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December 2018

Because of how the calendar falls and our newsletter-publishing goals, I write this December letter to
you before Thanksgiving. Before the turkeys are cooked. Before the pumpkin pie. And it feels a bit
strange. A little off.

I like to focus on one thing before I move onto the next. If I have two sermons to write in a week, I
can’t really dive into writing the second until after the first is preached. It’s how I work best, one task
at a time. I get flustered if I have too many projects going on at once. Maybe you can relate. Or
maybe you’re a professional multi-tasker.

Or maybe your Christmas tree is already up. Maybe you have started your Christmas baking and
presents are wrapped. If this is how you function, you’re not alone. Christmas music is already
streaming on radio stations and Christmas movies have begun to show up on Netflix. Christmas in
society has been in full swing for weeks already.

No matter which way you function, one holiday at a time or two at once, it’s easy to get lost in all of it.
Holiday obligations only seem to grow more and more each year. More activities, more family outings,
more memory-making moments. It’s not that these are bad things. But in the hub of all of it, it is so
easy to lose our way to the manger.

December is a busy month, both in and out of church. In the enclosed ‘Christmas at Red Oak Grove’
brochure, find information and specifics about ministry happening at Red Oak Grove this month.
Hang it on your fridge, attach it to your calendar, keep it somewhere for reference and ways to be
involved in worship and service this month.

And I know – we all know - you don’t need one more thing on your schedule. I know that December
lives are busier than ever. It is so easy to lose our way to the manger in the midst of everything. And
that’s precisely why we invite you to come participate in these ministry opportunities at church.

These opportunities – to share joy by going Christmas caroling, to watch the Christmas story with
church friends, to come to worship and hear characters tell the story – are meant to help us find our
way to the manger. To remind us why we celebrate Christmas. To ground us in the meaning, in the
wonder and awe of God-with-us, Immanuel.

In between the memory-making and holiday to-dos, may you also know the peace and rest of the
babe born in the manger. Merry Christmas to you and yours,
Pastor Lindsay
NOVEMBER 11, 2018
The meeting was called to order by President, Brent Ingvalson. Members in attendance included; Brent
Ingvalson, Diane Maxwell, Jenny Ingvalson, Marilyn Helleck, Wendy Trihus, Marilyn Ulland, Jamie Hanson,
Karen Johnson, Pastor Lindsay and Laura Tjomsland.

Opening prayer was led by Pastor Lindsay and all were asked to include something they were thankful for.
Highs and lows were shared by all.

Old Business: A discussion regarding the use of Communion cards. A question as to what they are used for?
With no conclusive answer a motion was made by Marilyn H. and seconded by Diane that we discontinue the
use of Communion registration cards. The motion carried.

New Business: The Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service will be held at Red Oak Grove on Sunday, Nov. 18 at
7:00 pm. Greeters have been arranged and Marilyn H., Marilyn U. and Diane will help with arranging the
fellowship time to follow the service. Community Outreach for the 1st Grade at Blooming Prairie Elementary to
provide books at Christmas will be funded by WELCA, Noisy Coin offering and Community Outreach funds. A
motion was made by Diane and seconded by Marilyn U. to support this project. The motion carried. The
December schedule was discussed. The 1st Sunday we will have a Family Christmas service. Advent has
several different activities set up for the congregation. Watch for specific announcements. Sunday, Dec. 23rd
will have a regular worship service at 9:00 am. Monday, Dec. 24th will be Christmas Eve service at 5:00 pm.
There will be NO service on Dec. 25th, Christmas Day. A motion was made by Jenny and seconded by Marilyn
H. to accept this schedule. The motion carried.

The Pastor’s Report was presented with several highlights. Most information was shared in the business
topics. Visits included; 2 Prairie Manor services, 13 visits, including 4 with communion. Photo Christmas
cards will be produced and sent to ROG members. A monologue for the Advent wreath lighting has been
purchased for our use. Question, where should we donate the Mac and Cheese and stew gathering? Four
10th graders were confirmed and Pastor attended the Bishop’s Conference.
The Secretary’s Report was given. A motion was made by Marilyn H. and seconded by Marilyn U. to accept
the report as presented. The motion carried.

The Treasurer’s Report was given. Highlights included; opening balance $20,106.92, expenses were
$9,950.29. Income was $8,545.05, leaving a balance of $19,014.06. The Improvement Fund has a balance
of $18,284.03, with several projects designated from this fund, including the repairs to the garage. The
improvements that have been completed had a cost of $10,081.38, and $7,887.20 has been donated towards
these expenses. The Youth Fund has a balance of $3,432.19. A motion was made by Laura and seconded by
Diane to accept the report. The motion carried.

WELCA Report - They have made a donation to the Community Outreach project for the Blooming Prairie 1st
grade Christmas project. They have elected new officers and decided on donations that will be made.

