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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Olive Branch, 5/26/13

Accent on Worship


     On June 5th of 2002, a young girl was sleeping in her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was abducted in the middle of the night.  Many of you may remember Elizabeth Smart.  She was all over the national news and shortly after she was abducted a state-wide manhunt was underway.  For awhile, it didn’t seem like the world would ever hear from Elizabeth Smart again, but nine months later Elizabeth was found walking out in the open with her abductor (though in disguise) and one other woman.

     When Elizabeth was found, the first question many people asked was, if she was out in the open, how come she didn’t call out for help?  After all, Elizabeth was basically enslaved and violated daily.  How could she be so near freedom and not cry out for help?  Over the course of the next few months sociologists began explaining what happened to Elizabeth.  They said that over a long period of time abduction victims can come to have an affinity for their captor, despite anything their captor may do or say to them. It’s called “Stockholm Syndrome,” and it happens because the captors often make their victim believe that they are the only ones that care about them, that the victim’s families have given up looking for them, and that they are the victim’s only hope.  Over long periods of psychological torment, victims can actually come to believe these lies, or at the very least are to afraid to believe otherwise.

     If we examine ourselves closely, this is not far from our own experience with sin.  In Galatians Paul writes that Christ has set us free from sin.  But if Christ has set us free, then why is there still so much sin and evil in the world?  Why do we all continue to sin everyday if we are free?  Like an abduction victim, sin has a powerful grip on us.  We cling to ways of being in the world that have harmful consequences for our communities, our environment, our families, and our selves.  We eat, drink, lie, cheat, fight, lust, etc. on a daily basis, clinging to its power over us.

     While none of us will ever be without sin, Paul’s letter in Galatians reminds us that we cling to old ways of being that work against bringing the fruits of the Spirit into the world.  Like an abduction victim, we do this because this is how we’ve learned to cope with the world around us. We fear that even in the face of overwhelming hope that sin cannot be defeated.  But as Paul teaches, “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

Therefore, trusting in Christ and being guided by the Spirit, sin has lost its power over you.

     Thanks be to God.

- Vicar Neal Cannon

Sunday Readings

June 30, 2013 – Time after Pentecost: Sunday 13
I Kings 19:15-16, 19-21 + Psalm 16
Galatians 5:1, 13-25 + Luke 9:51-62

July 7, 2013 – Time after Pentecost: Sunday 14
Isaiah 66:10-14 + Psalm 66:1-9
Galatians 6:1-16 + Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Fourth of July Potluck

     Coffee hour following the liturgy on Sunday, July 7 will be a 4th of July potluck! Bring a dish to pass and plan to join us for a mid-summer meal together. Pulled pork sandwiches, lemonade, and coffee will be provided. The potluck will be held inside the church, so that weather doesn’t become an issue.

The Bargain Box

     Each August, Mount Olive Neighborhood Ministries sponsors The Bargain Box, an affordable way for neighborhood families to obtain good quality clothing (new and gently used) for children of all ages to wear as they return to school in the fall. This year, the Bargain Box will be on August 3, from 8-11:30 a.m.

     You can help by donating new or gently used children’s clothes or money to purchase clothes (please include “Bargain Box” in the memo line of your gift), before August 4.

     If you have any questions about Bargain Box, please contact Irene Campbell at 651-230-3927.

Book Discussion Group

     Mount Olive’s Book Discussion group meets on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m. at church. For the July 13 meeting, they will read The Violent Bear It Away, by Flannery O’Connor.  And advance notification (because of its length) and for August 10 we will discuss Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Olive Branch Summer Publication

     Please note that during the months of June, July, and August, The Olive Branch is published every other week.  The next issue will be published on July 10.

Adopt a Plot

     Would you be able to adopt a section of the landscaped area around the Mount Olive Church property?  We need volunteers to help with the up keep of the planted areas and grounds.  With the abundant rain this spring, the weeds and grass are growing like crazy!  William, our Sexton, does the mowing, but even with our relatively low maintenance landscaping there is a good deal to keep up.   A sign up chart is in the gathering area with various plots mapped out for you to choose from.  We ask that you check the area you adopt weekly and attend to new weeds or other needs. Gardening tools and trash bags are available for your use along with instructions.  For information call Carla Manuel (612-521-3952), Andrew Andersen (763-607-1689), or Steve Manuel (952-922-6367).

