Ash Wednesday & Lent Worship Schedule

Ash Wednesday: March 6 (11am & 6:30pm in the Sanctuary)

Wednesday Lenten Worship: 
March 13 - April 18 (11am Lenten Worship & Noon Lunch, and 5:30pm Lenten Dinners & 6:30pm Worship)

Lenten Lunches (provided by WELCA)
March 13: Turkey casserole
March 20: TBD
March 27: Pulled pork sandwiches
April 3, Assorted soups
April 10: Tater tot hotdish

Lenten Evening Dinners: 
March 13: Soup & Bread (Confirmation Labs Fundraiser)
March 20: Tacos (Confirmation Labs Fundraiser)  
March 27: No programming (Spring Break)
April 3: Baked Potato Bar (Confirmation Labs Fundraiser)  
April 10: TBD

Sunday Lenten Worship: March 3 - April 21

Confirmation Labs - Community Fundraisers

Our LABS project started last fall to give our confirmation youth an opportunity to actively explore their faith through service.  Last year, 13 groups were given $1,300 and were challenged to turn that money into more through fundraising opportunities. Our youth raised $4,200 in food, clothing, and housing donations in the Rochester area like our Food for Friends Backpacks program, Threads, Family Promise, Channel One Food Bank & Community Food Response.

This year, our youth are excited and ready to put a new plan into action within their small groups.  

Each of our 15 confirmation small groups will receive $100 in Sustenance dollars to help their assigned partner organization in Rochester:

  • 6th Grade - Channel One Food Bank (Food for Friends)

  • 7th Grade - Family Promise Rochester

  • 8th Grade - Community Food Response

Each small group will learn more about their assigned organization and will be given the opportunity to increase the $100 they are each given, as we explore the lesson of the “Parable of the Talents”.

We are so grateful for the Sustenance Committee and appreciate that they have faith in our confirmation youth’s spirit of service. We are so proud of our youth for their heart and generosity through this project and we are excited to see what God does through them this year!


6th Grade Projects - To benefit Channel One

Jen Spaeth & Frank Spaeth’s Group:
Cookies and Cards Sale: Wednesdays in February before Water’s Edge Worship.

Mindy Rice & Sarah Ryan’s Group:
Valentine Treats Sale: Treats will be sold Wed. evening, February 13. Price varies by size of treat package.

Tanya Johnston & Julie Ruzek’s Group:
Blanket Sale: Wednesday evenings starting in February. Our goal is raise $200. Blankets will include JM, Mayo, Century high school logos as well as Packers and Vikings logo blankets.

Sharon Gartner’s Group:
M&M Raffle - Guess the amount! Tickets on sale Sunday, Feb 3rd (10am hour) - Wed, March 6th (before worship). Tickets are $2.00 for 1 ticket or $5.00 for 5 tickets
First Prize: $50.00 Amazon Gift Card
Second Prize: $50.00 Amazon Gift Card
Third Prize: Jar of M&Ms


7th Grade Projects - To benefit Family Promise

Amy Sear’s Group:
Bake Sale & Chocolate Sale: Wed, Jan 30th and Feb 13th in the Narthex before Water’s Edge. Baked item $1 each and 1 box of chocolates for $2 and 3 boxes for $5.

Raffle for Gift Cards: March 6th after Water’s Edge Worship: Tickets - 1 for $1 or 10 for $5.

Robyn Ohashi & Janalene Niichel & Pam Mathiason & Karla Larson’s Group:
Lenten Dinners: A free-will donation is encouraged.
March 13th: Soup and Bread
March 20th: Tacos
March 27th: Baked Potato Bar Dinner.

Lyn Peterson & Kim Books’ Group:
Pop Socket Sale: Wednesday evenings before and after Water’s Edge.


8th Grade Projects - To benefit Community Food Response

Melissa Aeschilmann & Heidi Seaberg, & Julie Buchholtz’ Groups:
Pancake Breakfast: For a free will donation, there will be pancakes sold on Sunday, January 20th at 10 am in the Kitchen in the Garden Lounge

Jim Strom’s Group:
Flower Drop at Samaritan Bethany: We’ll be selling flowers for $1 each on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings. Our goal is send over 100 flowers to residents at Samaritan Bethany for a bright and lively March! With each purchase of a flower you’ll be entered into a raffle for a $25 Kwik Trip gift Card, a free pizza or Caribou Coffee coupon.

Frank Galvan & Brad Behle’s Group:
Bake Sale: Cookies will be pre-sold on Wed, Jan 16th before worship and on Sunday, Jan 20th. The cost is $10 for 15 or $5 for 6. Cookies will be delivered Wed, Jan 23 and Sunday, Jan 27th.

