The Episcopal Church is a church that believes in the Incarnation – the mystery that God is made known to us in the human form of Jesus, i.e., God “taking on flesh” to be with us. The name of our parish, Emmanuel, means “God with us” and we strive to live into that reality and that spiritual assurance in all that we do.
The Episcopal Church is a denomination within the larger body of churches of the Christian faith tradition. We are a part of the Anglican Communion, a world-wide body of more than 38 autonomous churches with common roots in the Church of England. In this part of northern Illinois, we are one of 120+ parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.
As a part of the Christian community, we believe in:
… one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth
… one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God [and]
… the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life…
These basic statements, contained within the ancient Creeds (or faith statements) of the church, are at the heart of our faith and beliefs. Our beliefs are shaped by the sacred scriptures of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, the traditions of the church over the past two millennia and our own God-given senses of reason and ability to think.
The Episcopal Church is a Trinitarian church. We believe in the Trinity – one God, known to humans in three forms (or “persons”) as stated above: God the Creator, Jesus the Son and Redeemer, and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, the Sustainer.
The Episcopal Church is a Sacramental church. Sacraments are “outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace.” We believe that the two sacraments given to the church by our Lord Jesus – Baptism and Eucharist – are the essential sacraments for our Christian faith and life. Other sacraments include Confirmation, Ordination, Holy Matrimony, Reconciliation of a Penitent and Unction (the anointing of the sick with oil or the laying on of hands for healing). Please see the descriptions below for more information.
The Episcopal Church is a Liturgical church and we believe that our structured form of worship offers a distinctive path for approaching the Divine Mystery that is God. Our liturgy (the “work of the people”) is a form of worship which engages all of our senses – particularly those of sight and sound. On occasion, we use incense, thus engaging our sense of smell. Our liturgy invites congregational participation and uses the Book of Common Prayer (1979) as the principal guide for our particular style of worship.
We are an Episcopal church (“of Bishops”) in that we believe our historic “episcopate” (or succession of Bishops) extends in an unbroken line from the original apostles of Christ.
For more in-depth information, please contact the Rector of the parish or consult the section of our Book of Common Prayer entitled “An Outline of the Faith” that serves as the Episcopal Church’s Catechism and outline for instruction in the faith.
Holy Baptism: Persons of any age, from infant to adult, may be baptized into the church. This sacrament is the "once for all time" entry into the Christian community. Once baptized here at Emmanuel, the candidate becomes a full member of this parish church. Especially for children, decisions about confirmation can be made at a later time. We administer the sacrament of Baptism in the context of our regular Sunday worship services when our community gathers to celebrate Holy Eucharist (or Communion). Please contact the parish office or speak to the Rector for more information on available dates and advance preparation.
Holy Communion: All baptized persons - children and adults - are welcome to receive Holy Eucharist (Communion). You do not need to be a member of Emmanuel or an Episcopalian. Simply come forward when the usher welcomes your row, and kneel (if you are able) at the altar rail. In the Episcopal Church, we offer the sacraments in both kinds - the bread and the wine. If you prefer to receive in only one kind, that is sufficient. If you prefer to receive a blessing instead, please come forward to the rail and cross your arms over your chest to indicate that desire to the clergy.
Holy Matrimony and the Solemnization of Holy Unions: Members of Emmanuel, as well as non-members, are welcome to inquire about holding their wedding or solemnization service in our church or chapel. These unions will be solemnized after a period of instruction and counseling by our Rector. We use the liturgical texts for these services which are approved by the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Chicago and one of our parish clergy officiates at the service. Clergy of other denominations or faith traditions are welcome to participate in the ceremony. Please allow at least six months for this time of planning and preparation, particularly if either party has been married previously. Weddings are not held during the season of Lent (the five weeks or so prior to Easter).
Confirmation: At Emmanuel, the sacrament of Confirmation is normally offered to youth in the seventh or eighth grades after a two-year period of instruction, guidance, and learning. Parents may use their discretion to determine the point at which their child has attained the level of spiritual maturity required to take this important step. Adults of any age may be confirmed into the church after a period of individual or small-group instruction. All persons seeking Confirmation must be baptized Christians.
Other pastoral care:
Funerals: Please notify one of the clergy or phone the parish office to inform of a death in the family. Our parish clergy will meet with the family to arrange for the funeral or a memorial service. Arrangements can also be made for the interment of ashes in the Chapel of the Resurrection here at Emmanuel Church.
Visitation of the sick: Please notify one of the clergy or contact the parish office to let us know when a parishioner, family member or loved one is admitted to the hospital or another care facility. We will make arrangements for visiting as health conditions permit, including bringing Communion to the person and other family members as requested. If a parishioner or family member is confined to home or a care facility on a longer-term basis, we will be glad to make arrangements for regular visitation and administration of Holy Communion.
Transportation: When a parishioner is in need of transportation to and from church services and events, please contact the parish office. Our Pastoral Care Committee will be glad to make those arrangements.
Meals: If assistance with meals is needed during an illness or following a hospitalization of a parishioner or close family member, please contact the parish office so that our Pastoral Care Committee can make those arrangements.
Parish Prayer List: We maintain a list of all those requesting prayers - for themselves, family members, loved ones, friends and acquaintances. Names are added for an initial period of 30 days either via phone call to the parish office or email. Requests can be renewed at any time for extended periods.
Contact the parish office by emailing our Parish Administrator, Susan Aldridge, at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the office at 708-352-1275, extension #2 . Contact the Rector via email at email@example.com or by calling the office and selecting extension #1.