In my October 24 post on confusing and misleading church websites, I described my tale of woe connecting with a church in the Jewel Lake area. The bright spot in this misadventure was locating Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. Their website was clean and up-to-date, providing accurate information about worship times and location on the first page in plain sight.
Accordingly, on October 24, I proceeded to Gloria Dei arriving just in time for their 2nd service at 11 a.m. I was warmly greeted by a Rotarian friend Michael Ferris. He was curious as to why I was there, but I only mentioned I was visiting. Mike is a friendly person, just the right greeter you would like at your church door. Any visitor would have received a warm welcome from him. Gloria Dei has a small, but beautifully appointed sanctuary, contemporary in furnishing displaying gracious spiritual banners and quilts with religious motifs located on their walls. I particularly loved the stained glass piece in the front (see below). In sharp contrast to many churches, the sanctuary was quiet and reverent prior to the service. I counted sixty in attendance this day.[img_assist|nid=154334|title=Gloria Dei’s Beautiful Stained Glass|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=298|height=490]
There were introductions of guests, all personal. I’m ok with members/friends introducing guests, but do not appreciate churches singling guests out to have them identify themselves, as if they were total strangers needing appropriate vetting before being allowed to continue to worship. Too many area churches follow this guest-unfriendly practice. But not this day. I’ve made no secret I’m not a big fan of “meet n’ greets” but this one was much more tolerable. The main difference is that Lutherans “pass the peace”, a much warmer way of greeting one another.
The liturgy was traditional Lutheran led by Pastor Scott Fuller and Intern Stephanie Vos. The music was great, a mixture of hymns and contemporary pieces led from the organ by Organist Rick Bender. The Pastor is a genial person clearly in touch with his congregation. The sermon he delivered was given with notes, but was easy to hear and understand. His sermon “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” is located here and by clicking on sermons. Whether or not you are of the Lutheran persuasion, I’m sure you would discover a visit to Gloria Dei to be spiritually rewarding in every respect.