Category Archives: Events

Blessing of the Animals

Bring your pets to worship on Sunday, October 2nd at 10:30 am for a blessing!

  • All friendly pets welcome
  • Please keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier
  • Consider bringing pet food or toy donations for the Austin Humane Society

Can’t bring your pet(s) to worship with you?
Post a photo of your pet on our Facebook page starting Saturday morning, October 1 to receive a virtual blessing!

Pastor Gronberg will also continue the annual Blessing of the Animals tradition at the Austin Humane Society (AHS) on St. Francis Day, Monday October 3rd. AHS donors are invited to join with Pastor Gronberg and Dar Krenek in this traditional blessing. Thanks to Erin Jolly and Gethsemane neighbors at the Austin Humane Society for sharing their commitment to dogs, cats and humans in the Austin community. Everyone needs a “furever home”.

Learn more about St. Francis of Assisi.

Blessing of the Backpacks

Sunday, August 14 during 10:30 am Worship

As a new school year begins, students of all ages are invited to receive a backpack blessing and backpack tag from Gethsemane during worship to remember that God is with you everywhere you go.

Remember to bring your backpack to worship!

“The Bridge” Fall Kickoff Lunch

Sunday, August 14 following 10:30 am worship at Phil’s Ice House (Hwy 183)

All young families and young adults are invited to a fall kickoff lunch for “The Bridge” on Sunday, August 14 following the 10:30 am “Blessing of the Backpacks” service. Come enjoy food, fun, and fellowship together. Children are welcome!

“The Bridge” is a ministry designed for young professionals, singles, and families with and without children – all people who share in this busy stage of life. Contact Alice Bassett or Stephanie Scheffel for more information.

2022 Senior High Youth Trip

“Boundless Grace” Senior High Youth Trip: July 11-15 in Minnesota

Gethsemane senior high youth will enjoy six days of fun, fellowship and growing in faith in Minnesota. Plans include seeing a Minnesota Twins game, touring the Mall of America, visiting with Don & Anne Roefer, plus much more! Thanks to all the support given by Gethsemane Lutheran congregants supporting the youth of our community.

Please pray for our senior high youth and sponsors as they prepare for this great adventure.

Trip Schedule:

  • Monday, July 11: Youth fly from Austin to Minneapolis/St. Paul International. Take rented vans to the Embassy Suites Airport for room assignments. Monday afternoon and evening hosted by former Gethsemane youth Sheri LaValle Pottebaum, husband Todd, children Savannah, Jeager, Jax and her dad, Gethsemane member Art LaValle at their Lake Minnetonka home—picnic, swimming, boat excursion, jet skiing.
  • Tuesday, July 12: Morning tour of Augsburg University, alma mater of Sharon Gronberg and Rhia Spears, a university of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America hosted by Augsburg staff member Terry McGinley; visit Luther Seminary, a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, having celebrated in June 2022 their 153rd commencement, the alma mater of Pastor Karl Gronberg and Bishop Erik Gronberg. Tuesday afternoon visit the famous Mall of America, dinner with Rhia Spears, husband George, children Oyate and Ayuya.
  • Wednesday, July 13: Drive in two vans to St. Peter, Minnesota home of Gustavus Adolphus College, a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, see Christ Chapel where Pastor Karl Gronberg was ordained. Afternoon private group tour of Petroglyphs learning of the indigenous people of southwestern Minnesota. Wednesday evening meal provided by Gethsemane members Don & Anne Roefer at their home in Jeffers, Minnesota. Gethsemane Council member Jill Roefer will assist her parents with the meal. The youth will spend the night at Shalom Hill Farm, a ministry of the ELCA.
  • Thursday, July 14: Gethsemane travelers bid farewell to the Jeffers, driving through the Minnesota countryside returning to Minneapolis/St. Paul. Due to the generosity of Gethsemane congregants and their commitment to youth ministry an Event Suite has been reserved for the youth and the adults with indoor and outdoor seating, catered meal and Target Field Jumbotron signage welcoming Gethsemane youth to the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox.
  • Friday, July 15: Return home with memories and friendships!

“Discovery Canyon” Vacation Bible School

Join Gethsemane Lutheran’s “Discovery Canyon” VBS Week:
June 20-24, 2022 from 8:45 am to 12 pm

“I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart and tell about the wonders you have worked.” – Psalm 9:1

Register Your Child to Attend VBS Week

Gethsemane invites all children age 3 by June 20, 2022 and including those completing 6th grade to register for our FREE in-person VBS Week! 6th graders may also choose to assist as a volunteer. 7th graders and older can sign up to assist with VBS as volunteers. You are encouraged to invite friends, relatives, and neighbors to participate in this fun outreach ministry!

