Immanuel Lutheran Church
                     of Almelund, Minnesota


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Pastor’s Perspective

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Pastor Marla Amborn
Office: 651-583-2340
Cell: 651-315-3354

May 2017

God With Us for 130 Years!

"May 13, 1887 – The fourth congregational meeting was held on the site of the proposed church. Willie Carlson of Center City accepted an open con-tract to build the church for $490 including everything except the plastering of the church, which John Johnson promised to do for 18 cents per square yard. Andrew Ryberg was elected to supervise laying the foundation begin-ning May 23. The first church building was constructed without a steeple or sacristy." (Immanuel’s 125 Anniversary booklet, page 8.)

May 13, 2017 we celebrate Immanuel’s 130th Anniversary with a Swedish dinner, accompanied by Swedish music, a craft sale, bake sale, and games for the kids.

On May 7 Henry Carlson, son of Matt and Soua Carlson, grandson of Wayne and Tora Carlson, will be baptized, the 6th generation of Carlsons to be baptized at Immanuel. Melissa Ryberg, wife of Clay Ryberg, daughter-in-law of Bill and Betty Ryberg, will embroider the handkerchief used for this baptism. The families that founded this congregation are still actively in-volved in its ministry. God has been at work in this community through the generations of people of Immanuel for the past 130 years! That is some-thing to celebrate.

Immanuel’s roots go deep. Our Centennial Hymn expresses that well:

Almelund church spire, reaching the sky,

Guiding God’s people as years go by.

Visions of Jesus glories of God,

Were seen by settlers of the earth’s sod.

Thousands of people over the past 130 years have been blessed by the ministry of this congregation. God has used this congregation to spread his message of love and salvation to people in this community and around the world. Hardworking faithful people have supported this ministry from that beginning 130 years ago. What an impressive legacy to celebrate!

Different challenges faced each generation. At first it was challenging finding the resources to build the church building and call a pastor. But the people rose to those challenges with God’s help. Later it was difficult transitioning from Swedish to English, dealing with the struggles of the Great Depression and World War II. When the congregation grew to such a size that they needed a larger building, it was tough making decision to tear down the original building and replace it with a larger building.

(Reportedly no one wanted to take down the alter of the old church so they hired help outside of the congregation.) More recently the congregation stepped up to the challenge of building the addition and making the decision to sell the parsonage. God was with this congregation through all of these challenges too.

God continues to work through the hardworking people here today. That message of God’s love and salvation continues to be preached and taught and lived through this congregation each week. As we live out our mission "A welcoming community rooted in Christ, growing faith and serving with joy!" we fulfill God’s vision and build on the work of the generations who have come before us.

God has ongoing work for us to do. God’s message of love and salvation needs to be taught to the next generations. We are God’s hands and feet in this place, loving and caring for the neighbor in need. God expects and de-lights in our worship and praise. The sacrifices and hard work of those who built this church and sustained it over the past 130 years are honored as we do our part to continue this ministry now and into the future.

It is my hope and prayer God will continue to work through the the energy, faithfulness, pragmatism, and can-do attitude of this congregation, that has been evident from the very beginning, to sustain his work moving forward.

God has been with us, God is with us, and God will continue to be with us. On May 13 let’s celebrate together our past, our present, and our future as God’s people, Immanuel of Almelund.

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