About Immanuel

Nitty-Gritty of Immanuel UCC's worship and character as a church family
 
  1. Worship at Immanuel can be described as traditional, but not stuffy. We sing out of the New Century Hymnal for six months out of the year. For the rest of the year we use Worship & Rejoice. Our choir sings modern sacred music. We follow the basic order of Christian worship including some congregational responses.  All aspects of congregational participation are printed each week in our bulletin. Even if you haven't been to church in ages (or never before), it's an easy service to follow.

    However traditional our worship forms are, we aren't uptight. When it comes time for concerns or celebrations, all folks are welcome to chime in - including children!

    Our church service begins at 10:30. We have a few folks who always come in late, so if you're running behind, we'll feel like you're family.  

  2. We're not a big church. If you visit, some folks will want to shake your hand and have a short chat. We won't make you stand up or make you feel weird. 

    On the second and fourth Sundays of each month, we pass the peace of Christ with everyone. A song plays softly in the background as we greet each other. This interactive element in our worship is time when we circulate and approach each other. Even our introverted folks can negotiate this time without being overwhelmed!

    In 2001 Immanuel intentionally went through a discernment process concerning the congregation's views on homosexuality and the church. As a result of this experience, IUCC voted to become an open and affirming congregation. The open and affirming designation means that we fully support gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people as brothers and sisters in Christ. We seek to embody this commitment in a variety of ways including overt inclusion in our worship and in all aspects of the life of our church. Also, we host a booth every June at Baltimore’s Pride Festival.

    If you are or if someone is in your family is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, you are welcome here. Please see our Open and Affirming statement elsewhere on the website.

  3. IUCC is a place where heart and mind can be engaged in worship. It's not a place that subtly mandates a specific creed or political affiliation. Nor are we uncritical of all things Christian.  We're a place where your views and opinions are deeply respected and taken seriously.

  4. We don't care what you wear to church. Some of our men wear ties every week; many don't.  Some of our women wear skirts and dresses every week; many don't. We have a few who show up in jeans, tennis shoes, and T-shirts. That's all OK. We're not fussy. We just want you to be here.

  5. We offer communion on the first Sunday of every month. Most of the time we go forward to the front of the church to receive communion (that form is called intinction).

  6. Because communion is a sacrament that embodies God's grace to all of God's children, all people are welcome to participate in communion. Children are encouraged to receive communion as well because they are integral as part of the body of Christ. Even if children don't know what communion means intellectually and theologically according to standard definitions, children intuitively understand God's grace as given and received in the act of Holy Communion.

  7. The reception of members into this fellowship coheres with the basic requirements of the United Church of Christ. If you are already baptized, you may join the congregation through confirmation, profession of faith, or letter of transfer. If you seek baptism or have questions about baptism, please contact the pastor. She will be glad to schedule a service for the sacrament of baptism or to help you if you are considering being baptized.

    If you wish to join our congregation, please contact the pastor. 

    We have some folks who attend Immanuel for years before they join. Then we have others who decide to attend IUCC only for a few months before they join. Still others stay for years and years without ever becoming a member.

    We have two forms of membership. 1.) Full membership in which your church membership is exclusively here. 2.) Associate membership in which you maintain ties with another church while also becoming a member here. Most often this is used by students, seniors who moved to the area but want to keep their ties to their hometown, or other clergy who serve elsewhere.

    Members have two privileges that non-members do. 1.) You can vote in official church meetings. (As a non-member you can attend and participate in all meetings. You just can’t vote.) 2.) You may serve on consistory, the governing body of the church. (See committees.)