PLENTY OF CHOICES

PLENTY OF CHOICES: Kati Yelkin of Eagle picks out some cookies with the approval of her sons, Joshua (left) and Lucas.  The family was among many to take advantage Saturday morning of the Christmas Cookie Sale at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Eagle. (Staff Photo by Lisa Brichacek)

EAGLE – Coffee, conversation and, of course, cookies were plentiful Saturday morning at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Eagle.

The church hosted its annual Christmas Cookie Sale and there were plenty of shoppers throughout the two hour sale.

Diane Johannes, president of the church’s WML (Women’s Missionary League), said all proceeds from the cookie sale will go to next year’s mission programs.

Those programs for next year have not yet been decided, but past programs have included seminary, food pantry, Clinic of the Heart, disaster relief, Orphan Grain Trail and medical missions overseas.

Cookies were sold $4 per dozen Saturday and there were plenty of choices.

“We put out a request to the congregation if they would help donate and we always get a nice assortment,” Johannes said.

In addition to cookies, a few congregation members also ake breads and cinnamon rolls. She said members don’t really have a specialty item they bring every year, they just bring what they can.

And, they have been bringing what they can for a very long time.

Johannes said the event started long before she joined the church.

“I’ve been here seven years,” she said.

“I’ve been here 20 years,” added Carol Baker, another active member who was helping Johannes man the money table Saturday morning.

After a quick discussion with other members in the kitchen, it was decided the Christmas Cookie Sale has been going for at least as long as the church was at its current location. That was built in 1990.

Baker said it’s just a nice way to get people to the church and offer a service that raises a few dollars as well.

Johannes agreed.

“A lot of people buy them just so they have something to snack on and some buy cookies to share with family or friends,” she said.

Before, during and after shopping for cookies and other goodies, coffee, apple cider and cappuccino were served as well. Shoppers and volunteers sipped and chatted.

Baker said it’s a nice way to start the morning by having conversation over a cup of something.

The ladies expected that there were going to be some cookies left over at the end of the sale Saturday. But, there were plans for those too. Those attending services at the church on Sunday morning had the opportunity to get some of the cookies.

Johannes said any cookies left after Sunday’s service were packed up for people in the area who can’t easily get out and about.

“Pastor will take those to shut ins,” she said.

The cookie sale every December is the group’s main fundrasiser for mission projects. Johannes said there are a few other smaller fundraisers they do. For example, the group sells greeting cards throughout the year.

Immanuel Lutheran Church has approximately 250 registered members. They come from Eagle and other communities, including Omaha, Lincoln, Nebraska City, Wahoo and Palmyra.

Last weekend’s cookie sale is not the only project the congregation has going this holiday season either.

A Christmas tree in the fellowship hall is being decorated with ornaments. Each of those ornaments has a picture of something needed by area families in need. The ornaments’ pictures include diapers, personal care items or other necessary items.

Johannes said families can take an ornament from the tree. They can then purchase the items that is pictured and bring it back to the church as a donation.

“We’ll also help the food bank again this holiday season,” she added.

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