God is with us in Word and Sacrament

Immanuel News & Notes (Epiphany 1)



Sunday (1/7)

  • 9:00 am—Divine Service with Holy Communion
  • 10:30 am—Bible Class & Sunday School
  • 2:30 pm—Nursing Home Service


  • 5:00 pm—Board of Mission & Evangelism
  • 6:00 pm—Board of Christian Education
  • 6:30 pm—Board of Trustees
  • 7:00 pm— Board of Elders


  • 9:00 am—Pastor at Mattoon Circuit Meeting


  • 7:00 pm—Bible History Class


  • 3:30 pm—Individual Confession & Absolution
  • 5:30 pm—Divine Service with Holy Communion

Sunday (1/14)

  • 9:00 am—Divine Service with Holy Communion
  • 10:30 am—Bible Class & Sunday School
  • 11:30 am—Church Council Meeting
  • 4:00 pm—Sanctity of Life Prayer Service


HEALTH CONCERNS: Joyce Alexander; Mike Braaten; Connie Bruns (cousin of Mary Appleby); Tim Burk (friend of Joan Vukelich); Brad Butler (friend of Hilgendorfs); Darren Cooper (friend of Joan Vukelich); Rev. Perry Copus (friend of Pastor Braaten); Lynn Corrie (friend of Arleigh Jones); Tammy Dolman (friend of Hilgendorfs); Nash Foreman (friend of Sofie Reifsteck); Rick Hardesty (family of the Hoels); Kim Hausman (friend of Ann Carroll); Sharon Helm (friend of Ann Carroll); Deanna Henningsen (sister-in-law of Jerry & Joyce Alexander); Youn Heredia (friend of Reifstecks); Matthew Hostetler (nephew of Dorothy Hostetler); Mary Houvanagle (friend of Hilgendorfs); Glenda Klim (sister-in-law of Irene Wattjes); John Lamkin (friend of Dave Slaughter); Eva McCall (daughter of Rev. Jonathan McCall); Larry Munro (father of Megan Hilgendorf); Steven Pingolt (friend of Mathew Waldrop); Rebecca (friend of Celeste Nau); Christy Sharp (wife of Pastor John Sharp); Emma Silver; John Stewart (grandson of Laura VanCleave); Kim Travis (friend of Jamiee Whitson); Lausanne Walter (mother of Tiffany Cash); Irene Wattjes; Lynn & Jane Whitson (parents of Mark Whitson).

SEMINARY STUDENT: David Scarborough, Jackson Scofield.

HOMEBOUND: Bernita Ashwill; Leona Czerwonka; Janet Pollock; Ruth Sims; Glen Stumeier; Irene Wattjes.

MILITARY: Carl Crawford; Josh Dyer; Jeremy Gordon; Jack Leonard; Jake Lindgren; Raymond Longtin; Blake Stokes; Scott Walter.


NEXT WEEK’S READINGS . . . Exodus: 33:12–23; Romans 12:6–16; John 2:1–11.

ABOUT THIS WEEK’S READINGS . . . In the days of Solomon, the Lord dwelt among His people in the temple. The glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord in the form of a cloud (1 Kings 8:6–13). Now Jesus, who is the glory of the Lord in the flesh, enters the temple to show that He Himself is the everlasting temple and dwelling place of God (Luke 2:41–52). Our young Lord, true man, subject to Mary and Joseph, reveals Himself also to be true God, whose father is not Joseph but the Almighty Father in heaven. Jesus does this at the time of the Passover. For He came to be the sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Even as He was found by his parents after three days, so He would later rise from the dead on the third day that the favor of God might rest also upon us. It is by these mercies of God that we present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God through Christ (Rom. 12:1–5).

THOUGHTS ABOUT STEWARDSHIP . . . Luke 2:49, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Jesus was in His Father’s house, the Temple, because He was doing His Father’s business. That business is giving His life as a sacrifice to take away the sin of the world. He gave of Himself, so that we would be freed from sin, death, and the devil. Thus, we live our lives, offering our bodies as spiritual sacrifices for the good of our neighbor (Romans 12:1). As Jesus gave Himself for us, so we also give of ourselves–our time, our talents, and our treasures–for the good of those around us, beginning with the household of faith, the church.

