This Week at St. James:

May 31st thru June 6th (Day of Pentecost)

PLEASE NOTEOur Sunday Worship schedule:
              9:00 am – Sunday School
            10:00 am – Worship Service


“Called by God, centered in the Word and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we rejoice in the Lord,
Proclaim his gift of Grace through liturgical
worship and service and share Christ’s love and forgiveness in all we do.”


Pastor ............................................................................................................The Rev. Keith Getz
Director of Music and Organist .......................................................................................Bill Scobee
Administrative Assistant ......................................................................................... Valerie Johnson


Office Manager ................................................................................................... Kristin Ross
Telephone ........................................................................................................ 803-934-8727
Email .......................................................................................................

Welcome Visitors: If you’ve been baptized and wish to receive Holy Communion, you may come forward and participate. Those unable to come to the altar will commune in the pews first. If you are a first time visitor, please take home a welcome coffee mug located in the back of the Sanctuary. We thank you for worshipping with us today and hope you will come again. Small children are welcome in the worship. Busy Bags are available in the Narthex and scribble pads are in the back of the church. If your children become restless, we have a nursery available where they will be cared for with love. An usher would be happy to direct you.

Amplified Hearing Assistance SystemWe now have Hearing/Hearing Aid amplification devices (using wireless telecoil technology) available for those that are hearing impaired that can pair to compatible hearing aids or using a free loaner headset. Please speak to one of the Ushers. They will assist you obtaining a compatible loaner kit.

Today’s Music: N/A

Altar Flowers - At this time, we do not know when our Sunday services will resume, but just in case, we have openings for Altar Flowers for May 31st and June 28th.  If you would like to have your name put down for one of these dates, please call the church and leave a message.

C:\Users\Admin_Asst\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\RQW8AJ0Y\MC900203092[1].wmf Remember in your Prayers : Briggs Family (Passing of Eric Briggs – son of Doris and the late Ron Briggs), Tom Lovett, Matthew Macerelli – deployment (Karen Bailey’s grandson), Norman McLeod (Alex’s brother), Myers Family, Dee Osborne, Perry Register, Ann Reynolds, Stan Salter and Shirley Viens.

Sunday, May 31st, 2020
Wednesday, April/May Evening Services: Suspended COVID-19 Mtg Protocol
Sunday, April/May: Sunday School: Suspended, 10:00 a.m. Service: Online only (recorded)

COVID-19 Comments From Your Council & Pastor

We will resume in-person worship on Sunday, June 7, 2020 (8:30 am and 11:00 am) for Holy Trinity Services.   Each Service will be approximately 35 minutes long.  At this time, there will be no Holy Communion.

Please call Susan Caulkins (803-773-1040) by June 3rd to “reserve” your preferred service time.


Sermon: Day of Pentecost

Many books have been written about spirituality. When we hear the word “spiritual” or “spirituality,” what do we think of? For many spirituality has to do with one’s spirit, their inner self. And much spirituality today has to do with a mixture of pagan religious notions mixed with self-help ideas. The focus is the existential journey to find our “true self.” But as we celebrate Pentecost, the birthday of the church, I want to talk to you about another meaning of the word “spiritual” or “spirituality.”

For one to be spiritual in the Christian sense is to be in fellowship, in union, with the Holy Spirit. But what exactly is the Spirit’s role in our lives. It seems it is easier to talk about the Father and the Son than it is to talk about the Spirit. The Spirit has many roles. And various New Testament writers have focused on certain roles more than others.

For St. John, the Evangelist, the Holy Spirit is the continuing and abiding presence of the risen Jesus Christ, who brings us his comfort and is the source of our peace. The Spirit creates us anew, breathing life into us, so that the Spirit of Christ can dwell in our hearts.

St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, focuses on the Spirit’s role as the one who unites us to Christ and to one another, so that we form Jesus’s body and are individually members of it. The Spirit gives each member of the church spiritual gifts for the building up of the body of Christ. St. Paul also reveals to us that it is the Spirit that brings faith in Christ, opening up our minds and hearts so we can confess Jesus as Lord. Luther, drawing from Paul, says something similar in his explanation of the third article of the creed: I believe that I cannot by my own understanding or effort believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to him. But the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and kept me in true faith. In the same way he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it united with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.

