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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Olive Branch, 9/12/11

Accent on Worship

Forgiveness Given and Received

This month our lectionary readings are exploring the nature and shape of forgiveness, both divine and human. It is central to our proclamation about the Son of God that he came to restore relationships between the Triune God and the people of this world, to save us by bringing us back into fellowship with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The only way that can and will be accomplished is by God’s gracious forgiving of all our wrongdoing, even to the point of facing death on the cross.

What our readings explore is our own struggle to be shaped by the forgiveness we have received. We’ve had Jesus articulate a way to find reconciliation in a community, tell a parable about someone forgiven much who cannot in turn forgive, and next Sunday we hear him tell a parable about people who resent the generosity of God toward others. With the models of Joseph forgiving his brothers last week and Jonah resenting God’s forgiving the people of Nineveh next Sunday, the Old Testament readings parallel this direction of Jesus. On the last Sunday of the month, God challenges the people of Israel who have claimed God is not fair in punishing their sins, and Jesus holds up prostitutes and tax collectors as the righteous who will go into the kingdom before those who consider themselves righteous.

In short, we live and breathe by the joyful proclamation of God’s forgiving us freely, yet we somehow have made a disconnect between that grace and how we live our lives. That this is a serious human problem is evidenced by the many words in Scripture which address it. That we all too easily recognize ourselves in those words and stories is painful evidence that they still apply.

We are beginning each liturgy this month with confession and forgiveness. Our pattern is to use an order for absolution when the readings seem to call for it, and this month is clearly calling for it. However, we’re doing a more fully imagined rite than the brief order we more normally do. In using the order for corporate confession in our worship books, which includes a litany asking for the mercy of the Triune God, we hope to take the time to contemplate seriously this broken, disconnected reality in our lives.

At the end of the first reading for September 25, we read, “I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the LORD God. Turn, then, and live.” Let us turn and confess our sinful withholding of forgiveness, our sinful holding of resentments and grudges, and our sinful need to see others punished, while begging for mercy ourselves. Let us turn, and with God’s living grace, live.

- Joseph

This Sunday’s Adult Education: 9:30 am in the Chapel Lounge

The first of a 2-part presentation by The Rev. Dr. Terrence Fretheim of Luther Seminary: “Where is God in the Tsunami?”

Part two will be presented next Sunday, September 25.

MFA’s 2011-2012 Series

Mount Olive Music and Fine Arts 2011-2012 season kicks off with a concert by the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet on Sunday, September 25 at 4 p.m.

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

Volunteer Tutors Needed

The Way to Goals Tutoring Program for students from second through sixth grade, will resume on Tuesday, October 4. We will meet every Tuesday evening (except for the days that Minneapolis Public Schools are not in session) from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. for tutoring, a snack, and an activity. The program will end for the year on May 29, 2012. Consider being a part of this wonderful program, by volunteering to be a tutor.

There will be a dinner and short training session for new tutors on Saturday, September 24, at the home of Donna Neste, beginning at 6:30 p.m. If you would like more information, would like to volunteer, or need directions to Donna’s house, call her at church 612-827-5919.

Attention Greeters!

The first of two informational meetings for Greeters was held this past Sunday, Sept. 11. A second session will be held for those who were not able to attend. This second session is this Sunday, Sept. 18, beginning at 9:30 a.m. These sessions are for all greeters and also for 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. If you are a Greeter and were unable to attend last Sunday’s session, please consider attending the session this Sunday. We will meet after the first liturgy at 9:30 at the rear of the nave.

- Brian Jacobs, Greeter coordinator

Did You Know …

… that MONAC is now serving Community Meals twice a month at Mount Olive? The second meal is served on the 3rd Saturday of the month. Although mid-month meals have just begun, attendance has increased, which is an indication of the need for this kind of service.

If the Spirit moves you to be involved in this ministry, this is a perfect opportunity! Food preparation begins several hours before serving time (Noon to 1 pm). During that hour, volunteers dish up food, serve beverages, etc. Mount Olive workers, when having their lunch, are encouraged to sit and converse with the people from the community. Naturally, clean-up follows the meal and volunteers are needed for this, too. You may choose to work during the whole or any part of this operation, on either the first or third Saturday of the month. Those who have been involved in this ministry find it a rewarding experience, and enjoy the camaraderie with fellow workers. No need to sign up or give notice, just come!

MICAH Fundraiser Event

MICAH, a faith-based organization that works for affordable housing for all, has been supported by Mount Olive for seventeen years. They would like to invite Mount Olive members to join them on Sunday, Oct. 16, to realize a vision for a metropolitan area where everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home.

Professional musicians and spoken word artists will inspire and motivate each of us to take action and raise funds for MICAH. The event includes a reception (with drawing for special prizes) at 2:30 pm, and a program at 3:30 pm at Capri Theatre in Minneapolis. Tickets are $30.00 each, available at or by contacting Paul Stoll at You may also purchase tickets from Donna Neste by calling her at church (612-827-5919) or by sending an email to her at

A Stewardship Opportunity forAll Women of Mount Olive

Leanna Kloempken from Mount Olive is planning to attend the Women of the ELCA gathering later this week. WELCA is collecting an offering of personal care items for a women’s shelter, and small gift items to be placed in Christmas stockings for developmentally delayed adults. and would be pleased to bring our donations to the above location. If you can help provide these donations, please bring them, clearly marked for either of the two designated recipients above, or just “WELCA,” to the church office or the church library no later than this Wednesday, September 14.

Thanks for whatever help YOU can offer!

Church Library News

Have you been in to browse in our restored church library yet? If not, we invite you to come soon and we recommend allowing extra time to explore the treasure trove of good reading and reference material available there. With the arrival of the fall worship and education schedule, the library is now open expanded hours, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon each Sunday. Until further notice, please bring books from the Courtyard library back to the main library to be checked out. From time to time, we will highlight a special display in our library and at this time, we want to feature just a few books that will likely be helpful to all those involved with the challenging job of parenting:

52 Ways to Raise Happy and Loving Kids (and Avoid Parent Burnout)
Nine Challenges for Parents (Leading Your Child into Responsible Adulthood)
Different Children and Different Needs (The Art of Adjustable Parenting)
How to Parent Your T'weenagers
The Gift of Love
A Second Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul

This week's slogan to end this article is -- "If you hope to develop a child reader, Mom and Dad need to be readers too!"

- Leanna Kloempken

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