What to Expect
It's not easy visiting a new church for the first time. Sometimes you feel like a non-member visiting a country club...
Do I belong here? Am I really welcome? Will the people be unfriendly, or too friendly? Will I be conspicuous? Will it be easy to leave if I don't enjoy it? Will they ask me for money? Will my kids enjoy it? How should I dress? Am I welcome if I don't believe?
It is our goal to make your visit an enjoyable experience; easy, stress-free, and relaxing. We want Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church to be easy and comfortable for everyone... whatever your background, or current or past lifestyle, even if you have never been to church before.
What will I see?
Sunday Service is at 9:00 a.m. When you come into the front door, there should be some friendly people (we call them "greeters") to say hello, answer any questions you have, and direct you to the sanctuary(the worship space). If you have children, they are welcome to attend the service with you. Every Sunday we have a children's message. There are special bulletins for kids (with puzzles and activities that relate to the message that Sunday). On the 4th Sunday of the month at 10:30 a.m. we have Sunday School for all ages, (newborns through age 108).
What Do I Wear?
God doesn't have a dress code, neither do we. We encourage you to come as you are comfortable. The people you will see on any given Sunday at Shepherd of the Valley will be dressed in everything from casual dress, to shirt and tie, or a dress (and anything in between). People usually spend a few minutes before or after service to greet each other. Our church staff and volunteers enjoy meeting visitors, so feel comfortable introducing yourself and they will help you find your way.
At the Front Door
You'll be given a copy of the order of worship (We call it a Bulletin), which has the week's announcements and some information about today's service. If you choose to give us your name and email address, we will send you a newsletter. We won't add you to a mailing list (unless you check that box) or give your information out. Please don't ever feel obligated to give money during the service, unless you want to. The offering is for those who consider Shepherd of the Valley their church home.
The service usually begins a musical introduction while people visit or spend time in prayer in preparation for worship. After a time of worship, some key announcements are usually shared. The pastor or guest speaker usually speaks for about 15 minutes. The message is something you can actually use, and that makes sense to your life. The message will be based on the Bible. We also use the Evangelical Lutheran Worship Hymnal (it's the cranberry-colored hymnal in the pew pocket). You will hear solid Christian theology in intelligent, understandable, relevant terms. And hopefully, you'll laugh at times and maybe feel a tug at your heart, too.
Communion is offered at every Worship Service and ALL are welcome to come forward for communion. We'll close the service about 60-75 minutes after it began. We hope to meet you afterwards. Admittedly it can be awkward to visit with people that you may not know. Church is about God and worship, but it's also about community and friendship, so we hope you really experience warmth and friendliness.
After the service we hope you'll stay around, meet some people, and enjoy some coffee and refreshments.
That's about it. If you don't yet have a church home, we hope you'll stop by this Sunday. And if you do, please come and say hi!
We are looking forward to meeting you!