As we enter into a new year, we are again celebrating an impactful ending to 2017! Two events in December seem to capture the servant-heart and missional character of our church: The Christmas stores in Waterloo and Grundy County and our Christmas Eve services.
The total attendance for all 7 Christmas eve services on 2 campuses was 4,440 people, the largest Christmas Eve attendance in our history! The impact of this worship event continues to grow and shows the influence of added space in our new facility in Grundy Center. With continued growth comes the opportunity for more people to encounter Jesus and be encouraged to follow him. Behind the numbers are many stories of God at work in big and small ways. It’s been fun hearing some of them from those who were impacted.
We are grateful for the amazing team of faithful servants & staff who willingly shared their time & gifts planning the services, greeting people with a smile & handshake, operating sound & lights, decorating, sharing invitations, singing in the choir, providing music before and after the services, parking cars, leading worship, helping people find seats & light candles, answering questions at the Welcome Center, providing our worship teams with food, and praying for & supporting the mission of the church with words of encouragement & financial gifts.
We are also thankful for another inspiring Christmas Store weekend in both the Walnut neighborhood and Grundy County. We were able to serve 480 families through the opportunity to shop for their own children by selecting new toys & gifts priced at a great discount. Over 325 kids were able to make gifts for their parents at the craft workshops, and there was a pancake breakfast served at both sites for shoppers & volunteers. We were blessed to partner with many businesses and churches throughout the Cedar Valley, both in collecting gifts and serving side-by-side at the Christmas Stores. Every family went home with a children’s storybook that shared the message of God’s gift of love to the world through his Son, Jesus. It was a beautiful morning where over 400 volunteers were able to bless others and in the process, be blessed in return.
We are amazed and perplexed by the faithfulness of our church family, our volunteers and our leaders & staff. Above all, we are grateful to God for his blessings, through this past Christmas Season and throughout all of 2017.
As we enter into 2018, we are excited for what is to come!
Thank you for your partnership as we seek to Help next generations encounter & follow Jesus to bless a broken world!