- Friday, March 1—4:00pm, 45 Faith Friday; 6:00pm, 678 Faith Friday
- Sunday, March 3 & March 10—Bookfair in West Atrium
- Monday, March 4—10:00am, Memorial Service for Shaun Janssen
- Wednesday, March 6—4:30-6:30pm, School Open House
- Wednesday, March 6—Family Night @ Immanuel, “The Five Love Languages”
- Wednesday, March 6—1:00pm and 7:00pm, Midweek Lent Worship
- Friday, March 8—Grandparents Day at Immanuel Lutheran School, Chapel at 9:00am
- Saturday, March 9—4:00pm, Mass Handbell Concert in gym (NoCo Spring Ring)
- Men’s Bible Study – 6:15am-7:15am, room 112. “Resilient” video series by John Eldridge. For more info, contact Paul Hein (email@example.com or 970-690-8257)
- Women’s Bible Study – 6:15am-7:15am, Wittrock residence. For more info: ChurchOffice@ImmanuelLoveland.org
- Women’s Bible Study – 9:00am-10:30am, Conference Room. “The Chosen” video series. For more info, contact Gail Hein (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Imposition of Ashes – 6:00am-8:00am, main church entrance.
- Ash Wednesday Worship 1:00pm
- Knitting Group – 1:00-4:00pm, room 112. For more info: churchoffice@ImmanuelLoveland.org
- Telescope Activity – 5:30pm-6:45pm, west side of building. For more info, contact Jim Found (email@example.com, 970-663-5490).
- Women’s Bible Study – 5:45pm-7:00pm, Conference Room. “Elijah.” For more info, contact Gail Hein (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Youth Midweek (grades 6-12) – 6:00-7:00pm, Youth Room, “The Whiteboard Bible Study.” Contact Marcus (mhoward@ImmanuelLoveland.org, 727-459-7026)
- Ash Wednesday Worship 7:00pm
Throughout the season of Lent, we have Wednesday Midweek worship services at 1:00pm and 7:00pm. These are brief, 30-minute devotional times of worship designed to help us reflect further on Jesus, His cross, and this powerful season of the church year. Tomorrow Pastor Paul Graff will be preaching, helping us look closer at Psalm 91 as part of our Lent series, The Psalms: A Book of Honest Emotions. All are welcome!
As a part of our Wednesday night Youth Group, the youth will be continuing a new Bible study that just started last Wednesday: The Whiteboard Bible Study. This study takes us through Scripture starting in Genesis and goes all the way through Revelation! Youth in grades 6-12 are invited to join us for Midweek Youth Group from 6-7:30 PM on Wednesday evenings for our trip through Bible, snacks, games, and our Lenten Midweek Worship. Friends are also always welcome! If you have any questions, please contact Marcus Howard.
All 4th-8th graders are invited to attend our March Faith Friday TOMORROW, this Friday, March 1st – 4th/5th graders from 4-6pm and Middle Schoolers from 6-8pm. We'll be focusing on Lent and Prayer! RSVP to Miss Martha at email@example.com.
Immanuel’s fundraising program, RaiseRight gift cards, is having a 2-day bonus sale Thursday, February 29th and Friday, March 1st. Over 100 brands will be on bonus with rebate earnings up to 22%. These bonuses only apply to eGift cards and reloaded gift cards purchased in the RaiseRight app or at raiseright.com. This is a great time to stock up on gifts, restaurant gift cards, home improvement gift cards, and more to earn extra money towards up to three of the following ILCS ministries: tuition credit, school ministry, church gift, youth group, and children’s ministry.
If you are new to RaiseRight, fill out this agreement form https://forms.office.com/r/r6byYd5Hdq and sign up in the app or at www.RaiseRight.com with the enrollment code 51CD45434712. Thank you for your support!
Donuts and Devos will be happening THIS Saturday, March 2nd! Young Adults and Young Families are invited to get together for donuts and devotions at Rob and Amy Meyer’s house (1810 Twin Lakes Circle, Loveland, CO 80538) on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 9:30-11:30am! Children are welcome and donuts, coffee, and water will be served. There’s NO NEED to RSVP or bring anything. Call/text Amy (970-689-2076) or Rob (970-420-7528) with any questions!
Psalm 19 is a beautiful psalm extolling the wonders of creation and the glory of God. God’s glory is reflected in creation and also in God’s Word. We are reminded through this psalm to not take for granted the beauty we see all around us. We’re also encouraged to take to heart the beauty and power of God and His Word. I hope you can join me as we take in Psalm 19 together!
As always, if you can’t be here in-person, take advantage of our live stream option. We live stream our worship services directly from the home page of Immanuel’s website through YouTube. You can view our worship live streams here: https://immanuelloveland.org/ Below are the Scripture readings if you want to take a look at them ahead of Sunday.
March 3rd – Third Sunday in Lent
Lent Series: The Psalms: A Book of Honest Emotions
Old Testament: Psalm 19
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
Gospel: John 2:13-22
Sermon Title: “Psalm 19: Creation and the Word”
Join in the learning and in the fun with many opportunities during the Education Hour on Sunday mornings between worship services from 9:30am-10:20am. Below is a list of what’s being offered for all ages. Questions? Adult classes, email Pastor Robin firstname.lastname@example.org; children’s ministries, contact Miss Martha (email@example.com); Middle and High School, contact Mr. Marcus (firstname.lastname@example.org or 727-459-7026).
- The Gospel of Luke – Pastor Robin (room #206) – this class is open to all! We start with Luke 4 in the new year. Contact Pastor Robin if you have questions (email@example.com).