PASTOR’S OFFICE HOURS & CONTACT INFO . . . Pastor Braaten will be in his office Monday–Thursday, 9:00 am–12:00 noon, unless stated otherwise. You may contact him for other appointments and visits by phone (O) 217.253.4341, (H) 217.253.4539, or (M) 217.460.2077, or by e-mail pastor.braaten@gmail.com

THE FLOWERS ON THE ALTAR . . . are given by Greg & Celeste Nau to the glory of God on the occasion of their wedding anniversary.

NEW OFFICER INSTALLATION . . . is today, January 7, during the Divine Service immediately following the offering. If you are a newly-elected officer, please plan to attend. A reception will be held in the Fellowship Hall following the Divine Service to say thank you to out‑going, current, and in-coming officers. Their hard work and dedication are to be commended!

JANUARY YOUTH GROUP EVENT . . . is Sunday, January 21. Our 7th–12th grade youth have been invited to attend an English Country Line Dance event at a congregation in southern Illinois. The event is 2pm–7pm. If you’re interested, please email pastor today to reserve your spot.

THE JANUARY CALENDAR . . . with birthdays and anniversaries is available on the table across from members’ mailboxes.

POINSETTIAS . . . If you did not get your poinsettia after the Christmas Day Divine Service, you will find it in the kitchen on the counter.

REMINDER: VOTERS’ ASSEMBLY MEETING . . . is Sunday, January 21, at 11:30 am. Just a reminder that any voting member who is absent from the voters’ meetings for a full year without a valid excuse shall have his/her name removed from the roster of voting members. Those who are 65 and older can submit a written request to have their name placed on the senior voting member list and will be automatically excused. If any senior member is unsure whether or not there is a written request on file, please contact the office. If any member has been removed from the roster of voting members, he/she can be reinstated by a request to the elders and attendance at the voters’ meeting approving that request.

SANCTITY OF LIFE PRAYER SERVICE . . . January is Sanctity of Life Month. Please invite your family and friends to join us on Sunday, January 14 at 4:00 pm for a prayer service for life. January 14–20 is Life Week and so to kick off that week, we will begin in prayer. About this service: “Christians address their sorrows and complaints to God in lament. He, not the world around us, is the audience of our prayer. In the face of love grown cold (Matt 25:12), we do not imagine ourselves a match for sin, death and the devil. We ask the Lord for everything (John 16:24). For these reasons, this service features multiple psalms of lament concerning the enemies of life (Ps 10), the Lord’s own rebuke of proud rulers (Ps 82), and our confidence in the Lord’s care, recognizing that judgment and repentance must begin at the house of God (Ps 139). Christ has redeemed the world and desires that all come to the knowledge of this truth—those in high places, those far off and those yet to be born.”

PASTOR WILL BE AWAY . . . January 22–28 at the Board of Directors meeting for The Lutheran Church Extension Fund. He will have limited access to his mobile phone. For emergencies, please contact one of the Elders (Steve Hilgendorf, Tim Hoel, Les Sluder, Mark Whitson).

FAITH OF OUR FATHERS CONFERENCE . . . The theme of the 2024 Faith of Our Father Conference is “The Law of God Is Good and Wise.” Debates over the Law of God have troubled American Lutheranism in recent years. Are Lutherans truly “weak on sanctification”? Do real Lutherans believe in a third use of the Law? What is antinomianism? How far have we caved to the indulgence and lawlessness of the world? What does true Law and Gospel preaching look like? Over two days, April 12th and 13th, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Collinsville, IL we will learn about and discuss the Law of God. This conference is for both laity and pastors. Come join us for good theology, fellowship, and maybe even a little fun with some fellow Lutherans! Speakers and preachers include: Pr. Benjamin Ball; Rev. John Hill; Rev. Dr. Scott Murray; Rev. Dr. David Petersen; Rev. David Ramirez; Rev. Dr. Peter Scaer; Rev. Joshua Scheer; Rev. Mark Surburg; Pr. Michael Walther; Pr. William Weedon; and, Rev. Todd Wilken. Learn more and register for the conference at: https://yourgrandfatherschurch.org/.

ALTAR GUILD. . . Please sign up for a month to serve on the Altar Guild, caring for our Lord’s body & blood just as the woman who went to be tomb sought to care for the body of Jesus. There are spots for both Senior and Junior members to sign up. The sign-up sheet is on the clip board by the Guest Registry.






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