Q&A: Church Pastor, Volunteer, Cyclist

We ask, where’s a favorite place to go, thing to do.

Pastor Steven Hjelle at the , has lived and worked in Des Plaines for 20 years. For the last 10 years, his church has hosted a free community pig roast in August. This year they are changing things up.

Hjelle said because of the sluggish economy and their desire to connect more directly with people in need, this year they are beginning two new ministries.


Hjelle said starting sometime this summer his church would coordinate with local public schools to provide boxes of food to families in need on a regular basis.

Church members will also participate in a community care day in September, when they will volunteer to complete basic landscaping jobs for seniors and others in the community that need help, Hjelle said.

Patch: Where is one of your favorite places to go in Des Plaines?

I enjoy all the parks in Des Plaines, but the one I go to the most is Lake Opeka. My wife and I like being able to ride our bikes right along the water.

Patch: What is one of your favorite things to do in Des Plaines?

Ride bikes at Lake Opeka and in the neighborhood in the evenings and on Sunday afternoons.

I like what the current mayor has done to improve the bike path.

Patch: What is one thing you know about Des Plaines that others may not?

Our church began in a farmhouse that was on our present property. Before our current church was built in 1972, between 1968 and 1971, the congregation met on the first floor of a farmhouse, and the pastor lived upstairs.

On Sunday, while services were going on, the pastor’s wife would be cooking dinner upstairs.

“It was a real distraction,” Hjelle said.


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