In this Christian church day after day, he fully forgives me sins and the sins of all believers. On the last day he will raise me and all the dead and give me and all believers in Christ eternal life. This is most certainly true. For St. Luke, the Evangelist, the Spirit is the awesome and uncontrollable power of God the Father that empowers, guides, and thrusts the church into the world to enter the messiness of people’s lives, so that the risen Christ can be proclaimed and the world can be transformed by His light.

The Old Testament feast of Pentecost occurred 50 days after Passover in celebration of the Law given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. After Christ’s resurrection, in which he passes over from death to life and opens up to us new life in God’s kingdom, the disciples are given the new Law at Pentecost with the descent of the Holy Spirit. This Law of Love is written, not on stone, but on their hearts. And the fire of God’s power and presence is not his wrath to destroy the world, but the fire of his love to transform it.

In the rite of Holy Baptism, after being baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the pastor asks God: Pour your Holy Spirit upon the baptized: The spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, the spirit of joy in your presence. These words echo what Jesus promises us in the Gospel of John. He tells his disciples: But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.

Jesus enlightens and sanctifies us through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us the gift of Jesus’ presence within community. What we celebrate at Pentecost is not just some past event. But it is the continuing presence of Christ, through the Spirit, that enables Jesus’s followers to be in union with Christ and God, sharing in the divine life of the Holy Trinity. Living in the Spirit means we live in unity with Christ and are reconciled to God as his children, so we, too, can call out to him, praying Abba, Father.

Pentecost is the beginning of the church’s Spirit-fed and Spirit-led mission to transform the world through the witness and proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the beginning of the new age that will be fully revealed and consummated when Jesus returns. May we continue to be open to the Spirit’s movements in our lives, so we can enter more fully into the life of God, and fall more deeply in love with Christ. In this way, our old selves apart from Christ that lead to death will decrease and our new selves living in Christ and for Christ will increase.

Christian spirituality is about our union with the Spirit, who makes the Truth, Jesus Christ, available to us. It is Christ, dwelling in us, that we are able to see our true selves, our broken, sinful selves, behind all our disguises. And we are able to see our true self as God intended us to be when he created us. In Christ, we are the image of God, a new creation, transforming the world by using our Spirit-given gifts, which are given to all the members of the church, to boldly proclaim Christ is risen. The Spirit enables and empowers us to take up our cross and follow Christ through death to new life.

Each day is an opportunity to grow in the Spirit and to give ourselves as a living sacrifice to God in the way we give of ourselves to others in the way we live in the way we serve, and in the way we love.



Weekly Offering

Offering for Sunday, May 31st - $2,030.00  May Total - $20,177.50
Offering for Sunday, May 24th - $6,090.00  May Total - $18,147.50  
Offering for Sunday, May 17th - $7,290.00  May Total - $12,057.50 
Offering for Sunday, May 3rd & 10th - $4,767.50  May Total - $4,767.50
Monthly Goal: $20,074.00 (Monies shown are less pass thru, Synod & Benevolence Gifts)
Offering shown are less Pass-thru, Synod and Benevolence gifts


2019 Average Attendance
Number of Members: 139
Sunday Worship Service – 81 (58%)
Sunday School – 10
Wednesday Noon Service – 5

2019 Special Services
Wednesday Lent – 26
Easter – 192
Wednesday Advent –31
Christmas Eve – 106

Announcements: Reminder - Please remember to coordinate with the Church Office prior to scheduling events so that Valerie may reserve the date and include your event on the Church Calendar.

IMPORTANT: There is now a mail slot in the office door (on the breezeway) across from the library.  Please feel free to drop off your tithes, notes, and etc.

**No Bible Study this Thursday, June 4th**

**Archived Access** Online Bible Study this Thursday, May 21st, at 10:30 a.m.

Click on link below to join meeting:
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 823 016 6568

Password: 085641


New Sunday School Books are in. They can be picked up at the Church Office (see current hours above).

At this time, we will not be collecting food donations for United Ministries. We will let you know when this project will resume.

Starting Monday, June 8th, church office will return to regular hours (Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.).

