By Isaac Bonner
Every Christian has different views on what it means to actually be a Christian. For Dennis Thum, one thing remains with him: a sense of community among fellow believers. What’s really important, explains Thum, is “the connection with God and peers.”
As the Dean of Chapel at the University of Sioux Falls, Thum understands the challenges of enticing college students to attend a church event on campus during the week. Schedules are busy, classes are hard, and many students have jobs or sports that they are involved in. His answer? “Fill the gap in people’s lives.”
Instead of focusing on trying to recreate a Sunday church service, he instead keeps his goal to reach out and help students connect when they may not otherwise feel connected. He knows it’s hard for students, especially not from the city, to find a home in a religious setting. That’s what he hopes to accomplish at USF Chapel. Tuesday mornings should be a time of “fellowship and worship…a way to be with safe people,” says Thum.
Tuesday mornings this semester, from 10-10:45 a.m. in Salisbury’s Z Hall, students are invited to come and worship with their peers. This spring, the focus at Chapel becomes the question: “Did Jesus Really Say That?” Students are invited to attend and find time to slow down and connect with their peers in an easy going setting. Thum’s main goal remains to have students “feel loved and welcomed.”