Posts with the category “advent-2021”
A Christmas Remembered (Ken Schuldt)
by Aaron Achartz on December 25th, 2021
Zwiebrucken, Germany…December 1954Shortly before Christmas, the staff at the Service Club asked for volunteers to be “Fathers for a Day” for some orphans from Zwiebrucken.About 10:00 an olive drab bus pulled up to the base chapel. The windows were filled with smiling faces—outside, gathered on the ground, around the bus, were the “expectant fathers” awaiting their new families.It was soon determi...
The Memory Smith - Part 4 (Aaron Achartz)
by Aaron Achartz on December 24th, 2021
Over the next two days, Magnus slowly got back to work. Christmas was on Saturday and several orders needed to be finished. He worked in a daze, mindlessly completing memories, not noticing the movement of his hands.Alvis stopped by at one point, ostensibly to invite Magnus to his Christmas Eve party, but Magnus knew he’d heard about the argument with Val. Magnus gave a few noncommittal responses ...
Memory (Susan Ault)
by Aaron Achartz on December 23rd, 2021
(The following is a selection from Journeys: An Anthology of Adult Student Writing 2012 produced by The Minnesota Literacy Council. Susan Ault shared this book and uses it in her work with adult English language learners through the Hopkins Schools. Her students also contribute to the annual editions of this anthology.)My favorite holiday is Christmas Day because I’m from a poor family, and when...
Love Shines in the Night (Karen Saboe)
by Aaron Achartz on December 22nd, 2021
I hold my young daughter’s mittened hand as we walk in the cold night, Christmas caroling with the Children’s Choir and a few adults. The carolers knock at another door, waiting with anticipation. The wait seems longer than it really is. The gentleman that opens the door peers at us, looking over eyeglasses positioned far down on his nose. We are from his church, just up the road in Minnetonka...
LOVE (Susan Ault)
by Aaron Achartz on December 21st, 2021
[The following is a poem from Journeys: An Anthology of Adult Student Writing 2012 produced by The Minnesota Literacy Council. Susan Ault shared this book and uses it in her work with adult English language learners through the Hopkins Schools. Her students also contribute to the annual editions of this anthology.]LOVELove is a grateful thing.Love is with a pure heart.Love is with a charity hear...
Meditation (Sarah Brandt)
by Aaron Achartz on December 20th, 2021
“No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Corin. 2:9) The days are shorter and darkness descends as I sit down to write about love. The house is quiet now and I grasp this moment to reflect on what God’s love means to me. Soon the house will be noisy and boisterous. My college-aged boys will be home for the holidays with pile...
Fourth Sunday in Advent (Rolf Olson)
by Aaron Achartz on December 19th, 2021
“He has shown strength with his arm,He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,He has put down the mighty from their thrones,And exalted those of low degree;He has filled the hungry with good things,And the rich he has sent empty away.” (Luke 1:51-53)The dark windows on the west wall of the church reflect candles at the altar as voices rise in ...
Advent Acrostic Poem (WordWorkers)
by Aaron Achartz on December 18th, 2021
As snow falls andDays grow short,Valleys and mountainsEcho the first calls ofNoelTo the world.Here we awaitOur infant Lord,Peaceful and long-Expected redeemer.After our first candle is litNew hopes of the season come:That we might know peaceIn turbulent times and that we mightCapture some of the faith that has wavered.In hoping for safety and health we pray“Please, LordAnticipateThe needs we see a...
The Memory Smith - Part 3 (Aaron Achartz)
by Aaron Achartz on December 17th, 2021
Magnus finally caught up to Val outside of Mr. Dakken’s place. The two were talking in the front step when Magnus arrived, breathing heavily through clenched teeth. “What do you think you’re doing?” He snatched the memory from Mr. Dakken’s hand. “What’s going on with this?”Val stood there, too stunned to speak.Mr. Dakken cleared his throat. “Now, Magnus, I quite like-”Magnus held up his hand, sile...
A Christmas Prayer (Susan Ault)
by Aaron Achartz on December 16th, 2021
[This poem is from To Open Your Mind (2006), a collection of writings by adult learners in Minnesota published by the Minnesota Literacy Council and was provided by Susan Ault.] Every day is the same, just like the others,Missin’ my family, especially my mother.She and my brother did show up at the last court date,But wrongly informed ‘bout the room, and it was already too late.Judge told me and “...
Looking for Christmas at Macy's (Mim Kagol)
by Aaron Achartz on December 15th, 2021
Macy’s on 34th Street, a Saturday night three weeks before Christmas. The nip in the air and the brisk breeze made us pull our hoods and scarves tight against our ears. Bright lights, big city—with crowds both overstressed and festive, it seemed as if everyone in New York City was downtown that night. Someone in our tour group had said to be sure to go to Macy’s and see the decorations. To us firs...
