Gloria Dei is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, part of a global communion of 65 million Christians. (For a glimpse at Lutherans around the world, click here
Gloria Dei has been serving Downers Grove since 1948. Our "parent" congregation was Grace Lutheran Church, LaGrange. We are evangelical Lutherans, which means that our focus is on proclaiming the Gospel, and that our ministry is in continuity with the Reformation in 16th Century Europe. We acknowledge our ecumenical ties, including the Roman Catholic church with which we share a heritage, and our "cousins" of the Reformed and Anglican traditions.
The present building, at Main and Grant, was begun in 1955, and expanded in 1962. Stained glass windows were dedicated in 1969. We completed a further addition and renovation in 2009.
Lutheran congregations in the United States are separately incorporated, calling their own pastors from the roster of the larger church, owning their own property, and determining their own future through participation of the voting members of the congregation. The church's constitution outlines our purpose, confession of faith, and organizational structure.
Gloria Dei is very blessed to be served by some very talented and spirit filled staff. The leadership team is headed by Pastor Tim Robertson, Senior Pastor, and Associate Pastor Rhonda Kral. Regardless of whether you are sitting in the pews on the weekend or singing and/or playing in a choir, you will be moved by the leadership and talent of our Director of Music Ministries, Elizabeth Waldon. Our Director of Youth and Family Ministries, Aaron Shoppa, keeps the youth active and busy whether participating in Vacation Bible School, Sunday Church School, or serving at a mission trip or a local "Feed My Starving Children" service project. If you play a stringed instrument, bells, or your children sing, Sue Scharping blesses us with her talents by working with the children's choirs and our intergenerational string group, The Festive Strings. Our Parish Nurse, Jean Runge-Versaci, tends to the congregation through lectures, displays, blood drives and individual confidential consultations. Lastly, our church would not function without the support and skill of Joyce Pauly and Mary Rakowski, in the office, as well as the many people who volunteer their time to help complete the many tasks to keep the church going. The church is not a building, the church is a people!