Greg and Ann Feldmeier wanted to find a welcoming, warm and inclusive church community and a minister who was inspiring and open.
Greg, 72, is a physician who practiced obstetrics and gynecology in Kalamazoo for 40 years. He retired 18 months ago. Ann, 65, is a social worker/mental health counselor and development professional. They both love the outdoors, especially biking, hiking (Glaciar National Park is their favorite) and all forms of water sports, especially water skiing, sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving. The mountains of Pennsylvania is also a big draw where Greg’s family owns a tree farm (the big trees) enjoying woods, streams, waterfalls and an infinite number of outdoor projects.
While they were raising their children they had continued to attend the churches they grew up in, exposing their children to both. Greg grew up Catholic and Ann Presbyterian.
They have a blended family of five grown children and 9 grandchildren. The grandchildren all live locally and spend a lot of time with Nana and Grandpa.
Fifteen years ago when their children were launched, Greg and Ann visited many churches in their quest to find the ‘right fit’ for both of them. They began looking for a church that was not restricted by doctrine or dogma and that was in line with their liberal spiritual orientation and values.
They believe they’ve found what they were looking for.
“We found a church community that is patient and gives newcomers space and time to decide if People’s is the right church for them,” Ann said. “We also found a tight knit church community bound by shared values that respects and encourages one another’s spiritual growth.”
“We joined People’s seven years ago because we were ready to make a commitment and because we want to be in relationship to people who share our values,” Greg said. “We want to continue to explore and honor our own spiritual journeys with the support and fellowship of the people of People’s and to equally give support and honor the individual journeys of our fellow church members.”
“It’s important to us that our church home be truly welcoming and lives the Seven Principals of Unitarian Universalism,” Ann said.
Greg said, “We embrace the concept of coming together with shared values and gaining inspiration from many different traditions. We’ve enjoyed and learned a lot by participating with the study group under Tim Bartik’s leadership.”
Ann added, “We’ve read many books we would not ordinarily read. We look forward to Rev. Rachel’s ministry and celebrate the new opportunities for our congregation.”
Greg serves on the Sunday Service Committee, is currently on the Board of Trustees, and helps on the Grounds and Building Work Group when he is available. Ann serves as chair of the Social Justice Coordinating Committee. Both have volunteered for the annual church bazaar
Ann would like to see more opportunities for church members to be active in social justice issues and challenges.
(Article written by Ardyce Curl)