People of God!

It's FEBRUARY!!! Summer is coming!!! Ha! It's a ways away yet but I rejoice the days, by the minute, are getting longer and the weeks until Spring are ticking by!

A sure sign Spring is coming is the beginning of our Lenten Season, WHICH IS EARLY this year, with Wednesday on February 17th! We will have communion and the imposition of Ashes during that service which will begin at 7:30 p.m.

We have an EXCELLENT Lenten Series this year titled, "Places of the Passion." We will follow Jesus' footsteps, contemplating what happened at each place our Savior stood along the path of His passion for you and me. We will begin in The City of Jerusalem, then travel with Jesus to Bethany, the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Courtyard, and Pilate's Judgment Hall. I invite you to come and join me in making this journey together.

Our Family Life Director, Russell, with Terri's help, is hosting a free Lasagna Dinner before service and Midweek in the Youth House. We ask that you sign up on the Bulletin Board in the Narthex so they can plan for this meal. More information about this is in this Newsletter.

CALLING ALL PARENTS of our 8th Grade Confirmands!!! You have received a letter from me which, among other things, invites you to a Parent Meeting in the Sanctuary after Confirmation Class on Wednesday, February 3rd, 7:30 p.m. The PURPOSE of this meeting is to discuss and determine WHEN I will be taking the 8th Graders on our Annual Trip to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in Kentucky. This trip is generously paid for by the Carl and Burt Greinke Memorial Account. We leave Church on a Friday afternoon and return on Sunday afternoon. We stay in a very nice hotel in Florence, Kentucky, that provides easy access for dining and travel to the Ark Encounter and Museum. I need a MOM to come along, all expenses paid, to help chaperone. If you are interested, please let me know. First come first serve. This has been an INCREDIBLE educational and faith building experience and I am so very thankful we have this opportunity to make this fantastic trip every year!

And don't forget to let those people in your heart and life know how much you love them on VALENTINE'S DAY!

  ~ Pastor Brooks

Grace, mercy, and peace friends,

I pray that your New Year has started off strong! 2020 is behind us and we have new opportunities with this new year!

Lent (starting February 17th) is often a time where we decide to fast from something to gain clarity and give honor to God. Most people give up chocolates, soft drinks, or electronics. This year, I want to encourage you to instead develop a healthy habit. Perhaps do one pushup a day increasing each day to 40 or pray every day at a certain time. Lent is a time to reflect on what Jesus has done for us, to rejoice in the hope we have, and to praise Him in the storms.

Emilie and I are going strong. This past month we traveled to Ohio because we were asked to be godparents of Jay and Lynae Brunstetter's daughter, Lily Brunstetter. We made the trip to Muskegon to enjoy on opening weekend the new Chick-Fil-A in Muskegon. Totally worth the 50 minute wait. We learned quite a few new games and have been listening to lots of Relient K and Rend Collective. (two Christian bands that are worth checking out).

I am so excited for Sunday Morning Bible Study with our Junior and Senior High Youth. I want to give a shout out to Alicia Koski for all the great work she has been doing on Sundays. Another shout out to Marci Bentz for all the work and time she has been giving with Midweek.

I'm excited for February and what’s happening. Check out these upcoming events!

In Christ,
  Russell Baumann

Baptisms 0
Confirmations 0
Weddings 0
Funerals 2 Jim Campbell (1/16/21)
George Fulljames (1/22/21)

Registration for Fall 2021 is now Open!

M-W-F Program9:00-11:30am4-5 yr olds$140/month
T-Th Program9:00-11:00am3-4 yr olds$105/month

You are welcome to visit our classroom. Please call to arrange a time. Pop in visits are not available at this time due to COVID. For additional information please contact me at 231-730-1726.

