“There is a place…”
Emmanuel Lutheran Church
815-963-4815 Emergency: 815-980-8993 EmmanuelLutheranRockford.org
Emmanuel Lutheran Church 920 Third Avenue Rockford, Illinois 61104

Community * Creativity * Spirituality

Welcome to Emmanuel

Photo by Steve Pitkin

When Emmanuel was founded in 1882 we called ourselves a “congregation”—not a “church.”

We are open to the uniqueness of each person's story. Our ministry is about discovering your gifts and your calling. We seek to become compassionate servants of God, reaching out through service to heal and inspire Rockford and the world. We learn together from our own Christian tradition as well as from other cultures, religions, and civilizations.

Join us and explore “God with us”—Emmanuel—a community of people devoted to Christ and to all of God's creation.

Emmanuel extends a heartfelt thank you to the Margaret K. Aldeen Fund of Community Foundation of Northern Illinois for awarding the Emmanuel Food Pantry a grant to purchase food for the hungry people we serve. For details contact the church office (815-963-4815) during normal business hours.

Emmanuel thanks everyone who participated in the 2014 events to raise money to defeat ALS. Please take a minute to find out more.

Emmanuel rents space, even to non-members and outside organizations. If you are planning a wedding, funeral, memorial service, or some other kind of event, we'd be very happy to see if we can help you. Find out more on our Rent Space page.

Wednesdays in Lent, February 20th through March 27th, 2013, Noon to 1 p.m. - Subs 'n Scripture
Come and join us for lunch and Lenten study with Pastor Amy. Discussion to follow. Details on our Calendar.

Sunday, April 14th, 2013, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. -
Chakra Rhythms:
A Journey of Discovery Through the Chakras

Come and join us for this interesting workshop. Sign up in advance and save money. Details on our Calendar.

“We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” -Romans 8:28

Special Congregational Meeting

Please be sure to attend the very important and exciting Special Congregational Meeting on Sunday, September 29, 2013, following the 10:15 a.m. service. There will be a vote to call a new senior pastor for Emmanuel. A quorum of 50 is needed for the vote, so your attendance is immensely important.

Emmanuel Votes In A New Pastor

It is with great joy that we announce the results of the special congregational meeting held on Sunday, September 29, 2013. An invitation to extended service as pastor of Emmanuel was approved for our recent candidate. There were 87 yes votes and 4 no votes. The Call Committee and Council wish to thank all those who attended the meeting and all of you who have supported Emmanuel with your prayers and faithfulness. This is an exciting time for Emmanuel, with a bright future ahead. We are grateful for Pastor Amy's loving care and guidance during our interim time. As soon as we have more information on starting dates for our new pastor, we will let you know. In the meantime, Rejoice and be glad!

If you have any questions, contact Jack Ream, Council President, or Karen Van Howe, Call Committee Chair, or call the church office at 815-963-4815 to have someone call you back.

Emmanuel has a part-time position available for a keyboard accompanist. Being able to sight read music is required, and experience as an organist would be a plus. Must be available to play for the 10:15 a.m. service on the first and third Sundays, and every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. for choir rehearsal. Salary is competitive. For more information, contact Pastor TroyAnn by e-mail, or call the church office, 815-963-4815, during normal business hours.
Mark your calendar...
  • Sunday, September 13th, 10:30 a.m., only one service for the HEART to HEART Homecoming including the kickoff of the new school year.
  • September 22nd to October 18th for the HEART to HEART Conversation Gatherings at member homes and at the church.
  • Sunday, September 27th, 1 p.m., for Emmanuel's Ice Cream Social and Kite Flying Party. Please bring your kites.
  • Friday, October 2nd, 5 p.m., and Saturday, October 3rd, 4 p.m., for the Fall ArtScene featuring In Print Word of Art 2.
  • Saturday and Sunday, October 24th and 25th, 3 p.m., for the Gospel Music Festival.

    Sunday, October 25th, 11:30 a.m., for the HEART to HEART Festival including dinner and music.

