A Visitor's Guide to Emanuel
A note from our Committee for Evangelism
Greetings! We understand that it can be hard to visit a church for the first time. Visitors often have a variety of questions, ranging from what to wear and what services are like, to what to do with their children and how the offering will be handled. Unknown factors can make church seem very intimidating.
With this visitor's guide we hope to answer some of the questions you may have about our church before you visit. All of us at Emanuel truly want your visit to be relaxed and welcoming, and prove to be an enriching experience. Above all it is our greatest hope that when you visit Emanuel that you will hear about your Savior Jesus, and through his love you will find eternal life.
Thank you for visiting our website and we looking forwarding to meeting you as a guest of our church family very soon!
Yours in our Living Savior,
Emanuel First Ev. Lutheran Church Committee for Evangelism
Where is Emanuel located?
Emanuel First Ev. Lutheran Church is located on the corner of Capitol Avenue and Kilborn Street, one block north of Oakland Avenue on Capitol.
Our address is:
1001 N. Capitol Ave.
Lansing, MI 48906
Click here to view us on the map.
Please click here to view our facilities map and familiarize yourself the building.
Worship Services: Sundays at 8:00 & 10:30 a.m.
Wednedays at 7:00 PM in the chapel
Bible Study groups for all ages (9:15 a.m. on Sundays):
- Adult Bible Class in Room 9
- Sunday School for children age 3-6th grade
- Youth Group for grades 7-12 in youth room
Chapel Communion: the last Tuesday of the month at 11:30 a.m. in the chapel
Prepared to Answer Bible Information Class: dates and times are flexible, please contact the church office for specific details. This class can be taken to obtain information on the Bible and also for membership at Emanuel.
What is Worship like at Emanuel?
Every church has its own individual worship style, and we think you'll find our services very enjoyable. As with any new experience, you should expect to take a Sunday or two to become accustomed to our way of praising God together.
Each week the order of service can be found in the front of our hymnal (the red Christian Worship hymnal) or printed in a worship folder. The weekly readings are provided in our church bulletin or you may follow along using a Bible (also provided in each pew) if you choose.
Our worship services focus on readings from God's Word, the Bible. Music and singing are important parts of our worship as well, and all our praises are music to the Lord. Emanuel services frequently feature special singing groups which include our Senior and Junior Choirs, the Informal Choir, our Emanuel Lutheran School children and others.
"Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children." Deuteronomy 4:10
Our worship services usually include the following parts in a variety of forms:
- The Invocation - We call on the name of the Lord as we praise him.
- Acknowledge Sins and Receive Forgiveness - We acknowledge that we have not done what God asks, and receive assurance of forgiveness in Jesus.
- Bible Readings - We read selections from the Bible, based on the church year calendar.
- Sermon - Our pastor offers themed instruction in a Bible-based sermon for children and adults alike.
- Response to the Word - We respond with offerings and prayers.
- Parting blessing - Before we depart we receive an additional assurance of the Lord's care until we meet again.
Additionally we praise our Heavenly Father with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, which are mixed throughout the different parts of the services. During or after some services, our members partake of the Lord's Supper, also known as Holy Communion. Emanuel First Ev. Lutheran Church (and all congregations of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod) practice what is called "Closed Communion." For an explanation of this practice please contact Pastor Lindloff.
What should I wear?
The Bible presents no dress code, just simple decency and Christian humility, thus Emanuel makes no rules either.
Our members recognize that worship time at church is a special time, and often reflect this in the way they dress. One may dress casually and rejoice that our gracious Lord accepts us as we are, while another may dress to reflect the awe and reverence we have for our Savior.
On any given Sunday at Emanuel you may see tees or ties, denim or suits, sneakers or heels or a combination of the above. When one dresses out of love for their Lord, it is acceptable to both God and to us.
Offering worries: "When will it be taken...how will it be collected...do they want visitors to contribute too?"
God's Word calms offering worries. In the Apostle Paul's second letter to the people of Corinth, he tells them that "each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Emanuel members give offerings so that our worship may include bringing gifts to God. Our offerings support the work of our congregation as we share the Good News, and give us an opportunity to show our love to Christ.
Our ushers collect our offering gifts in plates during the service, typically shortly following the sermon. As our guest you are not expected to contribute an offering, nor should you feel any pressure to do so. You are however welcome to participate as your heart leads.
Other visitor concerns:
- "Will you bring attention to me or embarrass me?" While you are likely to be greeted by members that notice a new face, we can assure you that we will not ask you to stand up and say anything or do anything else to embarrass you.
- "But I'm a sinner..." There is only one person who is without sin; Jesus. Our members acknowledge that we have not lived as God commands, but know that because Jesus died for all, our sins are forgiven. God's Word tells us "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:7-8)
- "I'm worried my child will be disruptive or too noisy." Jesus says in Matthew 19:14 "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Emanuel is much like a family, with members ranging from infancy to elderly. It is not unusual to hear the sounds of children mixed in with the sermon or hymns. If you feel that your child needs to step out or needs a change, our "Cry Room" is available just off the Narthex, or entry room. We also provide quiet bags with crayons and activities for children age five and under. They are available in the Narthex, or any usher would be happy to get one for you.
- "What if I do something wrong?" At some time we have all felt like this; you are not alone! Emanuel members are ordinary people just like you. We accept you as you are and aim to help you become what God wants you to be.
- "Will you try to get me to sign up for something?" We invite you to sign our guest book in the Narthex, and would love to put you on our mailing list. You will not be pressured to become a member. Time and consideration is needed to decide if one would like further involvement in any congregation, and we fully respect that need.
- "What if I feel out of place?" It is our hope that this visitor's guide will help put aside some of these feelings. Please remember that any of our members would be happy to help you with anything that you need.