  Blessings ~ Ellen Grimm

Retirement News

Kathi Strahl has decided to retire her teaching position here at Good Shepherd Preschool at the conclusion of this school year. Kathi has been an integral part of Good Shepherd for over 30 years. Her friendship, support, love of children and work in our classroom has been a blessing not only to me, but to hundreds of families. I will always remember the love and laughter that we have shared. Kathi's love for Jesus shines in all that she has touched in her years here at St. James. Growing up in our congregation, she has continued to volunteer and serve her Lord in many ways. Sunday School Superintendent, Lutherans for Life Liaison, Children's Choir~Praises Director, and of course Good Shepherd Preschool Teacher. While we are grateful for the continued service through the years, we are excited for Kathi and the decision that she has made. We look forward to seeing you in church. God's richest blessings to you Kathi!

Preschool Teacher Opening

Now accepting applications for:
Preschool Teacher Assistant ~ Good Shepherd Preschool
St James Lutheran Church ~ 8495 Stebbins Street
Good Shepherd is a Christian preschool providing half day programs Monday-Friday. Operating for over 35 years in a Christian setting affiliated with St James Lutheran Church, we are licensed by the State of Michigan.

To apply, please send resume and letter of interest to:
Alan Mayville ~ Chair, Board of Education
Deadline to apply: February 28, 2021

Youth Events

February Youth Nights: Sunday, February 7th and February 21st, at 6:00 pm in the Youth House!

Youth Valentine Dinner: Sunday, February 14th, at noon. We will have a special Valentine dinner for youth ages 6th - 12th grade.

Youth Tubing: Saturday, February 27th, at 5:00 pm. Meet in the Youth house for Pizza and then we will all leave together for Double JJ's. Cost is $10/person. 6th - 12th grade.

Volunteer Needs

Midweek Helpers ~ We need (3) adults each week to help assist with crafts on Wednesday Nights from 6:30-7:30 pm. Please sign up on the Midweek bulletin board!

Board of Education Openings ~ The Board of Education is looking to fill two vacancies for 2021-2022 positions. The Board of Education's primary role is to support our educational programs including; Good Shepherd Preschool, Sunday School, Midweek, Confirmation, Bible Studies, and Youth Ministry. If you are interested in joining this Board, please contact the church office to submit your name.

Junior/Senior High Bible Study ~ We will meet in the Youth House at 9:30 am for breakfast and a study. We need congregation members to help be small group leaders. If you are interested in helping with breakfast, being a part of faith building conversations, or just want to play games, contact Russell.

VBS Planning Committee ~ Looking for volunteers to begin planning for VBS 2021. Please contact the church office if you would like to be a part of this amazing ministry! We need 4 - 5 people to help create the vision of VBS and then will need 15 - 20 volunteers to help make this happen.

Council Meeting

There is a Council Meeting on Monday, February 1st, at 6:30 pm. We will be reviewing the Covid guidelines currently in place.

Elders Meeting

The Elders Meeting has been moved to Wednesday, February 3rd, at 7:30 pm, because of the Congregational meeting being held on February 10th. Please plan on attending

Voters Meeting

The Congregational Voters Meeting Wednesday, February 10th, at 7:30 pm, in the Sanctuary.

Lasagna Dinner

We will be hosting a Lasagna Dinner before the Ash Wednesday Service on February 17th, at 5:00 pm in the Youth house. There is no cost to you! Sign up on the board so we know how many to plan for.

Places of Passion

Experience the season of Lent
In this worship series for Lent, we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, contemplating what happened at each place our Savior stood along the path of His Passion for our sake. Each service explores the meaning, history, and spiritual inspiration associated with the location highlighted. Parishioners will learn things they may not have known before as they grow to understand the hard road our Lord took to open heaven to us.

ASH WEDNESDAY ~ February 17th, 7:30 pm

The City of Jerusalem

Jerusalem is the place of the Passover,
where Jesus gathers with the crowds.
Matthew 26:1-5

WEEK 1 ~ February 24th, 7:30 PM


Jesus is anointed for burial by His friend Mary,
at her home in this small town.

