Emmanuel Communities and Emmanuel Academies
"Fulfilling Our Missions!"
Winter 2020 Review
A Message from our CEO

Greetings from the team at Emmanuel Academies and Emmanuel Communities!

We hope and pray that our latest newsletter finds you well, given the chaotic environment we are currently living in.  As I noted in our last message, following the postponement of our 2020 Celebration of Progress Gala, though practicing Social Distancing and each of us working from our respective homes, progress in our ministries continues to be made each day.

First and foremost, we want to say thank you for all the support you continue to provide, whether in time, talent or treasure! We have had some wonderful conversations over the past few days with supporters, and we are continuing to welcome and greatly appreciate all commitments of support, regardless of timing and amounts.

This newsletter will share with you in words and images the most important advances and forward movements that we are proud of and which demonstrate our ongoing commitment to bring our combined visions to fruition. Together we are striving to improve our communities and our world, through our efforts in Eastern Collier and equipping future pastors, as we share the Good News of the Gospel and its relevancy and importance in our world today !

I also want to specifically inform you that my dear colleague and friend, Deirdre Lapp, effective at the end of this month, will be leaving our team to fully concentrate on her vocational calling serving her daughters and husband. Please see my complete announcement of this HERE!

Though Deirdre will be very much missed, we are using this opportunity to increase responsibilities of both Crystal and Laurie, based upon their great work and desire to grow professionally and personally,  and we will be adding new capabilities to benefit both entities over the coming months.

In closing, Thank You! We are very thankful to continue this vital work demonstrating God’s love for our neighbors and world. We hope that through this newsletter God’s love will be shared and magnified!

Know that you are in are prayers, and we ask that you keep us in yours. Please stay well and stay in touch!
Howard Isaacson
Chief Executive Officer
Emmanuel Communities, Inc. & Emmanuel Academies, Inc.
Emmanuel Communities
Park Stories from Deacon Dee  

During this time of social distancing, I have found and seen hope in the people I have met at Emmanuel Community Park. 
"Ashes to Go" on Wink News!
On Ash Wednesday Wink News came out to the park to highlight our "Ashes to Go"
Improvements continue at the Welcome Center and the Playground has been installed at the Park!

Watch this Video to see Updates to the Welcome Center, Playground and Park!
Emmanuel Academies
This spring, we’ve welcomed four new students into both our 5-Year (BA+MDiv) program and the MDiv-only path. We are blessed to walk alongside our amazing students discerning a call to pastoral ministry!

A special thank you to our many supporters in the community helping us promote this wonderful opportunity for youth and others called to pastor. In March, we were invited to attend an International Women’s Day Celebration at Jesus Rey de Gloria in Hialeah, where we met with several prospective students eager to learn about the program. We also recently held our first webinar with a small group of pastors to share information about the program, and we look forward to offering future webinars.

If you would like to learn more about our 5-Year Program and/or be notified of upcoming webinars, please contact Laurie Sullivan, Recruiting Specialist, at Laurie@EmmanuelAcademies.org or 630-863-5329.
Student Corner
Meet Matthew Lang, our latest 5-Year student!
Matthew comes to us from Iowa, where he serves in music ministry at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Marion, IA.

What interested you in our 5-Year Pastoral Leadership Degree Program?
I first heard about the program from a Facebook group of ELCA youth pastors and leaders. In our busy world, the church needs more accessible and flexible paths to pastoral leadership. I think Emmanuel Academics (EA) is blazing the trail for many people who have felt the call to ministry, but have not had the means, the time, or the mobility that typical education and seminary require. EA is reaching a group of people that are active in their church communities and helping to build them up to serve the church even more. I think it's ground-breaking and amazing work, of both EA and the churches that
support it.

Tell us about your involvement with your church and your current role there.
I serve in the church that my grandparents helped to charter, the church that I was baptized and raised in, and the church I can still call home today. I had been involved in the music ministry and various other aspects at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection (LCR) for several years. About 5 years ago I took on the role of the director of the youth bell choir, and about 3 years ago I was brought onto the staff as Evening Song Pianist/Accompanist. LCR has seen many changes over the past few years, and because of those changes I found myself taking on more and more responsibility. I’ve taken on a larger role in music ministry, helping to make each worship service something beautiful. I also plan and lead our quarterly worship committee meetings, help organize our annual Christmas concert, and serve as the worship planning chair. Through the COVID-19 epidemic I have been working with our technical staff and other musicians to record worship services and do live-streams of services as we cannot have in-service worship.

Every step along the way has been a blessing as I have grown in my musical ability and my leadership skills. Serving at church never seems like a job, it's what I enjoy most!

What has your experience with the program been like so far? What do you like most about it?
I have nothing but good things to say about EA and all of the staff that have helped me along the way so far. As this is a distance learning program for me, I was somewhat concerned about communication, but I had nothing to worry about at all. Almost every week I receive an email just checking in, asking what I need and how things are going. It is incredibly meaningful to know and feel that I have people supporting me in this journey. The integration with Concordia University Chicago is seamless, and the advisers there have been just as helpful in choosing classes, transferring credits, and keeping me on track. I know that the rest of the program will be just as wonderful as I continue down the path. Having the team at Emmanuel Academies alongside me makes the program seem much less daunting, and I can see how Christ is working through this program and people to bring about His glory.

A message from Edward, our seminary student in Rwanda! 
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