Friday Followings with Pastor Tim

Enjoy thoughts, questions, stories, devotions, and more from our Senior Pastor.

Friday Followings: Our Caring Community

Within this large community of faith at Gloria Dei, there are numerous ways in we care for one another. Through prayer, support groups, one on one visits, Stephen Ministry, and in so many other ways, we strive to be a congregation that uplifts and cares for one another. With that being said, this week I want to ask a favor from you.

The Congregational Care Team is in the process of evaluating their ministry and planning for the future. The over-all vision of Congregational Care is to create a culture of care for one another at Gloria Dei. The mission of the Congregational Care Team is to provide care, concern, prayer and support for families and individuals at various stages and circumstance of life in order in to promote growth and service to one another.

The favor is this. Please assist the Care Team by filling out the survey provided. First of all, this survey will allow you to be aware of the many and various ways Congregational Care is happening at Gloria Dei. Secondly, this survey will help us in making plans and continuing this vision of caring into the future.

Please click here to fill it out right now online. It will take just a few minutes. Also, there are printed copies available at church on the Welcome Center and in the church office.

I pray that as the snow falls and the wind blows today that you are safe and warm. We are planning of a full schedule of worship this weekend on both Saturday and Sunday. In preparation, please read Matthew chapter 4.

See you in worship!

Pastor Tim



Friday Followings: Jesus, a New Bus, and Haircuts

Special Giving Appeal – Ministry in Motion – Our Goal is 50k

Jesus, a New Bus, and Haircuts

I’m excited to let the congregation know about two very important ministries. And I’m hopeful that we can raise $50,000 over the next few months to fund them through a Special Giving Appeal.

First, we are in need of a new bus. Actually, we are purchasing a used bus, but one that is much newer and in better shape than our old one. As you know, Wednesdays are big at Gloria Dei. We have 163 children in Church School on Wednesdays and another 171 in confirmation. Of these Wednesday students, 91 are making use of the bus ministry. Every Wednesday afternoon, Gloria Dei picks up Elementary and Middle School kids from school and brings them to church for activities, dinner, and worship. This is an essential ministry and so we need to fund this new bus.

Secondly, you may have heard already about the Gloria Dei Haircut Trailer. Gloria Dei is spearheading a Mission and Outreach project to offer free haircuts to those in need in the Sioux Falls community.

The trailer is complete with heat and air-conditioning, a curb-side step entrance, a handicapped accessible ramp in the rear, and LED lighting. We still need to outfit it with hair salon chairs, a hair washing station, a portable generator, fresh and greywater tanks, and all the equipment necessary to provide a quality haircut to those in need.

This mobile hair salon is about more than free haircuts. This about Dignity. It’s about being made in God’s Image. And it’s about sharing God’s Grace. Every one of God’s children longs for dignity. Every one of God’s children longs to know the grace and good news of Christ. The mobile hair salon will find its place in the Sioux Falls community wherever there is a need to offer dignity, image, and grace through free haircuts.

So Gloria Dei, we have two great opportunities. A New Bus and a Haircut Trailer.

For these “Ministry in Motion” projects we are attempting to raise a total of $50,000. I ask that you pray about these ministries and see if God puts it on your heart to give. The giving is a special appeal, which means it is over and above your regular financial giving.

I invite everyone to participate, whether it be five dollars or 5000 dollars, we all can feel good about supporting these two very important projects. We are all making a difference sharing the love of Jesus in so many ways. Please give as you are able to this Ministry in Motion Appeal.

Ways to Give:
  • Visit www.gloriadei-sd.org/giveonline and click the ‘Donate Now’ button, make sure the ‘Ministry in Motion’ fund is selected.
  • Check or cash marked ‘Ministry in Motion’ in offering plate or delivered to Gloria Dei.

One more thing! Be reminded that our Gloria Dei Annual Meeting is on Sunday, January 26, at 11:45 in the Fellowship Hall. The 2019 Annual Report will be emailed by January 16.

In ministry together with you,

Pastor Tim

P.S. For worship this weekend please read Matthew chapter 3.



Friday Followings: The Unchanging Message

Happy New Year Gloria Dei,

Wow! 2020! A New Year and a New Decade! My family was reminiscing the other day about what has changed in our lives over the past decade and what hasn’t changed. A few of us on staff were doing the same thing yesterday as we looked at Gloria Dei and the changes that have occurred since 2010. Yes, lots has changed. For this congregation, over the past decade we have moved onto a new campus. Some people have moved away. Others have joined this community of faith. Three of our four pastors are new to us over the past decade. We’re almost double the size we were back then.

