We are introducing a new weekly digital publication called FaithBit:

FaithBITs will be:

August 1, 2018

Pastor Paul Nelson

Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy

Earlier this summer we focused on the Ten Commandments in a sermon series entitled “Loving God and One Another.” I love our title for the series because loving God and one another is the purpose for, and fulfillment of, the commandments. Loving God and one another is also the purpose for our lives. So how does this commandment about the Sabbath, a commandment we often don’t take very seriously, bless us and help us to love God and one another? Why is worship and rest so important that God commands us to do these things?


Paul's FaitBIT Quote

Here is my answer. I have said it before, and I say it again, some of the very best hours of my week are on Sunday morning, gathering with you, my brothers and sisters in Christ. I am lifted up and renewed as we sing hymns and songs together, here the word proclaimed, and join our hearts in prayer and confession. I am blessed by the love and grace we give and receive as friends in Christ. I believe we worship so that God can bring out the best in us. We share grace, we are renewed in hope, and we experience joy. We laugh with those who are laughing, and we weep with those who weep. And we take time to honor God, to be grateful and give God thanks and praise, and to once again purposefully put God at the center of our lives so that we can stand up to the tests, trials, and temptations of daily life.

We were made to worship, to take time to rest, rejoice, reconnect, and be renewed. Thank you for being part of my faith family, for sharing with God’s love and grace. I know when I worship I am blessed, and others are blessed as I pass on to them the joy, hope, grace, and love that I have received from God and from you. I pray that you are blessed, and a blessing, as you remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.

June 1, 2018

2018 Senior Student Leaders

Student Leaders Who Care and Serve

Reflection by Martin Rathjen

I have watched Christ grow in them and flow through them, and now I can’t believe they are graduating!  These “kids” are young adults, graduating from high school this week and transitioning to college in the fall.  It has been amazing to watch them grow physically, emotionally and spiritually!

They have been serving as Student Leaders for three years, which means that after completing three years of Confirmation they choose to return to Confirmation voluntarily for an additional three years where they shared in the leadership of a Confirmation small group: caring for 7th – 9th grade students by welcoming and listening to them, modeling and sharing how God was at work in their lives, leading prayer, facilitating discussion, participating in highs and lows and leading the Confirmation retreat.


Here’s what a few of our Student Leaders said was the best thing about being a Student Leader:

My faith has grown and it has been impacted by these students as they have demonstrated self-sacrifice through weekly volunteer commitment and they have publicly/boldly shared their faith when leading First Word (opening devotions) and when giving a Faith Talk at the Confirmation Retreat.  They have revealed the power and presence of Jesus at work in their lives and that has inspired me, challenged me and affirmed that Christ is very real, personal, powerful and impactful.
Please join me in thanking God for them and praying that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide, lead, fill and flow through them.

Note: There were more Student Leaders than those in the photographs!

May 1, 2018

Jackie's Servcie in Jamaica

Serving Faithfully

Reflection by Jackie Getchius

As my faith journey has unfolded through the years, the points where I have felt most connected to God and felt driven by his purpose, have been times of serving others. Hebrews 13:16 states, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” When I have participated in service projects to aid those in need, I have seen with my very eyes God’s work in motion. For this service benefits in a reciprocal fashion, showing others that people care for them and want to help them thrive, but also teaching ourselves that we are here for a bigger purpose than to just fulfill our own needs.

Jamaican Orphanage
One of the most memorable service opportunities I’ve participated in was during college where I was blessed to participate in Mission Jamaica three years in a row, serving in an orphanage and children’s school in a rural, impoverished area of their country. The children in this orphanage had been abandoned, many of which on the side of the road, due to having disabilities, most of whom were nonverbal.

Jackie's Quote

In this orphanage, I met children who had God’s light shining through their eyes and was truly touched to spend time with them. One connection that was particularly meaningful to me was with a teenage girl named Colleen who was nonverbal but bonded very quickly with me.

She had the most expressive eyes and smile and was clearly seeking connection with others. She was a gentle soul and though we couldn’t converse together, we bonded through affection and just simply walking arm in arm around together. As much as I was there to serve others, Colleen and the other children taught me an immense amount, not least of which was that though we can get distracted by all of the to dos and tasks of life, ultimately, building connection with others is what is so very important and most meaningful.

Jackie and family

Jackie is an Immanuel member, wife to Tom, and mother to Gavin age 7. She serves on Church Council for Children’s Ministry and on the Long-Range Planning Committee.

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