Collection for Hurricane Relief

Immanuel will be a drop off location for Lutheran Church Charities collecting items to support those affected by Hurricanes and flooding. You can help by participating in the Scrub Bucket Project. Click here for a list of items to be collected and distributed to families affected by floods. We will be collecting items through Sunday, October 28 and are planning an assembly day of buckets on Friday, November 2.

Monetary donations are also welcome and can be made on-line through Lutheran Church Charities.

Drop off items at Immanuel’s main entrance lobby - Door #1.

Questions? Contact the Church Office 847-359-1549


We pray for those in need

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear
though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved
into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

Psalm 46:1-3

Heavenly Father, We pray your presence upon all those affected by the devastation of Hurricanes Florence and
Michael. For those who have suffered loss of life, we come before you, interceding on their behalf, that you would grant them comfort and love. Sustain them, Oh Lord, through the loss of property and belongings, by giving them the hope that only you can provide in the midst of devastation. Send many volunteers and organizations to come to their aid in helping them rebuild their lives, homes, and communities. May your presence be evident to all through this time of early response and eventual rebuilding. May the people of all communities affected come together in love for their neighbor as they recognize Your love for them. Grant all affected the assurance that you are indeed an ever present help in time of trouble, that even after the storm has passed by, that you have not passed them by, but firmly remain with them through their restoration. We pray all these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

October and Operation Christmas Child at Immanuel: Preparing for the November 5th Packing Party!

Children in Fiji receiving shoebox gifts

It’s October and here at Immanuel that means that we’re counting down the clock until the November 5th Operation Christmas Child Packing Party! We’re focusing on basic items we still need: socks, hats, gloves, and bowls, utensils, and cups.

“It may be surprising, but most children in developing countries don’t have utensils to eat with; they have to eat with their hands. Can you imagine that?” says Immanuel’s Children’s Ministry Director, Trephina Bedell. “Schools don’t provide bowls or utensils either. The children who are able to bring a bowl and utensils to school go first at mealtime. It’s not because they are more important, but because the other children need the food to cool down first. Plates are too big for the shoeboxes, but we can easily fit in a bowl, cup (stuffed with other items) and high-quality plastic utensils. I recommend the KALAS line from Ikea.” An 18-piece set of flatware sells for $2.99 and you can divide that among 6 children. The KALAS bowls also sell for $2.99 for a set of 6. Bedell adds, “You’d be surprised at how much can fit in a shoebox. One of the boxes we packed weighed in at 16 pounds!”

Please note: the “official” Operation Christmas Child item of the month for October is “Letter and a Photo” and Immanuel is encouraging that as well. If you plan to pack a box, please bring a letter written to the shoebox recipient and a photo of yourself (optional) with you on November 5th – it will delight the child who receives the box that you packed.

Want to know more about the November 5th Packing Party?

Volunteers at our 2017 Packing Party

On November 5 starting at 6:30 p.m., Immanuel Lutheran Church and School in Palatine will be hosting a “Shoebox Packing Party” that is open to the entire community. Volunteers will fill shoeboxes with donated items – some fun, some practical, some both – and prepare those boxes to be sent around the world. The shoeboxes are part of Operation Christmas Child, a project that brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations worldwide through gift-filled shoe boxes. These shoeboxes are filled with presents such as toys, school supplies, toothbrushes, combs, personal letters, and a variety of other small-sized gifts. For many children, their shoebox is the first gift they’ll ever receive. By including presents and personal letters, we communicate that someone cares. And it gives them an opportunity to experience the love of God.

Remember, WOW items, like a soccer ball with an air pump, school supplies and hygiene items are always needed. Simply drop off your donations in the bin just outside of Fellowship Hall by the children’s ministries bulletin board. If you have any questions, please contact Trephina Bedell, or 847-359-1549. More on information Operation Christmas Child can be found at

Did you know that we’re collecting for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) 2018 Shoeboxes year-round?

We’re doing this to get ready for a great packing party in November 2018. 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.

Who Do We Appreciate?

by Kevin Kindelin

So… October is Pastor Appreciation Month. What does that mean? I went to Google to try to find some answers but I think I came up short. There were a lot of gift ideas and some history of how it came about, but nothing that really made me draw any conclusions about what it means. Is it giving our pastor(s) a nice little gift or inviting him (them) over for dinner? Pastor Warren Schilf could probably use some new fishing lures and Pastor Donald Antor looks like he could add a few brightly-colored dress shirts to his collection. Neither one of them looks like he’s apt to turn down a meal! Kidding aside, how, and to whom, are we to show our appreciation? Maybe we should start with why.