- The Foundations” (video series on the book of Genesis) – Pastor Greg and Lindy Hafeman (room #36) – this class began in November and is continuing. Contact Pastor Greg or Lindy if you have any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com)
- Immanuel 101 – Pastor Glen (room #112) – this class is for anyone who wants to know more about who we are at Immanuel and what we believe and teach. This class is open to all! Contact Pastor Glen if you have questions (gschlecht@ImmanuelLoveland.org).
Sunday School for Kids:
- Infant/Toddler Class: Room 110, with music, a Bible story, and time to play.
- Sunday School Opening: All Preschool-4th Graders start in Room 113 for opening. After Opening, children go to their age-appropriate classes as follows:
- Preschool Class: Room 109, 3-, 4-, & 5-year-olds, a Bible story, craft, snack, and play.
- Kindergarten-2nd Grade Class: Room 108, Kindergarten through 2nd Graders, a Bible story, game, craft, and snack.
- 3rd-4th Grade Class: Room 113, 3rd and 4th Graders Bible story, game, activity, craft, and snack.
- Bridge56: Room 204, 5th and 6th graders
Sunday School for Middle School and High School Youth:
- Middle School Confirmation – 7th grade Room 202; 8th grade Room 203
- High School Youth – Youth Room (Room 201)
The first Sunday of the month is this weekend and that means we will have our Community Assistance door offering after each worship service. These are dollars that go toward helping people in need in our community, including people in our own congregation. We are partnering with local ministries and many other Loveland congregations to make sure that people in our community get the help they need when it comes to food, rent, utilities, etc. You can give to this fund through the door offering, using the envelopes you may receive in the mail, using the Immanuel app, texting ILCGIVE to 77977, or by going to our website (www.ImmanuelLoveland.org) and hitting the maroon “Give” button, followed by selecting “Community Assistance” from the drop down options. Thank you for your gifts for this ministry and sharing the love of Christ in this way.
Check out the Vacation Bible School (VBS) table in the atrium to pick up donation tag(s) to help provide snacks, supplies, gift cards, and monetary support. One of the best ways to donate is through the purchase of gift cards, which is a great opportunity to purchase RaiseRight gift cards from the Church Office and double your support for Immanuel! If you’ve got any questions, contact Scuba Martha (mharkins@ImmanuelLoveland.org)!
Featured for our next two Family Nights @ Immanuel will be “The Five Love Languages.” Don’t know what they are? Interested in finding out? Come and learn how to improve your relationships with others!
20 million copies (and counting) of Gary Chapman’s book, “The Five Love Languages,” have been sold since its first printing in 1992. To say that the book is relevant, relationship changing, and enhancing would be a vast understatement. Whether it be words of affirmation, quality time, the giving of gifts, acts of service, or physical touch, knowing not only your love language but your family members’ love languages can make a significant difference in all the key relationships in your life.
Immanuel’s own retired Pastor Frank Johnson has been a trainer and teacher of the Five Love Languages material for many years. Pastor Frank will be the presenter for our March and April Family Nights @ Immanuel. Pastor Frank is not only a pastor but also is the recipient of a Masters of Science Degree in Family Life Studies, in addition to being a Certified Family Life Educator by the NCFR (National Council on Family Relations). On our final two Family Nights of this school year (March 6 and April 10), Pastor Frank will be sharing the basics as well as in-depth application of the Five Love Languages’ potential impact on all our lives.
The evening begins with a free dinner from 5:00pm-6:00pm (if you wish, you can make a donation that will go toward youth ministry), and then the seminar will be in the sanctuary from 6:00pm-7:00pm. Come and bring some friends!
As part of our next Family Night @ Immanuel happening on Wednesday, March 6th, we will also have an Open House for our school ministry that will include tours and an opportunity for families to meet our teachers, ask questions, and see for themselves what an amazing school we have! See more details in the poster below then spread the word – share this with friends, co-workers, and neighbors who have school-aged children.
Our Youth Team was able to score a group of tickets for the Colorado Eagles hockey game on Saturday, March 16th. Tickets for this event are limited, so please sign your youth up ASAP. Signups will close NEXT Wednesday, March 6th. To sign up, use this link: https://signup.com/go/BHuMiaM We will meet at Immanuel at 6:30pm to leave for the game which starts at 7:05pm. We’ll return to Immanuel as soon as the game concludes (around 10:00pm). Youth tickets are $20 each. If you have any questions, please contact Marcus Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 727-459-7026.
Next week, March 3-9, Immanuel Lutheran School is celebrating National Lutheran Schools Week (NLSW). NLSW is an annual celebration focusing on the important mission of Lutheran Schools in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus to children and families! The theme for this year is “CONNECTED” from John 15:5 – “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” The theme will focus on the importance of our connection with Christ as our Savior as well as encourage our connectedness to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ!
On Thursday we will connect as a community and celebrate the Immanuel Showcase! Everyone is invited to this fun event on March 7th! Here is the lineup of events for the evening:
- 5:45pm—Preschoolers will perform in the church sanctuary
- 6:00pm—Middle School science fair projects will be on display in the gymnasium
- 6:30pm—K-5 students will perform in the church sanctuary
- 7:00pm—Middle School band performance in the church sanctuary
- Preschool-8th grade art exhibits will be on display throughout the atrium all evening
You are free to browse before or after any scheduled activities!
This is such an amazing evening that really showcases what amazing students and families we have here at Immanuel! There will also be light refreshments in the gym throughout the evening provided by Immanuel’s Parent Teacher Fellowship.
