You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2010.

We’re in need of some more people to join the Intercessory Prayer Team! If you want more info contact Pastor Nathan at ncarter

We also need some more volunteers for Kids’ Corner, especially for the summer. If you’re interested email Andrea at kids

It was March 25, 2009, when we first introduced Vocation Vignettes – short essays by members of our church intended to stimulate theological reflection on our roles as Christian citizens of Chicago. Since then we’ve read thoughtful reflections on being in the medical field, the art world, the academy, engineering, finance, city planning, and being unemployed, just to name a few. There were 44 different vignettes in all! You can still find each one posted at Immanuel’s blog ( Thanks to those who spent time writing and reading these. We hope it was beneficial for everyone.

Today we’re bringing this collective exercise to a close and as we do we wanted to recap and pull it all together. Understanding ‘vocation’ is so crucial to understanding how Immanuel conceives of itself and its mission in this city. And understanding vocation really rests upon a ‘Two Kingdoms’ framework.[*]

I once heard someone summarize this by saying something to the effect of, “The CHURCH does nothing other than proclaim the gospel, but CHRISTIANS do a whole lot more.” The church as institution is to remain focused on Word and Ordinance ministry. At Immanuel we assemble together to worship Christ and remember what he has done for us, not to receive instructions for what we must do to change the world. Therefore, we don’t have official, Immanuel sponsored community development initiatives or programs.

And yet, our desire is to see Chicago and the UIC Area in particular transformed over time. Why? There are many reasons, but mostly because we are being transformed by the love of God in the gospel and now are beginning to have greater love for our neighbors as a result. This love manifests itself in evangelism, but also in a desire for holistic human flourishing. How do we go about promoting this? Through “faithful presence”[†] in our vocations out in the world, primarily! Being a cog in the machine that is Chicago (no political pun intended), no matter how small, may at times seem monotonous or inconsequential but it is actually a dignified calling from God that contributes to the larger good of society. Your ‘job’ is a calling from God!

Our prayer for Immanuel is that “we would live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph. 5:2). May his love propel us to love others through our vocations. May we continue to catch an integrated vision for all of life that’s lived to the glory of God. And may Chicago be different as a result!

Hiya! My name is Christy, married to Braden, and my current vocation is as a 6th grade science teacher in CPS. I grew up in the Seattle area, and even though I’ve been in the Midwest for about 8 years now, I still consider myself a transplant!

My primary vocation right now is teaching. After three years working at The Field Museum, I left my job there least year to join a program called Chicago Teaching Fellows. CTF takes unsuspecting optimists, and after about 8 weeks of intensive training, places you in an under-served CPS school for four years. I’m almost done with year one, and am looking forward to next year, when I’ll actually know what I’m doing some of the time!

I’ve always been interested in education (when I was in fourth grade, I wanted to quit school and be a third grade teacher), but for a long time, pictured myself in a more less-formal education setting. Since my main avocations include sustainable agriculture and international development, I always assumed my career would tend towards environmental education overseas. God had other plans, though, and I’m now reconciling being a classroom teacher with my dreams of helping farmers reach sustainability.

As a classroom teacher, I find myself in the unique position to influence adolescents, and hopefully, encourage them to move beyond their neighborhoods. My school is 85% Hispanic, and with that comes a lot of strong cultural influences. There are a lot of really great things that my students bring to the classroom; a sense of family responsibility, a value of education, and deep connection to nationality. However, for my girls especially, the culture of machismo is very influential. I have a bunch of 12 year old girls who feel that the only way they are valued is if they have a ‘man’ connected to them. One of the ways I am trying to love them, and show them God’s freeing love, is by encouraging them to be independent thinkers, and strong women who make good decisions. I also try to teach values of respect and humility to my boys who have been taught that being male gives them the right to treat the girls badly.

I’ve learned a lot in the past year. The main thing is probably that I really don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. I’ve spent a lot of this year flying by the seat of my pants, and hoping for the best. I’ve also learned that God is faithful in times of exhaustion and frustration. I’ve learned that when I stop seeing the sometimes-horrible behavior of my students, and focus on them as trophies of creation, then my ability to love and teach them skyrockets. I’ve learned that even though I teach at a public school, and cannot share my faith openly with my students, God is still working in the lives of my students, and can use me to show them true love and acceptance.

