218-547-3156
Walker, MN

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Thursday, May 28

Dear Immanuel members & friends,

     ‘Built on the Rock the Church shall stand   Even when steeples are falling.

Crumbled have spires in ev’ry land;   Bells still are chiming and calling,

     Calling the young and old to rest,  But above all the souls distressed,

Longing for rest everlasting.’   (LSB 645)

 

     As you may be aware,  the conservative Lutheran church bodies in MN, along with the Catholic church in general,  informed Governor Walz that we intended to have our churches begin reopening this week and for Pentecost Sunday, May 31.  The governor has since amended his standing executive orders,  giving his approval for churches to allow worship for their people,  up to 25% of their building capacity and observing sanitary practices.

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    While the Elders will be reviewing our Preparedness Plan procedures at their meeting on Monday, June 1st,  so that on future Sundays we will have all the sensible suggested procedures in place,  you are invited to return to in-person worship at church this Sunday  if you are comfortable doing so.

1.      You will be finding a seat at least 6 feet away from those of another household.  This is most easily done by sitting on opposite ends of a pew,  and by leaving one open pew between you and others.   

2.      You are invited to wear a mask or use gloves. 

3.      You are expected to stay home if you do not feel well,  and to cover well your coughs & sneezes.   

4.      As you’ve been doing elsewhere,  you will want to maintain about a 6 foot distance from those who are not of your household,  and you should not expect to greet one another by touching.

5.      You will want to be washing your hands,  sanitizing your hands, or both  as you are coming into and going out from the church,  and at times in between.  

 

    We are not ready yet to hold our adult Bible Study or our coffee fellowship time on Sundays.  We will still stream our service on FaceBook for those not ready to return in person.

    All of these things will help us to assure one another that we can gather safely together to receive the Lord’s Word of Life,  and to offer Him our sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving according to His command.  May the Lord speed the day when we will have such a handle on this virus,  and on our fears,  that we will come & go as we have done before!   The Lord bless us!   ~ pastor v

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Monday, May 25

     “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  James 1

 

      Dear Immanuel members & friends,  are you being ‘steadfast’ in this time of testing of your faith?  Be steadfast in the Lord;  for He is your Rock and Fortress!  He always has been!  You and I are not always wanting to be aware of it,  but ‘we face death all day long,’  as Romans 8 says.  That is the condition of this earthly life.  Our daily life should not give in to terror because of this current virus or the next one to come;  but we should have a certain fear because all death results from our sin and makes us ‘sheep to be slaughtered.’  The one and only rescue from that is Jesus Christ;  therefore,  your baptismal faith in Him is the only thing that can over come the fear of all death!  Thanks be to God we have His good news of rescue thru our crucified, risen, and ascended Lord Jesus!

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     I don’t think  ‘we are all in this together,’  as has been said so often.  Those who are young and healthy are not  ‘in this’ pandemic  the same way as those who are ‘at risk’ because of advanced age, or with various other illnesses & weakness.  On the other hand, death is also right-around-the-corner for the young and healthy.  Every time you and I get in our automobile,  we have less than a 100% chance of making it safely to wherever we are driving.

      So it is with every activity in our life,  as well as just getting out of bed (or not getting out of bed!).  Every day you only have a 99%  -or less-  chance of seeing an earthly tomorrow.  Therefore, the choice and responsibility for what you do each day is up to you, and not up to some one-size-fits-all order from our government leaders.

     It’s our faith in Christ that keeps us from fear and moving forward with living;  and we know that our Lord has assigned us all of our earthly days.   We pay attention to the news that a lot of people have died because of this new virus,  and we no longer pay that much attention to how similar numbers of people were dying because of the viruses we’ve gotten used to (ie flu & pneumonia).   But do we have more reason to fear in these days than we did last year?  No.  The ‘wages of sin’ is still out to get us,  and our faith and trust in God is what overcomes all our fears about living in a dying world. 

      Somewhere near 97% of people who have contracted this covid virus are recovering & surviving.  Our governor stated long ago that we will likely ALL be exposed to the virus;  some will have severe symptoms, others mild symptoms, and some will die.  He ordered us to stay home so that hospitals could prepare to help sick people.  That’s been done.  And finally, after pressure, he has answered the church’s call to be treated equally with other in-person organizations and businesses in the state’s plan to reopen. 

