What We’re Talking About

A Great Start to our Second Year

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When we started Compass last August 2015, it was basically me (Jim) and Nicholas (with the support of our Lead Pastor and Leadership Team) who were all in with the vision for a church community for young adults.

But, God blessed us with all the musicians from Sunday’s second service team jumping in and being willing to provide the worship band for Compass on Wednesday nights. We then added a couple of people who were willing to make and serve desserts (thanks Tom, Audra, Mike, and Jane!) and couple of young adults who were willing to be hosts for the service, did lots of promotions on social media, made lots of personal invites, and spread the word and launched on Aug 26 with 60 people at our fist gathering!

This year we’re beginning the year with a solid core of 40 people who have been attending Compass over the summer out in the Garage and almost 20 people (in addition to the musicians) who are now taking on various roles and responsibilities to make Compass a great experience.

Plus! We were on campus at BSU to do some “tabling”. We got to setup a table in a central location on campus (Lower Hobson Memorial Union, Lakeside) for three days and pass out info cards about Compass, talk to people, and make some new contacts. We had some great conversations, met some great people, and now have 50 new names and phone numbers! We don’t plan to pester these people at all. We just want to give them a chance to know what Compass is and the great opportunity they have to come out and join a healthy community of young adults who want to develop their faith and live it out in meaningful ways.

Additionally, we got to hold the first Compass of the new school year right on campus in the Crying Wolf Room. It was great to have the band back with us after giving them a three week break and we had a great turn out of somewhere between 50 & 60 people.

We’re excited to start up again back in the main auditorium and courtyard at the church next Wednesday, August 31st! It’s gonna be PIE NIGHT! Hope to see ya then!

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For three weeks in August, we took a break from our normal weekly routine of worship, teaching, groups, and desserts. In it’s place, we took time to talk about who we are and what we’re about. And, we took time to talk about the role that we can all play in building this community.

We called it Focus Month. Our primary focus as a Christian community is to help others return to relationship with God, our heavenly Father (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). But it begins with Christ’s Greatest Commandment for us as his followers, which is to love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-40). And, it culminates with his final command to us (known as the Great Commission), to make new disciples (those who trust and follow his teachings).

We do this together. As we love and care for each other, we help each other learn what it means to be in relationship with God, to follow Christ, and to make new disciples. As we work together, we play different roles according to our giftedness and calling (our sense of what God is asking each of us to do).

The Apostle Paul (an apostle is someone who is sent out by Christ to teach others) explains to us in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, that the role of the Pastor is to equip Christians, which means to teach, train, mobilize, and set them up for success in life, faith, and for the work of ministry (loving others and helping them love God). Each Christian must find and serve in their role for the good of God’s mission to bring people back to him and to love and care for each other.

That’s who we are and what we’re about.

Now, we do it together.

Ending the Summer with a Splash!

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It’s so fun to get everyone together for a night of good old fashioned summer fun in the pool and out on the lawn! We got to use our backyard regulation sized volleyball net for the first time and it was so fun. Going so late into the night made us realize that we need a glow-in-the-dark volleyball!

Compass is such a great community of young adults from all over the Bemidji area and from a variety of churches. We are blessed by what God is doing!


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As we enter the day we know as Thanksgiving, let us mourn for the millions of Native Americans who have died at the hands of their oppressors and lament the horror of white European colonialism. Let us not cling to the “schoolbook myth of friendly relations” (1) between the invading Europeans and the indigenous Americans.

Let us also “commend to [the Lord’s] tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable” (2) strife in which we have found our nation both in the past and in the present. Let us “implore…the Almighty[’s] Hand to heal the wounds of [our] nation [and the world] and to restore it … to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and Union.” (2)

And, finally, let us not celebrate a particular day or event in history. Rather, in keeping with the original intent of this holiday, “Let us come before the LORD with THANKSGIVING” (3) for the unmerited blessings that we do enjoy regardless of our heritage, our transgressions, and our current circumstance. “For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.” (3)

1) The Suppressed Speech of Wamsutta (Frank B.) James, Wampanoag, to have been delivered at Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1970

2) Proclamation of Thanksgiving by President Abraham Lincoln, 1863

3) Psalm 95:2-3

Compass: What You Can Expect

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We are committed to doing the following with excellence.

Worship (Wednesday nights, 8:30-9:30pm, beginning August 26)

We will always provide opportunities for you to have a meaningful, spiritually enriching experience with God. Each week, the Compass young adult service will weave ancient spiritual practices, rich moments of prayer, high quality modern music, and genuinely helpful teaching all together to inspire you in your spiritual journey and empower you to live a life of worship. Nicholas Jackson, Worship Director, and the worship band from our Sunday morning services will lead each week. Jim Murphy, NextGen Pastor, will be teaching most weeks but we’ll also have the other pastors, other young adults, and some guests speaking as well.

Community (Wednesday nights, 9:30-10:30pm)

We will always strive to build the best community experience possible. Each week we’ll serve up some yummy deserts and beverages in the courtyard so you can grab something to eat and make some friends. Our goal is to help you connect with other young adults to form mutually encouraging and meaningful friendships, so that you can become the person God intended you to be. Our desire is for this community to be full of grace and free of judgement for all to feel welcomed and wanted.

Someday, we’ll begin forming small groups but in these early days

Because we’ll be maintaining connections with the campus ministries of BSU, you’ll also have lots of opportunities to participate in various campus activities

Serving (Other days of the week)

We’ll provide meaningful opportunities for you to connect with others of the Covenant Church to serve the Bemidji area through what we call “Unleashing Teams”. We have numerous opportunities such as serving at the Bemidji Soup Kitchen, helping with S.O.S. (Servants of Shelter) a join initiative  by area Bemidji churches to provide shelter for people who are homeless during the winter, volunteering in ministry with kids and teenagers, and many others, as well.

Spiritual Growth

We also provide several bible studies and classes each Wednesday at 6:15pm that you could join to further your understanding of the Bible or deepen your faith life. Watch for their listings here soon.

All of these experiences together will empower you to be who God intends you to be. We hope you jump in and join us. Can’t wait to see you there!

Launching Compass: A Church Community for Young Adults

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We are excited to announce the launch of Compass: A Church Community for Young Adults in the Bemidji Area, Wednesday nights, 8:30pm, beginning August 26th.

There are over 6500 young adults ages 18-29 in the Bemidji Area and we estimate that only 300-400 of them are meaningfully connected to a church  or ministry of any sort here in Bemidji. That’s only 6%! What about the other 94%?!

There are lots of blog posts, news articles, and books out there talking about how young adults are disengaging from the church. And, many of them are asking “Why?”

There are all sorts of reasons why. But, in our opinion, the biggest reason why young adults are not engaged with the Church is that the Church is not engaged with young adults. We leave that to “Campus Ministries” like InterVarsity, Cru, Young Life, Chai Alpha, etc. But they’re leading the way into the campus world of young adults only because the Church has not led the way.

We want to change that. We want to fully engage young adults (both on and off campus) and empower them in their faith journey. We also want to continue supporting campus ministries in a way that allows them to do what they do best. If we would be the Church, then they can be the campus outreach. We’ll work as closely as we can with campus ministries, supporting them in every way possible. But, first we need to be the Church and provide a meaningful worship experience, a genuine community of friendships, and opportunities to love and care for others.

We’d love for you to join us. Even if you’re not a young adult, we’d love for you to join our team. Spread the word, and come on to join us as we build this new community of young adults together!