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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Olive Branch, October 25, 2010

Accent on Worship
My teachers at Gettysburg Seminary taught me that to be Lutheran is to be a member of a reform movement – a protest movement, if you like – within the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. Note that language: We Lutherans are not a “new” church; we are not the “only” or the “only true” Church. (Martin Marty wrote that Lutherans believe that we have the truth; we don’t believe, however, that we are the only ones who do.) We are a part of God’s (admittedly messed-up) Church – together with Roman Catholics, against whom our namesake Martin Luther raised some claims of false teaching; with the Eastern Orthodox communion of churches, about whom most of us know very little; with Anglican/Episcopalians and Presbyterians and Pentecostals.
The Lutheran Church came into being to argue for one primary reform of Church teaching – namely, that the news of Jesus must be proclaimed as “promise” (Gospel) and not as threat (“Law”). But there was no intention to establish a new or separated Church. Indeed, the Lutheran Confessions argue passionately that we speak as fellow Christians to fellow Christians. The schism sparked by the Reformation was a tragic development – perhaps inevitable in its day, but tragic nevertheless.
Lutherans, then, should approach the festival of Reformation Day with mixed feelings. With good reason we celebrate our unique, protest-ant heritage: Friar Martin’s standing up against the abuses of the Church of his day (many of which, arguably, are no longer an issue, thank God); “justification by grace through faith”; “A Mighty Fortress”; Bibles in the language of the people. The Reformation was a necessary and (mostly) laudable attempt to bring reform to the Church.
But in that celebration, we must resist any inclination to feel comfortable with the notion of a divided Church. In John’s Gospel, Our Lord prayed to the Father that his followers would be one in their knowledge of the God. The continuing – and increasing – division of the Church is an insult to God.
So perhaps this year’s Reformation feast is a good time to focus our attention on what it means to be a part of a reform movement within the one Christian Church today. Might it be time to temper our self-congratulation with repentance for what we have done to divide Christ’s Church? Can we turn our protest against the chauvinism (even our own) of the various churches toward one another? Shouldn’t we challenge the churches to come together in the service of the Gospel in obedience to the will of God?
We proudly sing our commitment to “one Lord, one faith, one birth [baptism].” Perhaps we Lutherans can turn our protest-ant heritage toward the reunion of the Church and against those things that divide her.

- Dwight Penas

Sunday Readings
October 31, 2010 – Reformation Day
Jeremiah 31:31-34 + Psalm 46
Romans 3:19-28 + John 8:31-36

November 7, 2010 – All Saints Sunday
Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18 + Psalm 149
Ephesians 1:11-23+ Luke 6:20-31

Consecration Sunday Set for November 14
Consecration Sunday, the day members of Mount Olive pledge their intentions for giving in 2011, will be Sunday, Nov. 14. This is a date change from the October calendar, so please take note. At worship that day members of Mount Olive will be invited to offer pledge cards declaring their intent for giving to the ministry God has called us to do together. These pledge cards and current third quarter contribution statements will arrive in the mail soon. Then, on Christ the King Sunday, Nov. 21, we will focus on opportunities for service in the ministries of Mount Olive held between services, and host a celebratory meal following the second liturgy.
As we end the Church Year, we will commit ourselves in these two weeks to the work that God has placed before us here, and all members are invited to participate in these events.

Adult Forum, Sunday October 31
This Sunday’s forum will be a “getting-to-know-you” session with our new pastor, Joseph Crippen.

