Greetings, People’s people! As summer’s rhythms and festivals arrive, I’m completing two years of interim ministry in Hartford CT and preparing to move to Kalamazoo. I greatly appreciate the dedicated work of your Interim Task Force, Board of Trustees, Transition Team, and Ministerial Search Committee in preparing for a successful ministerial search and settlement in the coming year. I am honored to have been invited to serve you during2014-2015, as together we re-claim and build upon the exemplary legacy of People’s Church and anticipate the future.
A brief introduction of the Johnson family—whom I expect you will meet during my brief time at People’s Church. My wife Diann and I will be celebrating our forty-seventh anniversary in late September this year. She is a native of Carmel IN, attended New England Deaconess School of Nursing, and worked thirty-plus years in coronary care and intensive care nursing, as well as home health care settings. A devotee of genealogy, music, computers, and many arts and crafts, Diann eagerly anticipates living in southwest Michigan and engaging its many cultural and artistic focal points—including the quilters in Shipshewana IN.
Our daughter Melanie is a dancer, violinist, counselor, yoga instructor, and movement therapist. Graduating from Butler University in 2004 with a dual major in French and Psychology, Melanie spent a year in Hiroshima prefecture Japan, teaching English in public schools. Returning to the U.S., she completed her Master’s degree in Dance / Movement Therapy and Counseling Psychology at Antioch University in Keene NH. Melanie is now a full-time Ph.D. student at Lesley University, focusing upon the expressive therapies. She is a regular presenter at annual conferences of the American Dance Therapy Association.
Our son Stefan completed undergraduate study at Syracuse University in 2009, dual-majoring in Spanish and computer engineering. He re-focused his vocational goals toward medicine, and completed a Master’s degree in Bio-ethics. Stefan entered medical school two years ago, and is now a full-time student at the University of Kansas Medical School, conveniently located just ten miles from our family’s home in Overland Park. He is now well into his third year of study and clinical rotations, with special interest in orthopedic surgery. Stefan is a skilled golfer, and is easily able to out-drive his Dad by 80 yards or more.
I will defer my self-introductions until after my arrival, when there will be ample opportunities for scheduling visits with each of you.
My sincere thanks to the many People’s people who have already assisted our family in so many ways in getting to know you and the Kalamazoo community. Diann and I will be moving into our apartment (at Summer Ridge, which is quite close to the church) on Saturday and Sunday, July 26th and 27th. Rick Johnson has generously offered his truck to assist us on that weekend in local moving of furnishings for our one-bedroom-and-den apartment. Sally Padley has kindly donated a queen-bed-frame and a single bed, so our bedding needs are covered. I would make this request: If you have other furniture items that you would be willing to lend to Diann and me for next year, or to donate, please e-mail Diann at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on her cell phone at: 913-302-5081. She will be the coordinator / communicator, while I am fulfilling ministry obligations over the next five weeks.
Thanks again for your warm welcomes, generous hospitality, and enthusiastic offers of support as we begin our shared endeavors together. All good wishes for the summer.
Rev. Dave Johnson, incoming Interim Minister,