It’s two months after Christmas and Red Cedar Church in Rice Lake, Wisc., is still seeing positive results from the services and outreach it held.

Post-Christmas numbers show that over 2,600 attended Christmas services with over 100 people placing their faith in Christ. To allow families to create special memories together, the church offered Red Cedar Experience kits, which included a sermon DVD, Christmas worship CD, family devotionals, and other items. In the DVD message, Pastor Heather Semple challenged families to take time each week in 2016 to reflect on where they see God moving

The church also hosted an event for area foster children as a Christmas outreach as part of its foster care partnership with a local social service agency. While the 50 children in attendance were treated to pizza and games in the kids’ wing of the church, 34 foster parents and social workers enjoyed their own dinner. Each child received a free gift and parents took home an ornament. Approximately 50 volunteers from the church served at the event.

Since that time, members of a family who attended the foster children outreach have been baptized. Another little boy who is in the foster system sent a note to church volunteers, thanking them for hosting the event. A foster parent interest night saw 55 people attend, with 21 families picking up foster parent applications. If each family chooses to move forward in the process, that would more than double the amount of non-relative foster families in the county.

Rev. Heather Semple is ecstatic about what God did in lives at Red Cedar in 2015 and looks forward to what he will do in 2016. Last year at this time in our old building, our weekend attendance averaged 931. In December 2015, our weekend attendance averaged 1,342–a 44 percent increase. A total of 616 people made a first time decision for Christ and 363 were baptized in 2015.

“2015 was an amazing year!” said Rev. Semple, senior pastor at Red Cedar. “The growth and changes that we have gone through as a church family are proof of God’s grace, goodness, and favor. When God says ‘GO,’ we say ‘YES!’ He has given immeasurably more and I believe that it is only the beginning.”