Snow Flies (Karen Saboe)
by Aaron Achartz on December 14th, 2021
Early snows have the biggest flakes. The wind whips them high and low, creating a scene that is full of motion against the backdrop sky of gray.Fluffy flakes of snow swirling all around, the kind that tempt you to stick out your tongue and catch one, and then instantly, that cold fluff melts.Now the flakes fall on my eyelashes, with a weight, a snow-heaviness that makes me blink twice and wonder ...
Silver Linings (Sarah Brandt)
by Aaron Achartz on December 13th, 2021
“Be joyful always. Pray continually. Give thanks no matter what.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) I drove to Purgatory Park for a hike in the autumn sunshine. It had been rainy and cold for several days and I had spent too many hours working inside that week. I yearned to hear my feet crunch the leaves, to feel the sunshine on my face and to feast my eyes on the splendor of the fall colors.I was combini...
Third Sunday in Advent (Rolf Olson)
by Aaron Achartz on December 12th, 2021
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let everyone know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)The Bible passage selections...
Memory (Susan Ault)
by Aaron Achartz on December 11th, 2021
Daddy was not a man of the cloth….as they say...the word “cloth” acquired its meaning in 1634 when it began denoting one’s preference for the profession of clergymen. Daddy was a keeper of the soil and seeds...God’s crops. In other words he was a farmer (a sower of the seeds). God’s crops….a farmer...as I said, “a sower of the seeds”. But one year prior to Advent, my mom asked him to design and...
The Memory Smith - Part 2 (Aaron Achartz)
by Aaron Achartz on December 10th, 2021
Magnus ran his hand over the sling again. His fingers bounced against the pebbled outside of the cast. He cautiously flexed his muscles. Though his wrist did not move, a string of ache wound its way up from deep within and along the inside of his arm.He scowled at the injury. He should be working. Instead, his stupid wrist was holding him back. He cursed his luck again and imagined what he could b...
Everything is Holy Now (Sarah Brandt)
by Aaron Achartz on December 9th, 2021
Our Thanksgiving plans have changed, once again, due to COVID. We usually travel to Iowa to see my mother-in-law. My husband’s sister and her family drive from Indianapolis. His brother’s family also drives south from the Twin Cities to join the festivities. Obviously, we did not gather at all in 2020. We did congregate last summer once everyone was vaccinated. It was a blast to finally raise our ...
Mexico Christmas (Susan Ault)
by Aaron Achartz on December 8th, 2021
[This memoir is by a student in Susan Ault’s English Language Learner course for Hopkins schools.]In my native city of Poncitlan, Mexico, the biggest celebration of the year is the Virgin of the Rosary. This celebration starts on November 23rd and lasts for eight days.At five o-clock in the morning the people are inside the church and the mariachi band plays the Happy Birthday song. When they si...
Anticipation: A Memory (Rolf Olson)
by Aaron Achartz on December 7th, 2021
When the base of the tree would begin to fill with presents over the course of December, my brother and I always kept an eye out for one from our great aunt Judy. She lived in the mythical land of Seattle which we had heard of in stories of our much older brother Jeff’s legendary trip to the World’s Fair. We just knew that Aunt Judy sent the coolest gifts. In her wisdom our mother never loaded ...
Meditation (Sarah Brandt)
by Aaron Achartz on December 6th, 2021
Celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends is the on-ramp into Advent and the Christmas season. The Christmas decorations come out in the final week of November (at many stores, they are displayed as early as October which drives my husband nuts). Part of my annual ritual is making hot cocoa and listening to Christmas songs as I decorate. I have my Christmas hit list. Much to my family’s dis...
Second Sunday in Advent
by Aaron Achartz on December 5th, 2021
“Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fuller’s soap, he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”...
Advent Memoir (Carol Olson)
by Aaron Achartz on December 4th, 2021
This Advent memoir is from Carol Olson, Rolf Olson’s mother, a resident of Madison, Minnesota, and member of Faith Lutheran Church.There was church every Wednesday during Advent, and I know that if mother and father went, we kids went, too. And there was all of the baking preparations then, baking cookies and making traditional Norwegian sweets and breads. It was an exciting time. I can remembe...
The Memory Smith - Part 1 (Aaron Achartz)
by Aaron Achartz on December 3rd, 2021
Magnus Stonhart shuffled through the chill, dark night while the knapsack slung over his shoulder glowed and thrummed and emanated sweet smells of all varieties. He preferred to work at night, when the world stilled and the crowds dispersed. Alone, he roamed the empty streets to gather sensations wherever he could. On summer nights it was pleasant, but the warmth of summer had waned. Christmas was...
