Hi, my name is Suzanne Rider, but I go by Su. No "e", thanks to an eccentric second grade teacher. My husband, Deke, is the Executive Director at Camp Hebron. We have two kids: Lia is 12 and will be entering 7th grade at Halifax. Isaac just turned 5 and will be a pre-K student at Northern Dauphin Christian School. I have a dog, a small goat flock, a whole bunch of chickens, and a couple of pigs that quite frankly intimidate me a little bit. But we keep the pigs because the kids like them.
I like Animals, being silly with my kids, making music, cooking a meal to share with friends, horseback riding with Lia, the Iowa countryside, eating sushi, and outdoor adventures. I've never taken a long walk on a beach but I'm sure I'd like it too, it sounds lovely. Things I don't like include being barefoot outside, gravy, cats (they always bite me, even the "friendly" ones), snow and long road trips. Unfortunately my entire family lives in Iowa, and driving all the way there and back is awfully long and boring. So the kids and I ride Amtrak a lot.
I have deep roots in camp and retreat ministry, and that whole journey began at an Iowa camp and retreat center. This is where I met Deke, where we got married, and where we were in ministry together for over 14 years. This is also where I first heard God calling me to pastoral ministry. I began this process in the Iowa UMC, and continued it here in PA when the leadership opportunity for Deke at Camp Hebron brought us here. I love preaching and teaching about God's word. One of my favorite approaches is imitating John the Baptist, pointing people to Jesus' work in our world and declaring "Behold, the Lamb of God!". I'm also passionate about encouraging and equipping people to grow in their faith, watching them become ministers in their own mission fields (everybody has a mission field, you know!). As God develops me into the pastor He desires me to be, I suspect my roots in camp and retreat ministry will still shine through. You'll probably be learning more than you expected to about horses and other animals because I use them for sermon and teaching illustrations a lot!
I am so grateful and excited for the opportunity to serve at HUMC. This church has a very unique set of resources and passions, and I'm excited to be an instrument that God may use to help develop them. I firmly believe that HUMC is on the edge of a great awakening, and I can't wait to be a part of it!