Emmanuel Way of Life
The Emmanuel Way of Life has been written as a guide as to what is necessary to participate fully in the life of the Emmanuel Community. It also serves to further develop aspects of our life which are found in the covenant. From time to time, our Way of Life will be reviewed and new initiatives may be added or others deleted in response to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The Way of Life is to be seen as a response to God’s call to live as a member of the Emmanuel Community whose mission is to reveal Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. In order to make a generous response to God, members of Emmanuel are asked to fully embrace the following:
A. Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the Exercise of Charisms
The Community was founded as a development of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and therefore openness to the grace of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the exercise of charismatic gifts are foundational elements of our lifestyle. Emmanuel’s Way of Life is intimately linked to this animating grace in the life of the Church and therefore we ask all those who seek to share our life to seek this grace in their own life and to place their charisms at the service of the Community and its mission.
B. Daily Personal Prayer
Each day, the members of Emmanuel will seek to spend time in personal prayer developing an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. The Community emphasises the use of the Scriptures encouraging each member of the Community to reflect on the daily readings for the Eucharist given to us by the Church. We take up this initiative with the intention of being united with the broader community and desiring to live the rhythm of life within the Church. Attention is also drawn to the importance of spiritual reading and the value of keeping a spiritual journal.
C. Communal Prayer
There will also be opportunities for communal prayer that come as a result of various activities within the community (small groups, community gatherings, home groups, scripture study etc). At the heart of Emmanuel’s communal prayer is a strong call to be a people of worship. Each time we gather, we are invited to worship God and to exercise the charismatic gifts which help us to grow as a worshipping people. Every member of the community will endeavour to embrace these opportunities to build communion with God and with the brothers and sisters in the Community.
D. Celebrating the Lord’s Day and the Sunday Emmanuel Eucharist
Sunday is not a day of business as usual. We should seek to keep Sunday as a day of the Lord. In our secular society, Sunday is not very different from any other day. Our desire is to build a culture which says something different. Therefore, individual members are encouraged to spend some more time in prayer, families are encouraged to mark this day with a family meal either at the beginning or the end of the Lord’s day and everyone is reminded that Sunday is also a day of resting from what is “day to day” in order to make time for God, family and friends.
The celebration of the Sunday Emmanuel Eucharist is the focal point of our community life and the centre of our celebration of the Lord’s Day. It is both the summit and the source of our identity and the strength for our mission. The celebration of the Eucharist is also an opportunity to reach out to many who, though not part of our community, come to share in this outreach.
Emmanuel has been given the privilege of celebrating the Sacraments of Initiation. These sacramental celebrations can be organised in consultation with the Elders and the Liaison Priest appointed by the Archbishop. In addition to the weekly Eucharist, the Community celebrates the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least twice each year.
F. Community Gatherings
From the very beginning, Community Gatherings have provided an opportunity for the whole of the Community to come together to worship, to receive teaching and to maintain a vision and fellowship across the whole community. Community Gatherings keep us in touch with the developing life of the Community, its various activities as well as the prophetic direction which is an integral aspect of our Emmanuel lifestyle. (Saying “yes” to God’s prophetic leading has always been an important aspect of our way of life.)
G. Small Groups
Small groups provide opportunities for members to share deeply about their lives and their journey within the Community. It is a place where relationships are built in an environment of love and acceptance. Small groups are also opportunities for support, fellowship and fun together.
Members need to take responsibility for their own formation as disciples of Jesus but also need to grow in a deeper understanding and practice of our Emmanuel spiritual, communal and missionary lifestyle. Active participation in community formation teaching courses designed for both underway and covenant members is vital.
The Community is committed to a culture of “welcome”. Jesus’ invitation to his disciples to “come and see” is an attitude we seek to emulate. Welcoming others into the Community or its various events happens in a number of ways including the hospitality around our Eucharistic gatherings and the development of “home groups” which provide a mechanism by which members of the community from all generations can meet together and share life through personal contact with each other, and creating a place of welcome for those who want to experience more of the life of Emmanuel.
It is the responsibility of each adult member of the community to give generously and regularly in order to provide resources for Emmanuel’s life and mission.
K. Social Life
Social life in the Community plays an important role in developing a genuine, balanced, “down to earth” spirituality. A faith filled social life refreshes emotionally and spiritually and also aids the development of brotherhood and sisterhood. Weddings, parties, sporting activities etc experienced within the Community should exhibit the values of the Gospel lived out in these kinds of activities.
Each one of us is called to mission. The context differs depending on our life situation but all are called to act as witnesses of Jesus Christ and his Good News. This can and must be done in our own homes, workplaces, places of study etc. In addition, the community will initiate corporate acts of mission. Participation in these corporate acts will differ from person to person depending on gifts, state of life and overall responsibilities. However, we would encourage each person to be clear about how they are taking up the mission of Emmanuel to proclaim Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Emmanuel embraces mentoring as a means of developing vision, discernment, commitment, accountability, and stewardship – all with a view towards living as a disciple of Jesus Christ. There are three different styles of mentoring in Emmanuel including Mentoring for Leaders (a requirement for all those in leadership roles within the community), Peer Mentoring (for those who are committed members or Covenant members of the community), and Mentoring for those who are Underway (a required commitment).