Pastoral counseling at Emory is an extremely vital ministry in our quest to live a WHOLE life. Jesus placed a high premium on people being emotionally well, and so he was always found healing people who struggled from those things in life producing mental and emotional stress. “Heal emotionally” is the “H” in the acronym and vision the Lord gave us around being WHOLE.
Through pastoral counseling and lay counseling offered through our Stephen’s Ministry, our grief and bereavement ministries and our work around domestic violence and abuse, the Emory Fellowship seeks to encourage people in powerful ways and refer people to places and sources where deeper help may be needed. It is a joy, privilege and necessity for us to serve in this aspect of the healing ministry of Jesus Christ!
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” - Luke 3:21-22
At Emory baptism is a community event and very joyous experience. We celebrate whenever an individual comes to be a part of the body of Christ.
It is important to understand baptism. In baptism, we turn away from sin and begin our journey as disciples of Jesus Christ. We believe baptism is the door through which we enter the church universal, not just the local congregation. As a member of the “Body of Christ” in the world, baptism commissions us to use our gifts to strengthen the church and to transform the world.
The Emory Fellowship is a United Methodist congregation and to that end we baptize infants, children and adults. We do so by the methods of sprinkling, pouring and immersion. We believe in prevenient grace, which is God's grace working in our lives before we are aware that God is moving. This grace brings us to faith.
We believe the scripture which reminds us that there is one Lord, one faith and one baptism of us all. Therefore baptism is not something that is repeated. Baptism doesn't save you, it is a sign or symbol to the world that you have decided to follow Jesus Christ.
Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. Luke 22:19-20
At Emory, we celebrate Holy Communion every week as an act of worship. We do so because we believe that we regularly need to be reminded of how gracious God is to us. Our communion table is open to anyone who seeks to respond to the love of Jesus.
…because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
At Emory, we celebrate confirmation. Confirmation is a time where people who were baptized as infants declare their faith publicly and become full members of the church.
We offer Confirmation classes at different times of the year. They are focused on adolescents , usually beginning at 12 or 13 years of age. These young people meet with a group of their peers, sponsors and their confirmation teachers to learn more about Jesus, their faith journey, and the Church.
When the classes are complete, a celebration ceremony is schedules where the confirmands stand with their family and sponsors before the congregation to profess their faith in Jesus Christ.
If you are able to declare faith in Jesus Christ for yourself at baptism, there is no need to be confirmed.