Visitors to Emanuel will find themselves welcomed by the members and invited to participate fully in the life of the church. Our members are from many ethnic and racial backgrounds, and many denominational backgrounds as well, coming together to share in the work of Christian ministry. They will be glad for the interest of visitors in the congregation and happy for their involvement in the life of the church.
Emanuel is a church where members of all ages are nurtured with worship and Christian education and pastoral services. Emanuel has a Sunday casino School and a youth program, choirs, social gatherings, and many other activities. There is no question that Emanuel's place in the center of the city determines the character of its community, but it is also a community that is very much of its people, by its people, and for its people.
In keeping with the spirit of Luther, Emanuel is a congregation that has heeded the call of conscience in response to the gospel of Christ. As such, Emanuel has frequently stepped forward on issues having to do with both church and society. Emanuel has led the way in promoting inclusive language in worship, weekly communion for people of all ages, and, most significantly, for the full inclusion of gay and lesbian members in the life of the church. Emanuel was the first Reconciling in Christ Church (a church that publicly embraces the cause of inclusion) in the New Jersey Synod and was a leader in the Synod in this cause. Emanuel is also a model for a mission-oriented church in its outreach and its witness. There is some satisfaction to be taken in the fact that the ELCA has on many of these fronts and others followed where Emanuel has led the way.