DULUTH, MN– A new beginning, that’s what members of the congregation at Gloria Dei Luthern are calling the rebuild of their once destroyed church.
“We’ve been away from our sanctuary for over 3 years,” says Pastor David Carlson.
A fire in February 2016 gutted the inside of the church. The Pastor says, “it was horrific when we looked at the broken windows after the fire and we saw so much of the sanctuary destroyed.”
Members of the church saught worship elsewhere at the former First Lutheran Church, in which they walked from Sunday morning. “We walked over 5 miles to get here,” says Pastor Carlson.
A warm welcome once inside during the church’s first mass since the rebuild. “God has really used the gift of everyone involved in order for us to do this rebuilding and to re-imagine a new future here.”
Many returning to their worship home not only during Holy Week, but on Palm Sunday, and just in time for Easter.
Congregation member, Ryan Jagim says, “People have been amazed and overwhelmed and just so jubilant to be in and its been quite a celebration.”
Pastor Carlson says members of the congregation determine to continue to build community relationships and help those in need. “The church is not the building but the people.”
Music and song once again filling the hole that was left in the hillside community, welcoming all.
“We hope that others will come and find their home with us as Gloria Dei. It’s good to be home.”
The church was of course upgrades adding infrastructures such as an elevator, an education wing, and a community kitchen.
Gloria Dei will celebrate 150 years of worship in 2020.