Congregation Close-up: Emmanuel, Coos Bay

Congregation Close-up: Emmanuel, Coos Bay

Submitted by Dave Laird (Senior Warden), Kerri Coldren (Administrator), Al Rumsch (Vestry), and the parishioners of Emmanuel Church

It’s been said that it takes a village to raise a child, but in our case, it takes a congregation of dedicated, committed and caring individuals to raise our church.

Without a priest since late January, the whole congregation of Emmanuel has stepped up and filled vital roles.  For example, parishioners in leadership roles agreed to serve another year to ease the transition to a new priest. Musicians, altar guild, and lay readers all came together to form a worship team and did incredible service to our church.  Individual parishioners volunteer many hours a week in our outreach ministries, not to mention our columbarium, our financial committees, vestry, and taking care of our grounds and building. 

One of our most exciting ministry programs is our state certified day care program.  The Emmanuel Preschool serves children from newborns through preschool ages from early morning to late afternoon.  Emmanuel received a three year grant from the Episcopal Bishop of Oregon Foundation (EBOF) to help get us going.  We’re starting the third year of the grant this September.

The Food Cupboard, run by mostly Emmanuel volunteers and others from the community, serves thousands of hungry people each year.  Emmanuel donates space to the Food Cupboard and helps support its mission through donations of food, time, talent and money.

Our vision as a congregation is to serve as a “light on the hill.”  Our church sits proudly on a hill above the town. 

Since the current building was built here in the early 1950s, we have strived to be an example to the community.  The church building itself, the style and architecture, is part of an aspirational vision.  Since the first construction, parishioners have added a copper covered steeple and beautiful stain glass windows.  The inside of the church reflects the hull of a ship symbolizing the togetherness of all inside the church.  We hope our presence and spirit will draw more to the church and our worship.