      And that is what we plan to do!  The Elders are willing to adopt & follow all the suggested MN North District protocols,  those that make the most sense for our congregation,  for the safe opening of our public worship services,  beginning next Sunday May 31.  I will share those with you tomorrow after our circuit pastors meeting.  We will plan to be responsible for ourselves  and watch out for those around us.  And we will plan to continue to stream online our service for those who do not yet wish to attend in person.

    Give thanks to God that,  even though we face death all day long,  we have always been more than conquerors of all fears and threats  because of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!  This earth and life give us no guarantees;  and neither can kings or those in authority.  But we have the sure promise that we will each live out all the days ordained for us by our Creator;  and that because of His cross and empty tomb,  He now lives and reigns over His people with eternal grace and mercy!  ~ pastor v

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Thursday, May 21

An Update From Pastor Fondow 
President, Minnesota North District
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Thursday, May 21

Dear Immanuel members & friends
“But now thus says the LORD, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine! When you pass thru the waters, I will be with you; …when you walk thru fire you shall not be burned, …for I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43
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The Elders continue to monitor what guidelines & flexibilities we have for our Sunday morning worship service. We expect a change to happen beginning in June. So, for Sundays May 24th & 31st, we’ll keep our service online (FaceBook Live), or you can read the sermon on our website.

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Until changes are made, all those who come to church on Sunday morning are considered ‘assistants’ to our online-broadcast service, and are practicing the most recent guidelines for sanitation, safety, and care of our neighbor and ourselves.
If you have questions about attending, you should call me at the church office.
At this time, we are NOT planning on holding the following activities:
~Thursday morning WOMEN’S Bible Study
~ the Men’s Group Chicken Dinner
~ the school ABC sale
*Our Men’s Thursday morning Bible Study has begun meeting again as of 5/21.
Please remember that your tithes & offerings to the Lord are an expression of your FAITH in thanks for God’s continuous providing for you, and in response to His command to support His Gospel ministry among us.
~ pastor v

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Tuessday, May 12

Dear Immanuel members & friends

    Not long ago,  before God’s gathered people for soul-care was considered less ‘essential’ than liquor stores,  our Sunday morning Bible study was going thru Paul’s letter to the Colossians.  You should read it today!  It’s just four chapters long,  encouraging & jam-packed.  In chapter one we read:  

    “(Jesus Christ) is the image of the invisible God,  the first-born of all creation.  For by Him all things were created,  in heaven and on earth,  visible and invisible,  whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities ~ all things were created thru him and for him.  And he is before all things,  and in him all things hold together.”

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    This is the faith we’ve been given and we share together: Our Creator-God is still in control!  While this new virus, its pandemic, and our extended & now unbalanced reaction to it is a difficult trial,  Jesus is the Head of the universe  and He still holds US ~His baptized believers~ in His strong hands.  It is ‘essential’ that the Gospel’s good & saving news continue to be proclaimed among us  and thru our lives;  eternally more essential than surviving this virus  or any other one to come in the future.  Our God & Savior is in charge of the world and of us;  that is marvelous good news!

     You and I are getting restless because we are lacking the human-essential of personal contact;  our local business owners are running out of money to keep afloat & provide for their families;  our state is slow in keeping the many promises of aid & assistance (welcome to the failings of socialism);  our neighbors are worried they will not be able to continue in their chosen job & trained vocation ~ so they face depression from a loss of life-purpose as well as providing for their families;  and all of us are being told to obey & trust our leaders,  who admit they are not sure what the best plan of action is, or how long is long enough to do what we’re doing.  We DO face real dangers,  more than a virus.

     And yet, Who is our God?  Is He helpless or weak?  Does He not hear our prayers, our cries and concerns?  He is the Ancient-of-Days and the Keeper of Israel.  We have His very own Handbook of courage and fortitude.  He is our Strength and Shield;  the Ever-Present Help in any & all times of trouble.  He is the One who has proven Himself to be trustworthy and true-to-His-Word in every generation.  In astounding grace,  He has sought us out, brought us to His Messiah, and now sustains us ~ we are more than conquerors thru Him who loved us,  and nothing in all creation can separate us from His love.  He has written our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life ~ written in His own blood.