Matthew 26:6-13

WEEK 2 ~ March 3rd, 7:30 PM

The Mount of Olives

The disciples sing a hymn with Jesus before
they head out to this place of prayer.

Matthew 26:30-35

WEEK 3 ~ March 10th, 7:30 PM

The Garden of Gethsemane

Jesus is betrayed and arrested in this garden

under cover of darkness.
Matthew 26:47-56

WEEK 4 ~ March 17th, 7:30 PM

The High Priest's Courtyard

While Jesus is put on trial before the high priest,
Peter denies Jesus in this place.

Matthew 26:57-69

WEEK 5 ~ March 24th, 7:30 PM

Pilate's Judgment Hall

Pilate is positioned here to set Jesus free, but
Turns Him over to be crucified instead.

Matthew 27:11-23

Love Family

This month we will continue to deliver a meal from local restaurants to our shut-ins. If you would like to donate, you can add the amount to your offering and designate it "Love family account". Thank you!

First Aid Opportunity

DATE: Monday, February 22nd
TIME: 6:00-9:00 pm
COST: $50 (15 or more people sign up and Russell will cater Chick-Fil-A!)

Tubing at Double JJ!!

Saturday, February 27th, from 5-9 pm
6th - 12th Graders
Please sign up on the Youth Board if you plan on going.
We will need drivers for this event. If you can help please contact Russell. Thanks!

2022 Anniversary Committee

While our committee has been on hold, the calendar keeps moving forward. We are worshiping together again and slowly programs are resuming. I would like you to mark March 8th on your calendars as a date to meet as a group and move forward with the plans for our celebration in 2022. Things to think about include starting to firm up the calendar of events. I hope to have responses to our invitations for guest pastors. We will be looking for a committee chairman to lead our German Fest festival tentatively planned for the fall of 2022. We are still looking for a volunteer to help with promotion of the celebration. And as always, we are looking for any interested volunteers to join our committee to help make our celebration a success.

Scrip News

Happy New Year to all! The money earned through the Scrip program from June 1st - December 31st of 2020 has been calculated and paid to the ministry groups. Each family that purchases Scrip is able to designate a ministry to support with their earnings. If your family took advantage of the Scrip program during the period of June through December, a statement of your earnings is available at the Scrip table. You supported the youth group with $39.71; the Love families with $97.03; the men's ministry with $3.30; the quilters with $7.09; and family accounts with $1299.91. Please make sure you have an updated enrollment form on file to be sure that your Scrip earnings are supporting your designated ministry group.

Buying gift cards through the Scrip program is easy and practical. You buy gift cards and certificates at face value, and a percentage of each purchase is donated to the church. If you are still unsure how Scrip works or how it earns money, please ask- it's really simple!

Online ordering is available from your computer or smart phone and electronic debiting from your checking account is only 15 cents per order. Many stores and restaurants offer card reloads and electronic scrip while donating the same percentage to the church. The first step is to set up your online account at using the code for our church: F33BE4F34514. Then you can link to your checking account to pay online and on the go. We have ordered electronic scrip (ScripNow) on our phone while in line at the store and used it at the register. It's quick and easy. Online ordering has recently added options to ship to home or pay with credit card.

What's new:

Biggby: Now offering $25 gift cards and Scrip Now, 7% rebate
Apple: Replacing the iTunes cards, 5% rebate, $15 or $25 cards
Burlington Coat Factory: Now open in Muskegon, $25 gift cards available, 8% rebate, also available as ScripNow
Five Below: Now offering $25 gift cards, 2.5% rebate Available in $25 or $100 gift cards or as ScripNow, 2.25% rebate- can be combined with the Amazon Smile program which donates 0.5% to a non-profit of your choice
Family Video: No longer available

