Accent on Worship
As we move into Epiphany, we realize the surprising places where the light of Christ is shining, where the Word made flesh is dwelling. This Sunday the Word comes to Eli the prophet . . . through his servant boy, Samuel, who is not yet of age, but who sleeps in the temple near the Ark, where the presence of God dwells. And the Word that comes to Eli through Samuel is judgment -- not good news for Samuel, but Samuel does not drop the Word; he conveys it faithfully. And Eli, though his sight is dim, still “sees” this is the word from God.
Our Psalm proclaims that we are fearfully, wonderfully made, that God knows even our thoughts, and that there is no place we can go where God is not. God is everywhere we go. What do we do with that?
The Word comes through Paul to the Church at Corinth, where the members have become fond of saying, “All things are lawful for me,” -- and then doing, presumably, whatever they want to do. Paul’s word for them is, “You belong to Christ, and your body (body of believers? physical body? Yes.) is not your own; it’s a temple of the Holy Spirit.” Our freedom isn’t limited by a long list of “don’ts” but, because the Word and the Spirit are in our actual bodies, it matters what we do. There are things we should choose not to do for the sake of the body and the sake of the Holy Spirit; and, on the Gospel side, we are able to do amazing things and live graciously because God is present in the Church and in us. God no longer dwells in the Ark of the Covenant; you and I and the body of the Church is where God now chooses to dwell. What does THAT mean for us?
Finally, the Messiah comes from a little backwater town, Nazareth, of all places.
Where will the judging and saving, law and gospel presence of God show up for us this week?
- Vicar Erik Doughty
Tenth Annual Conference on Liturgy
January 13-14, 2012
The conference begins this Friday evening, January 13, at 7:30 p.m. with a hymn festival, “Liturgy Shapes.” Leadership will be provided by Mount Olive Cantor David Cherwien, The National Lutheran Choir, and author and poet, Susan Palo Cherwien.
On Saturday, hear keynote speaker Gordon Lathrop discuss how liturgy shapes our believing and how liturgy shapes our sending. Participants will be invited to choose from four workshops which will explore this topic further. Senator John Marty will lead a workshop on the ways in which liturgy influences our public lives. Susan Palo Cherwien will offer a session on worship and language. Joseph Crippen, pastor of Mount Olive, will offer a presentation on children and the liturgy. The fourth session is continued conversation with Gordon Lathrop.
The day will open with Morning Prayer at 9:00 a.m. and close with Evening Prayer at 4:00 p.m. Gordon Lathrop will be the guest preacher on Sunday, January 15.
Cost for Mount Olive members is $35/person.
Cultivating Respect, Creating Safe Schools for All Students
As some of you may know, I am on the Board of Twin Cities PFLAG and we are very excited to sponsor the “Cultivating Respect, Creating Safe Schools for All Students” Conference, a day-long conference for 250 to be held on January 20, 2012 at Hamline University, St. Paul.
We invite all educators, social workers, psychologists, school nurses, school board members, administrators, parents, of GLBTQ individuals, students middle school through college, GLBTQ youth and allies, GSA leaders or anyone invested in creating healthy and safe schools for our children. Please encourage your neighbors, your child’s teacher or principal to attend as this is a great opportunity for learning and creating a new dialogue in which our children and their well being is placed front and center in our schools and communities.
There will be a number of great break-out sessions on important topics such as how to creating safe spaces, the impact of bullying on mental and physical health, understanding what is at the heart of bullying, prevention, and many more. Jamie Nabozny, the subject of the Southern Poverty Law Center documentary “Bullied,” will be the keynote speaker along with a panel of youth from the Anoka-Hennepin School District. In the evening, we will host an awards dinner (which can be attended separately from the conference) where PFLAG will honor members of the community who have been committed to creating safer schools for our children.
To register for the conference: https://www.blacktie-innesota.com/tickets/index.cfm. For more information, visit www.pflagtc.com, or email: email@example.com.
Please feel free to call me directly if you have any questions at 612-696-4117 or 360-319-8888. - Gretchen Campbell-Johnson
Mount Olive's chancel, nave and narthex were again beautifully decorated for the Christmas season. This was accomplished through the efforts of many: those who brought in and placed the trees, the volunteers that participated in "Hanging the Greens" and the special crew that hung the lights and Chrismons on the trees.
Also, kudos to those who removed the greens and trees and cleaned up after. We are grateful and wish to thank all of you for your time and willing hands.
Foundation Gift Requests
Mount Olive Lutheran Church Foundation's Board of Directors will meet on Tuesday, January 24, to recommend program and project recipients from its annual gift to the Church. Board members are seeking from staff, Vestry, and congregation members gift designation ideas that will move Mount Olive's ministries forward in a variety of ways. In the past, the Foundation has benefited among other things: musical events, youth trips, capital improvements, Neighborhood Ministries, church anniversary celebrations and Diaper Depot.
If you have an idea for a program or project, please speak with the Vestry member who oversees the area of your interest. Together, you can decide whether to submit a brief one-page request to the Foundation for consideration. Please contact Keith Bartz at firstname.lastname@example.org or (612) 823-3572 with questions or to obtain a gift request form.
Adult Forum Topics for January
Jan. 15: Art Halbardier will lead a presentation on the Development of the Nicene Creed
Jan. 22 & 29: Susan Cherwien will offer a 2-part series on Hymns and Worship.
Book Discussion Group
For it's meeting on January 21 (postponed one week this month due to the annual Conference on Liturgy), the Book Discussion Group we will read William Faulkner's A Light in August. And for the February 11 meeting the selection will be Native Son, by Richard Wright.
At Mount Olive we identify ourselves as Musical, Liturgical and Welcoming. Each of these descriptive terms has a number of facets.
On Sunday, February 12, 2012 at the 10:45 a.m. liturgy, we will welcome those who have indicated that they want to become "official" members at Mount Olive.
If you are interested in membership at Mount Olive, please speak with Pastor Crippen, contact the office at 612-827-5919, or speak with Andrew Andersen, the Director of Evangelism.
2012 RIC Festival Worship
January 28, 4:30 p.m.
This seventh annual festival worship service celebrates the Metro area ministry of Reconciling in Christ congregations at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church, 1509 27th Ave. NE., Minneapolis on Saturday, January 28 at 4:30 p.m.
The Rev. Justin Lind-Ayres of Bethany Lutheran Church will preach. Freewill offering to benefit the RIC Program. Light supper (no cost) & fellowship to follow. Over supper, debuting a Readers Theater play by William Randall Beard, "Families Valued."
Please gather with members of more than 30 RIC congregations and organizations from across the metro area to celebrate the welcome we extend to the whole people of God!