Why does a pastor do what he does? There really are no off days, unless you go fishing up north with someone else’s lures for a spell. Insanity is a plausible explanation, unless one has faith in the Holy Spirit who moves us to do that which we might think impossible or even a little bit crazy. So, let’s give our pastors their due. They put in a lot of “overtime” tending to their flock. They’ve been called to a vocation, not a job, or even what some of us refer to as a career. Theirs is more of a lifestyle, really.

We certainly should appreciate our pastors, but why should they get all the love? What about the rest of the pastoral team? Deaconess and Director of Care Ministry, Suzanne Fingerle, Vicar Bill Harder, and our Director of Music, Jenny Laabs, all deserve more than a nod for all the work that they do.

Not to take anything away from the pastors, but the entire pastoral team is entrusted by God to instruct and guide us in His way through service and study. I know some people might get a little, shall we say, perturbed if something in the service doesn’t go exactly as it should, but I think we should focus on the superb job our pastoral team does in bringing us His Word every weekend through the afore mentioned service, which includes music, and Bible study. Then there are the sacraments. You know…baptisms and communion. That’s a lot of work to organize and coordinate those events right there. Ah, but there’s more to it, lest we forget weddings, funerals, hospital and homebound visits, special celebrations, and, dare I say it, “etcetera?” I’ve come to realize that all these efforts are not for the purpose of organizing and implementing the “doings” of a social organization, but to equip us as Christians with the tools to go and carry out our Lord’s great commission: to spread His Word and, hopefully, plant the seeds that save souls.

I haven’t forgotten about our wonderful office staff who provides the printed materials and so much more for, well, just about everything! I just don’t have an appropriate title or a month for them and I don’t want to stretch the definition of “pastoral.”

We don’t always realize that those in ministry also have the same pressures, weaknesses, and insecurities we deal with. The added responsibility of rising above them and ministering to us can be overwhelming. The curmudgeon in us may say, “yeah, but that’s their job.” True, but how many of us put in 60-80 hours a week? That’s why we owe it to them to show our appreciation by supporting them in any way we can. First, show up. Park it in the pew as much as you can. Make it a priority. It’s not easy to put together a variety of services and a Bible study every weekend (don’t forget about “etcetera”) and the least we can do to show our appreciation is to be there. Of course there are congregational volunteers who provide the “glue,” so to speak, but without that detailed framework crafted by the pastoral team, there’d be nothing to hold together. Speaking of volunteers… be one of them! And, of course, pray with them and for them. There is power in prayer!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank and show our, if I may speak for anyone who may be reading this, appreciation to recently retired Pastor Thomas Acton for 39 years in ministry with ten of them being at Immanuel. You are missed but not forgotten Pastor Tom!

I’m sure a gift, or an invitation to dinner, or an offer to mow the lawn, or rake the leaves, or any gesture would be appreciated by any one of our pastoral team, but participating in the body of Christ by being an active part of our church would, I think, be far more gratifying to them. Rather than Pastor Appreciation Month, I say we call it Pastoral Appreciation Month. By the way, does anyone know where I can get a good deal on some fishing lures and brightly-colored dress shirts?

A Letter From Pastor Warren Schilf

September 15, 2018

Immanuel Lutheran Church & School
c/o Mr. Mr. Tom Hensley,
Congregation President
200 N. Plum Grove Road
Palatine, IL 60067

Dear faithful friends at Immanuel,

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised! (Psalm 118:24 & Psalm 113:3)

Thank you once again for extending to me, the Divine Call of Senior Pastor for Immanuel Lutheran Church and School.

I have spent the last couple of weeks seeking to understand the Lord’s will through prayer and deliberation over this Call. I am extremely grateful and completely humbled by all of the affirmations and words of encouragement that I have received by so many people here at Immanuel. It was very helpful to talk with our leadership, staff, and teachers in order to gain the clarity around this Call that I needed. God has spoken through you.

It is with great joy to inform you that I have decided to accept the Divine Call of Senior Pastor at Immanuel. I am excited about the future that God has planned for us, and pray that this would be a time where the body of Christ at Immanuel become unified under our Good Shepherd’s directions. With the help of the Lord, I will humbly serve and love you to the best of my abilities.

