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Downtown Pasadena, CA

Immanuel Lutheran Brethren Church in Pasadena, CA

Steps to a Restart


mmanuel Lutheran Church in Pasadena, California took the initiative to contact Regional Pastor Stan Olsen, about the need to restart the congregation because of decreasing attendance. Rev. Olsen took the lead in crafting a detailed five page Memorandum of Understanding on how to accomplish this effort, working with Immanuel’s leadership. This step resulted in the formation of a Transitional Leadership Team (TLT) to carry out the effort. Rev. Olsen selected the team which include members mainly coming from the three Lutheran Brethren congregations in California. The TLT decided upon a vision statement for the restart church, together with a job description for the new pastor. Rev. Olsen led the search for a pastor which eventually led to Kyle Sears. Rev. Olsen has known Pastor Sears for over ten years, and Pastor Sears has already

planted two churches in Texas. With approval from the Immanuel congregation, the TLT called him after two interviews. Kyle accepted the call and moved to Pasadena to start his work on July 3, 2013. Pastor Sears is working, and will be working, in parallel with Immanuel’s current Pastor Steve Lazicki until the end of March 2014. At that time Pastor Lazicki will be retiring and Immanuel will cease operating as a church. Kyle and his family took up residence in the community around the church, which is the target area reflected in the restart vision statement. His focus during this transition period is to make new contacts in the community and to nurture those contacts. For the time being, he is “bringing church to them versus bringing them to church.” The latter will come in time. Rev. Stan Olsen has had major involvement in recruiting a Ministry Team

Sears Family (L-R): Erika, Kathryn, Kylie, YoSeb and Kyle

John Heie to support Pastor Sears. He is searching for CLB members who are willing to move to Pasadena and join Pastor Sears in this restart effort. He is currently working this in conjunction with Pastor Sears, meeting with him on a weekly basis to support and encourage his ministry. This restart effort has been bathed in prayer since its inception, recognizing that it is God who builds his house, not us (Psalm 127:1). There are currently 82 prayer warriors on the team, praying daily for this work. A key prayer item is the continuing recruitment of a ministry team. We invite you to join us in praying and financially supporting this effort. John Heie serves as the chair of the Transitional Leadership Team.

Join the prayer team by contacting John at this email address:

Church of the Lutheran Brethren • United States: • Canada: • International Mission: • Lutheran Brethren Seminary:

Let’s Plant Churches!

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Watch the Videos! DVD’s will be mailed to churches in January

Downtown Pasadena, California


congregation. The Regional Pastors are ready to walk through the church planting process with your congregation, beginning with a conversation about readiness and evaluation, all the way through the first worship service. Your regional pastor is ready to serve your leadership with his time, resources, and of course, prayers. God has chosen to work through your congregation to impact your community through sharing the gospel, and sometimes that means planting a church.

ver the past couple of years, Immanuel Lutheran Brethren Church made the difficult decision to hand over their ministry to a church planter. After 75 years of ministry in the Pasadena, California, Immanuel has decided to close its doors, and reopen them as a new congregation. The process has been filled with prayer, careful thought and much faith. Regional Pastor Stan Olsen walked through this process with the congregation and the transitional leadership team. A restart is one of many ways to plant a church. It is one that made sense for Immanuel at this time. Church planting takes many different forms depending on the culture and demographics of the community and the vision of the

Tim Mathiesen serves as Director Communications & Prayer for the CLB.


Watch the videos about the Immanuel Restart

The CLB Communications Ministry had the privilege of traveling out to Pasadena during the 75th Anniversary of Immanuel Lutheran Church to interview Restart Pastor Kyle Sears, Regional Pastor Stan Olsen, Transitional Leadership Team members John Heie and Rev. Jim Erickson.

One Story, Three Videos Video No. 1 - Immanuel Restart An overview of Immanuel LB Church’s church restart process and the back story.

Video No. 2 - Meet Kyle Sears Pastor Kyle Sears introduces himself and his family and shares his philosophy of ministry and his love and concern for the salvation of those around him.

Download and watch the seminars! The Fifth Act and Kyle Sears presented at the Fall Church Planting Summit. The videos from this summit can be downloaded and streamed online at the CLB Network.

Video No. 3 - How You Can Help Regional Pastor Stan Olsen shares three ways that you can get involved and help the restart.


CLB network

church p lanting summit

Watch the videos:

Fall 2013

Ways To Get Involved in the Mission of the CLB Lutheran Brethren Seminary

Distance education launched this Fall with fourteen students enrolled in the program. Your giving will impact the ability to continue providing this flexible in-ministry training for our church leaders. Church of the Lutheran Brethren

International Mission

Danny and Mandy Bronson were called this year to the Bilala people of Chad. Please consider partnering in covering the cost of this step in reaching the unreached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

North American Mission

Please pray for our regional pastors as they cultivate church planting efforts in North America. How is God calling you to partner in this vision to reach your neighbors and our rapidly changing culture?

Stay Connected!

