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!

You are invited to a Service of Remembrance and Hope on Dec. 16 at 4:00 pm

You are invited to a Service of Remembrance and Hope to remember in prayer, song, and readings our loved ones who have entered eternal life.

Holidays can be hard when you are grieving someone close. This beautiful candlelit service will help you to experience the amazing gift of God’s eternal presence with us, always. Bring family, friends, and neighbors.


Sunday, Dec 16 at 4:00 p.m.

Immanuel Lutheran Church

200 N. Plum Grove Road

(parking lot is on Wood Street behind the church)

Refreshments will be served following the service.
Questions? Contact Deaconess Suzanne Fingerle at or call the church office at (847)359.1549

Sponsored by Care Ministry/Stephen Ministry of Immanuel Lutheran Church

Christmas Cookie Walk

Mark your Calendars for our 2018 Christmas Cookie Walk in Fellowship Hall

Saturday, December 1st and Sunday December 2nd

Want to have a lot of fun and enjoy delicious cookies?
Of course you do! We are asking the entire Immanuel church and school community; members, friends, parents, and staff to provide cookies for our 2nd annual Cookie Walk!

About the walk:

  • Drop off your delicious cookies in Fellowship Hall on Saturday, December 1st by noon.
  • Cookie donations should be at least 5 dozen.
  • Cookies will be placed on tables.
  • Take your container (provided) and fill it with an assortment of delicious homemade holiday cookies
    Pricing: $7.00/dozen (all proceeds to benefit the roofing project)

We are all in need of “elves” to help the days of the walk. If you plan on baking, or would like to help pleaase sign up at the table in Fellowship Hall starting the weekend of Nov. 10 or contact:

Renee Mueller

Guest Preacher Rev Dr. John Nunes @ Immanuel Nov. 17 & 18

Rev. Dr. John Nunes, President of Concordia College New York will be a guest preacher at Immanuel Lutheran Church on:

Saturday Nov 17 @ 5pm


Sunday, November 18 @ 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Please join us and invite your friends!

Reverend Dr. John Nunes has been president of Concordia College since 2016. He is an ordained LCMS Minister.

Join the P.R.A.Y. Religious Scouting Program

The P.R.A.Y. Religious Scouting program helps young people develop a deeper relationship with God and understand how God is active in their lives and in the world around them. It is a Christian Education resource that uses Bible lessons paired with projects to help young people not only grow in Christian faith but also express their faith by reaching out in love and in service to others.

The P.R.A.Y. program is open to all scouts (American Heritage Girls, Trail Life, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts) from any troop in grades 1 - 5. The P.R.A.Y. program will meet the religious reward requirements and award the scout the religious medal, certificate and national registration. The P.R.A.Y. program is also open to any interested students in grades 1 - 5 as well.

Each child participating will be working through hands on activities using games, crafts, and object lessons to learn about “God and Me” or “God and Family.” At the end of the class, the children will have either their own game box full of games or—“pizza” - that connects the object lessons.

P.R.A.Y Program (Grades 1-3)
6:30 –7:45 p.m.
Topic: God and Me

November 12
December 10
November 26
December 17

If you have a shoebox, please bring it with you.

P.R.A.Y. Program (Grades 4-6)
6:30-8:00 p.m.
Topic: God and Family

January 14
February 11
March 11
April 8
April 22
May 13

Adopt-A-Sailor Thanksgiving Day Luncheon

Immanuel has committed to host a Thanksgiving Day luncheon on November 22 for the Adopt-A-Sailor program through Great Lakes Naval Base. We are excited to host anywhere from 40-50 sailors to come to Immanuel so they can share a Thanksgiving Day meal with us.

This is where we need your help. We need individuals and families to enjoy the meal with them, so they can connect with an adopted family for the day! This is a tremendous outreach effort to our sailors who cannot join their families for Thanksgiving. We are also looking for people to help with the meal preparations and serving the food.

Jewel Foods has graciously agreed to provide the turkey and some trimmings. Bus transportation for the sailors will be provided. We need people willing to share their cell phones with the sailors so they can call their families.

Please consider being a part of this wonderful day by giving our sailors some of your time! Please contact Art Ellingsen about the program and Denise Neilson regarding volunteering for serving. Sign-up sheets will be available in Fellowship Hall.

We are looking for help Wednesday night for room set up. Help on Thursday: prepping food, serving, and clean-up. Please come and adopt a Sailor by eating and chatting with them. Stop by the table in Fellowship Hall to sign up for this event. You can still be home in time for your own Thanksgiving dinner!

Come to the Celebration Worship Service November 11!

”Stronger Together” Year 3 Anniversary and New Member Welcome!

Sunday November 11 - One Worship Service of Celebration at 10:00 a.m.

Saturday, 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. Gathering of Song and Study

Reception to follow the 10:00 a.m. Celebration on Sunday. Bring in your favorite homemade or store bought dessert to share after the service. Volunteers needed to help set up, serve, and clean up. Sign up at the table in Fellowship Hall.

Collection for Hurricane Relief Update…

hurricane reliefImmanuel will be a drop off location for Lutheran Church Charities collecting items to support those affected by the hurricanes and flooding. See the latest details below. Monetary donations are also welcome. Look for the green donation box outside the Narthex. Checks payable to Lutheran Church Charities – Memo: Hurricane Relief

As with all disasters, things can change as the needs become more evident. Here is the latest update from Lutheran Church Charities after a visit to the Florida panhandle this past weekend.

Lutheran Church Charities Hurricane Michael Relief Collections

Items needed for Hurricane Michael - in order of priority:

    1. Tarps
    2. Roofing Nails
    3. 5 LB bags of Charcoal
    4. New Charcoal Grills (in Box) – the small type
    5. Hand Sanitizer
    6. Gatorade
    7. Toiletries
    8. Paper Products (Towels, Kleenex, paper plates, paper cups, napkins, etc.)
    9. Feminine Products
    10. Diapers

Please BOX all donations and Label Outside of Box!!!
LCC Disaster Response LERT Ministry
Learn more:

Collection for Hurricane Relief

UPDATE: Lutheran Christian Charities has enough scrub buckets and will take what has been made, so please do not make more. See the updated list of most needed items.

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.