People of God!

"Why do you look for the living among the dead?"

So said the angels to the frightened and bewildered women at Jesus' empty tomb on that first glorious Easter morning.

Easter! If there were no Easter, Jesus victoriously rising from the dead, our faith would be pointless -- we would be believing in some dead guy who said He was our Savior for forgiveness and heaven. If there were no Easter, our loved ones who died in the faith before us would be lost -- we would have no hope of a joyous and blessed reunion in heaven someday. If there were no Easter, then Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross would have been worthless -- we would all still be damned in our sins.

But we believe in a LIVING LORD JESUS CHRIST, who has defeated death and the grave and our enemy Satan for us! Who won forgiveness of all our sins for us on Calvary's Cross! Who is preparing a place for us in our heavenly home, paradise! And who has promised to be with us always, even to the point of death, when He will take us home!

I invite you to come celebrate EASTER and worship our risen and living Lord Jesus on Sunday, April 1st! Sunrise service is at 7 am. Enjoy our traditional youth sponsored breakfast in the fellowship hall after that. Our second service will be at 10 am. And if, for whatever reason, you have been gone from God's House of worship for a while, come back and celebrate Easter ... come back to be reminded of what our Christian faith is all about ... come back to be refreshed and renewed through our God's life-giving Word and His Sacrament! Come back and see Jesus! You would be welcome!

Eighth Grade Confirmation Class trip to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum!!! Because of generous donations to our Memorial accounts for our youth, from this year onward every Spring we will be taking our 8th graders to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in Kentucky, all expenses paid! This year's expedition will be over the weekend of April 27-28-29. This will be a phenomenal experience that will so strengthen them in their faith walk now and for the future. The beginning chapters of God's Word in Genesis -- the Creation of our universe, our world, all animal life, and Man in six literal days, the fall into sin, death, and corruption of our world, the promise of a Coming "seed of the woman" who would be our Savior, Noah, the Ark, the world wide flood that destroyed all man and animal life that were not safe and secure in the Ark -- all of this and more -- it's not just myths or fables or nice stories we teach our children and learn in Sunday School. This is historical fact. This is truth. This is knowledge to support our faith, give us hope, and help us combat the godless theory of evolution that brainwashes our children and youth in our schools. We've all been taught that in school growing up!

I have been to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum twice and I am passionate about passing this experience on to you, especially to our children and youth! We believe in historical fact, in truth, and there is evidence to support what we believe!

Because this is our first year offering this trip to our 8th Grade Confirmands, I have also decided to offer it to all our current High School Youth, again all costs covered. At the time of this writing how many of our High Schoolers are going and when we are going -- in May or June -- has yet to be determined. We have a meeting on Palm Sunday to plan and decide this, which, by the time you read this, will already be history! But I will publish the results in the Sunday bulletins and next months Newsletter.

New Ministry Staff Person for St. James! We are in the process of researching a new staff person to help support our youth, educational ministries, and families here at St. James. We received a list of 12 individuals -- men and women, some married, some single -- from our Michigan District Office. A joint group of people from our Board of Education and Board of Elders sifted through that list and narrowed it down to three possible candidates to further pursue. After Easter and Spring Break phone contacts and interviews will be made with each of these individuals. Lord willing, a candidate will be put forth at our May Voter's Meeting to extend a Call to and, Lord willing, we will have this new staff person on board and ready to go by September. I ask that you pray that God would guide the person He wants to us.

Our good and gracious God is doing great things among us and through us here at St. James Lutheran Church! We give Him thanks and praise! And may He empower us to be faithful and serve Him always!

God Bless You!

  ~ Pastor Brooks

Funerals1 Christopher VanBlargan (3/1/18)
Weddings1 Dustin & Kristy (Gifford) Walsworth (3/10/18)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we depart from Lent into the Easter season, I enjoy reflecting on this past year of serving here at St. James. I’ve had many various opportunities to learn by doing, with all age groups. As Summer begins, I’ll also have the opportunity to preach at some other local congregations. In addition to preaching at Faith for a Lenten service, May 20th I’ll be preaching at St. Steven’s, and June 17th I’ll be preaching at St. Matthews in Spring Lake.