Book Fair Link: ILCS Book Fair Homepage 2024
On Saturday, March 9th, a Northern Colorado Handbell Festival will be held at Immanuel. Over 75 handbell ringers will rehearse together throughout the day Saturday, performing a concert together at 4:00pm Saturday afternoon. This concert, held in Immanuel’s gym, is free and open to the public and all are invited to come watch Immanuel’s Ring Joycers Handbell Choir in concert with multiple other handbell choirs from northern Colorado!
Miss Martha is accepting candy donations now through Palm Sunday. Candy should be individually wrapped and nut-free. Please leave candy in the bin in the atrium marked “Easter Candy.” Our Easter Egg Hunt will be on Easter Sunday at 9:45am and will start by meeting outside under the pergola on the west side of the building! There will be two different hunts: one for toddlers-kindergarteners and one for 1st-5th graders. All kiddos and families are invited to participate.
Immanuel is once again partnering with Lutheran World Relief (LWR) to provide Personal Care Kits which are shipped around the world to people in need. We can’t control when disasters strike, but there are things we can do to help people around the world meet basic needs at those times and, in doing so, share the love of Christ. Items included in Personal Care Kits include a light-weight bath-size towel (between 20”x40” and 52”x27”, dark color recommended), two 8-9 oz. bath-size bars of soap in original wrapping, adult-size toothbrush, sturdy comb, and metal nail clippers. You are invited to bring in any of these items through the season of Lent and our Immanuel Lutheran School students will assemble and pack the kits in the month of April. For more information on Lutheran World Relief or Personal Care Kits, see the handout in the atrium or visit lwr.org/kits/personal-care-kits.
It is awesome walking into Immanuel’s sanctuary on Easter Sunday and having the Easter lilies “trumpet” the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection! If you are interested in donating money toward the purchase of lilies and other flowering plants for Easter, checks or cash may be dropped off at the church office or put in the offering plates, marked “Easter Flowers” (checks should be made to ILC). Easter flowers can be provided “in memory of (the name of your loved one),” or “to the glory of God.” You may also do this online with Immanuel’s GIVE button by clicking “Altar Flowers” and emailing or calling to let us know your donation is intended for this purpose (email@example.com, 970-667-4506). Thank you!
With Easter right around the corner, our Youth Ministry team is preparing for our annual Easter Pancake Breakfast! The Easter breakfast supports our Youth Ministry and our High School Summer Mission Trip. This summer, our youth will be traveling to Missouri and Arkansas for a time of faith building and service work. If you would like to support our Youth, please consider donating one or more items from our shopping list to help us get ready for our Easter Breakfast. You can view the list and sign up for items in the atrium or online here: https://signup.com/go/YWXhDAy All items are needed to be brought in by Good Friday, March 29th. If you have any questions, please contact Marcus Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 727-459-7026. Thank you for your supporting our Youth!
Thank you for your response to rides needed to help people get to worship! We have one more need still outstanding—a member who lives in south Fort Collins near Horsetooth and Taft Hill Road and prefers the 8:00 service. If you’re able to help or are willing to be part of a small group to rotate giving a ride, contact the church office and let us know (churchoffice@ImmanuelLoveland.org). Thank you very much!
Do you or someone you know have children? Have you ever considered what a powerful gift a Christian education could be? To give your child not only a solid academic education but to have your child immersed in Jesus and His love while that’s happening is a gift that can have a lasting and even eternal impact. Enrollment for next year is underway for preschool through high school, as well as current openings in our toddler program!
For families who are looking for a solid alternative to public education, you can have confidence that what is taught here at Immanuel, both formally and informally, is solid, Bible-based, and Christ-centered! This is a place of grace and love. Our entire staff is amazing – they love Jesus, they love children, and they love teaching.
If you or someone you know is interested in exploring the possibility of enrolling your child at Immanuel Lutheran School or would like more information, contact the school office or Cheryl Gilbert, our school Principal (schooloffice@ImmanuelLoveland.org, 970-667-4506, cgilbert@ImmanuelLoveland.org). They would be delighted to answer your questions, set up a tour, or share more about how a Christian education can make a lasting difference in the life of your child.
We are enrolling for all grades, including preschool and toddler, for the 2024-2025 academic year. An assessment is required for grades K-8th before application is accepted. To begin the process, fill out an inquiry form found on the school website or use this link – https://immanuelloveland.myschoolapp.com/app/embed#inquiry/26643 . It only takes two minutes. Spread the word about our amazing, Christ-centered school!
As we’ll be reflecting on various psalms throughout the season of Lent this year, I want to share a couple of other resources you may want to consider looking at. Timothy Keller wrote daily devotions for the entire year based on the Psalms. It’s titled, The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms. These devotions tap the many topics covered in the Psalms, such as integrity, foolishness, community, suffering, guidance, grace, complaining, ingratitude, storms, restoration, rest, and more! Another is by C.S. Lewis, a little book titled Reflections on the Psalms. Lewis shares his ruminations on both the form and the meaning of selected psalms. In the introduction he explains, "I write for the unlearned about things in which I am unlearned myself." Consequently, he takes on a tone of thoughtful collegiality as he writes on one of the Bible's most elusive books. The last book I’m referencing is not really a book on the psalms or about the psalms but rather the journey of a man named Chad Bird as he very transparently shares his struggles and how the psalms played an important part of his faith. The title of his book is Night Driving: Notes from a Prodigal Soul.
Immanuel’s library is a rich resource for any biblical topic and the Book of Psalms is no exception! Though there are many, I’ll mention two of them here: My Soul Thirsts for God: Reflections on the Psalms from Our Daily Bread and A Devotional Commentary on the Psalms by Herbert Lockyer, Sr. You can find these, and more, by searching the library catalog (https://immanuelloveland.org/church-library/).
