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Gethsemane Community

Gethsemane congregation encourages all members to be involved 24/7 in the world as a direct link of faith to action. Gethsemane partners with many Austin area groups to enhance and do ministry. Call the church office (836-8560) or check the links to discover how you may be involved beyond the Gethsemane property.

Gethsemane is a vital founding partner with Austin Area Inter-religious Ministries to bring conversation, growth, understanding and service to the Austin community. All faiths come together for dialog, worship and to serve. Gethsemane members participate in home repair, mentoring, dialog groups and joint worship.


Gethsemane is a close partner with Cross Trails Ministry. Youth and families attend the camps during the summer at Camp Chrysalis near Kerrville, and the Ebert Ranch Camp near Harper, Texas, both in the Hill Country. Confirmands attend summer camp together at least one of the summers. Since 1983, Gethsemane has gone to Camp Chrysalis the last weekend in February for the Family of Gethsemane Retreat. Many attend of all ages, families, singles, and couples. Gethsemane college age youth have served as summer staff members for the camps.

Higher Education

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has a strong emphasis on education with a network of colleges, universities and seminaries. Our closest ELCA university is Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas, and many Gethsemane members have attended. Eight ELCA seminaries are the graduate training schools for pastors. Seminarians receive a college degree before being admitted to seminary. Pastors Gronberg and Bohls attended Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. The ELCA also has a seminary program here in Austin, The Lutheran Seminary Program of the Southwest affiliated with the Episcopalian Seminary. Pastor Schnelle graduated from this program. Gethsemane has served as a site where seminary interns have a special year of training to prepare them for parish experiences. Gethsemane is a close partner with the University of Texas -Austin Campus Ministry, and there are many active ELCA campus ministries around the United States.


Gethsemane Lutheran practices Holy Baptism for adults and infants, reminding us continually that God chooses to claim us in his grace that saves us as well as claiming all ages as the children of God. Baptisms may be done privately, but they are normally part of the worship service, reminding us that we are baptized into the community of faith. A baptismal information packet and application card are available. Contact the church office to inquire about scheduling a baptism.

Holy Communion is offered during each of the Sunday morning worship services and each Wednesday Eucharist is shared at 12 noon and 7 p.m. All are invited to participate in the sacrament of bread and wine as the body and blood of Jesus. We are united with God in Christ, with one another, and with the church’s mission in the world. Communion is shared privately with shut-ins and those hospitalized, and may be requested through the church office. Instruction is offered for those in third grade and above.


Travel is a wonderful gift to expand the mind. Gethsemane sees travel as ministry; people coming together by the Spirit’s invitation to build community and create shared spirit filled memories. There are day trip and longer ones around Texas and to nearby states. Since 2000, pilgrimages have gone to the Holy Land and Egypt, Greece and Turkey in the Footsteps of St. Paul, Germany and Switzerland, Italy, Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway and Sweden), England, Ireland and Scotland, Germany, Russia, and China.
Pastor Kent and Joan Bohls will be leading a cruise trip to Australia and New Zealand January 25- Febrary 11, 2009. In September, 2010, they will be leading a trip to Austria, Switzerland and southern Germany to view the famous "Passion Play". Contact Pastor Bohls for more information on these upcoming pilgrim experiences. Mission trips have gone to Mexico, Central and South America. Classes have invited all to share in the experience of the travels around the world. Members and non-members are invited to share in the life enhancing travel experience.

Updated 5/14/09
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