New Visitor Information

Immanuel Lutheran Church takes pride in creating a welcoming environment. Whether you are a regular church goer, or someone looking to join the worship scene, please take some time to investigate Immanuel’s beliefs below.

1. Is Everyone Welcome?

Sometimes it’s worded, “Is the roof going to cave in on me?” Or sometimes stated, “Am I going to get struck by lightning?”
All are welcome, believer and unbeliever, focused or wandering, churched or pre-churched. While full participation is limited to confirmed members of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (Communion, see #11) all are invited and welcomed to hear of God’s patient love and the forgiveness He offers through His beloved Son, Jesus. And, the structure of Immanuel is sound and the building is grounded.

2. Where do I park?

Immanuel has two parking areas as well as street parking on Lincoln and Sheridan. The parking lot in between the church and school (access off Sheridan) is the most convenient and has reserved handicap accessible parking. The second adjacent parking lot (corner of 10th and Sheridan) requires a little walking, but is easily manageable.

3. Is anyone going to acknowledge me?

As you enter through the portico, there will be a person by the door to welcome you to Immanuel. They may not know that you are a visitor, we are a big church and not every member knows all the others. We ask that you either sign the visitor book in the back of the church and the Friendship Folder which is passed during the offering (Offering? see #9). Immanuel does not have you stand up and introduce yourself or put on a special color name tag. You can be as anonymous as you wish. You are more than welcome to introduce yourself to the pastor (or those seated around you) as a visitor.

4. Are my kids going to be safe?

Our Sunday School (Kingdom Kid’s) staff have all been checked, and many of them have decades of teaching experience with kids. Mrs. Betsy Bourassa, our Parish Assistant will make your child(ren) feel welcome, safe, and special. We value and appreciate your trust. Our education hour is Sunday at 8:45 am to 9:30 am. The kids meet in the school, (enter off the portico) and the adults meet in the Multipurpose room in the church.

5. Is the message going to be boring or confusing?

We try our best to make things simple and engaging. There may be questions about what we do and why we do it- especially about the historic liturgies. Our sermons try to introduce a specific reading of the Bible and apply it to our everyday life. Our music most often is played on the organ to lead the singing. The last Sunday of each month be offer a different style of music: keyboard and strings and introduce more contemporary hymns. We have many music groups from the church and school which participate regularly in the worship.

6. Am I going to be dressed right?

Members generally wear what my Mom would call “school clothes.” Matched, clean and gently worn. Some of the older gentlemen will wear suits or shirt and tie, but that’s what they’ve always worn.

7. Will I know where to go?

If you enter through the portico doors you will be at the back of the church building and looking through the long glass wall, you will see the worship space. Bulletins or worship folders are handed out by ushers as you enter. We do not have “assigned seating” but I find that Lutheran’s tend to pick a spot and sit there often. Bathrooms are located in the north hallway. You can ask an usher (they wear little tags and stand at the back of the church) for further directions.

8. Who can I ask a question?

Start with an usher (look for the tag). We have youth and adult ushers, but most can handle questions of seating and locations within the church. If it is more complicated than that, you may wish to speak to an elder or a pastor. Ushers can discreetly direct you to them.

9. Are you going to do anything weird?

No. Stand up, sit down and follow along, participate as you are comfortable- that’s pretty much it. We occasionally have a “sharing of the peace” when we turn to others around us and shake their hand and say “The peace of the Lord be with you. (respond And also with you.)” We pass an offering plate for our members to participate in supporting the ministry of Immanuel. Guests and visitors are under no obligation. We also have a Friendship Folder which each pew (seating row) passes down and back to the center aisle. This is passed during the offering.

10. Am I going to have to sing or clap?

We encourage singing of familiar hymns as a congregation- or learning new hymns so they become more familiar. However, some are more comfortable just looking at the words and thinking about them and their message. Sometimes the congregation claps after a special music performance. We rarely have crowd participation of clapping or dancing.

11. What about Holy Communion?

We practice “Close Communion” which means that members who come to Communion believe and practice the same thing, or have a common-union. Guests with no church affiliation or members of other churches with different beliefs about the Bible, Jesus, salvation, sin, grace, etc., should not participate because participation means agreement with what we teach and practice. It’s ok to be different. It is with respect to the differences of belief that we practice close communion. You can remain seated during communion. If you would like to come up for a blessing, kneel (as you are able) with the others at the rail, but keep your hands folded or on the rail and the pastor will come by for a blessing. Please speak to a pastor before or after the worship for more details. We welcome your questions.

12. Is there any hope?

Every worship service has all kinds of people coming together. Some have a lot in common, some not so much. What we all have in common is that we are sinful by nature and need God’s forgiveness. At every worship you will hear of God’s great love for you and the forgiveness He offers freely because His Son, Jesus lived the perfect life for you, and death the death you (and we all) deserve because we have sinned. Jesus paid the price fully so that God’s grace is freely given to all. Second chances are real because of God’s love. God really can fix broken hearts, homes and lives.