Immanuel Lutheran Church
                     of Almelund, Minnesota


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Words from the Synod

Pictures from Christmas Program, Dec 2017





From the Church Council:

God has given us an opportunity!

Sometimes it is hard for us to see what God’s will is in our lives. But once in a while the opportunity is very clear. We believe that this is one of those moments that an opportunity has been placed before us.

We have among our congregation a family that is in need of our help. They have unfortunately fallen on difficult times and are in need of our support. Mounting medical bills and loss of employment have led to this family being unable to keep their house and now must move by the 1st of April. At this point there are no resources available for new housing. We do not know what could have been done differently, if anything. We are not called to judge whether someone is worthy of our help or not, we are just called to help if we can. Today we are simply being offered the chance to help one of Immanuel’s family and to make an impact on someone’s life.

When we heard of their situation we asked ourselves, but what can we do? What came to mind was Mathew 25: 35 - 40:

"for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger, or naked? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

We believe that God is giving our congregation an opportunity to do just that today. In a real and immediate way we can answer His call and help this family right now by contributing financially to their need.

We are a loving, faithful and generous congregation. Please join us in showing God’s love to this family through your generosity in whatever way is possible for you today. We know that whatever we can do will be greatly appreciated and that you will make a difference for this family.

Financial donations can be submitted with the offering listing "Family in need" on the notes line of your check or in an envelope speci-fying the gift is for the "Family in need." If there are other ways you have to help this family Pastor Marla and church council members can help you connect with them. Thanks for your generous response.

In Christ’s service,

The Immanuel Church Council


Letter from a Sponsored Student Luiangilo Secondary School

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P.O Box 523, Iringa

Dear Sponsor, 6th February, 2017 I have great pleasure to greet you. It is my hope that you fine. To my side I am very fine and I continue well with my studies. The aim of this letter to you is to say thanks to you for supporting me in my studies as a Talanta Kikoti. I study in form one class. I just want to say thank you for sponsoring me to in provining support for things like school. This which help me to get education in this school. In my studies I like most science subjects like physics, basic mathematics, chemistry, biology, and also geography.

I have nothing to say and nothing to give you but I will make sure that I study hard and performing well so as to make you real happy and having a good heart to me in case of continuous help to me more and more.

Thank you and I believe that one day I will visit you so as to know where you are living.

Thank your faithful Talanta Kikoti

Sponsored girls from Itonya! The original letter is hanging on the bulletin board outside Pastor’s office.

Mystery Solved…

At the beginning of this year we received a bequest from the estate of Linda Mae Engstrom. No one knew who she was. Jerry Sellman gave us this answer: Linda Mae Engstrom was a first cousin, once removed, of my father, Rudy Sellman. Her mother, Marion Rose Engstrom was a first cousin of my father. Her grandmother, Emma Dorthea Erickson, was an aunt of my father’s and a sister of my great-grandfather, Andrew Sellman, who emigrated from Sweden in 1868 when he changed his name from Anders Petersson. Sellman means "man from Sällemåla", the village where his family came from in southern Sweden. His brothers Carl and Otto also emigrated, the latter in 1880, and they, too, changed their last name from Petersson to Sellman. All of the Sellmans in Almelund descend from these three brothers.

Linda was born in 1954 and died last August. Her ashes were interned at Union Cemetery in Maplewood where her parents were buried. She was an only child. She felt a close attachment to the Sellmans and often visited my mother, Marguerite Sellman. No only did Linda quilt, but she also knit, crocheted, and sewed, giving away everything she made. She took lessons in such diverse areas as ham radio and belly dancing. I believe she was an economics major at Hamline University, and was Phi Beta Kappa at Century College and worked for the state in some capacity. She evidently took private flute lessons and played the dulcimer. She was involved with the passion play at North Heights Lutheran Church and was interested in art, music and plays. She also liked eagles, biscotti, shoes and cake decorating. All of this I learned at her memorial service last fall. She seemed at times a lost soul, lonely, looking for her place in the world. Little did many of us know she was so talented.

In short, she was a simple woman with extraordinary talents whom my broth-ers and I knew little about.

Jerry Sellman




For any church member pursuing a post-secondary education, with an emphasis on, but not limited to, Education and Christian Education.

Ray & Dory Johnson

In memory of Ray Johnson and in honor of Dory Johnson Especially for, but not limited to, those going into the senior year of college or beyond, with an emphasis on medicine.

If you are a member of Immanuel and are continuing your education you are eligible to apply for a scholarship. Applications must be into the church office by April 30th. Scholarships will be awarded in early June.