What has changed in your life and family over the past decade? Lots, I’m sure. And as we stand at the front end of a new decade, none of us can fully predict the changes that will come between now and 2030.

Yet, one thing we do know is that the gospel message never changes. And for good reason. God is our Alpha and Omega. God is with us at our beginning and will still be there when our life on this earth comes to an end. God’s love for us and for this world remains constant. And that’s good news.

Our basic spiritual need is to have that which separates us from God removed, killed, done away with, and fully forgiven. That happens through none other than God’s very own Son, Jesus the Messiah. Take heart! God’s love for you is solid and constant no matter the changes that come. And it is a love that will carry you throughout 2020, all the way to 2030, and all the way into eternity.

I’m excited this weekend to launch into a six month journey with you through the Gospel of Matthew. From now until the end of June we’ll be preaching through this great story of God’s love, centered in Jesus.

And, as a special treat, I’m excited to tell you that our very own seminary student, Hans Lundquist, will kick things off as our guest preacher this weekend. Hans grew up at Gloria Dei and is in the thick of his studies through Luther Seminary, all the while working on the staff of Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids.

For this weekend please read Matthew chapters one and two. The focus will be on 2:1-18.

Happy 2020!  God is good….All the time!  See you in worship!

Pastor Tim



Friday Followings: Knowing Jesus Changes Hearts

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
Just a short note this Friday saying that I hope and trust you had a good Christmas celebration. God entering the world in the person of Jesus is the best gift humanity has ever received. But it’s not just for humanity, it is personal. It is for you.
 
As we close out 2019 and look forward to 2020 we are reminded that God came to this earth to change the human heart. There is no better news to end or begin a year than to know “God loves you.” That’s what Christmas is all about. Open yourself up to God’s loving presence, knowing that in Christ your sins are forgiven and you become new.
 
Our primary purpose as a congregation is to proclaim and live out the Good News of God’s love in Christ and to allow the Holy Spirit to bring about a personal relationship with our Savior. In so doing, hearts are changed. And when hearts are changed, the world is changed. Thanks be to God!
 
A couple of reminders: We won’t be sending an email newsletter on December 30th.
 
Also, we are in the process of planning for ministry in 2020. If you haven’t yet made a financial pledge you are still welcome to do so. Giving to God’s work helps us together to spread the Good News. Use the following link to our Business Manager Holly Brunick.
 
May God continue to bless and keep you always,
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: The Gift of Worship

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
God has placed into the very fabric of creation the gift of Sabbath. It is healthy and good for us to take time regularly to rest and worship God. On the seventh day, God rested. The 3rd Commandment says it well. We are to “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy”.

As December is just about half way over and we’re moving toward the third weekend in Advent, I pray you are finding time in this busy season to worship. As we do, we soak up God’s love for us and we experience a realignment of life through repentance, prayer, singing, sacrament and fellowship. Within worship, God shows up with his word of grace.

This Weekend‘s Worship Opportunities

Saturday, December 14, at 5:00 p.m. we gather for the Service of Hope and Remembrance. During this reflective time of worship we have opportunity to remember and honor loved ones who have gone before us and hear the promises of hope and eternal life in Jesus Christ. God meets us in Holy Communion at this service.

Sunday December 15 at both the 9:00 and 10:30 a.m. services, our choirs, orchestra, and musicians present the annual Advent Cantata as part of our worship together. We pause and allow God’s word of peace to speak to us through music and Scripture.

I also want to remind you that on Christmas Eve, Tuesday December 24th, we have five Christmas Eve celebration services. And just a reminder, again this year we will offer a Christmas Eve morning service which will be a full Christmas Eve, candlelight worship. This option seems to work well in some family schedules.

The full Christmas Eve worship schedule
10:30 a.m. (carols and candlelight)
2:30 p.m. (children and family emphasis)
4:00 p.m. (carols and candlelight)
5:30 p.m. (carols and candlelight)
9:00 p.m. (carols, candlelight, and Holy Communion)

The 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve service has traditionally been our most crowded, often with seating going well back into the gathering area. This is a time many first time visitors come. To help with ample seating, you may want to choose an earlier or later service if it works into your schedule.

