We are excited to welcome our new Member in Discernment, Ryan Wagers, to the pulpit on Sunday, February 19. He will preach the story of Jesus’ transfiguration, Matthew 17:1-9.
What is a Member in Discernment?
Becoming a Member in Discernment is way for a student discerning ordination in the UCC to get practical experience and be nurtured by a congregation and a UCC conference mentor. At their January 5 meeting, CUCC’s Deacons Ministry agreed that CUCC will be Ryan’s teaching/mentoring congregation for a year and sent that affirmation to the Southern Conference. This year we will offer him opportunities to preach and to lead a book or Bible study. As an usher and member of the Do Justice Ministry, Ryan will work alongside members serving the congregation and the community. He has trained as a worship technology backup for Jeff Cole, our communications manager.
Ryan will check in with the Deacons periodically. We, the congregation, offer our support and prayers for him, and we would hopefully see him through to his ordination. We are not calling Ryan to a staff position, and are not paying him. This is a spiritual, shepherding relationship that we’ve been chosen for and asked to participate in.
Getting to know Ryan
Ryan, along with his wife, Beth (pictured with Ryan), is a member of CUCC (officially since September of 2022 but unofficially since early 2022). Since joining us, Ryan has become a regular attendee at worship and participates in church social events and the work of the church. Prior to moving to Raleigh in May 2022, Ryan lived in rural Indiana and facilitated a house church community from 2020-2022. He has also served as Resident Pastor of Hospitality and Community Development at College Wesleyan Church from 2018-2020. Ryan recently completed his Master of Divinity at Chicago Theological Seminary through their online program. He intends to pursue a career path as a chaplain, and has interests in working with individuals who have experienced religious trauma to construct healthy modes of spirituality.
Ryan and Beth love exploring the Triangle, playing board games, and spending time with friends and their dog Shadow. Ryan is a geek at heart, and loves comic books, science fiction, and fantasy. He’s also interested in good coffee and dark beers and currently works as a bartender at a board game bar in downtown Raleigh.
CUCC’s ministry of nurturing spiritual leaders
CUCC has a history of supporting students like Ryan as they discern their call. Over the years we have worked with fourteen “Members in Discernment” (previously called “Students in Care”) and another dozen seminary interns. This is a quiet and consistent CUCC ministry serving the community by helping to prepare spiritual leaders for the future. If you have questions about this new relationship with Ryan, contact Pastor Lacey at email@example.com.