Updated Covid-19 Protocols at GLC

posted Oct 14, 2020, 5:20 PM by Gethsemane Lutheran Church

In light of the latest MN Department of Heath guidelines and the continued rise of positive Covid-19 cases, Gethsemane is incorporating a few more precautionary measures at church to help keep our staff and members healthy and safe. 
  • The building will be closed to visitors unless you have a scheduled appointment with a staff member or are coming for a programmed ministry. We love to see you but need you to refrain from drop-by visits. 
  • The main office door will be open for drop-off correspondence, Need of the Month donations, etc. Use the station inside the entrance to leave your items. 
  • We have new signage at each entrance to remind people of the personal health inventory you should adhere to when entering the building for a meeting. If you are feeling sick or have a fever, you should not enter. If you have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 14 days you should not enter. 
  • When entering the building you must wear a mask at all times and use the hand sanitizer at the entrance when you come in.
  • Inside the building you should practice social distancing, remaining 6 feet apart from others including those you are meeting with. Follow any distance markings on the floor outside offices and workstations.
Current ministries and meetings at church will continue to happen; we simply want to highlight these precautions so that we are following state mandates for keeping our facility open. Our weekly online virtual worship, Behold Bible Study, and drive in services will continue as well. 

Thank you for your cooperation.

New! Kids' Hand Chime Choir

posted Oct 14, 2020, 5:04 PM by Gethsemane Lutheran Church   [ updated Oct 14, 2020, 5:18 PM ]

Nancy Pearson is starting a handchime choir for kids in grades 2-6. We will make beautiful music while learning how to play the handchimes at a safe distance from each other. Rehearsals are Wednesdays from 5:30-6:15 in Room 102 starting Nov 4.

For the safety of all participants and staff we ask that:
  • Parents drop off and pick up students at the Education door instead of entering the building.
  • Students come right to Room 102 at 5:30 and exit the building as soon as we are finished; no wandering through the church.
  • Participants wear a face mask at all times and maintain six-foot distance from others.
Space is limited to 8 ringers so if you are interested in joining please email Nancy Pearson at

Children's Advent Devotional - Writers Needed

posted Oct 14, 2020, 9:19 AM by Gethsemane Lutheran Church

This Advent we are compiling a devotional for the children and families of Gethsemane. We need 24 writers to contribute to the project.   

Each entry will begin with the phrase, "Dear Child of God." Writers are invited to offer ONE way that the children can live out their faith. The devotions should be approximately 300 words and conclude with a one-sentence prayer. All devotions are due by Monday, November 9 to ensure that we have plenty of time for printing. 

The following template can be followed:   
Introduction: Tell the children your name and maybe a few fun facts about yourself. (one or two sentences)

Body of Text: A short story or lesson from your life which illustrates the power of faith. Try to encourage the children in their faith life too! Remember that your primary audience is young families so simple language is encouraged. (1-3 paragraphs)

Closing Prayer: A simple prayer (1-2 sentences) 
After the devotions are received, a Bible passage will be added to reinforce your special thoughts and ideas. 
If you are willing to participate in this project or have any questions please contact Nancy Jo Sullivan at 952-935-1753 or


Dear Child of God,
My name is Nancy Jo Sullivan.  I work at Gethsemane church and I’m so excited to share a story with you.   
A few years ago, I worked in a hospital. It was my job to visit all the older people who lived in a special wing. One day, I walked into the room of a lady named Bella. She was sitting in a wheelchair, all by herself, watching the rain fall outside her window. I had visited Bella many times before and I knew she had trouble with her words. She also struggled to remember simple things - like names and what she had for breakfast.  

On that dreary day I said, “Hello Bella, how are you today?” At first, Bella began studying my face. She looked so lost and confused! Then, her eyes began to twinkle, and her mouth turned into a grin that looked like a curve of light. “Bella, you look like a candle,” I told her. With great confidence, she said, “Yes, I do!” For several minutes, she kept smiling and I felt so happy. 
This Advent let’s try to be like Bella. Let’s remember that the light of Jesus lives within us. When we smile, we become candles, shining brightly in a dreary world.        
Prayer: Lord, help me to share the gift of my smile with others!  

