Emmanuel Communities and Emmanuel Academies
"Fulfilling Our Missions!"
Summer 2020 Review
Emmanuel Communities
Park Stories from Deacon Dee Schleukter
Each week we end our Drive-In Church service with the following-

Prayer of Good Courage :
Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Each day at the Park we are a witness to many blessings, whether it is simply our ears opened to God’s glorious creation through the bird’s song or our eyes opened to see the children playing and the families gathering at the Park. We have spoken with many community members who have expressed words of gratitude for providing a safe place for youth and families to gather and where memories are made.
The Playground

We are thrilled to announce the playground  at Emmanuel Community Park is officially open ! Families and children have been enjoying the playground at the park and creating lasting memories!
Farmer's Market

This past spring we partnered with Eldridge's Produce to bring a farmer's market to the community! It was a great success and provided fresh produce to the surrounding neighbors. Stay tuned for details of future Markets in the Fall!
Drive-In Services
ECI has been actively promoting the park and all of its activities through the local media, including TV, radio and print. Pr. Will has been interviewed by Wink TV, Fox 4, and NBC 2. Articles have appeared in Collier Citizen and elsewhere. Additionally, the buzz on social media has been very strong.

On May 31st, we began our weekly Drive-In Church services. On average we have had 45 cars each week and 15 volunteers. Despite the heat and humidity, we had been fortunate the rain and storms held off, until July 12 th . Unfortunately, this was the first Sunday we had to cancel due to weather. We are very grateful to hear funding has been secured to build a much needed pavilion, as we continue to advance the vision of building a community of faith at the park!
Kids Love Fishing with our Sheriff's Office
Pr. Will and Deacon Dee, in partnership with the Collier County Sheriff's Office and ECI, brought 50 community kids and their families together with local Deputies for a morning of fun and fishing at Emmanuel Community Park on Saturday, July 18th! Blessings abounded with great weather, the fish were biting, and there were lots of smiles. Safety and social distancing were practiced, while all enjoyed being out-of-doors in the company of neighbors and making new friends. We are grateful to the CCSO for sponsoring this event and look forward to partnering with them to bring more activities to the park in the near future.  View a slide show of photos from the event here!
Emmanuel Academies
Message from Howard Isaacson, our CEO
The Spirit continues to accompany us on our mission to raise up and well equip pastors for Church leadership! As you will read below, we are blessed with major progress in all areas of our programs and ministry!

All of our students successfully completed their Spring 2020 semester and we are in the process of enrolling up to an additional 15 seminarians for our Fall semester. The support we are receiving from Bishops, Pastors and others are all tremendously appreciated!

As you know, our students stay in their communities, learn and practice under the direction of a trained and approved Mentor Team, including a Pastoral, Faculty and Personal Mentor. Technology is leveraged to bridge any physical distances, whether it be coursework, digital libraries, lectures, student collaboration, communications, etc. Projects, practice, communications, critical thinking, Lutheran learning and pastoral formation all continue. There are tremendous opportunities for our seminarians to bless communities and congregations and for them to touch hundreds of thousands of lives through their ministry!

We created an excellent Forum program featuring Emmanuel Academies. It has been condensed to 15 minutes of timely information, featuring Pastors Steve and Rick, and I welcome you to view it here!

We respectfully ask for your continued support and prayers as we innovate and grow theological education that thrives in this Covid-19 environment as well as in whatever shall be our new normal. Stay safe!

With gratitude, Howard
Student Updates
Congratulations to our 5-Year and MDiv students on successfully completing their spring semester during a particularly challenging time. We especially want to recognize Ana Cabrera and Frine Donadelli for their academic excellence this past semester!

Over the past few months, we’ve been excited to welcome 4 new students to the MDiv program: Rev. Muzigura Faustina, Eugene Muhere, and Robert Byilingiro all hail from Rwanda, and Deacon Bob Bonomo has joined us from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Hernando, FL.

One of the benefits of our program is that we walk alongside students through the candidacy process. We are grateful that our former and current pastoral residents (Pr. Will and Lois) are working with our students as they move through the Synod’s candidacy process. Congratulations to Mary Osen and Bob Bonomo, two of our MDiv students, for their successful meetings with the Candidacy Committee earlier this month!
Program Updates
We now offer a B.A. degree program option taught in Spanish! Students in this pathway will utilize Palm Beach Atlantic University’s online B.A. in Global Leadership program, combined with our innovative MDiv program.

At the graduate level, our program has grown to the point where we have been collaborating with our Master of Divinity partner, Sioux Falls Seminary, and the Luther House of Study to offer our own ELCA Lutheran track of the SFS MDiv program and will launch our first Emmanuel Academies’ student cohort group this fall. This track will be led by our first Faculty - our own Rev. Dr. Richard Bliese , Director of Lutheran Learning and Faith Formation and former president of Luther Seminary; the Rev. Dr. Clay Schmit , former Provost of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary; and the Rev. Jhon Freddy Correa , PhD candidate at LSTC who brings Latin American expertise to the program.
Rev. Dr.
Richard Bliese
Rev. Dr. Clay Schmit
Rev. Jhon
Freddy Correa
Our Fall Master of Divinity Class will include our three 5-Year BA+MDiv students as well as an additional 12 future pastors from both near and far! Our new class is expecting to include some of Emmanuel's lay leaders who are called to serve at a higher level.
Recruiting Corner
While COVID-19 impacted some of our plans to recruit at events this year, it hasn’t kept us down! We’ve remained committed to building relationships with church leaders and youth organizations to raise awareness about our 5-Year Pastoral Leadership Degree Program in both English and Spanish and to serve the greater good of the Church by equipping those called to pastor.

As we continue to increase awareness about this unique educational opportunity for youth and others called to pastor locally, nationally, and globally, we are connecting with more and more prospective students.

Do you know someone called to ministry? Contact Laurie Sullivan, Recruiting Specialist, at Laurie@EmmanuelAcademies.org or (630) 863-5329 to learn how our innovative and affordable 5-Year Pastoral Leadership Degree Program or our MDiv-only option can equip those called to serve the Church as a pastor.
Work Matters
Work Matters with Pastor Will: This video series features Pastor Will making the connection between our faith and our work. As Christians we want to avoid the separation between Sunday and Monday, our spirituality and our daily life. This series of short mini-lectures continues our emphasis on "Faith, Work and Economics" at Emmanuel. Pastor Will highlights short clips from past speakers at Emmanuel. He then points out their importance for today. What a great way to begin the week. Join us every Monday! You can view the Work Matters Series here!
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