Ryan Hessenius

Minister of Music, Piano

[email protected]

Life should be a journey meant to teach and mold us into the best that we can be; mine has been just that. Born in a small rural town in Northwest Iowa I began my journey in a simple way. I was taught love and kindness, the importance of hard work and dedication, and the importance of family (biological OR chosen) above all else. Being true to myself and discovering my true nature, growing up in Lutheran Church was not necessarily easy, but I learned a great deal that would eventually serve as the foundation of my life in ministry. I have felt a call to music ministry from a very young age. It has played a pivotal role in both my life and faith journeys. It has been the cornerstone through all of my growth and change. Life has not been without its struggles. Questioning my resolve in the Christian church, addiction, failed endeavors and relationships have all been part of my story, but the one Truth that has carried me through and connected me to the universe has been my ministry in music. Music can soothe a wounded soul, comfort a tortured mind, and heal a broken heart.

Since moving to Asheville, I have graduated with my Bachelors in Social Work, and work for Carolina Outreach as an Intensive In Home Therapist. I am blessed to work every day helping children, adolescents, youth, and their families navigate their own difficult journeys.   My plans and goals for the future include both my Masters in Social Work as well as my Masters in Divinity.

Being a part of a faith community that builds upon a foundation of extravagant welcome and inclusivity is incredibly important to me. I have grown and changed through the Lutheran Church, the Metropolitan Community Church, and have found a home within the United Church of Christ. I believe that God is still speaking to all people and calls us to ask questions, challenge the status quo, and to be open to the message that all people are welcome within the community of the Spirit. I am excited to grow in faith and in community at Land of the Sky United Church of Christ, and to begin the next steps on my journey with you.