Taking a Church Journey to my hometown was an extra special treat. I remembered this historic church building from many years ago. It was formerly St. Anne’s, and I recalled attending their annual church bizarre as a child. After a lot of remodeling and modernization, the building looks much different now. But the stained glass windows and those beautiful golden pipes have endured the test of time; significant reminders of days gone by.
Coffee hour was at 10:30, so we got there in time to mingle and take some photos before the 11 am service. We went up into the balcony and watched from above as the sanctuary began to fill up. There was a sizable presence of teens and young children. As the music began, I looked up at the golden pipes. It was apparent they had not been used for quite some time. The pipes stood silent as the worship team played a new song with a new, cutting-edge sound. The music may change; the sounds may change; the buildings are updated and remodeled … but GOD never changes! He not only stands the test of time … He created it.
The worship team was comprised of a group of skilled, young men. It reminded me of those Old Testament worshipers who went out ahead of the army. The worship leader had the voice of a warrior. They had a strong, contemporary sound of victory. Young and old alike lifted up their hands and worshiped the King in UNITY.
It was Baptism Sunday and the baptismal was on the platform, ready and waiting for the special declarations of faith to occur. Pastor Paul Barna’s message on Baptism was the perfect segue into this Holy sacrament.
“Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, He saw heaven being torn open and descending on Him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: You are my Son, whom I love; with you and I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:10-11) Pastor Paul posed the question, “Why should we be baptized?” One of the clearest reasons is that JESUS was! Baptism is a day we can always look back on and remember our public proclamation that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. It is symbolic of what Jesus has done in our lives. The water is cleansing, which is symbolic of the blood of Christ. The death of Christ and our dying to self is displayed as we go under the water. And then we are raised up out of the water into new life, a wonderful display of the resurrection of Christ and victory over the grave.
Those getting baptized shared a testimony about how God has been working in their lives. Diana Rainville was one who decided to get baptized today. As she shared her testimony, she thanked her grandchildren. How touching it was to hear how they had led her to church because she had noticed changes in them from their attending. And now, here she stood in front of the large crowd, tearfully thanking them and God for bringing her to this church. In speaking with Pastor Paul after the service, he shared with us that this is a common occurrence at Waterford Wesleyan.
After the service, we took a tour and we were extremely impressed with their newly remodeled children’s wing. Each room was so creatively designed along with murals, fake grass, a slide, a climbing wall and so many other special touches that made it appealing to the younger generation. Many members of the congregation worked effortlessly for the past 6 years to make this happen. Children are being drawn in and are being changed by the Word of God. Some of the youth are leading their parents and other family members here as well. The church has many youth-centered programs including “BLAST” (Wednesdays @ 6:15 pm/ grades K-5), a high energy night filled with music, games and Biblical lessons. God is definitely working through the youth here!
And this church isn’t all about the youth. Adults also have many opportunities for fellowship and growing in Christ. One unique event that all ages partake in is their annual cookie distribution to the residents of Waterford. Once a year they deliver tins of cookies, along with the message of Christ and His love, to 2,500 homes.
For over a decade, Pastor Paul and his wife Pam have served at Waterford Wesleyan Church. Pastor Paul also serves as the Peck Hose Fire Company Chaplain in Waterford. They are eager to see revival in this small town. Waterford Wesleyan holds services on Sunday mornings at 11:00 am, with a mid-week prayer service held on Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm. Come and see God’s handiwork … both physically (the church building) and spiritually (raising people up into new life).
Church Website – www.waterfordwesleyan.com
By Donna Hansen Munafo