Finally, there are two digital resources I suggest: Bring It Home daily devotions that expand on Sunday’s message written by Immanuel members (to sign up, email your request to email@example.com), and Lamb of God, Lent daily devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries that you can read or that can be read to you through their podcast (to sign-up: www.lhm.org/lent).
Do you play a woodwind, brass, string, or other type of instrument? We’d love to have you participate in Immanuel’s Instrumental Ensemble during Holy Week and/or Easter worship! What’s holding you back from participating in this way: You haven’t played your instrument for a long time? You don’t currently own an instrument? You don’t play at a professional level? All of these ‘issues’ have been overcome by others at Immanuel and they’re glad they did! Contact Kathy Schlecht to talk more about it (667-4506 or firstname.lastname@example.org). It’s not too late to get that embouchure in shape!
On Thursday, April 18th, a will and estate planning seminar will be offered at Immanuel: “Estate Planning: A Christian Perspective on Planning for the Future.” This seminar will take place at 10:00am in Immanuel’s sanctuary. This free seminar will be presented by Nolan Wittrock, an Immanuel member and attorney whose law practice focuses on estate planning. No registration is required.
Who Should Attend? Everyone! Estate planning is something every adult needs regardless of age or situation in life. Planning your estate involves exercising stewardship and organizing your assets in the event of your death or incapacity. It includes not only distributing property when you die, but also making choices about minor children and preparing for financial and medical decisions if you are unable to do so yourself. God calls us to be good stewards of the earthly possessions He has provided. As Christians, it is important to plan our estate in a way that honors God and furthers His kingdom in this world.
Today’s Encouragement highlights a couple in our congregation, Thom and Joani Schultz, and a wonderful recognition they received this past week as was highlighted in the Loveland Reporter-Herald newspaper. Congratulations! Here’s a summary of the article with a great picture of Thom and Joani:
“Group Publishing, the Loveland-based Christian curriculum designer and media publisher that has customers across the country and the world, celebrated 50 years of operation Wednesday afternoon, inviting current and former staff to celebrate. Thom Schultz, right, founder and CEO of Group Publishing, and his wife, Joani Schultz, Chief Creative Officer, react as they watch a video Wednesday during an anniversary celebration in Loveland. Reporter Will Costello covered the anniversary and celebration. (Jenny Sparks/Loveland Reporter-Herald)”
Our annual car show isn’t until June 8th, but we need to double the size of our parking team this year so we’re already starting to recruit volunteers to help. We need people to help direct car show participants to parking spots in the various parking lots and to direct visitors to parking spots in the field west of the church. Many hands mean light work! If you are interested in helping with this part of our car-themed community service event, please contact Randi Rost (email@example.com, 970-214-2211) or Pastor Robin (rdugall@ImmanuelLoveland.org).
Lago Vista Neighbor is hiring a new executive director. Over the years, Immanuel has been very supportive of the ministry happening with our neighbors to the north in Lago Vista. Duncan and Laney Howard started the ministry in 2010 and are ready to retire. If you are interested in more information, contact the church office. 970-667-4506, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Giving Statements for 2023 are now available and were placed in your church mailbox. In addition, you can access your giving statement directly by logging into your Church Community Builder (CCB) account and following the steps below:
- Log in to CCB HERE
- The giving statement is located on the left column under “My Giving”
- Select “Giving Statement” and “Custom Data Range”
- Change the date to Jan. 1, 2023 – Dec. 31, 2023
- Select “Run Report”
- The report will generate a pdf
If you have any questions about your 2023 Giving Statement or having trouble accessing your CCB account, please contact the church office (email@example.com (970) 667-4506).
The date has been set for this summer’s family camping: June 12-15, 2024. That is the week just before Vacation Bible School. These dates include weekdays and the weekend, so that people who are working M-F can be included. We will be camping at Vedauwoo (30 minutes west of Cheyenne), since it does not require reservations, and has overflow spaces in case the formal campground gets full. There are no hookups. Those who just drive up for the day are also welcome. Please let Jim and Sue Found know if you are interested or want more information (cell 970-663-5490, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Register here today: https://vbspro.events/p/events/ilcs2024
We are still in need of a new congregational Treasurer. This is a volunteer position. The person should have some reasonable accounting and finance experience in such things as reading financial statements, banking relationships, loan management and budgets. The Treasurer is a member of our Executive Council. If you or someone you know may be interested, please contact Greg Northrup, Executive Council President (email@example.com).
If so, you can help Immanuel with service projects, fundraisers, educational events, and more, up to $500 every single calendar year! The Thrivent Action Team program allows each Thrivent member to apply for a $250 grant twice each year. Many individuals have already applied for and received a grant in 2023. We want to make sure and capitalize on all grants available by keeping an updated list of Thrivent members and connecting those members with projects and events. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are a Thrivent member to be sure we have your name on the list and so we can keep you informed on opportunities to use your available grant money! More information about the program is available at: Thrivent Action Team or by calling your Thrivent rep.
Beginning last month, our Information Station at Immanuel has been STAFFED weekly. Pastor Robin has been at the Information Station before and after each worship service answering questions and putting information into anyone’s hands about the plethora of ministries in our congregation as well as joining our greeters in creating a welcoming environment for our growing worshipping community. On Sunday mornings, our Information Station is “ground zero” for welcoming our first time or long-time guests, getting people signed up for Pastor Glen’s email updates, answering questions, sharing the contact information of ministry leaders, etc. Pastor Robin is still looking for some individuals who have “hospitality” spiritual gifts and who’d like to see people connect with each other and Immanuel’s various ministries, to help at the Information Station. For anyone who would like to be a part of this new ministry, Pastor Robin will be providing a training session in November that will give an overview of all that’s happening around Immanuel. If interested, contact Pastor Robin (email@example.com).
