|‘There have been so many great people’ — Rev. Ann Ward|
By Gayle VanVooren
Rev. Ann Dwelle Ward will be preaching her last sermon at Hope Lutheran on August 16.
That completes six years of service with the congregation. She and husband, John, will be honored at a coffee hour following the 9 a.m. service that day.
Said Pastor Ann, “We have enjoyed all the people and the music opportunities. There have been so many great people to work with here in Minneota.”
Her career began in Waynesburg, Ohio, and then she did interim work at two parishes in Ohio. From there she served for 11 years as an Associate Pastor at St. John’s in Bellville, Texas. She then did a couple more interim stints at Chanhassen and St. James before being called to Hope Lutheran. As she said, “I have been at both big and little churches over the years.”
In talking about Hope’s congregation, Rev. Ward said, “There’s so much potential here. There are so many great people serving in this congregation.”
She also talked about the congregation as being very “traditional” and said “traditions can be a spring board or an anchor”.
Pastor Ward takes many good memories along with her. She said, “All the fun music — both in the church and getting involved in the orchestra (at Southwest Minnesota) and being able to play in musicals in the high school.”
Hope’s Confirmation program has also left Pastor Ward with good feelings.
She said, “The whole Confirmation ministry was fun because it was a new style. We had great groups of people in the guides and managers. There’s a whole community that gets involved with the Wednesday night program. You can plan for it but not predict what’s going to happen.”
While in Minneota, Pastor Ann has enjoyed being active with the Friends of the Library and the Minneota Rotary Club.
She has also played violin in many musical presentations at the high school.
And, she has enjoyed playing with the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra and has been on the Campus Religious Center Board at SMSU, making decisions for the use of their building on campus.
Pastor Ann’s husband has also been involved in the life of Hope Lutheran. He has been an accompanist for the Jubilation Choir and Spirit Singers, and has sung with the Praise Band.
He is also a member of the Glee Club and the SMSU Choir. He’s also the director of the Math Lab and an adjunct teacher at SMSU. The Ward’s will be moving to Marshall.
The community is invited to take part in the 9 a.m., August 16 worship service, followed by cake and coffee in the fellowship hall.