New Sunday School Books are in the Narthex for anyone who would like to pick up one.

At this time, we will not be collecting food donations for United Ministries. We will let you know when this project will resume.

Altar Flowers: There are numerous Sundays available for you to provide flowers in memory or honor of someone or a special event. Sign-up sheet is in the Narthex on the closet door.

Property (John Kinser):  The FSH A/C is not working.  Our consensus, at this time, is not to have it fixed for the immediate future.  The Synod recommends no coffee hour, congregational dinners, etc. that would require the use of the FSH.  At some point, we will either have to decide to limp it along again or replace the system.  Right now, this is not a priority.  Therefore, to alleviate the need for the FSH for committee meetings, Council meetings, Sunday School, Bible study, etc. we will set up classroom #5 in the Education Wing for small group meetings.  It is a double classroom with enough space for up to 12 people to properly distance.  After the school officially closes on May 31st, our team will get this room set up. There are other classrooms that may be used for smaller groups should there be a scheduling conflict.

The Alston Wilkes Society needs your help to restart our emergency closet for men.  If you can help with the following men's items, we would be so grateful.  I (Marjorie Regan 803-968-7645) will be glad to pick up any donations that you might have.
*Underwear * critical need...any kind new, or used
Shoes, especially tennis shoes
Men's pants and shorts sizes 34, 36, 38, 40
Men's tees, printed or plain sizes L, XL, XXL+
Men's dress shirts and ties (for interviews and worship)

[Important Note] If you want to send an update or a message for the congregation to be published in next bulletin, feel free to let us know (email the church, leave a message on church phone or call Valerie).

Pastor Keith Getz may be reached during office hours at 803-418-0005. At times of crisis: 803-607-5956 (Cell); Email - Regular Office Hours: Office hours are Monday thru Friday, 8:30-12:30am. Please call his cell phone if you need to contact him.

Online Notification Instructions to access weekly online service videos through

Open your Internet browser (Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari (Apple OS) or whatever you use).  
Type St. James Lutheran Church in the Search box at top or

Go directly to the St. James website ( and click on the Facebook icon link at the bottom of the page, lower right side.
Then scroll through page to watch individual videos by date or

Open in the URL address line and type in the search box at the top: St. James Lutheran Church Sumter SC.

Open your Internet browser (Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari (Apple OS) or whatever you use).  
At top of page type in YouTube.
Once in YouTube, type in search box at top, Keith Getz.
Find one of my videos and click on it.
Then click button that says, “subscribe.”
Now you will be able to access all my videos and get notifications when a new one has been posted.

2020 Annual Congregational Meeting Election Results:

Council Executive Team for 2020
Susan Caulkins, President
Karen Hesselbart, Vice President
Kimberlt Dees, Secretary
Treasurer (non-voting), Glenn Hesselbart

Newly elected members of Council (three year term 2020-2022)
Dick Rasmussen
Elton Hallman
Mike Stewart

Nominating Team Members (2020-2021)
Emery McElveen, Chair
Bob Bessel
Eric Hutchinson
Tony Myers
Dot Weisuhn

2020 Congregation Synod Assembly Representative (May 14-16, 2020; Columbia SC)
Alex McLeod

The Church Office will be open on Monday thru Thursday 08:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  If anything urgent comes up on Friday, please feel free to call the church Administrative Assistant (Valerie) at 803-491-5853.

Please Note : Pastor Keith’s day off September thru May is now on Monday.

The Christ in our Home devotional books for the second quarter of 2020 (April through June) are in the Narthex. Large Print versions are also available. Please pick up your copy today.

Confirmation Classes: If your child is a 7th - 9th grader and has not been through Confirmation classes, please contact Pastor Keith. Classes continue during Sunday school class, for students interested and eligible.

CHANGE IN Wednesday Noon Service—due to diminished attendance and the Coronavirus (COVID-19), our Noon Service is suspended until further notice .

SJLS School Closed. Check the school website for the most current information.

The 2020 Altar Flower calendar is up in the Narthex. Please take a few minutes to reserve your date(s). Altar flowers can be dedicated to remember a loved one or to commemorate a special event, such as a birthday or anniversary. Fresh flowers are always a blessing. The cost for the two arrangements are $54.00 – if you choose, the arrangements may be shared/split between two families.