In the Sunday morning Grief class, Pastor Glen talked briefly about Immanuel’s Columbarium – did you know we had one at Immanuel? A columbarium is a place where ashes of a deceased loved one can be placed. Our columbarium is on the northeast corner of our parking lot. The columbarium was in the works for many, many years and was finally completed in November 2020. A variety of people at Immanuel helped make this a reality but most all of them have moved away and are no longer here. Jerry Austin was the “work-horse” in making the final push to get it done and Jerry is the one who is continuing to take care of the details related to upkeep and promotion of our columbarium – thank you, Jerry!
We are looking for a couple of people who may be interested in being part of the Columbarium Team along with Jerry. Several of the niches are currently in use and a few more have been committed. Policies are in place to administer the program so there is not a lot of ongoing work needed. The Team would simply provide information to support requests to reserve a niche or when a death occurs, to support needs of the family regarding the urn or box size and then coordinate the engraving of the granite cover. Future site development includes plants, irrigation, and more sandstone walking surfaces that can be engraved be placed south of the current paved perimeter. Funds are on hand to begin this work. The Team volunteers are not expected to physically do the work but help plan improvements. If you’re interested in being part of this team or if you have questions about it, contact Jerry Austin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-686-5939 (landline, no texts). Below is some basic information and additional comments on Immanuel’s columbarium.
Cost of 1-person niche (niches 1-9) – $1,000 at time of registration (or $1,100 later).
Cost of 2-person niche (niches 10-45) – $1,800 at time of registration (or $2,000 later).
Engraving of granite is included, once for single niche and twice for two-person niche.
Other Expenses Not in Basic Niche Price
Metal urn – $100 to $150 depending on selection chosen
Engraved Mahogany Wooden Urn (we have this in stock) - $60, Engraved
The niche prices, which apply to all niches, were set based on the Phase 1 costs of the foundation, approach sidewalk, perimeter sidewalks and the granite columbarium itself. They are in line with Loveland area costs. The cost of engraving the granite faces which is included now, may need to increase at some point. To provide a pleasing Columbarium appearance, the general layout and fonts used for names and dates is standardized. There is flexibility for Bible verses with room for artwork type engravings. There are nice veteran’s plaques that could be worked into the granite faces as well. Granite engraving takes several weeks to schedule. Records have been set up for each niche. Paperwork is simple and aimed at orderly administration of the site over the many years.
Our research disclosed problems with fastening flowers or flower holders on the face of the Columbarium. Our decision was to accommodate low growing flowers at the base of the columbarium unit or in flower urns on each side. This is to prevent hiding adjacent niches, damage to the granite and the problems with flower deterioration. There are many examples of the benefit of controlling all aspects of the columbarium’s appearance.
Funds were raised initially and were increased by reservation of niches as the first phase of construction was completed. Future improvements such as benches, flower urns, irrigation, ground cover, trees, shrubs, and plantings will be funded from the fees for the niches as the Congregation desired the project to be self-funding. This project was the result of many efforts over many years. The main driving force for the current effort was Francis Sedlacek, Linda Sedlacek, Jerry Austin, and Linda Austin. If anyone would like to help with the Columbarium on behalf of the Congregation, it would be an important service and appreciated. With the basic Columbarium and walks created, the remaining work is not hard: helping people who wish to use it and the planning of future improvements, which should be exciting.
Friends of Immanuel,
It’s rare for me to have the opportunity to write to you on February 29th – the extra day that comes to us every four years! How cool is that? It got me thinking about things that don’t happen very often, and my mind went off in some weird places. With March Madness (the annual college basketball tournament) right around the corner, no one has ever created the perfect bracket in the history of the NCAA tournament. To have your team win the Superbowl actually doesn’t happen very often (certainly not as often as us fans would like!). To find a four-leaf clover, a three-nut-peanut, or a $100 bill on the ground are all pretty rare occurrences. I Googled “rare things that happen” and I came up with getting struck by lightening or attacked by a shark – both things that seem to happen pretty regularly in movies and on TV but not in real life. Surprisingly, getting audited on your taxes (being in the midst of tax season) only happened to 0.5% of the 196 million returns in 2017.
God’s Word is filled with rare and miraculous sort of things. Think about that for a moment – what sorts of things come to mind? For me, I think of creation itself, parting of the Red Sea, the sun standing still for a period of time, Jesus walking on water, raising the dead, curing incurable diseases, and casting out demons.
What’s awesome about our Lord, however, is not just the amazing and rare happenings that we read about in the Bible. As crazy and challenging and difficult as life in our world can be, what’s awesome is that which we know is anything but rare – God’s love for us. While God’s love truly is miraculous, it is something we can always count on. The promises He gives us that He is always with us, that He knows what’s going on in our lives and that He truly cares about us and all that we’re going through, that He can and does forgive us for the things we think, say, and do, are some pretty awesome things that the Lord pours into us.
So on this rare day of February 29th, embrace the not-so-rare love God has for you. Then why not share some of that love with someone you see today…
Serving together in Christ alone!
Friends of Immanuel,
Yesterday’s message on Psalm 22 got a little heavy-duty! The psalm starts out with this – “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.” I invited everyone to think about times when they may have felt like King David as he wrote these words. We live in a world that’s broken, sin-filled, and, at times, pretty dark. Our lives can be filled with disappointment, struggles, failure, challenges, anger, sadness, uncertainty – the whole gamut of emotions that we can carry. And there are times in our lives that can feel very lonely, aren’t there?
