. “I was looking to be with people who share my views and what is important to me. Here I’ve found people who share my values and I’ve found a way to become more active in community and political concerns.”

Julie grew up in the Presbyterian Church in Three Rivers where she was an active choir, bell choir and youth group member. She said, “I was looking for a church where I could learn from others and express myself freely and feel a sense of purpose and community. I’ve found even more than I was searching for—a terrific open-hearted minister and people really dedicated to their values.”

Buddhism and Christianity have been sources of religious wisdom for both Julie and Brian. Julie has also been interested in Taoism.

“Here at People’s I’ve been nurtured by learning about racism, immigration and democracy in the adult RE programs,” Julie said. “This has connected me to the wider community and re-energized my life.”

Brian said all parts of the mission statement are important to him. Three of the principles stand out for Julie:  1) The inherent worth and dignity of every person, 2) Justice, equity and compassion in human relations, and 3) Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”

Julie has enjoyed singing in the choir, playing in the bell choir and attending a social justice coordinating committee meeting. She would like to be a greeter and to help with Arms Around committee. Brian is willing to participate in committee work, help with buildings and grounds work on Tuesdays and is open to other possibilities.

Brian’s interests include photography, nature study, promoting rights of LGBT people, travel, protecting wildlife and wild places from abuse and degradation. Julie loves to knit socks and scarves, travel, read and study the Tarot.

(Brian, 66, is retired from the State of Michigan where he worked mostly as an attendant at the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital.  Julie, 64, is a retired RN who worked many years in hospital ER, ICU and finally research at Jasper Clinic.  There are two sons, a daughter-in-law and three grandchildren.)

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