Meet the staff

Rev. Dr. Rachel Metheny, Senior Pastor

317-253-3237 ext. 116 or rmetheny@meridianstreet.org

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Rev. Dr. Rachel Metheny, Senior Pastor

Dr. Rachel Metheny was appointed as Senior Pastor at Meridian Street United Methodist Church in July of 2022. She is returning “home” with this appointment, as she was born and lived most of her life in Indianapolis, with the exception of two years in the San Francisco/Bay Area, one year in Guatemala. Prior to her appointment at Meridian Street, she served for five years at Congress Street UMC in Lafayette, and 18 years as one of the pastors at Broadway UMC in Indianapolis. She holds a PhD in ethics from Graduate Theological Union and has taught at both Christian Theological Seminary and Vincennes University.

Pastor Rachel has one daughter, Grace, who graduated from Indiana University in May, as well as two dachs­hunds, Zoey and Shortie. She loves reading, hiking, making homemade pizza, IU basketball, and traveling around the world with her daughter.

Rev. Mary Dicken, Pastor of Mission and Discipleship

317-253-3237 ext. 120 or mdicken@meridianstreet.org

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Rev. Mary Dicken, Pastor of Mission and Discipleship

Pastor Mary began serving at Meridian Street in July of 2019. She is a native “hoosier” (born in Indianapolis) and ordained as a deacon in the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. Mary has served churches throughout southern Indiana and, most recently, in Murfreesboro, TN. She is passionate about connecting the church with the hurts and hopes of the world, creating space for sacred questions, and making room for people who have not always felt comfortable or welcome in the church.

 

Things to Know about Mary: In addition to her vocation as clergy, Mary is also a professional harpist and continues to perform with orchestras and chamber groups, as well as a soloist. She is an animal lover and brings her dog Lexus and cat Schroeder up to Indianapolis with her. She said goodbye to her backyard chickens in Tennessee but may welcome some baby chicks into her menagerie once settled in Indy. Mary loves traveling, hiking, growing food, and drinking coffee. She’s an eight on the Enneagram.

 

Education: Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (graduate theological studies); University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (MM); Miami University (BM)

Deb Way, Director of Family and Youth Ministries

dway@meridianstreet.org or 317-253-3237ext. 125

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Deb Way, Director of Family and Youth Ministries

Deb Way joined Meridian Street as Family and Youth Ministries Director in September of 2021. Previously, she served in music and youth staff positions in churches in Illinois and Indiana and as a volunteer in a variety of capacities, too. Alongside the ministry work, Deb spent 20 years as a multi-grade, multi-subject teacher after attaining an education degree from Southern Illinois University. Deb has also supported children and their families as a Nature Camp Director in a South Chicago suburb and worked with young adults while serving as Outreach Coordinator for Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest University.

 

Along with her teaching and ministry roles, Deb has also been a professional Naturalist and practicing Spiritual Director in recent years. She is passionate about facilitating the spiritual growth of those she serves in these capacities, leading them in the study of various spiritual practices and in the exploration of both self-directed and structured retreats in nature-oriented settings.

Mary Sue McAlister, Church Administrator

317.253.3237 ext 115 or mmcalister@meridianstreet.org

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Mary Sue McAlister, Church Administrator

Mary Sue has been a member of Meridian Street since 1981. As our church administrator she provides administrative support for the pastors, staff, and congregation, and oversees the various programs, ministries and facilities of the church.

Mary Sue is a graduate of Indiana University. She worked for PNC Financial Services for over 30 years, primarily in residential mortgage production and marketing, before deciding to work in a different area. She is a former program director of Soup's On at Roberts Park. Mary Sue is married to Phil and has two grown boys. She is a flutist and is assistant director of the Indy Winds Flute Choir and also plays with the St. Mark's UMC Orchestra. She enjoys knitting, reading, and going to symphony concerts with Phil, and spending time with friends and family.

