Our Year in Review

2018 Thanksgiving pic
In the picture are (top left) John and Lois Schmitt and Charles Merkel, bottom left, Lorraine, and Jim

Once again, we’re sharing our Christmas Letter on Facebook. Here it is.

Merry Christmas 2018 to one and all.

This year, we got a little older, but stayed busy in our work and relationships with family, friends and members of our church. We ventured out of town twice this year. Lorraine and Jim and Jim’s brother Chuck traveled to western Kentucky to meet Jim’s sister and brother-in-law John and Lois Schmitt from Atlanta for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a time for good food and sharing lives. In June, we went to mid-Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks for the annual Celebration Midwest Conference of Confluence Churches, the national group of our church. We were blessed to receive an invitation to a leadership conference for our group of churches in September. After nearly 20 years, we still lead a service on the second Sunday of each month at a nursing home. We just started hosting a small Wednesday morning prayer group at our house.  

Jim updated his book, The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, The Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built The Gateway Arch, and promoted it the last half of the year.  He’s writing a new book, Growing Up St. Louis, about the lives of kids here from 1900 on through the eyes of more than 100 people he interviewed. He leads a project to provide markers on St. Louis streets whose German names were changed during the anti-German period of World War I. St. Louis has put up five signs and is about to approve another. It’s a way to show how groups are targeted in times of hysteria. At church, he runs the ministry that cleans the parking lot before Sunday services.

This was a good year for Lorraine, both spiritually and physically. Her report: “The September leadership conference increased my faith to use my gifts to advance the kingdom of God. At our November women’s conference, I received prayer, and God broke lifelong spiritual habits.” After her heart attack in 2015, her cardiac checkups have all been good. Lorraine also continued to bless seniors as a home health aide. Besides doing light housekeeping and other chores, she makes close friends with all of them and shares the good news of Jesus with every one. “It’s always a joy and privilege to help seniors live in their homes.”

And, at the end of 2018, it’s a joy and privilege to know you. May you have the best of years in 2019, and may you come to know the comfort of the Babe in the manger.


Love at Christmas,


Jim and Lorraine



Published by Jim Merkel

Reedy Press published four of my books, Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch: St. Louis's South Side, 2010; Beer, Brats, and Baseball: St. Louis Germans, 2012; The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, The Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch; and the Second Edition of Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch: St. Louis's South Side, 2014. They're available in bookstores and online. For an autographed copy, send a check for $21.50 made out to Jim Merkel, to Jim Merkel, 4216 Osceola St., St. Louis, MO 63116.

3 thoughts on “Our Year in Review

  1. God bless you Merkel’s! Hoping to get a letter written and cards sent out when I return home next week. My dad is doing better but not good enough to go home yet, it’s still a very fluid situation. Keep him and my mom in prayer, she had been so strong but this journey is a long one and she’s tired. God put another person in our proximity who will hold her up in prayer and daily check in on her. Tonight we found out a friend of mine from high school is working the front desk so now they’re connected and that will be a blessing for momma.
    Love you both, bring 2019 in safely and enjoy sharing yourselves and Jesus with others!


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