Holy Week 2017

Palm Sunday Outdoor Procession on Snelling, April 9, 10:15 a.m.  We’ll gather on the front steps of the church for a half-hour procession on Snelling Avenue.  We’ll return in time to enter the sanctuary with the rest of the congregation at 10:45 a.m.

 The Holy Three Days–April 13-15

Christ redeemed humankind and restored the whole creation through his paschal mystery: by dying he destroyed death and by rising he restored our life. The Triduum (Three Holy Days) of the passion and resurrection of Christ is the culmination of the entire liturgical year. What Sunday is to the week, Easter is to the year.

The Easter Triduum begins with the community’s Maundy Thursday assembly, reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil, and then continues with joyous festivity on Easter morning. The Triduum is unique in the church’s repertoire of liturgies in that it is a single liturgy that continues over a period of days. Each service parallels part of the Holy Week story, from Jesus’s last Thursday night with his friends, to the crucifixion on Friday, and finally his resurrection, celebrated first at the Easter Vigil on Saturday night.

Maundy Thursday, April 13,

1:00 p.m., Traditional Liturgy

5:00 p.m. Children’s Maundy Thursday Experience

7:00 p.m. Worship with a Simple Meal.

On Maundy Thursday, the church ritually acts out its core values. We announce the forgiveness of sins, practice humble service, pray for the “least of these,” and share a meal around Christ’s table.

1:00 pm — Traditional celebration, including the announcement of forgiveness, Jesus teaching us to love one another, the washing of feet, and holy communion

5:00 p.m. – Families and children have a chance to learn about footwashing and Jesus’ last supper. This half-hour service helps children learn the important rituals of these holy days.

7:00 pm — Holy Meal, Holy Conversation: a unique opportunity to share dinner and discussion around sacred story and song. Because this service includes a meal, we ask you to RSVP if you plan to attend. To learn more and to RSVP, please click here.

Good Friday, April 14

5:00 p.m. Children’s Good Friday Experience

7:00 p.m. Traditional Worship

 On Good Friday, we gather as a community of friends at the foot of the cross.

5:00 pm — Families and Children will have an opportunity to learn about the story of Jesus in his last days, how he loved his friends, and gave his life for us all.  Children will learn the meaning of the cross in ways that are developmentally appropriate.

7:00 pm — Traditional gathering to hear the passion story, sing of God’s love for the world, pray for the whole cosmos, and draw near to the cross.

Easter Vigil, April 15,

5:00 p.m. Children’s Easter Vigil Experience

7:00 p.m. Traditional Vigil

5:00 p.m. Children and families will gather on Holy Saturday to wake up the Alleluia and to help get ready for the celebration of Easter the next morning or later that night at the vigil.  This half-hour worship service helps teach our children about the excitement of this special night

7:00 p.m. This night is the center of our year, the most dramatic and beautiful celebration of Easter. At sunset, we gather to kindle a new fire, hear ancient stories, remember baptism, and share the Eucharist. The “Alleluia” returns as darkness gives way to light, each of us crossing from death to life with Christ. If you haven’t been to a Vigil, come this year. It may become your favorite service of the year.

Easter Day, April 16, 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 a.m.

Festival worship with brass, choirs, and all the glory of Easter. The 9:30 a.m. service often welcomes the most visitors. If members are able to come at 8 or 11, it will leave room for our many guests. Additionally, if you are able-bodied, please park on the street, leaving parking lot spaces for those who need to be close to the door. Invite your friends and neighbors. Christ is risen.

Christ is risen, indeed. Alleluia!

Reformation 500 – Lent 2017

This year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation.  On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, igniting a discussion about the gospel that continues to this day.  We’re still reforming, growing into grace, becoming a people that embody love, mercy, compassion and peace.  During Lent, we are called to grow and return to our deepest roots, the love and grace of God. During Lent this year, we’ll use some of the resources of our Lutheran tradition to grow forward into a next millennium of living by grace alone, faith alone, and Scripture alone.

Ash Wednesday, March 1 – On Ash Wednesday, we enter the season of Lent. Psalm 51 invites us to confess our need for God’s mercy. We receive a sign of ashes, reminding us of our mortality and our connection with the earth. We share a meal of grace, and commit ourselves to a season of renewal, hope, and reconciliation.

