Pastor Carrie Smisek Now Full Time

Last September, Pastor Carrie Smisek was ordained as a pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Rochester, MN to a half time position. We are pleased to announce that Pastor Carrie will be full time as of April 1st and will be able to expand her ministry in our community and beyond.

Pastor Carrie Smisek

Pastor Carrie Smisek

Pastor Carrie will now have a greater involvement with Children, Youth, and Family ministry, Young Adult ministry, and worship planning. She will also have more opportunities to provide pastoral care and is looking forward to the prospect of re-imagining what pastoral care looks like across all generations. In general, she will be even more present in this building and community to foster even deeper connections with our congregation.

In response to this news, Pastor Carrie says, “It is a joy to work at Gloria Dei and to be a part of this incredible ministry. It was a dream come true to be called here in the first place, and now to be full time feels spectacular! In short, I am excited to continue the journey with you in a more present way and figure out to where the Holy Spirit is bringing us together.”

Thank you to the congregation for supporting Pastor Carrie in her journey here at Gloria Dei. We are so excited to see where this new opportunity leads our community!

Gloria Dei Receives Prestigious Clergy Renewal Grant from the Lilly Foundation

A Note from Pastor Charles: I have some really great news to announce! Our congregation has been awarded a Lily Foundation grant of $44,000, for the support of a three month sabbatical for Pastor Dave in 2019. I have known many pastors who have applied for a grant and Dave is the first one that has actually gotten the grant. Congratulations to Pastor Dave! Well done! We’ll hear more about this as Dave’s sabbatical nears, but here is a bit more information about the grant.

Pastor Dave Berg

Pastor Dave Berg

In response to Gloria Dei’s innovative, forward looking mission and ministry, the Indianapolis, Indiana based Lilly Foundation has awarded our congregation a $44,000 grant to support a three month sabbatical for Pastor Dave in 2019.  Lilly Grants seek to strengthen Christian congregations by providing opportunities for pastors to step away from the persistent obligations of congregational life and engage in a period of renewal and reflection. The funding decision came in part because of Gloria Dei’s unique emphasis on “Research and Development,” and our desire to explore what the church of the future looks like today. The funds will be used to support Dave’s travels and study as well as financially cover congregational staffing and some programming in his absence.

With the support and advising of the congregational council, Pastor Dave wrote the grant to specifically fund a time of renewal that will have an emphasis on exploring Celtic Christian spirituality. With its emphasis on creation spirituality and original blessing among other ideas, Dave believes that some of the core attributes of the age old Celtic Christian tradition have much to teach us today. He will spend some time in Iona, Scotland studying and touring the home of the Celtic church. He will also learn from noted theologian John Philip Newall at the New England School of Celtic Consciousness in Madison, Connecticut. In addition, Dave will take time over the three months to write, read, travel and enjoy some down time with Robyn and the girls. The sabbatical will begin with a sendoff lunch on Sunday, April 28, 2019 and welcome back lunch on Sunday, August 4, 2019. While he is away, there will also be opportunities for the congregation to study the idea of Sabbath, as well as a deeper dive into Celtic Christian Spirituality.

The Lilly Foundation Grant is yet another place where people outside of our immediate community are leaning in and excited by our work and ministry at Gloria Dei. These are indeed exciting times to be the church, and with the help of this funding, we can continue to discover where God might be leading us.