If you want to send an update or a message for the congregation to be published in next bulletin, feel free to let us know (email the church, leave a message on church phone or call Valerie).

If you would like to have a visit from Pastor Keith, please give him a call or send an email.

During worship, we will be standing for the Hymn of the Day which is after the sermon.

Distribution of Holy Communion—We will be distributing Holy Communion to those who are unable to come up to the Altar first, followed by the rest of the Congregation. Suspended UFN due to Covid-19 precautions

When folding the kneelers back up, please try to do it quietly.

NURSERY: We have a nursery available during the 10:00 a.m. Worship Service. Thank you to all of those who have volunteered to assist with this much needed ministry. The primary attendant will be Shantel Taylor, who is the Related Arts and Extended Care Teacher in our school.

Silence (in the Nave): We enter the church in silence, being respectful of God’s house and mindful of those who are already there praying. Also, during the distribution of Holy Communion, we sit in our pews in silence or in silent prayer, acknowledging the sanctity of the moment and being respectful of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament of His Body and Blood.

Prayer and Meditation Time—Prior to the service, only the altar lights will be on for a time of prayer and meditation.

As part of our mission to proclaim Jesus Christ in word and deed, the Evangelism team encourages you to be on the lookout for those in your community who are in need and see how you can help make their day a little better. This random act of kindness can be anything from paying for someone’s meal behind you at the fast food drive-through to opening the door for someone. The important thing is to be aware of someone in need and show them the love of Jesus Christ. We have cards located in the narthex that say: “This random act of kindness has been passed on to you by St. James Lutheran Church. Baptized to Serve.” The card also has our church’s physical address and email on it. This is an easy way for us to help those in our community and to show others that St. James and Jesus Christ cares about them. Please pick up some cards after worship if you wish to participate.

ELCA Disaster Relief Fund - If you would like to make a donation to the ELCA Disaster Relief Fund you may do so by sending your check to (or use the Internet DRF link on home page):

Lutheran Disaster Response
39330 Treasury Center
Chicago, IL 60694-9300

St James Lutheran School News:

Change for SJLS - The SJLS School Board has decided to use the green Change for SJLS jugs for specific projects needed for the school. Our first project will be for a safe to put in the school office. Please donate your extra change by dropping it into the jugs. We will keep you updated on our progress. We invite members of the congregation to visit the school anytime and we thank you for your generous support! 

SJLS has joined up with Food Lion for their classroom rewards program.  You can help the school when you use your MVP Customer Card.  Applications are available on the school table in the narthex.   If you have any questions, please call the school at 934-8727 or email: Thank you for your continued support of our school.

What’s going on with the Youth Next!

Youth News

Sunday, 31st of May : Youth Group - None

Evangelism News: St. James Lutheran Church Car Window Clings with our sword and shell symbol are now available for $1.43 each and may be purchased from any member of the Evangelism Team.  Team members will be located in the Library after each worship service and in the Fellowship Hall before Sunday School.  This is not a fundraiser as the clings are being sold at cost.  We just want to give everyone an opportunity to show that St. James is a vibrant part of our community!

St. James Lutheran Church E-mail addresses:  The Church Administrative Assistant Ms. Valerie Johnson can be reached at Office: 773-2260 or E-mail:

St James Lutheran School (SJLS) office & teacher e-mail accounts, SY 2019-2020

SJLS Office (Administrator/Director - Kristin Ross):

SJLS Kindergarten (K-3) Class Room 3 (Susan Hepler):

SJLS Kindergarten (K-4) Class Room 6 (Judie Lindsey):

SJLS Kindergarten (K-5) Class Room 5 (Susan Tucker):

SJLS First Grade Class Room 8 (Lori Forester & Candi Altman):

SJLS Second Grade Class Room 7 (Suellen Pemberton):

SJLS Third Grade Class Room 1 (Laura Ferrell):

SJLS Fourth Grade Class Room 4 (Windy Bonser):

SJLS Related Arts Room 2 (Shantel Taylor):

SJLS Extended Care Program (Margaret Jeffcoat):


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