Pastor Jay Bergstresser
The Rev. Jay Bergstresser has been with us for over nineteen years. He and his wife, Lisa, have two grown daughters, Anna and Renee. Pastor Jay also served as a US Navy Chaplain with the Marines for nine years. He was deployed to Iraq in 2007-2008 with infantry Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment. Before serving at Resurrection, he spent over six years as the Pastor of Grace Lutheran in Berwick, Pennsylvania. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from the University of Central Florida and a Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.
History of our Congregation
Lutheran Church of the Resurrection has been a presence in Cocoa Beach since 1963. Over the years, we have grown as a worshiping community and in our outreach to our neighbors. Resurrection is a proud member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with about 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Resurrection Lutheran Church Stained Glass Story
The Return of Christ in Glory stained-glass window. Before her death in July 2000, long time member Evelyn Lee expressed a desire to give a lasting gift to our congregation. She had always been displeased with the green Plexiglas panels that fill the wall on either side behind the altar, so she decided to donate 36 panels of stained glass to take their place.
Since many themes from the Bible, including the Resurrection of Christ, had already been depicted in the stained-glass windows along both sides of the sanctuary, Evelyn and Pastor Jay Bergstresser decided that the window should depict the promised return of Christ in glory.
Sharon Burridge was commissioned to design and construct the scene with the help of a steering committee made up of church members. It was decided that the window would portray two scenes from Scripture. First, Jesus returning with the clouds in glory to gather up expectant Christians around the world as foretold in Matthew 24:30-31. Second, the mansions of Heaven Jesus promised his disciples in John 14:2–3 he would go to prepare for them. Several practical decisions were made. The mansions of Heaven would be represented as famous buildings/mansions on earth. Many are recognizable, well-known structures. This was done to represent how the Christians at the bottom of the windows, Christians from all over the world, might visualize their mansion, thus the many different architectural styles.
The window depicts, near the bottom, Christians looking up and pointing more falling down in praise as Jesus comes into view. The Angel Gabriel is there with his trumpet in hand. Many different ethnic groups are portrayed. Also, the lush landscape is filled with native plants, birds, and animals. There is even a manatee present. Pelicans fill the foreground on the left side, and a shuttle launch is taking place in the background to the far left. Gold beams served to separate heaven from earth in the window.
-The angels and several other people at the bottom of the window are modeled on local residents. The little girl on the left bears a striking resemblance to the artist (although she denies it is her!)
– The shuttle is launching and no one is looking at it: something unheard of on the Space Coast. They are focused instead on the return of Christ.
– The Polynesian girl’s lei was extended to cover her belly button before installation. Steering team members thought it unseemly to have bare midriff next to the altar.
– Many unique and expensive types of glass were used in the window. Some are textured and protrude from the window itself.
– Members have found their own symbolism in the window: second row from the left, third panel up, in the center of the window, there appears to be a man lying in bed with the covers pull up to his chin. The member who noticed this commented, “it reminds me that I can rest in God’s care.”
An early example of Sharon Earl Burridge’s work can be found in the southernmost window of the east side of the sanctuary – The Baptism of Jesus. She completed the window at the beginning of her career, long before the altar was ever envisioned.
The windows were dedicated on September 21, 2003.