People of God!

It's October, and I am thankful to report that in many areas of ministry we are back up and running at St. James! I was especially thankful and heartened by Sunday, September 20th's, worship attendance! We have lifted the "call the church office and sign-in by Wednesday if you planning on attending worship" mandate. We have increased our worship capacity in the Sanctuary, while still maintaining safe distancing, to having people sit in every other pew rather than every third pew. You can still wear masks in worship or not if you want, your decision. Sunday School, Midweek classes, Confirmation classes, adult Bible studies are all in progress! I am thankful we have come this far from our empty Sanctuary and buildings void of our people last Spring! I pray attendance will continue to grow as our people emerge and feel more comfortable. And I also pray for a National solution, be it a vaccine or whatever, to this whole Covid pandemic thing. It is taking a toll -- mentally, emotionally, and physically -- on so many people! But it was so very good to be together in worship with so many again!!! We will continue to evaluate our ministries while striving to keep our people safe. And, as I have said many times, if you have health concerns or are not yet comfortable coming to worship, please watch services online when you are home. Also, if you are not coming to worship, but would like to receive communion, please call me and we will set up a private communion for you either at your home or church.

Our annual all-grade 6th-7th-8th Grade Springhill Retreat is scheduled for the weekend of October 2nd-3rd-4th. Pastor Dennis Lassanske is scheduled to conduct our worship services at St. James that Sunday I am gone. There will be communion.

I have one last vacation week to use and I am taking it the week of Monday, October 12th through Sunday, October 18th. Deb and I will be taking some time together and going to visit the Columbus Zoo. It is listed as one of the top zoos in the nation, right next to the San Diego Zoo. We hope to stop off for a night in Fort Wayne on the way home and visit with Micah and his family. Pastor William Cate is scheduled to conduct or worship services that Sunday, the 18th, I am gone. There will be communion.

As we journey through October, Reformation Sunday is scheduled for Sunday, October 25th, a bit earlier than usual. Halloween will be the following Sunday on the 31st, with both All Saints Day AND changing our clocks on that first Sunday in November, the 1st!

On a personal note... Here is something for you to consider. Every week after I buy my Meijer Scrip at church I go grocery shopping Sunday afternoon. As I suggested in the September Newsletter, I believe it is a good idea to have about a month's supply of groceries and household goods on hand for emergencies. When this whole Covid thing erupted I did not have our household prepared. Remember the TP shortages and empty shelves at the stores!!! For several months now on every shopping expedition I have been picking up a few extra items from our Master List and we are about 95% stocked now with canned and dry foods, frozen meats and vegetables, paper products, laundry supplies and bathroom supplies, and lately I have been stocking dog food and vitamins, aspirin, and other such items, including flashlights and a supply of batteries. Are any of you stocking items in the event of any kind of emergency? I know some of you have done this all along. You never know. I just want to be well prepared in the event of another national or state disaster. Deb says we should have been doing this all along! And, of course, she's right, Dear.

As we continue our journey through October, Deb and I plan on getting out on some rides in Beautiful West Michigan to see and enjoy seeing some of our magnificent fall colors! I hope you can do that, too!


  ~ Pastor Brooks

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Pastor Brook’s sermon on September 20th got me thinking! He shared about the laborers in the vineyard. Some come and work in the morning while others work at the end of the day. The work we are called to do is to share the Gospel, its simple message of love that Christ has for us.

This month, I want to be bold in sharing the Gospel. I encourage you to reach out to the person working in the grocery store or the one behind the counter of a convenient mart. Ask them how they are doing and buy them their favorite candy bar. When they ask you why you are doing this, just share because Jesus loves us!

Some things to mark on the calendar...
Check out the many different ministry outlets that St. James has going on too!
If you ever want to drink some coffee, play some guitar, play some cribbage, or just connect, let me know. I would love to meet up! I am praying for our church, our members, and our community.

In Christ,
  Russell Baumann


Many changes have taken place for all of us in the last several months. But one thing remains true - Kids need Kids! We are thrilled to offer opportunities for them to continue to learn and grow together. Each day with a young child is a joy in itself!

Cookie Dough & Carmel Corn Sale ~ $17/each

We appreciate the support of our congregation. We use our profits to purchase materials for the coming school year. With COVID this year, we appreciate your support due to the amount of cleaning supplies. Please consider supporting our efforts. Sign up today to order yours!

