Blessings to all as we approach the final events of Jesus' ministry on earth! My favorite re-enactment of the Last Supper is the 1977 film "Jesus of Nazereth", which to me really catches what must have been the emotion of the moment. For the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane, "The Passion" really hits it, too. Consider watching these, but don't stop with the movies! Crack open your Bible and start reading in John starting around chapter 13. If you're like me, what you've seen on the screen will enhance your Bible reading, giving you a deeper comprehension of these amazing events. Whatever you do, let the Word of God wash over and change you!
Watch for an update from the all-crew meeting last Sunday!
The future is rapidly approaching... we're heading for the Midland Challenge Workcamp from July 12-19, 2014. Our crew is already a super-sized crew, but we still have a spot for you!
The fundraising has begun, and you should sign up for your shifts. Refresh your memory on the details- the FAQ/Registration sheet at this link. Check out the current crew and big picture at our mission website here. So far we have 20 rookie Workcampers signed up!
Coffie Filters is in full swing every Wednesday, meeting for good female faith and friendship, fun and encouragement. All girls in 7th-12th grade are welcome to join in at Caribou in downtown DG from 6-7pm. Questions? Call Janet Justus or Shandra Bowlin.
It's time to "roll out" our mighty fundraising efforts for Workcamp 2014! This year you can check out all of the upcoming events at our "Fundraising Central" page, then email when and where you want to help. Read it over with your parents, choose some dates and let me know by email or phone. Do your best to fill in an open shift, and if that doesn't work let's talk. Ditto for your parents- have at least one choose a time to come and help. Click here to go to "Fundraising Central".
It's so great to start the day with a passage of God's Word! And our hi-tech world makes it so easy to experience a "God Moment" each and every weekday through a text message of a carefully chosen Bible verse. We pray that the Holy Spirit will use it to deepen your faith and bring an awareness of God's presence into your day. Call Tom at 630-968-3112 x106 and leave your name and cell number and he'll add you in!
God's Word is not just ink on a page- it's alive and active, just waiting to take root in you- so what's holding you back? Get ready to form or continue the habit of being in the Word just about every day! The winter reading plan is available at church or by clicking here. In this round, we're starting at the beginning and reading chronologically through the Bible, skipping certain sections so we can better see the big picture of God's story unfolding.
Please join us! Contact Tom to receive a text reminder of the daily reading to help you as you form this life-changing habit!
More tips can be found at this page and the FAQ page of the Diving Deep website, or talk with Tom.
The Fall Retreat at Walcamp was very cool in multiple ways... One way gave us a true appreciation of the warmth of the campfire, and another appreciation of the unique gifts and personalities he put in us, and another a greater appreciation of our amazing Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thanks to those who "retreated" from the speed and noise of our daily lives to experience life together in God's wide open creation. Take a look at some of the pics at this link!
We returned renewed from the hollers' of West Virginia on July 27th after a week of ground level ministry. Our Kanawha River Workcamp was doubly blessed by God- a blessing to us and to the people of that region. Share the adventure in the pictures of our crew on the worksites and during our downtime away from our worksites. Say a prayer of thanks for all that God did through and around us!
Wow! The LCMS National Gathering week in San Antonio was a real adventure! Our team really did a great job of diving into everything the Gathering had to offer, and I think each would say that they were blessed and strengthened in many ways as we grew in faith and celebrated with the other 25,000 participants along the River Walk, at the Convention Center and the Alamo Dome. Get a hint of what it was like at *this link*...
it flies! Nicole and Emily have been faithfully serving here at Immanuel for about 3 years, and they are finishing their classes and
heading out on their DCE internships. In honor of that, we will be sending them off with a nice BBQ Party this Sunday. Add your own side dish or dessert to the provided BBQ main dish and drinks and be at Tom's (5730 Hillcrest Rd) this Sunday beginning at 6pm. Wear some active clothes- the weather looks like it's going to be great!
