The Season of Advent

The new church year begins with a wake-up call: Christ is coming soon! In today’s readings both Paul and Jesus challenge us to wake from sleep, for we know neither the day nor hour of the Lord’s coming. Isaiah proclaims the day when God will gather all people on the holy mountain and there will be no more war or suffering. Though we vigilantly watch for the promised day of salvation, we wait for what we already have: Christ comes among us this day as the word and meal that strengthens our faith in the promises of God.

Turn On. Tune In. Wake Up!

In the 1960’s people were urged to turn on, tune in, and drop out—to leave the material world behind in favor of an alternate reality. In today’s gospel, Jesus also urges us to tune into an alternative to the material world, one he called the coming of the Son of Man. In Jesus’ person, the dominion of God comes into the world, and the risen Christ continues to give us abundant signs of its presence. Jesus commands his followers not to drop out of the world, but to be on the lookout for him in it.

Christians await the second coming of Christ, the parousia, when we believe we will experience God’s reign in its fullness. In the meantime, we live, in the words of some theologians, “already, but not yet.” We look for glimpses of the dominion in the here and now. The season of Advent, and today’s readings, are designed to help turn us on to the excitement and anticipation of God’s reign in our lives and tune in to the infinite opportunities we have to participate in it. In other words, they want to wake us up!

Important Message to the ILC Community

Dear Members of Immanuel Lutheran Church,

Members of our Church Council have closely followed the news as it has broken regarding practices that may reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus.  The Alameda County Public Health Department recommended that members of the “vulnerable population” (those with compromised immunity, hypertension, diabetes, and chronic respiratory illness as well as those older than 60) limit their public gatherings to 10 or fewer people. Since this describes a large percentage of our regular Sunday worshipers, the Council has made the difficult decision to join other local churches and suspend worship and other gatherings at Immanuel till further notice.  This began on March 15, 2020.  We will re-assess the situation on a month to month basis and advise accordingly.

Going forward till the end of 2021 and into 2022, we will be utilizing the ZOOM and YouTube platforms and emails for the weekly worship and distributing our announcements.  Pastor Stephanie at Trinity Lutheran has graciously agreed to be available by telephone, (510) 846-0883 for any pastoral needs. Pastor Swanson, Pastor Paul Theiss, Pastor Meg Brogan, and Br. Brian Brozovic, and Sr. Dannine Pysz, two PLTS seminarians have generously offered their time to lead our worship services on-line.

Most know from our recent annual meeting that Immanuel’s operational budget is somewhat precarious at present, and that the church building remains in dire need of repairs.  We strongly encourage those of you who would otherwise make weekly donations in church to continue to do so during the suspension of services.  Checks can be mailed to the church at 1910 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda, CA  94501.  If you would prefer to make a cash offering, please email us at office@immanuel-alameda.org or call (510) 523-0659, and a council member can arrange to come by your home.

More importantly, please contact the church if you need assistance of any kind during this crisis.  If you become sick or if you are concerned that running an errand like grocery shopping or picking up a prescription will compromise your health, we encourage you to call the church office.  We will coordinate with those of us who are less at risk for complications from this virus to help others make sure they have what they need.

The leadership of Immanuel wants to reassure you that our life together is of utmost concern to us at this time of vulnerability.  As Pastor Dot frequently reminds us, we are called to serve one another.  We need to remain to connected even as we take proper precautions.

Yours in Christ,
Andrew Thomas, Deanna Johe, Chris Fetzer, Beth Greene, Judy Blank,
Michele Thomas, Chris Kanbergs, Ruth Dow and Jane Sullwold

Immanuel Lutheran Church Council  – 2019-2022

Adult Sunday Study

The Adult Sunday Bible Study discussions will start up at a date yet to be determined in the Helen Room. All are welcome, and feel free to join in on any Sunday. The journey will begin soon, God willing.

10:00am   —   Sunday Worship Service

Come, be refreshed and renewed. Sunday worship at Immanuel will leave you strengthened and ready to face life’s hardships. We pray, read, listen, sing, and celebrate with “enthusiastic affirmation” God’s bountiful gift of Life through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Come and experience the peace and joy of God’s creation. Come, worship with us.

Children‘s Sunday School, First Communion Classes, Confirmation Classes,  & Youth Group

Our support and outreach to the youth within our congregation and the community is a major priority . We hope to hold organizing and planning meeting for parents, grandparents, and anyone else who is interested in helping to kick these events off and make them successful. Stay tuned and look for emails and invitation letters after the pandemic.