December Events...

Special services and events for the month
of December are as follows:

Church Decorating Saturday

12/1, at 9:00 am

Christmas Parade

Saturday, 12/1, 2:00 pm!
Come see our Sunday School kids and our Choir!

Advent Soup Suppers

At 6:00 pm on 12/5, 12/12/ & 12/19
In the Youth House!

Wednesday Night Advent Services

All services begin at 7:30 pm

“What Child is This?”
12/05 ~ "The Child Who Is Zechariah's Hope"
12/12 ~ "The Child Who Is a Virgin's Great Son"
12/19 ~ "The Child Who is John's Joy"

Just a reminder...
During the Advent season, Confirmation & Midweek Classes are excused at 7:15 pm.

Christmas Eve Services

Monday, 12/24, at 7:00 pm & 10:00 pm

New Year’s Eve Service

Monday, 12/31, at 5:30 pm

People of God!

Although I always lament the "Cave Days" as I call them with it getting dark SO VERY EARLY, I still love December with Advent and Christmas! And we have some great things happening!

But first, our new Family Life Director, Russell Baumann, and his wife, Emilie, will be bringing their belongings in a U-Haul this month on Monday, 12/17, around 5:00 pm. Our Board of Elders will be recruiting a crew to help them unload. We will also be looking for some folks to prepare a dinner than can be delivered to them as well. As part of their welcome, we will be having a "Pantry Shower" which can include food items -- frozen or non-perishable, as well as gift cards to area grocery stores and even for gas stations. Items should be donated by Friday, 12/14. Please bring them to the church and place them on the table across from the Library.

After Russell and Emilie settle in a few days and getting his office set up, they will be traveling to Fort Wayne to enjoy Christmas with Emilie's parents. He will be in office on January 2, 2019!

Looking ahead, we will be installing Russell the first Sunday in January -- the 6th. We will celebrate that event with a dinner after church. More information will be coming about this in the future.

Our Sunday School will once again be having a float in our White Lake Christmas Parade on Saturday, 12/1, at 2:00 pm. Please bring in bags of candy they can hand out along the parade route. WE NEED LOTS!!!

Our traditional mid-week Advent worship beginning on Wednesday, 12/5, at 7:30 pm. Our Advent Series this year is "What Child Is This?" The birth of a certain Child two thousand years ago in Bethlehem prompted a poet in the nineteenth century to ask a very uncommon question in a hymn: "What Child Is This?" It was an uncommon question because it asked about the birth of a very uncommon Child.

"What Child Is This?" The angels who announced this Child's birth on Christmas Eve answered the question like this: "a Savior who is Christ the Lord." The hymnwriter answered it this way: "This, this is Christ the King." They both want to make known the identity of this Child.

The goal of this series is to set before us the unmatched blessing of our Lord's Incarnation -- God becoming man in Jesus Christ! I invite you to join us for worship as we journey through Advent together. And then enjoy some fellowship and refreshments in our Narthex after each service.

Our annual Christmas Cantata will be Sunday, 12/9, at both services in the morning and one evening performance at 7:00 pm! This is always an outstanding choral presentation of the Christmas Message! Make sure you experience it and invite a friend to come with you!

The St. James Sunday School Christmas presentation will be on Saturday, 12/15, 6:30 pm. Come and see our youngest ones share the wondrous Christmas story!

Christmas Eve worship falls on a Monday this year with our two candlelight services at 7:00 pm & 10:00 pm. This is always such a beautiful service and I look forward to celebrating our Savior's birth with you, our church family!

And don't forget to end out the year with our New Year's Eve Worship at 5:30 pm on 12/31 with communion!

Speaking of family... our family is going to be growing again. Our son Micah and his wife Audrey will be adopting a newborn baby girl in February. The whole Clan rejoices with them and we celebrate this new addition to the family! She will be much loved by all of us! We are also looking very forward to the Clan Christmas gathering at our house over the weekend of December 7-9-10! It will definitely be a wee bit crowded, but it will be great to all be together. It is always especially a delight to see our herd of grandkids all together!

I look forward to making this journey through Advent with you, celebrating our Savior's birth, and looking forward to our New Year together!

  ~ Pastor Brooks

Baptisms1 Elliot James Bantien (10/28/18)
Funerals4 Benjamin Liesberg (11/3/18)
Marilyn Dorer (11/7/18)
Jim Kienke (11/12/18)
Timothy Shields (11/19/18)

Good Shepherd Preschool

Family Night was a success! Both preschool classes gathered to craft Christmas ornaments. Always good to have fun as a preschool family.

