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Top Ten New Opportunities You Are Going to Love This Year!

We are pumped for this upcoming year and made this list of all that we are looking forward to, so you can look forward to it too!

Top Ten New Opportunities You Are Going to Love This Year!


  1. Kick Off!

We are kicking off the year with bouncy houses, mini donuts, and loads of fun for everyone outside on the north side of Gloria Dei!
Sunday September 8 from 9:50-10:50am.

2. Excavation Station and more!

This year’s Sunday School is getting a refresh! Stations and rotations provide for all learning styles. The Excavation Station kicks off each unit (four weeks) with a deep look into and experiencing the Bible Story. Skits, videos, songs, and wonderments will abound!

3. B.Y.O.B. = Bring Your Own Bible

B.Y.O.B. is at the beginning of each unit for the excavation station. We will learn how to look up stories and find things in the Bible. Did we mention there will be stickers??

4. Confirmation Retreats

We all need a break from it all, at times. Every grade in Confirmation will have a retreat to bond, unwind, connect, and learn something together. Sixth grade is September 28-29, seventh grade is a one-day Saturday retreat in January 2020 (date TBD), and eighth grade is May 2, 2020.

5. Sunday eves with GDYG

The last Sunday of the month will be dinner gatherings offsite for high school youth with GDYG. If your family is interested in hosting, contact D.J.
Dates are: September 29, October 27, November 24, December 22, & February 23.

6. New Logo

This year’s theme verse is Micah 6:8. It is our code of conduct, our encouragement, and unites our mission inside and outside the building!

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7. GDYG Cheer Squad

Which school and youth activities will D.J. be attending this week? How can I cheer on my fellow GDYG friends? The GDYG Cheer Squad is our way of supporting youth in their activities. D.J. will be communicating what’s coming up and how we can hang out and support our friends.

8. Sunday School Opening & Closing

Grades 1-5 will start with Opening including music with D.J. and the Dinosaurs, weird wonderments with Jonette, and connecting questions with their groups. Preschool 1, Preschool 2, and Kindergarteners will wrap up Sunday School with Closing that includes music, the take away of the day, and final fun.

9. [Church] Bags

Have a hard time collecting things your kid(s) need for church? We are including bags into our milestones for three years olds and sixth graders. Three year olds will receive and design their own “church bag” for their Bible, snacks, and activities they bring to church. Sixth graders will receive a “confirmation bag” to transport their Bible, writing utensil, etc. for Wednesdays.

10. Sustainability

We’re going green at Gloria Dei! Or at least challenging ourselves to be sustainable and do better to care for the earth. Be prepared to learn and be challenged alongside with us as we care for our home planet.

and extra BONUS….

It’s YOU!

You are the bonus, the special ingredient, the maximizer! You bring your gifts, your unique you-ness, and all your great individuality that make every opportunity new and extra special! We can’t wait to see you.

See you at the Kick Off! (refer to #1)

Get to Know Jonette!

Getting to Know Jonette (pronounced like bonnet)

We asked Jonette 10 questions to get to know our new Children’s Programming Coordinator better!

1. What drew you to Gloria Dei?

Gloria Dei offered to employ me to do what I love to do, with people that believe like me. Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

2. Do you like coffee or pop?

YES….I drink one cup of coffee a day and I don’t really drink much pop anymore. Every once-in-a-while I crave a fountain Diet Coke from McDonald’s or a can of Diet Dr Pepper. 

3. Summer or winter

I am a winter girl (not Polar-vortex winter but regular winter). I don’t like to be hot...there is only so much clothing you can take off; but you can always add another layer or snuggle under a blanket if you are cold. 

4. What is your third favorite dinosaur? 

Brontosaurus (after the T-Rex and Stegosaurus).  I like the name Brontosaurus because it means “Thunder Lizard.”

5. What celebrity or historical person would you choose to have dinner with?

(Besides Jesus...I have lots of questions for Jesus) I choose Mr Rogers. I got to meet him once, in college. But I would love to share a meal with him and just soak up all his “Mr Rogers-ness”. He was kind, thoughtful, smart, faithful, and so dang nice.

6. Tell us three words that describe you.

Creative, friendly, funny

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7. What is your role here at Gloria Dei?

