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Welcome to Emmanuel!





9:00 am Traditional Service in the Chapel

10:30 am The ReFresh Worship Service is in the Sanctuary in person, on zoom,

and recorded on Facebook.

If you would like to join us on zoom for the 10:30a.m. service, please click the button below.




If you need to be added to the email list, you may sign up for the list(s) for the items you would like to receive, by clicking on the button ("sign up for E'-News") at the bottom of this page. 

Bible Study each Wednesday at Noon on Zoom

with Pastor Frank Langholf. 

All are welcome.

To join our Bible Study group,

please click on the button below.

Upcoming at Emmanuel 

 Something for Everyone

Caregiver Acknowledgment

Ceremony and Program

September 30th with Christyn at Emmanuel

3:00 - 5:00pm and 5:00 - 6:00pm

Belly Dancing Every Wednesday 6:00-7:00pm

10/1  - Norm Knott  -  10:00 - Noon

He will have his display of Normaments for sale.


Adventures in Watercolors!

October 3, 10, 17, 24, 2023

6:30 - 8:00pm

10/1 - Calvary 100 Year Anniversary Celebration

3:00pm Service in the Chapel

11/5 Sanctuary  -  Art Gallery Opening

11:30am  - 1:30pm


All are welcome @ Emmanuel!!

Caregiver Acknowledgment

Ceremony and Program

September 30th with Christyn at Emmanuel
Being a caregiver can be isolating and overwhelming. In the attempt to help another, it can be easy to lose perspective on our own well-being, our own needs, and our own ability to receive.
It was from that awareness that this ceremony and program were created.
This is a time just for you: to acknowledge what you’ve been through and done up to this point, wherever you are. Whether it’s been 2 days, 2 months, or 2 decades, feel free to join us. 
The Program 3-5pm
This will be a blend of group coaching and a structured support group. We will use the metaphor of a river: the near bank as 'the before time', then entering the river as the transition into 'the during time' of caregiving, and the far shore as 'the after time' (this could be due to death, recovery, or even a change in roles). We will meet in the Benson room.
The Ceremony 5-6pm
The ceremony will use elements discovered in the program portion to personalize and collaborate. Even if you can't make the program, please feel free to join the ceremony. Our shared wisdom is likely to resonate. If the weather allows, the ceremony will take place in the labyrinth. If the weather is inclement, it will be had in the sanctuary. In either location the sacred space will add to the event.
Saturday, September 30th
Emmanuel Lutheran Church 920 Third Avenue
Enter by the accessible ramp at the North Doors
There is no fee for attending, but donations may be made to Emmanuel.
So that we have ample supplies,
RSVP is appreciated but not necessary.
E-mail Christyn Rittenhouse,
or text 815-289-7110.

           Emmanuel's Food Pantry

Needs Your Help

With inflation up for food, gas, rent, and multiple other living expenses and SNAP benefits down, all the Rockford pantries are seeing more customers, Emmanuel's pantry included.  We have had a 100% increase in the number of households each month.

Starting the first Sunday in October and then the first Sunday of each month, the pantry will have a cart outside of the Chapel for the 9:30am Service and the Sanctuary for the 10:30am Service.  The preceding Sundays, we will let you know what kind of food we will be needing for the 1st Sunday of the next month.


For the month of October, we would like bags of apples, canned yams, canned pumpkin, and soups.  If you forget to bring your items on the first Sunday, we will have a basket in the office area. 

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Join Beth Campisi

for Cardio Drumming in October

2 Classes to choose from:

Mondays, October 2, 9,16, 23 and 30


Adaptive Cardio Drumming  -  Mondays 4:00-5:00 Celebration Room

This class provides all the awesome benefits of regular cardio drumming while seated in a chair. This exercise is not vigorous cardio, however it provides a multitude of benefits for the participant! No drumming experience needed. All levels welcome!


Regular Cardio Drumming  - Mondays 6:00-7:00 Celebration Room

All levels welcome in this class as well!


Contact Holly Blair-Cascio if you would like to Cardio drum with us!



How quietly the earth breathes forth new life.

How eagerly the sun bleeds for the spring,

                  I AM LISTENING

I am listening to the sky 

                 with its many changing moods,

                 to flashes of lightning, peals of thunder,

                 to opening buds and greening grass.


I am listening to the breaking forth of light                

                 in the vestibule of dawn,

                 to the freshness of the morning.


