The March Operation Christmas Child Item of the Month is “Quality Crafts” and the Adventure Bible Class used their creativity to make their own wearable craft - hand painted necklaces! Made from washers, nail polish and ribbon these unique necklaces are sure to delight a child who receives them in their box. Watch the video below to hear them singing while they work!
If you’re not a crafter you can donate store bought items. We’re collecting for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) 2017 Shoeboxes year-round. Simply drop off your donations in the bin just outside of Fellowship Hall by the youth bulletin board. If you have any questions, please contact Trephina Bedell, email@example.com or 847-359-1549. More on Operation Christmas Child.
Not only was this a great chance to test their lashing and knots skills, working together to get across was an important team building exercise.
Watch the video below!
The team is on its way to Cambodia! Pastor Donald writes, “Today begins my two week mission trip to Cambodia. I never dreamed of doing something like this. It is out of my comfort zone, but I’m extremely humbled by this opportunity to spread the Gospel Message of Christ crucified. I’m excited to see what God has in store for the next two weeks. Praying that our team can be God’s instruments to share the message of Christ with those who don’t know.”
Stay tuned for more news of their trip.
New member class sessions run twice a year, with class sessions beginning in September and March. Pastor Warren adds, “Since our next class is still a couple of weeks away, it’s a perfect time to jump into the class, and we can get you up to speed very quickly. We realize that people have many things on their plates, so that’s where our online course really allows participants to work through the material when it’s convenient for them. Even if you are unsure if you want to become a member, or if you are already a long time member, the New Member Class provides a great refresher for our foundational Lutheran teachings and a good overview of all that is happening at Immanuel, along with a great opportunity to meet others.”If you would like to join the New Member class, please contact Pastor Warren. The next class session will be held on Tuesday, March 21. If have any questions regarding the New Member Classes, please feel free to contact Pastor Warren or Jan Pemoller, membership secretary in the church office, 847-359-1549.
Immanuel’s 50’s Plus group invites you to join them on Friday, March 10 in Fellowship Hall to see a popular speaker. Bill Dyszel, the author of 21 books including “Microsoft Outlook for Dummies,” created the award-winning, critically acclaimed NYC musical comic performance “The Internet Ate My Brain,” and has adapted his show as a keynote presentation for business and association events.
This critically-acclaimed program of hilarious topical songs and audience activities skewers topics as varied as our obsession with online shopping, addiction to selfies, online romance, and more. Combining live music, multimedia, and audience activities, the show gives audiences an experience that nothing on the Internet can match.
March 10: Bill Dyszel: “The Internet ate my Brain.”
March 17: Tari Heap: “If Not Now, Then When?”
March 24: Dr. Julie Shauble from Northwest Community Hospital
March 31: Crabtree Nature Center
50’s Plus is Immanuel’s fellowship group for those over 50 and meets at 10 :00 a.m. every Friday in Fellowship Hall, September - May. 50’s welcomes singles, couples, or one of a couple, and they encourage you to bring friends from the community. There are no actual “members” but is simply a group of mature adults who want to enjoy each other’s company, to learn some new things, to grow in God’s word – and to have fun!
They greet each other over a cup of coffee and start with a Bible study. They then move on to our program at 11:00 a.m. which is followed by lunch at noon for a one-dollar donation. Following lunch is informal fellowship, cards, etc. Watch the announcement bulletin for coming programs and special outings. If you cannot come to the weekly meetings, they encourage you to join them for special outings or trips and bring friends, even if they are less than 50 years old.
Questions? Please contact the church office at 847-359-1549.
The K.I.T. (Keep In Touch) ministry is designed to reach young adults, mostly away from home, by mailing them care packages. The next KI.T. packing day is Saturday, April 1, at 9:00 a.m. in Fellowship Hall. Please join us! Volunteers pack up care packages using items donated by members and friends of Immanuel. Volunteers simply fill the boxes with what has been donated, tape them shut and put them on a table outside the church where our members pick them up after church service and mail them.
