Gloria Dei means The Glory of God in Latin. We recently asked ourselves what’s in a name and how does it help us remember that God’s glory is all around us.
We are not the only Gloria Dei Lutheran Church as you can imagine. Conduct a Google search and many other churches who share the name display in the results. In fact, this year our congregation sent a donation to support the restoration of the very first Gloria Dei Church in Philadelphia, founded by Swedish immigrants more than 300 years ago. We even shared a laugh with them categorizing the donation as a “royalty” payment for naming rights. The Philadelphia congregation was especially excited to hear about another connection. In our sanctuary, one of the stained glass windows features an image of their church building.
The name Gloria Dei whether in St. Paul or out East provides a simple reminder that God’s glory has always been with us and is all around us. God’s glory is in creation. God’s love shines in the stories we tell from the Bible. God’s grace fills our beautiful music. God’s light shines, too, when we gather together on Sunday morning to be reminded that the good news is for all people, with no exceptions.
Take time Sunday to find the Philadelphia Gloria Dei church in the sanctuary stained glass windows. As you study each window, you will also see that each reveals how God’s glory is in story, praise, and the world.
If you are interested in seeing images or learning about the history of the original Gloria Dei (Old Swede’s) Church in Philadelphia visit this link. You can also check out this story featuring our church.