1:00 p.m., Traditional Liturgy — Confession, Imposition of Ashes & Holy Communion

5:00 p.m. Children’s Ash Wednesday Experience – receive the sign of the cross and enter the season of renewal and hope

7:00 p.m. Traditional Liturgy with choir — Confession, Imposition of Ashes & Holy Communion


Sunday Worship – This is Most Certainly True

 Some of the language of the liturgy will come from Luther’s Small Catechism.  You’ll hear echoes of the catechism in the confession, the prayers, and the creed.  Each Sunday, we’ll use a portion of Martin Luther’s explanation to the Apostles’ Creed as our creed for the morning.  It was important for Luther to find language that regular people could understand, bringing this ancient creed to life.  His explanations still sound fresh in the 21st century.  We’ll also be singing a variety of Luther hymns during the liturgy, even “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” on the First Sunday in Lent.  Listen especially for the “Lamb of God,” written by Martin Luther’s pastor in Wittenberg, Pr. Johannes Bugenhagen, in 1528.

 Wednesday Nights During Lent – What Does This Mean?

 “What does this mean?”  Luther asks this question throughout his Small Catechism as a way of teaching the church how to believe.  In his day, he worried that regular people didn’t know how to make the faith relevant in their daily life.  He wrote the catechism to make the gracious love of God come alive in the hearts of the believers.  Five hundred years later, it’s still a good question, “What does this mean?” Do these ancient texts still have relevance for today?  What do we make of them in the 21st Century? Is the Small Catechism a quaint relic of the past, or can it still be a guide for our own living faith? Join us on Wednesday nights each week during Lent to explore these questions.  Each week, we’ll gather at 6:00 p.m. in the Gathering Place to focus on a part of the catechism.  Don’t worry:  No memorization required. Join us after the discussion for Lenten Midweek worship, 7:00 p.m.

Week 1 – Ten Commandments with Pastor Javen

Week 2 – Lord’s Prayer with Pastor Lois

Week 3 – Baptism and Holy Communion with Bishop Patricia Lull

Week 4 – Apostles’ Creed with Pastor Bradley

Week 5 – Augsburg Confession with Pastors Bradley and Lois


Forum, March 5 and 12, 9:30 a.m. Fellowship Hall

The council has set a goal for Gloria Dei to combat racism and to acknowledge the privilege that comes from being white in our culture.  These two adult forums help us understand privilege and help us begin to confess our complicity in the system. Our speaker, the Reverend Dr. Herbert A. Perkins (Okogyeamon), is the executive director of ASDIC Metamorphosis, an esteemed anti-racism workshop provider, based in St. Paul, Minnesota.   ASDIC (Anti-racism Study Dialogue Circles) has facilitated more than 150 workshops and dialogue groups with more than 2200 participants from educational, governmental, and religious organizations.  Dr. Perkins is a former Roman Catholic monk, a retired college professor in sociology/anthropology, and an ordained United Church of Christ minister.  He now goes by the name Okogyeamon, which is a name given to him in Ghana, meaning “He who awakens a village in danger.”

March 5:  ACKNOWLEDGING PRIVILEGE: TOWARD A RESTORATIVE MINDSET (ISAIAH 58:12) In this session, taking the predicaments of white privilege into account and how to respond, we will explore the understandings (personal, institutional, systemic), mindset, and attitudes (beliefs, values, feelings, action orientations) required to “set things right,” that is, to be “restorers of the breach, restorers of the streets to live in.”  With this, we shall identify what it is we need to do and the tools needed to do what is required.

March 12:  FROM A CHURCH OF PRIVILEGE TO A MULTICULTURAL, ANTI-RACISM CHURCH  (ROMANS 12: 2-3) In this session, we extend our understanding of what is required of us to embodying basic elements of becoming a multicultural, antiracist church in the model of the Early Church;  that is, not conforming to the model of our post-Christian culture and mores but to the ideal of Paul, not abiding according to the divisions given to us (neither Greek or Hebrew, master or slave, male or female).  We will seek to identify the obstacles and challenges to our becoming a complete community, by examining and adjusting our structures of thinking and ways of doing what we do, so that we may become a multicultural, anti-racist congregation.

Lent Forums March 19 & 26, 9:30 a.m.  Not Yet Resurrection: Trauma, Illness, and Getting to Hope. At the heart of Christianity sits the story of Jesus Christ, a story that moves from life to death and back to life. It’s a story that drives toward resolution. And many of our own stories–particularly those stories of living with serious illness–tend much more toward irresolution than resolution. Where do such stories find space within the Christian story of out of death, life? Deanna Thompson, member of Gloria Dei and Professor of Religion at Hamline University, leads a two part series.

Palm Sunday Preparation, April 2, 9:30 a.m.  This year, we’ll prepare for our Palm Sunday procession by making signs that we can carry.  Join us for an intergenerational experience on April 2nd at 9:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.  We’ll announce God’s intention to build a world of peace and compassion.  Then we’ll “take it to the streets” in a special pre-procession at 10:15 on Passion Sunday.