Each day begins with opening songs and stories in the sanctuary at 8:45 am. You are welcome to come any time after 8 am; there will be supervision on the church grounds. The morning includes storytelling, music, craft time, recreation/games, and a light snack. Each day there will be an opportunity to bring an offering of money or canned goods to support the Gethsemane Food Pantry.

***Each day the person picking up their child(ren) after VBS must come in to the narthex to sign them out for the day with their group leader.***

All are invited to the closing program on Friday morning at 11:30 am in the sanctuary followed by a hotdog lunch in the Multi-Purpose Room with a freewill offering to help with VBS expenses.

Volunteer at VBS

We need help in the craft area, preparing and serving snacks, the storytelling room, games, and being a guide to lead the children from one area to another. This is a great opportunity to make new friends and make a difference in the lives of children. You are invited to volunteer even if you can only assist one day. Gethsemane is grateful to all who lead Vacation Bible School! Adults of all ages as well as 6th graders and older can sign up to volunteer at VBS.

Order VBS T-Shirts

Gethsemane VBS 2022 T-Shirts are available for $12 or $15 each. Your shirts will be delivered during VBS. Order and pay by Monday, June 6th to be guaranteed a shirt. Deliver cash or check payable to Gethsemane to the church office. You may also pay online using the “OTHER (please specify)” section and adding an additional 3% processing fee.

VBS Daily Themes

Each day will include a different story from the Bible.
Prepare at home for the daily fun and excitement of VBS.

Monday: Liz says to REJOICE!
Parting of the Red Sea; Song of Miriam
Exodus 14:21-24; 15:19-21

Tuesday: Max says to PRAY!
Hannah prays for a child
I Samuel 1:9-27

Wednesday: Olivia says to ASK!
A storm
Matthew 8:23-27

Thursday: Blossom says to TELL!
A dying girl and a sick woman
Matthew 9:18-26

Friday: Felix says to SEEK!
Jesus heals a man who cannot walk
Luke 5:17-26

Youth Dinner Theatre Fundraiser

Join the Gethsemane community for the
Youth Dinner Theatre Fundraiser on Saturday, May 7th

By Lane Holmstrom

Saturday, May 7th
– Concessions & Silent Auction open at 5 pm
– Show begins at 6 pm

Tickets are $10 per person (plus bring cash for concessions)

Silent Auction * Live Auction
Delicious Food! Fun for the whole family!

Auction Items Needed
Please help us raise money for the youth by donating an item to the silent auction. Email the church office with a description of your items to be donated. We’re also accepting wine donations for a wine pull. Proceeds from the dinner theatre and auctions will benefit the summer youth activities.

Playbill Ads
You are invited to place an ad in the playbill: business ads or student “brag ads.” Full-page ads are $50 and half-page ads are $25. Email the church office with your order. Past supporters may use the same ad as before or send a new layout. New supporters please send a layout in Publisher format and/or a PDF.

“Boundless Grace” Senior High Trip: July 11-15 in Minnesota
Plans are taking shape for the Gethsemane youth trip. Youth will visit the Mall of America, attend a Minnesota Twins baseball game (Carlos Correa, a former Astro is now a Twin), visit Shalom Hill Farm in rural Minnesota, and enjoy the hospitality of Don & Anne Roefer, Todd & Sheri Pottebaum, George & Rhia Spears. (Rhia grew up in Gethsemane youth ministry) plus visits to Luther Seminary and Augsburg University. A fun, informative, and exciting time for Gethsemane youth. Email Pastor Schnelle for more information.

Youth Tackle Hunger: 32nd Annual Souper Bowl of Caring

Bring non-perishables and cash for the Gethsemane Food Pantry on Sunday, February 13

For 32 years, this event has transformed Super Bowl weekend into the nation’s largest celebration of giving/serving. Thousands of youth groups and passionate individuals unite to “Tackle Hunger Together”. Gethsemane youth will greet the community (they will not tackle you) following the 10:30 am liturgy inviting the Gethsemane faithful to give a gift benefiting the Gethsemane Food Pantry. Celebrate the 32nd anniversary of this ministry by giving a generous donation on “Souper Bowl Sunday.” 

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

Yummy Pancakes are Back!

Tuesday, March 1 from 5:30-7 pm
The traditional Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper is on! The Gethsemane Men in Mission will serve delicious pancakes, sausage and applesauce in the Multipurpose Room. A take-out option will also be available.

