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After fire, Gloria Dei soldiers on

On the Sunday after the fire, Stan Wold, director of music at Gloria Dei, places a sign notifying that the Minnesota All-State Lutheran Choir audition has been relocated. (Photo by Naomi Yaeger)1 / 3
Workers use a scissors lift to place covering over frames of the broken stained-glass windows. (Photo by Naomi Yaeger)2 / 3
Sue Anderson, John Siebenand and Mary Gagnon prepare food in the kitchen at a previous breakfast. (Photo by Linda Kalweit)3 / 3

Their historic church building may be charred and battered, but members and friends of Gloria Dei Lutheran will continue their ministry to Duluth's Central Hillside.

The 110-year-old church at Sixth Avenue East and Third Street was devastated by a fire on Feb. 18. As of the Budgeteer's Feb. 24 deadline, the cause is yet to be determined.

Area churches and organizations are offering space to Gloria Dei so that its ministries can go on.

Gloria Dei will hold its monthly neighborhood breakfast 9-10:30 a.m. this Saturday, Feb. 27, at St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 325 E. Third St. The breakfast is free of charge and all are welcome.

"We thank God for the generous hospitality of our sisters and brothers at St. Mary Star of the Sea in hosting this breakfast," said Gloria Dei's pastor, David Carlson. "It is a community breakfast, and we are grateful this ministry can continue nearby through new relationships."

Just as they have done on the fourth Saturday of each month for the past 10 years, church volunteers will set up and serve a hearty breakfast. In January, Gloria Dei celebrated 10 years of serving the monthly breakfast.

Offers to house the congregation for worship and other activities have been received from many Christian congregations, Jewish and Muslim faith communities and community centers.

"The outpouring of support has been tremendous and deeply appreciated," Carlson said. "We have been humbled by God's faithfulness throughout this tragedy."

Sundays from now through Easter, Gloria Dei will join Faith Lutheran Church for Sunday worship services. Faith Lutheran is located on the corner of 51st Ave East and Glenwood Street. Sunday school and adult education begin at 8:45 a.m. Worship service with Holy Communion is at 10 a.m. Coffee and refreshments follow.

Wednesday evenings through March 23, Gloria Dei will join Faith Lutheran for a Lenten soup supper at 5:15 p.m., followed by Bible study and Holden Evening Prayer service.

The church office is currently housed by the Northeastern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, at 1105 E. Superior St. in the lower level.

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