New 2018 Student Minister
Beginning in January 2018, Callie Olson will join the South Elkhorn team as Student Minister. She is a native Wisconsinite, a former college basketball player, a student at Asbury Theological Seminary, and Callie shares a bit more about herself below:
What impact did going to church as a child have on you?
I grew up in a large United Methodist Church in Madison, Wisconsin. Going to church as a child had a significant impact on me growing up. I would not be who I am today if it weren’t for my supportive church family. They always encouraged me to go deeper in my faith and continue to support me on my journey today.
What is your favorite movie?
There’s just too many to choose from… If I have to though I would say The Lion King, I can quote the whole thing.
What is you favorite scripture passage?
My favorite Scripture passage is John 1:1-18, The Word became flesh. I think this is my favorite Scripture passage because of how it brings everything in the Old Testament full circle, at least that’s how I see it. This Word that has been with God since the beginning has taken a step down to come to earth to be with humans… SO COOL!
Say a bit more about your undergrad and seminary education.
I attended a school called Lakeland College (now University) and I was a double major in Religion and Non-Profit Management. I loved my college experience because of the close-knit family atmosphere on campus. That atmosphere helped shape me into the person I am today.
Today I am seeking a Masters of Divinity, which is an overarching degree that focuses on theology, biblical studies, and practical ministry experience. I would say I am interested in the study of Scripture and how it continues to be relevant for our lives today.
What excites you about ministry and leadership in the life of the church?
What is so exciting about ministry in the church is that every single person you come in contact with has a story. It is humbling and empowering to hear how God works differently in every individual’s life. What is also exciting about that is that every person comes with a different skill set and passion that makes the church so unique and diverse. It’s a small taste of the Kingdom if you ask me.
What was it about South Elkhorn that led you to visit and join?
All of last year I would walk in and out of church buildings without any kind of human interaction. This eventually led to a year of church hopping and not really “belonging” anywhere. The tight knit community that is South Elkhorn didn’t allow me to walk in and out without being noticed and loved. After one Sunday, I knew I would soon call South Elkhorn home because I didn’t feel the need to go anywhere else.
Do you have a favorite sport or team that you follow?
I diligently follow all things Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers (for better or worse). My parents had season tickets to Badger Men’s Basketball games growing up so I was pretty invested at a young age. The day the Badgers ended UK’s season win streak may have been one of the best days of my life, but don’t hold that against me, I still cheer for UK when they aren’t playing the Badgers.
What do you like to do outside of school?
The two things that I know I can bake well are chocolate chip banana bread and toll house recipe chocolate chip cookies. But I do enjoy trying new things. For example, in November I made a key lime pie for the first time for my roommate’s birthday. I’m not a huge key lime pie person, but everyone that ate it said it was good and none of them became ill!
What is one of your favorite vacation destinations?
For a long time Kentucky was actually my favorite vacation destination. My family and I did house boat trips with our family friends who live here and so I always looked forward to coming to Kentucky. But now that I live here I would say that Washington D.C. is my favorite place to vacation. There’s so much to do and so much history to observe; I love it!
Who do you admire and look up to?
I suppose saying my mom and dad would be too standard, but I certainly do look up to them. They have given me more than I could have asked for in life; I am blessed by them.
I also greatly admire a basketball coach I had for three years in college, Amber. She made me a better basketball player. More importantly though, she makes me a better Christ-follower.
What book are you currently reading or did you most recently finish?
I have recently read the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. Lewis is one of my favorite writers. I have also enjoyed reading different memoirs and stories about those who have been involved in our post-9/11 conflicts.
What ministry or ministries are you passionate about?
Currently I am a 2LT in the Army Reserves as a Chaplain Candidate. I felt the call to military chaplaincy when I was a sophomore in college. This is a ministry that I have learned so much about and continue to be incredibly passionate about. Our servicemen and women are just in need of some hope and if I can be a small beacon of light in their lives that is what I will always strive to be.
Anything else we should or need to know about you?
I have become an avid fan of the old TV show, The West Wing. I apologize in advance if a lot of my sermon illustrations come from the show.
You can welcome Callie by email at firstname.lastname@example.org