In Christ, Tom
Fieldworker Ben takes his first run at leading an IYC Night this Sunday, April 7th at 6pm. He's got plenty to say about being a rebel and living out our faith in this world, and we'll be talking about that during our discussion time. We'll also have some good singing time as he leads us through some new songs to praise God with. Join us at 6pm at church!
We're going to begin Holy Week with a special evening meeting. Be ready to leave your fast-paced life behind for a time as we seek to "go deep" and allow God's presence to surround us. When you arrive at 6pm, you'll depart in groups to "meditation stations" around church that will help you focus on our Lord's journey to the cross and what it means to you. It's our hope that this "time with God" will draw you nearer to him as Easter approaches. Bring some cash for a "fast food fellowship" stop before the evening ends. In Christ, Tom
For those of you who have an smart phone or i anything, here is a link to a free bible app. Looks like you can carry a searchable bible with you everywhere you go now, and why wouldn't you want to do that? If you get it, use it and let me know how good it is or if you know of anything better.
Concordia U Fieldworker Emily wraps up her Senior Fieldwork Project this Sunday with a final cinema and culture night for teens and parents. We'll be meeting at church on the lower level beginning at 6pm. Call me if you have questions, and feel free to bring an interesting snack... or chocolate chip cookies!
In Christ, Tom
This Sunday we'll be gathering for IYC Night for a final "Hot Topic" before Easter. In this series, we're hitting some of the most difficult and controversial moral issues of the day head-on, examining them in light of God's Word and discussing how to reflect that in our daily lives.
This Sunday we will put the finishing touches on our discussion of the Christian response to homosexuality. Last time we discovered what the Bible says, and this time we'll be working out how to live this out in our lives and relationships. We will meet in the church library beginning at 6pm.
In Christ, Tom
We’ll be gathering this Sunday for a Super Bowl party worthy of this internationally-hyped event. What will be the best thing about it… The commercials? The spread of food and drink?? The tattoos??? Maybe even the actual game???? Whatever the outcome, we’ll be meeting at the Spilky’s Subterranean Party Complex (4810 Washington in DG) beginning at 5pm. Count on starting with the faith n football lineup, and bring a dish to pass (no punt intended)- side, appetizer or dessert. Feel free to bring a friend, and a board game, too, if you’re not satisfied with just watching the big game!
Since we made it through December 21st, the most recent "End of the World", we're going to take one more look at the end times that really are coming anytime now. We'll wade through some of the crazy misinformation that's out there using God's perspective, and hopefully come away with a fearless and faithful outlook. Join us Sunday, Jan 20th at 6pm...
We're rolling out all kinds of stuff this month that you will want to know! It all starts with the IYC Fall Update, which includes facts and forms about three big upcoming trips: next summer's big National Youth Gathering in San Antonio, Texas, the Clay County Workcamp next July and the IYC Fall Retreat coming soon to a Walcamp near you! The Fall Update also has the latest Diving Deep reading plan which began Monday, the unveiling of God Moments, and the week-by-week fall IYC schedule. Click the embedded links in this post for more details or find them all on the right sidebar!
It started as a classic Dunes Trek, with lots of sun tanning and sand digging and soaking in the water. Then a nasty storm rolled through at dinnertime, drenching the dunes and sending most everybody but us home. When the rain passed it ended up being a unique evening of hiking around the cool, wet sand, and we even got a sunset! Take a look at some of the snapshots from our great day at this link. Thanks to the parents and adult volunteers who made this trip possible!
We returned from a classic awesome mission week in the wee hours of July 1st. Our China Grove Workcamp was doubly blessed by God- a blessing to us and to the people of that region. Share the adventure in the pictures of our crew on the worksites and during other "fun stuff". Say a prayer of thanks for all that God did through and around us!
Spring turned to summer as we retreated at Walcamp May 19th-20th and the temps soared into the 90's! Turned out to be a good time to roll out the balloon launchers and blast about 200 balloons across the big field. It was a great 30 hours of meeting new friends, reconnecting with old friends and meditating on God and his presence in our lives. Take a look at some of the pics by clicking here!
