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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Olive Branch, 10/31/11

Accent on Worship

All Saints

The Festival of All Saints is a liturgical party, the date of which has been moved around the calendar a few times. As early as 373 AD, there was a feast of All Martyrs in the Eastern Church, the Orthodox. About 300 years later, Pope Boniface IV dedicated a church to the Blessed Virgin and All Martyrs -- so at least by then, the idea of “All Martyrs” was present in the west. The first apparent mention of “All Saints” seems to be with Pope Gregory III, though whether he thought up the idea of broadening the celebration from only martyrs into all saints, or merely acknowledged and blessed a celebration already taking place in churches is unknown. Gregory also began the movement of the festival’s date from May 13 to November 1. Coincidentally or not, both May 13 and November 1 were dates of preexisting non-Christian festivals: May 13 was the date of Lemuria, a Roman-religion day in which the spirits of the dead were propitiated; November 1 was the date of Samhain, a Celtic-religion observance when the gods appeared to play tricks on their followers. (History facts are courtesy of In the Americas and in our neighborhood, the Mexican celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) appears to be yet another pre-existing festival which the Church perhaps “adjusted.”

Our focus on the day, however, has more to do with “the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” On All Saints we all claim our sainthood, albeit while realizing we are also simultaneously sinners. And on All Saints we give thanks for the faithful persons who passed the Christian faith along to us, who have completed this life and entered into the fullness of their baptism, alive in the heart of God. When we commune, we receive not only Christ but all the saints! Luther writes: this holy sacrament is nothing other than a divine sign, in which Christ and all saints are pledged, granted and imparted, with all their works, sufferings, merits, mercies and possessions, for the comfort and strengthening of all who are in anxiety and sorrow, and are persecuted by the devil, sin, the world, the flesh and every evil; and that to receive the sacrament is nothing else than to desire all this and firmly to believe that it shall be done. (Treatise Concerning the Blessed Sacrament of the Holy And True Body of Christ -- 1519)

All Saints is a wonderful opportunity to give thanks for our forbears in faith, and we do so gladly; and every Eucharist on any date is a shared meal with all saints of all ages. Thanks be to God!

- Vicar Erik Doughty

Stewardship: How much do I give?

As members of Mount Olive consider their pledges to our shared mission for next year (you should have received these in the mail, along with a form for opportunities to serve at Mount Olive next year), the Stewardship Committee offers these thoughts. Often the question one asks when thinking of pledging is “how much”? Christians long have used the biblical standard of the 10% tithe as the bar to reach, and that’s certainly a way to begin the discernment. Tithing was and is not a legalistic mark, though. It comes from the biblical call to return the first fruits of what God has given, and in the Scriptures that first fruits often was a percentage of fruits, or crops, or livestock. The principle behind first fruits giving is not about “how much” but about the sense we have of being stewards of all of God’s goodness, and making certain that in our family budgets the first parts are set aside for the work God has called us to do together. Once we have that in mind, deciding the actual percentage isn’t as hard as we thought, and in fact, people find that as they grow toward 10% sometimes they even begin to move beyond it.

Another thought many consider is “can I find room in my budget to give in the way I feel called to give?” This an important question, and it is one of priorities. Each of us needs to understand how our priorities are actually represented in how we use the money and time God has given us. Again, since true stewardship comes from the faith God has given us, once we have the conversation about our priorities, the question of giving is much simpler.

Lastly, we are completing a very successful capital campaign which paid for some very important work done on our building, work which enables our mission here. Pledges are still coming in on this, for which the congregation is grateful, and we hope all will be able to fulfill their pledges. But if you gave to that campaign above and beyond what you gave to the general offering, you have an opportunity that the committee would like to encourage. If everyone who gave to the capital campaign calculated 5% of that gift, and added that to their regular offering for 2012, we’d not only meet our budget for mission, but we’d exceed it and be in the wonderful position of looking for more that we could do in service to God. As with the loaves and fishes, God takes small things from each of us and multiplies them to amazing results in the world. That’s the joy of being stewards, not owners – since it’s not ours to begin with we are privileged to see what happens when we share what God has given, and see what wonderful things God can do with us together.