The Wish List
The Mount Olive Wish List is now posted on the bulletin board next to the altar flower donation list in the church office. Each item is separately listed, along with its projected cost. There may be some shipping costs involved, so the donor may certainly round up to offset those costs, or wait for clarification for total cost before remitting payment. There is space for a donor's name and phone number so that the donor can be contacted about how best to send the funds for the item donated.
Currently, there are over 40 furniture items, as well as banner stands and several Godly Play items on the list. The Vestry hopes that members will find this to be a satisfying way to give, to the glory of God, certain useful items needed to enhance our learning, fellowship, office, and worship spaces. In addition, the Mount Olive Wish List is available for all committees who are in need of funding certain items or events that are beyond the annual budget. Feel free to search for the item you'd most like to donate and sign up today!! We've already received an anonymous donation of the new reception desk for the West Reception area. We believe there may be one more anonymous donation as well. While we appreciate all donors, we'd prefer to publicly thank and recognize them if possible. However, if you wish to remain anonymous, simply call Vice President Brian Jacobs, so that arrangements can be made, and so that particular item can be removed from the list. The list will be updated every Sunday. Thank you for perusing the list and thank you for your generosity!

From India With Love
In 1987, Mount Olive helped to fuel the launch of the Bethania Kids ministry, and to this day has continued to support it through its mission offerings and prayers. The mission of Bethania is "to bring wholeness and hope to poor, abandoned and disabled children in south India, and to equip them to share God's love." This is accomplished through day care centers, after-school programs, orphanages, a sewing program for girls, and centers for disabled children and adults.
On Sunday, November 14, the congregation will have a rare opportunity to meet two of the ministry's India workers and to hear first-hand about the work they are doing. Godfrey Henry Immanual and Paramadass, visiting the States from India for the first time, will speak at our education forum, and following the second liturgy there will be an Indian meal - an opportunity to welcome them to Mount Olive and socialize with them.
Mark your calendar now so that you can see and celebrate what your Bethania support is doing. For more information, contact Missions Director Paul Schadewald, Gene Hennig, or Mark Spitzack.

First Sunday Collection November 7
Please remember our monthly ingathering of non-perishable food items and travel-sized toiletries and personal items! These items are collected on the first Sunday of each month and distributed to those in our area who need them. Donations may be brought to the receptacles in the coat room at church. Be generous!

Dusting Off Our Name Tags
The Worship Committee asks all regular worshippers to consider wearing their nametags on Sunday mornings for a few weeks, so that the Crippen family can begin to learn our names and faces. If you don’t have a name tag or cannot find yours, please call the church office and we will be happy to make one for you.

Attention Middle and High School Mount Olive Youth!
I am James Berka. My wife Karen and I would love to see you on Sunday mornings as we work together to start a new tradition. We will meet together during the education hour at 9:30 a.m. In upcoming weeks, we will be moving into a new space which will give you the opportunity to give your input on how the space will be decorated.
Our morning discussions link the Gospel with current events and issues in your daily lives, so the discussions will only get better the more of us attend. Karen and I are deeply excited to see each and every one of you!

National Lutheran Choir (and Alumni!) to Present Brahms’ Requiem
On Monday, November 1, at 7:30 pm at Benson Great Hall at Bethel University, the National Lutheran Choir commences its celebratory 25th concert season with the annual All Saints Festival. This year's offering includes a complete performance of Johannes Brahms' A German Requiem. Artistic Director David Cherwien will conduct the 100-voice choir comprised of current NLC singers augmented by alumni singers from the group's quarter-century of choral artistry, joined by a full orchestra and guest artists Sonja DuToit Tengblad, soprano, and Jon Nordstrom, baritone. Don't miss this world-class performance of one of the great choral masterworks!
Before the performance, beginning at 6:45 pm, Mary Ann Feldman (former Showcase editor, program annotator, and historian for the Minnesota Orchestra) and Paul Westermeyer (Professor of Church Music at Luther Seminary) will present a lively pre-concert discussion about Brahms, his life and music.
For additional information or to purchase tickets, please visit, or call the offices of the National Lutheran Choir at 612.722.2301.

Invitation from the Prayer Chain
The Prayer Chain, a group of people from Mount Olive who are willing to pray for others, is available for prayer requests from friends and members of Mount Olive. If you have a concern or struggle for which you would like prayer support, please call Naomi Peterson at 612-824-2228 between 9 am and 9 pm any day of the week. We also honor requests for prayers of thanksgiving. All requests are kept confidential.

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