Welcome to Genoa Intersections

A Budding Lutheran 

Faith Community 

Living in God's Grace  

(815) 895-8521

    Confession & Forgiveness

    Ordinary Time - Season of Epiphany

    Make the sign of the cross on your forehead or chest, the sign marked at  your baptism.   You can pray this prayer of Confession and hear God's words of forgiveness.

    Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, who creates us and forms us, who redeems us and calls us, who unites us and sends us. Amen.  

    Gathered in God’s presence, let us confess our sin. 

    Silence is kept for reflection.

    Mighty and loving God, we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves. We seek our own way. We divide the body of Christ. In your mercy, cleanse us and heal us. Let the words of our mouths, the thoughts of our hearts, and everything that we do be filled with faith, hope, and love. Amen. 

    Hear the voice of Jesus: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me to proclaim release to the captives.” 

    In the name of ☩ Jesus Christ, I proclaim to you that your sins are forgiven and you are released. The joy of the Lord is your strength, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are yours forever. Amen.


    Confession from Sundays and Seasons copyright © Augsburg Fortress. Reproduced by permission. No further reproduction allowed without the written permission of Augsburg Fortress.




    Praying our Way thru Lent: Protestant Prayer Beads


    Three workshops are scheduled in Genoa and Sycamore February 23-24 and March 3 to create prayer beads to guide our prayers this Lent and in time to come.  The workshops will be followed by optional  4-session studies on learning to use prayer beads and the history of this ancient practice, offered at various times.  Let us know of  your interest.

    Find out more

    Coffee and Conversation


     Have something you'd like to discuss or a suggestion for informal gathering?  Let me know of your interest.

    Let's Connect

    Mission Opportunities


    Share your ideas for where we could make a difference - what needs do you see in the Genoa area that a faith community might help address?

    I have an idea

    Prayer Ministry


    Share a Prayer Request.  Offer to pray for others.   Join in the weekly prayer focus for the Genoa area [or your hometown] posted Sunday evenings/Monday mornings on facebook.

    Pray for me

    Protestant prayer beads: Praying our way thru lent

    Genoa Intersections & Salem Lutheran Sycamore partner to present


    Prayer Bead Workshops


    A Bead and a Prayer  workshop helps you assemble your own set of prayer beads within a gathering of Christians and introduces the history and practice of praying with beads using our God-given senses of touch and sight. You can then sign up for an optional 4-week Bible study at either location introducing prayer beads as a tool for connecting with God.  Each study session includes a scripture passage, weekly reading, prayer bead experience, and reflection questions.

    Three dates at Two Locations:

    Sat. Feb 23     10am-Noon

    NW Medicine Community Room

    599 Pearson Dr. Genoa, IL 

    Sun. Feb. 24  2:00-4:00 pm **This one is full so another session has been added at Salem Sun. Mar. 3rd, 2-4 p.m           

    Salem Lutheran Church                

    1145 DeKalb Ave  Sycamore

     *** Registration Deadline extended to Feb. 22nd 


    Please email deacon@genoaintersections.org to register 



    $9.00 Book cost


     *Prayer Bead kits available from $12-$16 

    or you may bring your own beads:

    5 large (10-12 mm) beads 

    29 medium (8-10mm) beads


    36 seed (6-8 mm) beads

    1 Cross or Pendant

    If you have them bring a pair of chain nose pliers and side wire cutters; we will also have some available.

    I'm Interested

    Faith Perspectives Weekly Blog

    About Intersections

    A New Faith Community


    Intersections is a developing faith community of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America led by 

    Deacon Carla Vanatta.  



    Intersections invites you to explore a relationship with Jesus Christ and others, trusting our encounters to lead us deeper in faith and purpose. 

    All are Welcome


    God's gifts of love and grace are given 

    for all people.  Discover a warm welcome in Jesus' name and see if this church without walls is a good fit.

    Building Blocks

    Coffee and Conversation


    Let's Connect!  Contact me to set a time to get together.  I'd like to hear about your life and faith.

    Prayer Requests


    Prayer requests are welcomed

    and will be supported by the 

    Intersections Faith Community.

    See the Contact Us section 

    to send a prayer request.  You can also join other Lutherans in prayer ELCA.org/en/Resources/Prayer-Ventures  and at LivingLutheran.org

    Community Building


    This past fall about a dozen people met every other Monday evening to discuss dealing with life's changes and transitions.  

    We'll begin another small group in February/March using Protestant prayer beads as a prayer tool during Lent.  

    Let me know of your interest. 

    Open Invitation


    Think of a friend, neighbor, or 

    co-worker you might invite or refer 

    to Intersections.  Pray for them and share what Jesus means to you or how 

    you hope to grow in your calling 

    as a baptized Child of God.


    Three expressions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America include local faith communities, the

    Worship opportunities will be offered seasonally at varied times and places.  Watch the Announcements or Worship & Events pages for the schedule 

    as it develops.

