Dei is Latin for the Glory of God. It
is a fitting name for a church. We are here to proclaim God's
glory. In the second century the great theologian, Irenaeus,
wrote that "The glory of God is a human fully alive." The
best way for us to proclaim God's glory is by being the Glory
logo helps explain how we do that. On the logo you will
find four separate items: a palm branch, a crown of thorns,
and the words Lordship and Servanthood. Palm branches
were laid in the path of Jesus as He rode into Jerusalem
on that first Palm Sunday. This was a kind of first century
red carpet. This, in the logo, signifies Christ's Lordship,
His authority of function, not status. His scepter was
a cross and His crown was made of thorns.
had declared, "You know that the rulers of
the gentiles lord it over them and great men exercise
authority over them. It shall not be so with you.
Whoever would be great among you must be your servant...even
as the Son of Man came not to be served but to
serve." (Matthew 20:25-28) So
it is with the church. So it is with individual
Christians. We best proclaim the Glory of God by
serving God and each other. That is the basis upon
which Gloria Dei! was founded and the call to which
October 1982, 450 people were received into The Lutheran
Church in America. We had been worshipping together since
November 1981 when we had our first worship service at
Anne Arundel Community College. We barely knew each other.
But with enthusiasm, faith and trepidation we took the
first step to becoming the people of God on the Broadneck
Peninsula. We were given our commission to preach the Gospel,
share the sacraments, care for those in need, and build
a congregation of faithful and committed people. It is
now twenty years later. We are a little older, hopefully
wiser, and with almost 1400 members. Yet the commission
remains the same.
how we have been blessed. God has blessed us with visionary
leaders who continually ask the question, "How can we
be more faithful and effective in our ministry?"
We have been blessed with staff
and clergy who are competent and give unselfishly of themselves.
We now have a building that is fast becoming a center of Peninsula
life. Community groups, scouts, twelve step programs, musicians,
other congregations, and others utilize our facility constantly.
Our building is not a shrine to be admired but a tool for God
to use for the good of God's people. We have been instrumental
in starting a community food pantry, Chores and More, a counseling
center, programs for youth and outreach to Slovakia and El
Salvador. How we have been blessed with faithful leaders!
| Recently our
pastoral staff has been gloriously enhanced by the
presence of Pastor Ana Langerak and Pastor Connie Miller.
Each of these committed, energetic women has transformed
worship at Gloria Dei! Pastor Ana brings to us her vast
experience in the area of salvation theology; Pastor
Connie's stories of personal triumphs and inner strength
energize and inspire us.
There are still, however, great
challenges before us. There are still many who do not intimately
know the love God has for them. There are still many who have
not been able to claim their Belovedness.
How do we reach them? How can we share the Gospel with those
who have not heard it? How can we offer worship that will both
stimulate the mind and touch the heart? One of the great challenges
is not just to be successful stewards of God's message of salvation
but to be successful without losing our spiritual center or
May God bless our next twenty years
together and let us renew our vow to keep our commission to
May God go with us - and may we go with God.