Skip to content

About Our Staff


Rev. Dr. Lawrence Hand

Senior Pastor

Pastor Hand is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ordained in 1982, Pastor Hand has served a wide variety of ELCA churches in the Northeastern and Southeastern Pennsylvania Synods, and most recently in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, of the Pacifica Synod covering Southern California and the Hawaiian Islands. Prior to joining the Pacifica Synod he served for twelve years as the Assistant to the Bishop for Vocations and Leadership, providing guidance and support to the 174 congregations and rostered professionals of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod in the metropolitan area of Philadelphia. Pastor Hand received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Susquehanna University in central Pennsylvania, his Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and his Doctor of Ministry degree in Marriage and Family Systems from the Eastern Baptist (now Palmer) Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He has conducted a variety of seminars and workshops focusing on leadership and congregational development. He enjoys surfing, painting, fitness training, playing the bass guitar, and is an avid sports fan. Pastor Hand and his wife, Janine, enjoy traveling and the arts.


Tavo Vega

Contemporary Music Leader

Tavo Vega is a recent transplant from Riverside, California where he served as Worship Leader at Magnolia Presbyterian Church for the past six years. When his oldest son received a two year scholarship for cross country athletics and scholastics at SDCC in Santee, Tavo, his wife Chanda, and their high school age son Liam decided to sell the family’s vintage '54 Buick, sell the house, pack up the dog, and follow Dane out to San Diego. Tavo owns and operates a guitar electronics business called Tavo’s passion for leading congregations in contemporary versions of ancient hymns, gospel and praise music has brought him to where he is today.

Quinn Weixel

Office Administrative Assistant

Originally from Columbus,OH. Quinn moved to California almost 3 years ago with her husband Bradley and his parents. She loves spending time with her family and friends but most of all cherishes her faith and Calvary Lutheran Church. During her free time she enjoys going to the beach, exploring California and pursuing her love for photography.

Amanda Backsen

Remote Administrative Assistant

Originally from Fargo, ND *cue Scandinavian accent*, Amanda received two B.S. degrees, one in Criminal Justice and the other in Political Science (because why not??) with a Minor in History, from North Dakota State University, Go BiZon (not biSon)! In her free time, Amanda loves to run with her yellow lab, Macie, read Janet Evanovich & Sue Grafton novels and hang out with her three girls  and her husband Eric.

Ministry Teams

Each team is responsible for supporting the mission and vision of Calvary Lutheran Church.

Congregational Life

Welcome newcomers, build relationships founded in Christian fellowship, and care for member needs.


Faith Formation
Worship and Music