Breathe is being held quarterly now.  The next Breathe Service will be coming 12-9-2023 at Emmanuel Lutheran in the Sanctuary.

Come join us and Breathe

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The Latest on the Celebration Room


As you can see from this picture, the Celebration Room {AKA Donut Room] is a not only a gathering spot for coffee after worship, but also art openings, interfaith meetings, funeral receptions and a myriad of other events.


But we all know the carpet is in terrible condition and even professionals are unable to remove the stains.


Council has approved the replacement of the carpet with vinyl flooring, but we need to raise $12,000.00 to cover the costs.


We hope that you will contribute to this cause. You may give online at, mail a check to the church at PO Box 4362, Rockford, IL 61110 or bring a check to church on Sunday!


We hope to have the flooring installed by the end of September. We thank you in advance for any amount that you contribute toward this project. It takes a village!



"Normaments" are one of a kind (OOAK) Norm-ized ornaments made from found objects, small treasures, beads, precious and/or semi-precious stones, and anything else that strikes my fancy to put in the tiny assemblage. You can hang a "Normament"...

-in a window

-on a holiday tree of any kind

-on door handles

-on purse (or other) zippers

on an ornament stand on a table- it's ART for heavens sake!


They make lovely commemorative gifts! You can collect them all and trade them with your friends!!!


See for yourself on Sunday, October 1st, 10-12:00pm.

Questions? Text Holly, 815-543-1191

Wednesday night is Belly Dancing

6:00 – 7:00pm     Cost: $10/class

Belly dancing is incredibly empowering. People of every size and ability level will have fun while building confidence, strength & grace. In the classes you will learn the Egyptian roots of Belly dance and the modern tribal & fusion styles. Short combinations will be incorporated into drills that focus on muscle group isolations, core stabilization, strengthening and lengthening of muscles, sharp & fluid motions, musicality & dance etiquette. No previous dance experience required and great for all fitness levels. 


All classes are held at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 920 3rd Avenue in Rockford.

Register with Holly Blair-Cascio,

815-543-1191 or

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New Book for Spiritual Journeys

        Tuesday group

9:30  - 11:00am 

We are ready to begin a new book and invite you all to join us on what we think will be an interesting read and discussion. Timothy Beal’s “The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book” looks to "debunk the myth of the Bible’s infallibility and reveal a richer and more authentic way to read it.” Beal is a religious scholar and former evangelical Christian. Some of Beal’s insights:


Christianity thrived for centuries without any Bible. 

Early congregations used collections of scrolls; there was no official canon of scriptures and no book existed that was big enough to hold them. 
There is no original Bible behind the thousands of different Bibles on the market today. 

The further back we go in the Bible s history, the more versions we find. 
The idea of the Bible as the literal Word of God is only about a century old. 
Beal offers a chance to rediscover a Bible, and a faith, that is truer to its own history not a book of answers but a library of questions. 


To purchase book:


Whether you obtain the book by next week (9/19/23) or not, please join us to read along or listen.

To join the book study click on the button below.

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Winnebago County Forest Preserves Interest Hikes

Come hike with us.

Join Soul Garden for continued hiking experiences in the Winnebago County Forest Preserves. Dress for the weather!  Text Holly if you want to join the hikes 815-543-1191

All hikes start at 9:00am

Link to Descriptions of all 44 Forest Preserves

Saturday, October 7th

 Kilbuck Bluffs Forest Preserve

 3061 & 3020 South Bend Road, Rockford, IL 61109


Thursday, October 19th

Seward Bluffs Forest Preserve

16999 Comly Road, Seward, IL 61077


Wednesday, Nov 8th 

Sugar River Forest Preserve

 10127 Forest Preserve Road,

 Durand, IL 61024   


Saturday, Nov 18th

Pecatonica River Forest Preserve

7260 Judd Road & 14960 Brick School 61063


Wednesday, December 6th 9:00am

Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve

5360 Mulford Road & 5801 Perryville Rd, Cherry Valley, IL 61016


Saturday, December 16th 9:00am

Cedar Cliff Forest Preserve

7901 Kishwaukee Road, Stillman Valley, IL 61084

We Are the ARK,

Acts of Restorative Kindness


Care for Creation Committee of Emmanuel Lutheran is in the process of creating a prairie close to the vegetable gardens behind the church.  We want to share with you why this is such an important venture especially now as we grieve the loss of so many birds, butterflies, bees and  insects due to habitat loss, pollution and the use of toxic chemicals'.  These little creatures are truly the foundation  of the life we experience around us.  We need them and we are losing them.