If you order online, you can now pay with a credit card for a 2.6% fee

   In Christ's Service ~ The Scrip Committee

Thrivent Members ~ Don't forget to direct Choice Dollars by March 2021

It's that time of year again! Eligible Thrivent Financial members who have 2020 Choice Dollars have until the end of March 2021 to direct them. Grant funding from Thrivent Financial through its Thrivent Choice program can help support your church. Don't let your 2020 Choice Dollars expire! You can direct them by going online to and click on Direct Choice Dollars OR by calling the Thrivent home office at 800-847-4836 and say "Thrivent Choice" after the prompt. Press 1 and a representative will work with you. Your local Whitehall Thrivent Professionals, Marci Bentz and Tony DeNicolo, can be reached at 231-894-8886 to assist with questions.

Online Service Directions!

How to watch our services online step by step: on Facebook Live on Sundays at 8:15 am (and 6:30pm on Wednesdays during Advent)
  1. In the top search bar... Go to
    (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. 😊

How to watch our services online step by step: on St. James Montague Website
  1. In the top search bar... Go to
  2. The first window will show our updated status for Covid-19 and our daily updated videos from St. James Facebook page.
  3. Scroll down to see our latest service from Sunday.
  4. Explore the rest of the page to see any newsletter information, calendar information, or fun extras. 😊
  5. To view previous services, follow this link

Happy Valentines Day!

Love is                     patient and
kind; love does           not envy or boast;
it  is not  arrogant      or  rude. It  does  not
insist  on  its  own  way;  it  is not irritable or
resentful;  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing,
but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all
things,  believes  all  things,  hopes  all
things  endures  all  things.   Love
never  ends.  So  now  faith,
hope, and love abide, these
three;  but the greatest
of these is

February Birthdays
02/01Bob Meacham02/20Elijah Buchberger
02/01Jackson VanBergen02/21Jillian Sommerfield
02/07Claude Babcock02/21Reagan O'Connell
02/07Madeline Turpin02/22Christian Lipka
02/07Pastor Brooks02/22Daniel Lipka
02/09Susan Gittins02/22George Lohman
02/10Janet Kittridge02/22Matthew Lipka
02/13Russell Baumann02/23Dan Wackernagel
02/14Grace Stout-Kring02/23Louisa Nichols
02/14Jim Silvis02/24Aspen Chamberlain
02/15Bill Van Frank02/25Wyatt Davis
02/15Ron Cober02/26Ethan Koski
02/16Loraine Wilkinson02/26Jen Huizenga
02/17Fay Townsend02/26Rick Gifford
02/17Kim DuBois02/27Jason Moore
02/18Jim Sweeney02/29Carol Hanson

ELDERSKeith RamthunJeff Boulet
TRUSTEESAllen RamthunBecky Winters
ACOLYTESPaige Ramthun
USHERSRon BaileyJason Rice
Henry BaileyCaleb Rice
ALTAR CAREBecky Winters & Betty Ross
PRAYER PARTNERS7thRon BaileyArt Jones
14thRon BarrsJarrod Moore
21stJason CooperGreg Neubauer
28thRick GiffordJeff O'Connell
GREETERS7th We are asking for Greerer volunteers
for each service, to stand behind the
bulletin table and greet people as they come in.
Sign up on the Bulletin Board!
MULTI-MEDIA7thJeri WondersEric Deremiah
14thAlicia KoskiLizbeth Bentz
17thEric Lindstrom (Ash Wednesday)
21stEric LindstromFriday Family
24thApril Lipka (Lenten Service)
28thApril LipkaMarek Bernhardt
COFFEE7th We are asking for volunteers for weekly coffee hour
to make coffee and bring in store bought treats.
Please sign up on the Bulletin Board if
you are interested!
NURSERYThe nursery is available but not staffed.
14thCharles Vanderlaan


Just a reminder to Elders, Trustees, Acolytes, and Ushers... 1st service group is also responsible for the odd dated Lenten services. 2nd service group is responsible for the even dated Lenten services.
Thank you for serving!!

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!