    Community Service


    Living a faith-filled life means caring 

    for your neighbor.  We'll be talking to community leaders and residents to determine where we can 

    make a difference.

    Gardening is one of my ways to connect to God in nature.


    Deacon Carla Vanatta

    Thanks for your interest in Genoa Intersections.  My husband and I have served Salem Lutheran in Sycamore since 1976 in creative arts and worship, pastoral care, and small group ministries.  I became a Deacon of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1995 and love serving with God's people.  

    Ron and I moved to Genoa four years ago and continue to learn about the community.  As a Deacon I've been invited to explore developing a new faith community in this area.  I'm excited to launch Intersections and pray it will grow into a vibrant ministry as God calls people together in faith and love.  

    I believe God has created each of us with unique gifts and personalities to bless the world and one another.  I believe Jesus loves you deeply and gave his life for you on the cross.  I believe the Holy Spirit intersects with our lives every day, calling us into a deeper relationship with God and other believers in this community.  

    What a gift to claim every day the promise of  Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIRV):

    8 God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift.  9 It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it.  

    You see, God chose us!  We call that GRACE!

    Thanks for exploring the Intersections website, and I hope to have the opportunity to meet you soon.  Together let's see what God will do! 

    Deacon Carla

    As Children of God we are

    Saved by Grace 

    Gifted by God

    Called to Serve

    What we Believe

    God as Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer

    The mystery and majesty of God's power continues to be revealed in all of creation.

    Over and over the songbook we call Psalms praises the Creator of all things. 

    Embracing this gift of life, we are called to care for all God's people and the world we live in.

    Jesus Christ Savior of All

    God wants to be in relationship with us and gave us Jesus as a gift to forgive our sin:

    For God SO LOVED the world He gave His only Son, that WHOEVER believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life.  God did not send Him into the world  to condemn it but to save it.   John 3:16-17

    Holy Spirit Breath of God

    Gifted with the Holy Spirit who calls, enlivens, and empowers us to live as God's people, we are sent into the world  to share this Good News and be the hands and feet of Christ.


    Contact Us

    Questions or Prayer Requests

    Saved by Grace -  Gifted by God - Called to Serve

    Genoa Intersections

    1001 Persimmon Dr, Genoa, IL 60135, US

    (815) 895-8521


    Activities and events will be posted as they are scheduled.  Please check back often.

    Faith Partners

    There are many spokes of outreach and ministry within the ELCA that help us Love God and Neighbor.

    Northern Illinois Synod

     Intersections is designated as a Synodically Authorized Worshipping Community of the Northern Il Synod and is supported by grant funding for Domestic Missions.

    The Northern Illinois Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in  America (ELCA) is a gathering of nearly 150 congregations created by God in Christ,  empowered by the Holy Spirit, and called and sent to bear witness to God’s  creative, redeeming, and sanctifying activity in the world. 

    Our mission is simple: 

    Make Christ Known

    There are three geographic Synods in Illinois.  The word "synod" means "on the road together"  - that's about 100,000 of us from these counties in Northern Illinois: Boone, Bureau,  Carroll, DeKalb, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Jo Daviess, Kendall, Knox,  LaSalle, Lee McHenry, Mercer, Ogle, Putnam, Rock Island, Stephenson,  Warren, Whiteside, Will, and Winnebago. 

    Find out more

    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

     As part of the ELCA, we are:

    • Members of the fourth largest Protestant denomination in the United States
    • Among almost five million people who belong to almost 10,000 congregations (2012) in the United States and the Caribbean
    • Part of a church body with more than 270 agencies and institutions that are the second largest provider of human services of any non-governmental social services agency
    • Part of a church body that maintains 27 church-related colleges and universities, enrolling more than 53,000 students each year
    • Part of a church that provides eight seminaries across the country for the training of pastors and other church workers
    • Helping to support 400 missionaries in 45 countries around the world
    • Reaching thousands of men, women, and children by providing more  than $12 million annually in hunger funds, both internationally and at  home.

    Find out more

    Lutheran Social Services of Illinois

    Mission Statement:

    Responding to the Gospel, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois  (LSSI) brings healing, justice, and wholeness to people and communities.


    Serving Illinois since 1867, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) is a nonprofit social service organization of the three Illinois synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). LSSI is the largest statewide social service provider, serving almost 50,000 people across Illinois last year. The organization provides critical programs for the state’s most vulnerable residents including foster care, early childhood development, mental health services, alcohol and drug treatment, home care for seniors, affordable senior housing, residential programs for people with developmental disabilities, and programs that help formerly incarcerated individuals integrate 

    back into society.

    Find out more

    ELCA World Hunger

    More than 800 million people - that's 11 percent of people in our world today - are hungry.  As members of the ELCA, we are called to respond. We are a church that rolls up our sleeves and gets to work.

