Frequently Asked Questions

What are the worship services like?
Our services are Lutheran in character, informal yet reverent, with both traditional and contemporary aspects. It’s easy to follow with everything printed out in the worship folder and on the screen.
What is the appropriate dress for worship?
There is just no rule here. Some wear suits, some wear shorts – it’s just not an issue
Are children welcomed?
We LOVE kids! We have childcare for those 5 and under in the nursery (at the back of the chapel), we have “kid kits” available to help keep the little ones busy, and there is a special “children’s message” by the pastor during the worship service.
What is your practice with Communion?
Communion is celebrated every Sunday. If you have never celebrated this with us, we invite you to speak with the pastor or email him at pastor@svlchurch.org or phone him at 760.433.9250. We practice “First Communion” for children 10 and/or in the fifth grade with special classes of preparation. We welcome those who are baptized, who are repentant, and who believe that Christ is truly, really present in the bread and wine. Young children and those seeking a blessing instead are welcome to come forward, arms crossed. We use wine, but we have some white grape juice also available for those who should avoid wine.
Are your facilities handicapped accessible?
Yes. There are no steps whatsoever on our property; we have compliant restrooms.
Will I be asked for money?
No. Guests are not expected to contribute to the offering (although you are welcome to do so). Our ministries are supported by our members. Money is not a common topic, although we do have one or two Sundays when that is the focus. All contributions are anonymous.
Is there a “fellowship” time after the service?
Yes. We have a nice patio at the entrance and we gather there after our services for complimentary coffee and refreshments. Many stay for some time, getting to know each other and enjoying each other’s company. We are a close, friendly, caring family. Guests are encouraged to stay for this fellowship time after the service.
Are members of the military welcomed?
Of course! We began as a ministry especially for Marines and we still have a very special place in our hearts for the military! We also have a special military membership that allows folks to retain their main membership “back home” but ALSO be a full member here. We joyously embrace our military brothers and sisters for as long as they are in the Oceanside area. We are quick to embrace people and we hope it’s mutual.
To what branch of Lutheranism does Shepherd of the Valley belong?
We are proud to be a part of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, a conservative/confessional group founded in 1847. But we are a diverse family coming from a WIDE variety of backgrounds (most didn’t grow up Lutheran at all). We not only fully welcome other Lutherans but indeed all Christians and seekers. We are an embracing family.