I get to coordinate programming for children in Preschool through 5th Grade, including Sunday School, Milestones and VBA (Vacation Bible Adventure). That is my main role.  BUT I also get to work with the other staff to imagine and execute ideas for great ways to help us all encounter Christ.

8. If you could have any animal- imaginary, domestic, wild- as a pet, which would you pick and why?

A Penguin...they are such funny little creatures. They always make me smile. Plus, most types of penguins like winter too. 

9. Do you like movies or books?

YES, I love books and movies! I like movies about books (usually, I like the book better). I learned to read before I could walk, but I have always loved to go to the theater and watch movies. I like mysteries and romance, and I read lots of best sellers and Shakespeare. I also like to read plays. 

10. What is your favorite treat? 

Popcorn, with butter and salt and maybe a little pepper. I also like it with caramel or chocolate, with Parmesan cheese, or dill, or just plain….



Vacation Bible School 2019 Recap

Vacation Bible School 2019 Recap

By Krista Monson

Photos from each day are on Facebook!

Imagination Station was fun for Gizmos and paper beads! We learned a fun fact every day with our safari strips before making paper beads.

Imagination Station was fun for Gizmos and paper beads! We learned a fun fact every day with our safari strips before making paper beads.

Day One

VBS is off to a great start! Today we learned that when life is unfair, God is good!  

In Wild Bible Adventure, we learned about the Parable of the Vineyard Workers (Matthew 20:1-16), and that God is an unconditional Giver. Though life will provide fair and unfair times, we can always rely on God’s love for us and all. 

Imagination Station introduced us to safari strips to make paper beads everyday. By the end of the week, they will create a bracelet. VBS campers also learned about kinetic and potential energy. A fun, Science GizmoTM came home with them. It’s in a paper bag and there is a sticker explaining how you can talk to them about their Gizmo and day at VBS! They receive a new Gizmo, that they have tried out in Imagination Station, every day at VBS.

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Day Two

We said fun prayers before snack every day. Ask your camper about the JAWS prayer!

We said fun prayers before snack every day. Ask your camper about the JAWS prayer!

Today we learned that when life is scary, God is good!  

Wild Bible Adventure focused on the story Jesus Calms the Storm (Mark 4:35-41). We used our imaginations as campers climbed into a “boat” and a storm hit; complete with sound effects, lightning, and rain! We discussed things in life that makes us fearful, including storms, and how we can be reminded to look to God in prayer for peace and calm. Krista shared how when waking up from bad dreams, she says a prayer out loud until she feels calm. When life gets scary, God is good!

We met Hooper the hoopoe bird today at VBS. Campers have a fun, Science GizmoTM to share with you today. 

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Preschool and Kindergarten campers had fun and engaged playtime during Exploration Stations every morning.

Preschool and Kindergarten campers had fun and engaged playtime during Exploration Stations every morning.

Day Three

Tomorrow is our last day of "ROAR"!  Today we learned that when life changes, God is good!  

The story of the Israelites escaping Egypt and wandering the wilderness was the story in Wild Bible Adventure today. We traveled around the church and discussed how changes happen constantly. Changes can bring complaints, but we remember that even when life changes, God is good! New experiences, friends, and favorite things and memories can come from changes. Just like VBS!

Presto Change-o! VBS campers have a special GizmoTM today that highlighted our Bible Point. 

Thank you for letting us share this week with your child(ren). A big THANK YOU to all of our volunteers. You all make VBS amazing!

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We are grateful for the friends made at VBS!

We are grateful for the friends made at VBS!

Day Four

Note from Krista:

What a week! When kids gather for VBS to learn, play, and connect, God is good!

I have felt so heart-filled this week. It has been such a blessing to witness the kids sing, laugh, wonder, try, dance, smile, giggle, and connect with one another. I had the opportunity of leading first through fifth grade in Wild Bible Adventure time, and watching all of them wonder and get caught up in the wild story was a daily dose of awesome. 

It was high energy watching the whole group sing the songs together during opening and closing. It was obvious that those CDs have been utilized at home and in cars. You have my permission to “misplace” those CDs for a couple weeks this summer for reprieve, if needed. While cleaning up and putting away VBS decorations, some leaders were still pounding out the VBS music CD through their speakers. I think after today, I will be taking a break from it; though I am sure it won’t stop running through my head! 

