Rev. Dr. Rachel Metheny, Pastor
Rachel Metheny was born in Indianapolis and lived most of her life there, except for two years in San Francisco/Bay area and one year in Guatemala. She served as pastor of Broadway in Indianapolis for 18 years before her appointment to Congress Street on July 1, 2017. She has a daughter, Grace, who is a college student at Indiana University, and two dachshunds, Zoey and Shortie. She has a PhD in ethics from Graduate Theological Union and has taught at Christian Theological Seminary (where Congress Street’s previous pastor, Clarinda Crawford was a student in her ethics course). She loves reading, IU basketball (I know, I know), and walking. With her daughter, she loves to travel (especially to Kauai, Hawaii). They have been able to travel all around the world due to receiving two Lily Endowment Clergy Renewal Grants. She loves to make homemade pizza (her only specialty). She is looking forward to eating at all the good local restaurants.
Ryan W. Traeger, Community Pastor
Ryan was born and raised in Lafayette, attending Jefferson High School. He spent some time at Purdue while trying to determine what vocation would look like in his life, only to feel a call to ministry while serving as a Youth Director in Lafayette. Ryan served at Grace UMC in Lafayette for 8 years as the Youth Director/Associate Pastor, splitting his time in the final three years at Grace with Brown St UMC as their Senior Pastor. Ryan continues to serve at Brown St. UMC and is excited to be partnering with Congress St. starting July 1st, 2020. Ryan grew up at Congress St. UMC and has a passion for getting to know people, having conversations (and sometimes a gentle debate), and never taking himself too seriously. He is the proud dad of Magnolia (6) and Genevieve (4) and loves to draw and play LEGOs with his girls.
Crys Bazan, Minister of Music
Hello! I’m Crys Bazan, Congress Street UMC’s Choir Director and Organist. I have enjoyed playing the piano and organ for 34 years of my life, starting at the age of 4 yrs old. My family had an old console organ, and I used to love to sit and mess with all the buttons and experiment with different voices. Luckily for me, my parents didn’t mind my “experimenting” and never discouraged me, even before I started music lessons. I made a joyful racket, indeed! I took piano lessons all through school, fell in love with Jazz and the saxophone, singing, and a few other instruments for fun and interest. My whole family is musical, I was just the lucky one who studied music and stuck with it.
Being passionate about making great music and encouraging others to find their source of happiness through music and the arts is something I highly regard. I’ve been a professional musician and music teacher for most of my adult life, and have been blesssed to help students young and old achieve their musical goals. Some of my hobbies include hiking with my dogs (anywhere, but particularly love the woods), playing with kitties, flower gardening & landscaping, nature, lake life in Monticello, baking treats around the holidays for family & friends, and sharing funny stories or jokes. Laughter is the best medicine!