'Fusion' worship service at DWU goes weekly
A contemporary church service started last year to draw in non-church-goers has moved to weekly services.
Fusion Worship is an offshoot of the First United Methodist Church in downtown Mitchell and is a collaborative effort between the church and Dakota Wesleyan University.
The alternative service at DWU features "modern trends mixed with ancient truths," according to the Fusion website.
The service started out as monthly until services went weekly Sept. 9, the goal the Rev. Brandon Vetter, DWU campus pastor, set in September 2011.
"We try to design themes to connect with folks who don't have a church home yet," Vetter said in a video on the Fusion website announcing the launch of weekly services.
Through a $90,000 three-year grant the Fusion program received from the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church, Vetter has hired another pastor to help with the program and campus ministry.
The Rev. Brian Anderberg is an ordained Wesleyan pastor who previously worked at the Mitchell Wesleyan Church as a youth and college pastor, and in worship ministry.
He was hired Aug. 2. He has been doing ministry off and on for 20 years.
Vetter asked Anderberg to apply for the position during a graduation party this spring.
"After four interviews and the rest of the summer, I got hired on," Anderberg said.
His role will be full time, alternating Sundays with Vetter and working on other Fusion and DWU campus ministries.
"It's cool being at the ground level of a church plan," Anderberg said of the Fusion service. "It's like being able to help out with the DNA of what the church will be like."
Both pastors are excited about the opportunities the weekly Fusion service offers.
Not only does it give the Methodist Church the ability reach out to those who don't have a church home, but it is reaching high school and college students, college staff and faculty, members of the downtown church, and new visitors from Mitchell and the surrounding area.
"We are averaging 95 people per week," Vetter said. "One-third are affiliated with the college, one-third with the downtown church and one-third are new visitors."
The service has attracted more families with small children as well, so the Fusion nursery and children's worship program is growing.
On Sept. 23, 14 children attended the children's worship and nursery.
"I think God is up to something pretty amazing in our midst," Vetter said.