By Kevin Kindelin
Stronger Together…what does that mean? We’ve been talking about it, meeting about it, strategizing about it, developing mechanisms of delivery for it, and implementing it. In the last Summit, Pastor Tom referred to it as a Unity of Purpose. What does that mean? Together with whom, and how are we stronger? To me it means working with like-minded people within and outside of Immanuel with the ultimate goal of bringing souls to Christ. We at Immanuel endeavor to fulfill this mission through a plethora (ooh, I hate that word but it best fits the context) of ministries and events that demonstrate the power of Christ’s love. After rattling it around in my brain, and after prayerful consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that Neil Diamond was right. Reaching out will touch you, will touch me. And so we must do. And so we are doing.
Unity of Purpose… working with like-minded people within and outside of Immanuel with the ultimate goal of bringing souls to Christ.
Admittedly, we have always tried to be, and have always achieved at being, an integral part of Palatine and the surrounding community. Lately though, Immanuel’s been putting it into overdrive. Since the inception of Stronger Together, I’ve sat in on a meeting or two where we talked a lot of bold talk about how the only way to grow as a church is to grow in the community. After thinking about it though, I realized it isn’t bold at all. It’s what we’re supposed to be doing. It’s what we’ve been commissioned to do.
That plethora I alluded to earlier includes the Community Meal we’ve hosted four times and by the time this article is printed and/or posted, will have hosted a fifth on November 2. Anyone and everyone is invited to join us for a delicious meal and good Christian fellowship. This simple act of providing a meal also provides hope to those who may be lonely, neglected, elderly, or just hungry. That puts us right in step with Romans 12:13, the Community Meal’s mission: “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” The Community Meal was founded in Barrington by Mary Sandners and has now expanded into Palatine. After all, community is not defined by municipality.
We’ve reached into the communities affected by the recent devastating hurricanes by filling and sending a semi-truck filled with much needed supplies to Texas. Another $2,455 was donated through cash and gift cards. Through our Care Ministry, we were able to do a complete house makeover for a needy and deserving long- member, clean up weeds and flower beds at two separate residences, and help rebuild a deck at another, as well as several other projects.
Earlier this year, Community Keepers, a ministry outside of Immanuel which provides food for needy families affected by job loss, health issues, and other setbacks, reached out in partnership to Pastor Tom and Pastor Warren. They needed a central location to distribute items like bread, yogurt, fruit, and vegetables. On Saturdays and Sundays, ministry volunteers pick up donated food from area grocery stores and bring it to Immanuel’s cafeteria at 7:00 every Sunday morning, regardless if it’s a holiday. The boxes of food are laid out on the floor for the 12 to 15 families that come in to take what they need on Sunday morning between 9:00-9:30. Community Keepers welcomes Immanuel members to serve in this ministry.
The reason I’m saying all this is not to blow our own horn, so to speak, but to shed light on our efforts that can only be successful if we donate our time and talent to our mission of reaching into the community with Christ’s love. This article only touches on a few of our efforts. The more people contributing to the myriad (at least I didn’t say plethora) of needs, the Stronger Together we’ll be.