Adventfest : Sunday, December 1st


by Krista Monson

Prepare for the Season Together

How do you gear up for Christmas? This is a time of anticipation and we are ramping up the excitement of Advent with AdventFest on Sunday, December 1st! There will be activities of building, creating, and connecting as we bring everyone together to begin  Advent. 

  • Learn how to make lefse as a family and share your creations with our shut ins 

  • Create a welcome mat as the story of Mary & Joseph’s journey to find welcome is shared

  • Build a block nativity set with wood scraps, fabric, and imagination

  • Mark the days leading to Christmas with an Advent Calendar leading you through the story everyday

All alongside Mission Sunday hands on projects.

When: Sunday, December 1st at 10:00a.m.

Where: Throughout the building at Gloria Dei- Undercroft, Fireside Room, Garden Lounge, Room 14, & Kitchen.

Who: All are welcome for this time of community and preparation.


What I've Noticed This Fall

What I’ve Noticed This Fall

by Jonette Knock

What have I noticed --- my first September at Gloria Dei?

  • Laughter and shrieks of joy from kids on the Inflatable Slide and Bounce House. 

  • Micah 6:8 tattoos on little hands.

  • People talking with one another while waiting in line for mini doughnuts or Butter Beer.

  • Kindergarten families with Sticky Faith notes and Warm Fuzzies.

  • Elementary kids bringing their Bibles to Excavation Station.

  • Dinosaurs in the undercroft every Sunday.

  • Wonderful energy around all sorts of ministries 

  • Three Year Olds clutching Bible Story Books that weigh almost as much as they do.

  • The Excavation Station Good Samaritan video (see it on the Gloria Dei Facebook page) 

  • Preschool & Kindergarteners playing parachute games.

  • Kids discovering the answer to the question : Who IS My Neighbor?

  • Volunteers answering the call to teach, lead and walk with kids in faith formation.

  • Jr & Sr High kids being an example of faith to younger kids.

  • Banana surgery.

  • People from different generations growing together.

  • A talented, passionate staff serving together to make a smooth transition. 

What have I noticed my first September at Gloria Dei...God active everywhere.

Do You Remember September?

September Reflections

by D.J. Chatelaine

I began my September in the blistering 110 degree Arizona heat. I was there for my college roommate’s wedding and had a wonderful time reconnecting with friends from that season of life. Returning to the cooler Minnesota weather, it’s been all hands on deck since: life got busy at Gloria Dei, as we began a new season with fall programming kickoff. GDYG started the year with minute-to-win-it games, featuring oreo cookies and pasta noodles, and a pizza party. We gathered the next week at the Gloria Dei Garden where Joshua Poencet shared about sustainable living initiatives and our call to care for the Earth so that we may share its goodness with future generations. That Sunday saw the world premier of “D.J. and the Dinosaurs,” our high school-led Sunday School music team, followed by our information meeting for our summer 2020 service trip to Brooklyn, NY. The following week, a group of our high school students led Confirmation, focusing the night on themes of stewardship, vocation, and environmental awareness. After I spent Saturday the 28th on the 6th grade retreat, learning from the 6th graders’ endless energy and curiosity, GDYG closed out the month with a dinner at Pasquale’s Pizza, generously provided by Char Harstad.

Throughout the month, there were a couple things I noticed. I’ve been impressed how our high school youth have really grown into leadership roles. From leading by example during GDYG, Confirmation, and Sunday School to sharing experiences learned from the summer with their peers, our high school youth should be praised for their dedication to the Gloria Dei community. Connor Ness, Kirsten Ness, and Payton Sears have taken inspiration from their week this summer at the Augsburg Youth Theology Institute and shared their passion to make our community more environmentally conscious and more mindful of the ways in which we use our resources, so that there will always be plenty for everyone. 

Payton, Nadiya Christenson, Aarson Carston, and Sam Conners have all given their time on Sunday mornings to serve as music leaders for Sunday School, as part of “D.J. and the Dinosaurs.” Miya Ohashi Berg, Isabella Ostman, and Grace Howard continue to be Sunday School leaders and Miya is a part of our GDYG Leadership Team, along with the Dinosaurs, Connor, Kirsten, Amelia Adams, and Nolan Seaberg. And I continue to be grateful for our adult volunteer leaders: Mike Ness, Tracey Adams, and Caitlin & Kent Polley. Through the transition we’ve had at Gloria Dei in the past month, our high school youth and volunteers have carried on, continuing to explore life together.

Summer Trip Deadline= Nov 3rd

Summer 2020 Trips Information & Deadlines

Thank you for expressing interest in our summer 2020 trips to Brooklyn, NY or Chicago, IL.