I know that God will bless you as you worship with friends, family, and church family. We have the promise and assurance that God shows up in our lives each and every day. May the good news of Christmas fill and inspire you.

Pastor Tim



Friday Followings: Welcome to December

Welcome to December. When we were children it took forever to get to Christmas. Not anymore! We’re already coming up on the second weekend in Advent. As we prepare for Christmas during this season of Advent take time to worship with friends and family and to pause often to give thanks for the coming of the Christ into our world and our lives.
 
At Gloria Dei we are preparing for Christmas in many ways. Wednesday December 11th is the Children’s Christmas program, featuring the Heavenly Harmonies and our 1st through 3rd graders. Come and be blessed at 6:00 p.m. as our children lead us in worship.
 
Saturday December 14th at 5:00 p.m. is the Service of Hope and Remembrance. This is a reflective service providing hope and peace for anyone missing a love one or feeling overwhelmed this season.
 
Sunday December 15 at both the 9:00 and 10:30 a.m. worship is our annual Advent Cantata featuring our choirs and musicians. Through the gifts of music and scripture, we will focus in on the peace that only Christ can bring.
 
We will host five services on Christmas Eve at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. (Children and Family Emphasis), 4:00, 5:30, and 9:00 p.m.
 
Finally, if you haven’t filled out an estimate of giving pledge card, I encourage you to do so. You can mail in your card, or simply bring it to church with you. You can also use this confidential link to our Business Administrator Holly Brunick. This is extremely helpful in making our plans for 2020. We don’t give to a budget. Rather, we give as an act of worship to God and God’s mission in the world to which God calls us to be a part. He has given us our world, our very lives, and the gift of his Son. We are called to give our whole lives to God.
 
I’ll see you in worship this weekend. In preparation please read Matthew 11:2-11.
 
Advent Blessings!
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: Rejoice in the Lord Always

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
Jesus tells many parables about landowners who, upon leaving on a long trip, leave their land in the hands of others to take care of. Of course, Jesus is making the point that God has done the same with us. Certainly God is always with us. However, God does give us the task of being stewards of all the gifts that he has given us to manage.
 
Every week we confess our faith in God, often reciting the Apostles’ Creed, which begins “I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.”
 
The biblical worldview means that God is not just the creator of heaven and earth, but also the owner of heaven and earth. Distinguished bible scholar Dr. Harry Wendt suggests that when we say the first article of the Creed, we ought to add the word “owner”. “I believe in God…. The creator and owner of heaven and earth.”
 
What implications does it have for your life, as a believer and follower of Jesus, if God owns everything, including your very life? What if you and I are simply caretakers, or stewards, of the gifts that God bestows upon us? What if the talents we possess, the resources and money that we say belong to us, even our family, in reality, all belong to God?
 
For me, that truth helps to set me free. This is God’s world. He’s got it. My life belongs to God. He’s got it. My possessions…they aren’t really mine at all. It all belongs to God. And God’s got it. When I truly let that reality sink in and when I live in such a manner, I really do feel free to live with a joy in my heart. God’s got this. And I can live as God calls me to, keeping a love for God and a concern for others in my heart.
 
Our Stewardship theme for this year is Rejoice in the Lord Always. God, the creator and owner of all, has given us life, placed us into this time and space, loves us with an everlasting love, and calls us to use our life for his purposes. Taking care of what God has entrusted to us, how can we not rejoice always?
 
I want to say thank you to all of you. The way in which you use the time, talent, and money that God has entrusted you is evident at Gloria Dei. You are generous in your giving. God calls us to no less.
 
This past Sunday night a good crowd from Gloria Dei gathered at Willow Run. We heard from youth and adults of how Christ is impacting lives for the sake of the gospel. There is no other organization on earth with the mandate to proclaim God’s saving work in Jesus Christ. Your support is needed.
 
This weekend within worship, we will bring our financial pledges for 2020 to the altar as an act of worship. Our offerings support all of the ministry being done, as well as keeping up on our building and mortgage costs. I encourage you to pray about your level of giving to God’s work, and to increase it if possible, as God continues to impact thousands of people for Jesus Christ through this ministry. I encourage all of us to give generously, as the Good News of God’s love for us is indeed the one true and lasting hope for all the world. Again, our giving and support is needed. It is part of our calling as Christians. God has placed us in this time and place to be faithful stewards for God. Rejoice!
 
