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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Olive Branch, 2/6/12

Accent on Worship

We are coming to the end of Epiphany, and to our last Epiphany texts -- since next Sunday is the festival of the Transfiguration -- which are about washing and cleaning. On Transfiguration we’ll have a Sunday when Jesus shines with the purity of God’s bright light, and then we’ll move into Lent, remembering we are dust.

But for now we meet Naaman, the crabby pagan army general, grumpy that all God tells him to do, through the prophet Elisha, is wash in the muddy stream that is the Jordan river. Go look up some pictures of the Jordan; “Clean” is not necessarily what one would experience after washing in it!

Nevertheless, Naaman eventually does wash in the muddy Jordan, and the disease which had afflicted him is washed away by God. Namaan comes to believe in God through this washing, and immediately is moved to share his wealth in thanks.

In our reading from Mark, Jesus, having just slipped away from the crowds at Capernaum, encounters an already-faithful man who has a disease. In this case, Christ touches the man (interestingly for our Epiphany season, the word for “touch” is also the the word “ignite”) and says, “I will it: Be clean!” And it happens. The man, cleaned (and “lit up”, perhaps?) goes off, telling everyone what has happened-- he is clean, he is restored to community, and it happened when he encountered Jesus.

Not all of us have such dramatic stories as Naaman or the man healed by Jesus’ will and touch. But we are all washed in Baptism, and we are ignited by faith through the work of the Holy Spirit. In what way, this week, will we give thanks? In what way will we spread the Good News of what God has done for us and the whole world in Christ Jesus?

- Vicar Erik Doughty

The Bread of Life

The LORD gives “wine to gladden human hearts, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen human hearts,” according to Psalm 104:15. Bread is the staff of life, and given by Jesus as part of the gift of the Eucharist. The one loaf symbolizes all the people of God gathered together and formed into one Body, fed by the bread which is itself the Body of Christ. During Lent Mount Olive will be using real bread at the Eucharist to better connect to this powerful symbol and gift of Christ. We will try it for the period of Lent to explore whether this could be possible as our permanent way of sharing in the one bread and one cup of the Meal of our Lord. Several recipes will be tried as well, to best determine which works. Should we continue this into the future, members who are interested will be invited to bake bread for our weekly Eucharists as part of their way of serving.

If you have thoughts or comments on this, please don’t hesitate to contact Pastor Crippen, Vicar Doughty, Al Bipes (director of the Worship Committee), or any other members of the Worship Committee: Marcella Daehn, John Gidmark, Ro Griesse, Art Halbardier, Brian Jacobs, Kandi Jo Nelson, Paul Nixdorf, Tom Olsen, Dwight Penas, Rob Ruff, Cantor Cherwien.

Book Discussion Group

For its meeting this Saturday, 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 this Sunday, 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, and will be available at the door. Join the fun and support the raising of funds to acquire additional needed kitchen equipment.

This Sunday’s Adult Forum

February 12: Dr. Terence Nichols of St. Thomas University will offer the second of a 2-part presentation, “What Christians Should Know About Isalm.”

Films of Faith in February
(and early March!)

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 three of the four Sundays of February and the first Sunday of March, we will have the opportunity to gather at church at 3:00 pm to watch movies of substance and discuss them.

The schedule is as follows:
Feb. 12: Babette's Feast
Feb. 19: Joyeux Noelle
Feb. 26: No film because of Lent Procession
Mar. 4: Into Temptation

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.

We Need Your 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.

Knitters and Crocheters Wanted!

Yarnworkers, your talents are needed - again!

During Lent, we will collect donations of hand-knit or crocheted hats, scarves, mittens, and socks for donation to Our Saviour’s Community Services. These items will benefit those served in their homeless shelter and in their English Learning Center. All sizes are needed, and they request especially that our donations be designed for warmth – for a REAL Minnesota winter (unlike this year’s unusually mild Minnesota winter). If you like to knit or crochet and are able to make a winter thing or two to donate to this effort, simply bring your items to the church office before Easter. We already have a box filled and have started a second box!

For those who like to knit or crochet with others, plan to come to a knitting bee in the West Assembly Area this Sunday, February 12, from 1:30-3:30 (following the Neighborhood Ministries fundraiser luncheon), at church. We’ll put a pot of coffee or tea on and visit while we work. Those who wish to attend the Films of Faith event that day can knit for awhile after the luncheon while awaiting the movie.

If you have any questions about this project or if you are in need of supplies or patterns, please contact either Kate Sterner ( or Cha Posz (, or at the church office, M-F, 612-827-5919).

"Greetings" is Hot Off the Press

The winter issue of "Greetings from Mount Olive Neighborhood Ministries" will be distributed by the greeters after both liturgies on Sunday, February 12th. Extra copies will be available at the church.

Taste of Chile

Mark your calendars for Sunday, March 4! The Missions Committee will host 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.

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