Friday Followings with Pastor Tim

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

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


Friday Followings: Reminder: Please Opt In to the Gloria Dei Directory

I’m looking forward to seeing you all in worship this weekend. We’ll continue one more week on our theme of God and Baseball. The Major League Baseball playoffs continue, and even though the beloved Minnesota Twins are out, we’ll learn some great lessons from Baseball and the Bible.
 
One other item to mention. A few weeks ago you first heard about our new Gloria Dei online member directory. I want to give a plug for that again this week. To be included in this directory, you need to opt-in. I encourage all of you to opt in, so that this directory can be as helpful as possible to all of us.  Here are some details.
 
With an online directory, you control when your information gets updated!
 
In order to make the online directory useful, we’re encouraging everyone to fill out this Online Directory Form. Again, our online directory is ‘Opt-In’ meaning that your information will not be available to other Gloria Dei members unless you ‘Opt-In.’ In a big church like Gloria Dei, it can be hard to get to know everyone, so we are really encouraging everyone to take the time to fill out the form and update your picture. Our office team is happy to help you complete the form if you need, so don’t hesitate to call or stop in and ask. We will give everyone the option in worship to simply check “Opt In” in the Dei Worker sheet, and the office team will make sure you’re in. The more who opt in, the better our directory becomes.
 
In the online process, you’ll be asked to complete the form for each of your family members in your household. If your children are older and have moved out, please ask them to complete the form for themselves. Updating your information with a home, cell, and work phone number (include area code), your preferred email address, and your physical address will also help to make sure you’re getting emails and mailings from Gloria Dei. Once you’ve filled out the form, you’ll be invited to create a login and password to access the directory. There you can control what information is shown (For example, you may not want to include your work phone, or you may want to make your email address private). You can control what is accessible to others in your Gloria Dei family of faith. It will take some time for your information to show up to other Gloria Dei members who’ve logged in, so please be patient and check back again in a couple of days.
 
And maybe even more exciting, you get to upload your own pictures! No more church photography companies pressuring you to buy their products. Upload a headshot from work, a selfie, or a cropped photo from that last family photoshoot. You can even upload a picture of your whole family.
 
Finally, your information is completely secure, and we will not share your information with anyone other than Gloria Dei members. If you have questions about data security, or anything else, you can talk with Cicely Schock in the office or Pastor Chris.
 
Click Here to fill out the form and ‘Opt-In’ to our online directory.
 
Click here to view the Online Directory, or find our Online Directory in our new app, Gloria Dei – Sioux Falls.
 
Thanks, and I’ll see you in worship!
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings | It’s Playoff Time: God and Baseball

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
I’m pumped. It’s baseball playoff time and the Minnesota Twins are in the playoffs. If you’re a Twins fan you know that doesn’t always happen. Praise the Lord!
 
In honor of playoff time, over the next couple of weekends I’ll be preaching a short, two week series on God, the Bible, and Baseball. Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, you’ll enjoy and be enriched by the message of baseball and the Bible.
 
Growing up I played on lots of baseball teams. And the best coaches were the ones who had a plan for every practice and for every game. Imagine arriving to a baseball practice and the coach having no direction for the players. Or imagine coming to a baseball game where the coach had no idea who was pitching or what the batting order might be.
 
The successful coaches I had in baseball were the ones who showed up with a goal in mind.
 
The same is true for our Christian life. If someone were to ask you what the goal of the Christian life is, how would you answer? Maybe you’d say “The goal is to do good stuff.” Or maybe “to go to church.” Or maybe “learning to be a better person.” All of those are important.
 
Yet listen to what the apostle Paul says in Ephesians 3:10. “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, so that I may attain the resurrection.” And again in verse 14. “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.”
 
Paul teaches us that our goal is to know Christ. Not just in our heads, but in our hearts. Let the love of Jesus pervade your very being. Get to know him by Scripture reading, prayer, worshiping with fellow Christians, and by knowing of his great sacrifice for you. Even in our sufferings, we can rejoice, as God has redeemed us and is with us always.
 
I’m glad my baseball coaches always had a goal and plan in mind. Make knowing Jesus more and more your goal throughout life. And come this weekend as we take a look at God and baseball. Go Twins!
 
See you in worship,
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: Open Arms Addiction Ministry

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
For my Friday Followings this week I simply want to include a letter from Pastor Chris. It highlights an important ministry going on here at Gloria Dei, and a survey that we invite you to fill out anonymously this weekend. Blessings and I’ll see you in worship.
———
Dear Gloria Dei faith family,
 
I’m writing today with something that God has been nudging me about for some time. Addiction has touched many of our lives and I believe that the church is called to respond with “Open Arms” in support, both for those who are or have faced addiction, as well as their families and friends.
 