Sunday School - Something that has really impressed me with this congregation is the volunteer force, especially noticeable in the elementary Sunday School. I’m thankful for the opportunity they’ve given me to step in and help teach Bible accounts to the children, something I haven’t had as much experience doing.

7th Grade Confirmation - I’ve really enjoyed my time with all the Jr. High students this year, but especially my 7th Grade Confirmation Class. It’s been an excellent opportunity to learn hands-on how to teach this type of class, and the kids have responded well with the various challenges I’ve given them.

Wednesday Night High School Youth - The high school youth are continuing learning the themes, structure, and literature of the Old Testament books. We have covered almost all of the history books (Genesis through Esther) and will soon begin the poetic and wisdom books (Job - Song of Songs). Our attendance was low throughout this year, but those that came learned a lot. This class will be wrapping up the same time as Midweek classes (April 25th).

Book Club - Our Monday book club will have its final meeting the Monday after Easter. This has been an excellent time for further education, and I want to thank everyone who has participated either in this club or the one last fall. I may look at having some other study group start up for May and June.

In Christ,
  Vicar Paul Gaschler

Good Shepherd Preschool

Fall 2018 Registration is OPEN

Jesus is the foundation for a lifetime of learning at Good Shepherd Preschool

Choosing a preschool . . . . A young child’s first school experience is a big step in their school career. We at Good Shepherd Preschool feel that school visits, referrals from family and friends, and school credentials should be reviewed before choosing a preschool for your child. We recommend and encourage that you visit our facility before making a preschool choice. While visiting, check not only what materials are available for your child, but also the general classroom environment. Is there interaction between the students and their teachers? Is the general atmosphere positive in nature? When listening, do you hear mostly laughter and voices of children? Are parents welcome at all times?

Stop by and visit us... you will be most welcome!

To Register: call Ellen Grimm at 744-3408

  Ellen Grimm

Sr. Youth News

Please join us Easter morning after the Sunrise service for the Annual Easter Breakfast! See you in the Fellowship Hall!
Bible Study on Sundays at 9:30 am

Jr. Youth News

Bible Study on Sundays at 9:30 am

Midweek News

Midweek reminders- there is no class on Wednesday, April 4th, because of spring break.
The children will be singing at White Lake Assisted Living on Wednesday, Arpil 11th, at 6:30-7:30 pm.
Please drop off/pick up your child there.
The last night of class will be on Wednesday, April 25th. We will have our reward party that night!

Coming to a church near you...

This summer Wednesday nights from 6:30-8:00 pm we will have a fun and games time for the Midweek age children!

Love Family

Love family donations are gift cards for some fun activities such as family video, NorthStar, Burger King, or bowling! Grocery and gas cards are also always welcome.

Pew Sisters Bible Study

The new Pew Sisters Bible study, Haggai/Zechariah/Malachi, begins Thursday, 4/19, at 3:30 pm Sign up on the bulletin board today!

St. James Facebook Announcements

If you would like an announcement to appear on the Facebook page, please send a direct message to the page! Announcements can be made for things such as church group events, Bible studies, new things within church, etc. If you have any questions you can send a message to the Facebook page or contact Kati at

His Arms/Kenya

As many of you know, my daughter Sarah (Justian) recently returned from a mission trip to Kenya with family and friends.

I wanted to personally thank all of you for your prayers and support. This trip is over but the needs are NOT. After viewing pictures and hearing stories of the children and families involved in the His Arms/Kenya Project – there is so much more to be done!!

That is why we are beginning a year round mission program for “His Arms”.

Each month, the His Arms display will feature the items to be collected that month. Please help fill the baskets with the items!

I have always known our St. James family to be very generous and supportive of those in need – I pray you continue to do so by helping these children.

Interested in sponsoring a child? Contact Nancy Rowe. Her email address is (For $25/month you can change a child’s life forever.)