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. Matthew 5:14-16

2020 Worship Survey

posted Oct 5, 2020, 8:48 AM by Gethsemane Lutheran Church   [ updated Oct 9, 2020, 7:51 AM ]

The church council is considering worship options for this winter, when drive-in services might not be possible. They are reviewing state guidelines as well as synod and CDC recommendations to see what might be possible for our congregation. 

We also want to hear from you about how you are worshipping and staying connected, and your comfort level when considering indoor worship or ministry offerings.

Please click here to take a 12-question survey. It will help us determine how we can best minister to you now and going forward.

We will continue to offer virtual worship both online and via cable TV (Mon, Wed, Fri at at 8 AM on Comcast 15 or Centurylink 8111.)

Thank you for your continued participation as Together WE ARE the church!

Let Us Pray

posted Sep 30, 2020, 8:50 AM by Gethsemane Lutheran Church

One of the important parts of being the Church Together is praying with and for one another. While we cannot gather in person in the way that we are used to we can still pray together as we wade through the waters of anxiety, grief, weariness and uncertainty about the future.  

You are invited to join Pastor Sarah in a time of prayer from 4:30-6:00 on Wednesdays beginning Oct 7. If you are comfortable doing so, you can stop by the church sometime during that time and participate in unstructured prayer in the sanctuary (socially distance and masks required) or you can pray in place. Perhaps you could add a reminder in your calendar to make time to pray wherever you are on Wednesday afternoons.

If you would like prayers for healing during this time you can schedule a time to meet with Pastor Sarah (either in person or on the phone) by email at or by calling the church. There will also be a prayer box for you to submit prayers for the pastors and staff to pray in confidence. 

Conversations and Tools to Promote Equity and Inclusion

posted Sep 30, 2020, 8:49 AM by Gethsemane Lutheran Church   [ updated Oct 9, 2020, 8:30 AM ]

Join us for another step in our journey to become effective allies and culturally-aware community members.  

This four week series will meet virtually on Thursdays, October 15, 22, 29 and Nov 12 (no meeting on Nov 5) from 7:00-8:45 PM. Each session is intentionally designed for interactivity and experiential learning where you will be connecting with fellow members of Gethsemane and applying your learning in real-time. 

This series is a complement to the reading and research you might be doing on your own. Often we have access to the history of racism, the impact of redlining, or the stories of individuals in oppressive systems but we don’t always have the opportunity to do guided personal reflection in areas that will allow us to develop greater awareness of our own cultural patterns and blind spots. Furthermore, this series presents the unique and valuable opportunity to develop a foundational skillset to engage in dialogue across differences of all types so that we can be effective and active allies and advocates for change at both personal and institutional levels. 

We encourage you to register for the series even if you can’t make all the dates. Just call 952-935-1753 or email and let us know you plan to participate. A zoom link will be sent to all those who register. Our trainer for the series is Joayne Larson. Click here for a short introductory video, and/or find her bio at: 

Oct 15: Foundations of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: How Being an Anti-racist Starts With You 
The brutal murder of Mr. George Floyd set off a moment and if we want it to become a movement, we have to learn and grow in ways that stretch us, challenge us and promote racial justice. Come to this seminar to gain the foundational definitions of diversity, inclusion and equity. We’ll explore the idea of culture and how it relates to our desire and ability to promote anti-racism, equity and more just systems.  