  • Sunday, November 1st, 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., for All Saints' Day services.
  • Tuesday, November 3rd, for the beginning of the new book being read by Spiritual Journeys: God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam by Mirabai Starr.
  • Sunday, November 8th, 6:00 p.m., for a preview of our Spring trip to the Southwest. This event is an opportunity to explore the soul stirring beauty and presence of Spirit in the Southwest landscape.
  • Sunday, November 29th, is the first day of Advent. Deepen your spiritual experience with an Advent practice: Daily Devotions with a page of coloring. Coloring has been shown to be a way of meditative expression. Emmanuel has an Advent Coloring Calendar available for $10 through the church office and after services.
  • Tuesday, December 1st, is Giving Tuesday. Please consider giving a donation to Emmanuel.
  • Sunday, December 6th, 9:00 a.m., for the preview opening of Emmanuel's Silent Auction.

    Sunday, December 6th, 5:00 p.m., for Emmanuel's World AIDS Day Service to show our support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died of this pandemic.

  • Sunday, December 13th, 11:30 a.m., for Emmanuel's St. Nicholas Feast Celebration including Potluck, Silent Auction, and music by The Firelight Dimmers.
  • Thursday, December 17th, 7:00 p.m., for an evening of poetry and music on Rumi’s Wedding Night.
  • Thursday, December 24th, for one or more of Emmanuel's Christmas Eve celebrations: The 3:00 p.m. Family Candlelight Service, the 10:30 p.m. Christmas Concert, and/or the 11:00 p.m. Festival Candlelight Service. More details on our calendar.
  • Sunday, December 27th, 10:30 a.m., for Emmanuel's Service of Lessons & Carols. This is the only service today.
  • Sunday, January 17th, 10:30 a.m. Worship Service, with guest performer Wayland Anderson, who will offer a special dance tribute to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Monday, January 18th, 10:00 a.m., for the Rockford Ministers' Fellowship sponsored Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration.
  • Sunday, January 24th, after the 10:30 a.m. service, for the Annual Meeting of the Emmanuel Congregation. All members are encouraged to attend.
  • Friday, February 5th, 7:00 p.m., to Satuday, February 6th, 11:00 a.m., for Candlemas: Stirring the Seeds.
    Saturday, February 6th, 1:00 p.m., for Chakra Rhythms workshop with Beth Campisi.
  • Wednesday, February 10th, for the Traditional Ash Wednesday Service at 12:00 p.m., and the Ash Wednesday Taize Chant Service at 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 13th, 1:00 p.m., for Writing About What Matters workshop.
  • Wednesdays, from February 17th through March 16th, for the 2016 Midweek Lenten Series that Emmanuel is part of. Five speakers from the Midtown Lutheran Parish, including our own TroyAnn Poulopoulos, will each be featured at two churches once during the series.
  • Wednesdays, from February 17th through April 13th, for free tax help from AARP Foundation TAX-AIDE to low and moderate income tax-payers, especially those 60 and older. By appointment only. Call the office (815-963-4815) during normal business hours to reserve a time and to find out what you need to bring.
  • Thursday, February 18th, 6:30 p.m., for a meeting of 350, a global, grassroots climate movement whose mission is to hold our leaders accountable to the realities of science and the principles of justice.
  • Saturday, February 27th, 9:00 a.m., for Heart 2 Heart Pancakes at the Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles St, Rockford, Illinois. Good food and conversation. No agenda! Come and go as your please. Order from the menu, pay for your own meal. Please sign up at or call the church office (815-963-4815) so we can make a group reservation.
  • Thursday, March 17th, 6:30 p.m., for a meeting of 350, a global, grassroots climate movement whose mission is to hold our leaders accountable to the realities of science and the principles of justice.
  • Saturday, March 19th, 10:00 a.m., for Go Green with Your Light workshop with Norm Knott. Turn your plastic shopping bags into pendant lampshades. $25 fee includes a light lunch. See our calendar for more details.
  • March 20th through March 27th, for Holy Week and Easter services and events. “There is a place” for all to join with Emmanuel during this very sacred time.
  • Saturday, April 16th, 9:30 p.m., for Church Clean-up Day. It's that time of year! The beautiful grounds of Emmanuel are in need of spring clean up. Members and friends are invited to join us. If you have them, please bring gardening gloves and any lawn and garden tools (rakes, clippers, brooms, etc.) you would like to use. Donuts and beverages will be provided. “Many hands make light work.” –John Heywood (1497–1580)
  • Thursday, April 21st, 6:30 p.m., for a meeting of 350, a global, grassroots climate movement whose mission is to hold our leaders accountable to the realities of science and the principles of justice.
  • Saturday, May 14th, 7:00 p.m., for the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus spring production of My Kind of Town, a tribute to all things Chicago. For tickets call 815-963-4815 during normal business hours, or buy them online.
  • Friday, June 3rd, 7:00 p.m., for Song of the Universe, a three act play by Jim Roberts on the 13.7 Billion Story of the Universe using music and song, dance and art forms. More details on our calendar.
  • Sunday, June 12th, 10:30 a.m. Worship for a special worship experience enriched by the voice and piano of Timm Adams, Associate Professor of Music Rockford University. Come and bring a friend.
  • Sunday, June 26th, 10:30 a.m., for the Outdoor Midtown Combined Worship Service in the BMO Harris Bank parking lot at 7th Street and 4th Avenue. “One in the Spirit” is the theme of this combined summer service involving participants from the seven Midtown Lutheran Churches: Calvary, Emmanuel, First, Salem, Tabor,Trinity, and Zion. Our Emmanuel quartet of David and Susan Lippert, Jenny Olson, and Ken Toot will be performing. There is a potluck following the worship service.

