Weekly Newsletter

July 3rd 2024

Welcome to the Gethsemane Lutheran Church Newsletter. We welcome all who are members of Gethsemane, as well as those who are discovering us for the first time, to join us in our mission journey. We hope to keep you up-to-date in these times of amazing change for our church community. Feel free to forward the newsletter to others and give us the emails of those you think my wish to connect with us and see what great things God is doing with our church each week!

News and Announcements


New Bilingual Language Course

Gethsemane Lutheran Church is excited to announce the introduction of new English and Spanish as a second language courses! These classes are designed to foster a vibrant bilingual community within our church and beyond. Best of all, they are completely free of charge. All we ask is your commitment to starting and sticking with the course. Whether you're eager to enhance your English skills or improve your Spanish proficiency, these classes offer a supportive environment where learning and cultural exchange thrive. Join us as we embark on this journey towards deeper linguistic understanding and community connection.

Always Looking For Volunteers!

Volunteering at the Food Shelf or Clothing Closet continues to be an impactful opportunity to directly improve the lives of those in need within our community. Your time and effort are essential in our mission to provide vital resources and support to individuals and families facing hardship. Each task, no matter how small, contributes to a greater cause of compassion and care. If you feel compelled to join us in this meaningful work, please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Jeff or respond to this newsletter indicating your interest. Your willingness to volunteer is immensely valued and greatly appreciated as we endeavor to build a more compassionate and supportive community for everyone.

Contact us here to learn more on how to get involved! 

Thank You Bailey's!

Thanks to the Bailey family. We now have Spanish and English Bibles and literature for kids outside the sanctuary! Thank you to Jason and Jean for their work in purchasing these gifts to the church and for putting together the display. 

Thoughts and Prayers

Asking others to share their prayer requests is a gentle reminder of the power of community and empathy. In times of joy or hardship, prayer becomes a unifying force that transcends differences and connects us on a deeper level. It's through prayer that we express our hopes, fears, and gratitude, seeking comfort and guidance from a God and Christ Jesus. Encouraging one another to share these requests fosters a sense of solidarity and reminds us that we are not alone in our journey. In this exchange of prayers, we affirm our commitment to supporting each other with love and compassion, creating a bond that strengthens both our faith and our relationships.

If you as a reader or anyone at Gethsemane and beyond have any prayer requests that they would like to share, please contact Pastor Jeff or this newsletter directly, and we would be happy to include them here in a joint effort in using the power prayer.

Camden Clothing Closet Hours

Please come and try on what fits you! The Camden Clothing Shop is open every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month at Gethsemane. We also accept donations from those looking to give clothes or valued goods to the community.

Update: Camden Shop will be closed July 6th

Weekly FoodShelf Schedule

The Camden Promise Food Shelf feeds boxes of food to community families every week!

Our hours are 11 to 2:30pm Monday through Saturday.

We also supply lunch after church on Sundays, so please come worship with us as well as enjoy a warm meal

Interview with Pastor Keith!

This last week, we had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Pastor Keith and delve into his transformative journey and profound insights into God's work at Gethsemane Lutheran Church. Throughout our interview, Keith graciously opened up about his personal story, offering poignant reflections on the pivotal moments that have molded his unwavering commitment to the congregation and the broader community.

​His narrative not only unveils the challenges he has overcome but also illuminates the deep-rooted passion that drives his pastoral leadership. Keith's words resonate as he emphasizes the enduring significance of service and spiritual growth in fostering a thriving church community. If you have not seen it, check it out on our new website!

New Interview coming later this week!

Writer's Corner:

To Get To The Other Side

by CIndy Nehrbass


35) As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.”

36) So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed).

37) But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.

38) Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

39) When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.

40) Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41) The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!” (Mark 4:35-41)

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road? A: To get to the other side.

As a child, my circle of friends would repeat this joke, over and over, laughing at the punch line without really thinking about its meaning. Someone might even say, “duh, it had to cross the road to get where it was going.” The others would shrug, “of course.” But we never questioned,

out loud, “what was on the other side”—what was so important that the chicken crossed a concrete road carrying cars that could kill it. Maybe, it was because we assumed, as city kids, that the chicken was on a farm and merely crossing a narrow dirt road that could signal oncoming trucks (from a mile away) with the dust cloud that fast wheels left behind.

It was obviously a smart chicken, and safe. But why would the chicken leave the coop, its fellow chicken friends, or the source of chicken feed, just to get to a field across the road. Maybe it was heading to visit the coop across the way. Or, if there were an open field, maybe to run or hide in

the tall corn or soybean crop, to get more food. Maybe to see if the grass, or the feed, was “greener on the other side”. Anyway, why would the joke’s punch line: to get to the other side, be funny considering that so many animals end up as road kill trying to cross streets?My whole life, I’ve witnessed animals crossing roads: bolting squirrels, sluggish turtles (that I’ve even carried across, out of danger, with my own hands) and fowl families trying to lead their young safely across streets —while cars honked—the parent trusting that the wheeled machines won’t run them all over. What was so important on the other side of the road that a mother or

father would risk the lives of its children to lead them across such a dangerous place?

