College Student Care Kits

Gloria Dei will send care packages of snacks and prayers to our students in higher education. The high school youth group (GDYG) will pack the boxes as part of their service project on Wednesday, October 23. We will mail them the next day.

If you would like your student to receive a box, please fill out this form, even if it is the same address as last year. We will only be sending to those whose names/addresses we receive here. For planning purposes, addresses must be received by Sunday, October 20.

We would love your help with donations to put in the boxes. Please consider donating:

Homemade treats: (Special K bars, chocolate chip cookies, trail mix, rice-crispy treats, brownies, protein based trail mix for our health-kick kids...etc)
Granola/breakfast bars
Dried Fruit in individual packages
Fruit Snacks
Ramen Noodles
Crystal Light Water flavor packets, hot chocolate packets
Packs of Gum
Cross pins or necklaces, stickers, etc...
Flash drives
Chapstick
Hand sanitizer, Hand lotion, Kleenex packets
Anything else students would enjoy in a care package

Please bring the items to D.J.'s office by 4pm on Tuesday, October 22.

We also need help with postage costs. Each box costs approximately $10 to ship.

If you are Thrivent members, Carol can help you apply for an Action Team Grant of $250 to help cover the costs. It takes about 5 minutes to fill out the form online.

If any of you would like to help with packing on the evening of Wednesday, October 23 or have questions, contact D.J. Chatelaine.

AllTogether Impacts

AllTogether: growing tomorrow’s church today

AllTogether, in 2018-2019 we raised an additional $240,000 toward our Operating fund. This made it possible for the full-time lay staff to have access to health insurance offered by Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.

Chris Roberts, Worship & Arts Director

Chris Roberts, Worship & Arts Director

Last fall I was dealing with some depression and anxiety issues that had been growing and became too much. My wife and I had health coverage through her employer at the time, but as I finally gathered the energy to visit the doctor, I found out that our insurance didn’t cover mental health at our clinic. In the fog of anxiety I started the search for someone to help with mental health on my own—and anyone who is dealing with mental health can tell you that this kind of thing can become a nearly impossible task.

Thankfully, I was able to find someone and get much of what I was experiencing resolved. Part of the way through this, we were able to switch to the benefits offered by Gloria Dei, which we learned covers much more and would have actually prevented some of my challenges in finding my own doctor last year.

In addition, our insurance through Gloria Dei is the more affordable option for us and includes many added benefits such as dental—things we would have only dreamed of before! While thankfully having health coverage is not new for me, having this particular coverage gives me a much better sense of security. I also feel like I’m being taken care of well as a member of this community, and I’m so thankful for your part in that!

being grounded

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being grounded

(Epic One Eight series October 6-27)

Jesus often told stories of farming and agriculture. At the time, the people who heard these stories would have likely been working much closer to the earth than most of us do today, meaning agricultural metaphors were a perfect way to illustrate the messages Jesus was trying to teach. But in our world, where snow and pavement can keep us away from even touching the earth, these stories can also help to remind us who we are. 

The ancient stories of Genesis tell that we were brought into being alongside everything else in creation. We are a part of creation and are connected to all things around us, and so if we care for creation, we care for ourselves and one another. Join us as we figure out how we can reconnect with the earth and our environment and see what happens when we remember that we are grounded.


What Next?

On September 29, we said thank you and farewell to Pastor Charles after 13 years of ministry at Gloria Dei. In August we did much the same with Pastor Karna. As September comes to a close here’s where we are:

  1. We have two pastoral vacancies, but we still have two dedicated, caring, full-time pastors on staff.  Even though our pastoral staff has always divided the responsibilities of leadership, Pastor Dave and Pastor Carrie are called to serve the whole congregation. They will continue to serve and care for our faith community through this time of transition and beyond.

  2. We have a large, talented, passionate, and professional staff. Each member of our staff is energized and unified by the vision of this entrepreneurial community. Like Dave and Carrie, they are here out of love for the people of Gloria Dei and a commitment to our shared vision. 

  3. We are one congregation, and we have a creative, thoughtful, and energized faith community.  The church is the people! Pastors and staff can lead, but they cannot do it alone. Although we have many programmatic and worship opportunities, we are are one congregation-- Gloria Dei.  Together we have created something unique among faith communities in the area. In a time of church decline, we have a growing, thriving, innovative community, and we will live into this next chapter of our shared life together.  

With the above points in mind we ask, “What next?” We will begin a call process to fill the senior pastor position. When the senior pastor is in place, we will call an associate pastor. The following timeline was developed by the Church Council, with guidance from our synod office.

October 16 Welcome our new Interim Associate Pastor, Mike Zaske

Interim pastors are trained to lead congregations in times of transition. They cannot move into a permanent position after the interim period is done. Pastor Mike will fill the Associate Pastor role vacated by Pastor Karna until that role is filled permanently.

December Council Listening Posts

We will have opportunities for those who wish to share thoughts, ideas, and ask questions of Council leadership in small “one-on-one” meetings  in early December. 

January Congregational Conversations 

Church Council leaders will provide 4-5 opportunities for people to participate in Congregational Conversations. We will seek a common understanding of our future as we will examine where we’ve been, where we are now, and what’s next in our shared life together. 

January 26 Annual Meeting

The Call Committee (Interview Team) will be finalized. 

February Synod paperwork is finished, and the Call Committee convenes.

A Call Process in the ELCA requires a profile to be completed on each congregation. This is a job posting with pertinent information about the position and congregation. The above gatherings and conversations will help a Council appointed team to complete our Ministry Site Profile (MSP). The Call Committee will convene once the MSP is completed and filed with the synod office.  

March Call Committee interviews begin

Interviews will begin in late February/early March.

Post-Easter Call extended to new Senior Pastor, and the Senior Pastor begins.

The new Senior Pastor will be installed sometime after Easter (April 11).

Summer Interviews for Associate Pastor

We hope to have the Associate Pastor position filled by August of 2020.

This is an extensive process, and it will take time. Often, ELCA leadership suggests a protocol which can take a year or longer to find the right match. Our process is quick by comparison, but it will still require our patience and attention as we discern, listen and pray. The above schedule may change, it may move faster or slower, but it is our best estimate today.

Gloria Dei is a wonderful, creative, joy-filled community of faith, and we are all in this together. Please pray for our congregation, welcome Interim Associate Pastor Mike Zaske when he arrives, and participate in the discernment events as they happen. Together we will navigate this season of transition, as God has big things in store for our future. 

Grace and Peace,

Amy Lynn Conners, Church Council President

Amy Lynn Conners, Church Council President

Pr. Dave Berg

Pr. Dave Berg



Holy Spirit at Work

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by Amy Lynn Conners, Church Council President

What an incredible time of transition for Gloria Dei! I first want to say how grateful I am for Pastor Karna and Pastor Charles. We have been blessed to have Karna stay with us for the past 12 years, and I am so happy she has been called to this wonderful new opportunity in Stillwater. Charles’s wise and steady leadership has meant to so much to make Gloria Dei the vibrant community that it is, and I am thankful for him and all he has done for our church.

There is much to celebrate about the strong faith community we have. Although times of transition can come with some uncertainty, our church is strong, and we can be confident that the Holy Spirit will be at work as we discern the next steps. We have an opportunity to invite new leaders who share our vision and can help us thrive in the coming season. Please pray for wisdom for the Council and for the call committees in the coming months. We are looking forward to the next chapter together.