Immanuel Lutheran Church
                     of Almelund, Minnesota


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June Newsletter




Multi-Generational VBS:

A New Twist on a Beloved Summer Tradition

Something new will be happening for VBS this year - VBS for the whole family!

WHO: Kids, Youth, Parents, Grandparents, Friends, Neighbors – Everyone is invited to be part of VBS this year!

WHAT: A team of Luther Point Bible Camp counselors will lead this multigenerational event. Together we’ll learn, laugh, and immerse ourselves in the "Water of Life" theme. There will be activities for people of all ages, opportunities to grow in faith and friendship.

WHEN: July 30 – August 3. The Luther Point counselors will be part of our Sunday morning worship on July 30. We’ll then have a picnic lunch followed by the opening session of "Water of Life," wrapping up by mid-afternoon. Throughout the rest of the week we will meet from 5:30 to 8:00 PM, Monday through Thursday. There will be an energetic opener, stations for story and study, crafts and games, and a meaningful closing session.

WHY: We are trying something new this year in an effort to involve and engage more people in our ministry for children, youth, and families.

WHAT TO DO: Save the date! July 30 – August 3. Encourage people to participate. Register by June 30, form is inside this newsletter. Come and be part of it.





Presidental Ponderings… by the Immanuel Lutheran Church Council President


I am so thankful for the great response to the Itonya Water Project fundraiser! The congregation’s response was wonderful and we even had a few donations from people outside our membership. It was an easy project to get behind because we all realize how important clean water is. Sometimes we forget how easy it is for us to go to the faucet and turn the water on and get crystal clear water. It is fun to see us be enthused about something and give so generously and reach our $5,000.00 goal so quickly!

A special thanks to Wayne and Tora for spearheading the 130th Anniversary Banquet on May 13th and to all that participated in any way. There are too many to name - for their donations, time spent preparing, serving and cleaning up! It was a joy to see the participation even on an extremely busy weekend—fishing opener, Mothers Day and especially for me field work! And as usual I was visiting with many of the guests, sometimes to my wife’s dismay when she is ready to go home.

Even with Sunday School finished for the season we would love to see families in church—we miss you when you are not here worshipping with us! Thanks to our Sunday School teachers and helpers for another year of sharing the love of Jesus with our children!

Let’s not forget the church’s ongoing regular expenses during the summer season! If you wish to have your offering direct deposited you can get in touch with Dave Rue. Snail mail works too if you can’t make it to church.

Until next time,

Steve Peterson, Immanuel Church Council President



Pastor Marla has been elected to serve as the North Conference representative to the Synod Council for the next three years. If you have questions or suggestions about things our synod is doing or should be doing let her know. She will attend her first Synod Council meeting on June 8.



On May 21, the day of Immanuel’s Senior Choir worship service, two Liberian friends of Momoh contributed to our music. Willie Johnson sang a solo, backed by the senior choir, Gordon Mitchell directed the choir, and Momoh accompanied. These three talented musicians all came together first in a refugee camp in Ghana. Willie told their story to the congrega-tion. Here is a summary of that powerful story.

Our Story – By Willie Johnson

It was 27 years ago that we found ourselves fleeing from our home country Liberia, to some place we only heard about Ghana, West Africa. This all happened because the senseless civil war killed, raped, separated families and made us Liberian refugees. As we fled by way of a ship called "Bob Challenge", we had no idea of how many of our families or neighbors would have made it.

In Ghana, we slept in tents, stood in very long lines for a few spoonful of beans, rice, fruits and had to walk two to five miles to get drinking water. Nevertheless, we were hopeful that God would be our peace in the midst of our storms.

Though we were very ignorant and young, we realized that life held new beginnings. While hustling through the land of this far distance country, we somehow believed that God would have made a way. As we sojourned in the refugee camp for over ten years and looking for the day to return and unite with our families, we felt all hope was lost; thus waking up morning after morning to the same o’ hustle. Our prayers were, "Lord we come this far by faith and believing that you will be our peace in the midst of our storm. Give us a chance to make a change in this life for a better tomorrow."

Through it all, God was with us. Music brought us together during this dark time. We sang together in a choir, directed by Gordon with Momoh as the accompanist. Singing God’s love in a foreign land filled us with hope and joy. And by God’s grace we are reunited here in Minnesota. We are happy to share our music with you today.




BREAD DAY IN ALMELUND—Fri., June 9, 3:30 at the Township Office. A small donation will get you many loaves & treats from this community service.

