The Resurrection of K.I.C.K

By Kevin Kindelin

When I was assigned the task of writing about our recently revived K.I.C.K. program (Kids in Christ’s Kingdom), I thought of all the children in this world that didn’t, don’t, or won’t grow up grounded in the Christian faith. Even though I wasn’t the most devout Catholic church-goer as a child, I had the blessing of being taught from an early age, earlier than I can pinpoint, that Jesus loved me and was my Lord and Savior. With the innocence of a child, I took it upon faith that these precepts were true. I didn’t fully understand what “being saved” meant, but I knew it was pretty important in the grand scheme of my beautiful, untarnished, childish mind. These truths were ingrained in me, so even though I may have wandered in life here and there, I came back full force, all in, so to speak, to a faith I had experienced as a child. The children that grow up in other faiths are taught to believe in a mostly works-based salvation and can never feel secure in knowing that our God loves them for who they are. I know that’s a blanket statement; that’s why I said mostly.

Jesus told us directly and in no uncertain terms that only through Him can we attain the kingdom of heaven, only through Him shall we see the Father, only by grace are we saved. I believe this to be the absolute truth, but He didn’t say how. I believe our God is so merciful and loving that somehow or another, He gives all of His children the opportunity to believe in Him…whether it’s through us planting seeds by our witness and proclamation of our faith, i.e. mission trips and even daily conversations, or if Jesus comes to people in ways we don’t understand. I also think it’s so much less complicated and more comforting to grow up in faith. As Christians, we are blessed to be exposed to the truth. As Christian parents, isn’t it reassuring to know that your kids are growing up crawling, then walking with our Lord?

With all of the distractions and temptations in their lives, it’s so important to keep our kids engaged in our church and their faith. Let truth be told…kids get bored in church, and often not only don’t get any value out of being dragged out of bed on Sunday morning to go to what they perceive as Mom and Dad’s social club, but they can cause enough commotion where Mom or Dad has to haul them back to the Noah’s Ark Room behind the narthex to cool off from their various meltdowns. Reviving K.I.C.K. aims to build stronger relationships with our youth and provide activities that will foster spiritual growth and keep them interested and invested.

K.I.C.K. kicked off its resurrected iteration recently. (Sorry, I’m a fan of the corny pun.) In an effort to plant seeds in the untilled soil of the youthful mind and the well plowed stubborn heads of our teenagers, the pastoral team thought it would be a good idea to bring back the youth- focused program that previously gathered on Wednesday nights.

On Sunday mornings, the preschoolers through fifth graders have the opportunity to shine under the glare of the spotlight during Pastor’s Children’s Message near the beginning of the 10:30 service. After that, they will be led out of the sanctuary by Pastor Donald Antor, Director of Youth Ministries, (unless he’s preaching that week whereby Senior Pastor Warren Schilf will have the honor) to Children’s Faith Hour. The sixth graders through high schoolers will remain parked in their pews to absorb the rest of the service. After that, they can participate in Back Pew, a brief question and answer discussion session with Pastor Donald covering the day’s sermon and lesson therein. Afterwards, Open Gym for the whole family will allow kids to play with other kids and, hopefully, bond with their families in a Christian environment. Parents, you can talk amongst yourselves, but please don’t embarrass your kids. It is, after all, all about them, at least during K.I.C.K.

I asked Pastor Donald what he thought of the “new” K.I.C.K. so far. “It’s exciting to have this for the youth and build stronger relationships with them. It was awesome to see 25 kids come on the first Sunday. Can’t wait to see what God has in store for this. None of this would be possible without the volunteer efforts of three Immanuel moms, Jen Healy, Dana Roe, and Cassi VanderGiessen.” More adults are needed to sustain these efforts. Dads are welcome to help also. Even if mom spelled upside down is wow, dads are pretty important too…just sayin’. For more information, or to volunteer, contact Pastor Donald at You may also contact the church office at 847-359-1549. No prior registration is required. Just sign your kids in at the table near the church coat room.

It’s so important to get kids involved in their faith and the church, but so too is it crucial for the adults to be involved, especially the men. Men’s Ministry is a good place to start. I’ve been involved in Men’s Ministry for about umpteen million years, and I would be hard pressed to tell you what, exactly, we do. Oh, I know who we are, (we just don’t seem to talk about it loudly enough) SO I WANT TO LET YOU KNOW we’re a loosely organized group of men, grounded in faith who get together in various capacities in service to Immanuel, the community, and, most of all, God. Men’s Ministry is probably best known for its famous singing group, The Creaky Old Bones, and rightfully so, but there’s much more. There are Bible studies to join. We‘ve held several breakfast meetings over the years where we gathered to discuss such topics as our role in the community and our responsibility to reach out into it and share our faith. There’s not really a lot of structure, so to speak, but when the need arises or circumstances dictate, we try to answer the call and we’re hoping to add more men to our ranks.