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We collected an amazing amount of items for Bundles of Love:

  • 2,461 diapers

  • 5,185 wipes

  • 930 oz baby wash/shampoo/lotion!

A huge thank you to all volunteers! To those who donated snack items or materials, were crew leaders, led stations, helped kid wrangle for drop off and pick up, decorated and set up spaces, and all those who supported the event- THANK YOU!!! This week was a success because of you!

Did your child(ren) enjoy VBS? We have more awesome events throughout the year! 

  • Keep the fun and learning going throughout the school year! Registration for Sunday School and Confirmation are already open and available online

  • Community Camp at Good Earth Village. Gloria Dei goes to Good Earth Village August 9-11 for a weekend away from home to: splash in the creek, hike, play, relax, connect, and be in the beautiful scenery and great outdoors! More information and registration on the website.

  • Worship in the summer happens on Sundays with The Table in the Sanctuary at 8:45am and EPIC 1:8 in the Worship Center at 10am. There is also a midweek worship on Wednesday nights at 6pm in the Sanctuary. 

Week 1: Love in Lent

Love is a verb.

There are three types of love: philos, eros, agape.

As families, we are familiar with philos, family love, brotherly love, friendship. Philos is that shared admiration for those who accompany us through life. Those with which we spend time.

Eros is romantic love. It is rooted in the strong way we feel around those to whom we are attracted.

Agape is unconditional love. This love is not based on merit of the person loved, but rather unconditional and based on them as an image bearer of Christ. This love is kind and generous. It continues to give even when the other is unkind, unresponsive and unworthy. It only desires good things for the other and is compassionate. [Huffington Post]

Love, especially agape love, is going to be our focus throughout Lent. Every week we will have a new blog post sharing about another way to consider love in this Lenten journey. So bring the family together and get ready to share stories, activities, and conversation about how we express, experience, grow, and learn in love.

Time to Chat

Where do you experience love? Who shows you love? How do they do that?


Photo Challenge

Where are you experiencing love? How does it show up in your day? Love is shown in many ways. It was seen in random acts of kindness this past week with people coming together to clear snow! Perhaps you have experienced it in someone sharing a kind word, or a memento of a loved one reminding you of a love you can experience over and over.

We want to know your stories! Capture love via photo and post it with the hashtag #gloriadeilove to your social media throughout these next weeks of Lent. Let us be mindful to look for love within us and around us every day.

Left: Love is an encouraging note from my sister in the mail! #gloriadeilove

Right: Love is being reunited with my German host brother, Lukas, after four years apart. #gloriadeilove

All the Feels- by Krista

All the Feels

by Krista Monson

My mother said something to me when I was young that has stuck with me for decades. “Emotions are valid. It’s your attitude that is your choice.”

She constantly reminded me, and still reminds me today, that there is nothing wrong with feeling angry, frustrated, sad, upset, jealous, or disappointed. Those are emotions. Feelings. Every single one is completely natural. The choice we have is what we do with those emotions; especially when interacting with others. As a child, when I chose harsh words and actions towards my siblings to reflect my feelings, I was rewarded with a time out. Time to reconsider my attitude and actions. Time to take a break, breathe, and make a new choice.

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” James 1:19b

Decades later, I still practice choosing my attitude amidst days of emotions. A common phrase a friend and I use is “All the Feels” to express how overwhelmed we can be by the sheer number of emotions we experience in a day. It can be tiring. It can leave us not knowing how to proceed. I take comfort in the reminder that emotions are valid and I can take a time out to breathe, pray for patience and guidance, and consider my attitude and how I interact with the world.

Summer Camp at Good Earth Village!

Summer Camp at Good Earth Village!

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Summer Camp registration is open at Good Earth Village! Super Early Bird discount is 15% until February 3rd, 11:59PM. Details for dates, programs, costs, and more are available at www.goodearthvillage.org/summer. Gift certificates are available at www.goodearthvillage.org/giftofcamp, or by calling 507-346-2494.

$50 Gloria Dei scholarships are available for week long registrations. Contact Krista at kristam@gloria-dei.com with any questions.