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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Olive Branch, 1/24/12

Accent on Worship

We are called to be Christ

The season of Epiphany usually has a shift mid-season between readings for our Eucharist which focus on call and discipleship to Gospels about the early ministry of Jesus, along with complementary readings from the rest of Scripture. That shift happens this week, as we leave behind two weeks of focus on calls of God and begin looking at the ministry of Jesus, specifically his healing.

But there is a connection between these themes. Jesus did several things throughout his earthly ministry. He taught, often using parables. He healed people of disease and possession, even doing several resurrections. He did other miracles or signs which showed his divine power. And he gathered a group of followers, disciples, who stayed with him throughout his ministry. Of this large group of perhaps more than 100, twelve were chosen as an inner circle of disciples.

At one level, the gathering of disciples was not uncommon. Itinerant teachers of the day often had their own followers, as well as teachers who lived in one place and drew people to them. John the Baptist had disciples, some of whom left him to follow Jesus. In the past two weeks we’ve heard Jesus’ call to Philip, Nathanael, Andrew, Simon Peter, James, and John – six of the inner twelve. In this Jesus is just acting like a teacher is expected to act.

However, for Jesus there is something more. These disciples, whom we famously remember as awkward, often confused, less than brilliant followers, were a vital part of Jesus’ mission. He healed, yes. But he also sent his disciples out to heal. He taught, yes. But he also sent his disciples out to teach. He gathered people to himself, yes. But he also sent his disciples to proclaim the kingdom of God and bring people to know God’s love in Jesus.

All this was preparing the disciples, all of them (not just the twelve), to do something crucial. They became the ministry of Jesus themselves after Pentecost. Jesus, in fact, was a prelude to what the big plan was. Rather than being the best part, something to be looked back at with nostalgia and longing, the ministry of Jesus was the first course, leading to a feast which only his disciples could spread to the entire world. Yes, we still read of Jesus’ ministry today. But we are mistaken if we think that it was the main point of his coming.

The main point of his coming was to call disciples, and now us, to do what he did, to be who he is, to continue, expand, deepen and spread his ministry. The profound truth of his death and resurrection, the celebration of which is starting to come closer with the advent of Lent in mid-February, is that by dying and rising and defeating the powers of evil and death, Jesus is able to fill all his disciples with the power of the Spirit of God to become him, to be the anointed ones of God in the world. Freed from our fears of all that can harm us, we are empowered in the risen life of Jesus to continue the healing of the world.

As we move into a focus on those first days of Jesus’ ministry in these next weeks, let us keep in mind our own calls to follow, to learn, to be discipled, to be Christ. God grant us the Spirit that we might answer our call and continue God’s healing of the world.

- Joseph

This Sunday’s Adult Forum

Jan. 29: Susan Cherwien will offer the second in a 2-part series on Hymns and Worship.

2011 Year-End Statements

Contribution statements for the year ending December 31, 2011 will be available on a table near the coat area for contributors to pick up.

If you cannot be at church in the coming weeks and would like your statement mailed to you, please call the church office.


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.

Sign Up for Altar Flowers

The Altar Flowers Chart for 2012 is now posted in the church office. If you would like to sign up to provide flowers for worship to commemorate a special day, in memory of a loved one, in honor of a special event, or simply to help beautify our sanctuary for worship, please sign up on the chart for the date you want, and be sure to include your designation. The cost of the altar flowers this year is $50 a Sunday for two bouquets. You may sign up to purchase both bouquets by signing on both lines, or purchase just one bouquet ($25) by signing on only one line.

Book Discussion Group

For its meeting on February 11, the Book Discussion Group will read Native Son, by Richard Wright, and for the March 10 session A Passage to India, by E. M. Forster. Book Discussion meets on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m. at the church. All readers welcome!

Heart Healthy Food and Fun Event

Set aside February 12 for a not-to-be-missed dinner at Mount Olive, with “hearts” as its theme. Sponsored by the Neighborhood Ministries Committee, this fundraiser promises to be deliciously “heart healthy,” as well as fun. Hans Tisberger will provide games and prizes. Tickets for the event will are $12 for adults, $5 for children aged 5 to 12. Children under 5 are free. Join the fun and support the raising of funds to acquire additional needed kitchen equipment.

