We’re glad you’re here. Thank you for taking time to learn about Emmanuel. We’ve found the best way to experience the true richness of this faith community is to participate in Sunday morning worship.
Consider this your invitation! We’re here every week. At Emmanuel, everything we do is a response to the love of God in Jesus Christ. We pride ourselves on our commitment to beautiful historic liturgy and on our outreach efforts, including our daily sack lunch program. We enjoy being with one another in the presence of God, and we like to have fun. This parish gathers a diverse group from all kinds of backgrounds and of all ages: retirees, young families with children, grad students and faculty, singles, and teenagers. Some are life-long Episcopalians, others grew up in different faith traditions, and still others had no prior religious background. What we have in common is a deep commitment to know Christ and make Christ known; we are grateful that God’s grace enables us to transcend our differences as we meet at his altar.
Here are some tidbits to help you feel at ease as you join us for worship:
Free parking for services is available in our lot off Park Street (near the Virginia Theater); from there, the most direct access to the worship space is through the area by the flagpole facing West Side Park.
Ushers in this main entry area will give you a copy of the leaflet outlining the day's liturgy. They also have special materials for kids. They are happy to help you find the restrooms, drop off infants in the nursery if you like, and in general answer any questions you may have.
At Emmanuel we worship using the Book of Common Prayer, a liturgy rooted in the most ancient traditions of Christianity and shared by millions of people all over the globe. The morning's leaflet will have page numbers to help you join in. Don’t be concerned if some aspects of our service are unfamiliar; all churches do things a bit differently and it’s fine to take part however you choose. (A description of our services can be found here).
Like all Episcopalians, we invite anyone who has received Baptism (the Christian rite of commitment to Jesus) to come forward and receive the Bread and the Wine by which Jesus gives us Himself in Holy Communion. Our ushers will guide you. After the service, you're invited to join us for conversation in the large room we call the Great Hall; you can get there through either side door. This is a great way to meet a few people and get a better sense of us.
Although Sunday (and daily) worship is the central focus of life at Emmanuel, we find getting the most out of connecting with our community eventually means going deeper in more than one place. To explore the possibilities, sign up for our weekly highlights email and/or follow us on Facebook. In the program year, Adult Formation and Sunday School between the services are good places to start. Getting your feet wet in one of our ministries can also help you grow spiritually. In fact, we find that sometimes people prefer to start their involvement here via an outreach ministry or a smaller weekday service. That's fine, but as you come to know what Emmanuel is at its heart, Sunday Mass will eventually become close to your heart too.
Please feel free to ask questions about anything. In a society where Christian language and practices are increasingly unfamiliar, we want you to feel at ease exploring them. Our clergy enjoy sharing time and conversation with newcomers and invite you to be in touch; contact information is available here.
If you would like to be placed on our print mailing list or if you would like to speak with someone in person, please share your information on our contact page, or fill out a welcome card (in the pew racks) during your visit. We can’t wait to meet you!