Worship in Community

Sunday morning worship is the central shared experience of our life together as a congregation.   Your presence matters!  The best sermon and the most wonderful music cannot create a sense of community when the pews are empty.  Greeting friends, sharing joys and concerns, exchanging the peace of Christ, joining others in song and prayer are communal acts of praise and solidarity that bring worship to life at Immanuel.

Come as you are, joyful or sad, relaxed or stressed, ready to give or longing to receive.   We all know situations when we don’t feel “up for church” – too tired, too pressured, not in the mood.  And yes, it can be hard to get out of the house on Sunday morning, leaving behind a leisurely breakfast or postponing a walk in the woods.  Yet our congregation invites and urges you to follow the call of your inner church bell, to follow the call to worship God within our faith community on Sunday mornings!

Is it easier for you to get somewhere when you have a particular gift to share or a volunteer service to fulfill?  If so, perhaps you would like to become a liturgist, reading scripture, prayers, or poems during our worship services. Or you might consider joining the choir for a weeknight rehearsal and for the Sunday morning procession to the choir chancel.  How about becoming an usher who greets members and visitors on Sunday mornings?  Do you have a special story that you would be willing to share for the Children’s Message?  In addition, the deacons are always looking for volunteers to host the coffee hour.  There are many ways to participate on Sunday mornings — ways that enrich our communal worship and create meaningful, spirit-filled experiences for ourselves and for others.

The most pressing invitation to worship, however, comes from God and your fellow Christians. Not only do we believe that our praise, songs, and prayers can transform us from within, but we also believe that communal worship makes a difference in our neighborhood and our world. As a Christian, you come to worship both to give of yourself and to be renewed, that you might go forth and live out the teachings of Jesus Christ, as best as you are able. Committing to the practice of Sunday morning worship lies at the heart of practicing your faith here at Immanuel.

Worshipping at Immanuel

“To clasp the hands in prayer is an uprising against the disorder of the world.”
— Karl Barth

Worship at Immanuel is the most public and common experience of our life together as a community of faith. Through vibrant music, provocative and prophetic messages for people of all ages and strong congregational participation we seek to open ourselves to the movement of God’s Spirit in our world.

Sunday Worship

At Immanuel Church we worship at 10am (9:30am in July and August). Holy Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month, and children are most welcome to participate in this sacrament.

Sacraments

Like most Protestant denominations, the United Church of Christ recognizes two sacraments: Baptism and Communion

Baptism

Baptism at Immanuel celebrates one’s belonging to the family of God. Parents and the congregation give thanks to God for the gift of new life in the community of faith. We give witness to the fact that we are related to this person and have a responsibility for his or her growth in faith. The most important meaning of infant baptism, however, is not about the child and the congregation, but it is about God. It is about God’s act that before the child can make anything of his or her life, before the child can say yes or no, God has already claimed and accepted this child. Baptism is a visible reminder that our salvation comes as a gift of a loving God who chose us before we chose God, who has loved us unconditionally with a love that will not let us go.  Although infant baptism is typically celebrated at Immanuel, people of all ages can receive the sacrament of baptism.

Communion

Communion is also a sacrament that celebrates our identity and calling. For, in this sacrament, we are reminded of our identity as a member of the body of Christ, the Church. We receive our Lord’s gift of himself, his life, his love and forgiveness in order that we may live this gift and be his body in the world. Communion is a sacrament of love.  It is an offer from Christ: to share life with us, to share ministry with us.

(from Do This to Remember Me!, by Rosemary Turner)

Additional Services

Book of Remembrance Worship: Last Sunday in October

This lovely service remembers departed loved ones from the past year.

Collaborative Worships with Faith Congregational UCC: Held periodically throughout the year

We gather with members of Faith Congregational UCC in an ongoing relationship of love and collaboration with this historic North End congregation. We take turns hosting, celebrating communion together and continuing our partnership, seeking to work for justice and love in our world. 

Annual Service of Lessons and Carols: First Sunday in December, 4pm

This beautiful service is a hallmark of the Music Ministry at Immanuel! The Immanuel Chancel Choir and guest musicians present a moving array of anthems, congregational carols and appropriate readings for the season of Christmas. Dinner is often provided after the service for a nominal fee. 

Christmas Eve: December 24th, 5pm

An annual celebration of Christ’s birth, held at a time convenient for families. This time-honored event caps the holiday season with beautiful scripture and music that melts your heart. 

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Joint Worship at Faith Congregational Church: Held annually on Martin Luther King., Jr., Day

We join with Faith Congregational Church and other area congregations to commemorate MLK Day, and to recommit to the work of racial justice. This is an opportunity to continue to build our partnerships in the community and to continue to work for a more just world. 

Ash Wednesday Worship

We follow the tradition of Ash Wednesday with a solemn, intimate service in our Chapel, setting our minds and hearts for the Lenten season. 

Amistad Remembrance Service: Held annually in March

We join with other area congregations to remember the perseverance of the African captives aboard La Amistad in 1839 and the efforts of those Connecticut faithful who fought for their freedom. The service brings together members and leaders from six Hartford area churches and is a great opportunity to learn about our history of fighting for racial justice as people of faith. 

Maundy Thursday Worship

Join us for the Service of Tenebrae, led by church clergy and deacons. Many in our congregation find this service to be among the most touching and deeply moving events of our church calendar. 

Good Friday Community Worship

Join this community procession between Asylum Hill area churches, with brief services held at each, including Immanuel. The diversity of the worship styles, sanctuaries and participants makes the Good Friday service a memorable blend of people and praises. 

Easter Sunrise Worship

For early risers, the community Sunrise Service, held at the Elizabeth Park Overlook is a tremendous way to join in the celebration of Easter across area Christian churches. Then head over to Immanuel for an Easter breakfast beginning at 8am. 

Pentecost Intergenerational Worship Service

Celebrate the birthday of the church, and the coming of the Holy Spirit, in this interactive, intergenerational, Spirit-filled Sunday. We worship with great joy and see where the Spirit leads. 

 

If you have any questions about arranging baptisms, wedding ceremonies, or funeral services, please contact Sue Fisher, Church Administrator.