May we always keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

Serving together in Christ,

Rev. Warren K. Schilf

cc: Rev. Allan R. Buss, President-Northern Illinois District
Rev. Keith Haney, Mission Director-Northern Illinois District
Rev. Rod Krueger, Circuit Visitor
Mr. Dave Mueller, Elder Chair, Immanuel Lutheran Church
Mr. John Klein, Senior Pastor Call Committee Chair

The 50’s Plus Scene

We took some time off for the summer but will resume in September. Everyone is welcome—no church membership is required, so bring friends and neighbors.

September 7 First Meeting of the Season: Opening Church Service
Come join us at 10:00 a.m. every Friday in Fellowship Hall.

50’s Plus is Immanuel’s fellowship group for mature adults. We welcome singles, couples, or one of a couple, and we encourage you to bring friends from the community. We do not actually have “members” but are people who want to enjoy each other’s company, to learn some new things, to grow in God’s word–and to have fun! We meet on Fridays in Fellowship Hall at 10:00 a.m. We greet each other over a cup of coffee and start with a Bible Topic. We 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. No reservations are required, but if more information is needed, contact the church office at (847) 359-1549.

Why Send Your Child to Immanuel?

by Kevin Kindelin

Why send a child to Immanuel Lutheran School? After doing my research and processing the many reasons in favor of such a decision, it came down to two words in my mind: Our future. When that first hit me, it was more of an epiphany than a road-to-Damascus, knock-me-out-of-my-saddle revelation. Our future was not what first came to mind. I pondered how a child would benefit and then how that child’s parents would benefit, not as opposed to public education or home schooling, but from how our school stands out on its own merit. Being the curious type, I began my investigation. I looked up the mission and vision for our school and almost proclaimed my mission accomplished. Then I got word that they’d been revised! Behold, the new and improved mission and vision! (Pretty much a leaner version of the former–says it all in less.)

Mission – The mission of Immanuel Lutheran School is to partner with families to equip children for life-long learning and service through a rigorous academic program in a nurturing, Christ-centered environment.

Vision – The vision of Immanuel Lutheran School is that each child becomes a fruitful member of Christ’s Kingdom in their community.

This clearly speaks to the benefit both the child and parent may gain. There are several good arguments for sending a child to our school right in the mission and vision. Now don’t get me wrong. Public schools are a necessary option for many and still have their place. After all, I’m a product of the public school system and I turned out all right, didn’t I? Don’t answer that! Where Immanuel stands apart is the ability to offer a Christian- centered education to children, preschool through eighth grade, consisting of a rigorous academic program and unparalleled extracurricular activities including music, art and sports. We start early at Immanuel. Kids can get involved in organized sports as early as third grade. I had to wait until seventh grade before I could move beyond kickball and duck-duck-goose.

Our students are encouraged to express their talents through music, drama and arts in our fine-arts program. All grade levels are taught art and music and participate in several productions. I must admit, I did play a pretty mean flutophone in first grade.

Our purpose is to develop children spiritually and socially, as well as academically, and also to instill the love of Jesus in their hearts while preparing them for what lies ahead in the real world.

I asked Delaine Schiestel, Principal of Immanuel Lutheran School, why send a child to Immanuel? “For so many reasons… first, the teachers and staff - they get to know the children and each family. They figure out what makes each child tick and work with them and the parents, to help the child grow and achieve. Our academics are excellent – the majority of our graduates take advanced classes in high school. We not only prepare the children for the next grade, but for life. Students learn critical- thinking skills and put their faith into action through a variety of serving activities. But through all of this, the love of Christ flows. Grace and forgiveness are practiced; caring for others is emphasized; and confidence and purpose is built because of our value and worth through the eyes of our Savior. All we do is working towards our vision - developing each child to become a fruitful member of Christ’s Kingdom in their community.”

Our teachers and staff are the engine that makes this vehicle run. As experienced, professionally trained teachers, they are able to instruct our students in a way that not only fosters their intellectual development, but their spiritual maturation as well.

Earlier I mentioned two words of particular significance: Our future. Equipping our children to be effective citizens for life is crucial to the future of our church, school and community. I see several young men and women I knew as boys and girls who play active roles in the “goings-on” at Immanuel. We need more. The young minds and hearts of our children are fertile ground to plant seeds. College and other pursuits may distract them for a while, but if we care for their tender young shoots with love and the right instruction, then the garden they grow into will surely sustain Immanuel long after you and I have moved on to be with Jesus. Sorry for the extended metaphor…I just couldn’t help myself, but you get my point!