Sunday, June 4Food Shelf Sunday and all month long - We are collecting for kid’s meals during the summer. Donate things like Spaghettio’s, Beef Stew, Chicken & Stars soup, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Fruit Cups, Breakfast Cereal as well as the regular donations like canned tuna and chicken, Hamburger Helper, chili, canned veggies and fruit. High protein menu items are most desired. Bring items to the grocery cart in the narthex.

ALMELUND NIGHTS ON THE TOWN! Celebrate Summer with old-fashioned community get-togethers. Inter-State Band will be providing music the 1st Fridays of June, July, August and September from 6-7:00pm at Triangle Park [in case of rain, at the Amador Town Hall]. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and picnic supper. Don't want to cook? Try these: Fresh made pizza or subs from Rod's Country Corner or "Sausage on a Stick" and Root Beer Floats from the Almelund Mercantile. Come early to check out the Flea Market at the Mercantile, the Farmers Market at Rod's and take a stroll through the Amador Heritage Center grounds! At 5:00 you are welcome to drive your collector car to the car show next to Triangle Park. At 7:15 come for an evening of laughter at the Log Barn Cinema on the grounds of the Heritage Center for old time comedies from the "Golden Age of Cinema." Bring your own snacks/beverages. Plan to attend these Family Fun Nights in Almelund…."Busiest Small Town In Minnesota!"

FARMERS MARKET! The Almelund Farmers Market begins it's TENTH SEASON starting Friday, May 26th. The market is held every Friday during the summer months from 3-6:00pm at Rod's Country Corner. Check out the local items...produce [asparagus should be ready!!], garden plants, fresh eggs, home-made breads and goodies! New vendors are encouraged and wel-comed to join in this fun community get-together. If interested, contact Alice Burnside, Jewell Peterson, Pat Remer or Gina Sapp.



Attention Readers...make sure to check out the many book selections in the Immanuel Library. Please let us know what titles/authors you'd be interested in seeing in our Library. Thanks! -The Library Committee

Cemetery Note...Please do not put wind spinners on the graves in our cemetery—the Almelund wind is too strong and breaks them apart and they get stuck in the mower. Do not plant flowers on the foot of the graves. Flowers will be moved to the head of graves for mowing purposes. Thanks, Daryl Abrahamson, Almelund Cemetery Groundskeeper. (Thanks to Daryl & Julie for keeping our Cemetery so beautiful!)

FUND RAISING TASK FORCE -Through Schwan’, you can order Schwan’s Home Delivery and help our church toward our fundraising goals. When you order until June 30th we will get 5% back to our organization! Here are two ways to support us: Order Online 1. Visit (note new number) 2. Click "Shop to Give" 3. Start Shopping! Our campaign ID is 32063 or Order by phone: Call 1-855-870-7208 and provide Campaign ID: 32063

ELCA Day at Valleyfair

Monday, June 12, 2017, Valleyfair (1 Valley Fair Dr, Shakopee)

You can catch some sun, stand in lines with friends, have a summer's full of fast rides, or sit under a tree & pray -REALLY! Tickets may be ordered by individuals or groups, but if you order 15 or more, you'll receive a free one for each 15. Call up friends, or bring your WHOLE family! Call, text or email Mary Kaye (612) 532-7083,

The Friends of Wild River State Park will be hosting a Fundraising Concert at Immanuel on Friday, June 30th!? Performing will be Dan Chouinard "Once Upon a River" along with the community choir Unexpected Company. Tickets go on sale on 4/30/17 via the website or contact Jeske Noordergraaf or Deb Benson. Join us for an evening of songs, stories and fun. The money raised from this concert will support our effort to build a new amphitheater at Wild River State Park. See poster in Narthex.



Jesus the Good Shepherd Picture

There is a new picture at Immanuel. It depicts Jesus, the Good Shepherd, caring for one lost lamb. If you look closely, you’ll see the nail scars in his hands.

As we have celebrated Easter and Good Friday, we think of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. On that cross, he paid the price for our sin. He is the sacrificial lamb who gave his body and blood so that we might be redeemed.

We also think of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, as the one who leads us beside still waters, restores our soul, and guides us through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Jesus has walked that shadowy valley. He knows it. Jesus has conquered death. Because of what Jesus did on that cross, we all can dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

This picture was given to the Schultz family in honor of their young daughter, Stacy, after her accidental death in a farming accident years ago. Lynn Schultz recently had it framed and donated it to Immanuel. As we think about Jesus, that Lamb of God, and as we think of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, this picture offers an image of hope.