Every addiction story is unique, but not one addiction story is exempt from God’s redemptive love. Like the Prodigal Son in the Gospel of Luke, every single person suffering from addiction is forgiven and welcomed with “Open Arms” into God’s redeeming love. At Gloria Dei, we want you to know that you can trust God and trust your church family with your story. No matter how broken, no matter how painful, you can trust God and your church family.
 
It’s important for you to know that our Recovery Advocates are here and waiting to help. And we want to be as helpful as possible. So this weekend in worship we’re asking Gloria Dei members to fill out a confidential survey to help us better understand the need in our church. We don’t want your name or contact information with this survey. We simply want your honesty. It will better help us do the ministry God is calling us to.
 
Please, take a few minutes to fill out this form when you are in the pews and place it in the Open Arms box at the Welcome Center. We’d be forever grateful to know the ways in which we can better serve God and our congregation.
 
Thank you and God bless,
 
Pastor Chris Zuraff


Friday Followings: Biblical Fashion Show

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
This past weekend we took a look at Biblical Fashion. In other words, now that the Good News of Jesus as Savior and Lord of lives is a reality for us, what kind of “clothing” is God calling and equipping us to wear? And by clothing, the Bible isn’t talking about what we wear on the outside, but those qualities and attributes that begin on the inside and then shine out to the world.
 
We began last week with Forgiveness. Forgiveness is often times hard to “put on”. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we love to receive it, but it can be hard to give.
 
This week we continue with our theme of Biblical Fashion. And we continue in Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Read once again Colossians 3:12-17. Which of these attributes listed are easy for you to put on? Which ones are harder? Which ones come naturally? With whom do you share them? In worship we’ll continue to explore the clothing that reflects the very Kingdom of God.
 
Wednesday worship is up and running too. Our theme for the next two months on Wednesdays is to share one of Jesus’ many parables each week. Worship begins at 6 pm and goes for about 35 minutes. Of course, all are welcome.
 
One more thing. Pay attention to your email this coming Monday. We have a Big Announcement you don’t want to miss. (Don’t worry, we are not relocating our campus again. And no, no one is leaving). But this announcement involves all of us. So be ready!
 
See you in worship,
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: What Are You Wearing?

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
I’m fortunate to have a wife and daughter who attempt to keep my fashion and clothing style up to date. They have a tough job, because there’s not much to work with, but they do their best. Someone once said, “Clothes make the man” or “Clothes make the woman.”
 
This weekend in worship we are starting a three week preaching series called “Biblical Fashion Show.”  We’ll be focusing in on chapter three of Paul’s letter to the Colossians, particularly verses 12 to 17.
 
The Bible tells us that more important than what we’re wearing on the outside, is what we, as Christians, wear on the inside. Attributes such as kindness, compassion, peace, love and forgiveness are a few that Paul lists. Having been set free by Christ, we take off things like unholy anger and hurtful gossip, and instead we lift one another up with kindness and love.
 
With Rally Weekend and full Wednesday worship and programming kicking off last week, we are off and running at Gloria Dei. We keep that going this week and all through the year. God is good… all the time. As Christ-followers, the old clothing is put to death, and Christ gives us new clothing of kindness and compassion. This weekend we’ll take a look at the garment of forgiveness and its importance for abundant and healthy lives.
 
Thanks for your partnership in the gospel, and I’ll see you in worship,
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: Spirit Alive 2019

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
Alright, if you had to choose one chapter in the whole Bible that would be your favorite, which would it be? That’s a tough question. And maybe at different times of life, the answer would be different. Thank the Lord we don’t just have one chapter, but we have the full 66 books of the Bible that speak to us in joyful times, in challenging times, in times of laughter and of grief. Yet for me, Luke chapter 15 will always be up near the top of the list. Luke 15 tells us of a God who never stops pursuing us with his words and embrace of grace. Luke 15 shares with us the immensely loving God who welcomes us home, despite our misgivings and mistakes.
 
This weekend is Spirit Alive / Rally Weekend. Our theme is WELCOME HOME. Read Luke 15 over these next few days, as it will be our focus in worship.
 
We also have a special guest at all three services. Paul Oman will be painting a portrait of our theme during each hour of worship. He will be front and center, and you will be blessed as you watch his pictures come to life right before your eyes.
 
Be reminded that Church School begins on Sunday, with two options in conjunction with our two Sunday worship services.
 
Wednesday worship begins this coming week, September 11, from 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. along with all the regular Wednesday programming, including Church School.
 
