At Gloria Dei, we are led by a vibrant, caring PMA, Brenda Tophoj. Brenda has been with us serving our congregation since 2013, sharing service duties with the Pastors who served four congregations. In August 2018, Tri-County Parish called PMA Brenda to be our primary minister, and she serves our congregation 3 of the 4 Sundays of each month. The 4th Sunday of each month lay members preach at worship service and on the 5th Sunday of a month we provide a youth service in which our youth and Sunday school are the focus of the service. We are excited about the strong lay leaders we have in our congregation. We have strong members who have been with Gloria Dei through the church’s ups and downs. These members provide leadership for our congregation. We also have young members who are actively involved and taking on many leadership roles in our church. The young members provide hope and fresh leadership to our congregation. We have learned how to use the gifts that God has given us to help continue our church’s mission.
Our mission statement is, “Gloria Dei means Glory to God, giving glory to God is Gloria Dei’s mission.” Everything we say and do should be to the glory of God. We all do our best to use the gifts that God has given us to give glory to God. Whether this means preaching on Sunday mornings, visiting an elderly member in the rest home, teaching Sunday School, playing the organ during worship, singing in the choir, cooking for Lions Club or funerals, cleaning the church or managing the finances of the church, we all do our part to help continue giving glory to God.
We are very involved in our community and do our best to support Lodgepole through our church. We have started a community women’s group called the Helping Hands. These talented generous ladies sew quilts, baby and school kits that they send to Lutheran World Relief. Our fellowship hall is also used to host many baby and wedding showers, family gatherings, and provides our local Lions Club a meeting place. Both the men and women of our church help support the Old Settler’s Day celebration in our community with a parade float entry and a homemade pies stand in the park. We hold an annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feed that provides a social opportunity for the community to support a fundraising event. Every Valentine’s Day our Sunday school children deliver Love boxes of groceries to the elderly and medical shut-ins in our town. Each Sunday our children collect our amazing generous congregation’s change in support of the children’s mission to make a difference in someone’s life.
We are also very excited about our Sunday School program, and the Multi-Age Sparks curriculum that we use. Our Sparks curriculum starts off with opening of singing and games, and then moves into the story or lesson that follows the lectionary. Students are paired up with a buddy, an older student, who reads the Bible story to them or with them and helps them to find the story or verse in the Bible. Giving these older students a little buddy to read with, connect with, builds great skills and helps them to feel useful in our congregation. Through these lessons, the students have a better understanding of the readings, the gospel and the pastor’s sermon. PMA Brenda offers confirmation classes to students grades 6th-8th grade and uses a 2 year curriculum that helps the students understand the Lutheran Church, what it means to be a member, and to help them see how they are a vital part of the church.