God is with us in Word and Sacrament

Immanuel News & Notes (Lent 1)



Sunday (2/18)

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


  • 7:00 am—Matins


  • 7:00 am—Matins
  • 4:15 pm—Catechism Class


  • 7:00 am—Matins
  • 5:30 pm—Lenten Midweek Supper
  • 7:00 pm—Lenten Midweek Service


  • 7:00 am—Matins
  • 1:30 pm—Catechism Class
  • 6:00 pm—Not Ashamed Conference Meeting


  • 9:00 am—Sunday School Lesson Planning
  • 3:30 pm—Individual Confession & Absolution
  • 5:30 pm—Divine Service with Holy Communion

Sunday (2/25)

  • 9:00 am—Divine Service with Holy Communion
  • 10:30 am—Bible Class & Sunday School
  • 6:00 pm—Youth Group Event


HEALTH CONCERNS: Joyce Alexander; Mike Braaten; Connie Bruns (cousin of Mary Appleby); Tim Burk (friend of Joan Vukelich); Brad Butler (friend of Hilgendorfs); Chelle Carson (friend of Dave Holzrichter); Rena Carson (friend of Dave Holzrichter); Darren Cooper (friend of Joan Vukelich); Tammy Dolman (friend of Hilgendorfs); Tim Flynn (friend of Dave Holzrichter); Nash Foreman (friend of Sofie Reifsteck); Rick Hardesty (family of the Hoels); Brandon Hardway (friend of Rachel DeWitt); Kim Hausman (friend of Ann Carroll); Deanna Henningsen (sister-in-law of Jerry & Joyce Alexander); Julie Holzrichter (sister-in-law of Dave Holzrichter); Matthew Hostetler (nephew of Dorothy Hostetler); Mary Houvanagle (friend of Hilgendorfs); John Lamkin (friend of Dave Slaughter); Lisa McGill (friend of Dave Holzrichter); Larry Munro (father of Megan Hilgendorf); Steven Pingolt (friend of Mathew Waldrop); Rebecca (friend of Celeste Nau); Emma Silver; Wendy Stata (aunt of Pastor Braaten); John Stewart (grandson of Laura VanCleave); Kim Travis (friend of Jamiee Whitson); Lausanne Walter (mother of Tiffany Cash); 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 . . . Genesis 32:22–32; 1 Thess 4:1–7; Matt 15:21–28.

ABOUT THIS WEEK’S READINGS . . . In the Garden, man exalts himself to be a god in place of God (Gen 3:1–21). He succumbs to the temptation of the devil, and eating of the forbidden fruit, he receives death. But in the sin-cursed wilderness, God humbles Himself to become man in place of man (Matt 4:1–11). He does not eat but fasts and bears the onslaughts of the devil for us that we may be restored to life. Jesus stands as David in our place to do battle against the Goliath, Satan (1 Sam 17:40–51). Though outwardly Jesus appears weak, yet He comes in the name of the Lord of hosts. He draws from the five smooth stones of the books of Moses and slings the Word of God. The stone sinks into the forehead, and the enemy falls. In Christ we are victorious over the devil. Let us therefore not receive the grace of God in vain (2 Cor 6:1–10), but seeing that we have a great High Priest, let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain help in time of need (Heb 4:14–16).

THOUGHTS ABOUT STEWARDSHIP . . . Matthew 4:4  “But he answered, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’” What good are all the things of this world (food, drink, house, home, wealth, etc.) if we lose the things of God? What’s more important? How should our priorities be arranged?

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.

LET OUR PRAYER RISE BEFORE YOU AS INCENSE . . . Starting on a trial basis, our Evening Prayer service during Lent will now feature the use of incense. The use of incense in morning and evening prayer offices to symbolize prayers reaching the heavens (Psalm 141:1) is both biblical and historical. The worship of heaven is described similarly (Revelation 5:8, 8:3-4). May the aroma of prayer fill our worship as we join theirs “with angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven.”

ALTAR GUILD . . . There are still opportunities to serve and be a part of the Lord’s mission among us. Please sign up for a month to serve on the Altar Guild. Members care for our Lord’s body and 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 2024 FLOWER CHART IS AVAILABLE . . . There are still some openings to sign up for altar flowers. Please sign up on the bulletin board across from member mailboxes. 2024 flowers are $35.00 and can be special ordered. Flowers can be taken home after the Sunday’s service.

LENTEN MIDWEEK SUPPERS . . . will be served this year before the Midweek services beginning on Ash Wednesday. Serving time will be 5:30 pm–6:45 pm. We are returning to traditional way of providing food where each board provides a meal. Here is the schedule.

