Our 2022 Church Officers

PresidentBrad VanBergen
Vice–PresidentGreg Neubauer
SecretaryKaren Neubauer
TreasurerErika VanBergen
EldersBrian Bentz
Merle Bernhardt Jr.
Jeff Boulet
Henry Friday
Chris Hasenbank
Greg Neubauer
Keith Ramthun
Paul Schroeder
Bob Wackernagel
TrusteesRon Bailey
Joel Best
Joe Goodrich
Jen Huizenga
Josh Huls
Allen Ramthun
James Ramthun
Sam Wackernagel
Becky Winters
Christian EducationMarci Bentz
Courtney Friday
Liz Hedges
Alan Mayville
Faith Mayville
Casey Seymour
FinanceKim DuBois
Jen Huizenga
George Lohman
Tom Mott
Roger Simon
Bob Stevens
AuditorsLeif Oquist
Marsha Ramey

People of God!

HAPPY NEW YEAR of 2022 as we walk forward with JESUS, our Savior, God, and King! He makes all things new and gives us the Victory!

As I consider this New Year unfolding before us, I am excited that we have so much planned as we at St. James will celebrate our 150th Anniversary as God's people here in our White Lake Communities. Our outstanding Anniversary Committee made up of Keith Ramthun, Phil and Mary Albrecht, Judy Best, Jim Neubauer, and Jennifer Huizenga, Jeff Boulet, Sue Streblow, & Pam Kroll have worked very hard and done such an excellent job planning this 150th Anniversary event! And so very many others of our congregational family will be involved putting it on. Over the course of six months: May-June-July-August-September-October on the 2nd Sunday of each month we have some very special things planned! I look forward to having six Pastors -- sons of our congregation (Pastor Tom Block, Pastor Russ Johnson, Pastor Shayne Jonker, 4th year Seminarian Micah Brooks), our former Vicar-now-Pastor Paul Gaschler, and our District President David Maier -- here as guest preachers during that time. I will be sharing each of their services conducting the Liturgy. Each 2nd Sunday will have one service at 10:00 am and an afterwards meal to share. We will publish a complete outline of our 150th Anniversary events and schedule as we get closer. It's going to be memorable and fantastic! We all look forward to celebrating God's work among us and through us here in the White Lake area these last 150 years and we ask for His blessing and guidance as we continue to do so into the years ahead!

We just finished the Advent and Christmas Season leading to the Celebration of our Savior's birth and eagerly anticipating His glorious return! We are now in Epiphany. The Season of Epiphany celebrates the revelation of Christ as Savior of the whole world. This Good News was made know through the coming of the Magi or Wise men to see the infant Jesus. God had revealed to them by the star that Jesus was God come to live among His people. When the Season of Epiphany comes to a close we will be look forward to the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday right in the beginning of March leading to our Savior's Easter Victory and Celebration on April 17th.

As I look at the months ahead I am beginning to think about when I will be taking our 8th Grade Confirmands on our annual trip to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum (probably sometime in March) and also when we will be having our annual Men's Canoe Expedition the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northeast Minnesota. Might have two groups going paddling this year -- a basecamp fishing group and a traveling group. Any of you Veteran Paddlers interested? Contact me.

On a personal note... son Micah and wife Audrey and there three young ladies visited us the week after Christmas for a couple days on a break from his Vicarage in Hampton, Iowa. It's exciting to see that Micah is almost half-way through his Vicarage experience, of which I am so thankful has been a very instructive and positive growth time for him! While visiting with us two of his sisters -- Beky and Annie and their families came to see them for a day and we all enjoyed some re-connect time and a couple meals together. Some of my young grandsons and granddaughters are becoming quite skilled at foosball and, depending on the team composition, have beat their grandfather and team mate a couple of times! But overall, I am still able to crush them like grapes! Probably not for long, though.

I so look forward to walking with you into this New Year of 2022 serving our great and gracious God together! I am very thankful for you all!

  ~ Pastor Brooks

Baptisms 1 Millie Joy Baumann (12/19/21)
Confirmations 1 Dylan Lohman (12/19/21)
Weddings 0
Funerals 0

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Children are a pure joy. Every time I wake up in the middle of the night and see or hear Millie, I think of how blessed I am. God is so good. We often sing to Millie, play piano, guitar, or the ukulele, and most of the time, she just stares back at us. But, I think she likes it.

I wanted to thank everyone. We have received so much support and care. We are so blessed to be here. There are a couple things coming up that I wanted to point out. So, mark your calendar for 2022!
Remember to pray often, rejoice always, and give thanks in all circumstances.

In Christ,
  Russell Baumann

Good Shepherd Preschool

Over 125 attended our Annual Christmas Service. Sharing the story of Jesus' Birth at this Service is a highlight of Christmas for me. Experiencing the story through the eyes of our kids is a true gift.

Thanks to all who attended! It takes a village to make this night happen. Our appreciation and thanks to Mrs. Bailey and Henry Bailey, Keith Ramthun, Russell Baumann, Kathi Strahl, Faith Mayville, Terri Zeller, and Bryan Grimm. We appreciate your help and support.

