what to expect
We know it's a challenge to walk into something new and we hope this page will answer some of your questions.
Which Sunday worship should I attend?
Try them both. The early worship is quieter and smaller; the later worship has music, children's programs, and coffee hour afterwards.
How do I get there and where should I park?
We are located on Keolu Drive, just east of Enchanted Lake Elementary School. Walk, take the #57 bus, or drive and park in the main lot or in the pre-school playground to your left. You'll be greeted at the door by an usher who will give you a bulletin and invite you to sign our guest book. It's there that you can indicate if you are just travelling through, or if you would like more information or a call from the priest.
What should I wear?
Whatever is comfortable. People wear everything from shorts to dresses to slacks to mu'umu'u. What matters is that you are here.
What is worship like?
You will be given a bulletin that lays out the whole service. We will sing, pray, listen to lessons, hear a sermon, sing and pray some more, and celebrate Holy Eucharist, which is the Lord's Supper. We worship in a variety of ways--you'll see some people kneeling, others standing, some making the sign of the cross and some not. Do what is comfortable for you and try different things from week to week by skimming the Book of Common Prayer found in the pew racks with the hymnals. You are welcome to participate in as much or as little as you like.
Will I have to stand up and say my name?
No! There may be an opportunity to introduce yourself, however it is not required. Do introduce yourself to those sitting near you. At the sharing of The Peace you will likely be greeted by many new friends. A handshake and the words "Peace be with you" are appropriate. Please be sure to sign our guest book before you leave.
Should I bring my bible?
You certainly may, but the lessons for the day will be printed in the bulletin and the preacher will not ask you to open up to a particular passage. This leads some to ask if Episcopalians believe in the bible. Of course we do, but at Sunday worship our primary text is the Book of Common Prayer, which you will find in the racks under the chairs.
What are the Ho`omaika`i Bowl and the Little Church?
At Emmanuel we share a custom of celebrating the blessings of our lives with our church community. At the appropriate time a lay leader will invite people to come forward and share their blessings. Some will bring small monetary gifts and put them in the wooden Ho`omaika`i (blessing) bowl. These thank offerings go to our various outreach efforts, but please know that a donation is not required to share a blessing! On the last Sunday of the month we bring out the Little Church (a koa replica of our sanctuary) and people are invited to give thank offerings for their birthdays or for the birthdays of their family and friends. Again, donations are not required, but they do go to outreach.
What about the offering plate?
As a newcomer, please let the offering plate go by and be our guest. Once you settle in you'll do as members do, give joyfully in gratitude to God to support the ongoing work of the church. To make regular contributions, ask to fill out a pledge card. We can even arrange for contributions to be deducted from your bank account.
Should I receive Holy Communion?
We sometimes say in worship, "This is the Lord's table and wherever you are in the spiritual journey, you are welcome at this, the Lord's feast." It's entirely up to you, but know that all are welcome. Simply come forward with everyone else, kneel or stand, and you will be given the bread and the wine. And yes, it is real wine, but if you do not want to receive it just cross your arms over your chest and the minister will just say the words to you. We are happy to bring communion to your seat if need be. More questions? Call our priest.
What if my children are noisy?
Everyone is welcome at Emmanuel, young and old alike. If you have active children we recommend sitting near one of the side doors and taking them outside to let off steam if you need to. There are coloring pages available at both services and Godly Play children's program during the 10:00 am service.
Speaking of the sermon, how long is it?
The sermon is offered by the priest and it usually consists of a teaching and commentary on the lessons of the day. It lasts between 10 and 15 minutes and the congregation is always welcome to respond by phone or e-mail during the following week.
What about bathrooms and other comforts?
The bathrooms are located across the parking lot from the church - you'll see the green doors. In the lobby of the church you'll find a water cooler and a hospitality table with tissues and hard candy if you need them.