The point is, we are a bunch of creaky old bones and we need new blood to rejuvenate and sustain us. It’s a lot of fun being part of Men’s Ministry. It doesn’t really matter what we do as long as what we are doing is in service to the Lord. He may wince when I might hit a bad note singing, but I know He’s smiling! If you don’t feel comfortable singing, don’t worry; there are other things we can find for you to do. The requirements are quite stringent…you must be a man! Don’t even come knocking if you can’t fit that bill. Women, I love you more than you know but we need more men to step up and be a part of all this! I see K.I.C.K. as being part of the equation, but that’s a few years away. Contact Pastor Warren at or Vicar Bill Harder at

“Stuffed Animals” is the Operation Christmas Child Item of the Month for April!

The April Operation Christmas Child Item of the Month is “stuffed animals” and the timing couldn’t be better! There are always so many affordable, small, stuffed animals in stores for Easter. Why not pick up a few when they’re on sale for Easter?

Each shoebox we pack in November will need a “Wow” item - one thing that will instantly capture a child’s attention. “A stuffed animal is a terrific WOW item,” says Trephina Bedell, Immanuel’s Operation Christmas Child point person. “They’re affordable, and may be the only stuffed animal a child ever gets. And even though a stuffed animal can be very affordable, it can provide great comfort.”

Why now?

We’re collecting for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) 2019 Shoeboxes year-round in preparation for a great packing party in November. Working year round gives us extra time to carefully choose special items for the shoebox. These shoeboxes really matter. An OCC shoebox might be the only gift a child ever receives. Even if you can’t make it to the packing party, you can participate by donating something to include in the shoeboxes. Items must be new. For a complete list of accepted items, please visit our Operation Christmas Child page. Donations may be dropped off at Immanuel at any time. Please drop off your donations in the green bin just outside of Fellowship Hall. Or you can simply make a monetary donation! If you have any questions, please contact Trephina Bedell, at or 847-359-1549.

It’s Kringle Time!!!

You may ask, what’s a Kringle?

It a delectable pastry filled with fruit covered with sweet vanilla icing.

Kringles will be coming to Immanuel Lutheran for the Palm Sunday weekend. Stop by the table and take home your favorite flavors. These make great hostess gift or would be a fabulous addition to your Palm Sunday or Easter cup of coffee. They can also be frozen.

Date: Saturday, April 13 & Sunday, April 14 (Palm Sunday weekend)
Time: Before and after services
Price: $13.00 for 22oz. Much larger than the ones you get in the grocery store (14 oz.)
Flavors: Almond, Pecan, Apple Cinnamon, Cherry, Raspberry, Turtle or Blueberry Cheesecake

All proceeds go towards replacing our exterior doors.

Food Drive

Our Good Samaritan Ministries are low on Emergency Food Bags.

WIFI (Women in Faith at Immanuel) is sponsoring an event to pack bags after Church on Sunday, March 31.


How Can You Help?

Join us on Packing Day!

Tables will be set up at 11:30 am in Fellowship Hall on Sunday, March 31. Each person will walk down the table picking up the items and putting them in a shopping bag. You don’t need to bring anything but your heart for serving others.

This is a great opportunity for kids to serve - invite the whole family!

Donate Food Items!

  • Bottled water, juice boxes
  • Applesauce and pudding in individual servings
  • Pop-top soup, spaghetti, stew, chili
  • Individually-wrapped hand wipes
  • Protein bars, granola bars
  • Cheese & crackers
  • Individualized tuna packs
  • Ramen Noodle Bowls
  • Mac & cheese Bowls
  • Pop-tarts, fruit bars, rice Krispy treats
  • Any other individualized non-perishable food

Make sure the cans have pop-tops!

Bring your items to the Fellowship Hall drop-box by Wednesday, March 27.

Lutheran World Relief – Season of Hope

This Lent we’re joining Lutheran World Relief’s Season of Hope campaign. Each week, we’ll collect a different item that we’ll use to assemble Personal Care Kits that give people around the world tools to stay healthy in life’s most challenging situations.

Collection Schedule:

March 10 Soap (4 to 5 oz)
March 17 Toothbrushes
March 24 Combs
Mar 31 Nail Clippers
April 7 Bath Towels
April 14 $2.65 (shipping) in an envelope marked Baskets of Promise

Join us to assemble Personal Care Kits on April 24 at 9:00 a.m. in Fellowship Hall.

