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Emanuel Lutheran Church

Emanuel's History

Emanuel was founded in 1889 by Swedish immigrants who settled in the Frog Hollow neighborhood of Hartford.

The story of Emanuel’s first hundred years is recorded in a book by Norma Westlund Sandberg, God with Us. The congregation today is a rich blend of people of diverse ethnicities.  Everyone is welcome at Emanuel.

One of the treasures of Emanuel is the collection of stained glass windows throughout the Church and Chapel.  Minister of Music Emeritus, David Edward Harper wrote an illustrated history of the windows, Through a Glass Brightly (PDF or Purchase a Copy).

Building Emanuel Lutheran Church in Hartford CT

Our Faith

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

The ELCA is a community of faith that shares a passion for making positive changes in the world. Our faith is built around a strong belief in God as made known to us in Jesus Christ. Through worship, service, and education, we practice our faith, grow our relationship with God and experience God’s grace in our lives. Learn more about What We Believe and the ELCA


Wherever you are on your faith journey, we invite you to join us in any of our varied educational opportunities.

Emanuel is a community of lifelong learners rooted in the gospel – the good news of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. We provide opportunities that foster reflection on the meaning of that good news for daily living and support learners in their faith formation with a strong biblical foundation on which to question and search as they make the Christian faith their own.

Our Lutheran heritage encourages us to study, question, and reflect on how God is at work in our lives and in the world. We recognize the challenge of understanding what our faith means in a rapidly changing world and provide opportunities that invite learners to discern how they can live lives characterized by love of God and neighbor.

No matter what opportunity you may choose, we believe God will meet you where your deepest questions lie! ‘

our mission

We Lutherans believe in a gracious God, revealed in the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.  Baptized into God’s family, we live as God’s forgiven children, freed to serve God and neighbor.

In response to Christ’s love we:

  • Worship God in joyful celebration
  • Invite others into this community of Christ
  • Serve those in need in the community and in the world
  • Nurture all people in faith through Christian education
  • Encourage and support one another in Christian living and fellowshipCornerStone

Welcome to Emanuel!

It’s my pleasure to greet you and invite you to join us at Emanuel on the journey of faith. Emanuel Lutheran Church Hartford is a congregation of some 800 people of diverse backgrounds, experiences and expressions of faith who gather together to worship God, to serve our neighbors and the world and to love and support one another. It’s been my privilege to serve as senior pastor since 1997. I am grateful to be part of a church made up of so many energetic and dedicated people who live out the Gospel so faithfully.
Several years ago, when we were faced with some major, necessary repair work to the church towers, the decision was made to go forward with the project based on the conviction that Emanuel was in the city for good. I liked that statement then and still do today. There is much to do, but together, along with God’s merciful and powerful Spirit, we can accomplish so very much. Come join us!

Thanks be to God!

Our People

  • Jonathan Reuning-Scherer

    Jonathan Reuning-Scherer, Director of Music. Jonathan studied piano and horn at Oberlin...

  • Rachid Chelali

    Rachid Chelali has been the Sexton at Emanuel since 2000.   Born in...

  • Jane Wunder

    Jane Wunder, Operations Manager...

  • Pastor Paula Mehmel

    Senior Pastor   On Sunday, September 24, 2017, the people of Emanuel...

Emanuel Church Council

Chet Brodnicki, President

Mark Hollertz, Vice President

Bobbee Canfield, Treasurer

Mindy Olson, Secretary

James Flanders, Executive at Large

Karen Arcand

Linnea Bloomquist

Eric Carlson

Tim Elwell

Jacob Fulmer

Melissa Johnson

Peter Murphy

Sarah Parmelee

Deepak Penada

Gary Troutman