Hello New Hope Family,
It is through much prayer, many tears, and deliberation that we have decided to follow God’s leading into the next chapter of our lives. Some of you know that I lost my primary (Full Time) job, as a Construction Project Manager this spring as a result of the impact Covid-19 has had on the industry. Through this, our financial situation has suffered greatly in losing the majority of our income and requires us to explore our next steps. After 10½ years of bi-vocational service as the Worship Pastor / Leader as well as working full time in other careers, my family and I have decided to pursue a season of rest and sabbatical from ministry.
With the Lord leading (although the picture isn’t fully clear and evident yet as to what door God will open) we have decided to sell our home. We feel we are being called away from the area of Cambridge that has been our home for the past 10 years. We are taking an opportunity to live about 4 hours away in Northern Wisconsin as we focus on each other and what God will do through us.
New Hope has been an instrumental (pardon the pun) season of life for us as well as my career as a Worship Pastor. Serving the body of New Hope has been a great joy, a great challenge, and an amazing catalyst of growth in our lives personally and in our ministry. We are forever grateful that Pastor Bill was willing to take a risk on a “Punk Kid” such as myself. There were MANY churches that overlooked my calling simply because I lacked the opportunity to attain a degree in ministry and for that they felt I was not qualified to lead or use the gifts and passion God has placed in my spirit… thankfully Bill saw beyond that to what God would do through us at New Hope. While It brings sadness to leave our community and our family of New Hope, we know that we are and will be a New Hope to those around us wherever God plants us next.
We overwhelmingly thank and have been immensely blessed by the Staff, the Board of Overseers, an amazing team of volunteers to build, teach and shepherd and especially our family at New Hope who have walked alongside us through some of the most challenging moments, and thankfully some of the most beautiful seasons of our lives and our journey as a family. With your prayers and encouragement we have overcome much and continue to keep our eyes upon Jesus.
With this, my final day of serving will be Sunday, July 19th, 2020. Due to the unique time we find ourselves in amidst a pandemic, we still wanted to find a way to say farewell to each of you: Personally I’d prefer to have a huge soiree, whip up a big pile of my Pulled Pork Tacos for all my friends and celebrate the last decade of our life with much food and merriment, but at this point we have to simplify it. There is no perfect way to do this, but it’s what we can do with what we have to do. We have decided to do this outdoors and “Drive-Thru” style. We have an immune compromised family member living with us, and for everyone’s peace of mind and safety, we are very much observing “Social Distancing.” We deeply love you all and cherish the time we have had together. It’s hard to imagine that currently we’ve spent 25% of our life at and with New Hope. Until this pandemic burns out we will have to forgo the hugs and handshakes until a later time and we thank you for your understanding.
So together with Pastor Bill, Kelly and I will be outside the church (so long as it’s not nasty weather) on July 19th from 5:00-7:00pm at New Hope-Cambridge (33030 Vickers St NE) to “drive-thru” one at a time to stop, roll down your window, and spend a few precious moments celebrating all God has done in each of our lives. We would love to briefly hear your story of how the Lord has impacted you through us. Feel free to write it down if that’s easier. We don’t know how long the line could get but want to have a bit of time with each of you. If you have a note or card to pass along, there will be a basket for that. We also humbly ask that if you are sick or have been around anyone who is sick that you choose instead to send a message or video to us on Facebook or email us at [email protected] or if you can’t attend, feel free to send a note to the church and they will get it to us.
With much Peace and great Love, we pray the Lord continues to Bless each of you & the ministry of New Hope.
James and Kelly Belmont