During Worship on January 26th, I was excited to share a new opportunity for Emmanuel to consider that would bring more people into the church, including younger families. Last year, work began on evaluating becoming what is called one church with two languages. That means that we have an opportunity to start another service that would be Spanish speaking as part of Emmanuel. That service, if approved, would be led by a Latino/Latina pastor who would essentially develop the service in the same way a new church is developed except it would be at an already existing church – Emmanuel. We wouldn’t be renting to the people who attend that service, they would simply be a part us. Think of it like this. Each winter, we expand from one service to two so we can accommodate our Snowbird friends. This will be the same in that we would expand into a second year round service to connect with the Spanish speaking community of Bradenton. Emmanuel’s attendance would include all the services and Emmanuel’s membership would include all who become members here. Worship and study times for the Spanish speaking service would be at different times than current worship and study times to allow for the language difference.
Knowing you all have many questions, there are several Focus Groups that have been scheduled for anyone to attend in order to:
1) Know where we are in the process of discernment of whether this is for Emmanuel.
2) Learn about the way that we would be together as one church if the proposal were approved.
3) Ask any questions you may have about the proposal.
All sessions will be in McCay Hall. We are limiting each session to a maximum of 10 people to allow sufficient time for questions. If you would like to attend one, please call Joy at the church office (941)792-3497.
The schedule is as follows:
Thursday FEB 6 1:30 pm
Sunday FEB 9 3:00 pm
Monday FEB 10 1:00 pm
Tuesday FEB 11 2:00 pm
Thursday FEB 13 6:30 pm
Tuesday FEB 18 10:00 am
Wednesday FEB 19 4:00 pm
Thursday FEB 20 7:00 pm
It’s important enough for everyone who wants to attend a Focus Group to do so that we will add more sessions if there are any people who were unable to attend. This is a process of discernment that requires more than 50% of our members to approve. The process began with preaching over the last several weeks, will be followed by the Focus Groups, a final large group gathering with me and finally a Church Conference where all Emmanuel’s full members may vote. Associate and Affiliate Members may not vote since your primary membership is at another church elsewhere. Regular attenders who are not members also may not vote. I expect that we will have our Church Conference later in March though I am waiting until our Focus Groups are completed prior to setting the date to ensure we have had enough time to learn about the proposal. Please be in prayer daily for Emmanuel as we are in this period of discernment. Pray that we will discern God’s will and follow where God leads.
God bless you,