     Today, rejoice and be at peace.  You have been given life in Jesus’ name!  Who knows about tomorrow ~ no one but Him ever knows that.  So today, be thankful and live your faith in Christ, encourage and help your anxious neighbor,  and trust -first- in the One in whom ‘all things hold together.’  ~ pastor v 

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Wednesday, May 6

Dear Immanuel members & friends

   “But now thus says the LORD, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel:  ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you;  I have called you by name, you are Mine! When you pass thru the waters, I will be with you; …when you walk thru fire you shall not be burned,   

…for I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43

 

    Faith overcomes fear;  trust is turned 180 degrees away from doubt.  When God speaks to us,  His Word creates in us a powerful faith & trust in Him.  We are daily faced with the natural, earthly dangers of ‘water’ or ‘fire’;  which also include famine, disease, hunger, accident, & wicked people.  But the Lord’s gifts to us thru Jesus are His own water & fire ~ being called by name in His Holy Baptism,  and being re-formed and re-deemed by His own Spirit of New-Life-Fire.  You have nothing at all to fear.  This earthly life has no guarantees for you,  but you are completely safe in His hands.  You have His Word!

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    The Elders have met again;  we have no change in our Sunday morning church service arrangements yet;  the governor has made the ‘stay-home’ order extend to May 18.   So, for Sundays 10th & 17th, we’ll keep our service online (FaceBook Live),  or you can read the sermon on our website

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    We are disappointed that the whole state is treated the same under the orders,  as 70% of the virus cases are in only 5 of 82 counties, there is a 95% recovery rate with the virus, and 80% of the deaths are in long-term care facilities.  We continue to pray for those in authority, that their decisions will show a realistic wisdom for the whole lives of our citizens.  You should feel free to email your representatives in St.Paul and express your thoughts about peaceable & responsible religious assembly.

 

    Until changes are made,  all those who come to church on Sunday morning are considered ‘assistants’ to our online-broadcast service,  and are practicing even more sanitation & care than we might see in the convenience store or grocery store.  If you have questions about attending, you should call me at the church office.

 

    At this time,  our other regular church activities for May have been cancelled,  including our  Thursday morning Bible Studies,  the Men’s Group Chicken Dinner,  and the School public graduation ceremony.  Our teachers are planning a ‘drive-thru’ graduation for both upper & lower grades,  and a small group chapel service for our two graduating 8th graders.   On Sat. May 16 there will be a small family wedding service for Eve Vrudny & Spencer Kaufman.   Our annual June ABC Sale has been cancelled, and our ability to store items is nearly at capacity.   Please remember that your tithes & offerings to the Lord are an expression of your faith ~ in thanks for His continuous providing for you, and His command to support His Gospel ministry among us. ~pastor v 

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Tuesday, May 5

Dear Immanuel family members;  the Lord be with you.

   “….whatever is commendable….think about these things.”  ‘Pessimism’ is the tendency to adopt the least hopeful view;  to assume the worst of a person or a situation.   Are you a pessimist?  Do you know a person who is a defeatist?  It seems some people might naturally be a worrywart,  and others seem to choose to be a doomsayer.  A person’s upbringing or a person’s personality could help determine whether they are a pessimist or an optimist;  but God’s Word  ~that is, His Spirit~  will not let God’s baptized child remain a pessimist!   

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   You  ~your being/soul~  has been reborn, and you are no longer enslaved to your old attitudes, including a tendency toward a gloomy outlook.  Now your new Christ-like self is in charge, with power over your skeptical self.  No matter what your eyes look ahead to see,  or what your mind might fear in the future,  your eyes-of-faith look thru the lenses of the Son of God who loved you to the cross, and who loves you enough to make marvelous promises that nothing in this world can take away.  The world and earthly things will often let us down,  but Jesus cannot let us down;  in Him our deep and ultimate hopes are alive!  He has forgiven us our sins;  He has given us riches that make the worldly look poor;  He has even broken death itself so that when we fall asleep here we will be fully awake in His presence and with a suite reserved in the heavenly mansions.  These are His promises, and they must come true.


