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 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.