People of God!

Happy New Year 2018! Another year ahead of us walking forward with the Lord God Almighty who loves us and is always at our side! Fear not! Be bold and confident!

We have some exciting congregational happenings to share with you.

First, Kati Gashler, our Vicar Paul's wife, has taken the Junior High Staffing position we have had vacant since Chelsey Zeller stepped down this last year. Kati will be teaching our 6th grade Confirmation, our Sunday morning Junior High Sunday School, planning a Junior High activity a month, and working at keeping our Facebook page updated. We welcome her on board until Vicar and Kati will depart from us in June to go back to the Seminary! Please keep Kati in your prayers as she begins this ministry work among us.

Second, your Board of Elders and Board of Education has had much discussion on staffing for our church family. We need an additional full-time theologically trained individual who will work with our youth but also cover a broader spectrum of ministry -- teaching Confirmation, Sunday School, Adult Education, Visiting, Family Ministry, and more. We are currently developing a Job Description to present to the Voters at our February Meeting for approval to pursue either a Family Life Ministry person or Director of Christian Education. The goal is to also extend a Call to someone from the field who has been out-and-about doing ministry for a while rather than a new grad. We will work with our Michigan District's President Maier to pursue this. Please pray God will guide the right person to us to fill this needed position after our Vicar Paul and Kati return to Seminary in June.

Third, I want you to know that your Board of Elders is working on Security safeguards for us here at St. James. Tragically, unfortunately, as we have all learned, there is no place safe in our society any longer, including God's Houses of Worship. I will keep you informed on what Security plans will be developed and implemented.

Fourth, I am calling all CANOE MEN -- paddle and portage veterans and newbies -- to come to an organizational meeting on Sunday, January 28th after the Second Service. We have been so blessed with fantastic weather and crews these last couple of years! Let's see who will make up the Boundary Waters Bushmen this year!

Fifth, THANK YOU to Al Fremer and Keith Ramthun for all their tech upgrades inside and outside of the sanctuary and church office! Amazing! We appreciate you and all you do!

I so look forward to serving you and our Great God together this coming New Year of 2018! He has wonderful things planned for us here at St. James, and for each of us individually! Walk closely with the Lord your God and stay faithful!

God Bless You!

  ~ Pastor Brooks