Christine Hann grew up in Bowling, Green, OH where she attended a Lutheran church.
“Over the years I attended churches of different denominations, but gradually came to realize I was simply not a Christian,” Christine said. “I didn’t fit in a church that required me to recite a creed and hold the same spiritual beliefs as all the other members.”
Christine attended a service at the UU Church of Akron, Ohio in 1998-99. She said, “It felt so good to be in a church where people were positively discussing sexual orientation and gender identity. I felt visible and welcomed and I felt there was room for me at a UU church.”
When she arrived in Kalamazoo in 1999 Christine sought out a UU Church. She checked out the UUCC in Portage and was a member there for several years.
“In 2008 I was looking for something different though I wasn’t quite sure what,” Christine said. “When I walked up the stairs and into the lobby at People’s I was greeted by Diane Melvin’s familiar face. She gave me one of her big welcoming hugs, and Karen Tinklenberg invited me to sit with her and afterward gave me a tour of the church. I was happy to see other familiar faces as well.
“The following week I joined a bike ride on the Kal-Haven trail out to Peoples where Jill McAllister preached a sermon on spiritual Athleticism. I felt right at home. I found welcoming people, a thriving RE program and choir. It meant a lot to me to see so many families and happy children here. I felt further connected when I joined the choir in 2011.”
Christine said it matters to her that we draw on wisdom from many religious traditions but that she does not have to subscribe to certain religious beliefs in order to belong.
“I care about singing music with non-patriarchal lyrics that resonate for me,” Christine said. “I learn from People’s people who challenge me to grow in social justice activism.
Christine has assisted with pre-school RE, taught or assisted RE specialty classes. was a Coming of Age mentor, helped with stewardship activities, volunteered for the Bazaar and participated in a Chalice Circle. She recently joined the committee on Ministry.
She describes herself as a Queer single woman. She enjoys singing, making music, biking, hiking and reading. She plays the ukulele, recorder and piano.
“I enjoy getting to know folks better in the kinship group at Laura and Mike Bultman’s,” she said.
“And I would like to be active with Dismantling Racism at People’s.”
(Christine is a library associate at the Kalamazoo Public Library