Last Regular Lenten Service

4/1/20, at 7:30 pm - On-Line Service

Maundy Thursday Service

4/9/20, at 7:30 pm - On-Line Service

Good Friday Service

4/10/20, at 1:00 pm - On-Line Service

Easter Sunday

April 12, 2020
7:00 am - Sunrise Service
On-Line Service

People of God!

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1)

And thank the Lord for that! We are living in an unprecedented time for the vast majority of people. We are bombarded daily with rounds of news that causes fear and even despair. We watch the infection stats climb and we see the positive tests of those with the coronavirus creeping its way into our wonderful West Michigan. Our congregational members, as well as our family members, are beginning to grapple with the financial impact of this pandemic with lay-offs and lack of income coming in. People are afraid to go out, even to the stores for groceries and supplies, and so often once there, shelves are empty and there is rationing going on.

But through it all, through it all, let's remember Who we belong to and Who is always with you and me -- our Risen and Living Lord, Jesus Christ -- our God who is our REFUGE and STRENGTH, our EVER-PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE.

This, too, shall pass.

In the meantime, we your church staff WHO LOVES YOU are staying on duty as best we can and are trying to stay in contact with you through calls, texts, and also through our Facebook page and Church website. Thank you Eric Lindstrom and Russell for keeping that updated! And thank you to our rotating media people who get the sermon slides up and JAMES RAMTHUN who always mans our camera to record the services for you! Russell and Terri and I are in daily discussions about status and planning. I talk frequently with our Congregational Chairman, Brad VanBergen, and our Board of Elder's Chairman, Keith Ramthun.

Here is our battle plan thus far, which will be updated and evolve when needed.

1. Russell, Terri, and I are still available and in office. If not in office, you can reach Russel and I on our cell phones:
Russell 1-920-889-7395
Pastor 1-231-578-7024

2. We will continue to post our mid-week Lenten sermons and Sunday sermons online with our Facebook page or will mail out on DVD to those who request it.

3. With the now "Stay at home" mandate from our Governor I have suspended our Wednesday night 8th Grade Confirmation which I had hoped to stay on schedule with for Confirmation Sunday, May 3rd. We will figure that out.

4. Holy Week Service -- Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Morning -- will unfortunately be under the "Stay at home" mandate. HOWEVER, I will still have sermons for those services they will be posted online or on DVD.

ALSO, and I thank Keith Ramthun for this idea -- when all the restrictions are lifted we will come together as God's people in worship on a Sunday for a Celebration Easter Service! And what a celebration of thanks and praise and singing and incredible music that will be! So look forward to this!

And remember...
This, too, shall pass.

Also, we now have the new Portals of Prayer devotional available for pick up at church. We have placed on a table near the entrance by the offices for you. You can just slip in, pick one up, and slip out again. It's important for us to draw strength and hope from our all-powerful God during these difficult and challenging times by keeping up with your daily devotions.
I continue to call on you and encourage you to live out your love and devotion to Christ now more than ever to the world around us. Take care of your family and your extended family and especially the patriarchs and matriarchs who are most vulnerable in your family circle. Do you have neighbors you can check in on and help if needed? Be polite and encouraging to the clerks at grocery stores and gas stations who are manning their stations of business and doing the best they can. Love and support one another any way you can.

And pray...

* Pray for strength, courage and a positive attitude to face this challenge before us.

* Thank the Lord that we are blessed with grocery stores and energy supplies and the truckers that drive and deliver groceries, supplies, and gasoline, and the store staff that keeps things going.

* Pray for those who are currently unemployed in the service industries and others with lay-offs that they will cope and be okay.

* Pray for our incredible Medical people and thank the Lord for the wonderful med resources we have available to us.

* Pray for our President, Senators, Congressman, Governors and Mayors that they work together for the good of the country and quit the political attacks against one another.

* Pray for our Law Enforcement men and women and our Firefighters that they stay healthy and are able to do their jobs well.

* And pray for our beloved Congregational family, that we stay together, stay healthy, look after one another, and persevere trusting our Lord that He is with us and get us through this together.

* We, your staff who loves you will keep praying for all of you. Please, please keep us in your prayers, too.

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1)

  ~ Pastor Brooks

Fellow Members of St. James Lutheran Church

As president of our congregation I wanted to reach out during these days of great change and anxiety in our society stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. As Christians we are so blessed to have a loving God who takes care of us, provides for us and removes the anxiety non-Christians must bear.

In Mathew 6:25 – 27 Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

I find this message comforting that as a believer I will be taken care of and will not have to worry as God will always provide.

During this time of governmental mandated social distancing, we made the difficult decision to suspend all services and functions at the physical church. This decision was made prior to the state mandate and is, what we believe, the best way to protect our congregational members from contracting and or transmitting the coronavirus. The good thing is that only the attendance to the physical church was suspended. Pastor will still be conducting the Sunday and Wednesday Lenten Services. The services will be available to all by watching on face book or a recording on the church website. I encourage all of you to watch the service and continue with your tithing support especially through this difficult time.

