"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Happy Advent

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Happy Advent

Last week the children made Advent wreaths: wood rings adorned with pinecones and four white candles for the four Sundays of Advent. They are thrilled to begin the holidays and I become like a child again, seeing the wonder and beauty of the season through their eyes.

What are your memories of Christmas in the OALC?


  1. Lefse, pullah,pecan tassies, prune tarts, spritz, rosettes, fattiman bakels (spelling?), thumbprint cookies, gingerbread.

  2. My memories as a young child include going to the christmas meetings in Detroit and Minneapolis where I am from. Me and a bunch of the guys would "hooky bump" (grab onto the bumbers of cars as they left the church and ski in the snow behind the car) outside the Hopkins Church or we would have good old fashioned snow ball fights. I remember being miserable during night church because my clothes and shoes would be all wet and cold from the melted snow and my mom would instruct us to stay awake and listen to the preaching. My dad was a hymn leader and would always keep a close watch on us from the front of the church, one stern look from him would keep me and my brothers in line. I giggle about it now as I have boys of my own to give the stern looks to, although it doesn't seem to have the same effect my dad's looks did. I am not a member of the OALC but I have many great Christmas memories as well as others from my childhood in the OALC.

  3. I have a wonderful memory of singing "Til We Meet" outside in the dark after a gathering at Christmas meetings in Detroit one year, and it was very cold and the stars were bright and there were a few pure voices singing harmony, and I felt such happiness and melancholy. I never thought I would find that again after leaving the OALC, but I have, many times, and I look forward this Christmas to singing under the stars again with dear friends from many different traditions.

  4. I still have the Christmas stocking from my childhood. The skater in white paint on the red felt is crackling and my name, in gold glitter on glue, is almost illegible. But I love unrolling it every year just to look at it. We kids always had tangerines in the toes of our stockings, and if there were guests, Mom hung the stockings on our bedposts (apparently because some OALC folks might be offended.) Usually, she hung them downstairs on the knobs of the hutch, where she stored the nice china and silver and the huge white soup tureen. The only other holiday decoration I remember is the fragrant centerpiece my mom would make each year of evergreen boughs and red candles. Once I made a Christmas tree at school out of a Reader's Digest magazine, folded diagonally and sprayed with gold paint. Despite the OALC restriction on Christmas trees, I was allowed to display this oddity, probably because it didn't resemble much of anything.

  5. To the OALCfriend blogger: not allowing people to post anonymously will discourage participation. We've read enough name-calling and accusations to know it's not possible to dialogue with church members in a reasonable manner. Most people would appreciate some acknowledgement and validation; and the lack of that is in part what has driven some people away. Also, on your blog you mention "...or any other living faith". Have I, or have you, missed something? In all my years in the OALC, I not once heard that there was any other living faith. We were taught that ALL other churches are dead faith. This teaching has also in part contributed to driving some people away. Please clarify. Peace in the world will never be attained unless this kind of thinking changes.

    Christmas in the OALC brings back memories of opening presents early, traveling to meetings, lots of people, icy roads, snow, wind, cold, and seeing my first boyfriend.

  6. As we plan for Christmas, we plan for sharing it with family (in the OALC) and friends from the outside... on separate occasions.
    I am amazed by the ever-mounting burdens placed on the people, and their willingness to accept them. I am exhausted just thinking about a lot of my old friends who have many small children and are in various stages of their pregnancies, sitting through service after service with their barely functioning and completely exhausted children, dragging them to all the social functions involved, and expected to have a perfect home and Christmas goodies and meals for company.
    Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.