our pastor


Susan Heafner-Heun

I remember sitting in Dr. W. Barnes Tatum's class at Greensboro College taking some kind of religion class. Dr. Tatum had a way of making us take our Sunday School theology, turning it upside down, and forcing us to build our own journey of faith. I loved it. I loved the tearing down and the building up. I loved questioning everything about scripture, Church history, doctrine and church polity. It never made me question my faith. It was the way I best journeyed with God. When I left and went to seminary in New York City, I continued questioning, seeing things differently, experiencing worship in creative ways, and realizing that my call to ministry was opening up to a way to bring spiritual people together for a new church experience. Why couldn't the church be open and affirming to my friends who were gay? Why couldn't the church do creative worship each week that helped us follow Jesus as well as respect and learn from a variety of religious traditions? Why couldn't we be free of dogmas and creeds and statements of faith that kept us boxed in instead of released to go out and experience the Spirit? And why, if we could do all of this, would we be considered heretics or "not followers of Jesus?"

I am thrilled to be not just leading this new community in its formation, but being lead by this new community. I am thrilled that my childhood denomination, The United Methodist Church, encouraged our start. And I am at peace because I finally have a place where my faith is valued, nourished, and challenged.

I am supported and encouraged by my husband, John Heun, and our loving daughters, Ava and Olivia. We live in Huntersville. When we aren't working on Inclusion Community, we love getting outside to dig in some dirt, hiking, or taking peace-filled walks. And who am I kidding? I love some good TV (Walking Dead, Scandal, Sons of Anarchy, Downton Abbey just to name a few).