Monadnock Ledger Transcript – Advent Lutheran Church Winter Mass provides an opportunity for early Christmas shopping

Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Published: 2022-11-14 13:34:15

In the early 2000s, Colleen Selmer, along with parishioners from Jaffrey and Rindge, organized the first winter market to raise money for the Advent Lutheran Church in Rindge.

The event included a small table in the church called “Colleen’s Bake Shop” where Selmer sold her pastries. Over the years the winter market has evolved into local vendors and even offered a silent auction and basket raffles. In honor of Selmer, who died in 2009, the Lutheran Adventist Church has kept the annual winter market tradition alive.

On November 12, dozens of parishioners gathered at Advent Lutheran Church for an early start to the holiday season. Festive decorations and prizes lined the walls, and the smell of freshly baked goods filled the room. Community members bid on local and international clothing, jewelry and household items in a silent auction. The event also featured a basket draw with nearly 20 different packages, each with a unique theme such as Football Party, Cocktail Party and Taste of Monadnock.

Winter Market coordinator Maryanne Bates said Church members have been preparing all fall to host the annual event.

“It’s a group effort,” Bates said. “It’s very rewarding to see people walk through the door year after year satisfied with what they’ve done.”

Community members also shopped at local suppliers such as Finlandia Woodworking of Swanzey, Candy’s Creations in Rindge and Stonewall Fields Alpaca Farm in Fitzwilliam. For the past four years, Brenda Berg, owner of alpaca farm Stonewall Fields, and her business partner Betsey Brooks have set up shop at the market to sell their wool hats, gloves and socks. Berg said the winter market is an opportunity to show her passion for animals and handmade products.

“It’s a beautiful event and a great presentation for the farm,” said Berg. “I’m talking about alpacas and why I love what I do.”

For Advent Lutheran Church pastor Robert Lindberg, owner of Finlandia Woodworking, the annual event promotes unity in the church.

“It gives the church a chance to be together,” he said.

According to church finance secretary Dan Truong, Advent Lutheran raised $2,300 from the winter market that year, including $1,157 from the basket raffle alone. Truong said this year’s event is one for the books.

“It was great, the sun came out, people came in and everyone in the community came,” he said.

Advent Lutheran Church will host a drive-through fellowship meal in February 2023 and donations will be accepted.

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