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

Posts with the category “friday-followings”

Executive Pastor / COO Search
by Gloria Dei on June 24th, 2022
... Sara Dannen, and I sent an email letter to the congregation regarding our search for an Executive Pastor / COO. As we explained in that letter, this position is open to qualified clergy and lay persons within the church. As an update, our Call Committee has met twice.  Read More
Sojourners with Jesus
by Gloria Dei on June 17th, 2022
" ... we are sojourners through this life and this world, and that our true home is in heaven forever. Yes, we are travelers and sojourners, and our lives matter to God."  Read More
Summer on the Mount
by Gloria Dei on June 10th, 2022
He gives us our identity and purpose, as salt and light for the world, in his name. He then goes on to describe what this way, or new kingdom looks like. As you read through these three chapters, you will discover that these are not easy teachings. Yet Jesus casts a vision for what his desired kingdom looks like, even as it is breaking into the world even now.  Read More
Thanks for the Conversation
by Gloria Dei on June 3rd, 2022
... last week’s Friday Followings in which I encouraged all of us to Pray and Act in response to the recent shootings in our nation. I thank you for taking me up on the invitation for dialogue. I hope to keep the dialogue going. I thank you for your continued prayers for the victims and their families, and for the many who have said they have and will write to our government representatives. I hope we can continue to talk of this and other issues with respect and trust of one another. It is helpful conversation. Another part of this conversation is, of course, mental health.   Read More
Lord, Have Mercy
by Gloria Dei on May 27th, 2022
I had written another version of this Friday Following message earlier this week. And then the unthinkable happened, again. Another mass shooting. To be very honest, I struggle with what to say. We all have been bombarded with news reports and social media comments. Is there something… anything to say?  Read More
Happy Thanksgiving… But Wait, It’s Ma
by Gloria Dei on May 20th, 2022
I can still picture the smile on his face when he said, “Thank You”. It was a reminder to me that life is much better when we can pause and say thank you – living always with a sense of gratitude.  Read More
Thank You Teachers and Volunteers
by Gloria Dei on May 13th, 2022
Paul didn’t condemn their ways, he simply and profoundly found a way to connect Jesus to their world. Paul was a gifted teacher and witness for Christ. This weekend is the final weekend for church school classes for this school year. As we come to the close of this school and program year, I want to say a big word of thanks to all ...  Read More
What Must I Do to be Saved?
by Chris Zuraff on May 6th, 2022
Hello Gloria Dei,“What must I do to be saved?” Never in the history of humankind has there been a more important question. In our brief preaching series entitled “Easter People”, we are spending a bit of time in the book of Acts. The question about salvation is asked by a jailor who is given the job of keeping the apostles, Paul and Silas, in prison.I encourage you to read about all of this in Act...  Read More
Community Events - You Are Invited
by Gloria Dei on April 29th, 2022
This week I simply want to highlight two of the many events that are happening in and through Gloria Dei.  Read More
Executive Pastor/COO Search
by Gloria Dei on April 22nd, 2022
... to let you know that at our recent Church Council meeting, we made the decision to move forward in filling the Executive Pastor / COO position that was vacated by Pastor Stensgaard upon his retirement this past December. Our Council President, Sara Dannen, and I will be sending an email letter to all members of the congregation within the next two weeks. In our letter we will provide more details regarding the search/call process.  Read More
Our True and Certain Hope
by Gloria Dei on April 15th, 2022
This question sets the stage for all of us. What are you looking for? We all want a meaningful, purpose-filled life. We all are hoping for real life and truth.   Read More
Palm Sunday
by Gloria Dei on April 8th, 2022
Some 2000 years ago, as Jesus walked the road, people were lining the streets, waving their palm branches and hailing him as their king. “Hosanna to the Son of David”, they shouted in celebration. Hosanna is a word used to express praise and joy. It also can mean “God Save Us.”  Read More
Entire Gloria Dei Staff Resigns
by Gloria Dei on April 1st, 2022
