Who We Are

Thanks very much for checking us out! If you're reading this page, perhaps you want to learn more about us. Hopefully this helps...


So who are we at Emmanuel? First and foremost, we hope you will find us to be a welcoming and inclusive community that's happy to greet you! We are large enough to offer programs for all ages but small enough that you can feel known here. Beyond that, a very Episcopalian answer is to come check us out and see for yourself...perhaps for a Sunday service. We think that our gorgeous, historic building is the perfect setting to burst forth God's praise in word, song, and music. We also believe that God speaks back to us, inspiring us to acts of loving service and social justice. If you are used to worshiping in a liturgical style (whether Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, or from some other tradition), you may find that our services feel somehow familiar. Our principal act of worship on Sunday is Holy Eucharist -- also known as Communion, Mass, or the Lord's Supper. Rather than bore you with a lot of sacramental theology, suffice it to say that we believe Jesus is really present in the consecrated bread and wine but we are not dogmatic about exactly how that happens.

On the other hand, we have some differences from many of the other liturgical churches, and we are quite proud of them! The church's sacraments are available to all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or history. We are honored to celebrate same-sex marriages and second marriages. We believe that the altar is God's table and not our own, and so we invite all baptized Christians to receive Communion when they visit. And we believe that we can come to that table together, even if we don't all agree on every little detail.

If this short introduction has inspired you to come visit, please look at our service schedule. If you'd prefer to check out a live-streamed service or a recording of a past service to see what we are all about, you can find all those details here. If you have questions which weren't answered, please feel free to give us a call or an email. We'd love to chat more and get to know you. There is a link to our contact information at the bottom of this page.

If you want to know more, please feel free to read on...


Let's continue with the fact that we are a member congregation of The Episcopal Church, which has its roots in the Church of England, and was brought to America during colonial times. Following the American Revolution, after most clergy refused to swear allegiance to the British monarch, The Episcopal Church was formed. Today, The Episcopal Church has joined with the Church of England and other Anglican and Episcopal churches from around the world to form the Anglican Communion, which consists of over 80 million Christians in over 160 countries.




Closer to home, we are part of the Diocese of Chicago, one of the 113 dioceses of The Episcopal Church. Our diocese covers 21 counties in northern and west central Illinois, and represents approximately 31,000 baptized members in 122 congregations.

Currently headquartered at 65 E. Huron Street in Chicago, the Diocese of Chicago is normally headed by a bishop. At this time, however, Bishop-Elect Paula Clark has not yet been consecrated, and so the diocese is being administered by the Standing Committee as ecclesiastical authority. This committee consists of lay and clergy members elected at our annual Diocesan Convention.

The Diocese of Chicago describes itself like this: "Christ-centered, inclusive, sustained by prayer and committed to service".