The reality that counters the realities we’re up against is that Jesus stepped into our loneliness, our brokenness, and our darkness. And not only did He step into it, He conquered it for us. That doesn’t make times like these disappear but it does make it bearable because we know we’re not alone in them and that we have so much more to live for and to hope for.
The What Now? I shared on Sunday is something I’m encouraging you to carry beyond just this week.
Be honest with God and go to Him no matter how you are feeling. Pray and talk with Him from the foundation of your faith and trust in Him, assured that He IS here with you.
Know that God is here, that He does care about you, that He is here to forgive you, to rescue you, to save you, and to walk alongside you. Trust in Him in these crazy times, taking His promises to heart!
Serving together in Christ alone!
Friends of Immanuel,
The season of Lent and its traditional disciplines of fasting, prayer, and acts of service, as well as the practice of “giving something up for Lent,” are certainly all worthwhile matters to take note of. As we are just over a week into Lent, I want to offer my encouragement to each of you to engage with these various disciplines and observances of this season. The opportunities before us are many, varied, and rich. The goals of Lent are to intentionally grow stronger in our faith, to be more intentional in our following of Jesus, and to sharpen our focus on the power of the cross as we prepare for and anticipate the wonder of Jesus’ Easter victory.
We are so blessed here at Immanuel – and for so many reasons which enhance our Lenten observance but many of which are actually commonplace for us all year long! But don’t get complacent and don’t take these opportunities and blessings for granted! While you read in these updates so many different ways we can serve and give and grow and learn, let me hold up for you some of the basics of our life together and the gifts they are.
Worship. We can freely worship together every Sunday, utilizing two different musical styles. During Lent, we add a short, devotional-type service on Wednesdays. Worship is formational in the lives not only of little children but of teens and even us adults. I remember growing up and knowing that when it was Sunday, we were going to worship. It wasn’t a drudgery or a heavy burden, it was just what we did and as a kid, I really didn’t think much of it. I have to be honest and admit that I hardly remember any sermons but what I do remember are the people in that small-town congregation, my amazing pastor, some of my Sunday School teachers, the unique smells of the sanctuary, burning candles, and the church basement when we had soup suppers in Lent and potlucks through the year. I remember when I was old enough to light the candles. Being in worship formed, shaped, and molded me in my faith, my understanding of Jesus, being part of the Body of Christ, helping me to know that I was part of something much bigger than just myself, and helping me learn how I was called to live my life every single day.
Time in the Word and in Prayer. Take advantage of the many Bible study and educational opportunities for children, youth, and adults that happen on Sunday mornings and throughout each week. There are far more than I can list here today, but if you have questions about what’s offered and available or if you have an idea for a particular topic or study, contact Pastor Robin (rdugall@ImmanuelLoveland.org).
Last week I mentioned in my Monday (February 12th) email update, various books and other resources to get us into the Word. Take another look at that for some rich resources or if you can’t find it, let me know and I’ll be happy to forward that to you. I’ll hold up our weekly Bring It Home (BIH) devotions in particular and encourage their use. The BIH devos are written by members here at Immanuel and edited by me. We have them available in written form as inserts every week in the worship folder. They are also available on our Immanuel website and they can be emailed to you every day (just email ChurchOffice@ImmanuelLoveland.org if you want to receive those daily emails – Monday through Saturday).
Prayer is a powerful and mysterious gift we’ve been given. I don’t know exactly how it “works,” but I do know that at the heart of prayer is an expression of the relationship we have with our Triune God. We can take anything and everything to Him. I love what Pastor Frank shared in his midweek Lent sermon yesterday that he learned about prayer. There are four ways God answers prayers: yes, no, wait, and “I’ve something better planned!”
If you’d like to be part of my email prayer group, just email me and let me know. How this group works is that I receive prayer requests almost every day. I try to group them together and send them out once or twice each day to everyone in that email group. When you open up my email, take a moment to read through and simply pray over the requests. That’s it. There are likely many people you won’t know personally but as sisters and brothers in Christ, we have the privilege of praying with and for each other.
As I said, we are so blessed. To speak just of these basics causes me to pause and offer a quick, “Thank You, Lord!” We are not alone in this journey of faith and life. Lean into our Savior. Look for opportunities to walk together with others in the faith. And give thanks to God for the blessings of this life!
Serving together in Christ alone!
Friends of Immanuel,
Today I want to touch briefly on a very serious and very troubling topic – the attacks on the family today. The family continues to be bombarded from all different angles and, as God’s Church, we need to provide encouragement, help, resources, and whatever we can to protect and strengthen this God-given, God-made foundation of our culture. God put us in families and He created families to be what society is built around.
We should not be surprised when we see and hear our enemy the devil doing everything he possibly can to tear down and destroy families. Some of the very dark sides of these attacks include things I’ve mentioned in sermons – sex trafficking of women and children; the rise of pedophilia and efforts to make this evil “normal”; promoting the unbiblical and harmful idea that there are more than two genders; the rampant use of and availability of pornography, including child porn (I recently heard some disturbing statistics of how many people view pornography, including men and women, and the percentages are staggering), as well as pornogaphic books in public elementary school libraries; questionable sex curricula in public schools; irreversible sex-change surgeries, hormone-blockers, and similar procedures being allowed on teens, sometimes without parental knowledge; drag queen story times in libraries; and longstanding attempts to bring acceptance to unbiblical and immoral lifestyles (which have actually been very successful over the past number of decades).
