First of all, you’ll get a warm welcome from people just like you. Folks at Emmanuel are of all ages and from many different races, nationalities, and religious backgrounds. There are students, professionals, artists, dads and moms, single parents, and a great many children. We come to worship from all over the northwest side of Austin. We make it our aim to lovingly welcome and serve everyone God sends our way.
Let’s talk about children. We have a LOT of them, and we are so thankful for their joyous presence in worship! We have a fully staffed, first-rate nursery for little ones from infancy up through age four. Moms are welcome to join us in the nursery with their children. Parents are also welcome to have their small children remain with them throughout worship, and you will see that many do so.
We love having children in our worship service because we believe that God is forming them (and us) into the worshipers he created us to be. By standing with their parents, by responding with “thanks be to God,” by singing the doxology, the heart habits of our children are being formed. It is not enough merely to teach our children the truth, we must also embody the truth in the standing, sitting, praying, singing, giving, receiving acts of worship each Sunday. Parents, please explain the service to your children.
We also offer Children's Worship for children ages 3-7, during the middle of the service. They will leave shortly before the sermon and return shortly afterwards, so that they can worship and take communion with the adults, but have their own age-appropriate lesson during the sermon and intercessory prayer. Children are not required to attend Children's Worship, but the option is always available to them.
Our worship service normally lasts about 75 minutes. You will be welcomed at the door by a greeter and given a bulletin containing that day’s order of worship, hymns, and scripture readings. When it’s time to begin, we’ll quiet our hearts while the pianist plays the prelude, then the choir sings a brief and inspiring piece to summon us into God’s presence.
We call worship “The Divine Service” because in this gathering God serves his people by calling us into his presence, cleansing us from our sin, speaking to us through the Bible, communing with us at his Table, and commissioning us to go with his love to the world around us.
We take Scripture very seriously, and because of that we have a number of scripture readings in the service. During worship we will usually have four Scripture lessons, one each from the Old Testament, the Epistles, and the Gospels, with the Psalm lesson sung or read together. After congregational prayer, we take time for one of our Pastors to deliver a message explaining these Scripture passages in the light of Jesus’ love and grace. When the sermon is completed we stand and confess our faith together using either the Apostles’ or Nicene Creeds, ancient summaries of Christian belief.
Yes, there is communion every Sunday, using wine and bread, and all baptized Christians that have made a public profession of faith are welcome to receive the Lord’s Supper. If you are not yet a Christian we will encourage you to enjoy a brief time of prayer or reflection while others eat and drink the wine and bread distributed in communion.
Music at Emmanuel is crafted to inspire and undergird congregational singing. We are served by a fine choir, pianist, and on occasion, special musicians. You will experience a beautiful weaving of ancient and modern elements in a rich and very lively liturgical setting. It is our hope that the music at Emmanuel will inspire joyful participation as we gather around the heavenly throne room of our Lord Jesus Christ.
After worship please take a moment to introduce yourself to one of our Pastors or other leaders; we’d love to say hello and get to know you better, and answer questions you may have after attending. In fact, we hope you do have questions.
See you soon!