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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Olive Branch, 3/1/13

Accent on Worship

     “Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come buy and eat!” writes Isaiah, showing us the gracious God that we all love.   Paul writes of a harsh judgmental God who felled twenty-three thousand in a single day for sexual immorality and destroyed others by serpents for putting God to the test . God is like the good cop in the Isaiah reading for the first lesson and the bad cop in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians for the second lesson.

     Lutheran theology tends to lean toward the God of grace and love, whereas a number of other Christian denominations hold on to the harsh side of God.  Which is correct?  Which denomination has the truth?

     To me, God is within everything created and within all that created matter is a built in system of morality, because the eternally just and good Creator is a part of it.  It is therefore against the nature of all that is created to do wrong.  We were created to do the right thing.  When we turn away from God and morality, there are built in consequences for us, because sin is unnatural.

     Another way in which I think of God  and in which God is often portrayed is like a parent.  That kind of thinking was just a concept to me until I had my own child.  Never in my life had I experienced such selfless love toward another human being.  If we are parents, our children have certainly seen both sides of us!  Although very few parents would kill their children and that is why many theologians disassociate the brutal actions of the Old Testament from God, parents may deal harshly with their children in order to protect them from future bad judgment and actions that just may kill them.  Sometimes something really harsh has to happen to us in order for God to get our attention.  And like a good parent, Our Lord will give us every chance in the book to turn our lives around, which is the God that Jesus desires to portray in Sunday’s Gospel in the Parable of the Fig Tree.

- Donna Pususta Neste

Midweek Lenten Worship
Wednesdays in Lent
Noon – Holy Eucharist
7:00 pm – Evening Prayer

Upcoming Adult Forums

     Sunday, March 3 – “The Exodus,” part 1 of a 2-part series, led by Dr. Earl Schwartz.

     Sunday, March 10 – “The Exodus,” part 2 of a 2-part series, led by Dr. Earl Schwartz.

Dusting and Polishing Day

     The Altar Guild will host a chancel-cleaning event on Saturday, March 16, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Bring your favorite duster and polishing rags, and help prepare our worship space for Holy Week and Easter. Questions? Contact Beth Gaede: bethgaede [at] comcast [dot] com.

Lenten Bible Study: Practice Faith

     Christian faith practices are widely accepted, but not broadly understood outside of a moral/ethical understanding.  But what is the Biblical root of these practices?  Why are these things so important that they are mentioned over, and over, and over again in the Bible? What have Christians done in the past and what can we do now to keep these practices alive in our lives?

     Come to this six-week Bible study led by Vicar Neal Cannon on Thursday nights from 6-7 pm, starting February 14. It meets in the Chapel Lounge and a light supper is served.

February 14 – Hospitality and Welcome
February 21 – Tithing and Generosity
February 28 – Prayer
March 7 – Celebration and Sabbath
March 14 – Sharing the Gospel
March 21 – Serving our Neighbor

Words for the Pilgrimage

Wednesdays in Lent: February 20, 27, March 6, 13, 20

Noon – Holy Eucharist, followed by a soup and bread luncheon
6:00 p.m. – Soup, Bread, and Table Talk
7:00 p.m. – Evening Prayer

“Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”  Hebrews 12:1b-2a

     Christian believers have long likened our life of faith to a journey, a pilgrimage through this world.  On our Wednesdays this Lent we will explore words from an ancient sermon written to “the Hebrews.” These are words which use the same image, that of pilgrimage, and which provide guidance, direction, hope, and encouragement for this pilgrimage of life, as well as warnings and exhortations.  The book of Hebrews will be our companion on our journey, not a tour guide, but a fellow-traveler with us as we seek to live faithfully in this world as disciples.

     At noon, the preaching will be at the Eucharist; in the evening it will be during the soup supper, with conversation to follow.

Book Discussion Group

     For the March 9 meeting, the Book Discussion group will read Midnight's Children, by Salman Rushdie. For the April 13 meeting they will discuss In the Company of the Courtesan, by Sarah Dunant.  Looking ahead, in May we will discuss Children of God by Mary Doria Russell.  This is the sequel to her novel The Sparrow which we read earlier.

