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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Olive Branch, 10/24/11

Accent on Worship

Reformation Sunday

In the lessons and the Gospel for Reformation Sunday, we witness an evolution of faith in the people of God. The one true God was revealed first to the Israelites, but it took centuries for them to grasp the concept of one God, Creator of all, and the people continued to stray by worshiping false gods. They could not bring themselves to trust completely in this truth. In the First Reading, Jeremiah prophesied that the day will come when no one among the people will doubt this revelation, which was given to them. “They shall all know me from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord.” Jeremiah’s prophecy became a reality when the faithful returned from their captivity in Babylon to rebuild their nation, and the dogma of the One True God is still written in the hearts of practicing Jews today.

I believe that it was out of fear the people would return to worshiping idols, that the priests and the scribes created a religion that put God in the center of everyday life, but in reality became so strident that hand washing, and diet became more important than compassion for the vulnerable in their society. And through the centuries it became easier to follow the strict laws of their religion than to love their neighbor, a practice that seems to continue among many of the religious to this day. Human nature has not changed.

Jesus gives us a new vision of God, a God who loves without exception, (sinner and saint alike), a God who has compassion for the suffering poor. Jesus shows us a God who understood the dilemma of the widowed and divorced women in his society, condemned to a life of prostitution. And by his actions, Jesus shows us a God who longs to heal and make whole all those whom society has shunned and pushed away. This is the truth that sets us free, the word that is revealed to those who listen to Jesus. “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” And Paul, in the Second Reading, stands by this teaching, by claiming that no human being can be right with God through works, but by trusting in Jesus, who brought us the final revelation of God.

So “sin boldly” as Martin Luther said, but love boldly also. Christian parents, do not disown your gay children for fear of being disowned by God. Love them as God loves and accepts them. Practicing Christians, do not be afraid to pray with those who believe differently. Pray to the one true God with them and love and accept who they are. Christians everywhere, always err on the side of love. Reach out to all with compassion and become co-workers in bringing justice and peace, the Kingdom of God, to all creation, the way God meant for us to be.

- Donna Pususta Neste

Sunday Readings

October 30, 2011 – Reformation Sunday
Jeremiah 31:31-34 + Psalm 46 Romans 3:19-28 + John 8:31-36

November 6, 2011 – All Saints Sunday
Revelation 7:9-17+ Psalm 34:1-10, 22I John 3:1-3 + Matthew 5:1-12

Stewardship of Lives and Wealth

During the next few weeks members of Mount Olive are invited to pledge their intentions for giving to our shared mission in 2012. A letter from the stewardship director and the pastor will go out this week accompanied by pledge cards and an “Opportunities for Service” brochure where people are invited to find ways to connect and serve in Mount Olive’s mission.

Instead of receiving completed pledge cards on only one Sunday, the Stewardship Committee would like to receive them any time in the next weeks, with the hope that all will be turned in by Sunday, Nov. 13. There will be box on the table next to the coat room where completed cards can be left, or they can be mailed to the church office. On Sunday, Nov. 20 there will be an Opportunities for Service luncheon after the second liturgy to celebrate our work together and give people a chance to learn more about how to be involved at Mount Olive.

Book Discussion

For their meeting on November 12, The Book Discussion Group is reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot, and for the December 15 meeting they will read German Boy: A Child in War, by Wolfgang W. E. Samuel.

This group meets on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m. at church. All readers welcome!

National Lutheran Choir Open Rehearsal at Mount Olive

Every Tuesday evening during the Fall, Winter and Spring months you can hear beautiful music rising up the stairwell. Those sounds are created by the National Lutheran Choir directed by David Cherwien.

On Tuesday, November 8, members of the church are invited to attend a special open rehearsal to witness the "NLC experience:" participate in devotions, share some coffee and snacks with choir members and attend a short information session with NLC Board and Mount Olive member, Brenda Bartz. The 90-minute experience starts at 7:30pm.

For more information contact the National Lutheran Choir's office: 612-722-2301.