Thanks for your partnership in the gospel of Christ and I’ll see you in worship!
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: Laborers for Christ

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
Over these past two weeks we’ve learned a little bit about Timothy. We learned that the apostle Paul mentored Timothy and saw great leadership ability in him. We learned that Paul sent Timothy to Ephesus to bring the believers back to the true gospel message of salvation by Christ alone. And we learned that Timothy, although he was a young man, was up for the task.
 
This weekend we’ll take a look at Paul’s second letter to Timothy. I urge you to read 2 Timothy in preparation for this weekend’s worship.
 
One of the ways Paul encourages young Timothy is to remind him of who he is. He is the son of Eunice and the grandson of Lois, both very devout and faithful women. But beyond that, Paul reminds Timothy that he is a child of God. And urges him, despite his youth, to stand firm in the reality that God has claimed him as his very own.
 
This is our reality too. We are people named and claimed by God. We are Christians. I said last week in my Friday Followings that the title of Christian literally means “one who belongs to Christ”. You and I belong to Christ; we are loved by Christ; we follow Christ. That’s our primary identity. What a fantastic gift!
 
The gift of belonging to Christ by faith plays itself out in many different ways. This being Labor Day Weekend, we are reminded that our Christian faith is lived out in part by our work. How is it that you spend your days? Are you employed full-time or part-time? Do you spend days taking care of family or children? Do you volunteer your time at church and/or other organizations? No matter our age, young or old, our labor helps give our lives purpose.
 
My good friend and long-time Gloria Dei pastor, John Degelau, used to say “There is no retiring from the Kingdom of God.” John is right. As those who “belong to Christ”, we are set free by the cross and resurrection to live our lives making an impact for good in the world in Jesus’ name.
 
On this Labor Day weekend let’s be reminded that God gives each of us our identity and our calling. “You belong to me”, God says. “I’ve purchased you with the life, death and resurrection of my Son. You’re a family member once again. And as my child, I’m giving you the joy of participating with me, your Heavenly Father, in the work of the Kingdom.”
 
A few reminders about our life together:
  • Spirit Alive/Rally Sunday is September 8. Invite a friend. It will be a great day at Gloria Dei. Paul Oman will be with us, painting a portrait for us up front during worship. Church School classes begin along with other various activities for all.
  • Wednesday programming begins on September 11, including Church School, Confirmation, and Worship.
  • We are collecting Hearty Soup to distribute through “Food to You.” Bring cans of soup with you to church. There are containers near the front entrance. Thanks!
 
See You in Worship,
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: What’s In A Name?

When I was a young boy my two older brothers used to say to me, “It’s a good thing that Mom and Dad named you Tim, because that’s what everyone calls you.” As a kid, I had to think about that one. They loved to tease their younger brothers and sisters.
 
My Dad would sometimes join in their play on word jokes. He’d say to me, “Tim, you were named after me.” And I’d say, “No I wasn’t, your name is Gordon.” And he’d say, “Yes you were. I was named in 1923, and you were named in 1961, so you were named after me.”
 
Again, I had to think about that one for a while.
 
Yes, everyone has a name. And yes, mine is Tim, or Timothy. I’m proud of that name, not just because my parents gave it to me, but because of Timothy in the Bible. The name Timothy comes from the Greek Timotheus, which means, “Honoring God.” Timothy in the Bible is one who honored God. We are in a three week preaching series on Paul’s two letters to the young man named Timothy. If you didn’t hear last week’s sermon I’d encourage you to listen to it on our website to get some background information on Paul and Timothy’s relationship. This week, our focus will be on the content of 1 Timothy. Urged by his mentor Paul to stay in Ephesus, Timothy’s mandate was to make sure that the good news of God’s grace and love was being properly taught and proclaimed. And furthermore, that it was being lived out in ways that reflected the love of Christ to others. Paul loved the church at Ephesus. Paul entrusted Timothy to keep the gospel of salvation pure and unchanged in that place.
 
Timothy did all he could to live up to his name, to honor God.
 
You have a name too, and probably a middle name. What does your name mean? Or who have you been named after? It can be fun and meaningful to understand our names. But in addition to the name given you by your parents, you have a name given to you by Christ. That name is “Christian”. You are a Christian. God has claimed you and named you and loves you. By grace through faith, you are a follower of Christ.
 
Like Timothy, you and I live up to that name by sharing the good news of Jesus, and by living in such a way that others see the light of Christ shining in and through us. If you have opportunity, please read this six chapter letter of 1 Timothy in preparation for this weekend.
 
See you in worship,
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: Gloria Dei Online Directory. Exciting!

We are excited to roll out a new, online Gloria Dei member and friend directory. Church directories in the past have involved lengthy, time-consuming processes that ended up being out-of-date even before the directory was finally printed. With an online directory, you control when your information gets updated!
 