Can’t volunteer? Would you consider donating items for the care packages? We estimate that we will be putting together approximately 50-70 care packages for those attending college or in the military. All items must be in individual packaging and a list of suggested items follows. Donations can be placed at the KIT table in Fellowship Hall. Monetary donations are helpful as well. Simply mark your offering “KIT” and place in in the collection plate this weekend or donate online by entering KIT in the “church - other” line of the online giving form. If you have any questions, please contact Deaconess Suzanne. Thank you!
KIT Donations can consist of any of the following:
• microwave popcorn
• devotional materials
• post it notes
• sugar free throat lozenges
• stress/therapy balls
• hot cocoa packages
• dried fruit
• granola bars
• Sunny D’s
• Rice Crispy Treats
• Slim Jims • Cheez Its
• Tic Tacs
• Tootsie Pops
• Tea, coffee, or lemonade packets
As part of a new community guest speaker series, Stephen Ministry is bringing in a speaker from JourneyCare for a presentation entitled, “You Matter Too: The Journey of Caregiving.” This event is free and open to the community. Please join us on May 8 from 6:30 -7:30 p.m. as we delve into this important topic.
No “Alleluia” During Lent
During worship on February 25/26, we “buried the “Alleluia.” Most people are probably wondering what this is and why. Simply put, we won’t be singing “Alleluia” at all during Lent. Lent is designed to be a time of being remorseful as we acknowledge our sins and look with great anticipation to the message of forgiveness and eternal life in the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter.
We suspect that Pastor Tom had a lot of fun explaining it to the kids during his Family Worship Talk during the 9:15 worship service. Afterwards, the kids went to Sunday School and the banner was temporarily replaced.
But it came down again at the end of the service. Watch as it’s removed and the congregation sings…
“Burying the Alleluia” Background Information:
Burying the Alleluia is a custom dating back to at least the fifth century and we’re continuing it at Immanuel this year. We conclude dour worship on the last weekend before Lent by lifting a banner with the word “Alleluia” and then lowering it into a box where it will remain until Easter sunrise. The practice, often referred to as “burying the alleluia,” stems from the ancient practice when a scroll containing the word was removed from the church. A written record from the 15th century describes French choirboys carrying a small coffin containing the word “Alleluia” out the church in procession, and then burying it in the churchyard.
Tradition holds that we won’t sing or say the word “alleluia” again until Easter Day. There is no scriptural command for this practice, nor is there for the season of Lent. However, we simply choose to restrain our praise during the 40-day season of Lent ending with Easter. You’ll notice that we won’t select a hymn or song with the word “alleluia” during this time. Lent is designed to be a time of being remorseful as we acknowledge our sins and look with great anticipation to the message of forgiveness and eternal life in the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter.
The hymn “Alleluia, Song of Gladness,” contains a translation of an 11th century Latin text that compares an alleluia-less Lent to the exile of the Israelites in Babylon. The text then anticipates the joy of Easter when glad alleluias will return in their heavenly splendor. We will include this ancient hymn in our worship this weekend. Enjoy these powerful words of the early Christian Church that are rich with meaning for us today:
Alleluia cannot always
Be our song while here below;
Alleluia, our transgressions
Make us for a while forego;
For the solemn time is coming
When our tears for sin must flow.
Therefore in our hymns we pray Thee,
Grant us, blessed Trinity,
At the last to keep Thine Easter
With Thy faithful saints on high;
There to Thee forever singing
Source: Lutheran Service Book #417 Text and music: Public domain
A small group of adults and students gathered in the church’s courtyard on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. They took part in a brief and informative service of preparation for Lent as Pastor Tom, Pastor Warren and church member Steve McKay, burned last year’s Palm Sunday fronds to use for this year’s Ash Wednesday ashes. Steve and Lynne Hoyer, another member of the congregation both brought in palms they personally had saved from last year, adding to the church’s supply. Jenny Laabs, Immanuel’s Director of Music Education brought students.
