Ten Biggest Events of 2009
Hayward Wesleyan Church's
Ten Biggest Events
1. Children's Ministry Facility Expansion
We voted to increase the gathering space for our children and teens, broke ground, and construction is nearly completed.
2. Hanna Massad's Visit
Dr. Massad, who is a Baptist pastor from Gaza, came on November 1 and shared a gripping first-hand account of our suffering brothers and sisters in the Middle East.
3. "The Way of Well Being" Holiness Series
Major spiritual breakthroughs occurred this fall, as we made a special focus on holiness of heart and life. On September 27, at the 11:00 service, there was an absolutely amazing moving of the Holy Spirit. Everyone present was overwhelmed by the powerful love of Christ. Dozens of people came forward to pray, and many received significant spiritual help. We broke into joyful praises -- and there wasn't time to give the sermon!
4. Pastor Andi Wittwer
Our dear friend and parishioner, Andrea Wittwer, was installed as pastor of the Woodland Wesleyan Church. She hit the ground running, and is taking that little northwoods community by storm!
5. John LaFontaine's Testimony
John discovered in early 2009 that he had an aggressive cancer. He passed away on Good Friday, at the age of 33. Although he had only been following Jesus for three years, John had a powerful message of redemption -- and he shared it to the end. Hundreds of people attended a benefit dinner held in his honor, just a few weeks before he died. He stood up and gave one of the most powerful testimonies I've ever heard. There was not a dry eye in the place. John was truly a man of great faith -- leaving a beautiful legacy for his twin daughters (Johnnie Jo and Candice Rain) who were born a few weeks after his passing.
6. Big Tent Sunday
In August, we combined all of our worship services into one HUGE worship celebration under a big tent. It was exciting to see so many volunteers come and help set things up. Over 700 attended the service, where Famous Dave gave a powerful and inspiring talk, and a half dozen new believers were baptized.
7. March to the Manger
This is one of the best Christmas events we've ever done. On December 20, we had a live nativity in the front of the church, and the entire congregation joined in the story by bringing THEIR gifts to Jesus. I'll write more about this soon. It's going to be an annual tradition.
8. Passport to the World Missions Expo
On the first weekend in March, we turned the entire church building into "the world" with different rooms representing various countries and mission fields. Several missionaries joined us for the special day (from Nicaragua, Czech Republic, South Africa, Croatia, and North America.) The attendees received a passport and had to go through customs as they entered the building. Then, they "travelled" around the world, learning about God's work in many different places, got to know the missionaries personally, ate ethnic food, and participated in a wide variety of international activities and games. It was homerun for missions!
9. Dr. JoAnne Lyon Visit
Our General Superintendent, Dr. JoAnne Lyon came to the northwoods for a whirlwind speaking tour in October. She spoke at our daughter church (The River in Minong) on Sunday morning, at Andi Wittwer's church (Woodland) on Sunday night, and finally here at Hayward Wesleyan on Monday Night. There was a great turnout for our Hayward event, and our people were truly inspired to reach out and bless others with the love of Jesus. Monday Night Church is better than Monday Night Football!
10. Fireproof Movie
Before the movie was released to the public (via dvd), we had the opportunity to show it here at the church. The response was absolutely overwhelming. The church was packed to overflowing, and we ended up having a second showing. This movie helped a lot of marriages.