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  • Church group looks to officially plant roots in Chestermere

    En Compass Evangelical Free Church invites public to new services

    Members of the en Compass Kids with Integrity group take part in an activity during one of their weekly gatherings

    Members of the en Compass Kids with Integrity group take part in an activity during one of their weekly gatherings

    CHESTERMERE – Since June of last year, Pastor Paul Jansen has been trying to find a good location to host his Sunday service.

    Jansen and his wife Dale hosted the first three meetings of the en Compass Evangelical Free Church in their home, and did so on a tentative basis to see what kind of interest there was.

    After receiving a good crowd of 26 people and feeling positive about the initiative, they decided to move forward with planting a church in Chestermere.

    Jansen said that because they couldn’t find a good permanent location locally, and because being right in town was important to them, they never did a public launch of their group. However, as they have now secured a space at Chestermere Lake Middle School for at least the next six months, they are excited to start officially welcoming new members.

    “We’ve always thought of ourselves as a church in the community, but it’s really hard to get things going when you’re not physically there,” Jansen said. “So this is a big breakthrough for us and we’re really excited.”

    Jansen said that the atmosphere of their group is relaxed, informal and friendly. He said that although they strive to be interactive, people can participate at any level they feel comfortable.

    “If you’re going somewhere new, you need to know that you’re not going to feel threatened or cornered,” he said. “With us, when you walk in the door, someone is going to shake your hand and welcome you, and then you’re going to have a seat and have some coffee and just see what we’re about.

    “It’s nothing high-pressure or invasive. You come and decide for yourself what you think and decide if you want to be a part of it.”

    Jansen said that their setup every Sunday is a little different than most, as everyone sits around tables rather than in rows of chairs. He said that the likes this approach better because it gives people a chance to interact not only with him, but with one another.

    “I like to bill it as a place where people who don’t like going to church can go,” he said. “I don’t preach as much as I teach.

    “I’ll spend a week studying a passage like every other pastor and figuring out what the author is saying and what we’re supposed to learn from it, but then when I speak, I just ask people questions that bring them to a personal point of discovery where they can find the truth for themselves.”

    Jansen said he is looking forward to connecting with more people in the community, and hopes that their new location will give him that opportunity.

    The en Compass group now meets every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at Chestermere Lake Middle School.
    Their kids groups, Kids with Integrity for ages six to ten, and Club 68 for kids in Grades 6, 7 and 8, meet every Tuesday evening, also at the middle school, at 6:30 p.m. These groups focus on important topics for youth such as character building, peer-pressure, and making wise choices.

    For more information about the en Compass Evangelical Free Church, go to en-compass.ca or e-mail HYPERLINK “mailto:info@en-compass.ca”info@en-compass.ca.

    Jansen said, “I think as time goes on, people will get a sense of who we are, and we’re looking forward to the growing together with everyone in the community.”