People of God!

Have I ever happened to mention how much I love summer here in West Michigan? We are so very blessed to live here along the Big Lake! I encourage you to get outside and enjoy our beautiful area this summer! I will look forward to seeing you in worship when you can make it and when I'm not on vacation or on the Men's Canoe Expedition (I am soooo looking forward to getting out there on the water with our crew of 9 the end of July!). I do ask, that along with Deb and I, you continue to financially support our church when we aren't here on a Summer Sunday. Please make up your offering. We honor the Lord with our offerings and we support His work among us and through us.

It's our Summer Newsletter for June-July-August! With Easter late this year, then Confirmation Sunday followed by Mother's Day, time has passed so very quickly! I will highlight some upcoming events.

First let me say how great it is having Russell here as our Family Life Minister. I am so very thankful to the Lord for him, and his wife, Emilie! What a wonderful blessing they are to us! Russell has been doing an outstanding job these last five months since starting in January. He is creative, a self-starter, and a wonderful friend! Thank you, Russell, for being part of our ministry team and such a vital ministry partner for me!

I also want to say THANK YOU to all of our volunteer Sunday School, Midweek, and Confirmation, and High School staff and teachers who served week after week this last year! We are so very blessed to have you step forward to help mentor and teach our children and youth! Thank you for devoting your time and yourselves to this vital ministry!

With June comes the graduation ceremonies of our area High School Seniors and Graduation Parties to celebrate their accomplishment. Our Grad Sunday is Sunday, June 2nd! We have seven Grads this year. They are: Daniel Abrahamson, Lexis Bronson, Alyssa Huizenga, Ethan Koski, Liam Lindstrom, Ethan McKenzie, and Hayley Smith. We will honor our High School Grads from Montague, Whitehall, and North Muskegon in our second service that Sunday. They will be in full cap and gown and we will have a power-point and video presentation of them that day!

Russell will be taking seven of our Junior High Youth to our Michigan Districts Junior High Youth Gathering in Frankenmuth from Friday, May 31st - Sunday, June 2nd. Please keep them in prayer, also!

DON'T FORGET WE START OUR SUMMER WORSHIP SCHEDULE SUNDAY, JUNE 2nd, WITH SERVICES AT 8:00 & 10:00 am!

Father's Day's is Sunday, June 16th! We will recognize and honor our Dads on this special day! Fathers, you are a blessing to your families and to us here at St. James! Thank you!

Our mob of 21 Senior Youth and their 6 chaperones, will be departing for our Synod's National Youth Gathering in Minneapolis/St. Paul on Wednesday, July 10th. The Sunday before, July 7th, in the second service at 10:00 am, we will have a commissioning for them for a fantastic, safe, spiritually uplifting, and fun time together. I AM TOLD THEY ARE IN NEED OF SNACK ITEMS such as snacks, pop tarts, protein bars, etc. If you can help please drop the items off in the tote in the Narthex at Church. Thank you! Please keep them in your prayers and thank you for all your support!

On a personal note, life has changed suddenly and dramatically for Deb and I. As you know, one of our wee grandson's, Lucas, has been suffering seizures. After a five week stay at DeVos in Grand Rapids, Lucas has been home in Traverse City but is still suffering seizures. After discussion with Annie and Wes, Deb and I decided that she should move to TC to take care of him, using her Physical Therapy Skills that the Lord has given her. She has retired as a Physical Therapist Assistant at Ludington Memorial Hospital after 19 years. She has moved to Traverse City to take care of Lucas leaving Sunday evenings and returning back home Thursday evenings with no time frame of this ending. This has provided great peace to Annie and Wes, as Deb is very skilled at what she does. It enables Annie and Wes to both resume working, which they need to do. Lucas is like a normal little boy, until he has a seizure, which has been happening three or four times a day. He has to be watched constantly because of this. He is currently behind developmentally in speech and some other areas and is undergoing rehab in TC as he lost some during his time at DeVos and all he went through there. Family takes care of family and you do what you have to do. With our Lord's help and strength, we will all adjust and go forward with this.

Also, we rejoice that son Micah recently had their house in Allendale sell, which was the last but very important piece of the puzzle as they prepare to move to Fort Wayne, IN, so he can begin his intensive summer New Testament Greek Classes on Monday, June 10th. The Lord has been working everything out and guiding them every step of the way and for that we are very thankful. Thus begins his four year course of studies to become a pastor in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. He will be a warrior for the Lord and he will do well.

For all of us, as we journey through this life and work through its twists and turns, we are confident we walk with our Lord Jesus Christ every step of the way. He loves us and guides us and never leaves us. I encourage you to keep walking closely with Him, because He loves you, and because we all have a story.

  ~ Pastor Brooks