I am deeply saddened to tell you that the entire Gloria Dei staff, lay and clergy, have resigned their positions, effective immediately.  Read More
Vine and Branches
by Gloria Dei on March 25th, 2022
... 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.  Read More
Jesus and March Madness
by Gloria Dei on March 18th, 2022
The disciples don’t understand. They think this is all “Madness”. Jesus says to them: “You know the way where I am going.” Thomas is confused. He asks Jesus an honest question: “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?  Read More
Jesus’ Foot-Washing Brigade
by Gloria Dei on March 11th, 2022
"...and then God sends us out of the sanctuary and out of the parking lot into the world. And out in the world our role is to be servants ..."  Read More
Looking to Scripture for Comfort and Assurance
by Gloria Dei on March 4th, 2022
When the world news becomes overwhelming, as we are seeing this week as Russia invades Ukraine, and when our own lives get complicated for any reason, it is good to search the words of Scripture for comfort, strength, and assurance.  Read More
Mulling over the Miracles
by Gloria Dei on February 25th, 2022
So often in my life I find myself just sort of cruising along and not paying attention. It isn’t until something dramatic happens (good or bad) that I can see God at work. To be honest, the day to day stuff seems more like mundane monotony that it does miraculous. The miraculous is rarely measurable and mostly miniscule. That is until I look back.  Read More
Mountain Top Experience
by Gloria Dei on February 18th, 2022
Being in the Holy Land helped to rearrange the furniture in my brain and better picture the stories in the bible better. It has helped me to understand some of the little details and to read the bible a little more closely.  Read More
Super Bowl and the Bread of Life
by Gloria Dei on February 11th, 2022
But I will admit that the top ten list doesn’t appear to be terribly healthy. But hey, it’s the Super Bowl, right? Let me tell you what is healthy, ...  Read More
Believing Without Seeing
by Chris Zuraff on February 4th, 2022
Hello Gloria Dei,For this week in worship, please read John 4:46-54. It is a fascinating account of a man who is desperate for Jesus’ help. The man, a royal government official, has a young son who is sick, even to the point of near death. This man has probably never met Jesus before, but he has undoubtedly heard about him. As I said, he is desperate, so he’ll do anything to try and save his son.T...  Read More
Giving Witness to Jesus
by Gloria Dei on January 28th, 2022
... the effect that this water (a relationship with Jesus) has on the Woman at the Well. When she encounters Jesus, she is changed. And she ultimately runs back to her town and tells all the people about Jesus and the life he provides. She becomes not just a disciple (learner), but an apostle (one who is sent).  Read More
Holy Encounters with Jesus
by Gloria Dei on January 21st, 2022
we are let in on a beautiful and intriguing conversation between Jesus and a Pharisee named Nicodemus (See John 3:1-21). Nicodemus had heard about Jesus. He apparently had even heard Jesus teach and preach. And Nicodemus was curious. He was looking for something missing in his life, and he wondered if Jesus could possibly ...   Read More
Meet Hate with Love
by Gloria Dei on January 14th, 2022
Was he right? I wondered. Could simply acting in love in the face of hostility really make a difference?  Read More
Epiphany - Aha
by Gloria Dei on January 7th, 2022
In Jesus there is something new. Not the old ways of the Law which dictated rules which became burdens… but new wine, symbolizing a New Covenant. The way to God is not through absolute purity and a perfect adherence to a check list of do’s and don’ts, but now it is through faith in Jesus Christ. And that faith and trust gets put into action to love and serve God and neighbor.  Read More
Christ is Born
by Gloria Dei on December 23rd, 2021
Yet, on this holiest of days, we celebrate once again the reality of God’s love entering our world and our lives in a person, Jesus, God’s Son. And so, on behalf of the entire Gloria Dei staff, “Merry Christmas!”  Read More
God's Peaceful Kingdom
by Gloria Dei on December 17th, 2021
... biblical texts of Advent is Isaiah chapter 11, verses 1 through 9. It is a vision of how God desires things to be. It is a vision of the Peaceful Kingdom of God. Wolf and Lamb, Calf and Lion, all living together peacefully; not devouring one another; not seeking harm to the other. Of course, the animal kingdom serves as a metaphor for how God envisions things amongst us humans.  Read More
