Rev. Matt Carriker

Pastor and Spiritual Director at Agape

Matt is the founding Pastor of Agape and is enthusiastic about the co-creation of this new spiritual community rooted in unconditional, agape love. Matt is an ordained Christian minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC), and an author, spiritual coach, and retreat leader. Matt has a passion for altering Christianity today into a spiritual tradition that models the unconditional love of God and the life and teachings of Jesus.

In addition to pastoring Agape, Matt co-facilitates confirmation retreats, youth retreats, and adult spiritual formation retreats through the Southern New England Conference UCC. Matt offers meditation and contemplative practice resources to the wider UCC, and also offers coaching and spiritual counseling to Pastors and seekers all over the country.

Matt recently published (in late 2022) his first book, “Giving Christianity Back to Agape Love: A New Paradigm for Being Church Together.”  More info about this book and Matt can be found here: 

Anine DeGrood

Student Minister at Agape

Originally from the Netherlands, Anine grew up atheist but found a religious connection in the practice of classical dance from India. After moving to the US with her Indian husband she was active in Unitarian churches for several years before slowly converting to Christianity. Anine has considered herself a disciple of Christ for some time but hesitated to officially join a Christian church because of the many wrongs people have done in the name of Christianity. Now she is a passionate preacher of Jesus’ message of love and inclusion for all, and a Member in Discernment in the United Church of Christ.