People of God!

Ah.... Summer in Magnificent West Michigan... We are so very blessed to live here along Michigan's Beautiful West Coast!

But, I digress.

DON'T FORGET WE CHANGE OUR WORSHIP TIMES DURING JUNE, JULY, and AUGUST to 8 am and 10 am.

First, as I write this I am remembering the trip with a mob of our High Schoolers to the incredible Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in Kentucky over the weekend of May 18-20. As I had already taken the 8th graders there in April, I wanted to open it to any High School youth who would want to go. All expenses were generously covered through our perpetuating Youth Memorial Account. Twelve youth and chaperones experienced the event. I pray they were all fortified in their faith and, perhaps, challenged as well. They were shown that Genesis 1-11 which includes: The Creation of our world and everything in it in six literal days, the creation of our first parents Adam and Eve, the Fall into sin and the terrible consequences then and ever since, the World Wide Flood and Noah's Ark, Babel and more are historically true events in our world's history. I believe the Genesis record of a young earth of approximately 6,000 years vs. the 4.5 billion years as is taught from grade school on along with the Theory of Evolution. Jesus certainly spoke of the people and events of Genesis 1-11 as real and true. And, actually, He was there at the beginning of Creation and He is the golden thread of all of Scripture beginning in Genesis all the way to the last book of Revelation. As stated in an earlier Newsletter, a Spring trip to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum will be offered to all 8th graders from now on. I invite you, and perhaps challenge some of you, to go visit the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum to learn and see for yourself. Because if you can't believe God's Word of Genesis 1-11, why should you believe anything else in the Bible? Oh, and be very proud of our fine young people here at St. James! They were well-behaved, attentive, focused, and did great in participating during our debrief session afterwards as we reviewed the study guides they filled out at each site. Thank you to the Chaperones who came with us!

Second, representatives of your Board of Christian Education and Board of Elders have been hard at work selecting and interviewing candidates for our next Called Staff Position here at St. James. We are looking for a Family Life/Director of Christian Education person who is already active someplace in Ministry. Four individuals -- two men and two women -- have been or will be interviewed. Some will be invited for a visit. Lord willing, by September we will have our new Staff Person here and ready to go! Please pray about this -- that the Lord would guide the right person to our congregational family to serve Him and you His wonderful people!

Third, on Sunday, June 3rd in the second service at 10 am we will recognize and honor our 13 graduates here at St. James. They are:
Kelsen Bluhm, Zachary Buchberger, Morgan DeRose, Jeremy Goodrich, Briann Justian, Christian Lipka, Daniel Lipka, Matthew Lipka, Grace Meacham, Skye Miller, Alec Muyskens, Allen Ramthun, & Brooke Sheesley

Fourth, our time with Vicar Paul and his dear Bride, Kati, is winding down. They will be leaving us sometime in July so Paul can resume his ministerial studies at our Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We have been very blessed to have them both with us this last year. Kati has been a very big help teaching 6th Grade Confirmation, working with our Junior High Youth, and managing our Facebook page! I thank you all for the love and support you have shown them. I pray this past year for Vicar Paul has been a good one in his experience, maturity, and growth as a future Pastor in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.
Fifth, several of our Sunday School Students had an incredible PERFECT ATTENDANCE throughout the year! They are: Jack Bailey & Garrett Birkofer (tied for 1st), Brianna Bents 2nd, and Riley Mulder 3rd. WELL DONE! The first places and their families were awarded gift certificates to Double JJ resort … 2nd and 3rd place were awarded movie passes and Subway cards. We also thank our Sunday School Superintendent, Katy Turpin, who is stepping down after serving for the past few years with our Sunday school! Good job!
Sixth, the annual Men's Canoe Expedition commences on Saturday, July 28th with our leaving on the Badger Ferry out of Ludington to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and our long drive north to Ely, Minnesota. We are returning Saturday, August 4th, again on the Badger redeye to Ludington. Twelve hardy lads ranging from age 13 to 61 will embark into the wilderness of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for a five night/six day adventure of paddling lakes and streams, portaging trails in the great Northwoods, and surviving by our wits and experience! We hope to enjoy several fresh fish fry dinners! Two groups of six will be out and at some point along our routes we will see each other! As always we pray for good weather and safety!
Seventh, this year's Summer Vacation Bible School, SONROCK KIDS CAMP, will be Sunday, 7/29 through Thursday, 8/2. It runs from 6:00 – 8:30 pm
Lastly... did I mention we are blessed to enjoy incredible Summer's here in Beautiful West Michigan? Deb and I will be enjoying some vacation time with our tribe of five kids and their herd of 13 grandchildren at various times. We will also savor lazy hot days at the beach and gorgeous summer sunsets! I encourage you to get out and enjoy it all! We are so very blessed to live here! Get outside and enjoy some of it!
But don't forget to come to worship on Sundays' when you can to thank and honor our God who gave us it all!

God is good!

  ~ Pastor Brooks