And maybe even more exciting, you get to upload your own pictures! No more church photography companies pressuring you to buy their products. Upload a headshot from work, a selfie, or a cropped photo from that last family photoshoot. You can even upload a picture of your whole family.
 
In order to make the online directory useful, we’re encouraging everyone to fill out this Online Directory Form. Our online directory is ‘Opt-In’ meaning that your information will not be available to other Gloria Dei members unless you ‘Opt-In.’ In a big church like Gloria Dei, it can be hard to get to know everyone, so we are really encouraging everyone to take the time to fill out the form and update your picture. Our office team is happy to help you complete the form if you need, so don’t hesitate to call or stop in and ask. Again, I encourage you all to Opt-In. That way our directory will be useful and valuable for all of us.
 
In this process, you’ll be asked to complete the form for each of your family members in your household. If your children are older and have moved out, please ask them to complete the form for themselves. Updating your information with a home, cell, and work phone number (include area code), your preferred email address, and your physical address will also help to make sure you’re getting emails and mailings from Gloria Dei. Once you’ve filled out the form, you’ll be invited to create a login and password to access the directory. There you can control what information is included in the directory. (For example, you may not want to include your work phone, or you may want to make your email address private. Anything marked private will be available for staff to see, but not other members.)This way you can control what is accessible to others in your Gloria Dei family of faith. It will take some time for your information to show up to other Gloria Dei members who’ve logged in, so please be patient and check back again in a couple of days.
 
Finally, your information is completely secure, and we will not share your information with anyone other than Gloria Dei members. If you have questions about data security, or anything else, you can talk with Cicely Schock in the office or Pastor Chris.
 
Click Here to fill out the form and ‘Opt-In’ to our online directory.
 
Thanks, and I’ll see you in worship!
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: A More Excellent Way

A More Excellent Way
 
Over these past four weeks in worship we’ve been centered on Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Written to a church he loves, he urges them to heal their divisions and to work for unity. He reminds them that they all belong to Christ, and that God has given each of them gifts to uplift and serve one another, with no gift being more important than the other. Unity is found in Christ, the one Lord and the one foundation to life and faith.
 
This weekend we conclude that series with a focus on 1 Corinthians chapter 13. Often read at weddings, this chapter describes “a more excellent way to live” (12:31). It is the way of love. Knowing how much God loves us, we are empowered to love God and one another. At the heart of all that God has gifted us with, our talents, our interests, our gifts and our personalities, is to be love. If we have the gifts of prophecy, and faith, and generosity, but do not have love, Paul says, then our gifts are being wasted. Love is central.
 
In preparation for worship this weekend please read 1 Corinthians 13. It is such a beautifully written description of Agape love. And it becomes even more beautiful as it is lived out among us. Our unity with one another is finally found in the love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ. Even though we may not get it perfect this side of eternity (now we see dimly, then face to face) we are the ones who have been redeemed and forgiven by the blood of the cross. And as recipients of God’s love we are given new life, striving for the more excellent way of love for one another.
 
See you in worship,
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: Thankful for Pastor Loren

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
A couple of things to say today.
 
First, we have an exciting opportunity for High School students that has just come upon us. I encourage High Schoolers to attend, and parents to encourage your High Schoolers to attend. It is short notice, but Josh Brewer from Lifelight ministries will bring a message about how Lifelight will continue to expand into the community of Sioux Falls. Our youth at Gloria Dei volunteer their time in service in many ways. We will be looking to volunteer periodically with Lifelight as well as our young people grow in discipleship by making an impact for Christ in our community.
 
So, Josh Brewer, this Sunday night at Gloria Dei, from 7 to 9pm. All High School students are invited. Come and bring your friends for a night of food, games, and Josh Brewer.
 
Secondly, I want to say a word about Pastor Loren Odland, who served as one of Gloria Dei’s pastors from 2006 to 2016. I sent a notice about Loren’s passing earlier this week. Many of you were at a time of visitation last night. His funeral is this morning. If you knew Loren, you know he lived his life with passion… passion for the gospel of Jesus… passion for his family… passion for the congregations, friends, and people with whom he served… passion for the outdoors and for his many hobbies. He was a friend to so many of us, and we were blessed by him. His passion for living is a good model for all of us.
 
Loren also knew the promise of Scripture that in Christ, death is not an ending, but a beginning to our everlasting and eternal home. “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 15:54, 57.
 
Like Loren, we all can live life with passion for faith, family, friends, and the gospel. And like Loren, we can and do put our trust in the great Easter promise of life everlasting.
 
“Lord, we thank you for Pastor Loren, for passionate living, and for new life. Surround Loren’s wife Sandy and their family with your grace, compassion, and care. In the life giving name of Jesus we pray. Amen.”
 
Pastor Tim