Middle School trip [6th-8th grade]: Chicago, IL July 19-24, 2020

High School trip [completing 8th grade in 2020- 12th grade]: Brooklyn, NY June 19-27, 2020

I've included links to the slideshow and budgets, as well as the digital registration forms. Please make deposit checks out to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, with the memo "Brooklyn Trip" or "Chicago Trip." Checks should be turned into me at the church office no later than the appropriate deadlines.

1) Slideshow

2) Brooklyn Budget [HS trip]

3) Chicago Budget [MS trip]

4) Brooklyn Registration Form [HS trip]

5) Chicago Registration Form [MS trip]

Keep in mind these important dates:

1) Chicago Early Bird Deadline (Save $25): Sunday, October 6.

2) Final Registration Deadline for each trip: Sunday, November 3.

3) Auction Meeting: Sunday, November 3 at noon. Auction will be Saturday, February 22nd.

Feel free to share this information with any friends who may be interested in joining us this summer. Otherwise, please let me know if you have any questions!

D.J. Chatelaine, Youth Coordinator

Mission Sunday, October 6th

Mission Sunday, October 6th

This Sunday is Mission Sunday from 10-10:50am at Gloria Dei! 

3rd - 5th grade students will participate in the mission projects that will be taking place around the building.  

  • If you will be participating in Mission Sunday as a family, and want your 3rd-5th grader to serve with you, they will be dismissed for Mission Sunday after Opening in rooms 11-13, 15-17 (aka Undercroft). 

  • If you are not participating in the Mission Service Projects as a family,  students in 3rd-5th grade will have the opportunity to serve with their grade group. 

After serving, you can arrange to meet them in the Opening room (aka Undercroft) at 10:50am.  

Several of the projects have a messy component, please dress accordingly.   

A little about Mission Sunday, from Joshua Poencet

What is Mission Sunday you ask?

Mission Sunday started 3 years ago as a way for our congregation to build community together while serving others in our neighborhood and beyond the church walls.  This is a time to connect and be transformed through acts of kindness together. 

Here's what Oct. 6th Mission Sunday service projects look like:

  • Channel One, Empty Bowls

  • Family Promise, Freezer Meals

  • Bring your Rake and help rake our neighborhood!

  • Contemplation and Prayer Walk, bring your walking shoes as we start with a contemplative practice and then go on a walk around the neighborhood sharing joy, prayer and fun and positive messages for our neighbors

  • Love in a Glove box kits (Ever see someone on a corner with a sign and want to help, but don't have anything, make a Love in the Glove Box kit and have them ready in your car to share)

  • Threads TLC Fall Edition

  • And Help harvest and weed in the Garden

Join us for community building as we serve our neighbors.

3rd - 5th grade assignments from Joshua 

After Opening in Undercroft, grades 3-5 will go to the following areas with their group:

 5th Grade - Garden Lounge for Empty bowls

After the group is done they'll move to Threads or go to their closing/pick up area

 4th grade - Kitchen for Family Promise freezer meals

After they are done, they'll have a chance to go out to the garden for some weeding (If the weather is bad, head to empty bowls in the garden lounge or return to the closing/pick up spot)

 3rd grade - Fireside Room for LOVE in the Glove Box

Afterwards, 3rd grade can move to the Garden Lounge for empty bowls or return to their closing/pick up area.  

 All 3rd-5th grade groups will return to the Undercroft (rooms 11-13, 15-17) for closing ritual and may be picked up from that location at 10:50am.

6th Grade Retreat Information

6th Grade Retreat

When: Saturday, Sept 28, 2019 - Sunday, Sept 29, 2019

12:45p.m. -12:00p.m.

What: 6th grade retreat as a milestone to launch and kick off the Confirmation experience: small groups, Confirmation 101, and other activities.

Come fed or BYO lunch to eat on the way.

Where: Good Earth Village, 25303 Old Town Dr, Spring Valley, MN 55975


12:45p.m. Depart from Gloria Dei's lower parking lot for Good Earth Village

2:00-5:00p.m. Welcome, games, small group time

5:00p.m. Dinner

6:00-7:30p.m. Confirmation 101, small group, campfire worship

8:00-10:00pm Movie, night games, snack

10:30pm Lights Out

SUNDAY, Sept 29

8:30am Wake Up and Pack Up

9:00am Breakfast

9:40am Hit the road!

11:00am EPICOneEight worship

12:00pm Depart/Go Home

Packing List:

Change of clothes



Bible and journal (Confirmation bag) + water bottle

Toiletries for overnight



Closed toe shoes for traveling around camp

Linens will be provided. They may bring their own pillow if desired.

Contact Krista with questions.

GDYG Fall Retreat!

High School Youth: Looking for something to do over MEA Break? Sign-Up for our 2019 GDYG Fall Retreat to the Twin Cities! 

