Paint-a-thon 2021

Thanks to all our 2021 Paint-a-thon Volunteers!
Immanuel Lutheran Church partnered with a non-for-profit organization called “Hands on Chicago”. The objective is to assist one family from our community who is in financial need to give them a fresh coat of paint on the exterior of their home. All the paint and brushes were donated by Valspar Paint Company. Our volunteers painted all the trim on this home.

Backpacks, Blessing & Barbecue 2021

Backpacks, Blessings & Barbecue at the Bandshell

Thanks to all who attended our event on Sunday, August 15, 2021 at the Palatine Bandshell.

If you missed it you can still watch the video.

God has a Plan for You

When it was finally time to get a job when I was in high school, I followed in my brothers’ footsteps of working at Jewel in Barrington. Both of my brothers worked there during high school and college. It made sense to apply there when I was wrapping up my freshmen year of high school, since I knew I had an “in” at Jewel. I was hired around May of 2000 as a bagger. I worked at Jewel throughout high school and college. I officially ended my time at Jewel as a cashier in June of 2007, right before I moved to St. Louis to start at Concordia Seminary.

Overall, I would say my time was pretty good. One of my favorite parts of working at Jewel was the other high schoolers working at the store. Since, I was working at the Barrington Jewel, most of them went to Barrington High School, unlike me, who attended Cary-Grove High School. It gave me an opportunity to meet people that I normally wouldn’t have since we went to different schools, and most of my Cary-Grove classmates worked at the Cary Jewel. My group of friends at Jewel were all close and always enjoyed spending time with each other outside of Jewel. We had a solid core group made up of high schoolers from four different schools. One of my friends in that group was Mary, who was also a cashier. The core group stayed pretty well connected, even when we went away to high school, thanks to e-mail, this new thing at the time called Facebook, working at Jewel during Christmas and summer break, and, of course, weekly volleyball at Barrington High School in the summer.

As we all started graduating college, we began to drift away a little bit. We started in our careers, which made us busier. In my case, I moved to St. Louis for seminary; and four years later, I moved to my first church in Salem, Illinois about five hours south of the Palatine area. With all of us growing up and moving around, we lost contact except for seeing updates on social media and wishing happy birthday on Facebook, and some messaging there or texting. Even when I was in Salem, I would see Mary posting on Facebook about something she started called “The Community Meal.”

I told Pastor Warren how I had a friend who started this group in Barrington called “The Community Meal”
Fast forward, to January of 2016, I moved back to the Palatine area to start at Immanuel. One night, we were meeting discussing Stronger Together. In that meeting, Pastor Warren shared how he envisioned having some sort of community meal so we could invite the community to Immanuel to have a meal and fellowship. As soon as Pastor Warren said, “community meal,” I was reminded of my friend, Mary. I told Pastor Warren how I had a friend who started this group in Barrington called “The Community Meal” and how they serve free meals at local churches. I wasn’t sure if they only did meals in Barrington, but I told Pastor Warren I would reach out to Mary and start seeing if Immanuel could partner with The Community Meal. Almost ten years after last messaging Mary on Facebook, I sent her a message to see about partnering with The Community Meal. She responded by saying they would love to partner and that I should send an e-mail to her at The Community Meal. She invited Pastor Warren and me to Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington to check out what they were all about and how the meals go at a local church. Pastor Warren and I were blown away by how smoothly it was run and the fellowship that was taking place, and we wanted to become partners and start hosting meals at Immanuel. Not too long down the road, we were getting ready to host our first Community Meal. We didn’t know what to expect and, over the course of the evening, we were blown away by the response. We served over 150 meals and it was such a great night. Immanuel has been partnering with The Community Meal ever since that first time. Just this last week (July 22) we hosted our last Community Meal and served 286 meals!

