Driftless Regional Ministry Upcoming Events and Announcements

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... our incoming pastor!  For those that are not aware, Pastor Jim and Christy will be moving on to the Cambridge UMC in Cambridge, IL in late June.  Since the announcement last fall, the search for a new pastor has been ongoing.  Then in mid-April, the SPRC members from all four churches met at New Hope UMC to be introduced to our incoming pastor.

Pastor Pam Harkema of the Randolph & Courtland UMC will be making the move to Western Wisconsin to serve and lead the Driftless Regional Ministry churches beginning in July.  And we even have a special message to YOU from Pastor Pam as she look towards the journey that we will be making together:

From Pastor Pam:

God surprises us at the most interesting times of our lives, right? 

Pastoral ministry was never supposed to be part of my life journey.  OK, honestly, Wisconsin was not supposed to be part of my life journey.  A long time ago, I went to Oklahoma State University and studied journalism.  My career evolved from technical writing into marketing and public relations, to advertising and communications training.  My faith walk was in Lay Ministry - Lay Speaking, serving on church committees, music.  Once God gets a hold of your heart though... well... there are many chapters to the story which I will share as we get to know each other over these next months and years.  For now, as we begin our journey together, I believe God has great things in store for Driftless Regional Ministry. Together we will listen for God's direction and follow God's path.

Assisting us on this journey is my remarkable cat Tutti, a tortoiseshell darling adopted from a shelter.  She is visually impaired in one eye but is outgoing and affectionate.  From time to time, my daughters will visit; Madaline from the Chicago area who processes insurance claims by day and works in theater by night.  And Anne and her husband Trevor who live in lower Michigan and both work in education for an online high school.  You will have a chance to meet them all soon. 

I am a bit over half way through course of study as a licensed local pastor.  My later call to ministry and my life experiences translate into a very personal and experiential way of serving our great God. 

I extend my heartfelt prayers for Pastor Jim and Christy as they ready themselves for their move to Illinois and I have begun daily prayer for all the congregations and communities of Driftless Regional Ministry.  As our time of transition draws near, I ask you to choose one of the other congregations of this four church charge and make a point to pray for the people in that church at least a couple of times a week.  Pray for the people you do not know, pray for the ministry to be revealed, and pray for the people who will come to know God's Word in a new way because of the ministry of that sister congregation of the United Methodist Church.

God is good, all the time. 

And God is preparing us for remarkable ministry. 

Peace to you.

Pastor Pam


Faith Fest is coming!

Women of faith are very excited about our upcoming Faith Fest. Our music director, Ron Willis, has been very busy and has secured fantastic music again this year.  Performing will be J.P. Olson, Eric Nofsinger, Stuart Thayer, Tor Eness and friends, Ron Willis and Judy Herr with the Gospel Strings. If you haven’t had the priviledge of listening to J.P., you are in for an additional treat. J.P. has shared the stage with Charlie Pride, Billy Ray Cyrus, Willie Nelson, Wynonaa Judd, Ronnie Millsap, Michael Bolton, Etta James, the late Phyllis Hyman as well as others too profuse to mention.  We are thrilled to have J.P. Olson, Eric Nofsinger  Fiddle/Acoustical guitar and Stuart Thayer on the piano in addition to our dear friends, Ron Willis, Judy Herr and the Gospel Strings and Tor Eness and friends who always do a fantastic job.  Along with music there will be a raffle for a 55 inch Philips flat screen TV (Each ticket is $5 or five for $20). There will also be a Chinese auction with loads of new items donated by area businesses, and games and crafts for kids. Tickets for the Chinese auction, games and crafts are $1 each or six for $5. And, of course, let’s not forget about the food (free will offering).
Women of faith hope you can join us for a great day of music and fun. 

New Hope Food Pantry Receives Donation

On Wednesday, December 6th, the New Hope UMC Food Pantry in rural De Soto received a wonderful Christmas blessing!  The food pantry was presented with a $1000 check from the Vernon Communications Cooperative to aid in the fight against hunger in the Driftless Region.  The donation was a part of Vernon Communications' annual "Season of Giving" campaign through which they make $1000 donations to various food pantries across their service area.  This year's recipients included food pantries at: Bethel Butikk (in Westby), Cashton Cupboard & Closet, La Farge Free Methodist, Living Faith (in Viroqua), New Hope & Viola United Methodist.  The funds that the New Hope UMC Food Pantry received are greatly appreciated by everyone who walks through the doors of the pantry and will greatly help the mission.  Thank you Vernon Communications Cooperative!

The food pantry at the New Hope UMC also receives extra blessings from surrounding congregations during this time of the year.  Recently, members of the Freeman Lutheran Church (rural Ferryville) donated 957 pounds of turkeys and hams to the food pantry to be distributed to area families during the Thanksgiving holiday.  Other area congregations also help the pantry by collecting donations as their monthly or quarterly missions.  So while the food pantry is based in the New Hope UMC, it is empowered by many others to amplify it's reach across southwestern Vernon and northwestern Crawford counties.  Thank you to everyone who supports the New Hope UMC Food Pantry through your prayers, donations, and hard work!  Together, we are making an impact in the fight against hunger right here in the Driftless Region!