Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I feel like this statement is always said around this time of year, “where did the year go?”. “The days are long, but the years are short”.

When you take the time to reflect on the past year, what comes to mind? Family, vacations, kids, work, something else?

For me, I think about how my life has changed completely with the addition of Levi. Schedule, work, rest, everything. With Levi, evening routines are different, a divide and conquer mindset has taken place. It works for us.

Something else that has changed over the past year is seeing Millie grow. She sings, she dances, her personality has really come to. I asked her this past week if she wanted to sing with me and she said, “yes”. It was amazing. I love being able to sing with her about the love of Jesus.

The past year has shown me what is important. It’s Jesus. It’s talking about Jesus, singing about Jesus, praying to Jesus, loving Jesus, sharing Jesus. Kids watch, they imitate, and they care about what you care about. I want to share with my children and with our congregation, the love of Jesus Christ.

Where did the year go? I hope and I pray that the year was spent showing, sharing, and caring about the love of Jesus Christ.

With that said, here’s something huge!

National Youth Gathering

What is NYG ?
This is the largest youth and adult conference that the LCMS hosts. This conference is meant to help prepare high school students for leadership opportunities and give them the confidence to have faith-based conversations. This is done through seminars, shows, games, mass gatherings, AND so much more.

Pray about it!
I invite you to start praying about whether this conference is something that you would want to be a part of. Do you desire to be more bold in your faith, have a better understanding of how to talk to someone about Jesus, or meet other Christians from around the world?

Who can go?
Any youth who are currently in 7th grade through 11th grade are eligible to attend this gathering scheduled for Summer of 2025. This conference only happens every three years! So make the best of the time you have!

Why put the information out so early?
The process of NYG is quite intense. The travel, food, registrations, service projects, excursions, and collaboration for this event require many details. It is encouraged to plan 18 months in advance for this event.

When's the first meeting?
January 21st at 9:30 am. This is only a "maybe I want to go" meeting. No obligations are required for this meeting. We will be discussing the theme of the gathering ENDURE, tentative costs, schedules, and fundraising. We encourage youth & adults to be in attendance for this meeting.

How can I be a part of the Leadership Team for NYG?
Do you want to step more into a leadership role here at St. James for NYG? Connect with Russell or Marci Bentz. We are looking for Youth and adults who want to be more hands on for the planning portion of this event. Be in prayer if you are thinking about being a chaperone, youth coordinator, or a Young Adult Volunteer for NYG.

Other dates to mark for your calendar:
December 2nd – Christmas Parade
December 3rd – Youth Night 6:00 pm (I’m thinking we won’t have snow for Double J’s
December 17th – Last Bible Study for Junior/Senior High Youth Sunday Morning
December 17th – Sunday School/Preschool Christmas Program and dinner
December 17th – Youth Night Christmas Party
December 20th – Last Confirmation Class of the year
December 22nd – Youth Lock-in

Prayer and Praise will begin again in January..

A reminder that Advent services will be at 5:30 pm on...
December 6th
December 13th
December 20th

Finally, continue to be in prayer for our congregation as we continue to seek out a new pastor. Pray that the Holy Spirit leads us to bring the right pastor to our congregation.

In Christ,
  Russell Baumann ~ John 3:30