  • February 14, Ash Wednesday—Church Potluck
  • February 21, Midweek Lent 1—Board of Christian Education
  • February 28, Midweek Lent 2—Youth Group
  • March 6, Midweek Lent 3—Board of Mission & Evangelism
  • March 13, Midweek Lent 4—Boards of Stewardship and Church Council (Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Financial Secretary)
  • March 20, Midweek Lent 5—Boards of Elders and Trustees

LENTEN MIDWEEK SERMON SERIES . . . will be going through the Book of Philippians. Each week will focus on one chapter from the book. Philippians overflows with joy and thanksgiving. Paul wrote to the church in Philippi to thank them for a gift. He reported the joyful news that Epaphroditus, who had brought their gift to Paul, had recovered from his illness and was returning to Philippi. Paul said that he had learned the secret of being content in any situation, and he told them about his situation in prison. He expressed joy that more people were hearing about Christ even if some were proclaiming the gospel with bad motives. Wanting the Christians in Philippi to be unified, he challenged them to be servants just as Jesus was when he “emptied himself” and became a man rather than clinging to the rights of his divine nature (2:1–11). Paul wrote this letter while in prison, probably in Rome about AD 60.

LENTEN BIBLE CHALLENGE . . . Since we will be meditating on the Book of Philippians through our Lenten midweeks, let us read through the book each week in preparation for the midweek services.

SHARE YOUR STORY . . . Many of us have a daily practice of spending time with God. This can look different for each of us. Whether simple or more complex, short or long, morning or evening, the tools we use or don’t use, the one thing we have in common is that we can share our practice with the children of our church so they can learn from us and create their own daily practice. Sign up today to share your story. The sign-up sheet is located on the wall outside of the double classroom. See you soon!

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/.

MARTIN & KATIE CONFERENCE . . . Join us for the 2024 Martin + Katie Conference at University Lutheran Church in Champaign, IL on Saturday, April 6, 2024. At this free conference, learn about being men and women in Christ, meet new friends, get to know each other, and have fun. The conference is open to ages 18–35. Married or single are welcome. Registration is required, as capacity is limited. Info and registration are available at http://martinpluskatie.org. Plus: Extra bonus activities planned for Friday night, April 5, and Saturday night, April 6! All are invited to stay for Sunday Bible Class, Divine Service, and lunch on Sunday, April 7.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS . . .  for Wednesday, April 17 to March for Life at our state capital in Springfield. As the organizers state, “With the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the power to protect the unborn was given back to you—the American people—through your elected representatives. Your state capital is now a critical battleground for protecting Life. That is why we need YOU to march at the Capitol Building to bring a voice for the voiceless. Together, we march to empower women to choose life, and to defend the dignity of the unborn. Join us as we march for both mom and baby!” 12:00 pm. – Rally at the Capitol. 1:00 pm – Illinois March for Life. More information can be found at https://marchforlife.org/illinois/.

INTRODUCING THE CONGREGATION AT PRAYER . . . For individuals and families, the study of the Bible is important for growth in the Christian faith. But it sometimes seems difficult for us to develop the discipline of daily study. Devotional guides like Portals of Prayer can be of great benefit for getting us started. Luther’s Morning and Evening Prayers from the Small Catechism can bracket the day and provide a foundation for growth in our prayer life. Yet it is also good to delve deeper in our personal Bible reading, to develop a discipline that can get us through the whole Bible in a year, and to build a foundation of prayer and catechism study along with it. Congregation at Prayer is meant to aid in doing this. The front page provides a devotional framework for prayer, and the back page gives prayers, a hymn, catechism readings, and daily Scripture readings geared for the church year and taken from the daily lectionary printed in Lutheran Service Book. This way the whole household has the opportunity to work together, and all members of the congregation have the opportunity to be literally on the same page while moving through the Bible during the church year. We recognize that because of busy schedules, family obligations, and different stages of maturity (both physical and spiritual), that prayer life is not a “one size fits all” enterprise.  Therefore, households most certainly can (and should) adapt the sheets to their needs. Some options to consider include the following:

  • If the parts for memorization are too lengthy or difficult, feel free to shorten them or even to change them for your needs.
  • For small children, in can be quite appropriate to use a short Bible reading.
  • If a particular hymn seems difficult, feel free to use one that seems more “sing-able” (though learning new hymns certainly fosters maturity).
  • Devotional and prayer time should be a habit and discipline to cultivate, but it need not be a burden.

We pray that many of you will make use of this resource and will find it helpful in developing your own devotional life.  Please contact your local Pastor for additional resources and/or inquiries.




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