We are a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America led by Pastor Linda Nou


Immanuel Lutheran Church


What is Immanuel’s Purpose? It’s simple. To…

…Gather as one in Christ.
Grow in grace.
Give of ourselves to God’s mission.


Wherever you’re at in your spiritual journey, there’s a home for you at Immanuel. Come. Join us. We’re just a group of ordinary people who Gather together in His praise.


As followers of Jesus, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are seeking to Grow in grace.


Immanuel has served Centralia for more than a century. We have provided leadership and support to the community as we Give of ourselves to satisfy our community needs for over a hundred years.

Guiding Principles…

Immanuel is transforming as we adjust to the changing needs of our congregation and the surrounding community. As we adapt, there are core principles that will be our guide posts. These are our Guideing Principle:

Led by the Spirit. Rooted in Prayer. Loving Laughter.

Responding to Needs. Giving Gladly. Welcoming All. 

Learn more about:


Meet a Member — Al Swedberg

This is part of our series of one-on-one conversations with members of our congregartion. Listen to what Al says about Immanuel and his own personal spiritual journey. Other interviews can be found on the Immanuel Lutheran YouTube channel. By watching these interviews you’ll learn much about the character of our congregation. We have them archived at the YouTube link below. If you visit, give us a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel.


What We Believe


The Christian faith is about a relationship with the living God, made possible through the life and death of Jesus. Grounded in God’s promises of acceptance and love, we open up to a life of bold trust in God and joyful, generous service to others in our daily lives.

Our faith does not close our minds to the world nor our hearts to others. We grow in grace as we allow the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to continually mold and shape us. We listen to the witness of others and watch to see where the wind of the spirit is blowing around us. Faith opens a place for engaging with others in conversation, for seeking truth together, for asking questions, and speaking and acting in love. 

Immanuel Lutheran Church is connected to other congregations through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with about 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You can learn more about them on their website.


Letter from Bishop Jeach

ELCA Declared a “Sanctuary Denomination”

August 13, 2019

Dear Pastors, Deacons and Congregations,

Eight members of the Southwestern Washington Synod, including myself, just returned from the Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA held in Milwaukee, WI.  At this Assembly, the ELCA once again committed itself to faithfully following the Way that Christ frees and empowers us to walk, which is expressed in outreach, evangelism, education, compassion and the pursuit of justice.  There were many important actions that were taken, which I will report to you in the weeks ahead.  However, I wish to speak about one Assembly action which has received considerable media attention in the last few days and, in some cases, the reports have been false and confusing.

The Assembly voted to declare the ELCA to be a “sanctuary denomination”.  This action was part of a larger resolution that reaffirmed the long-standing commitment of the Lutheran Church to welcoming and caring for immigrants and migrants, which we have been doing for 75 years through Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. 

The word “sanctuary”, however, is a word that is broadly used in a variety of ways and for that reason I want to give you some basic clarifications about the intent and meaning of this resolution. 

·       In its simplest form, becoming a sanctuary denomination means that the ELCA is publicly declaring that walking alongside immigrants and refugees is a matter of faith. The ELCA Churchwide Assembly declared that, when we preach on Sunday that Jesus tells us to welcome and care for everyone around us, then on Monday we will use our hands and voices to make sure it happens.

·       Right now, our immigration system is broken, chaotic and in need of repair. While we may have many different ideas about how to fix this broken system, we are also called to love our neighbors, particularly those who are most vulnerable to the brokenness of this system, especially families and unaccompanied youth.

·       The Churchwide Assembly’s declaration that the ELCA is a sanctuary denomination binds only the ELCA Churchwide Organization; it does not bind or obligate congregations, synods, or other organizations to be a sanctuary place.

·       The Churchwide Assembly did not call for any illegal actions.  All actions mentioned by the Churchwide Assembly are legal.  If any person or organization chooses to go beyond these actions and engage in civil disobedience (and therefore accept the consequences), that would be their choice.  In any case, a congregation or synod that considers becoming a sanctuary organization should first consult with legal counsel

·       The Churchwide Assembly did not define what it means to be a sanctuary denomination, but rather requested that the ELCA Church Council provide guidance as to what it means to be a sanctuary denomination.

·       While we don’t yet know the full scope of the work that this declaration will open for the ELCA, we do know that many ELCA faith communities are already doing sanctuary work. For a congregation, Sanctuary could include any of the following:

  • Form a book study using, for example, They are Us: Lutherans & Immigration by Bouman and Deffenbaug, or another book of your choosing. Hold Sunday adult forum conversations or a series of evening discussions and consider inviting people from a number of different perspectives on this topic.

§  Study the ELCA Social Teaching Statement on Immigration https://www.elca.org/en/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Messages/Immigration

  • Invite members of a congregation to meet with nearby organizations that work in the area of refugee resettlement or immigration issues, such as Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Services.

  • Seek out elected officials to meet with and discuss this subject.

  • Host English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.

  • Pray regularly for immigrants and also for ICE and Border Patrol agents.

  • Welcome all people to your congregation’s worship and events without classifying them according to their immigration or citizenship status.

  • Invite members of your congregation to advocate for immigration reform by writing to congress.

  • Providing housing for a community member who is in the midst of legal hearings and facing deportation.

Providing sanctuary has many different meanings.  I am sure that within our Southwestern Washington Synod, we will have many different reactions to the topic of sanctuary, depending on what definition we give it.  Note: If you would like a more in-depth legal analysis of the topic of sanctuary, here is a link to a legal brief written by the ACLU: https://www.dropbox.com/s/03xu321czvmnhtf/Sanctuary%20FAQ%204%2013%202017.pdf?dl=0

Once again I wish to state that the Churchwide Assembly’s decision to make the ELCA a Sanctuary Denomination does NOT compel or obligate a congregation to do the same.  However, this action gives us the opportunity to dialogue with each other about how our congregations and church body can help the United States fulfill God’s desire for justice for all, including citizens, immigrants and refugees. 

I welcome your thoughts, reactions and suggestions. 

Bishop Rick Jaech

Church Leadership


Our Affiliation