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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Olive Branch, 8/8/11

Accent on Worship

God’s graciousness and generosity is a theme that runs through all the Scripture readings for Ordinary Time: Sunday 20. The Creator of all is portrayed as a God who is not impressed by labels. Not only Israel will know the salvation of the Lord, but all are invited to be a part of the blessing. Isaiah shows us a God who calls all peoples and defines God’s people as those who do justice and live according to the Covenant. “I will gather others to them besides those already gathered.”

Paul writes in Romans about God’s eternal mercy in order to assuage the worries of the Israelites, who were wondering if God had rejected them because of their original rejection of Jesus. Who better to tell them of the Lord’s mercy than Paul, who not only rejected Jesus, but persecuted his followers? This mercy that Paul writes of is for everyone. “For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all” (italics mine).

I believe that Jesus himself had to walk his own faith journey, just like the rest of us. This Sunday’s Gospel reflects a new direction in his journey, a point where he comes closer to the concept of God’s mercy, grace and salvation for all people and all creation. Jesus had just finished explaining to his apostles that it is not the religious practices of a person that makes one pure, but the intentions that flow from the heart. A woman who was considered unclean, because she was not a Jew and did not practice rituals of purification then approached him. Despite her lack of religion, her faith was deeper than most who grew up steeped in the beliefs, the practices and the rituals of the Jews. Jesus himself was put to the test. He literally argued with the woman, who begged for healing for her daughter. Few have been shown to be more clever than Jesus. That is what exasperated his detractors. However, this Canaanite woman won the argument. Her inspiration came from the Spirit. Jesus, the Son of God, could respond in only one way, with mercy. He healed her daughter.

Elizabeth A Johnson, a Catholic theologian writes in her book, Quest for the Living God, “There is no end to the being and fullness of God, who creates heaven and earth and is continuously present and active throughout the world, in all ages and all cultures.”

- Donna Pususta Neste

Mary, Mother of Our Lord
Monday, August 15, 2011
Holy Eucharist at 7:00 p.m.

Garden Luncheon

Gail Nielsen cordially invites all women to her home for a Garden Luncheon on Wednesday, August 17, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Men are welcome, too! There is no charge for the luncheon, but a freewill offering will be received to help defray the cost of the food.

Please RSVP to Gail Nielsen if you are interested in coming, 612.825.9326 – feel free to leave a message.

Attention Greeters (and those who might be interested in serving as such):

There will be two informational meetings held between services on Sept. 11 and Sept. 18 for all those who currently are greeters, and also those who might be interested in serving in this capacity. As worship leadership and worship servant rosters have changed over the years, so have some past practices. All worship servants are going through similar training and information sessions so that we're all performing our duties with consistency. Please consider attending one of these two sessions. Each session will be brief and will cover the same topics. Plan on meeting after the first liturgy at 9:30 at the rear of the nave. We request that every greeter attempt to attend one or both sessions.

Brian Jacobs,
Greeter coordinator

Seminar at Sea

Please join Pastor Joseph and Mary Crippen for a Seminar at Sea, sailing in the beautiful Caribbean Sea for 7 days. Pr. Crippen will provide three lectures on “Jesus, the Rapture, and the End Times,” and participants will have a short reading list in preparation.

Departure date is January 28, 2012. Inside cabin prices from $699, balcony cabin prices from $1099 - taxes and airfare additional.

For full information and details, call Tom Olsen at 952-929-9781, or speak with him at church.

Beyond Peacocks and Paisleys Textile Exhibition

Please join us after worship on Sunday, August 28, 2011 for a visit to the Goldstein Museum. Mount Olive member Don Johnson has collected textiles from the Indian subcontinent (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Pakistan) for 50 years and a selection of pieces from his collection forms the exhibit "Beyond Peacocks & Paisleys: Handmade Textiles of India and its Neighbors."

Don will be available to give tours of the exhibit elaborating on the pieces displayed. His collection is fascinating. We will depart after the service on Sunday and have lunch at India Palace in Roseville before proceeding to the Goldstein Museum to view the exhibit.

If you would like to attend, please let Carol Peterson or the church office know by Sunday, August 21 so we can get an accurate count of who would be attending and details to you of event logistics.

Book Discussion Group News

For its meeting on August 13, The Book Discussion group will read A Bed of Red Flowers, by Nelofer Pazira.

For the meeting on September 10, they will read Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison.

Farewell Open House

Lutheran Social Services’ President and CEO Mark Peterson, is retiring. All are invited to come and celebrate Mark's 25 years of service to LSS. A brief program will be presented at 5:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

The Open House will be held on Wednesday, August 10, from 5-7 pm at The Center for Changing Lives, 2400 Park Avenue in Minneapolis. For additional information, please contact Lolyann Connor at 651.969.2273 or

Host Homes Neededfor International Students

St. Paul Preparatory School in downtown St. Paul is currently looking for host homes for international students in grades 9-12. Hosting options are available for one to ten months. Families with children, single parents, single adults, and “empty nesters” are all welcome to apply. Host families receive a $300 per student/per month stipend.

If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact Patricia Dahl at 651-698-6471, or send her an email at

Study Participants Needed!

I am a doctoral student in psychology at the University of St. Thomas and I am conducting a research study focusing on the presence of growth following a traumatic experience. The purpose of the study is to hear the stories of individuals who have not only overcome trauma, but discovered personal growth. This “posttraumatic growth” may occur in relationships, spirituality, appreciation of life, personal strength, and new possibilities. Experiences of trauma undoubtedly result in difficulties. The exploration of positive reactions to trauma does not negate that reality; instead my intent is to gain an understanding of the full experience. As a result, your compelling story may bring hope to others in pain and enable therapists to provide better care to those who have experienced trauma.

Participation in this study involves completing two short inventories and an interview. Overall, the time commitment is approximately 1.5 hours. Information you provide will be kept completely anonymous and confidential. If you have experienced growth following a difficult time in life and would be willing to share your story, please contact me.
Sarah Cherwien, MA

MFA’s 2011-2012 Series

Mount Olive Music and Fine Arts has an exciting series planned for this year. Brochures for the upcoming season should arrive in the mail near the beginning of September.

The season kicks off with a concert by the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet on Sunday, September 24 at 4 p.m.

Music and Fine Arts Committee members will be on hand between liturgies on Sundays, September 11 and 18, seeking your support of this year’s series. Please be generous!

First Sunday Food Ingathering

Mount Olive Neighborhood Ministries (MONAC) continues its monthly ingathering of non-perishable food items for area food shelves. On the first Sunday of each month, worshippers are encouraged to bring food items to church and place them in the grocery cart in the coat room. They will be delivered to our local food shelves.

MONAC also receives donations of travel-sized toiletries to be distributed to area homeless persons. These can also be placed in the coat area in the box provided.

Thanks for your support!

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