A message from Pastor Beljean 

A blessed and happy new year to all of the members and friends of Gloria Dei. As the newly appointed interim pastor of Gloria Dei, I look forward to getting to know the people of the congregation. I recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of my ordination, and have served congregations in Pennsylvania, New York and here in Florida. Several years ago I had the pleasure of leading the worship here one Sunday while Pastor Doug was on vacation. The warmth with which you greeted me at that time has stayed in my memory since then. I am anxious to work with you as you begin the process of calling a new regular pastor.

This Sunday, January 7, we begin our journey of looking at the ministry of Jesus in our appointed lessons for the season after the Epiphany. We will read of Jesus calling people to follow him, hear him teach and learn of the amazement of the crowds as Jesus performs miracles. This first Sunday after the Epiphany our readings take us to the beginning of Jesus’s ministry. Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist. This ritual washing was sometimes practiced by Jews as a symbol that they had repented and were now being cleansed of their sins. When Jesus is baptized by John something unusual happens. The heavens open and a voice came from heaven declaring of Jesus “you are my Son, the beloved; with you I am well pleased.” Clearly this is something new, and Jesus begins his ministry among the people of Israel and all of God’s people empowered by the Lord God to work God’s will among all people.Join us in worship this Sunday as we praise God for all of God’s goodness for us, and receive God’s blessings in word and sacrament.

Pastor Bill