Coming in December...

Preschool Christmas Program ~ Tuesday, 12/18, at 7:00 pm! Both classes join together in song to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Step back from the “busy” of Christmas and reflect in the true joy of Jesus’ birth.

Classroom Christmas parties with gift exchange! ~ Wednesday, 12/19 & Thursday, 12/20

Blessings to all for a Christmas filled with Christ!

Sunday School

We are still collecting candy for the White Lake Christmas Parade on 12/1, at 2:00 pm.

We will meet at the church Saturday, 12/1, at noon to prep the float. We need to line up over in Whitehall by 1:00 pm. We will be teaming up with the Choir! Come out and see us as we represent St. James Lutheran!

Saturday, 12/01 ~ Christmas Parade!
Sunday, 12/02 ~ Lesson/Christmas Program Practice
Sunday, 12/09 ~ Lesson/Christmas Program Practice
Saturday, 12/15 ~ Christmas Program Practice @ 11:00 am
Saturday, 12/15 ~ Christmas Program – parents please have your children here by 6:10 pm

Please join us for our the 2018 Children’s Christmas Program on Saturday, 12/15, at 6:30 pm, down in the Fellowship Hall.

Sunday school will have our Christmas Party on Sunday, 12/16.

Sunday School will resume on Sunday, 1/13/19, at 9:30 am!

Merry Christmas!

MIDWEEK Calendar 2018 - 2019
Family Dinners are provided free at the Youth House at 5:30 pm each week *Advent and Lent weeks are shortened to 6:30-7:15 for 7:30 Service.

Nov.28 Armor of GOD Lesson 4
*Dec. 05 Singing at SKLD(previously Heartland Healthcare)
*Dec.12 Christmas Lesson, Shut- In cards
Jan. 09 Armor of GOD Lesson 5
Jan. 16 Armor of GOD Lesson 6
Jan. 23 Armor of GOD Lesson 7
Feb.06 Armor of GOD Lesson 8
Feb.13 Armor of GOD Lesson 9
Feb.20 Singing @White Lake Assisted Living
*Mar.06 Armor of GOD Lesson 10
*Mar.13 Armor of GOD Lesson 11
*Mar.20 Armor of GOD Lesson 12
*Mar.27 Easter lesson Service project-Easter baskets & Shut-In cards
*Apr.10 Armor of GOD Lesson review
Apr.24 End of year REWARD PARTY!

Jr. Youth

Every Sunday at 9:30 am, in the Blue Room!

Sr. Youth News

Advent Soup Suppers!

Come over to the Youth House for supper before our Advent Services:
Wednesday, 12/05, at 6:00 pm
Wednesday, 12/12, at 6:00 pm
Wednesday, 12/19, at 6:00 pm

The Senior Youth will be hosting Free Babysitting on Saturday, December 8th!

You can drop your kids off from 9:00 am–2:00 pm (the calendar says 1:00 but it goes until 2:00 pm!!) Go take care of Christmas shopping or just go have a long cup of coffee! If you would like to include your kids, please sign them up on the Youth board! We need to know how many kids to plan for! Lunch will be provided.
Looking Ahead...
We have a Sr. Youth lock-in scheduled during Christmas break on Thursday, 1/3, at 6:00 pm!

Nation Youth Gathering 2019
LCMS 2019 Youth Gathering
Minneapolis – July 11-15, 2019
The Age to participate: Entering into 9th grade summer 2019 through 12th grade.

Love Family

Thank you for the wonderful free will offering and Thrivent Financial for funds to purchase bedding for the Love Family. All three boys are now with grandma and have beds, pillows, blankets, and sheets.

They were very thankful for all of that!

Love family Christmas tags will be posted on the sign-up board. Our new family are grandparents that just received custody of the teen age grandsons! Can you imagine? Thanks for the money donated to get them mattresses and bedding! Starting "over" is difficult, again, thank you for helping!

Scrip News

2018 is wrapping up and we are gearing up for Christmas already! Scrip is a great way to do both holiday shopping and everyday shopping like gas and groceries. Buying gift cards through the Scrip program is easy and practical. Just buy and spend gift cards at face value, and a percentage of each purchase is donated to the church. Using Scrip means earning money shopping where you normally shop- at places like Wesco, Walmart, Montague Foods and Meijer. Over a hundred stores donate a percentage every time you purchase gift cards through the Scrip program.