Over the summer, I’ve been working with a consultant from Great Start to Quality. We have currently received a 3 out of 5 rating. I continue to work on taking our preschool to a rating of 4. I’m excited for the future of our school!
  Blessings, Ellen Grimm

Sunday School

Every Sunday at 9:30 am. There is a sign in table just inside the back preschool doors!

Jr. Youth News

Jr. Youth Bible Study every Sunday at 9:30 am.
Jr. Youth Events - 1st and 3rd Sundays at 6:00 pm.

Sr. Youth News

We will have Sr. Youth Bible Study on the 1st, 3rd, & 5th Sundays of each month.
On the 2nd & 4th Sundays we are encouraging our Sr. Youth to help with Sunday School.
Sr. Youth Events - 2nd & 4th Sundays at 6:00 pm!

Adult Bible Study

Sunday Mornings at 9:30 am

Confirmation Classes

Wednesdays at 6:30 pm.

Spring Hill Retreat – 6-8th Grades

Leaving Friday, October 2nd, at 6:00 pm; Returning Sunday, October 4th.

Midweek Classes

Wednesdays at 6:30 pm.

Pew Sisters Study

Thursdays at 3:30 pm.

Women’s Bible Study

Wednesday at 6:30 pm.

Men’s Bible Study

Monday mornings at 8:30 am, in the café area!

October is Pastor Appreciation Month!

Thank You Pastor Brooks!


12 Lutheran World Relief cargo cars were destroyed by an explosion in Beirut….along with 27,000 quilts. LWR replaced them from their stock which is now low. After being shut down for the early weeks of Covid-19, our Quilters are way behind on their annual production. Our Quilters are in need of VOLUNTEERS! They meet every Tuesday morning, from 9a-12p. You do NOT need to know how to sew! If you have any questions please contact Ruth Ann Francis at 292-1171 or Pat Smith at 894-6920. Quilts will be dropped off at the Boxcar on Wednesday, October 21st, in Grand Rapids!

Donations Needed

The Quilters are collecting bar soap (average size, anti-bacterial if possible). Donations can be placed in the collection tote on the bench in the office church entrance.

150th Anniversary Committee

Our next Meeting is: Monday, October 5th, at 7:00 pm

Looking Ahead….

At the last Congregational Meeting on 9/16, it was requested that we change the service time for our Thanksgiving Worship service. We discussed, voted, and approved the following time change below! Thanksgiving Worship Service ~ Wednesday, November 25th, at 6:30 pm

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
    (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

The below article title is quite provocative.

I know that. But I encourage you to read the article. What are you? Do you see yourself as a Republican? A Democrat? Independent? When you read the article you will see what we should first and foremost identify as before anything else.

Are You Republican or Democrat?

by Ken Ham from 1:1 Answers in Genesis on September 16, 2020

Ok, now I have your attention! In the USA, a major election is looming, probably one of (if not) the most crucial in the history of this nation.

Sometimes I’ve had conversations while out shopping where a store employee asks if I’m Republican or Democrat. My answer? I tell them I’m a Christian, and as a Christian, I build my worldview on the Bible. Then I explain that I will use the Bible as my absolute authority and judge politicians’ beliefs and promises accordingly. This will direct the way I vote.

I’ve had Christians tell me that they grew up in a home where their parents always voted Democrat or Republican, and so they also will always vote for that party.

Shouldn’t we as Christians instead judge the worldview of each candidate against the absolute authority of God’s Word?

But shouldn’t we as Christians instead judge the worldview of each candidate against the absolute authority of God’s Word? We should then use this to determine who is the best candidate for whom to cast my vote. Now, that doesn’t mean everyone we vote for will be perfect . . . or even a Christian. We should recognize we live in a fallen world. As someone once said to me, “If you find the perfect church, don’t join it. You’ll ruin it.” We must also understand that God has ordained government (Romans 13; 1 Peter 2) for particular purposes (e.g., to maintain law and order).