In the end, I love my job, and I love my students. I hope that by my being there, I can show them at least a smidgen of the love God has for them as well.

~ Christy

Hi all,

Please join the graduates at Immanuel this Sunday (5/23) for a time of celebration. The graduates will be prayed for by Pastor Nathan during service, and there will be cake after service. Hope many of you can stick around afterwards!

If you have any questions, please contact Sheilla at sntambo

Hope to see you all.


We will be returning to one service at 10:45 AM this Sunday.


The Pilsen Community Market opens Sunday June 13th!

The Pilsen Market Committee welcomes you to its third season in the Chicago Community Bank parking lot at 18th & Halsted. They will open at 9:00 AM & close at 3:00PM this summer.
Many of your favorite Vendors will be returning as well as an exciting new line-up of Vendors including organic chicken, eggs, and meat. There will be special events throughout the summer.

At 7:00 PM at The Meeting Place

Anyone willing to do some garden work for $$? Hobin and Helen are wanting to landscape their backyard and the front with some pavers and flower pots and stuff. They are looking for someone who can help them design the layout, buy the ingredients/materials, and do the work. Contact mrhobinlee if you are interested.

Hello IBC!

My name is Daniel. My wife, Rachel, and I have been members of Immanuel since December 09’ and living in Chicago since mid July 09’. After getting married in July 08’ we graduated from KansasStateUniversity (Go Cats!) in May 09’, went to East Asia for 6 weeks, then moved to Chicago 3 days later! We are now living in a high-rise apartment located in downtown Chicago, it’s been an eye-opening transition from the flat lands of Kansas! But that’s a story for another time… But in other news God has also blessed us as we are expecting a baby boy in late July/early August!! God has done so many things in our lives in the less than 2 years we have been married and I am excited to see more of His will for us here in Chicago.

Now more about the vocational stuff. I graduated from KSU with a Masters and Bachelors Degree in Architectural Engineering, a degree very different than that of an Architect. This confuses a lot of people but it’s true! In using my degree God has brought me to Chicago to work as an Electrical Engineer for a company downtown called Primera. God has placed a love for the nations (especially East Asia) in my heart and now placed me in a Cuban-American owned company that is the most culturally diverse I have ever seen! I have the wonderful opportunity to work along side people from China, South Korea, Poland, Russia, and more! It is amazing how He displaced me from everything I knew and placed my family now here in this place. It’s a career where I don’t have to sit behind a computer every day, but I get out and around the city fairly frequently and see first hand the work God creates using me.

My official name as seen on my business card is ‘Daniel Matlack LEED APBC&D, EIT’ – it’s a mouthful. Those letters don’t really mean much, but essentially I design the lighting and power systems for small and large commercial buildings like retail stores, hospitals, schools, universities, fire/police stations, industrial facilities, community centers, offices, and even harbors (I’ve done 2 that will be starting construction in/near downtown soon!). Other projects include designing power and lighting for city parks, doing daylight studies, etc… I get to create something as small as a house or as big as a skyscraper on a few flat sheets of white paper that tell the contractors how to build it into a 3D livable/workable space. Even more specifically God has given me both the education and abilities to calculate and model how light reflects within a room with light fixtures and even the sun! Believe it or not what I am able to do with lighting changes the very mood and attitude of people walking/working in a space. I don’t know about you guys, but I think it’s pretty cool!

What else do I love about it? Yes there’s more. I get to work with a variety of people with all different backgrounds and skills of their own. People like architects, engineers, salesmen, building owners and managers, monetarily wealthy, and not-so wealthy people. If I’m really lucky I can even talk to the people who will be working in the spaces I design to meet their needs exactly. I hope to cast the light of Christ onto everyone I meet at every level of my job by (in no specific order): (1) humbly serving them, even if it’s not exactly within my job description, going the extra mile to make their job easier; (2) forgiving them and showing grace, when a contractor/co-worker messes something up or forgets something – do not become angry or bitter as I myself am nowhere near perfect; (3) have joy in my heart as I do His work, I think God makes joy contagious; (4) praying for them daily (almost, just as Nathan said in his sermon…it’s hard sometimes); (5) sharing Christ who is in me with them by talking about my involvement with IBC, His affect on my life, posting verses on note cards in my cubicle.

Well somewhat wordy, but that’s a part of my life in a nutshell.

I’m excited to see where God is taking me and my family in this career and with the IBC family. God bless.