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What to Expect

Visitors are always welcome at Shepherd. If you’re a first-time visitor, here’s what you can expect.

How We Approach Worship:

Worship is our central activity as a family of faith. It’s our weekly family gathering where we sing, pray, learn, and share a meal together. We gather around the table for communion at both services each Sunday. All are welcome to participate fully in each service. You don’t have to be Lutheran and you don’t have to be a member; all are welcome to sing, pray, learn, and celebrate communion with us. Worship services last about an hour.

Dress:

All ages come to worship in clothing suited to the weather, their personal needs, and comfort. We see everything from nice jeans, to business casual, to suits and dresses. Please come as you like.

Communion:

Like a family gathering for Sunday dinner, all are welcome at this table where God is our holy parent and host. You don’t have to be a member of Shepherd and you don’t have to be Lutheran to partake in Holy Communion. As we take bread and wine, we remember that life is a gift from God and we are nourished by God’s love just as we’re nourished by food. Ushers will direct you to the altar rail from the side aisles, and after receiving communion, you’re invited to return to your pew by the center aisle. If you find it difficult to kneel, feel free to remain standing. If you’re unable to come to the front of the sanctuary, a pastor can bring communion to you. Please note that grape juice is available in the center of the serving tray, and gluten-free wafers are available if you ask a pastor.

Children:

Children are always invited to participate in worship, and we like to hear our kids rustling around in the sanctuary. However, we realize there are times when this is very difficult for young children and their families. We have a staffed nursery at both of our worship services and invite families to take advantage of this wonderful play space. During every service, kids are invited forward for a children's message. After that message, kids are typically invited to join one of our pastors in our chapel, outside the sanctuary, for an extended time to learn about the Biblical story of the day while parents remain in the sanctuary for the sermon (although kids are welcome to stay for the sermon if they prefer). The children return to the sanctuary to join their families prior to communion.

Welcome:

We invite you to visit the welcome desk (near the coat racks) before or after the worship service you attend. There, you’ll find information about upcoming opportunities that you’re invited to participate in—and a member will be there to greet you and answer any questions you might have. We hope you’ll also introduce yourself to the pastors after worship; they would love to personally welcome you to Shepherd.

New Member Class:

Interested in learning more about Shepherd or joining our church family? Periodically, we offer a brief new member class that provides an opportunity learn about the mission and ministry of the church. Pastors Scott and Joanna provide an overview of life at Shepherd and the many ways to get involved, and those who want to join will be connected with and welcomed by a current member family. Watch the bulletin and the welcome desk to learn when the next class is—or e-mail office@sothchurch.com to indicate your interest in joining our church family.