The Gift of Worship
by Gloria Dei on December 10th, 2021
God has placed into the very fabric of creation the gift of Sabbath. Genesis tells us that on the seventh day, God rested. The 3rd Commandment says it well. We are to “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy”. It is healthy and good for us to take time regularly to rest and to worship God.  Read More
Advent/Christmas Schedule
by Gloria Dei on December 3rd, 2021
I simply want to remind you of some of what is happening at Gloria Dei this month.   Read More
A Time to Meet Jesus
by Gloria Dei on November 26th, 2021
During Advent, take some time alone and dwell on the reality that God really does love you. As we come out of our National Day of Thanksgiving, pause and give thanks for the truth of God becoming flesh in the person of Jesus. For you! For you! For you!  Read More
I Thank My God Every Time I Remember You
by Gloria Dei on November 19th, 2021
As you know, this weekend is Pastor Dwight’s last weekend with us in worship. He will be retiring from professional ministry, but will continue, like all of us, to let his light shine for Christ in many and various ways. “To you, Pastor Dwight, we say Thank You!” We have been blessed by Dwight’s ministry among us. For these past eight years he has served faithfully as our first Executive Pastor / COO. In all, Dwight has been a pastor for 42 years. Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant!  Read More
RENEW Isaiah 40:31
by Gloria Dei on November 12th, 2021
We remain strong in our commitment to be gospel-centered and to proclaim the Good News of Jesus to all. And we remain strong in our commitment to join with God in taking care of one another, both within and outside of this congregation, spiritually and physically.  Read More
All Saints
by Gloria Dei on November 5th, 2021
As we approach All Saints weekend, take time to give thanks to God for all the people who have mentored you in the faith. Your faith is a gift from God, and it has been passed on to you by a multitude of saints in your life. This weekend is truly a weekend to give thanks. One of the living saints of God who has made a lasting impact not only on me and our staff, but also on this whole congregation, is Pastor Dwight Stensgaard. As you know, Pastor Dwight has announced his retirement. Sunday, November 21, will be Dwight’s last Sunday at Gloria Dei.  Read More
Reformation and Confirmation
by Gloria Dei on October 29th, 2021
In conjunction with Reformation, a large group of 9th graders will be making public profession of their faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord of their lives. We call this confirmation… a profound confirming, or affirming, of God’s promises made to them at their baptisms.  Read More
The Greatest of These is Love
by Gloria Dei on October 22nd, 2021
The Christian faith starts and ends with love. “For God so loved…” It is at the heart of the good news. And when that love, freely given as a gift, gets a hold of a people, it leads to lives filled with overflowing love for God and neighbor.  Read More
Soaring Like Eagles
by Gloria Dei on October 15th, 2021
Every single one of us, at times, needs renewal. These past two years the world has faced a global pandemic. In our own country we’ve seen division and disunity running rampant. Maybe you’ve faced hardships in your life. Maybe you’re just plain tired.  Read More
Pastor Dwight is Retiring
by Gloria Dei on October 8th, 2021
We are all equals at the foot of Jesus’ cross.  Read More
Core Value Number Four Loving and Caring for our Neighbors
by Gloria Dei on October 1st, 2021
Loving and Caring for Our Neighbors. Those across the street and across the world. All people, of every tribe and race, are created and loved by God. All people are our neighbors.  Read More
Core Value Number Three We Are a Luke 15 Congregation
by Gloria Dei on September 24th, 2021
Come to worship and be welcomed by a God who never stops looking for you and pursuing you… a God who runs out to meet you with the words “Welcome Home.”  Read More
Growing in Christ “I Am the Vine, You are the Branches”
by Gloria Dei on September 17th, 2021
When I was learning to drive way back at age 15, my two older brothers, Mark and Dan, took it upon themselves to teach me how to drive a manual transmission car. I was appreciative. Mark drove a Toyota Corolla (or Corona, I don’t recall) and Dan drove a Ford Pinto (anyone remember the Pinto?). Both cars were manual transmission, complete with stick shift and clutch. As they were teaching me, the number one lesson was to ...  Read More