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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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A mission field to romp in

Dogs and cats make good neighbors to Austin, Texas, church

Every time they get out, the neighbor's dogs hightail it for the front lawn at Gethsemane Lutheran Church. Most come to romp and roam. Others show up to sniff the ground and do their business.

Jo-Anna Westergren of the Austin [Texas] Humane Society nuzzles Pickles while Karl Gronberg, Michaelanne Richter and Julie Sanford look on."When I'm inside the church and the windows are open, I'll hear them barking," says Karl Gronberg, a pastor of the 1,000-member congregation in Austin, Texas.

But don't think that Gronberg and parishioners are complaining. To them, this spacious yard is the perfect mission field for reaching out to the 120 strays that live next door at the Austin Humane Society.

"We see this as a ministry of our congregation," Gronberg says. "Together we're seeking to make things better for these animals.


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