    Note: Volunteers are needed to serve communion, usher, and greet. Please contact the church office (815-963-4815) during normal business hours or if you are interested in helping out.

  • The Center for the Arts & Spirituality presents Sean Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band in concert on Monday, June 27th at 7:00 p.m. See the Center's website for details and to buy tickets online, or call the church office (815-963-4815) during normal business hours to reserve tickets.
  • Sunday, July 3rd, 10:30 a.m. Worship with special music by Linda Evans and her Sapphire's Blue Notes.
  • Sunday, July 10th, 10:30 a.m. Worship will be a special service featuring Beatles Music performed by Acoustic Juice with members Doug Janicke, Tom Wilson, and Tim Austin on guitar, harmonica, and percussion. Brunch after worship at The Irish Rose.
  • Sunday, July 17th, 7:00 p.m. for Richard Meeks, local storyteller, in the Celebration Room.
  • Friday, August 5th, 7:00 p.m. for Hank and Patsy: Celebrating the music of Hank Williams and Patsy Cline. Free Admission. Voluntary donations to performers gratefully accepted. More details on our calendar.

There is nothing featured here now, but check our our Community calendar for events scheduled in the future.

Also see the recurring events that Emmanuel hosts for the benefit of our members and the community.

All are welcome.

* * * Our New Pastor * * *

The congregation of Emmanuel Lutheran Church is excited to announce that on November 1, 2013, after close to two years of searching, we welcomed our new pastor, TroyAnn Poulopoulos.

* * * Our New Accompanist * * *

The congregation of Emmanuel Lutheran Church is excited to announce that on January 26, 2014, we welcomed our new accompanist, Kristen Nelson.

Photo by Alvin McGovern

Pastor TroyAnn Poulopoulos is known for making the words of the traditional liturgy come to life. She also incorporates other spiritual traditions into her own spiritual practice and study. “We have much to learn from one another and… peace among us depends on the type of respect that leads to deep listening.” Also see her Pastor's Page.

Email Pastor TroyAnn through our website if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, or if you wish to make an appointment to see her call the church office (815-963-4815) during normal business hours.

Pastor Amy Nyman

Photo by Don Heckelmiller

We are grateful for Pastor Amy's loving care and guidance during our interim time; she has become a dear member of the Emmanuel family. Her last day was October 31, 2013.

Find out about the 2013 Focus Groups.

Please join our weekly Bible Study on Wednesdays from noon to 1:00 p.m. Currently we are offering a weekly study called “Stories of the Bible” by our resident storyteller Pastor TroyAnn Poulopoulos.

Please join Spiritual Journeys in our ongoing quest for faith and love. We meet every Tuesday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the Celebration Room. We are currently reading Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self by Richard Rohr.

Please join our Adult Ed program which provides the Emmanuel congregation with a wide variety of educational opportunities for adults 17 and older in the Benson room. We are currently going through the “Kindle a Fire in your Spiritual Practice” discussion series, and the NOOMA film and discussion series.

