Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church

What is Lent?


The word Lent comes from an Old English word for spring (“lengthen,” the time of the year when the days grow longer). For the last 1700 years, the Church has set aside the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter as a time of special preparation. We journey with the Lord to the cross and tomb, preparing for the proclamation of Easter. It is a time of repentance and renewal.

The Church speaks of 40 days of Lent because we do not count the Sundays, which retained their significance as “little Easters” and serve as “islands of refreshment” during the course of the season. The 40 days are reminiscent of several biblical events: Jesus’ 40 day fast at the beginning of his ministry, Moses’ stay on Mount Sinai at the giving of the Law, Elijah’s fast on his way to the mountain of God.

During Lent, our rejoicing is muted as we remember our Lord’s suffering and death. But it is with a purpose: we know that the Lord who died took up his life again on Easter Sunday morning.  The color of the season is purple. Purple is the ancient color of royalty. We have this kind of king: he wore a crown of thorns, and carried a cross for us. Thanks be to God!

The first day of Lent is called Ash Wednesday. The ancient practice of imposing ashes on the foreheads of the faithful gives Ash Wednesday its name.  The ashes remind us of our mortality and give a strong call to repentance as they recall words spoken during a Christian burial: “…earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust…”  The ashes are made from the burning of the palm branches used on Palm Sunday the previous year.  The imposition of ashes has never been an exclusively Roman Catholic practice and today is observed widely by Christians of many traditions.

Is Love Just for February?

♥   For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

While the world that we live in wants us to believe that February is the month for love, Christians know that it isn’t something we celebrate only on February 14th. Love is something that we celebrate every day all year long through faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. Celebrating the ones we love on Valentine’s Day is a nice thing to do, but as John 3:16 reminds us, God loved us so much that he sent his one and only Son so that one day we can live with him forever in heaven. Now that’s LOVE and it isn’t just for February!


Please look at the EVENTS page on our website for details on when and where you can learn more about the precious life savings truths of God’s Word.

Our Pastor

Pastor Paul Scharrer is the eighteenth pastor to serve Immanuel in its 141 year history.

Pastor Scharrer began his ministry in Lincoln, Nebraska.  In the beginning of 1984 he began serving the Lord with Pastor Donald Bitter and all of God’s people at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Fort Atkinson.  God blessed Pastor Scharrer enabling him to serve 32 ½ years at St. Paul’s.  He retired last September, but the Lord had more work for him to do.  He was called to serve Immanuel “in retirement” the end of October.

Pastor and his wife, Kathryn, are eager to begin a “new chapter” in their lives, getting to know the friendly people of Immanuel and together with them, sharing the Good News of our Savior and His love.  If you would like to meet with him or have any questions about Immanuel, please don’t hesitate to contact him at 920-723-1623 or email him at




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