Tickets on sale in the narthex on Sundays: February 20 & 27

$6.00 for adults, $2.00 for children under 10

Profits will go to Men in Mission benevolent projects. Come and enjoy the food and fellowship in preparation for the Lenten season. Please observe Gethsemane COVID protocols.

Annual Congregational Meeting
The annual Gethsemane Congregational meeting will be held during the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper in the Multipurpose Room. See you there!

Advent and Christmas at Gethsemane


November 28: Watch
December 5: Prepare
December 12: Rejoice
December 19: Behold
December 24: Christmas Eve
December 25: Christmas Day
December 26: First Sunday of Christmas
January 2: Second Sunday of Christmas
January 9: First Sunday of Epiphany

Lighting of the Advent Candles

Each week during worship, we light advent candles in anticipation of Christ’s birth. Join us during these weeks of expectation to prepare for the birth of Jesus.

Advent Activities

Choose a virtual ornament and then donate gift cards for blankets, meals and gifts for children and families in need.

Download your free Advent devotional, “Advent Unbound: A pilgrimage through Advent based on the Poetry Unbound podcast” – a perfect way to prepare for the hope, peace, joy, and love of Christmas day.

Join us for midweek Holden Evening Prayer worship services to fill your heart with the sights and sounds of hope this Advent season! Written in 1985-1986 while Marty Haugen was the musician-in-residence at Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center in Washington State, this lovely setting of vespers follows the traditional form while using contemporary and inclusive language.

Gethsemane youth and Gethsemane Lutheran Children’s Ministry invite you to join us for “Love’s Pure Light,” this year’s Drive-Thru Advent/Christmas Light Celebration.

Christmas Eve Services – December 24 at 4 p.m., 7 p.m., 10 p.m.

Join us for a Family Christmas Eve carol sing and Holy Communion service.

A traditional service of candlelight, Santa Lucia and Christmas apples. Listen to the familiar words of scripture that foretell and proclaim the birth of Jesus. Sing the carols that help us tell that story. All are welcome!

Christmas Day Service – Saturday, December 25 at 9 a.m.

Come join in the Eucharist, singing Christmas Carols, and hear the Christmas Story.

CANCELED – Annual Gethsemane and San Lucas Encuentro/Encounter Weekend

*Due to Travis County moving to Stage 5 COVID-19 risk-based guidelines, this event is canceled.

January 14-16, 2022
Eagle Pass, TX

This is a special “encounter” or “encuentro” weekend for Gethsemane and San Lucas congregations to work side by side and expand our vision of ministry together. San Lucas is celebrating their 34 year history and Gethsemane has been a part of that ministry for over 25 of those years.

View the printed mission trip brochure.

  • All are “Called by Grace,” to participate: youth, singles, couples, those with and without children, from the very young to the not so young. There is something for all levels of ability. Youth under 18 are asked to have a parent or guardian along for the weekend experience.
  • “Led by Faith, Welcoming All to Share God’s Love” – This is a great opportunity to work, worship, eat, and share together with the community of San Lucas.
  • “God’s Work. Our Hands” – Saturday we will be working along side members of San Lucas. We will find a way for your special skills to be put to use. Part of the group will do a modified Bible School experience in the afternoon with the children in the area. We will worship in Spanish Sunday morning. Be ready for some special fun this year!

For health and safety, please wear a mask when interacting with the community. Passports or birth certificates will NOT be needed as we will not be crossing the border as a group!

For any questions, speak to Pastor Susie or Dar Joy Krenek.


  • Friday arrival and check-in at hotel
  • Saturday breakfast at San Lucas
  • Saturday work projects will begin after breakfast
  • Sunday breakfast followed by worship


  • Flashlight
  • Snacks, games and goodies for sharing
  • Musical instruments
  • Tools


We will be using the building and outdoor areas at Iglesia Luterana San Lucas for meals, VBS and other activities BUT will not be sleeping there. Please make your reservations at one of the motels close by. San Lucas is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Southwest Texas Synod, in Eagle Pass, Texas.


The cost listed below for the weekend includes supplies for the work we do, and 4 meals, Saturday breakfast through Sunday breakfast (travel meals are on your own).

Cash or Check Cost (add $5 per registration to pay online):
$50 per person, ages 13 and above;
$25 per person, ages 4-12 (3 & under are free!)
$125 suggested maximum per family.

*Please make checks payable to Gethsemane Lutheran.
Payment is due by Jan. 10th.


Special gifts may be given to help with overall costs and to purchase bulk food for the San Lucas food bank. All financial gifts are appreciated. Give online designating Border Missions.