Advent (Mim Kagol)
by Aaron Achartz on December 2nd, 2021
Go to the window and see.At five o’clock in early Decemberday fades fast across the neighborhoodand night, heavy and inevitable,spreads its weight.The weary light tremblesover yards and driveways,is pushed aside, andtwilight settles in.Now established, the night growsinto a backdrop for holiday cheer:strings of glowing gumdrops, foolishand joyful, that loop in trees and lightthe eaves and roofline...
Sierra Leone Christmas (Susan Ault)
by Aaron Achartz on December 1st, 2021
[This memoir is by a student in Susan Ault’s English Language Learner course for Hopkins schools.]Christmas preparations in Sierra Leone for Advent are different from America. In America all they do is exchange gifts and go to work. But, in Sierra Leone people will start celebrating a week before Christmas. On Christmas Eve, people will do a lot of grocery shopping and buy lots of meats and chic...
A Wreath of Hope
by Aaron Achartz on November 30th, 2021
It is not quite December, but it is time to start peeking into all the decoration boxes. The first thing we look for is the Advent wreath. We move aside the village houses, ornaments, and angel figurines, and finally uncover the wreath. We place it prominently on the living room coffee table. A reminder. Christmas is near.There is such beauty in the greenery and the intertwining of the boughs....
Hope (Sarah Brandt)
by Aaron Achartz on November 29th, 2021
“Do not be anxious about anything (do not let your heart be troubled or afraid) but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:4)As I sit down to begin writing about hope, I am distracted by the news. There was another school shooting tod...
First Sunday in Advent (Rolf Olson)
by Aaron Achartz on November 28th, 2021
Make me to know thy ways, O Lord teach me thy paths.Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation For thee I wait all the day long.(Psalm 25: 4&5) On a Black Hills hiking trip with members of Luther League many years ago, I proudly broke in my brand new Kelty backpack and relished the chance to hike something other than a county park in W...
March Wellness Focus: Spiritual WellnessDay Camp at All SaintsDonate for Easter FlowersWork in Progress: Redo, Rewrite, Restore - Kids Connection for MarchClara Schumann PiecesPB&J (Pizza, Beverage & Justice) NightMarch PlaydateIntergenerational Serving at Feed My Starving ChildrenInspired Life Series: Ann PierceBehold the Darkness - Good Friday CantataAll Saints Increasing Partnership with ICAJoin Our Dedicated VolunteersThe Road: Featured Guest Alison YoungHoly Week ServicesCommunity Garden - Kids Connection for April
April 2023 NewsletterJoin Us for Our Easter EggstravaganzaLearn About Mental Health Connect ResourcesApril Wellness Focus: Intellectual WellnessApril PlaydateInspired Life Series: Beth DooleyRev. Kelly Chatman on April 30Thank You from ICAIntergenerational Serving Event this SaturdayInspired Life Series: Erin SharkeyStaff NewsMen's Breakfast Group ResumesUrban Ventures Spring Clean-Up DayParents Night Out - MayMental Health Connect Stories of Hope Breakfast
May 2023 NewsletterWhat is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month?May Wellness Focus: Physical WellnessSaints on Bikes Are Rolling Again!Raise Your Game - Kids Connection for MayMay PlaydateWhy is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Celebrated in May?Help Host Counselors During Day CampRainflower Project#MoreThanEnoughInspired Life Series: Rudi HargesheimerHow does the ELCA support multicultural ministries including those for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans?Final Week to Register for Day CampJoin the All Saints Knitting, Quilting and Crafting GroupSign Up as a Coffee HostWho are Some Notable Asian and Pacific Islanders in the ELCA?Postal Food Drive ResultBike & Ice Cream – Doesn’t Get Better Than That!
ICA Volunteer OpportunitiesJune 2023 NewsletterHelp All Saints Garden Come to Life This SummerJune Wellness Focus: Social WellnessGet Outside for Your Mental Health'Come Together' Virtual GatheringsJune Parent and Child PlaydateEnd of Fiscal Year Giving ReminderBubble Dance Party and Ice Cream SocialParents Night Out - July
Summer 2023 NewsletterAll Saints GardenUpcoming Study - Civic Life and FaithMHC Fundraiser – Bluegrass Music FestivalSaints on Bikes - Sovereign EstateJuly Wellness Focus: Financial WellnessOvergrown - New Sermon SeriesJuly PlaydateUpcoming Study – Civic Life and FaithSaints on Bikes - Gateway/Brown Creek TrailFree Online Theology Class from St. Olaf CollegeFamily Fun: Forest Bathing♪♫ Join the Music Program ♫♪
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