See You in Worship,
 
Pastor Tim

 

 



Friday Followings: Participating in God’s Vision

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
Someone once asked Helen Keller, “What would be worse than being born blind?” She replied, “To have sight with no vision.”
 
Without vision we are lost. Thankfully, God has a vision for us and for this world. God’s vision is that the very Kingdom of God would reign among us, beginning now and going on forever. And to make that happen God comes down and lives among us. Jesus ushers in the very Kingdom and presence of God. Jesus is God’s way of getting us back from the clutches of sin, death, and the devil.
 
It’s like the little boy who built a toy sailboat. He crafted it, sanded it, varnished it, and took great care in creating it. He loved it. But one day down at the river, the current became strong and the boat got away. The boy was sad that his boat had become lost.
 
About two weeks later he was walking downtown and saw in a toy store window the very boat he had created. It had a for sale sign on it. The boy went in and said to the store owner, “Hey, that’s my boat. I made it.” The owner replied, “Well, that very well may be, but if you want it back it will cost you $20.”
 
For the next two weeks the boy did chores, worked hard and saved his money, all out of love for that boat. When he had $20 he went and bought his boat back. Holding his boat in his hands he looked at it and said, “I created you, I love you, you got lost, but now I have bought you back.”
 
That’s what God says to us. That’s God’s vision for all people. The Bible is the story of God’s relentless pursuit to have us back.
 
And the remarkable reality is that God has chosen to use us within his vision. He equips us with his love and gives us all that we have in order that we would make use of his gifts for the furthering of his vision in the world. God desires all people to have life in Christ’s name.
 
Later this month, during worship on November 20, 23, and 24, we will have opportunity to make our financial pledges to the work God is doing in and through Gloria Dei for the year 2020. As we do, we participate in the furthering of God’s reign in the world. As you give of your time, your talents, and your money, God uses it in powerful ways. At Gloria Dei we are not ashamed of the Gospel, but rather we proclaim it and live it out.
 
Thank you for partnering in this great vision God has for us and for the world. You and I are blessed. And God calls and uses us to be a blessing to the world.
 
See You in Worship!
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: A New (Used) Bus

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
During this month of Stewardship Emphasis and Thanksgiving, as we highlight different ministries going on in and through Gloria Dei, I want to let you know that we are in need and will be purchasing a new (used) bus.
 
Did you know that for years Gloria Dei has picked up children from school on Wednesdays and they are brought to Church School and other Wednesday afternoon activities at church? This year we have over 100 kids, grades K – 8, who are making use of our bus ministry. It’s awesome.
 
Our current bus is quite old and it’s time for a newer one. Beginning in January you will have opportunity to help Gloria Dei pay for the bus. We’ll have some fun “buying a seat or a row of seats or a tank of gas”. Contributions large and small will all add up to the purchase of the bus which will serve us well long into the future. Even the money from the regular Kids Night Out will be used for a few months to help in buying the bus. We’ll have some fun with this special fundraiser. Thank you in advance.
 
Over these next three weeks in weekend worship we are using the theme “Rejoice in the Lord Always! God making and impact through Gloria Dei.” I’ll be preaching this weekend on the intentionality of Gloria Dei keeping the gospel message front and center in our proclamation and life together as a congregation.
 
Later this month, during worship on November 20, 23, and 24, we will have opportunity to make our financial pledges to the work God is doing in and through Gloria Dei for the year 2020. Giving of our time, talents and treasures is a way of saying thank you to God for the gifts he has given us to manage. And furthermore, giving of ourselves and our money to Christ’s work allows us to be part of something much bigger than just ourselves.
 
And don’t forget to RSVP for the adult only night of fellowship, food, and sharing as we gather at the Willow Run Golf Clubhouse on Sunday evening, November 17, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Go onto the website, or the new GD App, or sign up at church. It will be a fun evening together.
 
See You in Worship!
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: All Saints: Gifted, Called, Grateful

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
Happy All Saints Day! This weekend in worship we celebrate All Saints. It’s good for the soul to regularly think of the saints in your life who have made an impact on you. Give thanks for them.
 
I’m looking forward someday to having an eternity to catch up with the saints who not only have been in my life, but the saints from all time. Biblical characters, historical figures, and countless more. What fun we’ll have in heaven!
 