Blessings to all our kids and their families for a Christmas filled with the Joy of the Angels on that First Holy Night.

Blessings for a New Year filled with His Peace,
  ~ Ellen Grimm

Love Family News

Happy New Year! We will continue to provide meals for our shut ins this year along with meeting occasional family needs. This month is a meal from a local restaurant for the shut ins - if you would like to help with the cost just add it to your envelope and mark it "love family"! Thank you!

Sunday School News

It's hard to believe another year has gone by. It's been great! So happy we have been able to do so many activities again this past year.

VBS, Sunday School Christmas Program, Christmas Parade and our first Trunk or Treat, etc…

Looking forward to an even better 2022!

Our Sunday School Team has done many fun things to enhance the children's learning experience. Our teachers are truly talented and amazing. They incorporate crafts, videos, visuals, so the kids grasp the lesson in a big way. I am blessed and grateful to be working with so many wonderful ladies. We could really use extra help with the preschool and kindergarten group. Please consider joing us and experience the joy of working with the kids. No degree needed.

Mark your calendars:

Men's Bible Study

The Men's Bible Study will begin on Monday, January 3, 2022, at 8:30am. The study of 1st & 2nd Samuel. Samuel was an elderly prophet and leader of the nation of Israel. 1 Samuel is not just for would-be-leaders but for Christians in every station of life: Kingship, Sovereignty, and Obedience. The theme of 2nd Samuel portrays what any nation longs for in the leadership: Covenant, Grace, and Heart. Join us!

Sub Sale

Sub Sandwich Sale Begins 1/9/22! $3 each or 6 for $15

150th Anniversary News

The next meeting of the Anniversary Committee will be Monday, January 10th, at 6:30 pm. Plans are coming together for our celebration and guess what, it's 2022, our anniversary year. The committee has been hard at work formalizing plans for the year beginning on May 8th, when Pastor Russ Johnson will be joining us with one worship service at 10:00 am, followed tentatively with a brunch and then a dedication of our Hall of History that will be located downstairs across from the church offices. Activities are being planned for the second Sunday of each month, with just one service of celebration, May through October concluding with an Octoberfest celebration on October 9th, with Pastor Paul Gashler conducting the service that day. There is lots of work to be done and if you would like to help out in any way, please come to our December meeting. We would be glad to have you.

1st Sunday Freewill Offering for 150th

We will continue collecting a Freewill Offering on the 1st Sunday of each month! All of the donations will be used for the 2022 150th Anniversary Celebration!

Directory Committee

Can you help? We are looking for 3 more people to join our 150th anniversary "directory" committee. We are doing it on our own…!!

Coming Soon ~ Women's Retreat, March 11th & 12th

We will gather socially on Friday, March 11th, and get to know Brenda, our speaker. Saturday, March 12th, we will study and grow together. Please save the date and share with your family & friends
What is Run Hard Rest Well? A Rest That Works

"Run Hard. Rest Well." is the battle cry of women on the front lines of COVID comeback and recovery. Run Hard. Rest Well. makes rest simple and strategic because God made it sacred, and through it He fuels His work in us and through us. Vibrancy transpires in hearts, homes, and churches when God's people run with passion and rest on purpose - routinely refueled, refreshed, and replenished. Too many have grown accustomed to "running on empty," forfeiting their best self and shortchanging those they lead, love, and serve. A Rest That Works introduces no-cost, high-yield restorative rhythms that equip women to navigate 24/7 from a place of strength, transformation, and joy.

A little information about our speaker: Brenda Jank

As a catalyst for personal and organizational change, Brenda is high energy and story driven, equipping God's people to explore transformative rhythms of work and rest for themselves and those they lead, love, and serve. Founder of Run Hard. Rest Well., Brenda speaks from coast to coast and is a thought leader in the arena of Restorative Wellness. She is also the mother of five of the finest, feistiest children ever assembled under one roof. Brenda and her family live in Indiana where her husband, Tim, has been the Executive Director of Camp Lutherhaven for 28 years. Learn more at www.RunHardRestWell.org

Happy New Year from your Thrivent Whitehall Office!!

Charitable Contributions from IRAs

Did you know that, if you are at least 70 ½ years old, you can make tax-free charitable donations directly from your IRA? By making what's called a qualified charitable distribution (QCD), you can benefit your favorite charity (for example your church) while excluding up to $100,000 annually from gross income. These gifts, also known as "charitable IRA rollovers," would otherwise be taxable IRA distributions

How do I make a Qualified Charitable Distribution?

In order to make a QCD, you simply instruct your IRA trustee to make a distribution directly from your IRA (other than SEP and SIMPLE IRAs) to a qualified charity. The distribution must be one that would otherwise be taxable to you. It must go directly from your IRA to your charity of choice.