In Search of Missing Tablecloths

     Mount Olive is missing 4 long, cream-colored tablecloths (regularly used for funeral luncheons). If you have borrowed them, or if you brought them home to launder after an event, please return them as soon as possible, as they are needed here. They may be returned to the upstairs kitchenette. Thanks!

Theology on Tap

     Have you ever wanted to get to know the people sitting next to you in the pews a little better?  Do you enjoy a good beer while sharing stories with friends?  Then come to Theology on Tap!

     Theology on Tap is a new group at Mount Olive that meets once a month at local bars/restaurants to enjoy a good beverage (beer/wine/soda?  It’s up to you!), good food, and good conversation.  Each month we’ll also dive into a dialogue about faith and life (no preparation or book reading required, only your personal knowledge and insight) as we explore Christianity in the 21st century.  Contact Vicar Neal Cannon (, 612-827-5919 x12) if you would like to join us for Theology on Tap!

March Event Details

Who: Anyone 21+ is welcome to join
Where: Chatterbox Pub, 2800 Cleveland Ave S., St. Paul, MN
When: Tuesday March 5, 7:30-9:00pm
Discussion Topic: Violence and Christianity in the 21st Century
         #gundebate #justwar #turntheothercheek
Facebook Page & Group: Mount Olive Theology on Tap.  ) “Like” the page to get updates on Theology on Tap)
Contact: Vicar Neal Cannon (

Vespers at Holy Trinity

     On Saturday, March 9, 2013, at 5:00 p.m., members and friends of Mount Olive have a unique opportunity to attend Great Vespers at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, 956 Forest Street, St. Paul. Holy Trinity is the home parish of Cha Posz, administrative assistant at Mount Olive, and family. After the service, there is a small, once-monthly potluck supper, to which we are invited as guests. Father Jonathan Proctor, rector of Holy Trinity, will be available after the liturgy to answer questions we may have and perhaps show us the church's beautiful icons by Nicholas Papas. We will meet in the back of the sanctuary at 4:45 p.m. If you would like to attend, but would need a ride, please contact Susan Cherwien at or 952-920-9568. A sign-up sheet will be posted in the chapel lounge until Sunday, March 3, in order to get a general idea of how many people will attend, but signing up is not required for attendance.

     Directions to Holy Trinity: I94 to 35E North; exit Maryland Ave.; go EAST 1.3 mi. to Forest St.; RIGHT on Forest 1/2 mile; Holy Trinity is on lefthand side at the corner of Forest and Case.

Greetings from Mount Olive Neighborhood Ministries

     This Sunday, March 2, after both Eucharists, the greeters will distribute the winter issue of the Mount Olive Neighborhood Ministries newsletter. If you are not at church this weekend, copies are available in the church office.

The National Lutheran Choir to Present Bach’s Mass in B Minor

Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 7:00pm
Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, MN

     Johann Sebastian Bach's Mass in B minor (BWV 232) stands as one of the landmark creations in music history. The work was among the last composed by Bach before his death in 1750. Bach's setting of the Mass was unusual for composers at the time. The Mass was never performed in its totality during Bach's lifetime and it disappeared for much of the 18th century. Felix Mendelssohn, among others, was responsible for a revived interest in Bach's work and so there were a number of performances of the entire Mass in the early 19th century.

     Soloists Susan Palo Cherwien (soprano), Susan Druck (alto), Matthew Anderson (tenor), Paul Max Tipton (baritone) and many of the region's finest orchestra musicians will accompany us for this one-night-only performance.

     For ticket information, call 612-722-2301 or visit their website:  Don't miss it!

The Prodigal Son: An Art Exhibit from the Collection of Jerry Evenrud

     Jerry Evenrud began his collection of Prodigal Son works in 1983. A visual narrative depicting scenes and themes from the biblical parable about God’s love and forgiveness, it now includes hundreds of items from artists around the world, representing six centuries: paintings, etchings, sculptures, woodcuts, tapestries, and more.

     From Feb. 13-April 28, the exhibit is at The Basilica of St. Mary (Hennepin Ave. at N. 16th St in Minneapolis), and is open on Saturdays, Sundays, and other times by appointment.  For specific times and other information, visit

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