Now I used the word judge above. I’ve had Christians tell me that I shouldn’t judge others (and they’re always very judgmental when they state this!), and then they quote Matthew 7:1. But when you read Matthew 7:1–5 in context, you find that Jesus is warning believers against making judgments in a hypocritical or condemning manner. In John 7:24, Jesus stated, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with righteous judgment.” Notice the Lord’s command here is that we are to judge. But before we make that judgment, we must make sure we are judging righteously from God’s Word and not relying on our own opinion.

It seems to me, when it comes to politics, many people express their opinions about candidates’ personalities, how they say things, and so on. But as Christians, we do have an absolute standard by which we are to judge, and we should use that same standard to judge others regarding what they believe and say. Yet it is a fallen world, so everything will not be black and white. So we must judge based on the absolute authority of God’s Word. This way we can be much more discerning in deciding who gets our vote.

Our responsibility is to research each political candidate, judge their worldview against God’s Word, and pray earnestly for the sovereign God to guide us to the decision we need.

I consider these things to be very important in guiding my voting: freedom for Christians to witness, preach God’s Word, and freely exercise their faith; the need to put an end to abortion; and stances on other moral issues. Our responsibility is to research each political candidate, judge their worldview against God’s Word, and pray earnestly for the sovereign God to guide us to the decision we need.

You can find certain voters’ guides to help you know what each candidate believes and where they stand on various issues at the following websites:

So as you vote, don’t be a Republican or Democrat, be a Christian and vote for the best imperfect person who stands a good opportunity of getting elected. Then pray that they will pass policies that don’t hinder the spread of the gospel and will help save babies!

Pray for America

Pray that our hearts will let go of any anger or bitterness toward those with different ideas and show them love and respect.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.”Ephesians 4:31-32

Pray that you and other believers would seek God in humility and that God would bringing healing to our nation.
“Then if my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”2 Chronicles 7:14

Pray that you, your family, and our nation would follow God and be blessed.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He chose for His inheritance.” Psalm 33:12

Pray that God would give wisdom and knowledge to our government leaders and anyone in any position of authority.
“Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are His. He changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” Daniel 2:20-21

Pray that each of us in our great nation would show love toward one another as Christ demonstrated for us.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

September Birthdays
10/01Jacob Buchberger10/15Maya Justian
10/01Jarrod Moore10/16Claire Meacham
10/02Noah Ramthun10/16Joe Goodrich
10/03Judy Best10/16Maddie Meacham
10/04Eileen Schroeder10/17Betty Ross
10/04Jacob Schumm10/17Diane Babcock
10/04James Morningstar10/18Josha Tryska
10/04Randy Wackernagel10/19Emilie Baumann
10/05Karen Neubauer10/19Julie Shafer
10/05Phil Albrecht10/21Frank Morningstar
10/07Allison Rant10/22Jane Rikkers
10/07Dave Richards10/22Jason Cooper
10/08Susan Selfridge Rabe10/22Kit Wackernagel
10/09Donald Deremiah10/23Lexi Bronson
10/09Michael Ramthun10/23Marcie Canniff
10/10Kim Luce10/23Pam Johnston
10/11Michael Fekken10/23Tom Mott
10/12Marcia Chen10/26Al Trevino
10/12Mary Albrecht10/28Piper Huls
10/12Wade Mills10/28Piper Lanning
10/13Kennedy Seymour10/29Ryan Kroll
10/14Addison Bluhm10/31Chuck Vanderlaan
10/14Jennifer Mulder10/31Liz Hedges
10/14Keith Ramthun10/31Lynn Nichols
10/15Julie Trevino

ELDERSE. Paul SchroederJeff Boulet
TRUSTEESJames MorningstarChristian Mason
ACOLYTESNone for the month of October
USHERSGeorge LohmanGary Mason
Matt SchroederChristian Mason
ALTAR CARECarolyn Koski & Karen Chamberlain
PRAYER PARTNERS4thPastor as Sprint Hill
11thRick GiffordTodd Tryska
18thPastor on vacation
25thJason CooperRob Purty
GREETERSNone for the month of October
MULTI-MEDIA4thEric LindstromFriday Family
11thApril LipkaMarek Bernhardt
18thJeri WondersEric Deremiah
25thAlicia KoskiLizbeth Bentz
COFFEENone for the month of October
NURSERYNone for the month of October
11thTom & Karen Mott - 46th
18thTodd & Kellie Rachow - 20th anniversary
25thMarsha Ramey

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!