Welcome to Gloria Dei

Pastor Marilyn Crosby

Who Are We

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church is a member congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). A merger of three Lutheran churches formed the ELCA in 1988: the American Lutheran Church, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches and the Lutheran Church in America. We trace our roots back through the mid-17th century, when early Lutherans came to America from Europe, settling in the Virgin Islands and the area that is now known as New York. Before that, Martin Luther sought reform for the church in the 16th century, laying the framework for our beliefs.

Because we are a church that believes God is calling us into the world together, the ELCA is comprised of 65 synods, (“synod” means walking together”) that vary greatly in size, geography, membership, staffing, and program.  The synods are grouped into nine regions. Gloria Dei is a member of the Florida-Bahamas Synod, which is part of Region 9.

The ELCA is a church that promotes ecumenical dialogue around the world, which has resulted in the establishment of cooperative “full communion” partnerships with the following Christian denominations:

  • Presbyterian Church USA
  • Reformed Church in America
  • United Church of Christ
  • The Episcopal Church
  • The Moravian Church
  • The United Methodist Church

Full communion is when two denominations develop a relationship based on a common confession of the Christian faith and a mutual recognition of Baptism and sharing of the Lord’s Supper. This does not mean the two denominations merge; rather, in reaching agreements, denominations also respect differences. These denominations worship together, may exchange clergy and also share a commitment to evangelism, witness and service in the world. Each entity agrees that even with differences, there is no difference that is church-dividing.  The characteristics of full communion are characteristics of theology and mission as related to the gospel, stressing a “one holy and Catholic Church” that acts ecumenically for the sake of the world, not for itself alone.

Now known as New York. Before that, Martin Luther sought reform for the church in the 16th century, laying the framework for our beliefs.

Because we are a church that believes God is calling us into the world together, the ELCA is comprised of 65 synods, (“synod” means walking together”) that vary greatly in size, geography, membership, staffing, and program.  The synods are grouped into nine regions. Gloria Dei is a member of the Florida-Bahamas Synod, which is part of Region 9.

The ELCA is a church that promotes ecumenical dialogue around the world, which has resulted in the establishment of cooperative “full communion” partnerships with the following Christian denominations:

  • Presbyterian Church USA
  • Reformed Church in America
  • United Church of Christ
  • The Episcopal Church
  • The Moravian Church
  • The United Methodist Church

Full communion is when two denominations develop a relationship based on a common confession of the Christian faith and a mutual recognition of Baptism and sharing of the Lord’s Supper. This does not mean the two denominations merge; rather, in reaching agreements, denominations also respect differences. These denominations worship together, may exchange clergy and also share a commitment to evangelism, witness and service in the world. Each entity agrees that even with differences, there is no difference that is church-dividing.  The characteristics of full communion are characteristics of theology and mission as related to the gospel, stressing a “one holy and Catholic Church” that acts ecumenically for the sake of the world, not for itself alone.

Mission and Vision

Marked with the cross of Christ forever, we are claimed, gathered and sent for the sake of the world.

As members of the ELCA, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. With our hands, we do God’s work of restoring and reconciling communities in Jesus’ name throughout the world.

Claimed by God’s grace for the sake of the world, we are a new creation through God’s living word by the power of the Holy Spirit;

Gathered by God’s grace for the sake of the world, we will live among God’s faithful people, hear God’s word and share Christ’s supper;

Sent by God’s grace for the sake of the world, we will proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, serve all people following the example of our Lord Jesus, and strive for justice and peace in all the world.

At Gloria Dei, we express the ELCA’s mission in our own words:

What We Believe

The ELCA is a church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. As members of the ELCA, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. With our hands, God works to restore and reconcile communities in Jesus Christ’s name throughout the world.

The ELCA confesses the Triune God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In our preaching and teaching the ELCA trusts the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.

ELCA teaching or theology does not have an answer for all questions, not even all religious questions, but prepares members to be witnesses in speech and in action of God’s rich mercy in Jesus Christ.

The ELCA’s official Confession of Faith identifies the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (commonly called the Bible); the Apostles’, Nicene and Athanasian Creeds; and the Lutheran confessional writings in the Book of Concord as the basis for our teaching. ELCA congregations make the same affirmation in their governing documents, and ELCA pastors promise to preach and teach in accordance with these teaching sources. Every Sunday in worship ELCA congregations gather to hear God’s word from the Scriptures, pray as Jesus taught and come to the Lord’s Table expecting to receive the mercies that the Triune God promises. Throughout the week ELCA 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. This faith saturates all of life.  The daily life-giving work of the Holy Spirit creates, strengthens and sustains faith in Jesus Christ and the life we have in him. 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.”— Martin Luther

Membership in a Congregation

Membership in an ELCA congregation begins with baptism where, as infants or adults, we are adopted as children of God.  If a baptized person desires membership in the Gloria Dei faith community, we also begin with baptism through the Affirmation of Baptism where we once again hear God’s promises to us, profess our faith, and renew our promises to God to:

  • live among God’s faithful people;
  • hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper;
  • proclaim Christ  through word and deed;
  • care for others and the world God made; and
  • work for justice and peace in the world.

By these promises we commit to being regularly and actively involved in the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ as his disciple, learning to bear witness to Christ in the world. To be a member of Gloria Dei means:

  • Gathering in Christ
  • Sharing His Love

There are many opportunities for ministry at Gloria Dei to choose according to your gifts:

  • WORSHIP
  • FAITH FORMATION
  • FELLOWSHIP
  • SOCIAL MINISTRY
  • PROPERTY
  • EVANGELISM
  • STEWARDSHIP
  • FINANCE
  • CHURCH COUNCIL

Your sponsor will provide more information about these ministry opportunities and assist you in choosing where God is calling you to serve.

As your sisters and brothers in the body of Christ, we rejoice with you and we welcome you as members of this congregation as together we gather in Christ to share his love; giving praise to God and bearing God’s creative and redeeming Word to all the world!

For more information see www.elca.org