Jamie Patrick’s Group: TBD

Annual Meeting - Year in Review Report

Annual Meeting - Year in Review Report

You are invited to the Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 27th at 10am in the Sanctuary. We will hear form our council president, Amy Conners and will vote on the approval of the church budget and for new council members. Join us to learn about the impact our ministry has made this past year!

Music at Gloria Dei: Finding New Language to Experience our Faith

Music at Gloria Dei: Finding New Language to Experience our Faith

Chris Roberts,  EpicOneEpic Worship Leader

Chris Roberts,
EpicOneEpic Worship Leader

I’ve been at Gloria Dei for just over six years and I’m always amazed at how unique this community is. Lots of things catch my attention, but toward the top of the list are a real sense of welcome, and our creativity and willingness to explore our faith together in new ways.

I’ve been thankful to take part in a variety of roles and projects here, but my strongest passion is in music. I’ve led the worship team at EpicOneEight since it began, and I recently started leading music for Water’s Edge. I was also able to help curate new liturgical music this fall for The Table. I love this role because of the opportunity to be creative and work with other amazing musicians, but also because I believe our songs have a big impact on how we understand our faith.

In some ways I think about music itself as having two basic parts - the actual sound and the lyrics. Both of these can convey an idea, thought, or emotion on their own, but used in combination they’re a powerful force.

Each worship gathering at Gloria Dei has its own sort of identity and calls out for a specific energy in its music. For me, that energy has little to do with style or age (though those components are important, often surprising, and help shape the sound).

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Even though a song like “Breathe” is only a handful of years old, something about its piano intro and reflective tone carries a depth that ties The Table to generations of faithful people. But the banjo-driven “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” a la Sufjan Stevens, helps a familiar, traditional hymn feel like it was made for a group to sing with each other in a circle around a fire.

When it comes to the lyrics of our music, I like to think first about what words, language, and symbols mean, especially the ones that go along with our ideas of “church.”

Reza Aslan, author and religious scholar, once wrote, “religion... is the language we use to express faith. It is a language made up of symbols and metaphors that allows people to express to each other (and to themselves) what is, almost by definition, inexpressible.”

Paul Tillich argued that religious language must be understood symbolically. Sufi mystics describe this language as “a signpost to God.” My point? Words are hard, complicated, inefficient things.

And while it’s no secret that our world is changing, so is the collective understanding of faith and religion. We have a long history of words, stories, and songs that we can use to communicate our experience of faith. But the challenge is that we have such a wide variety of life experiences and perspectives that sometimes we use the same words and mean something different. And sometimes the words that we have internalized - or learned to say in a certain situation from those around us - aren’t really our own words. Or at least they aren’t the words that we mean to say, they’re just the ones that we have.

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When we say “everything happens for a reason”, are we saying that’s the only way “God’s plan” would work out? Or do we really mean, “I’m so sorry that this is happening. But I know that you’re strong, you have a great community around you, and you can make it through this. You might even learn or experience something that will be helpful in the future.”

Sometimes we mean the latter, but we don’t know the words.

So when I think about the songs we sing, I’m looking for music that will help us open things up and add to how we understand and describe our faith experience. In curating music for worship, the exciting part for me is that there are so many places where people are telling our story (and sometimes they don’t even know it)!

When I hear Mavis Staples sing “I wanna get it through to you, you're not alone,” I can’t help but be reminded of the way God is with us through each other. So let’s sing that together.

When we sing Ben Grace’s take on “For Everyone Born,” I hear a bold affirmation of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. This might be a small way our congregation can continue to live out our welcome statement.

When I hear John K. Samson tell the story of an oak tree that existed “long before” a number of cultural events in his hometown of Winnipeg, it reminds me of the long history of people trying to sort out this God stuff.

When we sing, we probably don’t all believe every word, or on any given day our own experience might mean we can’t sing. But we still do it together. It’s one of the ways we continue to remind each other about the God who is the essence and center of our community.


You can listen to a spotify playlist that inspires Chris as he selects music for Gloria Dei Worship.

Living Advent Wreath Donations

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Join us this Advent season as we await the birth of Jesus, and explore what the incarnation of hope, joy, peace and love look like in our lives.

Speaking of incarnation— hope, joy, peace and love are tangible, accessible and completely shareable as we continue our Epic Advent tradition of the Living Advent wreath.

During the four weeks leading up to Christmas, we mark the time by lighting a candle, and filling one box in the center of the our worship space with items to bless our world. We are becoming the incarnation of hope, joy, peace and love through the entire season of Advent. So… when you come to church on the following dates, bring the following items to share:

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