Some of the not-as-dark attacks that come to families, but which are still doing damage, can include: smart phones and the amount of screen time children, youth, and adults have, as well as phones with unlimited access given to children; a wide array of social media platforms; the rise of club sports and the plethora of sports that have practices, games, and tournaments all days and nights of the week; the busyness of schedules with school, jobs, extra-curricular activities, that limit or cut out families sitting down to meals together; the diminishing value placed on faith and worshiping together and service and faith-building opportunities; and many of these things creating stress on marriages and families and the too-often break-ups of marriages and families.
My intention isn’t to depress everyone reading today’s update. Neither is it to bemoan the loss of “the good ole days” (which had plenty of darkness as well!). My intention is to hold all of these things up to the light and to call attention to what’s taking place so we can all pause and take stock of where our lives are. Family is important. We have families of different shapes, sizes, and appearances here at Immanuel, including our church family, which I know is important to so many of you. And we have so many amazing families here, and you are working hard to do your very best for your children and for yourselves. Thank you and way to go!
Here at Immanuel, we’re trying hard to provide opportunities to strengthen families and our faith-foundation in Jesus. Martha and Marcus are doing some pretty cool things with and for the children and youth, week after week. For the past couple of years, we’ve offered Family Nights @ Immanuel to provide encouragement and resourcing. Our school ministry is a powerful resource to help ground kids in Jesus, in God’s Word, and in faith. Service opportunities abound to give of ourselves, our resources, and our time. Watch Thursday’s update for more info on our next Family Night @ Immanuel on March 6th when we’ll be going deeper into “The Five Love Languages.”
Let’s not give up the fight. The enemy is working hard to undermine the family, the faith, the Church, and Jesus. Let’s continue to walk together to support and encourage one another through worship, gathering together in Bible studies, small groups, various age-specific and intergenerational activities, and let’s stand strong as God’s family in these troubling and challenging times, assured that Christ’s victory is our victory!
Serving together in Christ alone!
Friends of Immanuel,
I’m SO excited to share some news regarding the next steps we are ready to take with the start of our new high school here at Immanuel. Enrollment is open! Spread the word to all you know who may be interested. Here is a link to the promotional video that you can also share: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJa458DvV1M&t=25s. What follows is more exciting information about this important expansion of our school ministry from Dr. Rick Overton, Executive Director of Immanuel Lutheran High School:
It’s that time of year when parents consider their options for school of choice. We encourage you to consider Immanuel Lutheran School. Registration is OPEN for all students preschool through high school (and even toddlers!). Immanuel Lutheran High School is a new high school opening in the fall of 2024, which will offer a hybrid model of education.
This hybrid model of education being offered at Immanuel Lutheran High School is unique with combining virtual courses along with in-person community for our students. Immanuel Lutheran High School offers challenging virtual courses and captivating content through Genesis Virtual Academy (GVA). Genesis is a virtual school that is part of the ministry of Mayer Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Mayer, Minnesota. They have been offering virtual classes for nearly 15 years and they are a nationally accredited school through Advanc-ED and National Lutheran Schools Accreditation (NLSA). Mayer Lutheran High School issues diplomas to students who successfully complete Mayer Lutheran High School’s graduation requirements through Genesis Virtual Academy.
In addition, Immanuel Lutheran High School incorporates Christian community with weekly in-person chapel services followed by meaningful follow-up discussions with the high school students, staff, and the chapel speakers. All this is combined to offer a flexible schedule that combines self-paced virtual learning with on-campus support as well as optional science labs, optional in-person content coaching and optional music electives.
So, why choose Immanuel Lutheran High School? Small class sizes, academic excellence, credentialed teachers through the LCMS, a safe environment, and Christian formation, are at the top of the list. All this in a school that is distinctly Christian and that empowers young persons to be life-long learners who are grounded with a biblical foundation so they can impact the world for Christ!
For more information, or to view the promotional video, please visit our website using the link or QR code below. https://school.immanuelloveland.org/high-school/
Serving together in Christ alone!
Friends of Immanuel,
Why Ash Wednesday? Lent . . . calls us back to God, back to basics, back to the spiritual realities of life. It calls on us to put to death the sin and the indifference we have in our hearts toward God and our fellow persons. And it beckons us to enter once again into the joy of the Lord—the joy of a new life born out of a death to the old life. This is what Ash Wednesday is all about—the fundamental change of life required of those who would die with Jesus and be raised to a new life in him. — Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Time: Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004), 99-100.
Today I share with you the “Quote of the Week” from The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, because of how simply he captured the essence of the season of Lent, which begins on Wednesday. Ash Wednesday worship will be held at 1:00pm and 7:00pm – both services will include the Imposition of Ashes as well as the Lord’s Supper. As we started last year, the Imposition of Ashes will also be offered to individuals from 6:00am-8:00am on Ash Wednesday morning (February 14th). Individuals may choose to stay in their car and drive up to the front doors to receive ashes or go into the sanctuary to receive ashes during this time from Pastor Robin and Pastor Glen.
During Lent this year, we’ll be focusing on the Psalms – both on Sunday mornings as well as with the Wednesday Midweek services. The psalms are powerful, particularly when it comes to how “real” they are, not holding anything back when it comes to raw emotions of anger, love, praise, thanksgiving, destroying our enemies, exhaustion, and more. They are, in many ways, permission-giving pieces of God’s Word that remind us that God knows exactly what we’re feeling, what we’re going through, and what we’re facing – so we may as well be honest with Him!
Our Lent series is titled, The Psalms: A Book of Honest Emotions. The season of Lent has traditionally placed an emphasis on personal reflection, typically observed with the disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. And while the season of Lent is a time of preparation for Christ’s suffering, death, and ultimate victory, it’s also a season of being real, of intentional honesty. We’ll use some of the Psalms to help us “be real” with ourselves, with each other, and with the Lord, as we look at what the Psalm writers offer us when it comes to how we view God and the world in which we live. For our Wednesday midweek services, five of our “resident pastors” will be preaching on various psalms that have some significance to them.
