Holy Baptism is a sacrament. We read in Luther’s Small Catechism that a sacrament is “a sacred act instituted by God, in which God Himself has joined His Word of promise to a visible element, and by which He offers, gives, and seals the forgiveness of sins earned by Christ.” That is to say, Baptism does something — it saves you. (1 Peter 3:21)
Scripture calls Baptism a second birth. It is the creation of a brand-new life begun in Christ which reaches its fullness on the day of resurrection. At Gloria Dei we practice infant Baptism believing that when God’s Word says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23) and “…make disciples of all nations baptizing them…” (Matthew 28:19), God certainly includes children and infants in these inclusive statements. We hold God at His Word when He says, “No one is righteous, not even one,” (Romans 3:10) and that when Jesus says “let the little children come to me” (Matthew 19:14) He is showing His love for them that lasts forever. By baptizing children we are taking the most important step in raising our children in the Christian faith. We believe that Baptism is something done by God. Anyone who has been baptized as the Lord commands, in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, has been baptized and does not need to be baptized again. It is God’s washing, not our being washed that cleans us and makes us His own. There is nothing that we can do; once it has been done for us, it is finished. If you are interested in learning more about Baptism, for yourself, your child, or someone else, please don’t hesitate to contact Pastor Habrecht.
The Lord’s Supper
Just like Baptism, The Lord’s Supper (also called Holy Communion or the Eucharist) is a sacrament. Jesus tells us when speaking of the bread and wine of communion, “this is my body” and “this is my blood.” We take these words to mean what they say. When we do His meal in remembrance of Him, we believe that His body and blood are present in, with, and under the bread and wine and that through them we receive the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation.
Communion is what the word sounds like: a community and a union. As a community of believers we believe that approaching the altar together says that we are in agreement on our doctrines. This common profession of our faith is important as we are warned in scripture that “whoever eats and drinks without discerning the Body of Christ, eat and drink judgment upon themselves” (1 Cor 11:29).
Because of this, we instruct our children through the confirmation process as to what is meant and done by the words and actions of Jesus for us. Additionally, we invite unconfirmed children, those who are new to the faith, or anyone unsure of what we believe to join us at the altar to receive a blessing.
We welcome those who are united with us in our confession of faith to commune with us but we ask that those who are not members of Gloria Dei or of a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregation would speak to Pastor Habrecht before communing with us.
Marriage is not to be entered into in inadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.
This quote from the beginning of the rite of Holy Matrimony stresses for us the importance of the commitment that is being made in marriage and the picture that it gives us of God. At Gloria Dei we are excited to share in the joy of ushering couples through the preparation and celebration of beginning a life together. If you are interested in having your wedding at Gloria Dei, please contact Pastor Habrecht to learn about our process.
Few reach adulthood without experiencing loss of some sort. Whether you are a lifelong Lutheran, a member of Gloria Dei, a Christian who hasn’t been around church, or someone not sure of what anything means, we would love to help you through the grief and experiences that come from coping with loss.
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)
These brief words are a glimpse of the story of hope and promise of eternal life that are contained in God’s Word for us. Planning a funeral service may seem morbid, but it is actually a loving, caring act for those who will live on. In Christ, our hope and assurance is that we will be with Him and the pains of this life will be no more when we are found in Him.
If you would like information about funeral arrangements at Gloria Dei, please contact Pastor Habrecht.