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The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

What brought you to the fair?

Bethel University students attended the Church Connections Fair to find out what each of the different churches offered.
Annelise Raisanen
Misgana Mamo, Jesica Amegatse and Nissi Babalola walked together to each table in the Brushaber Commons atrium yesterday morning. The three upperclassmen looked together for a community to get involved with. “We’re looking for a young adults group to get connected with,” Mamo said.

Local churches filled tables in the Brushaber Commons atrium. Freshmen and seniors alike walked from table to table to learn about different local churches and young adult nights. 

Bethel University hosted their annual Church Connections Fair yesterday from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 34 churches pitched why Bethel students should attend their church. Bethel students shared why they were there and what they were looking for, besides the free candy.

“I’m here because I think it’s important to be in community,” senior Nissi Babalola said. “Bethel does a really good job at that.”

Babalola was accompanied by juniors Jesica Amegatse and Misgana Mamo as they filled their arms with free ramen, chips and sparkling water. The three upperclassmen walked together to hear about communities and young adult groups. 

A couple of freshmen listened to pastors at the tables, as they had moved away from their home church and were on the hunt for a church close to Bethel. Friends Hannah Bock and London West were among this crowd, looking for a church home for their first year at Bethel.

Freshmen London West and Hannah Bock started their search for a church near campus with many tables to choose from. “I’m just looking for a good community where everyone can talk about God freely,” Bock said. (Annelise Raisanen)

“I’m not from around here,” West, originally from Colorado, said. “So I want a good community with services that reach younger people.”

Although Bock and West are not roommates, they are both studying exercise science and are in it together as they try to find “community” in this new location. 

A few tables away, senior Harrison Nistler talked with pastors to find a church to intern at. For the past few years, Nistler ended up going where other people went, now with his major in missional ministries he has a different reason for attending this fair.

“I’m looking for a church with that small-town feel,” Nistler said. “One that feels close to home.”

Growing up in McGregor, MN – a northern town in Aitkin County with a population of 378 – brought a different feel than many of the churches in Minneapolis. 

Bethel’s Church Connections Fair brought in churches from different denominations, languages and mission statements.

“I think this is one of the things that makes Bethel special,” Babalola said. “We don’t have to go search for [a church].”

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About the Contributor
Annelise Raisanen, Staff Reporter
Annelise Raisanen, 20, is a Communication Arts and Literature Education 5-12 major. She enjoys her long walks to campus from North Village to the E&J department, hammocking every chance she gets (even overnight) and painting her favorite book covers to hang throughout her apartment.  [email protected] | 612-406-7758
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