Health and Wellness

At Gloria Dei, we know that spiritual wellness and physical wellness are related and that part of our work as Christians is to help our community and families be healthy. Our Wellness Committee meets monthly to work in tandem with our Parish Nurse, Jean Runge-Versaci, an Advocate Health Care employee, to create programming and support groups that help our minds and bodies thrive.

Current Program Events

Walking with Bilbo

Consider joining Gloria Dei's walking program and start walking or exercising to improve your health. Last year almost 50 members of our congregation walked or exercised equal to 500 miles from April to October. This year we would like to have more of you join us.

We have a fun book that we are promoting to enhance your walking and spiritual experience called Walking with Bilbo by Sarah Arthur.  We can order the Walking with Bilbo book ($10) for anyone who is interested and we will answer any questions about the program. The book does not require knowledge of the Hobbit characters, but we will make the movie series available for check out in the Gloria Dei Library.

Feel free to invite anyone who might have an interest in participating in a walking program. If you have any questions, contact Janet Barr. (Contact information can be obtained through the church office.)


Parish Nurse

Gloria Dei’s focus on health and wellness is supported by an Advocate Health Care-certified Parish Nurse. Jean Runge-Versaci spends about 20 hours per week caring for members and the community at large. Together with the Wellness Cabinet, Jean plans educational and informational events, blood drives, wellness programs and acts as an advocate in the healthcare process.

The next blood drive (conducted with LifeSource at is scheduled for Sunday, September 18, 2016,  from 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Gloria Dei. Interested donors may sign up at and use code 496C if donating outside of the drive date.


Lutheran Social Services of Illinois

Gloria Dei works with Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI), a not-for-profit social services agency of the three Illinois synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). It serves people of all faiths and all walks of life, including children, families and adults of all ages. More information can be found at


 Stephen Ministry


Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2, NRSV)

What Is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is a ministry in our congregation in which trained and supervised lay persons called Stephen Ministers provide one to one Christian care to individuals facing life challenges or difficulties. The first Stephen Ministers were commissioned at Gloria Dei in July of 2002.

Stephen Ministers are caregivers. They have been through 50 hours of training in Christian caregiving, including topics such as listening, feelings, boundaries, assertiveness, and using Christian resources in caregiving. Their training also covers specialized topics such as ministering to the divorced, hospitalized, bereaved, and aging.

Care receivers are the recipients of a Stephen Minister's care. They are people from our church or within the local community who are experiencing divorce, grief, loss of a job, loneliness, hospitalization, terminal illness, or any of an endless number of other life difficulties. Stephen Ministers usually meet with their care receivers once a week for about an hour for as long as the care receiver will benefit by the relationship.

Stephen Leaders oversee and direct our Stephen Ministry. They have been through an additional 50 hours of training.  They recruit, select, train, organize, and supervise our Stephen Ministers, work with the pastors to identify people in need of care, and match them with a Stephen Minister.  Pat Fellows and Kim Maschoff are our current Stephen leaders.

What do Stephen Ministers do?

Stephen Ministers are caring Christian friends who listen, understand, accept, and pray for and with care receivers who are working through a difficult time in their life. Stephen Ministers are not counselors; they are trained lay caregivers. Their role is to listen and care--not to give advice or counsel. Stephen Ministers are also trained to recognize when a care receiver's need exceeds what they can provide. When that happens they work with care receivers to help them receive the level of care they really need.

Can I trust a Stephen Minister?

Trust is essential to a caring relationship, and Stephen Ministers are people you can trust. Confidentiality is one of the most important principles of Stephen Ministry, and what a care receiver tells his or her Stephen Minister is kept in strictest confidence.

How can someone receive care from a Stephen Minister?

If you or someone you know could benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister, you can talk to our Pastors or Pat Fellows or Kim Maschoff (Gloria Dei's Stephen Leaders).  (If you want to talk about Stephen Ministry for someone else, please make sure you get his or her permission first, always remembering the importance of confidentiality in Stephen Ministry.)

How can someone become a Stephen Minister?

Begin by talking to one of our Pastors or Kim Maschoff or Pat Fellows, Stephen Leaders, for any questions you may have.

Additional information is available at

You will also find information printed on a special Stephen Ministry card in the pew racks in the church and brochures in the brochure rack in the gathering area.  See the Stephen Ministry banner by the church office.

Stephen Ministry Facts and Stats

•    Stephen Ministry in a non denominational ministry begun by Pastor Kenneth Haugk in 1975.
•    Stephen Ministry is now in more than 11,000 congregations from more than 160 Christian denominations, in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, and 24    other countries.
•    More than 65,000 pastors, church staff, and laypeople have trained as Stephen Leaders (those who oversee and direct Stephen Ministry in the congregation) at a Leader’s Training Course.
•    More than 600,000 people have trained as Stephen Ministers (laypeople who provide care to those who are hurting) in their congregations.
•    More than one-and-a-half million people have received care from a Stephen Minister in a formal one-to-one Stephen Ministry caring relationship, and millions more have been touched by Stephen Ministry in informal ways.
Downers Grove Dementia Support Group

Families Anonymous

Meets at Gloria Dei weekly on Thursdays at 7:30 PM

Teen Parent Connection

Meets at Gloria Dei on Monday evenings from 6:00 - 8:00 PM

12-Step Ministry

Alcoholics Anonymous
Closed meetings at Gloria Dei:Tuesdays, 7:00 pm;  Fridays, 12 noon and 8:00 pm

Alcoholics Anonymous
(312) 346-1475, (800) 371-1475, Spanish: (312) 278-6251

Cocaine Anonymous
Meeting at Gloria Dei: Thursdays, 7:30 pm

Cocaine Hotline:
(800) 262-2463
Narcotics Anonymous
(708) 848-4884

For other meetings, contact:
AlAnon and Alateen
(847) 848-2707

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