Category Archives: YOUTH

Praise Pumpkin Patch Display

Take Photos in Gethsemane’s Praise Pumpkin Patch
Beginning Sunday, October 23!

Come enjoy the Gethsemane Garden with the beauty of the harvest season! We have our Praise Pumpkin Patch set up again this year in the Gethsemane Garden. All are welcome to take photos in the patch!

GLCM classes will use the space for photos as well, and it will be open to the community at GLCM’s Fall Fest on Saturday, October 29 from 10 am to 1 pm.

Affirmation of Baptism

Sunday, October 30th
Reformation Sunday
 – Remember to WEAR RED this Sunday!
Affirmation of Baptism – Reception during Sunday School at 9:30 am to honor the confirmands. All are welcome!

Since 1973, Reformation Sunday has been designated the Sunday when Gethsemane youth are invited to Affirm their Baptism in the Rite of Confirmation. Reformation Sunday is celebrated by the Lutheran/Reformation community as the Sunday to focus “on the heart of our faith: the gospel of Christ-the good news– that makes us free!” The Reformation community prays for the Holy Spirit to continue uniting the church catholic in proclamation and witness for all the world to hear of the grace of God. In the blessed sacrament of “Holy Baptism, the people of God are made one body;” giving thanks for Dr. Martin Luther and all the reformers past and present.

Gethsemane youth, having completed study/participation in Gethsemane Lutheran confirmation ministry will affirm their baptism Sunday, October 30th. Family members present a candle, symbolic of the confirmand’s baptismal candle.  Continuing a Gethsemane tradition of four-plus decades, the confirmands introduce family members during the 9:30 am Sunday School Hour.  These baptized Christians claim their family faith heritage by affirming their gratitude for the nurturing they have received on their faith journey since baptism. Congratulations parents, grandparents, and extended family for encouraging the Gethsemane Lutheran 2022 Confirmation Class to live their baptismal birthright.

God’s Work Our Hands and Rally Sunday 2022

Sunday, September 11th

Don’t miss this exciting day at Gethsemane! Wear or plan to purchase a “God’s Work Our Hands” shirt to wear for this day of service together.

Gather for Rally Sunday in the multipurpose room at 9:30 am to celebrate the beginning of a new year of growing in faith together. After the opening, children and youth will meet with their teachers. Parents are asked to go with them to get them registered.

Following the 10:30 am worship, enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch prepared by Gethsemane members Greg & Debbie Pitts (aka Rusted Shut BBQ) in the multipurpose room.

After lunch, participate in the annual “God’s Work Our Hands” multi-generational opportunity for service work restoring/reconciling communities.

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Make pet toys for the Austin Humane Society
  • Donate food and clothes for the Food Pantry & Clothes Closet
  • Give blood at the “We Are Blood” blood mobile in the Gethsemane parking lot
  • Contribute birthday party supplies for single mother families at The Jeremiah Project
  • Work on GLCM outdoor campus beautification
  • Clean up around the church campus, including the kitchen pantry and MPR tables
  • Sign greeting cards to Gethsemane members in need of love and prayers
  • Bring baked goods to deliver to local emergency responders and to enjoy as a community after lunch
  • Donate costumes, dress-up, pajamas, and accessories (ALL MUST BE NEW) and/or monetary donations for Katrina’s Cocoon Crew to bring smiles to children battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses

Signup sheets for each of these opportunities are available in the narthex or email to sign up.

See you there!

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!

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!

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.” 

Trail of Treats 2021

Join the Gethsemane community for a spook-tacular good time at our first-ever “Trail of Treats” event!

Saturday, October 30 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Thanks for a SPOOK-tacularly Successful Event!
Everyone had such a wonderful time at Trail of Treats 2021! We had some incredibly creative treat tables and lots of children from GLC, GLCM and Georgian Acres families. Thanks to all of the amazing volunteers who helped to make this event a success!

Community Connection Initiative

As part of our ELCA Mental Health Ministry Grant, Gethsemane’s Community Connection Initiative is designed to help each of us work proactively to look after the mental well-being of ourselves and others. Make plans to get involved with projects that center around supporting mental health within our community. Also, acts of service support your own mental health as well!

“You Are Loved” Signs

We are excited to have Gethsemane Lutheran Church yard signs, posters and magnets to help us let people know we are thinking of them and they are loved! If you would like to help deliver/mail signs or if you know of someone who simply needs to know they are loved by the Gethsemane community, please contact Pastor Susie at

Gethsemane’s Friend-to-Friend Program

Join this fun Friend-to-Friend program by visiting with a Gethsemane friend every two weeks from October to March. This structured program will help keep us connected during the winter months. The program runs from October 2020 to March 2021. Whether you are 100 years old or a senior high school student, there is a place for you! Friend Calls will occur about every 2 weeks for 15 minutes each. You can sign up to be a Friend that calls or receive a call from a Friend. A short Zoom training will help Friends that call. Let’s stay connected! Sign up via email:

Look What’s Cookin’…The Casserole Ministry!

If you can provide a casserole (homemade or store-bought) to a Gethsemane friend to lift their spirits or just revive their joy in dining during these unprecedented times, contact Casseroles should be in a non-returnable container, they do not need to include any additional sides or items and they should be delivered via porch-dropoff when the recipient is home. We will provide you with name, address, contact info and any necessary dietary restrictions. Let’s Get Cookin’!

Bereavement Sympathy Cards

We’re beginning another new ministry of sending sympathy cards to families who have lost a loved one during this difficult time. If you would like to help with this ministry please contact

Gethsemane “Rainforest Adventure” Virtual VBS: June 21-25, 2021

All are welcome to join us for our Virtual VBS, Rain Forest Adventure, 9:30 a.m.- 10:30 a.m. each morning, June 21-25. If you have pre-registered, you may pick-up your VBS packet this Saturday, June 18th between
11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Drive up the northside driveway and someone will bring your packet to your car from the narthex!

VBS Virtual Link:

Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord!” -1st Chronicles 16:33