Just the other day, I was driving east on highway 62, just turning on from 494 south, so the traffic was fairly tame. Up ahead it looked like specks on the highway were moving. Traffic was slowing. I was in the right lane and as I approached the moving dots, I could see they were really a large pack of geese. I slowed and watched, like the other gawking (and some annoyed) drivers. The leader would take a few slow steps forward and then turn around to look at its followers (who appeared somewhat stunned and frightened) then proceeded on its trek. The others followed suit. I moved to the left lane, thinking I could pass by the group before they completely crossed over (other drivers had the same idea). The cars moved terribly slow and as cautiously as the geese; humans and fowl wondering what the others’ next move might be. I probably could have stayed all afternoon, playing this game with the geese, but I had an appointment to get to so I continued on my path. That night, I wondered if the geese family made it safely to their destination, or if they gave up, turned back, and tried another day.

We pray for God to lead us: lead us not into temptation, to guide us. We ask God to help us discern how to follow the right path in life, how to make decisions at difficult crossroads, or even cross a road (or a vast lake) to get to the other side. We want God to be with us, we want God to help us in these choices. To protect us. We might feel a calling to go somewhere new, whether physically moving, or metaphorically within our own understanding. We might get the desire to change jobs, or enter out of or into relationships, or simply feel the call to help the neighbor down the street. All the while we pray, and hope, that God is with us. Imagine being asked by Jesus to cross a lake in a boat just to get to the other side. It is a sunny day, the water is clear and calm and so you think it a great idea, a lovely adventure, or maybe a chance to relax with a friend. Even if you don’t know why you are crossing, or what is on the other side, you enter the boat, take your seat and trust the lead of your companion. But soon a

storm swells and the winds pick up, the boat gets tossed around and you are seasick within seconds. You are drenched, the water is pooling in the boat, and it looks inevitable that you might sink. Yet, Jesus is quietly sleeping in the corner, from all appearances oblivious to the impending danger. So you go over and shake His shoulder, wake Him, sure that He would want to be aware of the dire situation. Jesus opens His eyes and tells the wind to stop and the waves to settle. You

are relieved, He saved the day.

But then, Jesus turns to you and asks you why you are afraid, why

you still had little faith. That question hits the bottom of your gut, worse than the previous sea sickness, because you realize that your trust of your beloved teacher indeed ran shallow. It wasn’t your lack of bravery in a scary situation that was in question, it was your trust in God to see you

through…so you could get safely to the other side.Now, go back to the geese following their parent-leader across a highway. Imagine being one of

those geese trudging behind the group, marching across traffic, questioning if you will be run over or be safe. You see your leader turn around and look at you, acknowledge that they know you are there, that they are making the right choices toward your safety or doom. Then they turn back and start leading you toward the cars to get to the other side. Do you still follow?

Now, picture Jesus leading you across that busy highway, turning back and with a glance asking you to trust, to have faith. Do you still follow? More importantly, in your journey of life, how far, and in what situations, are you willing to follow Jesus, trust Jesus, have faith that you will safely cross the road, or the lake—without knowing why you are being asked to do so—despite all the dangers or storms? Ask yourself, is it easier to stay where you are comfortable, maybe not even cross the road or the lake, than it is to follow Jesus on a different path or stay in the rocky boat with Him? So the next time you hear the joke: why did the chicken cross the road—instead, think on a more important question: why did the disciples (or you) get in that boat. The initial answer is the same, to get to the other side, but for us as disciples of Christ it runs way deeper…it is because of faith.


Please Join Us for Weekly Worship!

We warmly invite you to join us at Gethsemane every Sunday for our in-person worship service. Whether you're a long-time member of our congregation or someone seeking spiritual connection, you'll find a welcoming community ready to embrace you. For those unable to attend in person, we offer the option to join us virtually via Zoom link, ensuring that everyone can participate in our worship experience regardless of their location. Our services, held every Sunday at 10:30 am, are conducted bilingually in Spanish and English, reflecting the diversity and inclusivity of our congregation. Come as you are and join us in lifting our voices in praise and worship. Below is the Zoom link for virtual attendance. We look forward to worshiping together with you.

Online Worship Service

Working Together So That All Experience Gracious Invitation Into Life-giving Christian Community

―Gethsemane Mission Statement

4656 Colfax Avenue North

Minneapolis, MN 55412


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