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Peace I leave with you;

my peace I give to you.

Not as the world gives do I give to you.

Let not your hearts be troubled,

neither let them be afraid.

John 14:27

Members and Attenders of Immanuel,

All schools in the state of Illinois closed down on Tuesday and will not re-open until at least March 30th. These missed days will not be made up because the closure is due to what they refer to as an “act of God.” We believers know that this unusual time is indeed from the hand of our sovereign Lord. And we trust that he has wise yet mysterious plans for this disruption to our daily lives. We will be doing much reflection on what those might be in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

For now, we wanted to communicate some important information with everyone.

Sunday Services – After much prayer, thinking, counsel, and deliberation, we have decided to suspend our regular Lord’s Day gathering starting this Sunday (3/22). This was not an easy decision. But the state of Illinois has now mandated the cancellation of events of more than 50 people. As a church of 88 members plus children, regular attenders, and visitors this does not allow us to all assemble together, nor does it seem wise at the moment. We want to preserve the unity of the body and promote the safety of our city, and so we are regretfully taking this extreme but temporary measure. We will re-evaluate this decision every week as the circumstances are constantly changing.

We also have decided not to do a ‘livestream’ of a service. We are not judging other churches that have chosen this option, but we feel like it would be wisest not to allow anyone to think that such an activity can replace what is meant to happen in the assembly of the saints. During this season we pray that you would remember fondly all the sweet times we’ve had together at The Meeting Place and long deeply for our future reunion there.

We will be giving you more guidance and resources for how to be spending your time on Sunday mornings (and all the other days).

Small Groups – Hopefully you already received communication from your Small Group Leaders that we have asked Small Groups not to meet physically together for the time being. Each group, however, is encouraged to communicate regularly, share updates, and even experiment with different ways of sharing insights from the Bible Reading Plan and staying in touch via technology. Your Small Group will be a great way to still be connected with other people in the community during this time.

Prayer Ministry – We are working on different ways to have online prayer meetings and organize prayer walks. We are mobilizing our Intercessory Prayer Team to ensure that everyone is covered in prayer. And please reach out to them at prayer with any items you need specific prayer for!

Children’s Ministry – Our Deacon of Children’s Ministry is working on getting curriculum and activities for you to use at home with your children. And the Elders will be sharing more resources for Family Worship.

Koinonia – Our Deacon of Koinonia is working on some creative and fun ideas for ways to still foster community life during this season. Stay tuned…

Member Support and Mercy Ministry – Our budget has funds built in to meet tangible needs inside and outside our church community. If you have or know of any financial needs during this time that the church can help meet OR if you would like to contribute extra money to this fund, please contact the Elders!

We will be communicating with you regularly as we go through this together. For now, we encourage you to keep up a regular schedule, keep reading the Bible Reading Plan and good books, keep memorizing and meditating on Psalm 1, pray… and (as was said in last Sunday’s sermon) do all this before and more than you watch the news and Netflix.

Your Pastors,

Nathan & Theo

Hey IBC!

I hope that those of you that were able to attend the Table Talk two Sundays ago and the session afterwards were able to learn and think critically about how to address the issues of sex trafficking as believers.

If you’re interested in doing some further research on your own, here are some good organizations and sites to look at:

· United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Global Report on Trafficking in Persons (TIP Report)

· Shared Hope International

· Polaris Project

· A21 Campaign

Also, here are the numbers that were mentioned on Sunday to call if you witness a possible trafficking victim:

· 911 or local law enforcemen

· National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST

· National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-877-3737-888 or text: befree

And here are some local organizations right here in our city:

· Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE)

· New Name Ministries

· Naomi’s House

· Chicago’s Dream Center

· Traffick Free

· The Dreamcatcher Foundation

Thanks again for participating in this discussion and praying about what your role might be in addressing this issue!

If you or someone you know is a Christian and a doctor, nurse, or medical assistant, there is a great opportunity to serve right in our church’s neighborhood on Saturday, September 30th!

Our North American Mission Board is bringing an amazing, new mobile clinic to the ABLA homes and is asking for members of local churches to provide the workers. Check out this short video here that shows you what the trucks they use look like. We will provide free medical care and share the gospel and point people to our church.

Spread the word and if you’re interested in volunteering, go to this site – http://www.sendchicago.org

Don’t forget that this Friday (6/9) the Mercy Team will be hosting a discussion on what makes for unity amidst diversity. 7:00 PM at The Meeting Place.

The Mercy Team scheduled four events for this year to gather people for discussion of topics that relate to the kinds of ministry we hope to be part of in the city.

The next event is Friday, June 9th. In preparation for that, please read the first chapter of the book Disunity in Christ by Christena Cleveland and come ready to discuss…

Check out this book review just published at 9Marks.org. In it Pastor Nathan explains some of the vision for our new Mercy Ministry that John, Sarah K., Lydia, Becky, and Christian are working on.

This Sunday is the last Sunday to donate books, CDs, and DVDs in any condition to help create transitional jobs for adults in poverty for Chapter Two – a book recycling social enterprise of The Cara Program.

Also, please bring your used batteries to church for recycling to help Lawrie with her high school biology project.

Tomorrow (Saturday) will be our last regular Outreach to our neighbors behind The Meeting Place. Come help us serve food and share the gospel and find out what this ministry will be morphing into. Questions? Email Woo at outreach

If you can make it the Outreach tomorrow, that would be great! We go share food and the gospel with our neighbors behind The Meeting Place. 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Contact outreach with questions.

Don’t forget: the Joint Outreach is this Saturday (10/19) from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Also, this Sunday (10/20) is the 3rd Sunday of October and that means Table Talk! Table Talks are chances to get together over lunch and discuss some topic of theology in a Round Table format. This month the topic is “Cessationism vs. Continuationism.” In other words: have the supernatural sign gifts of the Spirit (i.e. speaking in tongues, healings, words of prophecy) ceased or do they continue in our time? Mike E. will be facilitating the discussion. This time we’ll be going out to eat at a nearby restaurant. Come if you can.

From @immanuelchicago on Twitter

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