Worship at Gloria Dei Saturdays 5:00pm, Sundays 9:00am and 10:30am

The Reliability and Faithfulness of God

Hello Gloria Dei,

Our backyard faces east. I often will go onto our back porch with a cup of coffee in the morning and watch the sun come up. As I did that this week, I was reminded how reliable God is.

We are living in uncertain times. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last. ELCA presiding bishop Elizabeth Eaton shared an article recently in the September issue of the Living Lutheran magazine. The article served both as a good history lesson about uncertain times in the past. But also as a beacon of hope for the future.

I pray every single day for this pandemic to end. There has been immeasurable suffering and loss for countless numbers of people and families. Bishop Eaton reminds us that Martin Luther’s great hymn “A Mighty Fortress” was written in a time of uncertainty. He had been excommunicated from the church. The bubonic plague was rampant, and Luther’s seven-year-old daughter had died. Wars and rumors of wars were on the horizon. His time was maybe even more uncertain than ours.

Yet Luther found his hope in the reliability and goodness of God. Just as the sun comes up each day, so God’s love, grace, and presence give us hope for today and for the future. “A Mighty Fortress”, based on Psalm 46, ends with the words: “Were they to take our house, goods, honor, child, or spouse, though life be wrenched away, they cannot win the day. The kingdom’s ours forever.”

Just as God used the work and efforts of the Reformers to help bring about a new world, so too God can and does use us, even during uncertain times, to bring about something new. As part of our IMAGINE Stewardship emphasis, we are lifting up the exciting need for Gloria Dei to increase it’s capability for Live Stream technology and to add to it’s already fine social media presence. Even as we pray for this pandemic to end, we can see this unsettling time as an opportunity to broaden and reshape the delivery of the Good News of Jesus Christ. We can see this unsettling time as an opportunity to tell the great biblical story and how it is playing out in and through all of us at Gloria Dei.

I want to ask all of you to pray about your level of financial giving to Gloria Dei for the year 2021. Soon we will have opportunity to make our Estimates of Giving for next year. Gloria Dei needs to stay strong and vibrant, especially now, as we look at the opportunities placed before us. The world needs hope. The world needs the message of Jesus.

Finally, I want to remind you that we are in regular communication with the appropriate medical personnel as we monitor our activity level at Gloria Dei. We are pleased with the ways in which we have slowly and safely moved back to in person worship and in person programming. If, however, we need to pivot and slow down due to the pandemic, we will communicate with you promptly and clearly. The Church Council is paying close attention as we strive to move forward while being responsible and staying safe. Christ’s calling to love one another is our number one priority.

See you in worship. If you are not able to be at church in person, the 9:00 a.m. service is Live Streamed.

Pastor Tim

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