Deacon’s Report - GIFT on Dec. 5th will focus on Christmas activities. A motion was made by Diane and
seconded by Jamie to approve the report as presented. The motion carried.

Trustee’s Report - The snow-blower has been tuned up and the schedule for snow plowing has been sent out
to all the volunteers. A motion was made by Marilyn U. and seconded by Wendy to approve the report as
presented. The motion carried.

With no further business the meeting was adjourned and closed with the Lord’s Prayer.
The next meeting will be Dec. 16th with a potluck supper at the church.

Eucharist Assistant for November is Brent and December is John Trihus.

Respectfully submitted, Laura Tjomsland, Council Secretary
WELCA Report

The November 4, 2018, 10:15 meeting was called to order by President Karen Johnson. There were
13 present. The meeting was opened in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Did not read
our purpose, no opening hymn and no devotions.

Secretary’s Report was given and it was notes from the Guest Day held on October 3rd at 9:30 a.m.
Lavonne gave Treasurer’s Report. Both placed on file with no corrections.

Correspondence was read: Thank you from Rachel’s Hope for our generous quilts we have donated.
Thanks from the family of Raeburn Hanson and also Jeff Peterson Family.

Committee Reports: Ardell reported for Judy Wambeam for quilting. Two quilts were given to ARC
in Austin. The ladies made 17 quilts during the Fall 6 week session. The 2 rolls of batting have
arrived – ordered from Calico Hutch, Hayward.

Ardell reported no meeting in October at Prairie Manor and the next meeting will be on Monday,
November 26, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. All are welcome to come.

Linda updated cards that have been sent for get well.

Prayer Chain updates were given for those who need our thoughts and prayers. A Birthday List was
given for those celebrating in November if anyone wanted to send well wishes.

No Unfinished Business.

New Business: It has been suggested that a donation be given to our adopted First Grade Class to
purchase books for Christmas gifts. Wishing for 2 books each for the 62 first graders. A motion was
made to donate $125 to the project by Marilyn Helleck and seconded by Pat Hanson. That would buy
1 book per child at $2 each.

The slate of 2019 WELCA officers was presented. They are President-Dorothy Peterson, Vice
President-Joyce Peterson, Secretary-Linda Christianson, Treasurer-Ardell Swenson, Mission Growth-
Ardell Swenson, Mission Action-Judy Wambeam and Linda Christianson. The list of end of year
donations was presented and discussed and a few items will be checked on and reported at
December meeting. Tabled until December 4th. St. Marks Craft and Bake Sale will be Thursday,
November 8th. Ardell asked for volunteers for different shifts of time and also for bake sale items. An
invitation from First Baptist Church for their annual Christmas Tea on Tuesday, December 4th at 7
p.m. We will call Carol Holmes with our guest number by November 26th at 583-2591. Thanked
Wendy from Council for serving coffee today.

Ardell gave closing devotions. Birthdays were wished and sang to. Lord’s Prayer was prayed.

Next meeting will be potluck at 12 noon on December 5th, with installation of new officers.

Linda L. Christianson, secretary

Pastoral Acts

Funeral – William Angell
Dear Red Oak Grove, Thank you for the card, certificate and cross. I
appreciate all the support you have given me during my faith journey
and I look forward for continuing my journey as part of the
congregation. Sincerely, Rachael Riley
Pastor Lindsay and congregation, Thank you for your continued
generosity in helping us feed students who receive food through the
Backpack Program. Without people like you, programs like this are
not possible. With God, though, all things are possible.
Karen Peterson, Coordinator
Thank you for your November generosity!
+ Our Noisy Coin for the month totaled $42 to go to the Blooming Prairie Ministerium to help in
their Christmas grocery voucher disbursements.
+ The shopping cart is filled with macaroni and cheese and cans of hearty soups for our
neighbors who are struggling this season.
+ Between the gifts of WELCA, one generous individual, and your donations, our goal to fund
the Christmas book gifts given to the first-grade classes at Blooming Prairie Elementary was
easily reached.

In the narthex at Red Oak Grove: Confirmation Sunday
On Reformation Sunday, October 28, four 10th
The narthex, the area just outside the
sanctuary doors, is a gathering space and, in graders affirmed their baptisms. We offer our
the coming month, a place where you can find support and prayer to (left to right) Boone
all sorts of information, sign-ups, and things to Carlson, Cole Christianson, Grace Magnuson,
take with you! and Rachael Riley.

The Christmas Poinsettia sign-up sheet is on
the table. The cost is $10 and checks can be
made out to WELCA and given to Lavonne
Smith or Marilyn Ulland. Poinsettias must be
ordered by December 9th.

Advent devotions for adults and families are
available to guide you in your journey to

The 2019 Worlein Calendars are available for
you to take.

Offering Envelopes for 2019 will be available
for pickup on December 16th. If you do not see
your name on a box and would like envelopes,
please let the office know.