If gift-giving is part of your Christmas tradition, consider buying gift cards through the Scrip program, either to shop with or to give as gifts. We keep a large inventory of gift cards on hand in during Advent so our most popular items are cash and carry. We cannot stock everything that is available, but we take orders to have available the next Sunday.

We have expanded to include online ordering from your computer or smart phone and electronic debiting from your checking account. Many stores and restaurants offer card reloads and electronic scrip while donating the same percentage to the church. More opportunities to earn money while you shop!

The first step is to set up your online account at using the code for our church: F33BE4F34514. Details about online ordering and electronic payment are available at the scrip table. Stop by and ask for a packet!

What’s new:
In Christ’s Service,
  The Scrip Committee

Monday Morning Men’s Bible Study

The Men’s Bible Study will start a study of Galations ~ “The Wonderous Grace of God”, on January 7, 2019, at 8:30 am. If you are interested, please sign up on the bulletin board. We will need to order a book for you. Hope to see you there!

“The Sounds of Christmas” ~ A Musical Celebration of the Christmas Story

Performed by the St. James Lutheran Choir
Please join us on Sunday, December 9, 2018 at ~ 8:15 am, 10:45 am and 7:00 pm

“Be still, and know that I am God...
“Be still” and reflect on the simple reason for the season...
Jesus, a beautiful baby born in a manger... the Savior for all.

His Arms Kenya

The Second Annual “His Arms” Bake Sale is coming Sunday, 12/9. Be sure to pick up your Christmas goodies and help this life-changing mission, too! God bless and have a very Merry Christmas!   Kathi Strahl

The 2019 Offering Envelopes

are available in the narthex. If you can’t find yours, please talk to Tom Mott (Finance Committee). PLEASE DON’T USE THEM UNTIL JANUARY 2019!!

Used Eye Glasses

In just about any dresser drawer, one can find a pair of eyeglasses that are no longer being used. That pair of eyeglasses can change another person's life. Throughout the year, volunteers collect used eyeglasses and deliver them to the Michigan College of Optometry in Big Rapids where student volunteers sort the glasses by prescription strength and package the glasses. MCO is one of only 22 colleges of optometry in the United States and its students are involved in multiple mission trips each year. Most of the recycled glasses are distributed to people in need in developing countries where they will have the most impact. If you have used eyeglasses you no longer need, you can donate them at any time. Our church accepts prescription and reading glasses and plastic and metal frames. Children’s glasses are especially needed Heartfelt THANKS to all who have donated to this mission and for sharing the gift of sight.

Getting Ready for Russell & Emilie!

Russell and Emilie will be arriving here on Monday, 12/17. We need to organize two small crews…one to spiffy over at the parsonage (date to be determined) and the other to help them unload the U-Haul when they get here. There are sign-up sheets on the bulletin board.

Please sign up TODAY where you can help.

Parsonage Pantry Shower

We are requesting items for a pantry shower to help stock the parsonage…items such as: canned goods, boxed foods, gift cards to the local grocery stores, (note: no broccoli or fish products please). Other helpful items would be ziplocs, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, garbage bags, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, ETC… Items can be put on the table across from the Library/Conference room. Please have all donations here by Friday, 12/14! Thanks so much for your help!

Lutheran Witness

Subscription Renewal
Cost: $11.60
Deadline: Sunday, 12/9!

It’s that time again! The Lutheran Witness is available for a limited time at a discounted price.

There are (2) sign-up sheets on the bulletin board, one for “New Subscribers” and one for “Current Subscribers”.

“New Subscribers” ~ fill in your name and complete address, then put your payment in the envelope provided.

“Current Subscribers” ~ Mark a “yes” by your name if you would like your subscription to continue, then put your payment in the envelope provided. If you do NOT want to continue your subscription, please cross off your name.

All payments are due when you sign up!

Order Your Poinsettia Today!

If you would like to purchase a poinsettia for the altar area, Sign up on the bulletin board today!

The cost is $9.00/ea. They can be taken home after the 10:00 pm Christmas Eve Service.

Please make your payment when signing up and put it in the envelope provided!

Deadline is Sunday, 12/16!