Meals On Wheels

Mount Olive left the South Minneapolis Meals on Wheels program last January. In order to continue in this vital neighborhood ministry, we joined TRUST, Inc. One of TRUST’s many programs is that of Meals on Wheels.

The list of Meals on Wheels driver/deliverers at Mount Olive was given to TRUST, Inc. They have scheduled the following Mount Olive members to drive/deliver Meals on Wheels: Nancy and Gary Flatgard, Elaine and Art Halbardier, Karen Johnson, Mary and Bob Lee and Connie and Rod Olson. Others from the list of driver/deliverers at Mount Olive could be recruited by TRUST, Inc. We are thankful to those who continue to drive and deliver Meals on Wheels. Gary Flatgard has represented Mount Olive on the TRUST, Inc. board of directors.

TRUST, Inc. has many other neighborhood ministry programs in which Mount Olive could participate. Their wide range of programs will be described at a future adult forum by a TRUST, Inc. representative. All are encouraged to watch for this forum and attend. We need to be well informed and supportive of these neighborhood ministries

Minnesota FoodShare Cordially Invites You to Their Kick-Off Event

The Westminster Town Hall Forum, on Thursday, February 23, at 12 noon will be the kick-off event for the 30th Minnesota FoodShare. Rick Steves, host to the popular travel show on Minnesota Public Television, will speak about hunger from a global and local perspective. Further details can be found on

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 this 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."

Bread for the World
Workshops and Offering of Letters

The 2012 Bread for the World workshop, "Cut Hunger, Not Hunger Programs" will be held at three different locations and dates. On Thursday, February 23, 9a.m. -noon, at Guardian Angels Catholic Church, 8260 4th Street N, Oakdale; on Saturday, February 25, 9a.m.-noon, at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, 8400 France Ave. S., Bloomington; and on Wednesday, February 29, 7-9 p.m. at Bethel University, Eastlund Room in Community Life Center, 3900 Bethel Dr., Arden Hills.

This year, Bread for the World members and advocates need to raise our voices more than ever. The deficit-reduction proposals Congress is considering could result in the most severe cuts to programs for hungry and poor people in Bread's history.

Bread's 2012 Offering of Letters overall campaign will work to create a circle of protection around those most vulnerable by working to protect the funding of programs for hungry and poor people. The focus will be on four mini-campaigns: domestic nutrition assistance, poverty-focused foreign assistance, tax credits for low-income families, and international food aid.

South Minneapolis Coalition
for Grief Support
2012 Winter / Spring Series

This series will be held on Thursday evenings, January 19 – March 29, 2012, at Diamond Lake Lutheran Church, 5760 Portland Avenue S. Minneapolis, MN 55347 (612-827-5931).Weekly

 6:15 pm Registration and refreshments
 6:30 pm Speaker
 7:00 - 8:00 pm Facilitated Small Groups

Individuals may join the group at any time. For further information, contact the coordinator, Norine Larson at 952-925-2437.

Plan Ahead!

March is Minnesota FoodShare Month!

From 2008 to 2010 visits to the food shelves increased by 62%. During that time in the Twin Cities it increase by 97%! But the suburbs are suffering too. Since 2008, Second Harvest reported a 70% increase by seniors to suburban food programs. There were more than three million visits altogether to Minnesota food shelves in 2010. More hunger facts are posted on the Neighborhood Ministries bulletin board.

Once again Mount Olive congregation is invited to participate in Minnesota FoodShare Month. Bring your non-perishable food donations any Sunday during the month of March and place them in the grocery cart in the cloak room. The goal this year is to collect a total of 12 million combined dollars and pounds of food from congregations, businesses, and individuals throughout Minnesota. This amount will stock food shelves around the state with more than half the food distribution needed annually. And remember, food shelves can stretch donations of cash further than donations of food, because of their access to discount products and programs. So your cash donations go much farther! If you would like to make a cash donation, make your check out to Mount Olive and in the memo line write "MN FoodShare," and place it in the offering plate.

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