Woman finds path meant for her

Diana Ziegler, Seymour, said she feels she was meant to become a pastor at this point in her life and that she has been following the path God had planned out for her. – Photo by Sara Tischauser

By Sara Tischauser
Seymour resident has found a new vocation in life and believes God has been leading her to this new path throughout her life.
Diana Ziegler, Seymour, started serving as the pastor at United Methodist Church in Clintonville on July 1. Ziegler moved to Seymour 20 years ago and said she joined the Methodist church in Seymour about 15 years ago.
In Seymour, Ziegler had taught special education in the high school for about eight years and had recently been working at Cooperative Education Services Agency (CESA).
“I went to alternative education in Green Bay and then I went to CESA 8 as family engagement coordinator for all 24 districts,” Ziegler said about her recent employment before turning down a new vocational path.
Ziegler was also active in her church and taking on more responsilbiites at her church in Seymour.
“I started out offering music and then I did Bible studies and book studies,” Ziegler said. “I started taking classes for laity and became lay servant, then became certified lay speaker.”
As a lay speaker, Ziegler said she was able to provide pulpit supply wherever needed. As a lay speaker, she led services and offered messages at different churches. This experience helped lead her to her new position at United Methodist Church in Clintonville.
“That [lay speaking] led me here to continue my learning and studies with the church,” Ziegler said. “This is where God wants me, so here I am.”
While Ziegler had been a lay speaker at various churches she had not been to United Methodist Church in Clintonville until she started serving as their pastor.
“I had never been to this church previously,” Ziegler said. “I’m new to them, they are new to me. We are all learning together.”
When she led her first service and gave her first message at the church, Ziegler said she was a little nervous. She said leading the service this time was different than when she was a lay speaker at other churches because this time she would be returning to the church each week. She said knowing that she would be seeing the congregation each week she was worried what would happen if the congregation didn’t like her message or how she led the service. But she said that the congregation has been great.
“The congregation here has been so welcoming, such open arms,” Ziegler said. “Makes me feel they were waiting just for me.”
Not only has the congregation been very welcoming, but Ziegler said she feels the Clintonville community has really accepted her into the community in a short amount of time.
Originally from Marinette, Ziegler said she grew up viewing Clintonville as a rival since they were in the same conference. However, these old held beliefs she had have been proven wrong in her first month in Clintonville.
“Many years later, I come into a community that history tells you they are a rival and they are so welcoming,” Ziegler said about Clintonville. “They are so welcoming and they don’t care I was in Marinette.”
So far Ziegler has been very happy with her decision to take position at United Methodist Church and has felt very accepted by the church and community. She said the congregation has welcomed her and her family and asks about her family all the time. Her husband David and son Ryan have been to the church and the congregation has welcomed them as well.
While Ziegler didn’t see serving as a pastor in her future she said she believes it was part of God’s plan all along.
“If you had asked me five years ago when I started thinking about what my career would be, this would not have been part of it,” Ziegler said. “I’ve been being called to this for many, many years to be here at this point in my life.”
Getting to where she was meant to be, Ziegler said wouldn’t have been possible without the support of others.
“I am grateful for New Life United Methodist Church in Seymour,” Ziegler said. “I am so grateful they have been so supportive. They’ve helped me grow and learn how to follow path God laid out for me. I’m just so grateful for that.”