So now, dear Christian, what will you allow your mind to dwell on today? Why would you turn away from Him and choose to see failure, ugliness, defeat, distress or fear?  Even from prison, St.Paul wrote: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
(Phil.4:8)


Both God’s Word and God’s world are full of beauty, grace, and hope.  Trust the Creator because He is also your Savior;  He has preserved those things all around you.  Look for them and see them and give Him thanks for them! And then help the pessimist you know to see them too.  
The Lord’s great blessings to you in these days. ~ pastor v

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Monday, April 27

Dear Immanuel family members;  the Lord be with you.

 

    Another week has gone by ~ have the days gone quickly for you or slowly? While we continue to ‘do what we’re told’,  there are more conflicting reports from various ‘experts’ concerning our two main problems:  this virus, and the growing economic damage of shutting people’s livelihoods down. God’s Word in Ecclesiastes indicates that both health and labor are essential parts of the human life;  as is our personal freedom and responsibility. Continue to pray that those who are to represent us & lead us in positions of power will do so with God’s own balanced wisdom, and not “make the cure worse than the disease.”

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Consider this devotional thought for today.  Ecclesiastes 9:1 says, “The righteous…

are in the hand of God.”  A father and his little boy were walking along on ice-covered sidewalks. Young Bobby had his hands deep in his coat pockets. Approaching ice, dad said: ‘you’d better hold my hand.’  Bobby didn’t want to, and promptly slipped and fell down.  Humbled, he said: ‘I can hold your hand, daddy.’  And he reached up and wrapped his tiny fingers around the edge of his father’s hand. When they came to another slippery spot,  down he went again, because he didn’t have enough strength to hold on.  After a moment’s thought, little Bobby said: ‘Daddy, YOU need to hold my hand!’  His father held firmly to his boy over all the remaining icy spots.


Long before ‘covid-19’ this world was filled with slippery and dangerous things. Those things might scare us, but they are also to teach us that we need our Father’s hand. And even more: we learn that to keep from stumbling thru life, and from all danger and fear, this gift of faith we have is not our hold on God, but His hold on us. The righteous ~the Baptized in Christ~ are safe in the hand of God.  Jesus, in fact, is prophesied as
The Right Hand of God for us! As our community-life, and church-life, soon open back up, be confident that our Lord holds us, leads us, protects, guides and comforts us with His own powerful hand!  “He leadeth me! He leadeth me! My hand in His ~ He leadeth me!  His stronger hand shall lead me on  Until in heav’n my rest is won.”   ~ pastor v

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Thursday, April 16

Dear Immanuel family,

    All calamities test the Christian’s trust in God’s promises.  It’s easier to accept His Word in times of plenty,  but it’s a challenge in times of need;  easier to say “Thy will be done” when His will sends us things we like  rather than things that threaten and hurt.    Job said, “Oh that my words …were engraved in the rock forever!  For I know that my Redeemer lives.”   Job was not a simple-minded optimist with some popular ‘Hallmark’ phrases to throw around,  like:  ‘every cloud has a silver lining,’  or ‘everything will work out in the end.’   Not everything Job thought or said was very positive or optimistic!  But his faith was realistic.  

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He realized that all his times and conditions were under God’s unshakable control;  and God is both powerful and merciful.  Job confessed his confidence and thought it should be  “engraved in the rock” because he already stood secure upon the Rock of Ages.  The Lord has made Himself to be our rock and salvation;  the rejected stone has been raised up to became the cornerstone.  Our Redeemer lives to support all who look to and are baptized in Him.  


The world has many troubles because of our sin or from God’s own chastisement;  and all those troubles are crushed under that Stone.  Our Rock has made promises that must be kept,  as God’s own history with His people shows.  Whether ill or healthy,  in company or alone,  whether things are looking up or looking down,  whether living or dying,  we also confess with rock-solid confidence, ‘I know that my Redeemer lives.’ 


In our day,  as with Job,  we are standing on The Rock.  
‘Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.’ Amen.


Let us continue to patiently endure,  because the Lord continues to be with us by His Word and Spirit. 
~pastor v

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Wednesday April 8

Dear Immanuel-family members:In Acts 4,  Peter is also speaking to us:  “…Jesus Christ of Nazareth,  whom you crucified  (by our sins)  but God raised from the dead …  Salvation is found in no one else,  for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

    Nothing in all creation can take away from us the repentant~joy we have in the events of Holy Week and the hard-fought victory of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross and thru the tomb!    

