Pastor's Update

Pastor’s Update

Occasional updates from Pastor Paul Nelson, Senior Pastor

September 2019

Dear friends,

What a blessing it was to gather together and kick off our new year of ministry together at our Welcome Weekend Tent Worship. It was especially exciting to introduce our ministry theme for this next year, EVERYDAY FAITH.

Is faith like church clothes?
Church clothes were your good clothes, formal clothes, uncomfortable clothes, and often ugly clothes. Church clothes were clothes you could not wait to get out of once you got back home from church. The worst of my church clothes outfits included a burgundy velvet blazer with plaid pants, and at a particularly low point in fashion, a polyester leisure suit. Power blue. Church clothes, the clothes you could not wait to change out of.

It’s easy to treat faith like church clothes, something we take out, put on for Sunday, for church, then take it off so we can to be comfortable. Is that what faith is, like a suit of clothes we wear for special occasions, when we have to be good, but clothes can’t wait to get out of? Or can faith be something more, something we don’t simply wear on the outside but something we take to heart, a faith that is part of us, to guide, our inspire, comfort, and challenge us every day?

EVERYDAY FAITH throughout the year
We will explore how our faith can guide, inspire, comfort and challenge us every day:

We begin this fall raising up Everyday Worship, unpacking the elements of worship we can easily take for granted and making them a living part of each day. I hope, as we unpack the different elements of worship that you gain new insight to the deep meaning the parts of worship have and how they are meant to purposefully shape our everyday lives.

To enrich your faith through our Everyday Worship series please consider:

I look forward to sharing this journey of EVERYDAY FAITH with you. May God bless us as we bless each other living out our faith every day.

Pastor Paul

May 2019

Dear friends,

The story of Immanuel is one of generosity, and you are part of it. Thank you to all whose faithfulness and generosity supported our Opening Doors Capital Campaign, which began three years ago and comes to an end this month. Immanuel members supported our Opening Doors Campaign with $719,000 in pledges, which allowed us to transform our facility and enhance our ministry. Our Opening Doors Campaign has received $671,000 to date. Thank you to all who have supported the enhancement of our facility, and our ministry here at Immanuel and in our community. There is still time to fulfill your pledge.

God continues to open doors and help us build up our ministry at Immanuel. This month we kicked off our new Building Up Capital Campaign, which will continue the work of upkeep and the remodeling of our facility, helping us to be good stewards of our facility and attend to the ministry of hospitality at Immanuel. And, as we do with all giving to Immanuel, a porting of funds given to the Building Up Campaign, $50,000, will support the work of partner ministries.

To date we have received over $615,000 in pledges for our Building Up Capital Campaign. Thank you to all who have stepped up and supported this endeavor. You can still make a pledge to the Building Up Campaign.

I believe that God created us to be at our best when we are faithful and generous, and God is faithful and generous with us. As you live into generosity, may God build up your faith and fill you with joy as together we build up the body of Christ.


Pastor Paul

April 25, 2019

Dear sisters and brothers of Immanuel,

Last month I shared an update with you regarding an important aspect of our ongoing ministry, our faithful giving. At the end of February Immanuel’s year-to-date giving was behind budget by 13%. This winter’s weather certainly played it’s part, as snow storms seemed to hit on weekends, keeping people from attending worship.

Thank you for responding to this information with faithful giving in March that not only helped us meet our year-to-date budgeted giving, but end the month of March 26% ahead of budget. This March was the biggest non-December giving month in Immanuel’s history. We anticipate that April will be a strong giving month as well with the inclusion of Easter Sunday, where we were blessed with over 200 more people attending worship and celebrating that Christ is risen than in 2018.

Our financial giving is one aspect of our discipleship, but an important one as it helps each of us prioritize what is important in our lives, and it makes possible the life change ministry of Immanuel here at church, in our community, and around the world. May you be blessed through your faithful and generous giving, and may we continue to be faithful participants in God’s work in the world.


Pastor Paul

April 22, 2019

Our Building Up Capital Campaign includes “caring” and “preparing” aspects to the campaign.  Watch this video to learn more.

April 2019

As we are about to launch our 2019-2021 Building Up Capital Campaign we look back to see how God used Immanuel to help launch Onward Eden Prairie.  I, and Immanuel’s Kim Rathjen (the Onward Eden Prairie Board President), reflect on how this new non-profit grew from our vision and mission.

March 2019

Why do we have capital campaigns every 3 - 5 years?

I’m new


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A member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America