The lyrics of a song Whitney Houston sang come to mind as I write this, “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside.” Those lines pretty much sum up what I was saying about our kids being our future and what our mission and vision already states.

I’ve been using the possessive pronoun “our” throughout this article as if I have anything to do with the direct development and instruction of our programs. I don’t. What I do have is a vested interest in our future, which boils down to the successful perpetuation of our church and school. Many of us who attend Immanuel don’t have children, but we’d be foolish not to understand that the success of one depends on the success of the other. There’s a reason it’s called Immanuel Lutheran Church and School… because we are Stronger Together!

The OCC Item of the Month is School Supplies

The Operation Christmas Child (OCC) Item of the Month for August is school supplies! Back to school sales make August the perfect month to purchase quality school supplies at great prices. A child receives a shoebox only once in their ENTIRE life – let’s make these boxes great!

OCC School supply list:

  • Rulers
  • Pencils
  • Crayola Crayons (24 count or smaller). Crayola crayons won’t melt when shipped overseas to warmer climates…other brands will.
  • Colored Pencils
  • Notebooks that will fit in a shoebox

Since savvy shoppers know that August is a fantastic month to find flip flops and summer clothes on sale, we’d like to remind everyone that we’re thrilled to collect all items year-round. There are a wide variety of clothing items appropriate for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) shoeboxes! For example:

  • T-shirts – Shirts without writing, are best. English is not the primary language in many of the OCC countries and kids may not even understand what is written on their shirts. There’s also a culture gap.
  • Shorts, especially those with elastic waistbands so they last and fit longer.
  • Skirts, especially with elastic waistbands
  • Hats
  • Flip Flops/Shoes – These are especially important because shoes help kids who have to walk long distances to get to school or to get water from a well.
  • Socks – These are key…it gets cold at night even though the days are hot.

Of course, WOW items, like a soccer ball with an air pump, are always needed.

Simply drop off your donations in the bin just outside of Fellowship Hall by the children’s ministries bulletin board. If you have any questions, please contact Trephina Bedell, or 847-359-1549. More on information Operation Christmas Child can be found at

august photo school supplies gift

We’re collecting for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) 2018 Shoeboxes year-round!

We’re doing this to get ready for a great packing party on November 5, 2018. 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, 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 bin just outside of Fellowship Hall by the children’s ministries bulletin board. If you have any questions, please contact Trephina Bedell, or 847-359-1549

Volunteer at Good Samaritan Ministries

Good Samaritan Ministries is looking for volunteers on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the mornings to help sort clothes. Good Samaritan ministers to those whose needs range from urgent to dire by responding in the following core areas: assessment of needs, referrals, food, clothing and financial assistance. Your service to Good Sam helps Good Sam serve others. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities and a way to make a difference, please contact Good Samaritan Ministries directly at (224) 801-8359 or call the Church office at (847) 359-1549.


Who will answer the Call?

By Kevin Kindelin

So I’ve been thinking lately. Better lately than never. No, seriously…with Pastor Tom’s recent announcement on his retirement, I wondered what made him want to be a pastor in the first place. What inspired him, or any other man or woman for that matter, to make that leap of faith to go into the ministry? As I looked further into it, I discovered that it’s not really a decision one makes. In John 15:16, Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide.” The only decision the Called individual has is to answer yes or no.

What is a Call? Simply put, it’s a gift from God. Ah, but what is a Gift from God? You know, I could give you the standard by the book answer laying out all the blessings and gifts He provides to us, but in this respect, it means a Pauline-like thorn in the side. “Thanks God, what am I supposed to do with this?” a Called person might ask. I have an idea of what He might answer: “My grace is enough. Just do my work. I’ll let you know along the way.” Yeah, that thorn may hurt, but consider at all the good that can come from it.

I asked our deaconess and our pastors (Immanuel’s pastoral team) what it meant to them to be Called and how it was that they came to ministry.

In John 15:16, Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide.” The only decision the Called individual has is to answer yes or no.

