As summer draws to an end and stores start filling up with school supplies many us will reminisce on the fun had these past months. Between family lake trips and lazy days inside with the air conditioning, summer is always a favorite time of year for most students and adults.
For Ken Desselier these memories will include the start of a new position as the director of faith formation at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Freshly back from a senior high trip to Rainy Lake near International Falls, Desselier spoke about the change. “So far I have enjoyed the warm welcome from church members here,” Desselier said.
After spending four years at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in East Grand Forks, Desselier said he was looking for full-time work and had a calling for youth ministry which led him to Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls. Desselier and his fiance are eager to start this new journey in Fergus Falls, while they get ready to move into their new home and plan their January wedding, Desselier is looking forward to seeing where this position takes them. “I’m most excited to get to know the community of Fergus Falls and see all that it has to offer,” Desselier said.
As the director of faith formation, Desselier will be running and facilitating youth groups, organizing mission trips and summer trips, and helping the youth to build relationships with others. As vacation Bible school and the senior high trip to Rainy Lake both end, Desselier sounds excited to keep building his own relationship with the kids and grow in the position. Desselier said it was a very good time to start in this position and that he was able to really start getting to know some of the kids right away by going on this senior high trip with them so quickly.
Currently, Bethlehem Lutheran Church has two weekly youth groups on Wednesday nights where they partake in different activities and discussions. Fourth- through sixth-grade youth group meets from 3:30-5 p.m. with buses that are arranged to transport the kids from school to the church. Senior high youth group meets on Wednesday nights from 7:30-9 p.m. also at the church. Desselier said he is working on finding adults willing to share their faith stories and to help the kids build more relationships with others.
With becoming the church’s faith formation director, Desselier is excited for both the job and working with students and their families. Desselier said he has a few ideas but is hoping to plan more as he learns. “I have this way of creating a safe place for kids to be themselves and not feel judged by their peers. I feel like that is an important thing to have in middle and high school,” Desselier said.