The CLB Network has been designed to bring everything related to the Church of the Lutheran Brethren into one place online. Follow the developments of the Immanuel Restart, along with the prayer requests below on the CLB Network.

Pray for Church Planting

CLB network

Along with CLB news, as well as articles from each Faith & Fellowship magazine, the CLB Network serves as a place for discussion, to download resources, and to stay in touch with our missionaries overseas as well as learn more about the ministry of our local congregations.

Church planting is showing new signs of movement in the Church of the Lutheran Brethren. We have been sharing news about the restart work in Pasadena with Immanuel LB Church. A group of Lutheran Brethren pastors in the New York area have organized an independent church planting organization called the Fifth Act, focusing on urban church planting.

Those are two examples of visible signs, but there is a lot of praying, planning and testing going on in other areas of the country that we don’t always hear about. The following are some prayer requests from three of those movements. Please join us in praying for faithfulness, wisdom and unity as we ask how God is inviting us to plant churches.

Eastern Region Initiatives

Reaching Young Adults

Multi-Site in a Growing City

In the Eastern Region we have a new team, called the Missions Sub-Committee, whose purpose is to help encourage and support church plant initiatives in our region. Please pray for us while we are seeking out the most helpful ways to come alongside potential church plants to encourage, support, and advise them. We want to make sure that new church plants and planters are able to connect with the rest of the region so that we can participate together in this vital area of ministry. Thank you for praying for the people in our region who have a passion for church planting.

Pray that the Lord will continue to guide the young people at Rock of Ages, Seattle, WA, in leading the congregation at The Call gathering each month. Pray that the Holy Spirit would inspire a mission and a vision for Rock of Ages’ ministry through our young adults in the city of Seattle. Pray that the Father would bless the city of Seattle through His children and that they will continue to be faithful and sensitive to His leading.

On Sunday, November 10, the Chairman of the Elder Board and the Chairman of the Trustee Board of Grace Lutheran Brethren Church in Bismarck, ND officially announced to the congregation that we are planning, with God’s guidance, to become a multi-site church and begin another congregation in the Bismarck/Mandan area. Please pray that God will guide us to a place where we can make an impact for the Gospel. Please pray that God will raise up leaders to go and make disciples and that God will work in the hearts of those who will remain at the current campus to be senders. Pray that God will give us wisdom for each step as we prepare to start this new and exciting journey. Mostly, we ask that you pray God gets all the glory.

Ryan Nilsen

Rev. Ryan Nilsen serves as pastor of Praise Christian Fellowship in Barkhamsted, CT.

Carl-Eric Tangen

Carl-Eric Tangen recently began serving as Creative Arts Minister at Maple Park LB Church, Lynnwood, WA.

Go online:

Ryan Nordlund

Rev. Ryan Nordlund serves as pastor of Grace LB Church in Bismarck, ND. There are many opportunities and reasons to give to the Church of the Lutheran Brethren. Below are some specific ways that your giving will impact the future of the CLB.

Lutheran Brethren Seminary

Consider financially supporting a seminary student. Maybe someone who grew up in your congregation, or maybe someone who will be your future pastor.

International Mission

Please remember our current missionaries in your prayers. You may consider giving or increasing your giving so that our current missionaries can continue their ministry in Africa and Asia.

Communications (Faith & Fellowship)

Over 7,000 people receive F&F Magazine six times a year. The cost of editing, printing and mailing adds up to $60,000 each year. Please consider partnering with Communications in this ministry.



Over the Next Five Years


e invite you to continue partnering with your brothers and sisters in mission to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Over the next five years, the vision of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren (CLB) is to: • Send three new missionary units to Chad and one more to Taiwan. • Plant five new congregations in North America. • Extend distance education to new students across North America and beyond. Though these may seem like ambitious goals, God has been leading the CLB in this direction. We have historically been called to overseas missions, and we need your support for that ministry to continue. As our vision statement says, “we sense God convicting us to more intentionally reach out to people who live in our midst in North America as well.” This vision has challenged us as a denomination to explore new church planting initiatives and strategies. Your continued support is essential to this effort. Lutheran Brethren Seminary launched its distance education program this fall and your support is helping to educate students across the continent. We thank you for your past contributions to the CLB, and we ask that you consider this partnership in your future giving. May God continue to bless you as you serve him in his Mission.

One Mission, Together. One Vision, Together Contributions through November 30, 2013

CLB Fiscal Year End: April 30, 2014


Fiscal Year Goal: $2,525,000


Received (May-Nov.): $881,393


The December Goal: $675,000

200,000 100,000 0 -100,000 -200,000 May Anticipated








Accumulated Difference Anticipated vs. Actual

Tim Mathiesen serves as Director of Communications & Prayer for the CLB.

Support the CLB:



P. O . B o x 6 5 5 Fergus Falls, MN 56538


P. O . B o x 7 3 9 Birch Hills, SK S0J 0G0

CLB Focus - December 2013  

Let's plant churches! Read about how Immanuel Lutheran Brethren Church made a difficult, yet important, decision to restart their ministry a...