Take this time to reflect on how blessed we really are. Sure, this is a nuisance not being able to just go about our daily routines but if you look at your families while at home what are you really missing? You have food, water and a family that loves each other. Maybe this is God’s plan for families to reconnect on what really is important. Disconnect to Reconnect might be a new theme here.

Stay tuned via Facebook and the website. Russell, our own media mogul, does a wonderful job with the video updates regarding the state of the state and state of the Church. Check it out.

I challenge everyone in our congregation to pick up their phone and contact someone that you may be thinking of. Focusing on others instead of ourselves is not only a great way to connect with others but it staves off loneliness and self-pity during this social distancing period. I also challenge everyone to continue their current giving and/or increasing their giving during this time if possible.


   Brad VanBergen

Baptisms 3 Brycen Paul Auble (3/1/20)
Adalynn Dean (3/8/20)
Stephanie Dean (3/8/20)
Funerals 0
Confirmations 0
Weddings 0

Grace, mercy and peace my friends.

With everything going on, it seems like things are a bit chaotic. However, we know that our God is in control! Continue trusting Him and stay in prayer.

I have been giving daily updates on facebook with videos. Please follow the St. James Facebook page to stay informed with everything going on. Pastor Brooks, Terri and I have all been praying consistently and forming strategies to share the ministry of St. James. If there is anything that any of us can do, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are all navigating this together.

Some things to look forward to:

1) Tune in on Sunday Evenings for a short prayer and praise video. This will happen each Sunday at 6:30 pm.

2) Keep following the St. James page for updates for the daily devotion and information for the day. I will continue to do these videos for as long as it is needed.

3) If you have any tips or advice for families during this time, please share on the St. James page. We want to come together as a community to show our support and care.

Keep praying! God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.

Your Family Life Director,
  Russell Baumann


Register for Fall 2020
We offer 2 programs for our preschool families.

M-W-F Program
$140/month 4-5 yr olds 9:00-11:30am

T-Th Program
$105/month 3-4 yr olds 9:00- 11:00am

Please call Ellen Grimm at 231-730-1726 for additional information and registration materials.
  Blessings, Ellen Grimm

Please Note... all of the events listed in this newsletter are based on things resuming by Monday, April 13th. Please be aware all events are subject to change!

Sunday School News

Sunday School is planning on resuming on 4/19, at 9:30 am. Our last day of Sunday School for the season is Mother’s Day, 4/10!

  Jesus Lives! ~ Angie Wigren


Sunday, April 26th, 11:45am!

Sr. Youth News

Senior High Youth Group ~ Sunday Night, April 26th, at 6:00 pm

Jr. Youth News

Jr. Youth Gathering in Frankenmuth ~ The Jr. Youth Gathering is still happening. The date is June 5-7. The registration cost is $75 and is due Monday, 4/13. Total cost will depend on the number attending. Please call Russell (920-889-7395) with any questions.

Sign up on the Youth Board today!
Junior High Youth Group ~ Wednesday late afternoons, April 15th at 5:00 pm

The 90's Birthday Celebration

Do you know how many members in our church are over the age of 90? Do you know how many are turning 90 in just the next two months?

There are ELEVIN members over 90, and we have FIVE more turning 90 in April and May!!!

The elders would like to recognize these members, the backbone of our church, with a luncheon after 2nd service on April 26th in the Fellowship Hall.

If you are interested in attending, please sign-up on the sheet on the bulletin board.

Happy Birthday to you... Happy Birthday to you!

Love Family

Donations for the Love family are paper products, Easter dinner and a few items for the children’s baskets. They can always use gas cards also as they have one to two (or more) dr. appointments every month in Grand Rapids. A list will be on the sign-up board. Thank you!

Easter Basket Auction for His Arms Kenya

There are several beautiful Easter baskets up for bid. They are across from the Library Conference Room. We are extending the bidding to 2nd service on Sunday, 4/26. Baskets will be available for pick up after 2nd service that day! If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Justian at 231-670-9440.

150th Anniversary Committee

Greetings from your Anniversary Committee. Even though we are in the midst of this Corona Virus crisis, we are daily reminded that God is in control and we will get through this. We ask you to keep working on a slogan or theme for our Anniversary Celebration coming in 2022. We would like you to submit your entries to the office by Sunday April 19. Remember the winning slogan will receive a $100 gift card. We also want you to start thinking about a logo. The winner of the logo contest will receive a $250 gift card. We are also looking for some additional volunteers to help with our celebration. Specifically we are looking for a promotional coordinator. Someone to prepare articles and press releases for The Lutheran Witness, M-Live, The Beacon and other publications. We are looking for a person to head up our German festival. Plans are very preliminary so here’s your chance to get in on the ground floor and help plan a special celebration. We are also looking for a photographer to capture the sights of our celebration. We have an awesome God that has truly blessed us here at St. James for the past 150 years and there is no doubt that he will continue to bless us in the future. We may not know what tomorrow will bring but we need to trust that God is in control and He tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you”.

Anniversary Committee Meeting

The next meeting is Monday, 4/20, at 6:30 pm. Anyone is welcome to join us!

