Gloria Dei Lutheran Church is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Lutheran World Federation. With the ELCA and LWF, Gloria Dei confesses the Triune God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In our preaching, teaching, serving, and living we trust the Gospel (Good News of Jesus) as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.

Scriptures, Creeds and Confessions

Our official confession of faith identifies the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the only source and norm of our doctrine, life and service, and see in the Ecumenical Creeds  (The Apostles’, Nicene and Athanasian) and in the Lutheran Confessions a pure exposition of the Word of God. Gloria Dei makes the same affirmation in our governing documents, and pastors and leaders promise to carry out their ministry in accordance with these teaching sources. This confession of faith is more than just words in an official document. Every Sunday in worship, we hear God’s word from the Scriptures, pray as Jesus taught and come to the Lord’s Table expecting to receive the mercies that God promises. Throughout the week, Gloria Dei members continue to live by faith, serving others freely and generously in all that they do because they trust God’s promise in the Gospel. In small groups and at sick beds, in private devotions and in daily work, in fellowship and in youth ministries, this faith saturates all of life.

Teaching for a life of faith

This connection to all of life is the clearest demonstration of the authority that the canonical Scriptures, the ecumenical Creeds and the Lutheran Confessions have in the ELCA. The Holy Spirit uses these witnesses to  create, strengthen and sustain faith in Jesus Christ and the life we have in him. That life-giving work continues every day, as Martin Luther explained in the Small Catechism – the Holy Spirit “calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth and preserves it in union with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.”

The Lutheran church celebrates two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion. (Click on either to find out more information). The Lutheran church defines a Sacrament as something commanded by Jesus, with an earthly element (water, bread/wine), and contains a promise of God. We call the Sacraments, “means of grace,” that is, through these actions a person experiences the unconditional love of God. For other details about worship at Gloria Dei, please click here. Gloria Dei celebrates Holy Communion at every Sunday service.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8) Grace is God’s unconditional love which is experienced in many ways, but fully and finally in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. At Gloria Dei, we say often, “Grace changes everything!” And indeed it does. Grace changes the way you look at yourself, as a beloved child of God and it changes the way you look and interact with others – They too are loved by God. It changes your purpose in life – to share the grace of God with everyone you meet. It empowers your daily living in the present and it changes your hope in the future, that is, not even death will have the last word, but God’s love will find a way to overcome all.
Martin Luther described faith as “A living, daring confidence in God’s grace.”

When Lutherans talk about faith, we often use the word trust or a relationship, one that the Holy Spirit creates within us. Martin Luther once said, “Faith is the open hand which receives God’s gift of salvation.” Faith opens us to a life of bold trust in God and joyful, generous service to everyone we know and meet in daily life.

Martin Luther was exuberant when he described the freedom of “a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that believers would stake their lives on it a thousand times.” He also wrote, “Oh, it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith. It is impossible for it not to be doing good things unceasingly.”
Our Lutheran Heritage
The Reformation began over 500 years ago (1517), as Martin Luther attempted to reform the church in his day, emphasizing, “Sola Gratia” (Grace Alone), “Sola Fide” (Faith Alone), and “Sola Scriptura” (Scripture Alone). All Christians who come from the Protestant branch of the church owe much to Martin Luther and his reforms. We view Martin Luther as a saint and a sinner. For a fuller, detailed understanding of our heritage, please click here.
 The Gloria Dei Rose
The name Gloria Dei is a Latin phrase and means “glory of God.”  At Gloria Dei, we often give out particular roses to new members and other people. The rose, developed first in France at the beginning of World War 2, was sent to various growers around the world to ensure its survival.  In the U.S., it is called the Peace Rose, and in Italy it is called Gioia (Joy), and in Germany it is called Gloria Dei. We pray that Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, through the many ministries of this congregation will proclaim the glory of God in words and in loving action.
The Liturgy
Lutheran congregations celebrate worship in a variety of ways and styles. There is always a pattern which includes singing, scripture reading, message/sermon, prayers, the Eucharist (Holy Communion), and blessing. At Gloria Dei, we often chant or sing the liturgy. The word “liturgy” means “work of the people.” We do this together. Basically, the liturgy is scripture set to a musical melody. It surprises people to know that they are memorizing scripture and they don’t even realize it. For instance, when we sing, “The Kyrie Eleison” (Lord have mercy), we join the many people in scripture who call out to Jesus for healing and strength. When we sing, the Gospel Acclamation“Lord to whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life,” we are joining Saint Peter in that moment when everyone was beginning to leave Jesus because of his talk of suffering and we proclaim – We are with You! Of course, the Lutheran church has a rich heritage of music (Bach, Handel, Mendelssohn…), click here to learn more about worship/music at Gloria Dei. You may also see people making the sign of the cross at various times (in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit). This prayer reminds us of our baptism and we pray, “God be in my head and in my heart, to my left and to my right.” In other words, we are praying for God’s presence and power.  Please join us in worship.  And if the style or structure is new to you, please don’t worry at all. In very short order, you will be able to follow along and everyone is there to help each other. You will be very welcome!
Click here to view Gloria Dei’s Constitution (Ratified by congregation on 2/6/2022)
Click here to view Gloria Dei’s Bylaws (Red line edition to be approved on 5/27/2021)