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This Sunday will be a special Sunday. We will be officially commissioning the Avinks during the service and sending them out to plant a church in Lawndale. Plan to stick around afterwards and celebrate them over lunch. We will be providing food for everyone!

This Wednesday is the first Wednesday of July and that means All-Church Prayer Meeting. This month we’ll be prayer-walking in North Lawndale in preparation for the new church plant the Avinks will be part of.

We’ll meet at the Avinks’ house. We’ll head out to prayerwalk at 7:00 PM. Food will be available beforehand if you want to come early and eat. Childcare will also be available back at the Avinks’ house during the prayer-walk.

Let’s make sure that this effort to start a new church is grounded in prayer, asking God to make it happen for his own glory.

Each week we’ll be sending out a featured video from last month’s Summer Retreat for those who want to watch it again or those who weren’t able to be there.

This week it’s “Why Do Cities Matter?” First, go and watch this book trailer. And then watch Pastor Nathan taking his best shot at concisely answering the question here:


On Saturday (9/14) from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Dr. Owen Strachan will be leading a session on “The Church: It’s Marks, Purpose, and Nature” at The Meeting Place after Church of the Beloved’s service.

On Sunday (9/15) from 8:00 to 9:15 PM the three UIC Area churches that are part of GOSPEL for Chicago will be having a joint Prayer Meeting at The Meeting Place to pray for God’s work in and through us. Please come for this display of unity in prayer.

NO SERVICE THIS MORNING (10/7)!! Join us tonight at 6:00 PM at ArmitageBaptistChurch to pray for church planting in the city.

Due to the Chicago Marathon this Sunday we are not having our normal Sunday Morning Service.

Instead we are meeting with Church of the Beloved at 4:00 PM at The Meeting Place on Saturday and having a Vision and Prayer Night with other churches in our denomination at 6:00 PM at Armitage Baptist Church (2451 N. Kedzie) on Sunday.

Sunday (10/7) is the Chicago Marathon! As in years past we won’t be having our Sunday morning service. Instead, this year we are asking that everyone either

(1) join up with Church of the Beloved at The Meeting Place at 4:00 PM on Saturday (10/6), or

(2) attend the Chicagoland Vision and Prayer Night at Armitage Baptist Church in Logan Square at 6:00 PM on Sunday (10/7), or

(3) BOTH!

Immanuel will be playing a key role in both of these gatherings. It would be great to see everyone there. But please don’t try to show up for service the morning of 10/7… you won’t be able to get there and if you did, nobody else will be there.

Immanuel was a church plant at one time and has planted one church from its own already (it didn’t make it). And now we get to be a part of the planting of two churches – Pilsen Community Church which launched last fall on 18th Street and Church of the Beloved which launches tonight at 4:00 PM at The Meeting Place. Please pray for these fledgling churches that they would be strengthened in the gospel and used to reach the lost and renew the found.

On April 23, 1865, Charles Spurgeon said to his congregation at the Metropolitan Tabernacle:

We have never sought to hinder the uprising of other Churches from our midst or in our neighborhood. It is with cheerfulness that we dismiss our twelves, our twenties, our fifties, to form other Churches. We encourage our members to leave us to found other Churches; nay, we seek to persuade them to do it. We ask them to scatter throughout the land to become the goodly seed which God shall bless. I believe that so long as we do this we shall prosper. I have marked other Churches that have adopted the other way, and they have not succeeded.

C.H. Spurgeon, The Waterer Watered

Spurgeon didn’t just say this. While pastoring the Metropolitan Tabernacle, and seeing tremendous growth, he played a vital role in the planting of over 200 churches in and around London. What a beautiful example of Kingdom mindedness, missional focus, and gospel passion. May God grant that we could do the same thing here in Chicago, and from here to the nations!

In just over a week, a new congregation – The Church of the Beloved – will be planted in the city using The Meeting Place on Saturday nights! Immanuel has been heavily involved with this project at several levels because we want to be part of starting as many churches in Chicago in as many ways as we possibly can!

Maybe the concept of church planting is new to you. Or maybe you’ve looked at it before, but forgotten why it’s such a big deal. Please look over the fabulous article, Why Plant Churches?

It makes a great case that “a vigorous and continuous approach to church planting is the only way to guarantee an increase in the number of believers, and is one of the best ways to renew the whole body of Christ.

Also, we could still use about 4 more volunteers to help with Nursery during Church of the Beloved’s first couple services. This would be a great service to them and a tangible way you can be part of church planting! Please email kids for more info.

Just a reminder to keep praying for Church of the Beloved as they are gearing up to launch on February 18th. And if anyone wants to come to the launch service to support them, you are welcome.

Also, we would really like to staff their nursery for at least the first two weeks (2/18 and 2/25) so that their whole core group can be present. If you could come and help out that way, please email kids right away.

From @immanuelchicago on Twitter