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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Olive Branch, 1/30/12

Accent on Worship

The gods of the ancient world were often perceived as powerful and ruthless, at best indifferent to mortals. However, Isaiah, in the First Lesson for the Fifth Sunday After Epiphany, gives the Judeans, who are returning from exile, a true vision of who and what God is to them. God is the infinite Creator of all, who has no equal even among the great and powerful on earth. God “brings princes to naught and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.” Yet, unlike the ancient gods of Isaiah’s time, the true God is concerned about the creation and involved in the lives of God’s people, especially those who are weak and vulnerable. “He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.”

Psalm 147, the Psalm for the day, continues with this theme, which is one of hope for those who are returning to rebuild, for those who are overwhelmed by the destruction of their home country, and those who are broken hearted. The Judeans are reminded of the power of their God and God’s concern for them.

This power and concern is no more manifested than in the Word Made Flesh, in Jesus. In this season the Gospel is all about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, the people he chooses, and the excitement he generates in every town he enters. “Everyone is searching for you,” said Simon to the Lord when he slipped away to pray. No truer words could have been spoken. Jesus was what everyone had been searching for, perhaps the Messiah, but if not that, someone who embodied the power and concern of the God who was proclaimed by the prophets. Jesus’ first actions in this exciting new ministry were healing all who came to him. In Mark 1:29-39, Sunday’s Gospel, we are told that the whole city came to the door for Jesus’ healing touch. And even though the people had not figured out who Jesus was, the demons already knew, “but he would not permit them to speak, because they knew him.” Such was the power of Jesus, the Son of God.

The interesting insight that I got out of Mark’s Gospel was that Jesus did not separate his actions from his words. When Simon found him in prayer, Jesus said to him, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” As followers of Jesus we, too, are called to proclaim our message of God’s love, by our actions.

- Donna Neste

This Sunday’s Adult Forum

February 5: Dr. Terence Nichols of St. Thomas University will offer the first of a 2-part presentation, “What Christians Should Know About Isalm.”

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!

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.


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.

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.

Call for Palms

It’s time to bring in any palm branches you have from last year’s Palm Sunday liturgy. These branches may be placed in the designated basket in the narthex. They will be burned on Shrove Tuesday, and their ashes used for the Imposition of Ashes on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22.

Taste of Chile

Mark your calendars for Sunday, March 4! The Missions Committee will be hosting the Taste of Chile to celebrate Chilean food and culture and to learn about missions in Chile. If you are interested in making an authentic Chilean dish for the event (recipe provided), please contact Lisa Ruff at or 651-636-4762.

Attention Worship Assistants!

All of the server’s albs and hangers have now been labeled with numbers. Please choose an alb and write the alb number next to your name on the list which is posted on the bulletin board. Once the list is complete, a new roster with alb assignments will be posted.

Films of Faith in February

Seen any good movies lately? It’s a good question, because film (like the other arts) can be a great way to be challenged, inspired, and guided to reflect on our lives of faith. And as with the other arts, one’s appreciation of a film can be enhanced by discussing it with others. So on the four Sundays of February (including Super Bowl Sunday), we will have the opportunity to gather at church to watch movies of substance and discuss then. We kick off at 3 p.m. on 5 February (in the chapel lounge) with Of Gods and Men, a powerful film that focuses on the decision of a group of Trappist monks to stay in the ministries in Muslim Algeria, despite threats and the urging of those “in the know” to flee to safety.

We will watch the movie, munch (quietly, please) on popcorn, sip a little cider, and then, after the movie, talk about what the movie showed and said and how it speaks to us as we try to live our lives of faith.

Future films will be Babette’s Feast, Joyeaux Noelle, and Into Temptation (which was filmed in Minneapolis and Saint Paul).

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

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 Schedule
 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.

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.

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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