Yet for now, God has gifted us with a promise and a calling. He promises that we belong to him, through Christ, now and forever. And he calls us to be sharers, or evangelists, of the Good News. One of the saints in my life used to say “We as evangelists have two tools: our words and our life.” I like that. By what we say and do, the Lord Jesus is presented to the world. The Holy Spirit then takes those words and deeds, given in love, and creates a living faith in those around us.
 
Later this month, during worship on November 20, 23, and 24, we will have opportunity to make our financial pledges to the work God is doing in and through Gloria Dei. Giving of our time, talents and treasurers is a way of saying thank you to God for the gifts he has given us to manage. And furthermore, giving of ourselves and our money to Christ’s work allows us to be part of something much bigger than just ourselves.
 
During worship in this month of November you’ll be hearing about many of the ministries that go on at Gloria Dei. You’ll see how lives are being impacted for Christ. And as always, through Word and Sacrament, you will be met by Jesus himself, giving you a purpose-filled and gospel centered life.
 
And don’t forget to RSVP for the adult only night of fellowship, food, and sharing as we gather at the Willow Run Golf Clubhouse on Sunday evening, November 17, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Go onto the website, or the new GD App, or sign up at church. It will be a fun evening together.
 
One more reminder. This weekend we will hold elections by written ballot for open positions on Council and other Committees.
 
See You in Worship!
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: Reformation / Confirmation

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
We are so excited and blessed this weekend to have a large group of 9th graders making public profession of their faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord of their lives. We call this confirmation… a profound confirming of God’s promises made to them at their baptisms.
 
The church’s mission, above and beyond anything else, is to be bold about proclaiming the great news of God’s love for this world. And in that proclamation to have people come to faith. The Holy Spirit is at work in powerful ways in all of our lives, but it’s so great to give witness to these young adults proclaiming their faith in God.
 
And what better weekend to do this but Reformation weekend, when we celebrate the church’s rediscovery of the gospel of salvation by grace through faith. Don’t hesitate to wear the color red to church this weekend if you’re so moved. Red, the color of the Holy Spirit, is the color for Reformation worship.
 
A few other items for your information:
 
Be sure to mark your calendars for Sunday November 17. Two important events this day.
 
The first is a presentation by the Gloria Dei Holy Land Travelers. We’re calling this “Holy Land Reflections”. Last March a group of 42 traveled and toured the Holy Land. We want to share our experience with you. We’ll be gathering in the Fellowship Hall following the 2nd worship service. We’ll show pictures and tell stories and share reflections about our journey.  Please come. We’ll meet at 11:45 a.m. and go for about an hour.
 
Secondly, on that same day, the congregation is invited to an adult only fellowship event at the Willow Run Golf Course Clubhouse. We’ll enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, great conversation, and we’ll hear from members and pastors about the ongoing vision and ministry at Gloria Dei. This fellowship event will begin at 5:00 p.m. and go until 7:00. We would like to get RSVP’s for this, so click here, call the church office, or sign up at the Welcome Center.
 
And finally, just a notice to all that our elections for open council and committee positions will take place via written ballot during worship on the weekend of November 2nd and 3rd, and on Wednesday November 6th.
 
Thank you for your partnership in the good news of Jesus Christ,
 
See you in worship,
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: Two Important (and fun) Events

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
I hope it’s the same for you, but I sure do enjoy being together in community at Gloria Dei. Our mission and vision statement says “Freed by Christ, We Gather, Grow, Give, and Go, all to the Glory of God”. And I might add, we have fun doing it.
 
This week I simply want to tell you of two events, both enjoyable, that are happening on the same day. Be sure to mark your calendars for Sunday November 17.
 
The first is a presentation by the Gloria Dei Holy Land Travelers. We’re calling this “Holy Land Reflections”. Last March a group of 42 traveled and toured the Holy Land. We want to share our experience with you. We’ll be gathering in the Fellowship Hall following the 2nd worship service. We’ll show pictures and tell stories and share reflections about our journey.  Please come. We’ll meet at 11:45 a.m. and go for about an hour.
 
Secondly, on that same day, the congregation is invited to an adult only fellowship event at the Willow Run Golf Course Clubhouse. We’ll enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, great conversation, and we’ll hear from members and pastors about the ongoing vision and ministry at Gloria Dei. This fellowship event will begin at 5:00 p.m. and go until 7:00. We would like to get RSVP’s for this, so call the church office, sign up online HERE, or stop by the Welcome Center at church.
 
Thank you for your partnership in the good news of Jesus Christ,
 
See you in worship,
 
Pastor Tim