To learn more about Charitable IRA Contributions and how QCDs work, contact the Thrivent Whitehall office at 231-894-8886 or email whitehalloffice@thrivent.com

Marci Bentz and Tony DeNicolo, your Thrivent Financial Advisors

5 ways to care for caregivers

These meaningful gestures can go a long way
By Anya Britzuis

It's challenging to be a caregiver. And it's especially difficult during the pandemic, when people may not be comfortable with in-person activities. If you want to provide support to a caregiver, here are some ideas of how you can help.

1. Listen without judgment
From heartfelt conversations to simple text messages, let caregivers know you are there for them. Provide emotional support by being a trusted confidante. Offer your thoughts when they ask.

2. Pamper them
Take them out to lunch or give them a gift card to their favorite restaurant or for services at a salon or spa. Go shopping or go on a walk around the neighborhood. Look for ways to give them time to practice self-care regularly.

3. Tackle their to-do lists
Whether it's grocery shopping, driving kids to activities or doing a couple of loads of laundry, ask if these are practical tasks (big or small) you can help with.

4. Help them feel included
It's easy for caregivers to feel isolated. Set up a virtual happy hour or book club meeting with the caregiver and other friends. Even if they can't attend, they will appreciate the thought. Make sure your invitations come without pressure.

5. Start a meal train
Coordinate a group of people to drop off meals at the caregiver's house Some meals can be frozen for later.

Online Service Directions!

How to watch our services online step by step: on Facebook Live on Sundays at 8:15 am
  1. In the top search bar... Go to https://www.facebook.com/stjamesmontague/videos
    (You do not need to have a Facebook account page to access this)
  2. Close the popup box asking to login to your Facebook account.
  3. Scroll down through the Facebook page until you come across the most recent videos
  4. Click on the Live video of the church service.
  5. Explore the rest of the Facebook page and watch other videos. 😊

January Birthdays
01/02Alec Muyskens01/18Sean Zeller
01/02Cheryl TenBrink01/19Morgan DeRose
01/03Mark Moschke01/19Tom Sheesley
01/03Sue Griffith01/21Annlyn McKenzie
01/03Tonya Landis01/21Rick Stegenga
01/05Janice Schiller01/22Gene Rollenhagen
01/05Katy Turpin01/23Elizabeth Bentz
01/06Connie Aerts01/23Leda Rabe
01/06Kristian Schmidt01/24Jeff Boulet
01/06Will Ramthun01/25Anita Rademaker
01/07Jody Johnston01/26Eilene Cober
01/07Roger Buchberger01/26Henry Mayville
01/11AJ Vanderleest01/26Nicole Oquist
01/12Allison Best01/27Kristin Schultz
01/12Dan Roesler01/28Barb Robinson
01/12Megan Ramthun01/28Judy Blink
01/14Ann Ely01/28Todd Tryska
01/14Duncan Miller01/29Alaina McCormick
01/14Wendy Kessler01/29Ellianna Hedges
01/15Al Ely01/29Erika VanBergen
01/15Jordan Lohman01/29Ethan Koski
01/15Tanya Simon01/29Jane Osborn
01/17Jake Blink01/30Dante Richards
01/17Jeff O'Connell01/30Marci Bentz

ELDERSKeith RamthunBrian Bentz
TRUSTEESJames RamthunChristian Mason
Garrett Birkofer
USHERSGeorge LohmanGary Mason
Paul SchroederChristian Mason
Jordan LohmanJoe Goodrich
Matt Schroeder
ALTAR CARENancy & Sarah Bernhardt
PRAYER PARTNERS2ndJosh HulsJeff Boulet
9thJordan LohmanArt Jones
16thAlan MayvilleJarrod Moore
23rdEric LindstromHenry Friday
30thLouie MayvilleJeff O'Connell
GREETERS2ndM/M Tim RossAngie Wigren
9thM/M Scott MillerRuth Ann Francis
16thLeah StevensM/M Chris Hasenbank
23rdM/M Paul SchroederJill & Sheryl Squire
30thM/M Eric VanderlaanM/M Lee Strahl
MULTI-MEDIA2ndApril LipkaJill Squire
9thJeri WondersLizbeth Bentz
16thAlicia KoskiValerie Vihtelic
23rdEric LindstromFriday Family
30thApril LipkaJill Squire
COFFEE HOUR2ndKelly Bantien & DeeDee Treptow
9thKim DuBois & Lauren Mills
16thFaith Mayville & Candy Stevens
23rdKim Wackernagel & Beth Meacham
30thEileen Schroeder & Dianne Gardner
NURSERY2ndTina Timmich
9thBentz Family
16thJulia Hasenbank
23rdKatie & Amanda Cooper
30thJustian Family
ALTAR FLOWERS2ndJim Neubauer
30thFriday Family


If you are unable to fulfill your assigned duty, please make arrangements with someone before or after you on the list. Thanks!

Funeral Families

If we have a funeral, Faith Mayville, our Luncheon Coordinator will contact you for help. Each funeral luncheon requires table/chair set up, food donations, food servers (kitchen staff), and table/chair take down. Faith will let you know what is needed.