Church News

Pastor Karna Accepts a New Call

Dear Gloria Dei, 

“The wind blows where it chooses, you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  (John 3:8) 

Karna Hagen Moskalik Image

The “winds of change” are blowing at Gloria Dei. We know that Pastor Charles announced his retirement this past spring. In this time of congregational transition, the mysterious Holy Spirit stirred within me to consider deeply where I am also called to serve. After much prayer and deliberation, I have accepted a new call as the pastor of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Stillwater, MN. 

This was not an easy decision, but I sense that it is truly the handiwork of God leading. My husband Brian and I are excited about this new adventure. Simultaneously, we are deeply saddened to say “good-bye,” as this community of faith means so much to us. We have the blessing of our extended families to spread our wings. Rochester will always feel like “home” as Brian was born and raised here. This sense of “home” is also with us wherever we travel with the Spirit of God. 

Change is not easy. I have formed innumerable deep relationships with so many of you. Rest assured that God’s Spirit is at work. Your future is bright. God has wondrous plans for the future of Gloria Dei. You are a unique and loving community of faith. These past 12 years was a Holy walk together. From every ministry moment--the cradle to the grave--it was an honor to love and serve as your pastor. My last Sunday at Gloria Dei will be August 11th. I now need to transition and prepare for a move and a new call. Sadly, ELCA policy states that after my last Sunday, I will no longer be allowed to offer any pastoral services to any Gloria Dei member. This includes: baptisms, weddings, funerals, pastoral visitation, counseling, or programming, etc... 

If you are ever in the Stillwater area, please know that you are welcome to visit us! You will always and forever be a special congregation. Brian and I will miss you greatly! You will forever be in our hearts. God be with you until we meet again. 

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” (Philippians 1:3) 


Pastor Karna 

We will celebrate her lasting impact on Gloria Dei on Sunday, Aug. 11, 9:45-10:45am. Attend to say goodbye and thank her for her ministry.

Welcoming New Staff

Gloria Dei is such a vibrant church and place of worship for its community, it’s staff reflects this. We are so excited to welcome three new staff members to our unique, experienced, and awesome team. Say “hello” next time you see them!


Allison Passon

Communications Director

Favorite Fruit: Pineapple

Secret Talent: I remain calm folding a fitted sheet.

Favorite motivational quote: Fix your ponytail and try again.


Jonette Knock

Children’s Programming Coordinator

Favorite Fruit: Honey Crisp Apples

Secret Talent: my goofy laugh

Favorite Motivational Quote: You don’t hope yourself to a goal; you decide, believe, behave like it’s yours, then earn it.


Nicolle Osterhout

Digital Arts Specialist

Favorite Fruit: Watermelon

Secret Talent: I am really good at braiding hair.

Favorite Motivational Quote: You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. -Maya Angelou

Pastor Charles Announces His Retirement After 13 Years of Impactful Ministry

With grateful hearts we announce that after years of powerful ministry and leadership at Gloria Dei, Pastor Charles Ortloff will be retiring in September 2019.

Pastor Charles Ortloff

Pastor Charles Ortloff

Pastor Charles became our Senior Pastor 13 years ago and has led our staff in partnership to create so many impactful ministries, helped to shape our vision casting model, energized our research and development, fostered our Welcome Statement process, and created an environment for the staff that looks ahead to the possibilities of the future church in all that we do. Specifically, Charles has been instrumental in the creation of Water’s Edge worship on Wednesday nights, and the development of the focus on Contemplative Practices ministry in partnership with Julie Stevens.

Charles loves this place and has mixed emotions about his retirement, “With mixed emotions, I announce my retirement in September. It is difficult to say goodbye. At every level, congregational members, council, and staff, you have blessed my ministry,  providing support, encouragement, and friendship. On behalf of my wife and I, thank you. I don’t know what the future brings, but I know the time is right to move on to my next calling which includes time with Karen and family, some travel, and spending time with my cello.”

We’re so thankful for Charles and what he’s brought to our community and staff at Gloria Dei.  In the next several months, there will be more to say about the next steps in the process by the council but in the meantime, let’s celebrate the amazing legacy Charles will leave. A retirement celebration will be planned for the Fall, details for that will be released in the coming months. Please pray for Charles and his family as he enters this new season of life.

You can read Charles’ farewell letter here.

Snow Emergency - Parking Guidelines for Gloria Dei

The city of Rochester has declared a snow emergency in advance of this weekend’s anticipated winter storm. You can help by abiding by the following parking guidelines when visiting Gloria Dei for the next several days:

“Effective at 12:00 p.m. on March 9, and ending at 12:00 p.m. on March 14. Vehicles cannot be parked on the even side of the street on even numbered days, and the odd side of the street on odd numbered days, between 4:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., for the duration of the snow emergency”
— City of Rochester

Be safe, everyone!

Take the Lent Mindfulness Challenge

Lent Mindfulness Challenge

Wed, March 6 - Wed, April 17, daily

Lent is historically a time when people might choose something to “give up”, like chocolate or sweets, watching TV, or excessive use of social media. Instead, what if you used this very special season to add a new habit of meditating and connecting with God each day?

Join Director of Contemplative Practices, Julie Stevens, and sign up with others for a 43 day challenge to meditate every day. Daily recordings of introductory and closing thoughts serving as prompts for timed silence will guide you through Lent. The daily time commitment will gradually grow throughout the challenge as your daily habit becomes more grounded -- beginning with just a few minutes, and ending at under 15 minutes.

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!