North Highland United Methodist Church
Monday, May 17, 2021
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

Pastor Lou Introductory Letter

Dear North Highland UMC: 
 It was a joy to meet with your SPRC, hear about the life of North Highland, and see your church again. I so look forward to joining all of you in ministry this summer.   As a way of first introduction, I share with you a little bit about my journey:
After many years as an active and involved layperson, I entered the process for ministry in 2006.   After receiving my License for Ministry I was appointed to The Kimball Protestant Parish here in South Dakota.   It was an incredible opportunity to work with a three-denomination congregation and walk with them as they became fully united, and combined four administrative councils into one, and three women’s groups into one active group. During that time they also celebrated the rebirth of a youth group after many years with none.    In 2011 I was appointed to Mitchell First as the Associate Minister where a great deal of my time was spent directing the youth program as well as sharing in the leading of worship, providing pastoral care and working with various committees. 
On the Annual Conference level I have served as Chair of the Extending Link which began as the Connectional Link under the new platform for ministry. I was privileged to have the opportunity to lead a youth mission trip to Latvia for the Conference in 2009.
If I was asked to name my top three passions for ministry I would list worship, youth and missions. But in all honesty, all of ministry has been a wonderful journey for me.   I will continue completing my studies through Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, and look forward to the offering of courses online in the next year.   I will be away at Garrett for ten days in July shortly after arriving in Aberdeen for the class room time of this year’s courses.
I play piano, organ and French horn, and look forward to the concerts offered at Northern State! Before entering the ministry I owned a gift and scrapbooking shop in Minot, ND where I also served as Executive Director of the Minot Symphony and Music Coordinator at Vincent United Methodist.   I grew up Methodist in Hettinger, ND where my father still lives. And, last but not least, I have a very friendly and talkative cat named Max.
While I am sad to leave the friends I have made here, I’m also excited for the possibilities that await me as my ministry journey heads north to Aberdeen. I am anxious to get to know all of you soon! 
Pastor Lou Whitmer