People of God!

First, I want to say "THANK YOU!" to YOU, our beloved congregational family! You have graciously and generously stepped up to continue supporting our congregation during these months of frustrating lock-down. You have, in so very many ways, shared your love and support and encouragements for us your staff here at St. James. We love you! We miss you! We appreciate you! And we are so very thankful for you!

Second, if you haven't been able to see our Worship opening guidelines that I presented on our Facebook page you will find it here in this Newsletter. Please read it carefully. I so hope and pray you will come back to worship again soon!

Here we are, about to enter our incredible summer months -- June, July, and August -- in Magnificent West Michigan! Have I ever mentioned how blessed we are to live here?

I encourage you to GET OUTSIDE for some fresh air, exercise, and to enjoy it all! Go golfing. Go to the beach. Go for a walk. Go for a drive. Do something outside! I am so looking forward to our Men's Canoe Trip in July as we head on our annual Expedition north to the Boundary Waters! It will be great to be out and disconnect from civilization for a while!

With Northern Michigan being opened for business, we hope and pray that we won't be far behind!

Sunday, May 31st, is CONFIRMATION SUNDAY. Our online service will start at 10:00 am that day. Please tune in as we confirm six of our awesome youth!

We are opening our worship service, with an EASTER CELEBRATION, on Sunday, June 7th, on our summer service schedule of 8:00 & 10:00 am. Due to restrictions, we will only be able to accommodate 50 people per service. I encourage you - and remind you - that you need to contact Terri in our Church Office (894-8471) by Wednesday of every week to let her know you plan on attending and which service so she can reserve your seating. Please be patient with this process. I am excited to see many of you in God's House again soon! This won't be forever!

We are celebrating GRADUATION SUNDAY for our wonderful High School Grads on Sunday, June 14th. We have to do things a bit differently this year. I am not having them gather together as a class to process in and sit together, but we will be showing our PowerPoint presentation of those who participate.

On a personal note... 1st year Seminarian son, Micah John Brooks, has successfully completed his first year of Seminary education at our Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. And he has done very well! We are proud of him! And we are very proud and thankful of his loving helpmeet, Audrey, who encourages him and focuses on taking care of the family during this time. Micah will be learning how to read and translate Hebrew during his summer class so he can read the Old Testament Scriptures in the language they were written in. This time next year, he will be going out somewhere for his one year Vicarage experience! It will be exciting to see where God places him for a year! Maybe somewhere out West where we can elk hunt!!! What will be most important is that he has a great and loving Supervising Pastor who guide and mentor him for that year.

Our youngest daughter, Michaela, and her family - the Yoopers, eh! - will be visiting for a week in July! We so look forward to seeing them and being beach bums and enjoying all the other activities here in Magnificent West Michigan together!

Daughter Annie, and her family, hope to visit for a week in July when I am on our Men's Canoe Expedition. It will depend on Lucas and how he is doing. He is such a loving, very active and smart little boy! He still has seizures and struggles with awake times during the night. Lucas can blurt out words but cannot yet speak in a coherent sentence. But he is able to communicate in other ways. Thank you for your inquiries about him and your prayers!

Daughters Beky and Sarah and their families will hopefully visit over the summer months as well. We all enjoy going to the beach to hang out for an afternoon. One thing we really enjoy is taking the troops to the fantastic Ludington playground near the Marina to work them out, watch the Badger come in on their evening return, and then going out for ice cream at the House of Flavors or DQ!

I will be going on my second Canoe Trip with my friend, Wes, the first week in August. He and I have been paddling together for almost 20 years. It will be great for us to get out together again!

And then, looking ahead into September, I have a 45th Class Reunion I hope to attend - if it’s still on - somewhere in the Detroit area. I am a 1975 graduate of Lutheran High School East, which, sadly, no longer exists. It will be great to see some of my friends and classmates, some of whom I haven't seen in a very long time! Immediately after that Deb and I are pondering a trip to Winnipeg, Manitoba, to visit some cousins we recently re-connected with and haven't see for over 30 years! We shall see.

I am so very thankful for all of you. I look forward to seeing some of you in worship soon for our Easter Celebration Service on Sunday, June 7th. If you are not able to come to service for whatever reason, I would be happy to commune you by appointment at church. Just call and let’s set something up!

God is Good!!!

  ~ Pastor Brooks