    Working with and through our congregations, in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Lutheran churches overseas and other partners, ELCA World Hunger  is uniquely positioned to reach communities in need. From health  clinics to microloans, water wells to animal husbandry, community meals  to advocacy, your gifts to ELCA World Hunger make it possible for the  ELCA to respond, supporting sustainable solutions that get at the root  causes of hunger and poverty. Learn More.

    Hunger facts  

    • 815 million people around the world - that's more than 1 in 10 -  can't access the food they need to live active, healthy lives. [1]
    • According to the most recent estimates, 766.6 million people  live in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 per day. That's 10.7% of the  world's population. [2]
    • At some point in 2016 (the most recent year available), more  than 41.2 million people in the United States were unsure where their  next meal might come from. [3]
    • 40.6 million Americans were living in poverty in 2016. For a  family of four, this means their annual household income was below  $24,563. [4]

     [1] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2017 

      [2] The World Bank, 2015  

     [3] USDA, 2017  

     [4] US Census Bureau, 2017 

    Find out more

    ELCA Good Gifts

     ELCA Good Gifts provides more than 50  different gift-giving options that grow the church, fight hunger and  transform lives. These gifts, starting at just $10, provide direct  support for the churchwide ministries of the ELCA.

    Their resources – from catalogs to coin banks - make it easy (and fun!) for you or your family, your  congregation and your community to support people globally.  

    You might say “goodbye” to traditional gift-giving  and “hello” to meaningful gifts that really make a difference in the  world, or add these gifts as another way to share your resources.  What fun to sponsor some chicks, a hog or goat for a family or build a well, give seed money for a home business, or sponsor a mission!

    Ready to shop now? Visit the ELCA Good Gifts store and print or order cards to tell loved ones about gifts given in their honor.  

    Find out more

    Salem Lutheran, Sycamore

    Salem Lutheran is a partner church in establishing Genoa Intersections, praying for their neighbors to the north and sharing resources.  Established in 1870 by Swedish Immigrants, Salem congregation is located at 1145 DeKalb Avenue, Sycamore, and welcomes all people into Christian community and service.

       If you are interested in Christian Education, Youth activities, Creative Arts, Food Pantry Outreach, or more regular Worship opportunities,  please visit Salem's website to see what is available, www.slcsycamore.org

    Find out more

    A Child for Christmas

    God's Own Son

    For centuries God's people waited for the promised Messiah.  An oppressed people, they longed for a deliverer to set things right and set them free.

    Isaiah 11 speaks of one fair, faithful, wise, and understanding.  One to bring people together from east and west, north and south. One who ushers in a community of peace, where even lion and lamb lie down together.

    Prophecies foretold a child both God and Man, a virgin birth.  "God was pleased to have his whole nature living in Christ. "  Colossians 1: 19  

    A child who took on humanity that he would understand and live in both weakness and power, yet without sin.  Hebrews 4:15

    A child born but destined to die as a sacrifice for the sin of all people, God giving of God's self to make us holy and redeemed and loved.  "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world. He sent his Son to save the world through him."  John 3: 16-17 

    This is the Good News the angels proclaimed to the shepherds, and the Good News still proclaimed today.  This is the Good News for your life and mine.  We are set free! Delivered from the bondage of sin and evil, forgiven and restored to live and help bring about the Kingdom of God for all.

    For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
                                                                                                                Isaiah 9: 6

    Glory to God in the Highest!

    Luke 2: 1-20 NIRV

      2 In those days, Caesar Augustus made a law. It required that a list be made of everyone in the whole Roman world.  2 It was the first time a list was made of the people while Quirinius was governor of Syria.  3 Everyone went to their own town to be listed.

    4 So Joseph went also. He went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea. That is where Bethlehem, the town of David, was. Joseph went there because he belonged to the family line of David.  5 He went there with Mary to be listed. Mary was engaged to him. She was expecting a baby.  6 While Joseph and Mary were there, the time came for the child to be born.  7 She gave birth to her first baby. It was a boy. She wrapped him in large strips of cloth. Then she placed him in a manger. That’s because there was no guest room where they could stay.

    8 There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby. It was night, and they were taking care of their sheep.  9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them. And the glory of the Lord shone around them. They were terrified.  10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news. It will bring great joy for all the people.  11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He is the Messiah, the Lord.  12 Here is how you will know I am telling you the truth. You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.”

    13 Suddenly a large group of angels from heaven also appeared. They were praising God. They said,

    14 “May glory be given to God in the highest heaven!
    And may peace be given to those he is pleased with on earth!”

    15 The angels left and went into heaven. Then the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem. Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

    16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby. The baby was lying in the manger.  17 After the shepherds had seen him, they told everyone. They reported what the angel had said about this child.  18 All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  19 But Mary kept all these things like a secret treasure in her heart. She thought about them over and over.  20 The shepherds returned. They gave glory and praise to God. Everything they had seen and heard was just as they had been told.