[10 QUESTIONS] Thissen stays faithful to church
February 17, 2020
How/why did you first get into your church?
“I got into church in 4th grade when my friend recommended I go to their summer camp. After that first summer, I made my family switch from our old Catholic church, my parents have been faithfully catholic for their whole lives, to become members of the Lutheran church, Mt. Olivet. From then on, I have gone to camp every summer and was confirmed there in middle school.”
What do you do there? How often?
“I go to church 3-4 times a week. Monday is circle of friends where I do various activities, from bowling to dances, with a special ed partner for an hour and a half. My partner’s name is Ian, he is an eighth-grader at Lake Harriet middle school, and he has mild autism. On Wednesdays, I go to choir rehearsal to practice for Sunday performances. On Sunday mornings, I have rehearsal at 8 am then go perform at the 9 and 10 o’clock services. And sometimes on Sunday nights, there is hi-league where I do activities with other high schoolers at the church.
I also go camp every summer either counseling, work staffing, or just as a camper.”
What has going to church taught you?
“It has mostly taught me to meet new people. Church has provided me with a lot of friends who I would not have met otherwise from many different schools. It has also taught me to be responsible as a counselor and to be grateful for what I have from Circle of Friends.”
Do you do it with other people? Have you been able to make friends just from it?
“I do it with one of my best friends from elementary school, and I have met many friends along the way, some of which are very good friends of mine who I hang out with outside of church.”
Do you ever do performances? What do you do during those?
“Last April I went to San Diego to perform with the choir in service there. I also perform every Sunday in regular service.”
What is your best memory from every experience you have had going with your church?
“The summer camp I attend is my favorite place on earth, and work staffing the summer after my freshman year was the best week of my life.”
What is your favorite thing about going to church?
“Seeing my friends and being able to get a break from the monotony of everyday life (homework, sports, etc…).”
How does it impact your life with school, sports, and friends?
“As much of a time commitment as it is, it never interferes with my work. It is a manageable break in my work and it feels good to do something for my community.”
What would you tell someone trying to get into going to their church?
“Be persistent. It seems like a lot of time looking at it on paper, but it is worth it every time I go.”
How has becoming a member of your church’s community changed you as a person?
“I have learned how rewarding it is to do something for someone else’s benefit, and that you can make a good time out of any situation.”
Want to read more about students and their faith? Read the InDepth of the February issue of The Rubicon. On stands now.