It reminds us that just as Lynn will see her loved ones again one day in eternal life, we all have the hope of reunion with loved ones who have gone before, when we dwell in the house of the Lord forever. That is pos-sible, because of what Jesus did on that first Good Friday.





Bega Kwa Bega- A partnership of the Saint Paul Area Synod (ELCA) and the Iringa Diocese (ELCT)

Stirring Imaginations

One of the things that I love most about my work as Director of Bega Kwa Bega is the opportunity to see God's Spirit at work, stirring up the imaginations of individuals and communities alike to engage in God's Mission. This network of relationships that we share is so broad, and the work that we hold in common so vast, that there are myriad ways in which meaningful contributions can be made. I'm regularly amazed and inspired as people from all walks of life use their gifts, skills, and curiosities to make a difference in the world.

Take what I observed this past Sunday as an example:

I found myself with a carload of students from the University of Minnesota on our way to Immanuel Lutheran Church in Almelund — about an hour north of the cities. The students had recently returned from a study tour to Iringa with the College of Science and Engineering and were invited to share the results of the class project in which they devised a solution to the water issues facing Immanuel's companions in the mountain village of Itonya. Although they had officially completed their course requirements with presentations earlier in March, they freely volunteered their time to carry forward what they had seen, heard, and learned.

In Almelund the students shared their presentation with the entire congre-gation. Making use of a nearby waterfall as a primary source, the student's proposal involves capturing and filtering clean water in a cistern before distributing it through a couple kilometers of piping to houses, schools, and a dispensary in the village. The students had done their homework - calculating pressure and flow and trying to find a way to maximize impact while minimizing cost. The congregation listened intently and asked many questions afterward.

The hope of Immanuel's leaders is to make this project a reality. The exciting news is that they are positioned to do it! Working in cooperation with Saint Paul Partners, one of our BKB Affiliates, and with a matching grant from an outside organization, the people of Immanuel in Almelund are well on the way to raise the necessary funds. Adding to the sense of holy serendipity around the endeavor, a member of the congregation who is a pipefitter by trade is now exploring ways that he may contribute his skills to the project as well - Mungu akipenda (if God pleases), of course.

As I travel across Iringa and Saint Paul, more often than not, this is how I observe change occurring throughout the wide life that we share. One person and one action leads to another, which leads to another, and yet another in a string of events. In this instance a class project leads to a public presentation, which leads to a fundraising appeal and the very real possibility of water arriving in Itonya in the not too distant future. All of this is exciting to see and cause to celebrate. All thanks be to God, -peter The Rev Peter Harrits

Director of Bega Kwa Bega and Assistant to the Bishop


$456 was contributed on Easter Sunday for the Itonya water project. That brings us to a total of $4,548.00 toward our goal of $5,000.00 to bring clean water to the people of Itonya, Africa. Please take a look at the display in the Fireside Room Window! "We're so close to the $5000 goal! Every drip and drop helps get that much closer to clean water flowing in Itonya. We welcome your contributions filling up the bucket!"


Immanuel Prayer Chain. Keep our Prayer Chain leader in your prayers. Due to illness Darlene Anderson will be taking some time off from her leadership role. To start the prayer chain please contact Merrie at the church office.(583-2340) If there is no answer please leave a complete message along with your phone number . I will start the prayer chains. If you are interested in being the substitute leader please contact Pastor Marla or the church office. If you would like to join the email or phone chain please let Merrie know to add you to the list! Thank You!



Dear Members of Immanuel,

From June 18th to June 24th the youth group is headed to Martin, SD on a mission trip. We are going through Youth Works, a short -term mission organization that specializes in setting up life-changing, Christ centered trips. We will be serving in Martin with other church groups from all around the United States. One of these groups happens to be from the Twin Cities!

Martin offers a mix of a small town South Dakota community with Native American heritage. With the Pine Ridge Reservation wrapping around to the north and west and the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reserva-tion just east, the location of the small town provides unique access to the Lakota culture. Martin boasts a Native American population of nearly 50%. It is also the county seat of Bennett county, in which about 35% of the population lives below the poverty line – nearly three times more than the South Da-kota state average.

We will be spending our time there doing various service projects and kids ministry through Kids Club. This work is organized by the Youth Works staff, local leaders and organizations. The service projects can consist of weeding gardens and cleaning yards, cleaning schools, painting houses or where there is a need to help serve the community. Kids Club consists of teaching the children of Martin about Jesus Christ by playing games, reading, drawing, crafts or just spending time with them. There will also be opportunities with community events to learn about the community and the Native American Heritage there. This will help us spread the word of God within the community of Martin.