Please join Four Winds Center for Spiritual Ecology in February 2014 for The Healing Drum. All are welcome.

Mark your calendar...
  • Sunday, August 25th for the Backpack Blessing at either the 9:00 a.m. Traditional LBW Worship, or at the 10:15 a.m. Emerging Service. More on our calendar.
  • Sunday, September 8th is Rally Day, the church year kick off celebration. All are welcome.
Art@Emmanuel presents the “Starry, Starry Night: Blessings from the Universe” exhibit beginning on Sunday, December 16th, in the Emmanuel Art Gallery. Read the Call to Artists PDF document if you are interested in taking part. Art@Emmanuel presents the “Crosses: Symbol & Form” exhibit beginning on Sunday, March 3rd, in the Emmanuel Art Gallery. Read the Call to Artists if you are interested in taking part. Friday, April 5, through Sunday, May 12th, 2013: “Controlled Accidents” Roni Golan, Solo Exhibition at Emmanuel Lutheran Church Gallery as a part of the Rockford Area Arts Council Spring Artscene. Art@Emmanuel presents:

Calling all Emmanuel artists: For the 2013 Fall ArtScene, RAAC is sponsoring artists to show their artwork in 7th Street Business District storefront windows. Contact Michelle at Just Goods (815-965-8903) for details. Here is the application.

Calling all artists: For FOOD FIGHT! Room at the Table, coming October 4th. Here are the details and the application, which needs to be submitted by October 2nd.

FOOD FIGHT! Room at the Table

“Give Yourself to Love”
Extending our “gift of love” to Pastor TroyAnn Poulopoulos.

There is nothing scheduled now, but please check back often.

All are welcome.

Art@Emmanuel and the RIC Task Force present the “Shower of Stoles” exhibit beginning on Sunday, June 2nd, through Sunday, June 23rd in the Emmanuel's Sanctuary and Community Room. The Opening Reception on June 2nd is open to the public.

Four Winds presents Sean Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band in concert on Thursday, July 11th at 7:00 p.m. See the church calendar for details, and call the church office (815-963-4815) during normal business hours to reserve tickets.

Mark your calendar...
August 11th, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: Free Neighborhood Ice Cream Social—All are welcome.
Saturday, August 17th: Summer Splash and Poolside Cookout

The Emmanuel RIC Task Force is happy to announce the creation of the Gay Men Gathering.

Come to our free Sunday Movie Matinee, the fourth Sunday of the month, at 4:00 p.m., October through April. See our Community Calendar to find out what's showing.

Sunday, January 27, 2013, 11:30 a.m.: If you are a member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, please plan on attending our Annual Meeting of the Congregation. We will be voting on new church council members and other important church business.

Please keep Emmanuel and the Call Committee in your prayers as we search for a permanent pastor.

Wednesday Book Study with Pastor Amy: We are currently reading Dog Psalms: Prayers My Dogs Have Taught Me. See the Worship calendar for details. All are welcome.

On March 7th, 2013, Emmanuel was officially recognized by ReconcilingWorks (ReconcilingWorks.org) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) (elca.org) as a Reconciling in Christ (ReconcilingWorks.org/ric/) (RIC) congregation. Emmanuel has an RIC Task Force to educate the congregation on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues that relate to the life of the church.

Four Winds is bringing a study/discussion of the book Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche for five Sunday evenings. Details on the Calendar page.Call the office at 815-963-4815 for details.

Emmanuel is an affiliate of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) (elca.org), Northern Illinois Synod (nisynod.org).

On November 18th, 2012, Emmanuel Lutheran Church celebrated her 130th Anniversary.

Emmanuel is a Rockford Area Lutheran Ministries (rockfordarealutheranministries.com) partner.

Emmanuel is a Reconciling in Christ (ReconcilingWorks.org/ric/) (RIC) congregation and warmly welcomes openly LGBT seekers and believers of all ages as well as their families and friends. Among the regular activities Emmanuel offers the LGBT community is the RIC Task Force, the Gay Men Gathering group, and the Lesbian Conversation Group. Emmanuel is also active in other social justice issues.

2013 ELCA former Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson made a video for the “It Gets Better” Project promising LGBT youth and young adults that they have a place in the church.

Please also see our FAQ online on our About Us page for more information about Emmanuel.

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