Oct 22: Asking the Hard Stuff: A Tool to Make it Easy to Ask About Race, Identity and Everything Else!
In this uber-polarized time we are feeling the pain of division and the yearning to bridge the gaps between us. But how? It can feel really risky to discuss politics, culture or race with anyone who is not like us for fear of causing more damage. Yet it is necessary and urgent that we learn how to talk about the tough stuff with one another in order to understand and grow together as individuals and as a community. You will learn where the conversation should start, how to formulate your questions and the best approach to build relationship and community across differences like race, gender, culture and social identities. This seminar will provide you with knowledge and tools to step out of your own experience and begin talking about differences in productive and meaningful ways. 

Oct 29: How to Rebound: A Tool to Repair Intercultural Missteps, Mistakes and Microaggressions
Have you ever been blindsided by someone's reaction to your good intentions? Maybe they were offended, maybe they just had a piece of feedback that surprised you. It can be very unsettling and even feel like an attack on our good character when we learn that our impact was not what we had intended. In this seminar, we'll explain why it's so hard to accept criticism, how to slow down your knee jerk reaction and keep the dialogue open for learning. You will learn and practice a simple tool to help you stay in the moment and repair the relationship. As a result of this seminar, you will be able to create more trusting and inclusive relationships that lead to strong and productive relationships that can talk about and recover from both the little hiccups and the big trip-ups. 

Nov 12: Reflection into Action: Identifying Individual and Collective Actions to Move Forward
The pursuit of justice and equity is a marathon and takes intentionality to sustain. In this final seminar you will focus on integrating and reflecting your learning and insights. Together you will discuss steps and strategies for your own ongoing actions and those of the collective. This session will largely be focused on discussion and sharing as you integrate your values and desires to articulate how to keep moving forward. 

Reconciling in Christ

posted Sep 8, 2020, 8:13 AM by Gethsemane Lutheran Church

As Gethsemane strives to be a welcoming and affirming community for all of God’s children we have formed a core team to guide the congregation over the next several months through the process of considering becoming a Reconciling Works congregation. 

The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program is for Lutheran communities that publicly welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. You can find out more at

Watch for more information and opportunities for education and discussion over the next several months.

Core Team members are: Kyle Bresin (Chair), Jack McCarthy, Amy Furan, Luke Maas, Cheryl Carstenson, Paul McKenzie, Petra Marquardt, Donna Anderson, Barb Krig, Pastor John, Pastor Sarah.

Virtual Church - Calling Tree Notes

posted Aug 10, 2020, 9:30 AM by Gethsemane Lutheran Church

In this time of wilderness when we cannot connect with one another in person we are looking at ways we can stay connected as a community.  Resources for staying connected will be compiled here.  

Winter Warm Wear Drive

posted Jul 31, 2020, 10:31 AM by Gethsemane Lutheran Church   [ updated Sep 30, 2020, 8:31 AM ]

During October we are again supporting the annual Winter Warm Wear Drive at ResourceWest

Due to Covid-related safety precautions, this year’s collection is being narrowed down. While all new and gently used winter gear for ages 0-18 is certainly appreciated, the most needed items are new water-proof gloves and hats, and new or gently-used winter jackets, especially large sizes and styles for teens. 
Qualifying families begin to pick up warm wear October 29. So together let’s fill the barrel multiple times! You can drop off your donations in the barrel near the north door by the office. Financial gifts are also appreciated. These are used for purchasing items to supplement the donated clothing. Be sure that your financial gift is clearly marked for the Winter Warm Wear Drive.   

The Social Ministry Team greatly appreciates everyone’s participation in all the various monthly Needs during 2020. Our generosity has been much appreciated by the non-profit organizations to which we’ve directed our collections.

Women's Book Group

posted Jul 30, 2020, 1:57 PM by Gethsemane Lutheran Church   [ updated Sep 28, 2020, 1:26 PM ]

The Women’s Book Group meets each 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7 pm in the Gallery. We follow mask and social-distancing requirements. All are welcome. 
  • October 20: Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien
  • November 17: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • January 19: This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
  • February 16: Virgil Wander by Leif Enger
  • March 16: Sold on a Monday: A Novel by Kristina McMorris

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