We recognize that, as a visitor to our faith community, you may be a lifelong Lutheran, a born-and-raised Catholic, or maybe you’ve never set foot in a church in your life. No matter your background, you are more than welcome in our doors. In case you have some questions about what to expect on your first visit, we’ve done our best to answer them below.
We are located in the city of Thousand Oaks, at the corner of Arboles and Mount Clef; our address is 1 West Avenida de Los Arboles. You are welcome to park anywhere in the lot that surrounds our campus, but please note that the circle drive near the sanctuary building is reserved for dropping off passengers (we like to keep this clear for a bus that brings guests from a nearby assisted living center). We have disabled parking spaces available for those who need them, and there is additional street parking on Arboles, for occasions when our lot is full.
Worship is held weekly at 9:30 and 11 a.m. on Sundays.
If you decide to attend our 9:30 am informal service, you’ll encounter a casual experience (with an equal value in praising and developing our relationship with God). Music in this service is led by a praise band, which plays a variety of instruments. These services can be more hands on, as sometimes attendees are asked to discuss questions with those seated around them or to join around some tables to contribute to an art piece. Of course you can participate in these activities at a level you find comfortable.
At 11 am, we host traditional services. Music is led by a choir with a piano and pipe organ. These services follow a Lutheran pattern of what is called “liturgy,” (from the Greek "leitourgia" meaning 'work for the people’). If you’re unfamiliar with this type of worship, you can follow along with one of our printed bulletins and words projected on the screen to guide you.
Both services follow a pattern of:
A few times a year we will merge the service styles so we can worship together as a full church body.
Generally speaking, families with small or adolescent children attend our 9:30 informal worship service, while our traditional services tend to be made up of our older members. However, anyone of any age is welcome at whichever service he/she/they feels comfortable.
We have two areas specifically created for kids to assist our families with kids who need to move around a little more. 1. A wiggle room with toys for small children and a connected bathroom inclusive of a changing table. 2. A 'pray space' where kids can color and play with play-doh all while still being able to see and hear what is happening in worship.
At each service, one of our ushers will greet you and offer you a printed bulletin, which includes prayers, Scripture readings, and hymns so you can follow along. All parts of the services are also projected on the wall for the congregation to see.
During the school year PreK-5th grade children and their families are invited to intergenerational faith formation activities. Typically, we meet on the first two Sundays of the month from 10:45-11:30. We call it "Faith Explorers." We find that a two-Sunday committment felt manageable for our families. We sing, we read stories, crafts, and even do service projects together.
During worship we have a "Pray Space" in the sanctuary where kids can color, read, or just feel a little more comfortable. We also have a “Wiggle Room” located off the entrance to the sanctuary. Parents can sit in the space and still hear and see the worship service while little ones can crawl around or play with toys.
Our Middle and High School youth are invited to participate in the services and to attend youth group on various days throughout the month. Many of our youth have become AV/techs and help run the projector and livestream during worship. We have Confirmation classes for middle school youth one time per month and youth group meets 2-3 times per month. Contact Pastor Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Communion is the time during the worship when we share a small piece of bread (or a wafer) and wine to experience God’s presence and to remember what Jesus Christ has done for us. It is one way we remember, honor, and celebrate the gift of God's grace in our lives. This time is also sometimes called the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist (a Greek word meaning “true gift” or “good gift”). As Lutherans, we believe that when we gather together to share bread and wine as Christ told us to do, and hear Jesus' words of forgiveness and remembrance, then we can really experience the presence of Christ in a mysterious and life-giving way. Lutherans call the Sacrament of Holy Communion a “means of grace.” It is a time when we can point to where God’s gift of love comes to us and know that God is with us.
Because Lutherans believe communion is a gift from God, we believe anyone can receive communion no matter where they are on their journey of faith. We host an “open table,” which means you are welcome to come forward to receive bread and wine no matter what church you have previously attended, or if you are from a non-Christian background. If you feel the call of Christ on your heart to participate, we believe such is the work of the Holy Spirit; please feel free to dine with us and join in giving thanks.
Children are always welcome to come forward and receive a blessing or receive communion.
For those who would like, we offer workshops that explain the sacrament of communion to children and adults alike. If you are interested in a class for your child or yourself, please notify one of our pastors or the church office.
Like communion, Lutherans believe baptism is a means of grace. It is the symbolic ritual through which we believe we are washed of our sins and given new life in Christ. If you want to be baptized or have your children baptized, we provide an orientation with a brief period of instruction and conversation about the meaning of baptism for Lutherans. Please contact the church office or one of our pastors if you are interested in baptism for yourself or your children.
While some people do dress up for church at Holy Trinity, there are many who will dress more casually. We are glad you will be worshiping with us and invite you to come as you are.