ABOUT our pastor
A Message from Pastor Brent Maxwell
It has been and continues to be an honor to serve Gloria Dei as its Pastor. Rarely does a minister get the opportunity to serve in his or her hometown, so I feel very blessed to be doing ministry here in the Valley where I grew up. I was baptized and attended Faith Lutheran Church ( 7 th St. and Camelback ) during my childhood and my grade school years. I graduated High School from Brophy College Prep in ’89 and then went on to California Lutheran University where I graduated in ’93 and where I met my wife, Kristin ( Wegner ) ’94. We were married July 23 rd , 1994 and that Fall I enrolled at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary ( PLTS ) in Berkeley, CA. After two years of study, I decided I needed to take some time off to “discern” whether ordained ministry was really where God was calling me. That took 10 years, two kids and a near career in the Fire Dept. In 1998 our first daughter, Gaby, was born and three years later in 2001, her sister Delainey completed our family. After a shoulder injury that required surgery, I decided to return to Seminary and was joyfully ordained in 2007.
I remember when I first enrolled in Seminary, they asked us to write an essay explaining why we want to embark on a career in ministry. I can still recall my response to that question: “Being born, receiving a blessing and being baptized, confirming our own faith, falling in love and deciding to get married, having children and having them get baptized and eventually married, and in the end, dying… these are the defining moments that make up our lives… and if people invite me into these moments because in some way I might help them to connect with their understanding of God and the divine blessings that have been bestowed on them and how that might help to shape and inform their lives; then I can’t think of a better way to spend my life or a better vocation for me to embrace.”
Having been raised Lutheran in the ELCA and educated by Jesuits at Brophy and now serving as an Ordained Minister, I understand life to be a faith journey… one in which I have been encouraged, and which I now encourage others, to take seriously what Jesus took seriously… asking deep questions and struggling to see and to share the grace ( the unconditional and often undeserved love ) that God makes manifest in my life, and in the life of others, for the sake of the world.
I feel blessed to serve in this setting and among people who take serving and worshiping God so seriously, and I invite you to come and walk awhile with us here at Gloria Dei.