God blessed us with a great November weekend at Walcamp! Our theme of prayer was a vital one, "Trust", and we explored all kinds of aspects of prayer, including an all night prayer vigil done in 15 minute shifts. Concordia DCE Fieldworker Carlea created and led this great experience. If you couldn't make it, we missed you! Take a look at some of the photos at this link to see what you missed...
Our Workcamp week was so great- we connected with God, each other and the residents of western New York as we served in Jesus' name. Take a look at some of what life was like when we were not serving at our job sites in the photos at this link. Then take a look at the pics from the 49 work crews that ministered in the region all around Hamburg, NY at this link. Thanks again to our parents, youth volunteers, family and friends and the wonderful support of the people of Immanuel for making this trip possible!
No, that's not a designer IYC fragrance, it's the photo album from our road trip last Sunday! Our 2011 Dunes Trek is in the books now, and it was a day of extremes, with blistering sun and sand on the one hand and glacial water temperatures on the other. We made the most of it, though, and had a wonderful day in God's wonderfully diverse creation. The "essence" of our trip is contained in the photo album at this link- check it out!
Walcamp had just about been washed out the day before, getting 8" of rain, but we went and made our own splash last weekend. Paige and Michaela created a great retreat experience around four great songs and we listened, discussed and grew in faith and friendship. Courtney and Ruth got us warmed up with icebreakers on Saturday morning, too. It was also a great weekend to welcome the 8th grade confirmands to the IYC, and we were thrilled to have Sam, Christian, Elyse and Amanda join us. Take a look at this link for some of what we experienced...
The time... it flies! Zach has been faithfully serving here at Immanuel since the fall of 2008, and he has completed his fieldwork. In honor of that, we sent him off into his DCE internship with a nice BBQ Party. We also said a "see you in the fall" goodbye to Nicole, Carlea and Stephanie, our other fieldworkers who could make it that Sunday. We sent him off with lotsa love and graditude- take a look at some photos at this link!
So, who wants to read the Bible more? I'm looking, and I think all your hands are up. So, who has had great success regularly reading the Bible? Looking, looking... yes, you in the back? oh, you're just stretching...
For most of us, it seems like the very thing we want to do is the thing we don't do when it comes to reading the Bible. Let's change that! We have just begun a Bible reading plan that will take us through the Bible in about 3 years. It's a very doable plan, and though we are going to be reading on our own, we're going to be reading together, too, and sharing comments, questions and insights as we go through a facebook group. You each received a mailing this week with the reading plan and a "quick start" guide to get you started quick. You can also see the same stuff at this link. Join us and let God bless you through His Word!
God blessed us with a great weekend at Walcamp! Our theme was a vital one, "Trust", and we explored all kinds of aspects of trusting each other, the world and God. Concordia DCE Fieldworker Ben did a wonderful job of planning and leading the retreat. If you couldn't make it, we missed you! Take a look at some of the photos at this link to see what you missed...
Wow! Our National Gathering week was a real adventure! Our team really did a great job of diving into everything the Gathering had to offer, and I think each would say that they were blessed and strengthened in many ways as we grew and experienced life among 25K teens in the diverse city of New Orleans. Get a hint of what it was like at *this link*...
Our Workcamp week was so great, and we experienced so many blessings as we served. Take a look at some of what life was like when we were not serving at our job sites in the photos at this link. Then take a look at this collection of photos from some of the 50 crews and sites we worked on at this link. Thanks again to our parents, youth volunteers, family and friends and the wonderful support of the people of Immanuel for making this trip possible!