A reminder: the committee would like pledge cards turned in by Sunday, Nov. 13, in the box near the Chapel Lounge, or sent to the church office. Thanks, and God bless your discernment!

This Week’s Adult Education
Sunday, November 6

“Vocation For All the Saints,” part 1 of a 2-part series, presented by Vicar Erik Doughty.

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!

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.

National Lutheran Choir Open Rehearsal at Mount Olive

On Tuesday, November 8, members of Mount Olive are invited to attend a special open rehearsal of the National Lutheran Choir, 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!

Liturgy to be videotaped on November 20

During the 8:00 and 10:45 a.m. liturgy on November 20, you may notice Ann Sorenson and Dan West shooting footage of Pastor Crippen and our worship experience. The footage is needed to replace out-of-date portions of the video on our website. Keeping in mind Mount Olive's guidelines on photography during worship, Ann and Dan will be as discreet as possible. They and the Evangelism Committee appreciate the congregation's understanding.

The Art Shoppe at Midtown Global Market

The grand opening of The Art Shoppe at Midtown Global Market will be on November 5th from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

The Art Shoppe is a micro-business begun by three non-profits: Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Jewish Community Relations Council, and A Minnesota Without Poverty to support artists living with poverty. You are invited to attend this grand opening, see artist
demonstrations, and enjoy food and lively music. It is both beautiful and richly varied in artistic expression and has met so many expectations and hopes. Enjoy and relish Mount Olive’s commitment to make lives and creation full of beauty and joy.

Church Library News

We would like to call your attention to Family Literacy Day on November 1. When we hear that word, we especially think of developing early literacy skills in our young children and that is incredibly important. If you have youngsters (birth-24 months, 2-3 years, and 3-5 years) you will want to be concerned with Phonological Awareness, Vocabulary Development,Print Awareness and Motivation, Letter Knowledge and narrative skills. The public library will have even more resources but please speak to me if you need some pertinent helps from our small church library as well. You might find it helpful to check out the internet on this subject also.

The newest display in our library calls attention to some great reading for women and here are just a few examples:

The Shalom Woman by Margaret Wold
Prayer's for a Mother's Heart by Judith Mattison
In The Potter’s Hand by Gretchen Quie, with Karen Matison Hess
From This Good Ground by Edna Hong
Never Underestimate the Little Woman by Clarissa Start
Choices/Changes by Joni Eareckson Tada
Mom Has a Second Job (Prayer Thoughts for Working Mothers) by Judith Mattison
What Really Matters (an honest look at what is truly essential to the authentic Christian life) by Eugenia Price
Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman by Anne Ortlund
A Second Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul - various authors
The Secret life of Becky Miller, a novel, by Sharon Hinck
New Women's Devotional Bible, NIV, Large Print

Once again, we would like to invite you all to spend some time in our restored church library on Sundays. Remember the two passageways from the East Assembly Room and the distance will not seem so formidable.

We close this article with some reminders --- Too busy to read? Just fifteen minutes of reading per day equals twenty books per year! Also --- Spend just fifteen minutes a day reading the Bible -- and you can read it through twice during the year!

- Leanna Kloempken

Foster Parents Needed!

Volunteers of America-Minnesota is looking for skilled parents to provide care for troubled youth in one of our three foster care programs. We have kids of all ages in need of a stable home with dedicated parents who appreciate the difficulties of childhood!

Volunteers of America provides quality foster parents with lots of friendly training, 24-hour support and a monthly stipend. Come and learn more about making a difference in the life of a child!

Information Meetings are held on Mondays from 10:00-11:30 at the Volunteers of America- Minnesota office, 7625 Metro Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55439. (RSVP to reserve your spot and ensure that we have gathered and prepared adequate materials. If no RSVPs have been received for a specific week, meetings are subject to cancellation.)

For more information, feel free to contact Heather Thornton at 952-945-4064 or , or visit us online at!

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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