  Kathi Strahl

His Arms Kenya Yard Sale!

It’s that time of year when the His Arms Kenya group has it’s yard sale at the youth house.

The dates are Friday, 4/13 and Saturday, 4/14.

St. James has always been so supportive of our projects, if you have any donations to give us, you can bring them to the youth house starting Monday, April 9th, after 9:00 am.

Any questions contact Diane Babcock at 894-4636.

Thank you and God Bless!

St. James Worship Services Now Online

If you're not able to attend a service, you can watch online at Search for St. James Lutheran Church Montague, then click on 'videos'. (Now this is not meant to be an option in lieu of coming to church if you're able.) We want to see you! "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." Hebrews 10:24-25).

Did you know that on March 14, our Lent Service had 299 viewers? This is a great outreach tool. Do you have an unchurched friend? Send them the Facebook link so they can hear the Word. It's live streamed at 8:15 am on Sunday or on video after the service.

For many years, we have been providing DVDs of the Sunday morning service to our shut ins. For the past several years the service has been recorded by my family members. We have now expanded our capabilities to include not only recording and producing DVD’s but also broadcasting the service to screens in both the lounge and nursery and live streaming the service online at But we need your help. If we are unable to attend Sunday morning, no broadcasting or recording of the service takes place. So, we are looking for a few volunteers to help with operating the cameras at both first and second services. No experience necessary, we will train. If you are interested and would like more information, please contact me, Keith Ramthun at 894-6044 or call the church office at 894-8471.

Introducing Servant Keeper

At the last voters meeting an expenditure was agreed to for a Church management computer program, Servant Keeper. Since the first of the year it has been used to record our membership and giving information electronically. This program replaces paper documents and ledgers, provides backup of the records and makes the work of getting your donation information to you much simpler and quicker. There are other features which will be implemented in the very near future and some are described below.

One feature is improved communication. Currently the church is only able to communicate to you on Sundays, by phone, by monthly newsletters or through US mail. In some cases that takes days, can take a lot of effort or be at a cost. Due to the limited communication methods we use today there are times our members receive late communications of an event that the congregation would like to know about immediately and not wait until Sunday.

Servant Keeper allows our church to catch up with the times and use emailing and texting technology for more efficient, quick, easy and timely communication. As a church we will be able to reduce mailing costs thru the use of emails and texts for those who desire that type of communication and also reach the larger community around us.

Other features will be implemented that allow you to interact with this program over your computer or smartphone.

As a member of the church you will be able to look up your fellow members in an Online Directory. You will be able to view your own Giving statements, with your own private password, online thru a secure web connection. You will be able to add yourself into the Church Groups such as Choir, Bible study or Youth groups and share your talents. You will then be getting information pertinent to those groups in church communications.

As a member you can select to receive the monthly newsletter and weekly bulletins electronically.

These things all start to happen when you complete a Profile in Servant Keeper.

In your Profile you will be able to see and update the Servant Keeper data used by the Church and make sure it is correct. You will be able to decide if you want to be a part of the Online Directory or not and what information others will be able to see from your Profile in the Directory. Personal assistance will be provided to those who do not have computers or smartphones.

To get access to your profile we need your cooperation!

We only need your email address and cell phone number.

Once we have that information we will be able to link you to your own Personal Profile in the system where you will be able to see and make updates, have access to the Directory and your Giving statements.

Starting soon we will be set up before and between services to help you get started by making sure we have your email and cell phone number and that they are correct.

Our goal is to bring us closer together as a congregation through more timely targeted communications. Servant Keeper will also allow us to increase our outreach and growth.

Thank you for your support.
  The Servant Keeper Admin Team

Coming in May... the annual Church Golf Outing

Get out your golf clubs because the annual church golf outing will be the 2nd Saturday in May, May 12th.
Watch for more information to follow in the bulletins & May newsletter!