Some Important Guidelines To Remember
• Be sure to shop for light- or medium-weight towels, which are easier for Kit recipients to hand wash and air dry, take up less storage space and are considerably less expensive than the fluffier towels we may prefer to use.
• Bath towels vary in size. The 52” X 27” size listed in the guidelines is the maximum size. 20” x 40” is a good
guideline for a minimum size.
• Please give new items only.
• Please do not donate items with any religious symbols, messages or your group’s name.
• Please do not donate any items decorated with a U.S. flag, patriotic or military symbols, or references to the armed forces, including camouflage.
• All items should be new and in good condition.

Erik Stammer Travels with Josiah Venture’s Mission Team to Estonia this Summer!

Once again, I have the opportunity to return to Estonia to continue the work I started last summer. I will serve as an intern from May 28 – Aug. 2 with Josiah Venture, a Christian missionary organization with a vision to be part of a movement of God among the youth of Central and Eastern Europe that finds its home in the local church and transforms society. Their mission is to equip young leaders to fulfill Christ’s commission through the local church.

Estonia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. They didn’t gain their independence from Russia until 1991 and right now Estonia is consider as one of the most secular countries.

I will work alongside several local churches, using my love of soccer as a way to connect to teenage boys, during week-long camps. Playing soccer with them will give me an opportunity to bond and make relationships, and be able to share my faith with them in the evenings, leading them into a growing relationship with Jesus. I am looking forward to strengthening the relationships I had made last year, and making new ones as well. In particular, I can’t wait to reconnect with Mihkel to hear about his life and faith in God. This past summer, we read from the Bible and talked about it for well over an hour. I sensed the Holy Spirit working in both of our lives during this experience.

In order for me to return, I need a team to pray for me, and to financially invest. Will you pray for me, and for the work we will do there? Pray for my preparations, that all my support will come in, and that I’d be the Lord’s servant. If you’d like to be on my prayer team, please email me at, and I’ll add you to my prayer updates.

In addition, I need to raise $4,800. This amount covers airfare, housing, all other travel expenses, and training. The support is needed by the end of April, 2019. If you’d like to invest, you can either send donations directly to Josiah Venture at (Click on my photo to give. There is a 3-4% fee added to all credit card donations.). Or, you can complete and return this response slip, and mail to Josiah Venture, P.O. Box 4317, Wheaton, Il. 60189-4317. Please make checks payable to Josiah Venture, put my name on the memo line. All donations are tax-deductible.

Lord willing, while I am in Estonia, I want to 1) share my faith with those who don’t know Christ or who don’t have a strong relationship with Christ. And, 2) personally grow spiritually – to grow in my faith in the Lord, grow closer to Him. And, to grow as a man and make me a better person.
Thank you for your consideration, Erik

Follow me this summer on my blog at:
To help raise funds for this trip, I will host Immanuel’s Fellowship Coffee Hour on February 24. Stop by to learn more about the trip. Thank you for your support!

Winter Work Days – We Need Your Help!

Saturday, February 16 AND Saturday, February 23 from 8:30 am – Noon

To prepare for the 150th Celebration on March 3rd and the School Accreditation visit February 24th- 26th, Immanuel is hosting a couple building work days. Painting, cleaning, replacing ceiling tiles, simple repair work, and putting up art- work are some of the activities that are on the list to accomplish. Something for everyone!

Please join us for one or both days, for a few hours or the whole time, to give our facility a little TLC. Sign-up sheets will be at the information desk in our main entrance, door #1.

An Organ Concert for Epiphany with Singing!

On February 17 at 3:30 p.m. here at Immanuel Church, Jim Vyhanek, our musician who regularly plays for our Saturday evening 5:00 p.m. worship service, will be playing “An Organ Concert for Epiphany with Singing!”

Jim will play works of J.S. Bach, Handel, and Albinoni to name a few. He will also play his own compositions along with other present-day composers, Ore, Rotermund, and Ives.

All are invited to come, sing, and listen to great works of music on our pipe organ!

A reception will follow in Fellowship Hall.



Join the Choir… All are welcome to come to choir rehearsals!

Sopranos, altos, tenors and basses: All are welcome to choir practice! We meet weekly on Wednesdays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Music Room.

Sing with the 150th and Easter Festival Choir…We’ll begin rehearsing special music soon!
Are you interested in ringing handbells? We are looking to start an adult handbell group very soon! Contact Jenny!

During Lent, March 6– April 10, we will meet after Wednesday evening Lenten worship service at 7:30 p.m.

Questions? Contact Jenny Laabs Director of Music and Worship

Immanuel Lutheran: 150 Years of God with Us

By Kevin Kindelin

Immanuel Lutheran turns 150 years old next year. She looks pretty good for that many years. I’m not blind to her wrinkles and sagging, but she sure is beautiful on the inside where it counts. That’s because the inside is us, you, me, that goofy pastor. ..(both of them are probably thinking I’m talking about the other guy). Sure, the “inside” can mean the internal structures of our building (s), but I’m trying not to be so literal but instead, paint a metaphorical picture. We embody the spirit of Immanuel, literally God with us.

