Detroit Lakes' First Lutheran Church to continue its Advent mini-concert tradition ... online

First Lutheran Bell Choir.jpg
Members of the First Lutheran Church Bell Choir will be performing as part of the church's Dec. 9 Advent Mini-Concert. Pictured in this photo are (front row, left to right) Holly Heisserer, Marlys Douglas, Ginny Klein; (back row) Carla Hanson, Sharon Wesbrook and Dan Berg. (Submitted photo)

This past weekend marked the beginning of Advent, a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is a version of the Latin word meaning "coming."

At First Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes, the start of Advent also marks the beginning of a 20-year holiday tradition known as the “Advent Mini Concerts.” These 30-minute concerts take place on three succeeding Wednesday afternoons through the Advent season.

“We’ve been doing them for more than 20 years now,” says Holly Heisserer, who coordinates the mini-concert schedule for the church.

Traditionally, each half-hour noon concert would take place at First Lutheran, and would be followed by a soup and sandwich luncheon in the fellowship hall. This year, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the church to reinvent this popular holiday staple, by offering it online.

"We'll be live streaming it on the church website," says Heisserer, adding that it will also be available for viewing via the church's Facebook page and YouTube channel.


The first concert, which was scheduled to be streamed live at noon Wednesday, Dec. 2, features popular local entertainer Tim Eggebraaten. That means this edition of the Tribune will be published after Eggebraaten's performance has already taken place — but unlike previous years, the concert will continue to be available for viewing throughout the holiday season.

"People can watch it anytime," Heisserer said.

Two more concerts are also planned, to be streamed live at noon on Dec. 9 and 16. Like Eggebraaten's performance, they will remain available for viewing throughout the holiday season.

The Dec. 9 concert will feature three different groups of performers: Karen Bimberg and Paul Heisler will be playing piano and organ duets; Heisserer and Janelle Maday will perform next, singing "a few Christmas duets"; and finally, six members of the First Lutheran Bell choir, directed by Carla Hanson, will close out the show with some holiday favorites.

Dec. 16's concert offering will begin with holiday song selections from First Lutheran's Contemporary Worship Team, followed by soprano soloist Emma Duncan (who is a member of the worship team); and last but not least, saxophone player Rick Johnson, who will be accompanied by pianist Karen Bimberg.

"We call him (Johnson) 'First Lutheran's Kenny G'," Heisserer said.

If you go (watch)

What: First Lutheran Church Advent Mini-Concerts

When: Dec. 2, 9 and 16, 12-12:30 p.m.


Where: All three concerts will be live streamed from First Lutheran Church's website at , as well as its Facebook page and YouTube channel .

More Info: These half-hour concerts will be available at listeners' convenience anytime after the original live stream is aired. All concerts are free and open to the public for viewing. For more information, call First Lutheran Church at 218-847-5656.

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