By Ardyce Curl
Joann Dodson’s mother was a Quaker. Joann and her husband Les attended a liberal Baptist church in Flint before moving to Kalamazoo, where they attended Baptist and Congregational churches but didn’t find what they were looking for.
“When our two young sons were acting up at the Baptist Sunday School the teacher told them, ‘Don’t come back.’” Joann said. “So we didn’t.”
“We looked for a church home where we could be active in the community, a place that would encourage us to be better people through activism,” Joann said. “We wanted to find an accepting community, intellectual stimulation and a welcome place for our boys.”
They found that at People’s and made many friends there.
Recently Les’s health made it necessary for him to move to an assisted living care facility, and Joann says, “Now that I am alone, church friends and support are more important than ever to me.”
Asked her source of religious wisdom, Joann said, “Nature, the amazing product of the Creator, whatever or whoever that is.”
She finds the Sunday messages nurturing and comforting. In the past she has been active with Care and Share, helped in the gardens, the bazaars, played in the bell choir and helped cook with the monthly talking pots.
Joann said now she might be able to help with the library, the garden and the bell choir and would like to sing in the choir when her time allows.
Joann misses the potluck dinners for it was there she became acquainted with many of People’s people.
She added, “Our whole family loved the weekend canoe/camping trips that Pratts organized for many years.”
(Joann, 77, is a retired registered nurse. She and Les have two sons, Chuck and Jeff, and two granddaughters.)