I’m inspired to write about this spirit because I’m a recent witness to it and beneficiary of it. I’ve had it a little rough lately and haven’t been able to regularly attend church. I’ve missed the spirit of all of you gathering where He is with us. But His power and love are so great, that even though I could not be there, He came to me through you! Meal Ministry provided meal upon delicious meal during my “down time.” Thank you so much to all of you who took the time and trouble to prepare and deliver those meals so chocked full o’love. Thank you for the calls, texts, emails, cards, prayers, and well wishes. In addition to all that, both pastors and the vicar came to my humble dwelling to visit. These instances were not the first time in my almost 13-year history at Immanuel that I’ve been blessed with such agape love. It’s been my thorn to have this situation strike me down time after time, but the love I’ve received from then until now, has filled me with an uplifted spirit that gives me the strength to get up…time after time.

You might be thinking to yourself, “that’s all very nice, but what does this have to do with Immanuel’s history?” Everything, I tell you! Our history is who we’ve become. This moment we occupy in time is “now.” Now is the intersection between our past (history) and our future. You may have heard me prattle on about our future in past articles, and that remains true, but what we do now in our history is going to indelibly define who we’ll be in our future.

In February of 1869, 11 families in this undeveloped community met on the railroad platform to discuss the establishment of a Lutheran church in Palatine. The following month, those families organized our first congregation. Our cemetery was purchased soon after. Next we added our school. To those OCD sticklers such as myself, I’m sorry for the lack of precise dates, but the scrolls from Immanuel’s historical archives don’t always agree…close, but not precise. An interesting note…one of our first places of worship, even before the congregation was formally organized, was at the corner of Wilson and Bothwell…the same location currently occupied by Lamplighters. (Hmm…raised eyebrow.) Our building locations and configurations have changed throughout the years, but our spirit has remained the same. Immanuel has endeavored to serve an evolving, growing, diverse, burgeoning community for lo’ these many years.

We’ve administered to the spiritual need for Christianity to an ever-changing population from farmers to executives to doctors, to anybody and everybody who seek Him. We have always reached out into the community, and continue to share the Word with those who might not know Him, through our various outreach efforts. Our history shows that the love of God will flourish in the hearts of those who yearn for Him, whether it be a century and a half ago, or now.
Here we are back at “now.” I’m really not shy to say, if I may, that I’m proud of the things we do at Immanuel, and also what we have done. I’m hesitant to say “accomplished,” because that connotes to me something that has fulfilled its purpose. Our missions and ministries operate on a continual basis with, hopefully and prayerfully, no end in sight. Three years ago, we carved a little niche in our history by launching our Stronger Together campaign. It was a bold undertaking, to say the least. Heck no…it was a BOLD UNDERTAKING!!! Imagine our gall…asking ourselves to step up financially and support this initiative. Ah, but the spirit of Immanuel, God with us, was with us when we voted to move forward with this crazy idea!

The results of this “crazy idea?” Our connection to this thriving community has been further established and strengthened by bringing faith to them and inviting them to us.

    • At 12:00 noon on Sundays, a discussion based, pastor driven, music filled, non-traditional “service” is held in downtown Palatine at the Gathering Place.

    • We invite not only church members, but also anyone else who might desire a good meal with good company, to the Community Meal, where good food and Christian fellowship are served up.

    • Vicar Bill Harder takes his act on the road and dishes up a healthy Christian serving of worship through the Word, a dedicated message, and music to residents and visitors at Rosewood Care Center on Saturdays at 10:00 a.m.

    • Funds have gone into infrastructure and building repairs.

    • A clearly determined mandate was cast to reach out to our youth. We hired a youth director in the name of Pastor Donald Antor and tasked him with shoring up and modernizing our youth ministry by utilizing technology and engaging those families with youth. There’s much more to what we are doing and more can be learned by contacting the church office or by gettng your hands on the same informative, glossy brochure I picked up in the narthex.

I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I can read the writing on the wall. Jesus will out. That’s kind of a fancy, Shakespearean way of saying, “Jesus will win.” We’ve been around long enough to know that we must continue planting His seeds. Don’t doubt that they will grow. Look around at what’s sprouted and flourished since 1869. Imagine what your children can reap of what you sow, and their children…and so on, and so on. Happy 150th birthday Immanuel! That’s 150 years of God with us. 2069 seems far away, but 200 years of Christian love, service, worship, and outreach is just around the corner!