Earlier this month, hundreds of Duluth friends and neighbors gathered for the 9th annual Hillfest celebration. The celebration takes part in the heart of Duluth's Hillside neighborhoods as traffic is shut down for a Sunday afternoon at the busy intersection of 6th Avenue East and 4th St.
This intersection is also the demarcation line between Central and East Hillside neighborhoods. And it all takes place, almost literally, in the shadow of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.
Gloria Dei has stood in Duluth's Hillside for decades and has been an active "neighbor" in the Hillside throughout a time when the neighborhoods have witnessed lots of change, including the loss of many businesses and other churches which have moved to less diverse - and more economically prosperous neighborhoods.
So it was a blow to the entire neighborhood in February of 2016 when Gloria Dei was gutted by an early morning fire.
Our JP Rennquist was doing double duty at this year's Hillfest: running sound for performance area and, between acts, taking the time to interview the pastor of Gloria Dei Church, David Carlson. JP asked him to talk about the church's history in the neighborhood and what they had been up to since the devasting fire in 2016.