Christ the Rock News

THANK YOU for all your donations and for allowing Christ the Rock Food Pantry to place a barrel in the lower entrance of your church. As of December 31, 2018, the barrel will no longer be available. Donations can be taken to Christ the Rock Church at 6985 Indian Bay Road, Montague, Monday through Friday. The office telephone number is 893-8900. For large donations that need to be picked up call Mike at 638-9551. God bless you as you continue to bless others!   ~ Christ the Rock Food Pantry

St. James 150th Anniversary

St. James Lutheran's 150th Anniversary Celebration is in 2022! Before we know it, this event will be here. We are still looking for names of church members, past and present, that served in the military. Check the poster in the narthex and add anyone we have missed. Thank You!
  Marge Block & Judy Best

December Birthdays
12/01Liam Ramthun12/16Peggy Rabe
12/04David Ramthun12/18Bill Treptow
12/04Jake Wackernagel12/18Chris Rogers
12/05Brent Ramthun12/20Al Fremer
12/05Matt Schultz12/21Dianne Gardner
12/07Karen Chamberlain12/22Gabbryella Smith
12/09Don Schumm12/24Kellie Rachow
12/10Carol Kolbe12/24Merle Bernhardt Jr.
12/10Connor Miller12/25Amy Jandt
12/10Deb Morningstar12/26Jennifer Moore
12/10Marilyn Fisk12/26Scott Lipka
12/11Loren Kroll12/27Amy Schumm
12/11Lyndee Stout12/27Hayley Smith
12/11Pam Sikkenga12/28Emily Hedges
12/12Chris Buchberger12/28Jim Treptow
12/12Sam Wackernagel12/28Liam Lindstrom
12/12Susan Kroll12/28Marek Bernhardt
12/12Valerie Muyskens12/28Megan Rachow
12/14Hailey Sommerfield12/29Laura Connell
12/14Ken Dahl12/29Olivia Stout
12/14Tom Blink12/29Sue Sikkenga
12/16Benjamin Hayes12/30Jerry Gardner
12/16Chloe Stout12/30June Russell
12/16Eric Lindstrom12/30Marty Tyler
12/16Evelyn Hulka12/31Amy Goodrich

ELDERSGreg NeubauerJeff O'Connell
TRUSTEESRon BaileyJoe Goodrich
ACOLYTESAidan BuchbergerMaddie Meacham
USHERSRay GrowBrad VanBergen
Bob WackernagelKen VanBergen
Jake WackernagelJeff Stevens
Sam WackernagelBruce Baxter
PRAYER PARTNERS2ndBob StevensBrad Nordlund
16thBob WackernagelRusty Streblow
23rdJake WackernagelBill Van Frank
30thSam WackernagelTodd Tryska
GREETERS2ndM/M Rich Kessler Jr.M/M Tom Kring
9thMarge BlockM/M Ken VanBergen
16thJim NeubauerM/M Bruce Baxter
23rdM/M Frank MorningstarM/M Jeff O'Connell
30thPat EhlkeM/M Todd Tryska
MULTI-MEDIA2ndApril LipkaMarek Bernhardt
5thEric Lindstrom (Advent ~ 7:30pm)
9thEric LindstromEric Lindstrom
12thAlicia Koski (Advent ~ 7:30pm)
16thAlicia KoskiEric Deremiah
19thJeri Wonders (Advent ~ 7:30pm)
23rdJeri WondersJackson VanBergen
24thEric Lindstrom (Christmas Eve ~ 7:00pm)
Friday Family (Christmas Eve ~ 10:00pm)
30thApril LipkaMarek Bernhardt
31stEric Lindstrom (New Year's Eve ~ 5:30pm)
COFFEE2ndMary & Phil Albrecht
9thDiane Babcock & Erika VanBergen
16thConnie Kring
23rdDorianne Family
30thSandy Veltman & Tara Sikkenga
NURSERY2ndLauren Mills
9thno one scheduled
16thJill Squire
23rdno one scheduled
30thno one scheduled
ALTAR FLOWERS2ndConnie & Tom Kring ~ 45 years
9thMarge Block
16thTom & Tracy Sheesley
23rdGloria Alvarez

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!

Just a reminder... Special Service Coverage

1st Service people are on for Wednesday, 12/05 @ 7:30 pm, Wednesday, 12/19 @ 7:30 pm, & Monday, 12/31 @ 5:30 pm

2nd Service people are on for Wednesday, 12/12 @ 7:30 pm, & Monday, 12/24 @ 7:00 pm.

The Sr. Youth cover the 10:00 pm Christmas Eve Service.