Mark your calendars... Vacation Bible School

VBS will be Sunday, July 29th - Thursday, August 2nd, from, 6:00 - 8:30 pm.
Ages: preschool through 5th grade.
The theme is SonRock Kids Camp!
I will need TONS of helpers.
School age children in 7th & 8th grade and older are more then welcome to help as assistants!
If anyone has artificial trees/plants that VBS could have or borrow please let me know.
  Sarah Bernhardt

150th Anniversary St. James Lutheran ~ 2022

Preparations have already begun for this milestone! One activity that has started is the collection of all available confirmation groups pictures. We are looking for pictures prior to 1966, also for the years 1970, 1986, 1994, 2005, and 2012 to the present year. You may have to put your “thinking caps” on and check with the likes of grandparents, etc… If at all possible identify each row, we do have the names of each class. The pictures may be dropped off at the church office. The photos will be scanned and then returned back to you.

If you have any questions, please phone and leave a message with this number:
231-894-9459. The call will be returned!

Your Anniversary Committee
Judy Best and Marge Block

April Birthdays
4/01Jim TenBrink4/16Summer Turpin
4/01Pat Ehlke4/16Will Ramthun
4/03Alyssa Huizenga4/18Amanda Cooper
4/04Sue Carpenter4/18Pat Lohman
4/06Kyren Bluhm4/20Henry Cox
4/06turtlellen4/20Luke DeRose
4/07Betty Jones4/20Ray Grow
4/07Dillon Birkofer4/21Ashlyn Lohman
4/07Gloria Bernhardt4/21Chris Hasenbank
4/08Connie Kring4/21Susan VanBergen
4/08Nick Lipka4/23Alan Mayville
4/08Scott Miller4/23Dan Osborn
4/08Sue Van Frank4/23Merle Bernhardt, Sr.
4/10Sheryl Squire4/23Michelle Moschke
4/10Todd Rachow4/24Jean Tanner
4/11Andrew Zuniga4/24Stephanie Chamberlain
4/11Kathi Strahl4/25Caleb Rice
4/11Katie Rice4/25Lee Carpenter
4/12Emily Kroll4/25Lilly Rice
4/12Greg Neubauer4/26Allen Ramthun
4/12Madelyn Jandt4/27Carolyn Flagstead
4/13Avarie Bentz4/27Kim Wackernagel
4/14DeeDee Treptow4/27Nick DuBois
4/16Joel O'Connell4/28Chuck Flagstead
4/16Lucas Hanson4/29Ashlyn Civis

ELDERSGreg NeubauerJeff O'Connell
TRUSTEESRon BaileyJoe Goodrich
ACOLYTESKeira LindstromKyren Bluhm
USHERSTom BlinkGary Mason
Jake BlinkChristian Mason
Kevin BuchbergerJoe Goodrich
Claude BabcockEric Deremiah
ALTAR CAREDiane Babcock & Angie Wigren
PRAYER PARTNERS1stKeith RamthunArt Jones
8thLeif OquistNick DuBois
15thElijah TowneHenry Friday
22ndTodd RachowJarrod Moore
29thGreg NeubauerJeff O'Connell
GREETERS1stM/M K.RamthunM/M Brad VanBergen
8thJim TreptowCathy Hissong
15thM/M Roger SmithM/M Henry Friday
22ndM/M Bob StevensDiane Babcock
29thM/M Jim MorningstarJudy Best
MULTI-MEDIA1stEric LindstromFriday Family
8thJeri WondersEric Deremiah
15thZach BuchbergerJackson VanBergen
22ndAlicia KoskiMarek Bernhardt
29thApril LipkaFriday Family
COFFEE1stEaster Breakfast in Fellowship Hall
8thEllen Grimm & Terri Zeller
15thFrank & Sandi Morningstar
22ndMarilee & Ron Bailey
29thPat Ramthun & Jennifer Mulder
NURSERY1stJustian Family
8thMeacham Family
15thBentz Family
22ndno one scheduled
29thno one scheduled
8thCampbells ~ 50 years!
22ndGloria Alvarez
29thCarol Hanson

Funeral Families
If we have a funeral, Eileen Schroeder, 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. Eileen will let you know what is needed.

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