What We Believe

What We Believe About... 

Baptism is a tangible sign of God's grace in our lives. Through the water and word of this sacrament, God welcomes each person into the community of faith, makes us all brothers and sisters in Christ, and promises us God's daily and everlasting forgiveness and healing love. Baptism is for children. Baptism is for adults. Baptism is done only once and lasts all of our life. 

Holy Communion is celebrated at each Sunday worship service. We believe that Christ is present in communion. We don’t know how. Our founders said Christ was “in, with and under” the bread and wine, but that doesn’t really clear it up so we celebrate mystery! What we do know is that at the communion table, God nourishes faith, forgives sin, and calls us to be witnesses to the Gospel. All who wish to receive the body and blood are welcome. Children of any age are welcome when parents decide it is time. Children or adults not receiving communion are invited forward to receive a blessing if they desire. 

The Bible is our sacred story. We believe that people meet God in Scripture. God’s relationship to, and intention for humankind is revealed in the story of faith. The Bible creates and nurtures faith through the work of the Holy Spirit and points us to Jesus Christ, the living Word and center of our faith. In reading the Bible, we are invited into a relationship with God that both challenges us and promises new life.  

After centuries of handling and mishandling, most religious words have become so shopworn nobody's much interested anymore. Not so with grace, for some reason. Mysteriously, even derivatives like gracious and graceful still have some of the bloom left.” - Author Fredrick Buechner

 Did you ever have a “grace period” for an assignment? Did you ever get to go somewhere really important even though you were grounded? Have you ever received a gift, an award, or a bonus that you know you didn’t deserve but for some reason got anyway?

That is how God’s grace works.  
Grace is undeserved. Grace is unexpected. Grace is astonishing.

Martin Luther (14th century) believed that God was an angry punishing God. He continuously tried to please God and earn God’s forgiveness but could never quite feel forgiven and accepted. Then everything changed when he (through grace) realized that he did not need to earn God’s forgiveness and acceptance. It is a gift freely given.

 “Grace is something you can never get but can only be given. There's no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth.” – Fredrick Buechner

And best of all, after finally letting go of the focus on ourselves and our failings, through grace we are free to turn toward others and serve them.

 “This grace of God is a very great, strong, mighty and active thing. It does not lie asleep in the soul. Grace hears, leads, drives, draws, changes…and lets itself be distinctly felt and experienced. It is hidden, but its works are evident.” - Martin Luther

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church welcomes all persons to join us in sharing God's grace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

How to Find Us

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245