Rev. Rachel Lonberg
When Rev. Rachel Lonberg was four years old, her grandmother died. She asked her parents why Jesus got to come back to life and her grandmother didn’t. That question – and the many that followed – led her family to Unitarian Universalism. Our living tradition had been Rachel’s spiritual home ever since.
Rachel’s passions in ministry include creating meaningful worship, building connections across generations, engaging our diversity of belief (and non-belief), and sharing the history of Unitarian Universalism. She believes the world needs our message of love, hope, reason, and tolerance.
A graduate of Tufts University and Union Theological Seminary, Rachel served congregations as a ministerial intern in Saint Paul, Minnesota and as an interim minister in Nashville, Tennessee. She was called by People’s Church in May 2015 and began serving the congregation in August 2015. She is married to Brian, a chef and brewer. Their son, DeForest, was born in June 2015, and their daughter, Dorothy, was born in March 2018.
Rev. Rachel is available to meet with People's people at times of distress, grief, celebration, and when they have a great idea they want to share. Please call, text, or email her if you would like to find a time to talk or use her online scheduling tool: www.calendly.com/revrachel
Director of Religious Education
Diane Melvin has a master's degree in Environmental Studies and is a Credentialed Religious Educator through the Unitarian Universalist Association. She has been the Director of Religious Education at People's Church since 2001. She has also been an adjunct professor at WMU teaching a course entitled "Holism and Nature" through the Integrative Holistic Health and Wellness Program. Formerly an educator with the Kalamazoo Nature Center, Diane is passionate about helping people connect with nature as well as encouraging them to honor and nurture their own spiritual lives.
Assistant to Director of Religious Education
Savannah Ramsey has always been drawn to creativity. She was born into a musical family that nurtured her desire to be involved in the creative endeavors that she enjoys today, including singing, playing, and writing both instrumental and vocal music. She earned her BA in music education in 2016 from WMU, and has lived in the Kalamazoo area for 5 years. She also enjoys reading and writing, theater, live music, and crafts.
Rev. Jill McAllister
Jill's active outreach work elevated People's Church to international prominence. An inspirational speaker and consensus manager, her enthusiasm and inclusiveness led our church to be more welcoming to people of all persuasions and generations, especially young families attracted to the active Religious Education program.
Despite an economic recession, in 2011-2012 Jill helped the church accommodate growth and prepare for the future by encouraging total congregational engagement in expanding our functional building space by one-third. Jill was elected as People's Church's Minister Emerita in 2015.