A prairie is one source of support for these beautiful and amazing creatures.  Since much of the land is in now in private hands it is up to us to provide safe and nourishing places for them to survive and thrive.  A prairie is such an ecosystem and is native to the area we live in. Very little prairie remains in Illinois which was once carried the proud title "The Prairie State".  We hope our small plot of prairie connects us to a larger vision of what is possible when we care for what is right next to us


There are other kinds of native ecosystems that provide food and places to live and bring forth more generations of these "little ones" who are so desperately needed.  If you are interested in knowing more about this and also may be interested in creating your own ARK please notify the Care for Creation Committee.  On behalf of the Creation team I am Sally Roberts 815.566.22776

Calling all Artists  -  Sanctuary

In collaboration with the celebration of our 100th Anniversary of the construction of our sanctuary at Emmanuel, we invite artists to explore what Sanctuary inspires for them. All media is welcome. Humans and creatures find spiritual refuge in many places that can represent Sanctuary. In addition to the art display, Emmanuel members will revisit our Swedish Heritage and honor the memories of past members and the Swedish immigrant artisans who crafted our beautiful Sanctuary through stories and displays! 


Art due to Emmanuel, 920 Third Avenue, Saturday, November 4th 

Drop off 10:00am-12:00pm.  Enter in the north parking lot entrance.  You can make arrangements with the church office to drop off work earlier in the week if needed by calling 815-963-4518 between 8:00 – 1:00 T/W/Th.


If you would like to bring work for this show, please call or email Holly at



Opening Reception:  Sunday, November 5th, 11:30 am-1:30pm



·      Work must be ready to hang with appropriate materials, securely attached.

·      Imbedded/routed holes do not work with our system. Exterior hangers only please.

·      With each piece attach the form with the following information: (please print) title.    medium, price or NFS, artist’s name, also include: your address, phone number and email address. We will provide the labels for each piece in the show with only the first four of above list.

·      Any insurance on artwork is up to the individual artist.

·      Checks for any sales will be made out to the artist.

·      Emmanuel would appreciate a 25% tax deductible donation on any sales. 




Adventures in Watercolors!

October 3, 10, 17, 24, 2023

6:30 - 8:00pm

Artist and teacher Betsy DeGunther is coming back to teach a 4 week beginning water color class starting Tuesday October 3. Classes will be from 6:30-8:00pm at Emmanuel Lutheran Church on October 3, 10, 17 and 24. If you took the beginning watercolor class before you can take THIS AGAIN! All levels of painters are welcome!

Enjoy a series of experimentation and fun while you learn the fundamentals of watercolor. Betsy will work with watercolor painting techniques and enjoying the process of painting. The basics of materials, tools and techniques will be explored.

You can expect plenty of individual attention. Betsy’s demonstrations will walk you step-by-step through the entire painting process. You will be amazed what you can do. Even if you’ve never held a paintbrush before, she will teach you how to paint with watercolors in a way that is relaxing and fun, not overwhelming!

The first class materials will be provided. Betsy will give you ideas of materials you may wish to purchase for the ongoing following 4 weeks. How much you spend on materials will be your choice with your budget.

The cost of the 4 week class will be $40. Bring cash or make checks payable to Betsy DeGunther.

Contact Holly Blair-Cascio if you would like to sign up for this watercolor series.



Please join us for the next

Women's Interfaith Potlucks

    - Monday, October 30, at 6:00 p.m. at The Muslim Community Center & Mosque, 5921 Darlene Dr., Rockford 

    - Monday, January 24, at 6:00 p.m. at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Rockford 


Susan Goldberg

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 140th Anniversary of Emmanuel Lutheran Church

Emmanuel celebrated its 140th anniversary on July 17, 2022.  Emmanuel’s history and evolution began with the Swedish immigrants’ courage, boldness, and hard work, conserving some of their Swedish Lutheran traditions all while adapting, in a new context with a new language. 

Emmanuel continues to evolve, enriching the Spiritual Life of the Community with the Arts including music, poetry, artwork, dance, communing with nature, retreats, and other expressions of our Spirituality.  We meet you where you are on your journey.    



9:00am - Traditional Worship (Chapel)  

10:30am - ReFresh Worship (Sanctuary) 

Breathe Meditation Service:

 (Next Breathe is September 16th

at 5:00 PM.)   

All are welcome to come as you are to our worship services!


Parking is available on Third Avenue or the parking lot north of the church.

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