    Deaconess Suzanne: “Every Christian is called (small c) to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and to share the love that He has for us so that they too may be saved and have that promise of an eternal life. Those who serve in areas of ministry in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, such as teachers, pastors, deaconesses, directors of Chris an education (DCE), directors of Christian outreach (DCO), and directors of Parrish music (DPM), believe and trust that they have a special Call (capital C) to serve God in their particular area of ministry. When I received my Divine Call to serve at Immanuel, I trusted and believed that the Lord was Calling me to serve his people and his church in Palatine. I never planned on going into full-time ministry. At the beginning of my junior year of college through a series of circumstances, I ended up in the teacher program at Concordia University River Forest. I can’t say that I felt strongly that God was leading me to be a teacher in a Lutheran school, but somehow through God’s leading, I ended up teaching for 15 years before going back to school to become a deaconess. Lutheran ministry and my Divine Call are all I have ever known and that has never wavered. I believe to this day that God has put me in ministry for a purpose. While I may never know the impact of my service on the lives of the people that I worked with, the babies that I held, and the hands that I prayed with as they were dying, I strongly believe that Jesus has walked with me and the Holy Spirit has guided me every step of the way.”
    Pastor Donald: “I feel that being Called into ministry is having that sense of God Calling you. For me, in my time I felt like I was being Called into ministry with youth. I know, at times that people think of a youth pastor as somebody just there to play games and babysit (so to speak). But to me, there is much more than that when it comes to serving in youth ministry. Youth have so much stuff going on in their lives, whether it’s coming from a broken home, temptations, not feeling like they fit in, and so on. They need to know that there is somebody out there that cares for them and wants to see them succeed. They need to be reminded of God’s presence. Youth need somebody to minister to them just as much as adults. And ultimately, I’m always reminded of what President Meyer (of Concordia Seminary, St Louis) said at my Call Day service, ‘Guys, just love your people.’ I think that is the best thing any minister can do, is just love their people.”
    Pastor Warren: “Being Called by God into the Holy Ministry is clearly the action of God leading you into service for His people, for which He designed and purposed you from the very beginning of your life. It requires recognizing God’s plan for your life, understanding His direction, and taking the steps of faith to follow Him, by denying yourself and your own plans to serve Him in His kingdom. I personally began to understand God’s calling for me through the encouragement of many people saying that I should be a pastor when I became Immanuel’s Congregation President. These encouragements came when the concept of being a pastor was not even on my radar. I was happy with the direction my career was going, but when people whom I barely knew, along with those closest to me were saying the same things, then I felt like God was trying to get my attention. After spending some time thinking, praying, and seeking counsel, God revealed more clearly His plans for me. I had many concerns that I kept giving God as I contemplated this possible new path, many of which I did not have answers for. God used these concerns to teach me more about trust and dependence upon Him. Over time God removed these concerns by opening doors to take care of those concerns for me and my family. When I saw how God was clearing the pathway, there was no denying His intention for my life.”
    Pastor Tom: “Divine Call – The agreement between a pastor and a congregation, which describes the responsibilities of each. The Call, issued through election by the congregation, is not a mere ‘contract’ but an agreement prayerfully entered into by God’s people acknowledging the work of God the Holy Spirit in the choice and the acceptance. Our understanding of the Call and the pastoral office can be found in Ephesians 4: 11-13: ‘It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.’ As for how I came to be a pastor, I had an inner feeling as a child and was encouraged by a couple of pastors as I got older. I got married very young, and my wife encouraged me to attend seminary at the expense of her own plans.”

In researching this article, I think I’ve come to understand the difference between a Divine Call to Ministry and the call to service a lay congregation member might hear. Let me put it into perspective. I think I’m a pretty good guy. I’ve even been called a “Godly man.” Never once did I consider entering the ministry. Never once in my life did I actually say, “yes, Lord! All that I have and am is yours.” Sure, I volunteer for this, that, and the other thing, but I’m not all in like those who have heard the Call. I really can’t speak for others, but I think this is true for most of us. I have also learned that the authority of the Call is Christ’s alone. When the Call is undoubtably Divine, then it’s a selfless one. Sure, the Called person carries human thorns into the very ministry he or she enters, but I’ll bet you already know the answer to my next unasked question. Right…grace.

Thank you Deaconess Suzanne, Pastor Donald, Pastor Warren, Pastor Tom, and all other Called teachers and staff. Thank you for being “all in.” That may seem like a simple characterization, but I’m a simple guy. Pastor Tom…I know you don’t want any fuss about your retirement, so I’ll just say this: Thank you again. Thank you for your teaching, your guidance, your leadership, your mentorship, and even your acerbic, yet somehow still silly, sense of humor. Thank you for sharing your Gift (capital G). Most of all, thank you for answering the Call.