As I reflect upon what a blessing The Community Meal has been for us at Immanuel, I see God’s hand in the process of getting it started at Immanuel. I would say that God’s hands in this process started when my oldest brother started working at Jewel. This led to my middle brother and, ultimately, me getting a job at Jewel—not just any Jewel but the one in Barrington, which was a couple miles further away from my parents’ house than the Cary Jewel. Over the years at Jewel, God fostered my friendship with that core group. Throughout those years at Jewel, there were other high schoolers that worked there but maybe didn’t work there for very long or just didn’t get as connected with that core group that I connected with. Yet, despite moving away from the area, God kept most of us connected to each other through Face- book, so we could see what each other was up to in life. I was able to see what The Commu- nity Meal was doing in Barrington. Little did I know that God would be calling me back to serve in an area that I will always see as home and have a chance to partner with Mary on bringing The Community Meal to Barrington. I won’t forget that meeting when Pastor Warren mentioned the phrase, “community meal.” He could have used any other term; and who knows that if he did, would it have triggered my mind to remember what my friend was doing with The Community Meal.

God is still working behind the scenes in each and every one of our lives right now.


That’s the amazing thing with God–He is always working in our lives to continue to further His Kingdom here with us. We never know what God is doing and why He connects us with the people He does in our lives. When I was 16 or 17 and working at Jewel with Mary, I would have never guessed we would be partnering to serve over 200 free meals for people in Palatine. God knew exactly what He was doing and the ministry that would be happening 20 years later. God is still working behind the scenes in each and every one of our lives right now. God has placed you in your neighborhood, your place of employment, school, community, friend group, and so on for a reason. He has amazing plans for you and will do amazing things for the Kingdom through you. It starts with building relationships with the people God places in our lives. We get to know them as we start doing life together. As we do life together, we see what God is doing and how we can share His love with that person. It will look differently for each of us–maybe it’s somebody who has fallen away from the church, or it’s somebody that has never had a relationship with God, or someone who is one step from falling away from the church. It doesn’t matter where they fall on that list because the mission is still the same…share God’s love with that person. As you share God’s love, you don’t know what that will lead to; but when you go with the Lord, you can’t go wrong. Who in your life needs to feel the love of God?

Pastor Donald

You’re Invited to see Guest Speaker Jaki Hernandez

Jaki Hernandez was left at an orphanage in Guatemala by her young mother when she was only a few months old. Sharing a room with 12 other girls, Jaki learned to protect the few possessions that she had.

One December, when Jaki was 5 years old, she received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift. Cuddling the stuffed animal she received in her shoebox, Jaki felt special, loved and cared for. She had something to call her own. One year later, she was adopted into a family in the United States and she started packing shoeboxes to share the love of Jesus with other children like herself.

To hear about God’s love in her life, please join us for a special time of Jaki sharing her testimony.

Sunday, September 21, 3:00 p.m.
Immanuel Lutheran Church

We welcome you to join us at this very special event. American Heritage Girls and Trail Life Troops IL0412 would like to personally invite the community, the church, and all other troops to come join us. What a wonderful day to celebrate the combined ministries of Operation Christmas Child, American Heritage Girls, and Trail Life USA.


Immanuel Church has once again partnered with a non- for profit organization called “Hands on Chicago”. The objective is to assist one family from our community who is in financial need to give them a fresh coat of paint on the exterior of their home. All the paint and brushes are being donated by Valspar Paint Company, we just need your help to paint the home.

If you’ve been looking for a volunteer opportunity but not interested in a long term commitment…this is the perfect opportunity. Although this act of love and service requires just one short part of your day, you can be assured it will provide years of appreciation every time the homeowner admires their nicely painted home. No experience is re- quired and it’s really a lot of fun. You just need to be at least 14 years old to participate. If you’re not able to paint, you can help in other ways such as serving lunch or just being a voice of encouragement.

Also, If you’re not able to participate on the Sept 11 painting date, you can still help by assisting in prepping the home on Sept 4th. Please consider signing up for one or both days of service.

Please contact the church office at (847) 359-1549 or to sign up for this very worthwhile community service event.

Immanuel Spring School Musical

On Friday, May, 21, 2021 @ 7pm students performed in our Immanuel School Musical –Back to the Beginning.

We hope you enjoy watching the performance!

Welcome New Members!

On Sunday, April 25, Pastor Warren & Pastor Donald greeted our new members and welcomed them into Immanuel Lutheran Church’s fellowship. Congratulations new members!

