Church briefs from 11/22/13

St. Paul Lutheran Church holiday lunch and bake sale

All are welcome to attend the St. Paul Lutheran Church holiday lunch and bake sale 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23. The church is at the corner of 5th and Walnut streets across from the Historic Courthouse.

The lunch menu includes chicken wild rice and tomato bisque soups, ham on homemade rye bread, hot German potato salad, sloppy joes and homemade cake. Bakery items for sale include cookies, bars, breads, pies, candy, canned goods. Quilts will also be for sale.

St. Andrew’s collecting food Thanksgiving Eve

The public is welcomed to bring a food donation to the Thanksgiving Eve worship service at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27, at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi.

The food helps provide year-round support to the Community Resource Center’s emergency food pantry and the St. Andrew’s Thursday Night Community Meals event.

Monetary donations will also be accepted at the annual worship service that features children’s choirs, adult choirs and the North Shore Brass. High-need food items include peanut butter, canned tuna and chicken, noodles, pasta sauce, pancake mix and syrup.

St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church is at 900 Stillwater Road, Mahtomedi. Directions and more information can be found at

For more information, contact Carrin Mahmood at 651-762-9119.

Tidings of jazz and mariachi at Trinity

The musical ensemble VocalEssence celebrates its 45th holiday season with five concerts devoted to the music of jazz great Dave Brubeck, as well as a selection of other Christmas favorites. VocalEssence was founded in 1969 and has debuted more than 160 commissions and world premieres.

This winter’s program features pianist Dan Chouinard and local Mexican folk group Mariachi Mi Tierra, along with the 100-voice VocalEssence Chorus and 32-voice Ensemble Singers.

Each Welcome Christmas show will also include traditional holiday delights, as well as the winning carols from the 16th annual Welcome Christmas Carol Contest.

There are five concerts in the Twin Cities, beginning in Stillwater:

• Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater.

• Sunday, Dec. 8, at 4 p.m., Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis

• Friday, Dec. 13, at 7:30 p.m., Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Apple Valley

• Saturday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m., Colonial Church of Edina

• Sunday, Dec. 15, at 4 p.m., Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis.

Tickets cost $10 and up. Youth ages 6-18 and students with a valid college I.D. are eligible for half-price tickets. For more info and tickets, call 612-371-5656 or go to

December events at Benedictine Center

The Benedictine Center in Maplewood is offering the following opportunities in December:

• Entering into Advent hope: 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. Cost is $25. This gentle two hour “mini-retreat” invites participants to experience the peace of Christmas by entering deeply into the sacred stories of the season through contemplation, guided meditations and ritual. Peter Watkins, spiritual director, author, musician and high school teacher, will facilitate this session.

• Dementia support group: 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10. Admission is free. A free will offering will be collected. Caregivers are invited to share their journey, find renewal and feel full acceptance for whatever they are going through. Each session — led by Steve Arnold, a chaplain and spiritual director — will be a form of group spiritual direction with check-ins, introductions and discussions around the disease of dementia.

To register for either event, go to and follow the link to the Benedictine Center.

The Benedictine Center, is at 2675 Benet Road in Maplewood. For more information, call 651-777-7251.

Christmas boutique and bake sale

The public is invited to the annual Christmas boutique and bake sale at Guardian Angels Catholic Church Saturday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8.

More than 70 vendors will showcase their collections of jewelry, ornaments, knit items, crocheted items, wood crafts, American Girl clothes, holiday décor and more. Guests can stay for lunch from noon to 2 p.m. or a chance to visit with Santa 1-3 p.m. on Saturday.

Other activities include making gingerbread houses, a Santa Shop that gives youth an opportunity to find affordable gifts for family and friends, a “white elephant” sale and a Christmas trees and wreaths sale.

The event is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at Guardian Angels Catholic Church, 8260 4th Street N, Oakdale.