HANDICAPPED/SENIOR PARKING SPACES IN THE UPPER, NORTH PARKING LOT. Property Committee has designated spaces in the north lot to be reserved for handicapped parking and seniors. Safe ac-cess from the north lot to the elevator is past the large front doors on the front of the church through the ground level access door. Please leave these spaces near the church for those who need them. Parking is available in the parsonage lot across from the church. Thanks.

Immanuel Prayer Chain. Please call Darlene Anderson at 651-583-3153 to start the prayer chain. Because Darlene uses a wheelchair, please let the phone ring 10 or so times before hanging up. If there is no answer, please leave a message. Darlene will return your call. If you have email you can email to start the prayer chain as well. Her email address is: Also-Let her know if you would like to join the prayer chain!

Bring your aluminum drink cans to church for recycling on the First Sunday of each month! Raise money for church and save the world! Children are encouraged to get involved in this project, too!

CHURCH NURSERY MINISTRY: If you Staff it They will Come! – (or so we hope)

A team of six people have volunteered to staff our nursery during Sunday worship. Starting in January the nursery was staffed each week, making it more welcoming for young families to attend worship. A big thank you to those who have volunteered. Please spread the word to those who have children of nursery age that they are welcome and invited to be part of our worship each week – and their kids will be well cared for.

Nursery Update…

The Nursery Volunteers will be available beginning at 9:15 each week. We’re stocked up with new toys and eager for young visitors. You are welcome to bring your small children to the nursery.

-Pastor Marla

When donating books to the Church Library please be sure to put your donations into the large basket in the Library and do not put books directly on to the shelves. The Library committee must take a look at them before they are put in our library. Keep Reading! Thanks!

Join us in the choir…

We need all the help we can get!


The YOUNG ADULTS group discussed a variety of possibilities moving forward – Bible studies on topics of interest at times that work, a summer camping weekend, a church baseball team, putting faith to work through a service project. This is a time to put your ideas forward and shape the direction of this group to meet your needs as this group is in its formative stages. Come and be part of it. Anyone who is confirmed and in their late teens, 20s, 30s, or 40s is welcome. Families are welcome. Singles are welcome. Friends are welcome. If you have ideas for an event or want more information please contact Matt Carlson at 651-247-2437 or

Presidental Ponderings… by the Immanuel Lutheran Church Council President

I would like to thank the congregation. We finished the year so positively from an attendance and financial point. We enjoyed improved attendance in December which was very encouraging to see. I hope it will continue! From a financial point we have finished the year with positive numbers going into the new year. With all our current bills paid at the end of December we hope this situation will continue throughout the new year.

As we look back on last year there have been some wonderful things that have happened at Immanuel. The Itonya Water Project is something that we have had a chance to support enthusiastically and we look forward to finding out more about the project and the final outcome for the people of Itonya! The successful Youth Group Mission Trip is another highlight of the year! Seeing our young people travelling to see the way others live and the chance to help them is something that can stay with them for a lifetime.

Celebrating the 130th Anniversary of the Congregation and another successful Almelund Sampler was well supported and enjoyed by many. Sunday School has more participants in classes with the help of several new teachers. The Christmas Program presented by the whole church in-cluding the Sunday School, Youth, Church Choir and Church members was well received.

Nursery Ministry is a new program for 2018—we thank those who have volunteered to staff our nursery each Sunday in support of young families in our church. We hope the Young Adult Ministry continues to grow and I encourage all our young adults to take part in this new group.

Thank you to Pastor Marla for getting these new groups going!

We look forward to seeing you all in church in upcoming weeks, including at the Annual Meeting on February 11 after our Sunday service.

Steve Peterson


The Creed is not a test of faith

Jan 23, 2018 01:00 am Churches have not always made safe space for questions, so many people have recited (and still do recite) the Apostles’ Creed while wondering about its very assertions and their connection to these things.

We say the Creed together for this reason. No one among us believes perfectly and at all times. The Scriptures tell us that faith is a gift! Our corporate confession and assertion of God’s truth is a way of carrying each another through doubt and worry. We are say-ing to each other: When you are unable to believe, I will speak for both of us.

The Creed is not a test of faith. It is part of our prayer life, our welcome liturgy, our teaching tools and a connection to the history of the church and the faith.

This message is an excerpt from the Bible study "The Apostles’ Creed" by Julia Seymour in the September 2017 issue of Gather magazine. You can sign up to get Daily Grace devotions sent to you each day:

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