Our Story

The mission of Immanuel Lutheran Church (LCMS) is to connect people into a personal relationship with Jesus and to equip them to live their faith by being active servants of Christ in the community.

Over its 100-year history, Immanuel has seen its share of highs and lows but it has never been stronger than when it has actively begun new outreach efforts and extended itself in community service.  That is a current picture of Immanuel.  With an eye to the community, we have set a goal for ourselves of being a 24/7 church, with facilities available for charitable organizations around the clock.  Our preschool serves 125 families, 80% of whom are non-church members.  We have partnered with local government to host an anger management class for court-assigned adolescents, Alcoholics Anonymous for a weekly group, and a local counseling agency to provide office space.  In addition, we share the building with multiple scouting and community music groups.  For over 20 years, we have maintained a food pantry that currently serves over 30 families weekly (with demand increasingly exceeding supply) and a baby needs pantry for families with age-appropriate children.

Outside the church doors, we are actively engaged in feeding and sheltering those in need:  PADS of DuPage County provides winter housing and year-round meals for the homeless, Feed My Starving Children based in Aurora provides meals for children throughout the world, Angel Food Ministries provides deeply discounted groceries to local families, Living Water International provides safe drinking water around the world, and through Compassion International over 75 children are currently sponsored .  We also work with local churches:  in inner city Chicago we support an African-American congregation’s food pantry and soup kitchen and in Aurora we sponsor an Hispanic congregation’s Christmas in July.

Members of Immanuel seem to share the spirit of Jesus himself whose heart broke when he saw people in need.  Because more often than not, when a need arises, God’s people here respond with incredible generosity.  From basic needs like rides for the elderly to hygiene kits for the homeless; from shelter for battered women to resettlement for refugees; from care packages for overseas combat troops to school supplies for Russian school children; from quilts for the poor to lodging at the local Ronald McDonald house for parents of sick children; Immanuel encourages people to use their God-given passions to reach out with the love of Jesus.

Our church numbers 1,000 people served by 6 full-time and 15 part-time staff.  Many of the staff and approximately 400 of our members are engaged in one or more of the volunteer efforts already mentioned.  Additional large-scale commitments of energy and dollars have been made through 4 annual adult/college age trips to New Orleans to assist in the post-Katrina rebuilding.

Of our $800,000 budget, 10% is given to ministries and missions beyond our own doors, including funds to support community adult daycare, care for Down syndrome children and adults, and a clearinghouse for community welfare needs.  As significant as that figure is, it does not include the almost $30,000 our youth (55 youth and counselors) fundraise for their annual, week-long work camp to repair homes of the needy and disenfranchised in poverty areas throughout the United States.

A relationship with Jesus, who served us with His life, death and resurrection, does lead to people growing as servants also.  We believe that people genuinely touched by Jesus’ love and mercy cannot help but share that same love and mercy.

Rev. Dr. Chris James – Senior Pastor

Rev. Joel Kosberg – Pastor