Attention ALL Thrivent Members

We are setting up a “generosity” tree of Action Team events. In the hallway by the nursery, there’s a Thrivent banner on the wall. We will have ideas with the date of an event and the contact person in charge of that event. We need you to choose which event you’d like to support. Simply pick an event from the banner and go online to apply for the event. If you need more detailed information, seek out the contact person. Questions? See Russell or Marci

The Painful Truth

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 | Charlie Butts (

Studies continue to prove that preborn babies can feel pain in abortion, which, according to one pro-life doctor, poses a moral consideration.

Two doctors, Stuart Derbyshire and John C. Bockmann, have published a new academic paper titled "Reconsidering Fetal Pain." According to Dr. David Prentice of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, it is an exhaustive review of scientific literature on whether the babies can feel pain.

Charlotte Lozier Institute | The Charlotte Lozier Institute is committed...

"When they looked at it objectively, the answer was yes -- maybe as early as 12 weeks, but certainly by 18 to 20 weeks, all of the nerve paths are there," Dr. Prentice relays. "We don't need the cortex to do it because there's another part of the brain t hat actually can respond to pain."

He adds that further scientific research at some point in the future could determine even an earlier response to pain.

"There was a paper just last year that pushed this back to 12 to 15 weeks," Dr. Prentice notes.

Other science indicates that preborn babies may be able to feel pain as early as six or eight weeks, but he cautions that remains to be proven.

Dr. Prentice goes on to say that there is a moral consideration -- we should not be inflicting pain on any human being, especially young people still in the womb.

One of the abstract authors is pro-abortion and continues to support the practice.

VBS "Two by Two"

Summer is rapidly approaching! Save the dates for July 26th - July 30th for our VBS programs! Follow St. James Facebook page for more updates!

Unity Fest 2020 ~ August 6th-8th

Here is your chance to purchase Unity tickets at the lowest prices available (with no service fees!)

3-day passes $60 each
1-day tickets $35 each
Family 3-day passes $250

Sign up on the bulletin board in the Narthex beginning Monday, April 13th. Sign up deadline is May 17th. Please pay when you sign up! Any questions, please contact Sarah Justian.

April Birthdays
04/01Jim TenBrink04/16Summer Turpin
04/01Pat Ehlke04/16Will Ramthun
04/03Alyssa Huizenga04/17Dillon Birkofer
04/04Sue Carpenter04/18Amanda Cooper
04/06Kyren Bluhm04/18Pat Lohman
04/06turtlellen04/20Luke DeRose
04/07Betty Jones04/20Ray Grow
04/07Gloria Bernhardt04/21Ashlyn Lohman
04/08Connie Kring04/21Chris Hasenbank
04/08Nik Lipka04/21Susan VanBergen
04/08Scott Miller04/23Alan Mayville
04/08Sue Van Frank04/23Dan Osborn
04/10Sheryl Squire04/23Merle Bernhardt, Sr.
04/10Todd Rachow04/23Michelle Moschke
04/11Kathi Strahl04/24Stephanie Chamberlain
04/11Kati Rice04/25Caleb Rice
04/12Greg Neubauer04/25Lilly Rice
04/12Maddie Jandt04/26Allen Ramthun
04/13Avarie Bentz04/27Carolyn Flagstead
04/14DeeDee Treptow04/27Kim Wackernagel
04/16Joel O'Connell04/27Nick DuBois
04/16Lucas Hanson

ELDERSGreg NeubauerRusty Streblow
TRUSTEESSam WackernagelChristian Mason
ACOLYTESAddy DeanAddy Dean
USHERSRon BarrsHenry Friday
Bob StevensJason Rice
Louie MayvilleCaleb Rice
Alan MayvilleBrad Nordlund
Ethan Koski
ALTAR CAREDiane Babcock & Angie Wigren
PRAYER PARTNERS5thon-line services only
12thon-line services only
Regular worship schedule resumes (tentatively)
19thAlan MayvilleJason Rice
26thLouie MayvilleLance Fichter
12thon-line services only
Regular worship schedule resumes (tentatively)
19thLisa SiedenstrangM/M Chris Hasenbank
26thMarsha RameyJill & Sheryl Squire
MULTI-MEDIA1stApril Lipka ~ (Lenten Service - Online)
5thApril Lipka! ~ (Church Service - Online)
9thJeri Wonders ~ (Maundy Thursday - Online)
10thJeri Wonders ~ (Good Friday - Online)
12thJeri Wonders ~ (Easter Service - Online)
Regular worship schedule resumes (tentatively)
19thAlicia KoskiEric Deremiah
26thEric LindstromFriday Family
COFFEE5thon-line services only
12thon-line services only
Regular worship schedule resumes (tentatively)
19thMary Albrecht & Cathy Hissong
26thPat Ramthun & Jennifer Mulder
NURSERY5thon-line services only
12thon-line services only
Regular worship schedule resumes (tentatively)
19thJulia Hasenbank
26thno one scheduled
FLOWERS12thon-line services only
19thPhil & Mary Albrecht
26thRon & Eilene Cober - 40th Anniversary!

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!