I hope you can join me this Wednesday and on all the coming Sundays and Wednesdays for these many opportunities to gather together and worship our Savior!
And yesterday we wrapped up our Called, Gathered, and Enlightened series, looking at St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, exploring some of the challenging realities that God’s people faced back in the first century, which we discovered isn’t all the different from life today in the twenty-first century! As we concluded this season and series, I’ll leave you with this week’s What Now?:
With all the darkness in our world today, do these three things:
- “Listen to Him!” Stay in the Word to clearly hear Jesus’ voice.
- Pray for discernment regarding the cultural issues of our day, to discern good and evil, truth and lies.
- Step into opportunities to “let light shine out of darkness,” speaking the Truth in love to the issues of today.
Serving together in Christ alone!
Friends of Immanuel,
Last night was amazing! Many of you experienced firsthand our Intergenerational Family Valentines Dinner and Dance and what a fun-filled evening it was. There were 191 people in attendance plus all the helpers (teachers, middle school student servers, the kitchen crew, etc.) which means well over 200 people filled the gym, enjoyed a delicious dinner, had some fun drinks from the “bar,” and danced the night away.
I can’t even begin to start listing all the names of people who helped organize, decorate, publicize, cook, shop, set up, take down, clean-up, serve, and more – thank you, one and all! That being said, I have to mention several people who went above and beyond the call of duty.
- First, thank you to Gina Scott, one of our middle school teachers, for the inspiration to bring back an event she and her family enjoyed during the time her children were attending Immanuel Lutheran School! Thanks also to the middle school students who served, Elizabeth Grimm for coordinating the servers, and all the other ILS staff who lent a hand!
- A huge thank you to Donna Aigner who planned, shopped, cooked, and oversaw the kitchen crew (thank you, kitchen crew!). She did an amazing job, especially as we watched the numbers grow from 50 to 100 to nearly 200! Thank you for all the time and heart you invested in leading the charge for a delicious dinner.
- A huge thank you to Laura Paterson, one of our longtime preschool teachers. Laura, in tandem with Cheryl Gilbert, came up with the very fun mocktails and kiddie cocktails, gathered all the needed supplies, worked with a local gelato business, and premixed all the drink ingredients, which made it easy for us bartenders to serve up those fun and delicious Valentine Day themed drinks.
- So many others gave much of their time and energy and creativity toward this event! Here are a few: Martha Harkins, Sarah Rodden and Debbie Gundlach did a wonderful job decorating; Jacob Hollen was irreplaceable with facility needs before, during, and after the event; Ashley Jones got the word out to everyone and made it possible to have people RSVP online, and Marcus Howard, along with his bride, Eliana, assisted Donna in the kitchen, Jacob with set-up, and did a bang-up job as the DJ for the evening, providing not only some awesome music to dance to but creating a super-fun atmosphere with the lights and disco ball, all of which he coordinated.
Hats off to all of you, as we were able to keep a lid on the surprise we gave to Marcus and Eliana, celebrating their wedding (actual date on 11-12-23 in Florida), their marriage, their love, and their being here with us. Way to go! And thank you to everyone who came and helped fill the night with fun fellowship, kiddo craziness, and a true celebration of love in the Body of Christ here at Immanuel.
There were lots of pictures captured and I included a bunch of them at the end of today’s update. Make sure and check them out!
As a P.S., thank you so much to so many of you who took the time to wish me a happy birthday today and for the cards, gifts, texts, emails, Facebook posts, and well-wishes! It’s been a great day and I’m grateful for all the love that has come my way.
Serving together in Christ alone!
Friends of Immanuel,
Yesterday we heard loud and clear from the Lord that our purpose and calling as God’s Called, Gathered, and Enlightened people is to “preach the Gospel”! (1 Corinthians 9:16) We explored the many ways we can all do that – on an individual basis as well as together here at Immanuel. My hope is, as we each consider how God can use us to do that, we see that as something far more than just another item on each of our to-do-lists. Rather, what an awesome opportunity we have to live out our faith, to share our stories, and to bring hope to people in our lives every single day!
The reason we are here, both individually and collectively as a congregation, is to point people to Jesus and all that He brings to our lives and to our world. Jesus is what we need and who we need – but there are, using the prophet Isaiah’s words in chapter 40, so many people who don’t know and who haven’t heard how amazing God is. The love He’s shown us and the hope He gives us are what enable us to face life in this crazy world in which we live.
I invited all of you to fill up my inbox with emails telling me about the impact Jesus has had on you and the difference He’s made and is continuing to make on your life. I’ve already received a few stories from you and I’d love to hear more! I encourage you to reflect a bit on that important question because it’s these stories of the way Jesus makes a difference for you that can inspire us to bring encouragement to others as we share those stories. So the invitation is still out there – send me an email, short or long, and share with me the impact Jesus has on you.
Here's the other part of this week’s What Now? for you to consider for the week ahead:
How can you take St. Paul’s statement, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some,” and put it into action in your life?
Serving together in Christ alone!
REGULAR SUNDAY MORNING SCHEDULE
Classic Grace Worship - 8:00am
Education Hour for all ages - 9:30am
Contemporary Joy Worship - 10:30am
SUMMER WORSHIP SCHEDULE
Classic Grace Worship - 8:00am
Outdoor Contemporary Joy Worship - 9:30am
No Education Hour during the Summer
Have questions for us? Ask!