What to expect
When you visit Immanuel you can expect meaningful worship, friendly people, inspiring music, and a comfortable setting.
What should I wear?
We don’t have a dress code at Immanuel. Some of our parishoners prefer to dress more formally, others prefer to dress more casually. Wear what feels comfortable, from a dress or a suit and tie to jeans and a t-shirt.
What time is the worship service?
We have two worship services weekly: Saturday at 5 pm and Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Holy Communion is shared at each service. Both worship services are similar in content, but the Saturday service is less formal and abbreviated to last about 45 minutes. The Sunday service normally lasts a little over an hour.
What is the worship service like?
Please see the next section in this Visitors Tab for a description of our Sunday worship services.
How do I know what to do in worship?
When you enter the worship area, there are greeters to give you a worship bulletin containing the entire worship service, words and music. Hymns not printed in the bulletin are in the red hymnal in the rack in front of you. The entire worship service is very easy to follow in the bulletin, even if you are not familiar with the Lutheran style of worship. Ushers are there to assist you with any questions, and to help receive the offering and let you know when to come up for communion.
Will I be singled out as a guest?
We will not point you out as a guest or make you stand up during the worship service, but we will greet you. We ask you to let us know you were here by entering your information (as much as you are comfortable sharing) in the red registration folder you will find in each pew by the center aisle. Or you may fill out a visitor card from the pew rack in front of you and place it in the offering plate.
What options are there for families with children during worship services?
We see worship as the gathering of the whole family of God, from young children to older adults. Therefore, we encourage children to remain with their parents during the worship service. Activity bags are available for use in the pew. If children and parents need a break, there are two rooms where families can take their children and continue to listen to the service through speakers: the Oak Tree Room and the Pre-School Room. Most Sundays, “Baby Sunday School” is offered for small children accompanied by a family member following the children’s sermon and returning in time for Communion.
Can I Take Communion?
Holy Communion is offered freely at all worship services to all wish to receive the true body and blood of Christ in the bread and the cup. Gluten-free wafers and grape juice are available on request. Children may commune at the discretion of their parents. Those who do not commune may come to the communion rail for a blessing. Those who find it difficult to come forward may receive communion in their seats. Specific directions for communion are printed in the worship bulletin.
What to expect in worship
Our style of Lutheran worship is liturgical which means it has a predictable pattern that varies throughout the year in four main parts: Gathering, Word, Meal and Sending. This pattern has been followed in Christian worship for nearly 2,000 years. The music and language change with the times, but the pattern remains constant.
As people gather, music is played on the keyboard, organ or chimes. Following a greeting and the announcements, our worship usually begins by taking a moment to ask God to forgive us. The pastor then assures us of God’s love and forgiveness. We continue with an opening hymn, and may sing a responsive prayer (“the Kyrie”) and song of praise (“Glory to God” or “This is the Feast”).
Next, we say a prayer expressing the worship theme for the day and listen to readings from the Bible. The Bible is our source of purpose, direction and inspiration. The children’s sermon and the sermon that follows are based on the Bible readings, relating them to our lives today. The hymn after the sermon is also based on the Bible readings.
We respond to God’s Word by reciting a Creed, a statement of our faith. We pray together for the world, God’s creation, and all those in need. After this, we greet those around us by shaking hands to share God’s peace. Following this, the Offering is gathered while the choir or a soloist sings. As our guest, please feel no obligation to contribute when the offering plate comes to you.
We prepare to share the meal of Holy Communion with a dialogue between pastor and congregation, often followed by a seasonal preface and the ancient hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy.” These are usually sung by the pastor and congregation. The pastor continues with a prayer of thanksgiving including the words Jesus used when giving us this meal, ending with the Lord’s Prayer. We sing the ancient hymn “Lamb of God” followed by other hymns, as people come forward to receive Communion. The meal ends with a blessing and prayer.
Our service ends with a final blessing and a hymn of sending, during which the pastor and other worship leaders come to the rear of the worship area to greet the people as they depart. Following the hymn, the pastor sends the people forth in peace to do God’s work in the world, and the people respond: “Thanks be to God!”