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

Vine and Branches

Vine and Branches
Hello Gloria Dei,

Lorrie and I lived for a time in the “wine country” of Northern California. Upon graduation from seminary, the first church I served, Bethlehem Lutheran, was on the outskirts of the city of Santa Rosa. There were vineyards all around. We love getting back to that part of the country. If you have ever been in that area, you know it is a beautiful part of God’s creation. If you haven’t, it is worth the trip.

In the bible passage for this coming weekend in worship, Jesus talks to his disciples (and to us) and he uses the image of a vineyard.

[Jesus says] “I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who abide in Me and I in them bear much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Just as a vine brings water and nutrients to the branches in order that the grapes can grow strong, so Jesus’ love and sacrifice for us bring us the living water and spiritual nutrients to live productive and “fruit-bearing” lives.

I find it interesting that in this passage (John 15:1-17) Jesus says that the branches often need to be pruned. Without proper pruning, the branches become unmanageable and draw nutrients away from the fruit. Pruning allows the grapes to grow in a healthy manner.

During this season of Lent, and always, it is good to reflect on our own lives to see what might need to be pruned away in order that our lives can become even more healthy and fruit-bearing. Do some reflecting on this, and then ask God, the vinedresser, to work in a way that cuts out the unhealthy parts of your life with the intent of producing a strong and vibrant disciple of Christ.

It is a joy and privilege for each one of us to be connected to Jesus, the vine. As we abide in him and he in us, our lives are filled with their proper purpose: to bear fruit in his name.

James Hersch Helping to Lead Worship this Weekend

As we worship together this weekend, I want you to know that local singer and songwriter James Hersch will be helping to lead worship. James has been at Gloria Dei in the past, and he is well known in South Dakota and around the Midwest. Many of our praise team members are traveling this weekend to another church for some Continuing Education. We are blessed to have James with us.

Communion and Offering Plate Update

Speaking of grapes and wine, for most of these past two years, because of COVID and health concerns, we have communed in our seats. I want you to know that we will resume coming forward for Holy Communion on the weekend of May 1st. In addition, during Holy Week, as we share Communion on Maundy Thursday, we will come forward on this night to receive the wafer and cup of wine or juice. On Maundy Thursday, many of our young people will receive their first communion.

One more thing: we will once again be passing offering plates beginning the first weekend in April.

Happy Spring and may God continue to bless you, now and always.

See you in worship!

Pastor Tim
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