People of God!

"Why do you look for the living among the dead?"

So said the angels to the frightened and bewildered women at Jesus' empty tomb on that first glorious Easter morning.

Easter! If there were no Easter, Jesus victoriously rising from the dead, our faith would be pointless -- we would be believing in some dead guy who said He was our Savior for forgiveness and heaven. If there were no Easter, our loved ones who died in the faith before us would be lost -- we would have no hope of a joyous and blessed reunion in heaven someday. If there were no Easter, then Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross would have been worthless -- we would all still be damned in our sins.

But we believe in a LIVING LORD JESUS CHRIST, who has defeated death and the grave and our enemy Satan for us! Who won forgiveness of all our sins for us on Calvary's Cross! Who is preparing a place for us in our heavenly home, paradise! And who has promised to be with us always, even to the point of death, when He will take us home!

I invite you to come celebrate EASTER and worship our risen and living Lord Jesus on Sunday, April 1st! Sunrise service is at 7 am. Enjoy our traditional youth sponsored breakfast in the fellowship hall after that. Our second service will be at 10 am. And if, for whatever reason, you have been gone from God's House of worship for a while, come back and celebrate Easter ... come back to be reminded of what our Christian faith is all about ... come back to be refreshed and renewed through our God's life-giving Word and His Sacrament! Come back and see Jesus! You would be welcome!

Eighth Grade Confirmation Class trip to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum!!! Because of generous donations to our Memorial accounts for our youth, from this year onward every Spring we will be taking our 8th graders to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in Kentucky, all expenses paid! This year's expedition will be over the weekend of April 27-28-29. This will be a phenomenal experience that will so strengthen them in their faith walk now and for the future. The beginning chapters of God's Word in Genesis -- the Creation of our universe, our world, all animal life, and Man in six literal days, the fall into sin, death, and corruption of our world, the promise of a Coming "seed of the woman" who would be our Savior, Noah, the Ark, the world wide flood that destroyed all man and animal life that were not safe and secure in the Ark -- all of this and more -- it's not just myths or fables or nice stories we teach our children and learn in Sunday School. This is historical fact. This is truth. This is knowledge to support our faith, give us hope, and help us combat the godless theory of evolution that brainwashes our children and youth in our schools. We've all been taught that in school growing up!

I have been to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum twice and I am passionate about passing this experience on to you, especially to our children and youth! We believe in historical fact, in truth, and there is evidence to support what we believe!

Because this is our first year offering this trip to our 8th Grade Confirmands, I have also decided to offer it to all our current High School Youth, again all costs covered. At the time of this writing how many of our High Schoolers are going and when we are going -- in May or June -- has yet to be determined. We have a meeting on Palm Sunday to plan and decide this, which, by the time you read this, will already be history! But I will publish the results in the Sunday bulletins and next months Newsletter.

New Ministry Staff Person for St. James! We are in the process of researching a new staff person to help support our youth, educational ministries, and families here at St. James. We received a list of 12 individuals -- men and women, some married, some single -- from our Michigan District Office. A joint group of people from our Board of Education and Board of Elders sifted through that list and narrowed it down to three possible candidates to further pursue. After Easter and Spring Break phone contacts and interviews will be made with each of these individuals. Lord willing, a candidate will be put forth at our May Voter's Meeting to extend a Call to and, Lord willing, we will have this new staff person on board and ready to go by September. I ask that you pray that God would guide the person He wants to us.

Our good and gracious God is doing great things among us and through us here at St. James Lutheran Church! We give Him thanks and praise! And may He empower us to be faithful and serve Him always!

God Bless You!

  ~ Pastor Brooks