Around this time of year, I typically review the events of the previous year to remind us of God’s faithfulness. The year 2022 was no exception in the record of God’s faithfulness to Graceway. Let’s pause for a few minutes to consider his grace over the past year.
January began with guest speakers Matt Laidlaw and Jim MacDonald. They ministered in the place of Pastor Scott as he recovered from COVID. As the month progressed, we continued to have both an 8:30 and 10:00am services to accommodate COVID restrictions. At the end of January, we received a report from Colleen Isaak on her trip to Nicaragua, sharing what God was doing in that country for the advancement of the gospel.
In February, we held our Annual General Meeting where we moved to incorporate Graceway Baptist Church under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act. This will give added legal protection for the church, its leadership, and members in the case of legal action brought against the church in the course of ministry.
Throughout that month, a few church members participated in the online version of the Biblical Counseling Training Conference.
On February 25, our brother Nerio Tagadtad passed away after a struggle with cancer. His funeral was on March 5.
On February 27, we held our last 8:30am service and on March 13, we partook of our first Lord’s Table as a full church in 2 years. What a blessing to commune together at last! The celebrations continued into April as we held a Good Friday service and hosted our first potluck following the service since October 2019.
In May, we held a workday to clean up our basement storage area and on May 29, we gathered for our spring PIE Night. In our Sunday evening Bible Studies, we began a series on evangelism training and the art of neighbouring.
June brought the return of SummerFest (formerly known as the Downtown Milton Street Festival)! We participated by setting up a booth, doing face-painting and balloon animals (Thank you, Perry family!) and handing out flyers for the upcoming Vacation Bible School.
At the end of June, our third round of GriefShare ended with much thanksgiving for the spiritual growth and comfort which God has granted through that ministry. On June 26, we held our first baptismal service in a couple of years, a wonderful time of celebrating God’s transforming grace!
Each year, we try to bring in a missionary speaker to challenge us in the area of World Missions and although we don’t normally schedule this in July, missionary Herb Hunter was able to be at Graceway to share his work in South Africa. We enjoyed a weekend conference, complete with an evening potluck and Sunday lunch.
Vacation Bible School returned to Graceway in August with 40-50 kids in our building each day, playing games, doing crafts, enjoying skits, songs and most importantly, sitting under the teaching of the Word. We enjoyed having many of our teens involved in this ministry as well.
With September, our ministry schedule ramped up again with another session of GriefShare. Our Kids 4 Truth ministry had been dormant through COVID, but we were able to restart that along with our Leadership Development program (for men, women, and teens!).
Because 2022 marked the 40th anniversary of Graceway (founded in 1982), we held special celebration services on October 15-16. Dr. Mark Ward was our speaker as he equipped us in having a Biblical Worldview. Praise God for His faithfulness to Graceway over 40 years.
On October 30 we had our Fall PIE Night and a Truth and Treat Night on the 31st. November was uneventful, but we did some canvassing, distributing packets of information re: the ministries of Graceway in the area around the church. This is part of a long-term project to blanket the town of Milton with literature and invitations to learn more about the gospel.
In December, we celebrated the first coming of Christ with a Youth Christmas Party, a children’s party, a Christmas Eve service (on the 23rd) and a Christmas Day service, Christmas falling on a Sunday this year.
We are thankful for the return to unrestricted ministry, for the rising number of attenders, and for what God is doing in the hearts of individuals. May God use us in 2023 to accomplish much for His Kingdom!