Thin Place: A Great Place


This semester there is a new addition to the ministry at St. Norbert College: a series of services that follow Protestant styles of worship. One Tuesday a month, SNC students have the opportunity to gather at the Cassandra Voss Center and praise God with this new worship service on campus: Thin Place.

Protestant Chaplain Derek Elkins came to SNC in Oct., filling the college’s desire to have options for students who profess their faith according to Protestant denominations, for example, through a new worship service. Through discussions with these students, it appeared that some desired a modern style of worship and modern music, while others were looking for the traditions of their denomination. “Our goal,” said Elkins, “is to put those together.”

This is how Thin Place came to be, and its first service had a great turnout, a pleasant surprise for those in charge of making it happen. An estimated 40-50 people attended, and some of those students got involved in worship by participating in the band or reading scripture passages.  “It was an awesome response from the community,” said Elkins.

An important part of these services is, as he put it, “To connect students with churches in the area that we believe can help complement their spiritual life.” Each month, a different church will be helping with the service, providing communion, baking desserts and bringing coffee. The first service was held on Feb. 16 and was sponsored by First United Presbyterian Church.

The next two services will be sponsored by Union Congregational Church on March 15 and Trinity Lutheran Church on April 5.  The last service of the year on May 3 will bring them all together for one combined time of worship.

Each service also has a different theme. The first was “Keep the peace, fight the power,” which centers on how to balance keeping the peace when one doesn’t agree with something happening in the world. The next one is “Faith and Doubt Sitting in a Tree,” which is about not seeing doubt as an enemy.  The final theme is “All You Need is Love.”

Thin Place is a new way to worship, especially for those who are looking for a Protestant worship experience. For anyone interested in attending the next Thin Place event, it will be held on Tues., March 15, at the CVC.

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