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!

GOD IS GOOD!

  ~ Pastor Brooks