With Gratitude • Debbie Ducar
Debbie Ducar serves as Associate Director of Women’s Ministries and Staff Liaison to Deacons. After 28 years of service, Debbie is retiring on May 31. She’s excited to begin her unofficial job as “Volunteer Guru” on June 1. Look for information about a celebration in May! If you would like to send a note of gratitude to Debbie, please mail to: CPC, c/o Clare Anderson, 6901 Normandale Road, Edina 55435
What year did you start working at CPC? 1993
How many different job titles have you had? A lot! Membership, adult discipleship, deacons, women’s ministry.
How many supervisors? At least 5
How many offices have you had? I’m not sure I can count that high . . . at least 8! Which is good, it makes you clean out your stuff.
Favorite Church Holiday? Easter
How many years have you worked with Mom’s Morning? 20
How many years in your small group? 14
What was your first interaction with CPC?
It’s very holy. I walked into Bible Study Fellowship at CPC in 1979, and they were singing this song with the words “may Jesus Christ be praised,” and I was like, “Why would we do that?” If I could have gotten out of my row easily, I might have left right then, but I couldn’t, so I stayed, and I stayed for 16 years. It was a big learning curve because I believed in God, I just didn’t know why Jesus was such a big deal. It took about a year and a half before I got it. I didn’t know it then, but that was a pretty amazing day.
Why is service such a value of your faith?
I became a believer at forty years old, and I was crazy enthusiastic. I was at a place in my life where I had more time available, and I think my husband rubbed off on me, too. He was very committed to service. In fact, he retired early because he had so many service things he wanted to do, and he had to get started! But ultimately, coming to Christ so late in life, I wanted to make up for lost time. Once I understood why He was worthy to be praised, I really, really wanted to serve Him.
How did you first come on staff at CPC?
I was very involved as a deacon, and I think they felt sorry for me—I put so much of my heart and soul into that role that they offered me a job as the volunteer coordinator! I interviewed and plugged new members into some place of service. That led to working for adult education, then women’s ministries (since 2001), and then adding the deacons ministry (in 2010).
What have you loved about working with our lay people? I have spiritual gifts of shepherding and encouraging, so it makes perfect sense that I would love working with the volunteers. Sometimes people aren’t sure of where they want to serve or if they even really want to serve. They sort of tiptoe in. It’s been rewarding to help people get started with service and then see, years later, how they’ve become a deacon or an elder or are on leadership of Mom’s Morning. The best part of my work has been seeing people grow in their faith and their service.
What are some of the highlights of your ministry at CPC?
It’s been a joy to witness people realizing the gifts they have and find the right service outlet for using them. About five years ago, we started Women Who Inspire. That was fun to empower lay people to start something and to see them be really excited about doing the work to make that idea come to life. Working with deacons is also a highlight because it had been so meaningful to my life as a lay person. To come back to it fifteen years later from the staff side has been incredible. Really, every day coming to work has been a highlight.
What are you excited about next?
For me to have such a meaningful job at CPC for these years in my life is amazing. A lot of people don’t get to do that. Retiring might be the worst idea I’ve ever had! For what’s next, I want to keep doing things that have a purpose. I love the idea of continuing to volunteer at CPC and also expanding out to volunteering at other places, but not be in charge. I know that an event going well or deacon service on Sunday morning running smoothly never depended on my leader-ship—it always depended on God. But it’s sort of a relief to not have to worry about leading. I’m looking forward to just being a volunteer again.
What have you learned about Jesus in your walk with Him?
I think I’ve gone from seeing Him as a little scary, and maybe judgmental, to very loving and forgiving. And then, probably, I saw Him a little too much as a friend, and I find myself now going back to “Whoa, Jesus is still Almighty God.” My first question all those years at BSF was, “Why does He need to be praised?” I was really asking, “Why in the world would He care about me, and why should I care about Him?” I’m always learning about God’s character and being reminded of His forgiveness, even when I keep doing the same bad things over and over again. Jesus has done all the work for us already. I know now that Jesus is definitely more than worthy to be praised!