As you can tell, it is going to be a full week of listening to, learning from and loving on the people we meet in Martin. There is going to be a great opportunity for personal and spiritual growth within our group.

We would love for you to pray for this mission trip experience. Pray for us that are going, that we will be open to learning from the community we are visiting. Pray that we grow closer as a group, to Christ God. Pray for the Youth Works staff that lives in Martin all summer and will be leading us. Pray for the community members who we will meet and work for, that we may love and honor them well! Pray es-pecially for the kids who we will get to do ministry with, that they will connect the love we show with the love Jesus has for them.

As you can imagine, ministry trips such as these involve considerable expense and our team is working on fund raising for this trip. Would you please consider supporting us financially? (a donation of $50.00, $100.00 or $150.00) Of course, any amount is more than welcome!

If you choose to send a donation, please send it to:

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Youth Mission Trip

37515 Park Trail

Center City, MN 55012

Thank you for supporting us through prayer and if possible, a financial gift. This trip would be impossi-ble without the generosity of so many.

We are excited for the new opportunity and we are looking forward to sharing about the trip with you when we return.

Grateful for the places God draws us,

Immanuel Lutheran Youth Group



Spring has sprung! The weather is finally getting warmer and we are sure there is plenty of yard work out there that need's to be done. If anyone in our congregation is in need of any yard work they are not able to do them-selves, the Youth Group are more than willing to help you out. We offered this last fall and are offering again this spring. Please contact Jason or Dee- Dee if you are in need of some help. 651-465-6130.


The Friends of Wild River State Park will be hosting a ?Fundraising Concert at our church on Friday, June 30th! Performing will be Dan Chouinard "Once Upon a River" along with the community choir Unexpected Company. Tickets go on sale on 4/30/17 via the website or contact Jeske Noordergraaf or Deb Benson. Join us for an evening of songs, stories and fun. The money raised from this concert will support our effort to build a new amphitheater at Wild River State Park. See poster in Narthex and by serving window.



Our children are invited to join in the fun! The area Lutheran Churches (Zion, CLLC and Trinity, Lindstrom) are planning a summer family VBS camp and we are hoping that your church would be interested in participating in it.

Dates: July 9, 16, 23 and 30

Time: 5:00 p.m. bring your own picnic supper, programing starts at 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Location: Area parks (TBD)

Theme: TBD

Cost: $10/family

Outreach Project: TBD

We are still working out the details, but hope that you will join in! Let me know of any questions.


Susan Peterson, Zion Children’s and Family Director

Stacy Johnson, CLLC Children’s and Youth Director

Sherry Holt, Trinity Director of Children’s Education


TO THE CONGREGATION—be sure to read the letter from our youth about their Mission Trip in the center of this Newsletter! Your gifts to the youth group for their mission trip in June will be most appreciated!


VANCO is now on line for anyone interested in automatic deposit for their church giving. Contact Dave Rue at 651-583-3412 to sign up or if you have questions. Thank You!

FUND RAISING TASK FORCE is working with Schwan’s Cares again this Spring! Through Schwan’, you can order Schwan’s Home Delivery and help our church toward our fundraising goals. When you order by May 16, 2017, 20% of the product will go back to our organization. Then for the next 45 day, until June 30th we will get 5% back! Here are two ways to support us: Order Online

1. Visit (note new number) 2. Click "Shop to Give" 3. Start Shopping! Our campaign ID is 32063 or Order by phone: Call 1-855-870-7208 and provide Campaign ID: 32063

ALUMINUM RECYCLING The first Sunday of every month, bring your aluminum cans to church for collection. Thanks to everyone for participating! Collection points will be outside the main entrances. Help your church and help the environment by recycling—Next collection: Sunday, May 7!


WELCA wants to remind everyone that WELCA pays 2/3rds of the tuition to attend Luther Point Bible Camp. If you are signing your child(ren) up for camp, please let Diane Rothe know and tell the camp that you are from Immanuel Lutheran Church in Almelund and you only need to pay 1/3. The money is raised with the donations given for Sunday coffee.

Immanuel's Relay for Life Team will be serving coffee on May 7th. We are always looking for support for our Team as we continue the fight against cancer. The date of the Relay this year in Sat Sept 30 2-8:30 at the Threshing grounds. Thank you for your support! Contact Jeske if you would like to donate or would like to join our team—Your questions are welcome!




Power of Prayer

Bible Readings

Bible Studies

Endowment Fund

Thank You Notes and other Membership Notes

Community Events

Finance Updates

Birthdays for the Month





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