    As of today,  we are hearing of a continuation in the ‘sheltering-in-place’ directive from our governor.  So, we will continue to handle our worship services in the way we are presently doing. 

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That means that for our  Sundays in April  (April 12th, 19th, 26th)

we will offer our worship service ONLINE  (Facebook live, 9:00am)

and invite you to join us from your home.

    For Maundy Thursday and Good Friday,  I will be recording a devotional (not live),

  and you can watch those as you have time.

     *If you do not have a Facebook account,  you can try accessing public Facebook posts thru our Immanuel Lutheran website  [www.immanuellutheranwalker.org]  under the ‘media’ tab.  We are also trying to make some posts on YouTube;  you may search there to see if we have been successful!

    If you would like to be at church to assist in producing our worship services, you will be expected to follow the guidelines for sanitary washing,  and giving others extra space.  If you have questions about this,  you should call or email me ~ I’m keeping regular office hours.

    You may have wondered what can be done with celebrating the Lord’s Supper during this time of separation.  Biblically speaking, the Lord’s Meal is a holy ‘communion’.  That is, a common meal shared by those who actually come together, are prepared in faith, and overseen by the pastor.  Each of these aspects are absolutely essential to our faithfulness to the Lord’s institution, and we will not change that;  just as we would not substitute cake and milk for the bread and wine.  For any who do come together, we will keep our regular Communion schedule and practice.  We look forward to the day when we can all freely come together again without fear  and celebrate His Meal of forgiveness and strength.

Almighty Lord, although You have allowed this widespread illness, it is not to harm us but to strength our faith and trust in You for all things, and to call many to seek You and find their hope and peace in Christ alone. Grant healing to those who are ill, protect those who are caring for the sick, and give all of us an eternal and heavenly view of our lives. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.  

~ pastor v 

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Tuesday March 31

Dear Immanuel-family members:   Psalm 103 says, “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits ~ who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, …who satisfies your desires with good things. …As a father has compassion on his children so the Lord has compassion of those who fear Him.”

   What good examples we have in Holy Scripture of those whose hope in the Lord was both heard from their mouths and seen in their lives.  We read of them because the Lord would have us imitate their trust in Him.  

   Your Elders have met again to discuss our church schedule. There are still some unknowns. We don’t know if there will be an extension of the ‘shelter in place’ statute for Minnesotans;  we don’t know how long before the concern of spreading infection will give way to a building up of medical or natural immunity. We will continue to follow the guidelines for sanitary washing,  and giving others extra space when we need to be out & about. 

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   At church we will continue to do our best to provide email updates, some District & Synod devotionals, and FaceBook-posted services.  Tomorrow, Wednesday April 1st, will be our last midweek Lenten devotion service. This is be recorded earlier in the day and posted to the FaceBook site.  

Sunday April 5 is Palm Sunday in the Church calendar.  The plan -again- is to offer the worship service ONLINE,  (Facebook live, 9:00am)  with the help of a couple of  ‘tech-assistants.’  If you have questions about this, feel free to call or email me.  We will continue this way for our Holy Week services, if things remain the way they are now.

    As you are being patient during this peculiar time, it may help to remember history. Times of infection and disease, with both recovery and death, are found throughout our history. With them, the Lord reminds us that this world is passing away, and so will we. That is the power of His Law over His fallen creation.  But His Word to us includes an even louder message:  the Gospel of our Savior Jesus!  Nothing in all creation can separate God’s faith-filled people from Him and from our eternal hope & life. The Lord still provides, for our living and our dying. When He is ready, the door of heaven is open for us ~ His faithful baptized. Until that time, we will thank, praise, serve and obey Him. And we will encourage our neighbor to know & trust their Creator and Savior.    

Heavenly Father,  we thank You that You have provided us the electronic means of keeping Your people connected and worshiping You together. Grant Your healing to those who are ill, and Your peace to those whose earthly time is ending. Bless those who are willing to be in harms way for the care of others. In Jesus’ name. Amen. ~ pastor v

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Friday March 27

Dear Immanuel-family members:  I pray that you are daily remembering that Our Almighty Triune God knows our concerns,  and intends to bless us and strengthen our faith in Him.   Psalm 61:1,4 says, “Hear my cry, O God;  listen to my prayer.  I long to dwell in Your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.”