Peter Nichols, Director of Handbell Ministries

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Peter Nichols, Director of Handbell Ministries

Peter Nichols is a 2006 graduate of the University of Indianapolis where he majored in music with a concentration in technology and recording, and a minor in Spanish. Peter earned his Master’s Degree in Music Technology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis in 2013. While at UIndy, Peter studied voice with Dr. Kathleen Hacker and handbells with Susan Ull0m-Berns. While a student, he was a member of The Indianapolis Handbell Ensemble and can be heard ringing bells on a number of Lorenz publishing demo CDs. Peter began directing the UIndy Handbell ensembles in 2009. He currently works as a full-time faculty member in the UIndy Music Department,  and sings at Aire born studios. In addition to being the director of handbell ministries, he also leads the tenors as section leader in the Meridian Street chancel choir. 

Kristin Sims, Communications Director

317-253-3237 ext. 119 or ksims@meridianstreet.org

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Kristin Sims, Communications Director

Kristin has been a member of MSUMC for 30 years. She and her husband Eric were married at Meridian Street in 1996. She is responsible for the look and feel of the church – and all things communications. 

Kristin has a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art, majoring in graphic design with a minor in photography. She has worked for museums, universities, international companies, professional sports teams, and local and national magazines.

She enjoys creating art and decor, finding unique treasures at flea markets and estate sales, reading, classic cars, good friends, great margaritas and highly competitive backgammon games with her husband.

Raina Wood, Organist

317-253-3237 ext. 128 or rwood@meridianstreet.org

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Raina Wood, Organist

Raina Wood, Organist

Raina comes to Meridian Street from Church Street United Methodist in Knoxville, Tennessee where she was the Organist / Music Associate for 13 years. Raina is a wonderful organist, as you will hear on any given Sunday.

Education: Raina graduated from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina with a Bachelor of Music in organ and piano performance. Raina went on to earn her Master of Sacred Music in organ performance from Emory University in Atlanta.  Raina is also an accomplished violinist and enjoys ballet.

Where are you from?
I grew up in Asheville, North Carolina.

What you like best about your role at Meridian Street
Well, of course, playing and talking to the people.

What else do you like to do?
I like reading, walking, and baking.

Beth Larner, Gospel Ringers

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Beth Larner, Gospel Ringers

Beth directs our Gospel Ringers for children in grades three through six. She has been attending MSUMC since she was a student at Butler University. Beth has a master's degree in elementary education and currently teaches math at The Orchard School. She was one of the founding members of the Chancel Bells 15 years ago. She also enjoys solo and ensemble ringing.

Christy Whaley, Director Children's Day In

317.253.0472 or cwhaley@meridianstreet.org

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Christy Whaley, Director Children's Day In

Christy was promoted to director of CDI in 2007.  Her professional experience includes eight years teaching in the Warren Township Schools in preschool, kindergarten, first and second grade. 

Education: Christy graduated from Indiana University with a dual BS degree in early childhood and primary education.  Christy has also completed graduate work in the areas of reading recovery, cognitive coaching and reading comprehension. 

What’s the best part about your role at Meridian Street?
The best part about my role is welcoming all of the young families to Meridian Street, especially the first time parents.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I volunteer with my kids’ school and sporting activities and try to find time to run and workout. 

Phone: 317.253.0472

e-mail: cwhaley@meridianstreet.org

Frank Gossett, Building Superintendent

317-253-3237 ext. 122 or fgossett@meridianstreet.org

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Frank Gossett, Building Superintendent

Frank grew up in Indianapolis, graduating from North Central High School in 1981. He was in the U.S. Army from 1982 – 1998 and attended Lincoln Tech. He has an 8 year-old son, Isaiah, and the two of them love to go fishing together. In fact, he's been known to catch over 35 large bluegills in one weekend!

Jerome Floyd, custodian

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Jerome Floyd, custodian

Please join us in welcoming to the staff, Jerome Floyd, our new custodian! Jerome comes to us by way of Nora Elementary School, and prior to that a long history in restaurant management. Jerome has 7 kids and 12 grandkids! He loves to watch sports, especially the Kansas City Chiefs and the Lakers. We're happy to have him with us!

Jody Clay, Custodian

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Jody Clay, Custodian

Jody joined the custodial staff at Meridian Street in 1987. He is fondly remembered by all the members he got to know through the years, and had a special place in his heart for the children. When not taking care of the church, Jody loved to root on his beloved Indianapolis Colts!