THE POWER OF ONE: Coming Out of the Darkness Into His Marvelous Light

Upon arriving at the one-year mark of the beginning of the worldwide pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus, it is important to look back and look forward. It is natural not only to look back and reflect upon what we have endured but also to look forward with intentionality to determine how we will navigate the course ahead. With the advent of the vaccine and the momentum that is gaining in its distribution, along with the promise of Spring, it would seem as though many are looking forward to brighter days. In the midst of the pandemic last year, we were told of dark days ahead and, in fact, lived through times of darkness in our world, as well as in our own personal lives. We have experienced upheaval, confusion, hostility, fear, sickness, suffering and loss. While each person’s experience was different, we have all dealt with our own level of personal struggle through this time.

Throughout this period of darkness, we as the Body of Christ at Immanuel have been intentional about shining a light into our community. This light, described in John 1:5 as “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it,” is the Light of Christ. Immanuel has shown the Light of Christ through this pandemic in many ways. Our school being open daily for our students to learn together in person with their teachers and fellow students is a light that pierced the darkness. Continued worship -online, outside, and particularly weekly in-person worship since July 4 -has been a light that has pierced the darkness. Our Christmas concert titled “Love was Born a King,” along with Advent, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day worship, was most certainly a light that pierced the darkness, particularly in the short days of winter and in the midst of greater COVID-19 restrictions. We began to serve our neighbor more intentionally throughout this pandemic.

Many volunteers made hundreds of phone calls on four different occasions throughout this past year to check on our members’ well-being. Our school partnered with our sister school, St. Paul Dorchester in Chicago, in December to help hand out food for their community drive-thru food giveaway. Thanks to our partnership with Jewel Food Stores, we delivered hams and turkeys and hams, oh my! Our Good Samaritan Ministry worked tirelessly with limited volun¬teers to meet the needs of thousands of people from day one of this pandemic, helping with financial, food and clothing needs. We hosted Drive-Thru Community Meals through the fall and very frigid winter months feeding hundreds. These are but a few instances where the people of Immanuel shone the Light of Christ and lived out the words of 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” I know with great certainty that there are stories of which I am unaware that happen along deep individual relationships where many of you are living out this verse with intentionality during this pandemic. And for that, I say with deep gratitude and affection, THANK YOU!! Thank you for being the Light of Christ and piercing the darkness and bringing out His marvelous light!

The power of oneIt is with great expectation and joy that I look forward to this coming Holy Week and Easter, where we witness, experience, worship and thank our Lord Jesus Christ who entered into the deepest of darkness as He went to the Cross to suffer and pay for the darkness and penalty of our sin. As Jesus hung on the Cross, darkness came upon the whole earth as described in Luke 23:44-45a, “It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed.” Shortly thereafter, Jesus breathed His last; and in the midst of darkness, our victory was won on the Cross! However, three days later, the darkness was lifted in the early morning sunrise, when Jesus rose from the grave! Darkness and death could not contain Jesus, for He is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed! The light has pierced the darkness and has completely overcome the darkness, because of the intentionality and purpose of Jesus winning salvation for us all! The “Power of One” made an eternal difference for us all! I pray that you personally experience that light of Jesus as your Risen Savior this coming Easter! I pray that He breaks through and shatters any personal darkness that resides in you! You see, where Jesus is, there can be NO darkness!! That is true for you, too! Jesus is YOUR light! May you feel the personal “Power of One!”

For that reason, we must look forward now, with great intentionality, with that same focus of Jesus that we employed during the pandemic, by shining the Light of Christ continually; but we must also turn our personal and collective focus toward the Power of One! First toward the Power of THE ONE, Jesus Christ, but also with intense focus on “The One” person in your life who is not currently walking with Jesus. Christ has given each of us and our Immanuel community our marching orders to carry out and live each day on His mission to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

