About Our Church

 

We, the members of Gethsemane Lutheran Church (GLC) are committed to living out our faith in daily life.  As a community we engage in worship,fellowship and ministry.  Our life together provides ample opportunities for each member to be involved in music, food, and service. GLC is a small,  progressive faith community within the Lutheran tradition, dedicated to ministry for and with older adults.    Each of these descriptive words: small, progressive, Lutheran, and older adults play a significant role in defining our mission and ministry.

 

 

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About Our Name

Olive PressGethsemane [geth-sem-uh-nee] is a location mentioned in scripture (Mark 14:32 and Matthew 26:36).  Gethsemane literally means oil press.  The Garden of Gethsemane mentioned in scripture is located on the Mount of Olives across the Kidron Valley on the eastern side of Jerusalem.  The name indicates that there must have been an olive press located there.  Olives, along with wheat and grapes provided the agricultural backbone of Judah's economy.  These three agricultural crops and/or their products of oil, bread, and wine are frequently mentioned in scripture, and come into play in Torah regulations, in prophetic utterances and in parables.  

When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be left for the alien, the orphan, and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all your undertakings. When you beat your olive trees, do not strip what is left; it shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, do not glean what is left; it shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow. Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I am commanding you to do this. Deuteronomy 24:19-22

 

 

 

Gethsemane is perhaps best known as the place where Jesus went to pray before he was handed over to the authorities for trial and execution.  It is here that Jesus prayed "Father ... remove this cup from me, yet, not what I will, but what you will..." 

 

These scriptural traditions of Gethsemane are reflected in much of our art and our mission at GLC, as we seek to be a place of prayer and a place rooted in God's economic justice of sharing God's abundance.   

 

About Our Worship

Gethsemane Lutheran Church is a small congregation, but we share in the very rich tradition of Lutheran Worship. We celebrate Holy Communion weekly. We enjoy a variety of liturgical settings which change from season to season. We have a congregation that loves to sing and a choir, under the direction of Michael Kravchuk, that is the envy of congregations far larger than ours. We can and do make a “joyful noise.” Our campus is handicapped accessible, with ample space for wheelchairs and walkers. Visitor and Handicapped parking spaces are readily available.   During worship, our ushers will gladly assist you, and can provide individual hearing devices, and large print bulletins for those who require them.    

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GLC is a small congregation. 

Lyle Schaller, renown  parish planner, defines a small congregation as one that has between 30 and 100 average worship attendance.  Small congregations are neither better nor worse than their larger counterparts.  They are simply different, with a unique set of attributes, that make them attractive to a vast number of people.    In fact, small congregations currently make up 60% of all protestant congregations in North America today.  

 

One of the primary attractions of the small congregation is that it is a place where "everybody knows your name."   Small congregations are relational in character.  It is true they face limitations that larger congregations do not.  They do not have the resources to be all things to all people, therefore small congregations must define their niche in order to thrive. 

 

It is that small, caring,  interpersonal relationship that defines Gethsemane.  With an average worship attendance of around 33 people, Gethsemane has room to double or even triple in size and not loose its basic quality of being a small caring interpersonal community.

 

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GLC is a progressive faith community.

If you are looking for a faith community that takes the bible seriously, but not literally, GLC is the place for you.  If you are looking for a faith community that is focused on the Transformation of this world, rather than questions about "heaven and hell" than GLC is the place for you.  If you are looking for a faith community where we do not have all the answers, but asking questions about the meaning of life and the nature of God, are encouraged then GLC is the place for you. 

 

If you have questions about scriptural authority, about global warming, about end of the world theology, if you hunger for a faith community that is concerned with feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned .... if you are looking for a faith community that is concerned with loving kindness, doing justice and walking humbly with God, then GLC is the place for you.  

 

If you are longing for a place of inclusion for all people no matter their race, class or sexual orientation, then GLC is the place for you.

 

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GLC is within the Lutheran Tradition. 

 We affirm grace above all.  We  are a place of liturgical worship practices.  We love music.  We honor tradition but are not moribund by it.  We exalt in being part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Sierra Pacific Synod of the ELCA.  We are active partners in their ministries, their missions, their passions.  They provide for us windows of opportunity for mission that reach around the world.  They bring to us opportunities to grow, to serve, to celebrate what God is doing in the world today.  Such ministries as the ELCA Hunger Appeal, Mission Partner programs, Seminaries, Church colleges, bible camps and much more allow us as a small congregation to participate in ministries that reach around the world.  

 

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GLC is dedicated to ministry with and for older adults. 

Small churches cannot do everything.  We cannot be all things to all people.  While anyone, of any age, ethnic origin, or theological orientation is welcomed at GLC, our vision and our mission is centered on serving God through ministry with and for older adults.  Old age is not a holding pattern waiting for death, but rather it represents the blossoming of all of life’s learning and efforts up to that point.  It is a time for the ripening fruit of the gift of years to be harvested and shared with others. 

 

In a world dominated by the passions of the young, and by the intrigue of technology, the world needs the wisdom of age secured in its older population.  We have a gift to give, and a mission to share.  God is not through with us yet!

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