Remember the Hungry and Homeless

     In your summer travels, please remember to save unused complimentary toiletries for homeless persons.  These, as well as trial size toiletries that can be purchased, are ideal because of their small size. Please bring your donations to the coat room at Mount Olive.

     Also, food needs are even greater in the summer months when children are not in school receiving free lunches.  Please keep this in mind when making your food donations.  CES (Community Emergency Services) has a food shelf to which we contribute.  Here are some needed items: chili, sugar, beef stew, salt, canned beets, cooking oil, pudding cups, Jello gelatin cups, coffee/tea, toilet tissue, cocoa, macaroni & cheese and microwaveable cups of food.

     Your usual generous response will do much to help provide for hungry children. Thank you!

Godly Play for Grownups

     Join storyteller Diana Hellerman to experience Godly Play just as the children of Mount Olive do.  A sampling of stories will be presented after Sunday morning liturgies this summer.  We’ll cross the threshold into the Godly Play space. We’ll build the circle one at a time, hear a story, wonder together about the story and share a feast. Enjoy a quick cup of coffee after liturgy if you wish, and then come downstairs to Godly Play Circle One.  We’ll start 15 or 20 minutes after the service. Come to one session or as many as suit you.

     Schedule: June 30: Creation; July 14: The Great Family; July 28: A Parable (you’ll have to wait and see which one); August 18: The Faces of Jesus.  Questions?  Contact Diana at 612-581-5969 or

Twin Cities Pride

     Each year on the last weekend in June, the Twin Cities Gay Pride Festival takes place at Loring Park in Minneapolis.  For the past eight years Mount Olive has joined a group of area churches to sponsor and staff a booth at the Pride Festival.  The booth/tent is a place where the various welcoming churches provide printed information and resources about their congregations. We are scheduled for staffing the booth/tent on Saturday, June 29, 2013, from 2 to 4 pm.  If you would be willing to be a host at the booth/tent, handing out printed material and answering questions, please call the church office (612-827-5919), or Andrew Andersen (763-607-1689).

New Pictorial Directory

     Work has begun on a new Mount Olive Lutheran Church Pictorial Directory of members and friends.

     With 21st century technology, we plan to develop a secure online edition located in the Members Only section of our website.  There will be the option of requesting a print version for persons who do not have computer or internet access.

     The Vestry, in approving the new online photo directory, included in the authorizing motion that the directory must be secure.  The directory will be password protected.  It will not be out on the web for just anyone to view or mine contact or family information.

     Using the online digital method of producing a pictorial directory allows for continual updates throughout the year as new members join and as updated photos become available.  It also reduces the cost of production significantly.

     Our target date to roll out the directory in mid-autumn.
     Members and friends will need to secure a password for access to the online edition.  The passwords will be assigned through the church office.  The date when members can start requesting passwords will be announced in an upcoming Olive Branch as the project proceeds.

     Paul Nixdorf will take the lead on the photography portion of the project. Evangelism Director, Andrew Andersen, and Congregation Life Director, Sandra Pranschke, are working on scheduling times for taking photographs of members and friends.  We have proposed  that time slots to shoot photos be set up before and after Sunday liturgies with additional time slots scheduled as needed during the week.

     If you are able to volunteer to help with scheduling and or assist with registration at the time of the photo shoots, please call the church office at 612-827-5919.

     Watch upcoming Olive Branch publications for further information on this project.

Calling our Property Helpers

     The Property Committee asks for your assistance in two important areas:

1. Exercise your gardening skills with “Adopt-a-Plot.”  Look for the poster board and sign-up sheet in the West Assembly area inviting you to do weeding and light clean-up at one area of our landscaped areas around the church and around the 31st  Street and Chicago Avenue parking lot during the summer.

2.  Saturday, July 13, the Property Committee will host a work day to install two bicycle racks with a new paver surface near the Parish Hall entry doors.  If you can assist with groundwork, setting pavers and two bicycle racks, please join us.  More information will be included in the next Olive Branch.  These bicycle racks are made possible by a generous grant from the Mount Olive Foundation.

     Thank you for your consideration!  If you have any questions, please contact Brenda Bartz at 612-824-7812 or

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