Our Governor has put in place a ‘stay at home’ order for all of Minnesota, beginning today thru April 10. This will not stop the virus, but intends to slow the infection rate so that our clinics/hospitals can prepare to help more people fully recover. The exceptions to staying home for these 2 weeks include your food, energy, & medical needs. Good hygiene and giving people extra space are still the watchwords until this virus passes.

Here at Immanuel,  for Sundays March 29  & April 5,  and Wednesday April 1,

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I’m planning to offer our worship service ONLINE,  (Facebook live)  with the help of a couple of  ‘tech-assistants.’   For now, this is the best we can do.   We will continue to try out these online things for the best picture & sound.  You can watch ‘live’ on Sunday morning at 9:00am, and Wednesday evening at 7:00pm.  Or you can tune in later for the recording.

Again  1) I ask you to remember your faith-offerings to your Lord ~ your Provider;  they can be mailed to the church.   2) Also, I intend to be at the church for the regular daily hours if you need to call or stop in.  If you have a prayer concern, please call or email.   3) I will continue these updates,  and will pass along our MN North District special devotions as they are available.  Please stay in touch with each other, especially if you know someone without email.  4)  let us ponder the possibility of postponing for a later date our Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday services.

Already the virus is running its course.  We are blessed to be in our rural area, where we are not quite so susceptible to infecting each other.  We will pray for those that are in our crowded cities,  for our medical & law enforcement people who must be out & about,  for our government officials to lead well,  for our medical researchers working on a vaccine,  and for our Immanuel teachers who must adjust their work on behalf of our students.

Heavenly Father,  as in past times of particular disease,  we pray that this sickness will pass quickly,  and that those who are ill will immediately turn to You and that You strengthen their faith to receive Your healing for life or Your peace in death.  We pray for Robert & Nancy Albrecht and their family at the death of Rob’s mother, Jeanette,  who has been faithfully waiting for Your eternal call; now she is fully satisfied in her Savior. Help us all have that same kind of confident trust in You for all things!  In Jesus name. Amen!    ~ pastor v 

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Tuesday March 24

Dear Immanuel-family members:  The Lord continue to bless you personally, and us as a congregation & community as we patiently wait for this virus pandemic to run its course.  Psalm 56:3-4 says, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?”

I want to touch base with you on a few items;  things that would be bulletin announcements, if we would have our regular church schedule and bulletins!

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1)     I want to remind you of your regular weekly Thank-offerings.  All of the things your offerings support in our Gospel ministry together will soon be back on a regular schedule (this is our prayer).  But your offerings are not just given ‘to keep the lights on.’  Your offering is the reflection of your faith & trust in God and a personal thanksgiving back to Him for all the daily blessings He gives to you.

Please do not stop thanking your Lord during this time!  If you are not giving electronically, please mail your offerings to the church, or drop them off at the office, in the same proportional thanksgiving you do when you attend worship.

2)     For our Sundays March 22 & 29, we intended to take a door offering for the March Food Shelf donation drive. If you would like to give a donation to the Food Shelf, please mail it to the church office.

3)     In anticipation that we will be able to have our Easter Sunday worship together, I would like to keep our Easter Lilly order open with our local florist.  If you would like to provide a Lilly or two,  please call the office or email your intent;  they are $10 each,  the deadline is Monday April 6.   If we cannot worship together, you will be able to pick up your Lilly after April 12.

4)     There is a local group of volunteers who are willing to pick out & drop off groceries for you if you are not able, or not willing, to grocery shop. You can contact me at church, or call Randy Carlson (218-209-1106) for this ‘no contact’ food delivery.

5)     As of today,  I intend to offer a FaceBook Lent evening devotion tomorrow, Wednesday March 25, at 7:00pm.  If doing it online ‘live’ does not work, it will be recorded for you to watch. It will be a simplified version of our midweek Lent theme, “Eyes on Jesus.”

6)     And, as of today, we will NOT have our regular Sunday worship service on  March 29.  The Elders will meet on March 30 to discuss the schedule after that.  However, I will be in church on Sunday morning, 9:00am and (hopefully) offer again a devotional service that will be recorded and posted on Immanuel’s FaceBook page.