The focus of this year’s retreat is centered around our call to stewardship, environmental sustainability, and multicultural understanding. Our plan is to leave from Gloria Dei at 11 am to arrive at the Bell Museum on the University of Minnesota campus for a 12:30 pm planetarium showing and museum visit. Afterwards, we’ll head over to Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis for a tour and opportunity to learn about the many vendors and cultures represented there. We’ll also enjoy a wide-variety of dinner options. Once we’ve eaten (please bring spending money for dinner), we’ll drive to Valley Fair for our return to Halloween Haunt at Valley Scare. Fear not! You can go on rides and avoid the scary/frightful attractions. Returning to Gloria Dei around 11:30 pm, we’ll spend the night at church for our opt-in lock-in, which will feature a middle of the night worship service. Wake-up call will be at 7 am to have everyone picked up or out the door by 8 am. Sign-Up by Wednesday, September 25th.

Email me ( for a registration form, with any questions you may have, or if you need scholarship assistance.



11:00 Depart Gloria Dei

12:30 Arrive at Bell Museum for Planetarium Show and Museum Exhibits

3:00 Depart Bell Museum and drive to Midtown Global Market

3:30 Arrive at Midtown Global Market and Begin Tour

4:30 Finish tour and have time at the Market to shop and eat dinner

6:00 Depart Midtown Global Market for Valley Fair

6:30 Arrive at Valley Fair, check in, get tickets, Valley Scare!

10:30 Depart Valley Scare

12:00 Arrive at Gloria Dei for Lock-In (Opt Out: Parents Pick-Up Youth)


7:00 Wake-Up, Clean Up Church, Grab and Go Breakfast

8:00 Picked up at/Depart from Gloria Dei

Summer Trips Meeting

Middle and High School Youth and Parents: Please join us on Sunday, September 22nd at noon (following 11 am Epic) in the Worship Center for our Summer 2020 trip information meeting. D.J. will share basic information about each trip (middle school to Chicago and high school to Brooklyn, NY) as well as important registration and fundraising information. Get the word out to your friends and hope to see you at noon on the 22nd!

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!

Artboard 4.png

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)

Confirmation Year in Review 2018-2019

What a year! The last night of Confirmation this year was cancelled on Wednesday, April 10th due to snow and weather. Quite a reflection on the oddball weather we experienced throughout the year. We still got many chances to connect, learn, laugh, and worship together. Water’s Edge worship is our large group time. Many stories were shared this year. The four seasons, the greatest gift I have ever received, Aha Moments, and Love in Lent (aka Get on the Bus!), and more.

Highlights include: small group time, Christmas party, creative and fun LABS projects, silly gifs in the announcements, and service projects. A big thank you to all volunteers who helped make this year happen: service project leaders and small group guides! These caring adults make the Confirmation community a fun and awesome space to learn and grow.

This was my, Krista, first year on staff and involved with Confirmation. I had a blast! It has been a blessing getting to know everyone. Next year I look forward to more Water’s Edge worships, guide huddles, LABS, service projects and small groups; as well as the addition of retreats! Keep your eyes and ears open for the 2019-2020 Confirmation calendar and updates this summer!

Thanks for a great year! Check out the Family Hubs’s photo gallery for some snapshots of this year’s events and captures.

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

The Auction- RESCHEDULED for Wed. Feb 27th

You're Invited to
The Auction: a Gloria Dei Youth Fundraiser!
Wednesday, February 27th, 5-9pm

Please join us for an evening of community celebration and connection while investing in our youth as they travel together on Gloria Dei youth trips. As the only fundraising effort to support these trips, proceeds from this year's auction will fund, in-part, the Middle School Mission Trip to Milwaukee, WI and the High School Trip to Rainbow Trail in Colorado.

These youth trips not only provide a way for students to connect with God on a deeper level, but to also form life-long relationships with their peers and adult mentors from Gloria Dei.

There will be concessions and free childcare. Our goal is to raise $19,500 for our youth!

GDYG Ski Retreat

Welch Village Ski Retreat for high schoolers and their families!

Saturday, February 2nd from 3pm-11pm.

We will depart church at 3pm on February 2nd and return that night around 11pm, giving us six hours of ski time! Welch Village has a variety of ski trails, ranging in difficulty from beginner to expert, so there’s something for everyone, whether you’ve skied before or not. They also have a special rate on Saturday nights for groups of 15 or more, so invite your friends. Hope you can join us!

Cost is $60 with rental or $40 if you have your own equipment. This includes lift tickets (6 hours of skiiing/snowboarding!!) & transportation to and from Welch Village. Either pack a dinner or bring money for food. Email D.J. at if you need scholarship assistance.

Registration and sign up is CLOSED for this event. If you didn’t get the chance, look for an opportunity next winter!

Grades 9-12.

Summer Camp at Good Earth Village!

Summer Camp at Good Earth Village!


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 Gift certificates are available at, or by calling 507-346-2494.

$50 Gloria Dei scholarships are available for week long registrations. Contact Krista at with any questions.