(from the 7/15/18 worship service folder)


This week's ministry events

Today             10 am                                     Worship

Next Sunday  9:30 am                                  VBS Planning Meeting                       

                      10 am                                     Worship with Holy Communion


Last Week’s Blessings

Sunday Worship: 43 people heard the Good News of a Savior

Sunday Offerings: $661 (General Fund offerings); $10 (Building Fund)

*An average of $1,470 is needed per week in General Fund offerings to meet our 2018 budgeted expenses.



Our quarterly voters’ meeting will be held after worship on July 29th, not July 15th. Agendas for this meeting will be available on July 22nd. Also! As we have done at times in the past, we will enjoy a potluck meal after our voters’ meeting on July 29th.


VBS Planning

We’ll hold our final VBS planning/prep meeting on Sunday, July 22nd, at 9:30 am. (Again, note that our calendar is not correct.) If you’d like to volunteer in any way—crafts, snacks, games, classroom helper, registrations assistant, parking lot/playground supervisor, set up or take down specialist—but won’t be able to make this planning session, please speak with Pastor. Thanks!


VBS Donations

See the sign-up sheet for items to donate for our VBS this year. Our VBS team will make sure we have any items not donated.


VBS Preregistration is now open!

VBS is when? July 30th through August 2nd, 6 pm – 7:30 pm


All children entering preK (4 yr old) through 8th grade this fall are invited to join in four days of Bible stories, crafts, snacks, and games. There is no cost to attend. Parents, you are not required to stay during each VBS session. There will not be any adult study and fellowship during VBS this year, though all are welcome to stick around during each session. Preregister for this summer’s vacation Bible School either in person here—see the forms in our fellowship area—or online at www.stjamesnorthbranch.com. Preregistration is not required but is encouraged.


A note from Pastor Saatkamp

After serving our sister congregation in Imlay City, Christ Lutheran, for three years, Pastor Ralph Stuebs has accepted a call to serve as vacancy pastor at one of our WELS congregations in Ohio. (Synod trivia: As far as any records indicate, a pastor serving a vacancy in one congregation for three consecutive years is the longest serving vacancy in our synod's entire history!) As Christ Lutheran in Imlay City evaluates their ministry desires and abilities going forward, our district president, Pastor Sims, has asked me-and I've accepted-to serve as Christ Lutheran's preaching coordinator for the immediate future. This position is exactly like it probably sounds: I am responsible for making sure Christ Lutheran has organized worship and a pastor to lead them in worship. Some weeks, that pastor will be me. Other weeks, it will be another pastor from the area. Clarifying note: I have not been asked to be the vacancy pastor at this time. (A vacancy pastor has normal duties beyond those for which a preaching coordinator is responsible.) This Sunday, I'll be leading worship at Christ Lutheran in Imlay City at 1 pm. After Imlay City worship, their congregation and I will discuss a regular worship time for the immediate future. Sundays at 1 pm will not be that time. We won't know the time for sure until after worship this Sunday, but I can say two things right now:

  1. As I need to make sure worship at Imlay City happens with a live and in-person pastor, and as our guest preaching pool isn't that big and sometimes can't fill every preaching need, the only way to guarantee they have worship every week is to have worship at a time when I can make it if other guest preachers can't. That means Christ Lutheran will pick a worship time that does not disrupt any of our normally scheduled ministry events at St. James. (I.e., they won't choose "Sundays at 10 am" as their worship time right now.)
  2. Other than the time it would take to print a few worship service folders, and occasionally drive to Imlay City and preach, my time spent doing St. James ministry will not substantially (or even at all) change. I will still put in the same amount of hours here at St. James, but a few of those hours may be shifted around in my schedule.

This is the setup right now. Christ Lutheran congregation, our circuit pastor, our district president, and maybe even I will have to have several discussions about lots of different things as Christ Lutheran decides how their ministry is going to look going forward on a more permanent basis. I know several people have already talked to me about adapting our ministry to allow me to serve Imlay City in different ways, but right now that discussion is still a little bit premature (though incredibly well-intentioned!). I will continue to update our whole congregation when I know more and as appropriate. Please keep God's people in Imlay City in your prayers.

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