Is Our Nation Broke?

On Sunday, November 13, following the late Eucharist, the Neighborhood Ministries Committee will sponsor a light lunch and a conversation about the Federal Budget. This discussion will be led Ed Payne, a speaker with Bread for the World.

A balanced budget is important, but should it be balanced on the backs of the poor? Or are there smarter, less painful ways for this to happen? Join us for this conversation on November 13!

Fundraiser for TRUST

Mount Olive belongs to TRUST, Inc. TRUST is the organization which sponsors the Meals on Wheels program in which we participate. TRUST has other programs, too, one of which is CoAM (in which we also participate and which has its office here at Mount Olive.TRUST has a major fundraiser on Saturday, November 5, at Lake Harriet United Methodist Church, 4901 Chowen Ave. S. Schedule: 6-9 pm for dinner, dessert, and silent and noisy auctions. Tickets are $20 for adults (or with a reservation, $15 for seniors and youth); children under 10, $5. Tickets at the door are $25.

Dan Burow and Gary Flatgard, Mount Olive’s representatives on the TRUST Board, are selling tickets now. Buy one, attend, and support TRUST!

Youth Fundraiser

Mount Olive’s youth are selling Christmas plants again this year. A variety of poinsettias, wreaths, and arrangements will be available to order through Sunday, November 20. Order your Christmas plants at Mount Olive and support our youth. If you have any questions about this project, call Irene Campbell, 651-230-3927.

Amicus Winter Clothing Drive

Amicus is a non-profit organization located in Minneapolis that works to help male inmates and ex-offenders reshape their lives, reach their goals, and make successful transitions from prison into the community.

Amicus is asking community members to help reach their goal of collecting 1,000 new and good condition winter items such as hats, gloves, coats, and boots, clothing, and hygiene products such as deodorant, shampoo and toothpaste. These items help Amicus clients to focus their few dollars on essentials such as food and housing. While Amicus serves both men and women, about 9 in 10 clients are men and many are looking for clothing sizes XL, XXL and above. They will seek donations from October 30 till February 29 and a donation box will be located at Mount Olive. Please donate what you can! Please contact Julie Jefferson at Amicus with questions and comments. (612) 348-8570 ext. 258. For more information on Amicus, please visit their website at

National Lutheran Choir to Present All Saints Program
“Kyrie: Journey to Light”

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 7:30 pm
St. Bartholomew's Catholic Church
630 Wayzata Boulevard East
Wayzata, MN 55391

Saturday, November 5, 2011 - 7:00 pm
Gustavus Adolphus College - Christ Chapel
800 West College Avenue
Saint Peter, MN 56082

Sunday, November 6, 2011 - 4:00 pm
St. Andrew's Lutheran Church
900 Stillwater Road
Mahtomedi, MN 55115

Tickets (at the door): $30/Adult; $25/Senior (62+); $10/Student. Tickets (in advance): $25/Adult; $20/Senior (62+); $15 ea./Group (10 or more); and $10/Student. For additional information, call the National Lutheran Choir office, 612.722.2301.

Manz Tage Events

The following events, held in conjunction with this weekend’s Manz Tage conference, are free and open to the public:

 Friday, Oct. 28, 7:30 pm – Hymn Festival Saturday, Oct. 29, 9:00 am – Morning Prayer Saturday, Oct. 29, 4:30 pm – Evening Prayer, with organ recital by Samuel Backman

Tutoring Snacks Needed

The snack sign-up chart is up for the Way to Goals Tutoring Program. Volunteer tutors and students meet at Mount Olive every Tuesday evening from October through May. It helps our budget significantly when snacks are donated, and providing snacks is easy to do. Just sign up on the chart located on the Neighborhood Ministries bulletin board downstairs by Donna Neste’s office, and bring a snack and beverage for 20 people on or before the day for which you have signed up. You may leave it in either the upstairs or undercroft kitchen, clearly labeled, and let Donna know where it is being stored.

Questions? Call Donna at church for further information, 612-827.5919.

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