I'm New at Emmanuel
Why did you name the church Emmanuel?
Emmanuel is a biblical word meaning “God with us.” Many people associate the word with Christmas carols and their reminder of God becoming one of us, that we may know him. If that is true--and we believe it is--everything changes. And in a wide variety of contexts throughout Scripture, God often says, “I am with you.” That means there is no place, circumstance or emotion that escapes God’s strong and reassuring presence. Our church wants to help each other and this community grow in realizing that promise. Further, Emmanuel is a word that has the same meaning and pronunciation in many languages. Our church celebrates the ethnic diversity of Arlington, and a multi-lingual name reflects the richness of the community we hope to serve.
What are the demographics of your church?
We have been praying for a diverse group of people, as we believe a healthy church reflects the community around it and draws from a variety of gifts and talents. And God has been answering our prayers. Our core group includes singles, young couples, families and children of all ages. Several nationalities are represented at Emmanuel, and we pray for increasing diversity.
Our services draw from the rich history of hymns, songs, prayers and confessions the Church has created over the centuries--including the present one. Yet "traditional" probably won't be the word you use to describe our services. Or worse, "stuffy" or "slick". We're aiming for an acoustic feel, a little folk, a little jazz. Weekly communion is already an important element of the service, a visible reminder and experience of God’s grace. However it comes together, we want the entire worship to be Christ-centered, so that all of us can experience the presence of God.
Nobody likes to be yelled at or brow-beaten, so you won't get that. You also won't hear a lot of rules and regulations. All of that conveys we relate to God based on our performance. We don't. That's the anti-gospel. Instead, everything depends on God's graciousness on our behalf, in everything. Getting hold of that, though, has enormous implications for our life and relationships. So mostly, that's what you'll hear about: how God and what he has done for us is greater than we've ever dared imagine, and how that changes everything.
Please feel free to wear whatever you like. We've seen the range from shorts to suits--but if it helps, most people wear what could be called "dressy casual." Since the point isn't what you're wearing, but who you're worshipping, there's no dress code.
Where Should I Park?(Parking Map)
Parking is available in the garage at GMU's Founders Hall. The entrance is in the alley from either N Kirkwood Rd or Washington Blvd. Pull a ticket when you enter the garage. Park on B2 and take the elevator to the first floor. Prepaid parking passes will be available after the service at the Info Table. When you exit, you will insert parking ticket into the Pay in Lane (pay at exit gate) machine. The parking fee will display. Insert your prepaid pass.
Parking is also available in the two decks (upper and lower) at GMU's Truland building--the corner of Washington Blvd and N Kirkwood Rd. The entrance to the uncovered deck is off N Kirkwood Rd; the entrance to the covered portion is off Washington Blvd. In either case you can walk to the rear of Founders Hall and enter via the G2 parking garage and take the elevator to the first floor, or enter the side door (Kirkwood St) of Hazel Hall (the GMU law school) and proceed to the Ground floor and walk through to Founders Hall.
Street parking is free on Sundays in Arlington. Since GMU is metro accessible, we also encourage people to take the orange line to the Virginia Square metro station.
There is a Federal Parking garage off Washington Blvd. You can park in the "retail parking" spots for $4 for up to two hours or $6 for three hours. (From the P1 level, you can use the outdoor walkway to the GMU original building.)
There are many wonderful churches in metro Washington DC area. If our congregation is not the most convenient time or location, please refer to this list of sister Presbyterian Church in America congregations that may be closer to you.
In case of inclement weather updates will be available on Emmanuel’s website and office phone.