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Secret Church is an annual gathering to study God’s Word and pray for the persecuted and the lost. This year’s topic is “Prayer, Fasting, and the Pursuit of God.” It will be held Friday, April 26th, @ 6:00 PM and normally goes for about 6 hours (4 hours of study + 2 hours of prayer). It’s a bit of a time commitment, but even if you can’t stick around for the whole thing, it’s still encouraged for you to join. It’ll be a rich time of studying God’s Word in the context of seeing the glory of Christ multiplied to the ends of the earth.

If you’re interested in watching the live simulcast, please contact internationalmissions at immanuel dash baptist dot net or talk to Jaden before April 15th. The cost will be $10/person which pays for the simulcast and the corresponding study guide. The number of people who respond will determine where we it will be hosted.

This week we’ll be spending our lunch hours in focused prayer, asking God to work in our hearts to show us more of him, to reveal our sins to us, and for us to meditate on the goodness of God in our lives and respond. Each day we will provide some guidance to help you pray. Our hope is that these would be a spring board into prayer and that our hearts would be open to God’s leading of our time.

Monday

Let’s pray with Paul that God would open our hearts and minds to know and to experience him in greater, richer depth this week as we meditate on the work of Christ on the cross.

15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

Ephesians 1:15-21

God, by your great mercy please open up the eyes of our hearts to see you and know you more. Lord, please reveal to us how marvelous and majestic you are and prepare our hearts to grow closer to you this week as we approach the celebration of our Risen Savior Jesus Christ.

Palm Sunday – Tomorrow marks the beginning of Holy Week as we remember the entrance of Jesus to Jerusalem for the final week of his pre-resurrection life. Jonathan will be preaching to us from Psalm 27.

Liquid Lunches – Monday through Friday we are recommending that people fast from solid food and use the lunch time to pray. We will be sending out a prayer guide with Scriptures and topics to help you focus this time.

Good Friday – We will be having a service of singing and Scripture meditation with a short devotional from Theo as we reflect on the meaning of the death of Christ. 6:45 PM at The Meeting Place.

Outreach Saturday – We want EVERYONE to participate in some part of this day. It will begin with a brief prayer meeting at The Meeting Place at 10:30 AM. Then we will go out and do surveys at several foot-traffic hot spots throughout the UIC Area, asking questions about Easter that could lead to spiritual conversations. Then at 1:00 PM we will be having an Easter Egg Hunt Outreach at Arrigo Park. Please be inviting people to this! We emailed out a digital invitation this week and will have printed copies for you to take at the service tomorrow and share with friends and classmates.

Easter Sunday – In lieu of Table Talk there will be a brunch for everyone at 9:30 AM before the service.

The week leading up to Easter is always a big week in the life of Immanuel. Here’s what to expect this year:

4/9 – Palm Sunday (Jonathan will be preaching to kick off our week together)

4/10-15 – ‘Liquid Lunches’ (this year’s suggested fast is no solid food for lunches; we’ll be sending out prayer guides so you can use that time to focus spiritually)

4/14 – Good Friday Service (a contemplative service with songs, readings, and a brief message on the atonement from Theo)

4/15 – Prayer and Outreach (in the morning we’ll gather at The Meeting Place to pray together and then go out across the UIC Area to do surveys that will lead to spiritual conversations about Easter; then in the afternoon we’ll also be having an Easter Egg hunt for kids at Arrigo Park where the gospel will be presented; we’d like everyone to participate in at least one of these outreach events)

4/16 – Brunch and Celebration Service (before worship there will be a spread of breakfast food to eat together!)

On the third Sundays of every month there’s a meal after our worship service. Plan to stick around and eat!

This Sunday during the meal Kara will be sharing about her upcoming work in Germany.

After that, there will be a short, optional seminar that you won’t want to miss on “Bridging the Secular Divide.” It’s designed to help us better understand how the unbelievers around us think and act. And we’ll be explaining a new evangelistic focus for our Sunday Morning Prayer Meetings this year.

Since a huge EDM Festival is coming to our back door (www.springawakeningfestival.com), we thought this could be a great opportunity to give a cup of cold water and clothe the naked in Jesus’ name.

· We’ll meet at 6:00 PM on Saturday (6/11) outside The Meeting Place to prayer walk.

· Around 6:45 PM we’ll open up The Meeting Place and invite people in.

· John Rood of Roodimentary Sciences (sample here) will hang out at The Meeting Place until 10:00 PM jamming with his modular synthesizer equipment and giving an “Analog Modular Exhibition” where he explains to people the science of how it works.

· People will be available to talk with guests, share the gospel, and offer to pray with them.

At least pray for the Spirit to be moving and open up doors for the gospel among those who may be feeling confused, empty, guilty, and/or hopeless. Consider coming to provide some critical mass and help have spiritual conversations with those the Lord brings by. Even if nobody comes, it’ll be a good prayer meeting and hang out time appreciating John’s genius.

Some other upcoming events:

· This Sunday afternoon (5/29) at 3:00 PM at Arrigo Park there’s the first of many volleyball hangouts. Going forward they will be every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. Invite your friends. Contact Lydia for more info.

· After Volleyball you can head downtown to a free concert in Millennium Park with some people. Contact Enoch for more info.

· Ladies’ Ice Cream Walk is Monday evening (5/30; Memorial Day). Contact Madie for more info.

· Ladies’ Clothes Swap is Saturday (6/11) at 7:00 PM. Contact Bethany for more info.

· And don’t forget the SUMMER RETREAT (8/19-21)!

Prayer Meeting this Sunday will be at 9:30 AM (as always), but this week we will be doing a Prayer-walk around the neighborhood for a half hour. Mike E. will be leading it. He’ll be heading out right at 9:30 AM.

Want to sign up for a slot between the Good Friday service and the Easter brunch to pray? Email Abby at prayer at immanuel dash baptist dot net.

This Easter, as in the past, we would like to have our church covered in continuous prayer from the Good Friday service on Friday, March 25th, until the Easter Service on Sunday, March 27th. Please consider signing up for an hour to pray! You can do this individually or as a family. Thanks for serving our church in this way!

Here is the link to the spreadsheet where you can sign up.

From @immanuelchicago on Twitter

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