Lord Jesus, we ask you to continue to move your people to prayer during this time of uncertainty. Give us the wisdom & resources to defeat this and other diseases, and give us grateful hearts for the confidence we have in You for a life of faithful witness now and a life of eternal health and joy yet to come. Amen!    ~ pastor v

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Thursday March 19.

    Dear Immanuel family;  while we did have our Lent evening worship last night (18th) ,  and are planning to have our worship on Sunday (22nd),  the Elders will meet yet this week to continue discussing our church schedule as news and concerns about the virus changes daily.  We will try to get the word out quickly about any changes. 

    At this abnormal time,  you should not feel obligated to attend worship; 

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especially if     ~ you are not feeling fully healthy, 

    ~ are included in any vulnerable category,  

    ~ or are troubled in heart or mind because of the concern

of spreading germs.

 

    We are all praying that the Lord will have mercy on us,  on our nation and all nations,  and enable us to fight off and defeat this enemy.  We pray that this health threat will be just for a short time.

    At this time,  our church building remains open during our normal daily hours for your personal prayer time,  or if you desire to visit with me about your concerns.  

    Because there are times you will be out & about,  please observe some enhanced hygiene practices:   

~ Sanitize or wash your hands regularly,  especially when touching

      common surfaces (such as doors), 

~ and carefully avoid touching your face with unclean hands. 

~ Give people extra space,  

~ and cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.  

 

Psalm 57:1  “Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in You my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed.”    We pray:  Heavenly Father, we pray for those who have contracted this virus, that Your mercy be on them,  that they would cling in firm faith to You. Draw government leaders to respect You and grant them wisdom to make good decisions on our behalf. Protect all medical workers whose vocation demands that they care for the sick. Be with our families and business owners whose regular schedule has drastically changed. And strengthen Your Church to continue to give a clear witness to You ~ the only One who is our Refuge & Strength and very present help in times of trouble. Thank You for Your promise to hear our prayer, and to satisfy us according to Your good and gracious will. By faith in Your Son Jesus we pray.  Amen

 

The Lord’s peace remain upon you.     pastor vrudny

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Tuesday March 17

Dear Immanuel members and friends,  the Lord be with you.

A word about the Covid-19 virus  and our current plans at Immanuel as of  Tuesday March 17:

We strongly encourage everyone who is “at risk” of complications from this virus, by age or health,  would remain at home for the time being  according to your own wisdom or the advice of your physician.   If you don’t feel well,  stay home.

You SHOULD NOT feel guilty about not attending worship!  We are in a special situation of concern for ourselves  and for the wellbeing of our neighbors.

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Our regular midweek Lenten service will continue for those who wish to attend.

   There is a small meal at 6:00pm and our worship is at 7:00pm.  

We will plan on keeping our regular Sunday worship schedule.  Worship is at 9:00am

Please follow some enhanced hygiene practices for your health and the health of those around you:

~ Sanitize your hands occasionally, especially as you enter the church and sanctuary.  When possible, wash your hands with soap & water.

~ Allow for extra ‘social space’ in the pews.

~ Cover coughs and sneezes in the bend of your elbow or with a tissue.

~ Avoid shaking hands.  Greet one another with a nod, a smile, and a word of peace.

Heavenly Father, You are our very present help in all troubles. You alone are our Refuge and Strength. Be with our nation’s leaders who are watching out for our health and welfare. Curb this virus and all sicknesses, that we might be a people of health and peace. Grant your wisdom to our researchers to find medicines and vaccines, and give protection to our medical workers treating the sick. Help us to be aware of our actions to help and protect our neighbor’s health. And when trouble subsides, prompt us to return proper thanks and praise to You for all of Your aid and comfort.  We pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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All are welcome to join us!

Sunday Worship – 9 AM
Communion Worship – 1st & 3rd Sundays
Fellowship – 10 AM
Sunday Bible Study – 10:30 AM
Sunday School – 10:30 AM (Sept. – May)

Centennial Cookbook for sale
see under Annual Events

Where to find us:

We are located 1/2 mile east of Northern Lights Casino at  4656 Minnesota 200, Walker, MN 56484.


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