Hawick United Methodist Church welcomes new pastor

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 10/25/00.

Pastor Lovejoy There is a new pastor in Hawick and she is walking door-to-door to meet the people of her community. Pastor Ruth Lovejoy began her duties at the Hawick United Methodist Church in late June.

"I'm doing double duty," she said. Besides being a pastor, she is a pastor's wife. Her husband is the new pastor at the Raymond United Methodist Church. They moved to Minnesota from the South Georgia Conference to be closer to her mother who lived in Stewartville, Minn.

Pastor Lovejoy said the Lord brought her into the ministry. She has been a pastor for about 40 years, serving congregations in Michigan, Indiana, and Georgia.

"I have always been active in the church," she said. As a teenager, she sang in the church choir, played in the church band, worked at church camps, and always went on trips.

"When there was a special call at a youth conference, I made my commit-ment," she said. "There was never any question about my becoming a minister."

Pastor Lovejoy has been busy calling on the members of her new congregation. "I would like to see more young people in the church," she said. She sees a need to minister to the young couples and the children in the area.

"Forty to 60 percent of the Hawick population does not attend church. "The church is an active community focal point," she said. Church members need to reach out to the community.

On Sunday, the church held its first homecoming celebration. Church members have been compiling a time line with dates and events that have been important to the Hawick United Methodist Church congregation. In 2004 the church will celebrate its centennial and the time line and homecoming celebrations all lead up to the centennial.

Pastor Lovejoy said it's the strength of the laity to develop the future of the church. "I'm here to help them develop their gifts and graces," she said. "The people have a good outlook for the future," she added.

The homecoming celebrations will help people to connect the past with the future. "We need to honor past events and people in the church, work hard in the present, and look to the future," Pastor Lovejoy said.

We may live in rural Minnesota, but people are metropolitan in their thinking, she added.

In an attempt to get to know her congregation and where they live, she has taken pictures of every member's home. She displayed the pictures at church and asked that members put their names with the homes.

Pastor Lovejoy, with the help of teenagers in the church, is developing a Casper House at the parsonage in Belgrade. "I'm very much into learning centers where kids can feel and touch different textures," she said.

The Casper House is being constructed in the parsonage garage. It consists of different rooms made of different textures. There is the welcome hall, hands room, cobweb room, rubber room, and mask area.

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