Our mission statement is: “Called and Sent to Share Christ’s Love”
At Gloria Dei, we believe that sharing Christ’s love involves acts of charity, advocacy for justice, and giving voice to the Gospel of hope. There are many ways to express this belief at Gloria Dei:
Much of our identity at Gloria Dei is involves music. Our services feature a blend of music from both traditional hymns and celebration songs, both of which invite the participation of all.
The Dei-Light Celebration Band practices on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday morning before worship service at 9am (except during COVID-19 restrictions).
I was hooked from the first Sunday I visited. The music just touched my soul and heart. I hadn’t been to a service where so many people, nearly the entire congregation, participated in singing the hymns. It really made me feel good. Singing along made me feel like I belonged here. I stopped looking for a new place to worship after I found Gloria Dei.“
Service To Others
Throughout our rich history, Gloria Dei has been an active participant in community outreach and service to others. While we are and always have been a smaller congregation of believers, our efforts to enrich the lives of others through the sharing of our resources has been a constant theme.
- Filling bags full of Thanksgiving dinner for the Good Samaritans Food Pantry and supporting other food drives for them
- Helping staff the Garland Overnight Warming Station (GLOWS) for the homeless when the winter temperature dips to dangerous levels
- Collecting personal care products for MOSAIC’s Easter Basket and Christmas in July campaigns
- Donating to ELCA World Hunger Good Gifts (several chickens, goats, and other livestock)
- Hosting low cost pet vaccination clinics for Texas Coalition of Animal Protection
- Tending Blessing Boxes with books for borrowing by neighborhood readers, and emergency food supplies for the hungry
- Conducting voter registration drives
- Providing Christmas gifts through Lutheran Social Services and other programs
The members of Gloria Dei believe that sharing Christ’s love involves advocacy for justice. Our justice work focuses on addressing attitudes and policies that have become institutionalized and have resulted in disparities in treatment, neglect, or even abuse. As advocates for justice we view the following as being among our missional tasks:
- Understanding and addressing institutionalized racism.
- Advocating for the developmentally and physically disabled, and mentally ill.
- Advocating for the LGBTQ community and others whose behaviors did not conform to prevailing social norms.
Social Justice Team
Gloria Dei has a Social Justice Team that works with other groups such as the Synod’s Public Witness Team and Faith in Texas, a nonpartisan, multi-racial, multi-faith grassroots movement of people united in values working together to achieve economic, racial, and social justice for all people.
Through Faith in Texas, our Social Justice Team has joined with other faith communities to address the issues of payday lending, bail reform, drivers’ license availability for everyone (whether they are documented or not), affordable housing, and most importantly, getting out the vote.
For several years, Gloria Dei has been having Courageous Conversations about Racism with members of St. John Lutheran Church, a predominantly African American congregation in south Dallas. These conversations switch between St. John and Gloria Dei roughly every month or so. An extensive article on our discussions appeared in the January 2016 issue of The Lutheran magazine.
During the COVID-19 pandemic and in light of the recent need for dialogs on race, the two congregations have been meeting by Zoom every other week. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be interested in joining our courageous conversation.
Special Needs Advocacy
Gloria Dei has a rich history of working with people with special abilities. Our building is fully accessible and several of our pews are arranged to accommodate wheelchairs. For years we hosted a daily program by the ARC of Dallas until they outgrew our facilities.
We have a Sunday school class for special abilities adults. The Joyful Singers, a special abilities choir, regale our worship services several times per year.
Reconciling in Christ Community
Gloria Dei became an RIC community in December 2019, although that just put a stamp on the openness and inclusiveness we have shared for many years (see ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation for more information on the RIC process). Several members have supportive ties to the LGBTQIA+ community and share their activities on our social media platforms. See our Welcoming Statement on our About Us page.
We treasure God’s creation, regard all creatures with respect, and recognize their gifts to us.
We partner with Pet Partners of Greater Dallas and offer our facilities to assist in training and acclimating therapy animals. Hearing the many stories of how our Pet Partner teams have helped heal and calm the hearts and minds of those in need keeps us focused on this very worthwhile endeavor. On any given Sunday you’ll likely encounter several, well behaved, pet partner teams among our worshipers. Perhaps you’ve even encountered one of our Pet Partner teams at DFW Airport?
Approximately twice per year, Gloria Dei holds a Commissioning Service for recently certified or recertified Pet Partner teams during our regular worship service.
Gloria Dei has established a great partnership with Feral Friends Community Cat Alliance to host, foster and re-home unwanted cats. We provide space for cat condos and often house feral mamas with their litters of kittens. Although many of our members volunteer with Feral Friends, they provide their own network of volunteers and make sure that all of the cats they find homes for are healthy and spayed/neutered.
Blessing of the Animals
On the first Sunday in October, to honor the birthday of St. Francis of Assisi, we hold worship services under a big tent in front of the church and invite everyone to bring their pets to be blessed during worship. We ask that dogs be on a leash and other animals be in appropriate cages. If you don’t think your pet would like being around other animals, you can bring a picture to be blessed.