At Gloria Dei we believe Jesus calls us to have dirty hands… and to get busy serving and loving our neighbor.  On this page you’ll find many of the ways that we work in our community and beyond.  We are constantly adding new ways to care for those around us.

If you would like to serve in any of the ways here, or have a new idea for a service project or opportunity, please contact our church office.

Gloria Dei Care Ministry

The Gloria Dei Caring Ministry offers assistance, compassion and friendship to those in tough situations, as well as providing information about healthy living. If you are a person who would benefit from any of the programs listed below, please contact the church office at 289-1841 or by e-mail.

Daily Care
An offering of help to those who need short-term help with some everyday tasks during a crisis or transitional time. Some possible types of help might be: light housekeeping, yard work, a simple prepared meal, grocery shopping, transportation to an appointment, and other tasks as needed.

Gloria Dei Friends
Lay members who have been trained in pastoral care, active listening, confidentiality and professionalism. They are available to church members who need someone to walk hand-in-hand with during a time of transition.
Would you benefit from the visits of a Gloria Dei Friend? Contact the church office to be paired up with your own “friend”.

Hospital Visits and Patient Confidentiality 
Laws on patient confidentiality have made it difficult to know when a person is hospitalized. If you or an immediate family member are hospitalized and desire a pastoral visit, it is important to let the church office know. Even though the hospital admission may ask your religious preference, this does not mean the church will be notified.

Prayer Chain
If you are interested in having a prayer added to the prayer chain or would like to actively take part in the prayer chain, contact the church office.

Prayer Shawl Ministry
Prayer shawls are knit or crocheted with care and many blessings are included in each one. A prayer is said before beginning to make the shawl, dedicating the handwork and asking God’s blessing on the receiver of the shawl. After completion, more prayers for the recipient are said. The pastors will give the shawls to members of our congregation or community who are experiencing serious illness, bereavement, or loss.

Gloria Dei Service Opportunities

Community Food Response (Monthly)
Gloria Dei assists with Community Food Response by volunteering to collect, package and distribute the food. Prepared by licensed restaurants, hospitals and caterers, the food has never been served. It will be packaged and either frozen or refrigerated. The food is collected and taken to Bethel Lutheran Church where people in need can pick it up. Clients may use the service as often as needed. The amount and type of food provided depends on the food supply and number of clients using the service.

Food For Friends (Weekly)
Each week Gloria Dei packs dozens of backpacks full of food for children in need at Elton Hills and Washington Elementary Schools. Here’s a look at what we need in the coming months:

  • September-Family size can of spaghetti sauce and 1lb noodles
  • October-Healthy Cereal/ 1 lb bag dried beans (kidney, navy, black)
  • November-Family size can of chicken noodle soup and 1 box crackers
  • December-1 box Chicken Helper and 1 lg can chicken
  • January- 1 family size can of chili or stew and 1 box crackers
  • February- 1 box Tuna Helper and 1 can tuna
  • March- 1 lb bag of white or brown rice or 1 lb bag red or black beans
  • April- Plastic jar of peanut butter and 1 plastic jar of jelly
  • May- 4 pack of individual fruit cups/ 1 can of tuna
  • June- Healthy Cereal/ 1 lb bag dried beans (kidney, navy, black)
  • July- Family size box of Rice-A-Roni or like product & large can of chicken
  • August- Mac & Cheese and raisins

Donations can be placed in the plastic tote outside of the church office. Please purchase only plastic, metal or cardboard containers. We do not give out glass items for fear they will break in the backpacks. Thank you for helping make a difference for so many families!

Gloria Dei Quilters (Weekly)
Gloria Dei members sew quilts for those in need.  The group provides quilts for Lutheran World Relief, Rochester’s Women Shelter, Good Earth Village Quilt Auction, Camp Knutson Quilt Auction and Bundles of Love. Quilters meet on Thursdays at 9:00 am in the Garden Lounge.

Channel One (March)
Channel One is a local food shelf and regional food bank that serves Southeast Minnesota.  Each March Gloria Dei members donate food and money to the annual food appeal.

Cookie Ministry (May/December)
Gloria Dei provides cookies to guests staying at the Gift of Life Transplant House in May, as well as Hope Lodge in December. Sign up at the Hospitality Desk.

Samaritan Bethany Escorts (January/July)
Samaritan Bethany residents have the opportunity to attend worship services on Sunday mornings.  Gloria Dei assists the residents to get to the chapel for worship in June.

Running Start For Schools (August)
Gloria Dei members collect school supplies and donate them to the United Way of Olmsted County in Rochester. The school supplies are sorted and then distributed to students in need so they may successfully begin the school year.

Salvation Army Bell Ringers (November)
Gloria Dei members annually participate in the Salvation Army bell ringing.  Donations received provide Christmas dinners, clothing, and toys for families in need. Financial assistance also helps with basic necessities, along with seasonal aid.

ABC Dinner (December)
Every December, Gloria Dei provides a Christmas party for clients of the Ability Building Center.  A delicious turkey dinner is served by Gloria Dei volunteers, entertainment is provided and gifts donated by Gloria Dei families are delivered by Santa Claus.

Angel Tree (December)
Gloria Dei members in need, financially or emotionally, are given gifts at Christmas.  The donations to the Angel tree support this ministry.

Family Promise (Interfaith Hospitality Network)
Family Promise is a network of volunteers from 49 Rochester area faith communities who offer food and shelter to families who find themselves homeless.  Family Promise offers these families the basic necessities of life food, shelter and security while they are going through their personal crisis. Gloria Dei supports this ministry by hosting guests certain weeks of the year, as well as financially and with volunteers who serve meals and serve as hosts.

Our next week to host is November 12-19, 2017.

2018 Host Weeks
January 14-21, 2018
March 4-11, 2018
April 15-22, 2018
November 12-18, 2018


With the help of our high school youth and other volunteers, Room 3 had been transformed into Threads — a clothing boutique for children and youth who are “in transition,” or without a home. We work with Rochester Public Schools to find students who are in need and then set up an appoint for them to come in “shopping.” If you are interested in volunteering or making a donation, contact Josh Poencet for more information.