“The One.” That is the reason that 13 members of our Church and School Ministry Leadership team, along with various lay leaders representing our three major boards (Board of Directors, Elder Board and Board of Christian School), retreated on March 12-14 at Immanuel over three days totaling just over 25 hours. We called upon the assistance of our new coach, Daryl Cripe of The Amplio Group, and his colleague, Andrew Graff. As we entered the weekend, none of us knew exactly what we were committing ourselves to, but each of us knew that we needed to intentionally begin to understand how Immanuel will be a church that continues to lead as a light that breaks through the darkness in our community. We do not wish to watch and wait to see what other churches will do so that we can mimic their paths. We feel compelled by Christ through His Great Commission to forge the pathway ahead in order to gain more for the Kingdom of God. So with that in mind, each of us opened ourselves up completely to the work of the Holy Spirit. We began in a brief but powerful heart-changing, Spirit-moving worship. Seemingly randomly, we were joined in worship by some of our eighth-grade class. But as you know, nothing is random with the Holy Spirit. As our hearts were being convicted, broken and laid bare before Christ in worship, He brought around us the very focus of our present and future -our young people! As I worshipped, I was asking the Lord to show me His direction for Immanuel, and it was as if the Holy Spirit said to me, “Look around! Open your eyes! Your focus is right behind you!”

Throughout the weekend, our coach Daryl showed us startling statistics of our younger generations relative to the importance of faith and church in their lives. Unsurprisingly, the data showed that the younger generations, Gen X (ages 45-56), Millennials (ages 26-44), Gen Z (ages 11-25), and soon Gen Alpha (ages 0-10), do not consider faith and church of great significance in their lives. The startling part was the degree to which these statistics are increasing downward through the younger ages. For instance, for 11–25-year-olds polled, 26% identify themselves as Christian and 43% identify as “NONEs,” having no religious affiliation. Maybe you know of someone who might fall into these categories. Maybe someone who is dearly close to your heart might align with these statistics.

Power of OneConsidering this information, as it correlates with our surrounding Palatine Community, and even in our own Immanuel Community, it is imperative now more than ever for us to take seriously living out the Great Commission. The pandemic has changed behavioral patterns on all fronts. The pattern of people attending worship, Bible study, serving and sending their children to a Christian school has changed, but more importantly, the pattern of people placing less importance on having a relationship with Jesus.

While Immanuel did an amazing job of shining the Light of Christ during this pandemic, our work is not done. With these statistics and patterns in mind, there exists a greater darkness ahead for the salvation of people that we personally know. We must increase with great intentionality our focus to personally and collectively put our mission into action, so that we ourselves are always “living out on mission” with the people in our lives. This will require a change of behavior in us. We cannot wait for others to make a change. We must change, so that we can make an eternal change for someone dear in our lives. Will you be willing to think of who “The One” might be in your life, who is not presently walking with Jesus? More importantly, will you be willing to do whatever you can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to actively become more involved in that person’s life in order to care, reflect and witness to them the love of Jesus, as the Lord makes opportunity for you to do that? Remember, Jesus commanded it. He didn’t suggest it.

So, our retreat team worked through the weekend to develop strategies to put into action that keep “The One” in mind in order that Immanuel can position itself to live out more fully the Great Commission that our Lord gave us, and that which we claim to be our very own Mission Statement.

Please pray for the two teams that were formed that will continue to seek the Lord’s guidance in attempting to formulate living out God’s mission on two initiatives that we hope to present and implement in the coming year. As I shared in worship, more will be shared as more develops and takes shape. For now, please pray that the Lord will continue the work He began with these teams during our retreat weekend. Please pray for the Lord to move mightily among them, and also amongst each of us, so that each of us is willing to do whatever it takes to bring more people into a relationship with Jesus.

God’s peace and blessings to you!
Pastor Warren

Vacation Bible School needs you!

VBS needs youDo you like working with children?

Our VBS is looking for a leader to organize the event this summer. The dates are June 21- 25. If you would like to take charge for this week of working and playing with younger children, please email Pastor Donald at or call the church office at 847-359-1549.


American Heritage Girls’ Flower and Plant Sale

The warmer weather and green grass is a sure sign that Spring is here! It’s time to think about your vegetable garden and flower beds! AHG Troop IL0412 appreciates your support of our annual Flower and Plant Sale. Order forms can be picked up from the main bulletin board above the OCC donation box in Fellowship Hall. An order form with payment can be turned in to an AHG adult member on Sunday, April 11th or April 18th before and after church service. The Troop will be delivering flowers within a five-mile radius of Immanuel on May 6 . If you live outside that distance, we will arrange a pickup time
for you. Please contact Becky Thomsen at with any questions.