January 09 Well, it was sure snowy for our "away" service project at Trinity in Burr Ridge last Saturday. Eighteen of us braved the weather and joined together around a Feed My Starving Children packing table. We worked swiftly, not stopping until they made us back away from the table and clean up. At that point our IYC station had created 24 cases of meal packets, which translates to about 5200 meals, which means that 14 malnourished children be able to eat and thrive for an entire year! We pray that God helps get that food to whoever need it the most, and that those who eat it will thank and praise Him for it. Thanks to all those who came out and changed the world! February 09At the Presidents Day Lock-In, we, together with our CYM team, packed enough meals to feed another 14 children for an entire year, which brings us to 28 children fed for this year! November 09 We finished up the year with an enthusiastic, hard working shift the weekend of Thanksgiving that was totally full. Our part of the packing during that shift created enough meals to feed about 14 more children for an entire year, bringing our 2009 IYC meal total to about 42 children fed for a year! We also brought some individual donations to help buy the chicken,veggie, soy, rice, and a check from our VBS offering for over $1800 to help FMSC keep going strong- praise God that we are able to participate in caring for the truly needy of the world!
Walcamp is a great place to spend Halloween weekend, and this year was no different! Our theme was the spiritual realm- the unseen forces of good and evil that surround us daily- and we explored some good questions and the best source of answers about the spiritual realm- Ghost Hunters.... um, just kidding, of course... the best source is God's Word, the Bible! Click here to see more of what went on...
A mighty large group of us joined in the Light the Night walk again this year in memory of Momma Meyer, and it was a worth it! Our team, made up of the Meyer family and friends along with Immanuel teens and parents, has donated and raised many $$$ towards a cure for leukemia and lymphoma. Way to go, team!
It was such a great day at the beach back in July! Such a thoroughly exausting and exilerating day in God's amazing creation, and we grew closer as we set aside our daily distractions and routines and just lived! Catch some of the flavor and highlights at this link, and set the slide show in motion for full effect! PS- If you do the slideshow, click on "hide captions" when it mentions Shawn!
We had a great Halloween weekend at Walcamp! Follow this link for a taste of our time together. The faith challenge of our weekend was how to let Jesus into not only our heart, but every "room" in our lives. Let's remember to do that, so that He can get to work putting things in order! PS- this is the first time I'm using Web Albums- let me know if it doesn't work well... thanks!
Forget Batman and Robin, we have our own dynamic duo in Ben (on the right) and Zach (take a wild guess), our new fieldworkers from Concordia University. Come on out to IYC or Teen Worship Team and get to know them!
It was a mighty long trip to the borough of Darby, Pennsylvania, but it was so worth it! God had good things in store for us, and we praise Him for that! We battled the heat, the traffic, the early maddening "wakey, wakey" calls and a bold mouse, while soaking up the new friends, bonding time, group singing, chocolate milk, care cards, teamwork, God-sightings and the joy of knowing that we were living out our faith and serving our residents in Jesus' name. Click here for an evolving mini-gallery and a "taste" of our week of service!
Tuesday was such a great day to be at the dunes! God blessed us with fabulous sun, surf and sunset! There were no major casualties, but some of us still need to "learn not to burn"! Click here for a few images from the beach.
Friday we had our first shift at Feed My Starving Children, a volunteer center that packs ready-to-cook meals that are distributed in areas of starvation and famine. During our shift, we and the others working that shift packed 57 boxes of meal packets, enough to feed 33 children for an entire year! We worked so well as a team, and had so much fun working to change lives! Yes, we will be returning- probably again and again!
We had a super-send-off for our DCE fieldworker Emily on Sunday! Shaggy and soon-to-be Mrs Shaggy joined us to help celebrate and prepare the roast beast, and we did have a mighty fine dinner and a blast of a time saying our goodbyes to Emily and hearing about the upcoming wedding for Shaggy and Tracy. Emily will be greatly missed, but we are so happy for her as she heads off to her full-time internship in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. After that night, I just want to praise God for the wonderful people He brings into our lives!
Sunday, December 9th, we met at the usual time, but not in the usual way... we spent the whole evening saying heartfelt goodbyes as Steph McGarvey wrapped up her fieldwork. We had some fun, did some reminiscing, singing and praying, then ended with a fine banquet style sit-down dinner at a very happening place... well, would you believe, a relatively (to where we usually end up) happening place with some goooood burgers. Charlotte made a great poster-sized going away card that we all signed, and we attached a gift card to Caribou that could potentially keep her awake the whole Spring Semester. We're going to miss Steph, but we've been blessed by her and won't forget her!