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Immanuel offers private Confession and Absolution to all sinners who wish to hear God’s proclamation of forgiveness in Christ Jesus for their sins. Despite what many people think, Confession is not a “Catholic thing.” It is a Christian thing. Martin Luther wrote in the Large Catechism, “Therefore, when I exhort you to go to confession, I am doing nothing but exhorting you to be a Christian” (The Large Catechism [Kolb/Wengert 479:32]). No one is forced to go to Confession or to innumerate every sin committed. All Christians should desire it because of the forgiveness of sins offered there. Although the same forgiveness of sins is received through Corporate Confession and Absolution during our weekend services, Private Confession has a couple added benefits.  First, the confessor is able to, confidentially, name the sin that is troubling him or her.  Secondly, he or she will hear the pastor proclaim God's forgiveness for that particular sin.

 

You may schedule with Pastor by calling the church office.

 

The following is what Martin Luther’s Small Catechism says about Confession & Absolution:

 

What is Confession?

 

Confession has two parts.

First, that we confess our sins, and

second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.

 

What sins should we confess?

 

Before God we should plead guilty of all sins, even those we are not aware of, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer; but before the pastor we should confess only those sins which we know and feel in our hearts.

 

Which are these?

 

Consider your place in life according to the Ten Commandments: Are you a father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife, or worker? Have you been disobedient, unfaithful, or lazy? Have you been hot-tempered, rude, or quarrelsome? Have you hurt someone by your words or deeds? Have you stolen, been negligent, wasted anything, or done any harm?

 

What is the Office of the Keys?

 

The Office of the Keys is that special authority which Christ has given to His church on earth to forgive the sins of repentant sinners, but to withhold forgiveness from the unrepentantant as long as they do not repent.

 

Where is this written?

 

This is what St. John the Evangelist writes in chapter twenty: The Lord Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:22-23)

 

What do you believe according to these words?

 

I believe that when called ministers of Christ deal with us by His divine command, in particular when they exclude openly unrepentant sinners from the Christian congregation and absolve those who repent of their sins and want to do better, this is just as valid and certain, even in heaven, as if Christ our dear Lord dealt with us Himself.

 

(The Small Catechism. [St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1986])

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