As a newer church in the Centre Region, we know there may be questions about who and what is Emmanuel Lutheran Church. You may have questions about Emmanuel, the NALC, about our ministry and what we believe; here is a starting point. If we haven’t addressed YOUR question here, please write us at emmanuelNALC@gmail.com or call 814-826-1352. We will get right back to you!
~~~Who and what is Emmanuel Lutheran Church?~~~
Emmanuel Lutheran Church is a Lutheran congregation in State College, formed in November of 2015. Emmanuel is a Hebrew word that means “God With Us” which was one of the titles given to Jesus at the time of his birth. Jesus IS Emmanuel- God with us- and we at Emmanuel are pleased to called by this title, giving us a regular remembrance that Jesus and God are truly with us, today and every day.
Our congregation began as a small group of Christians, mostly Lutherans, who were seeking a church that would be traditional in its faith and practice. Through the summer and fall of 2015, we gathered regularly in people’s homes for Bible study, prayer and reflection. We carefully considered all the options that were before us. Ultimately we decided that the best way for us to maintain our convictions was to form our own congregation and to become a member congregation of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC).
We held our first worship service on the First Sunday in Advent, November 30, 2015. SInce that time we have gathered regularly for worship and praise- for hearing the Word of God in preaching and for receiving Holy Communion according to the Lutheran tradition. We have been blessed to use the facilities of the Albright-Bethune United Methodist Church and are thankful that our congregation is continuing to reach out to those in the Centre Region who are looking to join with a meaningful and traditional worshipping family.
~~~I’d like to visit….anything I should know?~~~
The people of Emmanuel Lutheran Church (ELC) would love to have you visit and worship with us! The easiest way to find out about us is to join us on a Sunday morning at 9am when we worship together. We hold our services at the Albright-Bethune Church building; parking is along the street on Burrowes Street or Beaver Avenue, or in the Beaver Avenue parking garage.
Each service is a service of the word and sacrament- we celebrate Holy Communion each week and we follow the liturgy in the Lutheran Book of Worship. When you come, you will be greeted and thoroughly welcomed! Feel free to sit with anyone in the pews, and if you are not familiar with the Lutheran liturgy, we’ll help you! All baptized believers are invited forward to take communion, currently by intinction.
Please fill out your contact information in our guest book. Feel free to ask anyone questions about our congregation, and let us know if there is anything else you need to feel welcome!
~I’d like to join….anything I should know?~
As you think about becoming a member of Emmanuel congregation, you’ll connect with both other congregation members and our Pastor. You’ll be encouraged to find your niche in the life and ministries of Emmanuel. In addition, when you join Emmanuel, you are also joining the North American Lutheran Church. We invite you to become familiar with the core values of the NALC, and ask us how we believe in those core values here at Emmanuel. We’d love to talk with you about membership!
~Tell me more about the North American Lutheran Church.~
The main reasons that led Emmanuel’s members to join the North American Lutheran Church were the NALC’s expressed core values.
- The North American Lutheran Church seeks to be a CHRIST CENTERED church. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we look to Jesus as Lord and Savior. He is our help and our confidence. Fully human and fully divine in one Person, he gave his life for us on the cross and rose again ‘on the third day’ to be the source of life for all who believe. We confess in the creed “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God.”
- The North American Lutheran Church endeavors to be a TRADITION-GROUNDED church. We accept the Bible is the inspired Word of God, our final authority for Christian faith and practice. We embrace the teachings of the church of the ages, the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian creeds. We value a style of worship that is structured and orderly as this has evolved over the centuries. We honor the heroes and heroines of the face of the past – saints, martyrs, missionaries, reformers, and theologians – who have witnessed their face in Christ, often under severe persecution. We are a community of believers with the history that goes back to Jesus and the time of his first followers.
- North American Lutheran Church intends to be a MISSION-DRIVEN church. We realize that in many ways the traditional teachings and practices of the Christian faith are no longer honored and valued in our culture. Nevertheless, the North American Lutheran Church believes that mission, evangelism, and discipleship are integral to our Christian faith. We want all people to come to Christ in faith and to follow his way of life. The last words of Jesus to his followers were the words of the Great Commission, “Go into all the world.”
- The North American Lutheran Church emphasizes what it means to be CONGREGATIONALLY-FOCUSED. While they is certainly is a role for the church beyond the congregation – mission work in other lands and the training of pastors for ministry, for example – it is IN congregations like a Emmanual where Christians find genuine community and opportunities for mission. It is IN congregations where the Gospel is preached and the sacraments are administered. It is IN congregations were Christian growth and nurture take place. It is FROM congregations that Christians go forth to spread the Word of God to others; and it is FROM where Christians reach out into their communities to those who are in need, especially to the most vulnerable. The North American Lutheran Church’s main offices have a very lean structure because the focus and emphasis in on the life and mission of the member congregations in carrying out the Christian faith.
Some potential members have strong family affiliations with other congregations, or may be here in State College for school or because of weekend visits. We also have a category of an associate membership of Emmanuel in order to encourage those persons to be as involved in the life of the congregation as possible. We’ll talk if this is something that you are interested in pursuing.
~I have questions about my faith and Christianity. What can you tell me- who can I talk to?~
The first step is start asking questions and learning more about God and Jesus and what it means to be a Christian. Reading the Bible is a wonderful first start, but it can be hard to do alone.
Connecting with a community of believers and asking for a mentor can be helpful next steps. We invite you to contact us via the Emmanuel contact information and we will be there to provide encouragement and information and be that community to help you grow! Also, take a look at the Growing Your Faith tab on our web page (or click here)- there are many resources for you listed there for local, national and personal ways to learn more about Jesus and being a Christian. We would love to talk with you- please contact Pastor Milarch at firstname.lastname@example.org !