WHAT WE BELIEVE
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here are some frequently asked questions about faith and community life at Immanuel. If your question isn't addressed here, please e-mail Deacon Hannah and you'll recieve a personal response.
What is your church’s view of scripture?
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God, and profitable for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work”. The Bible provides the foundation for what we believe and how we act. At Immanuel we preach from Holy Scripture believing that God’s Word is completely trustworthy. It is not the few portions of Scripture which are difficult to understand which challenge us, but rather those passages which are all too clear.
What is your belief about baptism?
The term comes from the Greek language of the New Testament and means "to completely immerse". The Bible speaks most clearly about baptism of believers. We rejoice to baptize those who have had a life-changing encounter with the Lord and who wish to give their lives to Him in return, believing that the Lord is pleased to make them a new person through the power of His Holy Spirit. We also baptize the infants understanding that children are the Lord’s gift to parents in order that they may raise them to know who their Heavenly Father is. The Lord imparts grace to them and the Holy Spirit begins to work in their lives even without their understanding. Baptism is not magic, however. An infant who is baptized must, at some point, consciously accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
What do you believe about Holy Communion?
We take Jesus at His word when He said, “Take, eat; this is my body...Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood” (Matthew 26:26ff). By this we mean that through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus makes Himself truly present in our midst in both Word and in Sacrament. How He does this is beyond our ability to comprehend fully. That He does so is a source of joy beyond measure. We also follow the early Church’s tradition of celebrating Holy Communion every Sunday. (I Corinthians 10:16; I Cor 11:23-26)
Why do you describe yourselves as Charismatic?
The Bible uses the word “charismata” to describe the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that He would send the Holy Spirit to empower His Church to do the work He has set before us. All people who profess Jesus as Lord and Savior already have the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:3). But the Spirit needs to be released if He is to do his work. Think of it this way; the pipes in your home are filled with water, but until the faucet is opened that water does us no good. It is the same with the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. A “Charismatic” is a Christian who has experienced the release of the Holy Spirit and who operates in the gifts of the Spirit (I Corinthians 12:4ff; Ephesians 4:11ff; Romans 12:5ff). In our worship you will see evidence of these gifts ranging from healing prayer to prophecy to singing in the Spirit.
What do you mean when you call yourselves Evangelical?
Evangelical" was derived from the Greek word euangellismos which means: gospel or good news. Evangelical Christians exhibit four beliefs and behaviors:
1. Conversion - we believe all humans need to be changed by the grace of God through a decision to repent of their sins and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord.
2. Mission - we take seriously Jesus’ expectation that we share His gospel with others by word and deed at home and abroad.
3. Bible Based - we regard the Bible to be the Word of God and to be the ultimate authority for belief and morality.
4. Cross Centered - we believe that Jesus took the consequence of our sin upon His shoulders and died in our place, that we might be saved by grace through our faith.
Why do you “pass the peace”?
We do this because it was done in the earliest worship services in the New Testament Church. It is a time to share our prayer that each of us come to know the peace which only the Lord can give in the midst of life’s uncertainties.
Why do people raise their hands during worship?
Have you ever noticed what happens when little children rush into the room where their parents are? They stretch out their arms and run toward Mom or Dad, waiting to be swept up. When we worship, we are God’s children coming into His presence. It makes sense for us to do the same. God's people have approached Him with open arms since Biblical times (Psalm 134:1-3).
Why do the clergy wear robes during worship?
Our worship brings us into the very presence of God. It is not like anything else that we do. In our worship everyone is involved in one way or another. Vestments (the different-looking clothes) set apart various people who do different things in our worship. The vestments we wear come from the early days of the New Testament Church and are rich in symbolism.
Why do people bow or kneel in the presence of the cross?
The cross is a symbol of the depth of Christ’s sacrificial love for us. We bow out of reverence for the Lord of such love. “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.” (Philippians 2:10,11)
What is a Rector?
A Rector is the formal title given to the ordained priest of a congregation in the Anglican Mission in America who leads as senior pastor. He leads under the authority of Jesus Christ and with the assistance of other clergy and lay leaders from the congregation.
Would you please explain how your church is governed?
Working with the Senior Pastor are two bodies of lay leaders: Vestry and Elders. The congregation elects six lay men and women to serve on the Vestry. The Vestry meets at least monthly and is responsible for the administrative and financial oversight of the congregation. Those elected to the Vestry serve a term of three years. The Senior Pastor (Rector) invites six people to serve as Elders. The Elders generally meet weekly and serve two year terms. They are the Pastor’s accountability group, in addition to dealing with parish vision and various pastoral issues.
How are church pledges and finances handled?
All tithes and offerings given to the Lord through Immanuel Church are confidential. Sunday offerings are counted by members of the Vestry. Our parish administrator and treasurer keep careful records and handle all gifts for the glory of God. We mail out quarterly and year-end reports to those who have given in a way which can be recorded with a name. The congregation votes yearly on an annual budget which is submitted by the Vestry at our annual parish meeting.
How do I become a member of Immanuel? There are several levels of membership: associate members, baptized members, professed members and confirmed members.
You become an associate or baptized member by speaking to one of the clergy on staff and signing a membership form.
You become a confirmed member by doing all of the above, attending inquirer's class and being confirmed by the Bishop.