Happy 130th Anniversary, Emmanuel Lutheran Church!
Emmanuel Lutheran Church, founded July 20, 1882, was the second Lutheran church founded in the Rockford area and the first Lutheran church of the Augustana Synod in the Rockford area to adopt English as the primary language. Emmanuel has undergone many changes and challenges over 130 years but true to her name God has always been with us. In the early 1900's, the tradition of “outreach” was begun with 20% of members' donations going to missions and “benevolence.” In 1923, the Emmanuel congregation was able to build an amazing “cathedral” that could hold 1,100 people and was known locally as “The Church Beautiful.” The original church building served as the social hall until the “education wing” including the chapel was dedicated in 1959.
This year, we have been celebrating the legacy that our Emmanuel ancestors have gifted us. On July 21st, we had a neighborhood ice cream social which included ice cream and other goodies, games and crafts for the younger children, a demonstration of spinning different materials into yarn, a blacksmith demonstration, a rock band and an energetic game of kubb. On July 22nd we had a cake reception after the Sunday service. On Sunday, November 4th, a new service schedule and an “emerging service” was introduced. We celebrated our loved ones who have passed on with the blessing of new stars which will be added to the stars already hanging in the sanctuary.
On Sunday, November 18th, we had a special service celebrated by Bishop Wollersheim and his assistant, Reverend Jeff Clements. After the service, a program and luncheon was presented in Centennial Hall where all were welcome. We hope all those who attended this celebration enjoyed the fellowship of your Emmanuel Family, the music provided by the Firelight Dimmers, and Rev. Amy Nyman's Historical Protrayal of Jane Addams.
The 130 Anniversary Committee