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Fairmont group offering new way to worship

FAIRMONT — A new worship group has started in Fairmont.

H A V E N is part of the Eagle Brook Association and is coordinated locally by Jane Harris.

Harris said the journey actually began years ago.

“We’re a blended family and I always wanted there to be a church we all felt comfortable going to because we came from a couple denominations, so it was my hope that we could find something. Over the years, we tried different things and nothing seemed to stick,” she said.

A few years ago, a friend introduced her to Eagle Brook, which is non-denominational and Minnesota-based. Harris said it has five churches and campuses in the metro area, with space for up to 1,000 people.

“Their goal was to have a campus within 20 miles of anyone who wanted to come,” Harris said.

Eagle Brook also posts its message online and anyone can watch its service live at 9 or 11 on Sunday mornings. Harris said she and her husband started watching whenever they were traveling.

“Their messages are good and relevant to today’s society. They speak to every age group so everyone gets something out of it,” she said.

Her friend eventually started The Gathering in Windom, which uses Eagle Brook messages.

“So when my kids were looking for a place and didn’t feel like they fit anywhere, I said they should go online and watch this. They fell in love with it and Jayme actually started inviting people over to watch their message,” Harris said of her daughter.

She went on to say that her daughter outgrew her house. She was having around 15 people who were interested in coming.

Harris spoke more with her friend who started The Gathering so she could get something similar started in Fairmont.

“We started meeting at Graffiti Corner and welcoming people to come but we outgrew that space so then we started meeting at the mall in March. We had close to 50 people meeting before COVID hit,” Harris said.

Since then, they’ve been posting on Facebook and encouraging people to watch the services online. Past messages can always be viewed.

Recently, the group moved to the former Sears space in Five Lakes Centre to allow for social distancing. The previous space they had in the mall, where they met at a handful of times, was pretty small.

At 5 p.m. Aug. 22, H A V E N will have its first in-person event in several months to reintroduce everyone and gather in the new space. There will be a live worship band and a message streamed.

“We’ve created a mission. It’s to create a safe haven where people can meet Jesus,” Harris said of the group’s name.

Harris stressed that their intention is not to take anyone away from existing churches. Rather they’re just making it available to people in the community who are looking for something.

She said the best place to hear messages and see information is by joining their Facebook page, H A V E N. The page was started in January and currently has about 285 members.

H A V E N has been hosting a 9 a.m. watch party every Sunday on Facebook. People can watch the message live online together. Past messages are also on the page and can be watched at any time.

Harris admitted that what began as a family thing has grown much more than she anticipated.

“It kind of exploded beyond what I thought it would. But there’s so many people out there that don’t have a church or are lost and are looking for something different,” she said.

“Long term, it would be great to continue what we’re doing and create a safe haven, but if it continues to grow that would determine if a pastor would be hired to help us with a church if it gets to that point,” Harris said.

This would include implementing children’s program, and Bible study groups and several similar programs, in addition to hearing a regular message.

Anyone seeking more information about H A V E N can check out the Facebook page or attend the event Aug. 22.

“We’ll have the one event in August and hopefully start back up with regular in-person gatherings in September,” Harris said.

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