Preacher’s kid Rachel Ticen lives in Terre Haute, Indiana, where her dad, the Rev. Dennis Ticen, serves Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church.
“The people I have met in The United Methodist Church have nurtured my faith development and supported me throughout my life,” Rachel explained. “Some Christian nurses I met at Mount Pleasant have offered to mentor me in the field. I am very grateful that God has brought me to this place.”
As a PK, Rachel has witnessed her father going “through the challenges of ministry, such as criticism, burnout or stress,” she said. “On the other hand, it is always a joy to help the community and watch people learn and get to know Christ.”
She read about the Gift of Hope scholarship, supported by offerings collected on United Methodist Student Day Sunday, on the denominational website and was grateful to receive the financial assistance. “The scholarship,” Rachel noted, “has helped me to pursue my education at Indiana State University with the goal of becoming a nurse.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my chemistry class last semester,” she added. “The professor geared the coursework toward nursing applications, which made the class more exciting for me.”
Working as a patient-care technician at the local hospital, Rachel is gaining valuable knowledge. “I have already had many experiences of how faith and nursing go together,” she said. “I am able to care and love on each of my patients, just as Jesus would, and on the hard days, I reach out to Jesus for strength and comfort. Lastly, I see people at some of their worst times, so it gives me a chance to pray for the brokenness in their life to be healed by God.”
In her home church, Rachel continues to serve. “I am teaching a dance class to students and adults with special needs as a part of our Grace Unlimited ministry,” she said. “I am teaching a class called ‘Hot Topics’ on Sunday mornings. This class is for young adults, like me, to discuss some of the controversial topics that are a part of our society and bring our faith into these discussions.” She is also a youth lay director for the congregation’s upcoming Chrysalis flight.
“My goal,” Rachel said, “is to become bolder in my faith as I dive deeper into the profession. I also want to be able to become more of a leader in The United Methodist Church.”
Asked why United Methodists should observe Student Day, Rachel replied, “It is important for the church to support young people in the church so that more Christians can be active in secular workplaces and spread the gospel.”
Barbara Dunlap-Berg, freelance writer and editor, retired from UMCom
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, United Methodist Student Day calls the church to support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge. The special offering provides scholarships for qualified United Methodist applicants.