The service began, and ended with prayer:
Father, the light that is Jesus shines in our world. Through him we stand in the glow of that light and share in your glory. Make this fire holy, burn away the old and sinful way we live, clean away the ashes, bring us back to loving and trusting you. Make our lives new, turn us toward the light of Easter, that one day we may live with Jesus who is alive and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
- Almighty God, show us the way to live this new life, help us to follow Jesus’ example, give us the words and actions to share this joy with others. We can only live this new life with your help. We call upon you in the name of your son, Jesus Christ our Lord now and forever. Amen.
Why do this?
Ashes are all that’s left after a fire that destroys. God wants us to love and trust only in God. To sin is to turn away from God’s love, to not trust God. Sin will reduce us to ashes, but because of God’s forgiveness and everlasting faithfulness to his wayward children, ashes, which are also used to make soap, will wash away our sin.
On Ash Wednesday, we are reminded of what our sinfulness costs us, but also of the loving God that raises his children up from the dust and ashes to abundant life. Ash Wednesday is the departure date for a journey that leads us from exile from God to eternal life with God.
Ash Wednesday is the first day in Lent. And after Lent comes Easter. Remember, without Easter, there is no real life. Simply put, without Easter, there’s no Christianity. And everyone needs to know this. May the world know what we know!
By Kevin Kindelin
This article was originally posted on 1/28/16 and has been updated for this Lenten season
Lent is the season of preparation before Easter beginning March 1st (Ash Wednesday) and ending on Saturday, April 15th. It is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by setting aside a time for reflecting on Jesus Christ, specifically his suffering and sacrifice. I was brought up thinking I had to give something up for Lent as a way of honoring his sacrifice. I never knew what I should give up…sweets, favorite TV shows, fun activities, maybe even beer. Well maybe not beer, after all I am a Lutheran who happens to be Irish! The point is, the more I thought about what would be an appropriate sacrifice, the more I realized there isn’t one. What a quandary! I wanted to honor Him by giving something up, but knew there was nothing I could give up, even if it were beer, that would come close to His suffering and sacrifice. All kidding aside, to give up something I may consider a sacrifice could never compare to what He did for me and therefore would be meaningless.
A few years ago, I presented my problem to Pastor Tom. What he told me was nothing short of a revelation. It’s not what we can give up for Lent that honors Him but rather what we can do for Him. Pastor Warren addressed this issue a few years ago while guest blogging for Pastor Tom. He talked about sacrificing his beloved Mountain Dew and enduring the caffeine-deprived headaches, afternoon sugar crashes, and general crankiness. He thought he had made a great sacrifice. He thought his focus was on the Lord until he realized he had it all wrong. He wrote that his focus was entirely upon himself, not what Christ had done for him. He wrote about not trying to give something up, but instead taking on something worthwhile, learning about Jesus and the sacrifice he made for us.
This makes sense to me. Knowing our Lord honors Him. Knowing our Lord teaches us to share His love by loving others. In John 15:12 ESV, Jesus says, “My commandment is this: to love one another just as I have loved you.” Loving each other requires us to do something to show this love. Get involved in a ministry; help out a neighbor; join a Bible study; commit yourself to our Stronger Together campaign; COME TO CHURCH! Where else can you find and show Jesus your love than in His house. He said it Himself in Luke 2:49 ESV: And he said to them, “why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Clearly, the best place to find Him, and ultimately learn about Him and want to do something for Him, is in church.
Come and join us for Lent @ Immanuel 2017. On Wednesdays March 1 - April 5th we will have Lenten Dinner from 5:00pm - 6:30pm and Lenten Worship Service 7:00pm - 8:00pm. Visit our Easter 2017 page for details on other services & events this Easter season.
Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice out of love for us by laying down his life for us. Before he did, he commanded us to love each other. What better way can we honor Him than by obeying his command? As Pastor Tom would say, see you in church!