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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Olive Branch, 6/12/13

Accent on Worship

     During these days after Pentecost, these “ordinary”, that is, numbered Sundays, we are confronted with the question of what it means to live in the heart of God, in the company of the Risen Christ, in the transforming fire of the Spirit of God. Who have we become after singing these stories, hearing these stories, breathing and touching and tasting these stories for the first half of this church year? Who are we becoming? And how shall we live?

     The story of the woman anointing Jesus’ feet with tears and oil and her own hair provides us with a part of the answer: “Her sins are forgiven.” We are to live as forgiven people, responding in beauty and love. Do we understand that our sins are forgiven even before we know enough to ask? Do we understand that God does not want us to sit in the dark, heads in our hands, paralyzed by self-recrimination and regret? Do we know from Christ how deep God’s love and understanding and care for us is?

     What would it mean for the way that we live, for the way we treat others, for the way we rise each morning and enter each day, to do so as forgiven people? Not faultless. Not righteous. Not superior. But forgiven. Forgiven by a loving God, responding with lives redolent with the sweet fragrance of acts of love and beauty toward others.

He came to my desk with quivering lip -
The lesson was done.
“Dear Teacher, I want a new leaf,” he said,
“I have spoiled this one.”
I took the old leaf, stained and blotted,
And gave him a new one, all unspotted.
And into his sad eyes smiled,
“Do better now, my child!”              
- Susan Palo Cherwien

Sunday Readings

June 16, 2013 – Time after Pentecost: Sunday 11
2 Samuel 11:26—12:10, 13-15 + Psalm 32
Galatians 2:15-21 + Luke 7:36—8:3

June 23, 2013 – Time after Pentecost: Sunday 12
Isaiah 65:1-9 + Psalm 22:19-28
Galatians 3:23-29 + Luke 8:26-39

Olive Branch Summer Publication

     Please note that during the months of June, July, and August, The Olive Branch is published every other week.  Weekly publication resumes after Labor Day. The next issue will be published on June 26.

Neighborhood News

As our Visioning process takes us into the neighborhood, pieces of information about the neighborhood  and local events have surfaced:

On Sunday, June 2, the Star Tribune printed an article on “Ten Blocks of Art.” Those ten blocks are on Chicago Avenue from 32nd St. to 41st St.

A neighborhood newspaper, The Messenger, which focuses on news in the Longfellow and Nokomis neighborhoods features the Lake Street Council. Mount Olive has supported the Council for many years – it is a business incubator and sustainer.

Community Emergency Service, a food shelf and social service organization which we support, is having its annual Appreciation Event for Meals on Wheels Donors and Volunteers, a picnic, on Thursday, June 20, from 5:30-7:30 pm., at Community Emergency Services, 1900 11th Ave. S. Come for supper, fellowship, and fun!

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) that for August 10 we will discuss Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

The Constitution is Coming!

     Copies of the updated Constitution and Bylaws of Mount Olive are being sent to all members of the congregation by mail this week.  If any who are not members of the congregation would also like to receive a copy, please contact the church office and we’d be glad to send one to you.

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!

Who Cares?

     The Mount Olive community, of course! Our caring shows in the many ways people provide meals, transportation, home communion, prayers, hugs, and words of encouragement – to name a few. Yet there are missed opportunities, moments of isolation, and life crises of all sorts that happen with some regularity in our midst. As modern life becomes more complex, we can expect an increasing diversity of need among our own members.

     Mount Olive people respond quickly and appropriately when individuals or families have needs, but there are still those who may “fall between the cracks.” Who might they be? How can they also experience the grace that we receive from our Savior and extend to each other in the Body of Christ?

     What can we do? That’s the question which Cathy Bosworth, Marilyn Gebauer, Peggy Hoeft, and Warren Peterson – working with Sandra Pranschke, the newly elected Director of Congregational Life – are addressing in a new project of helping our own members.

     We are putting out a call for your input. Tell us if you are aware of a family or individual who could use some assistance. Others may find it tough to attend Sunday liturgies because of health or lack of transportation. Some may be grieving. You can also give us your ideas about ways to provide care and support for people. Perhaps we need educational programs addressing life changes, health, financial issues, dealing with loss in the family. What do you think?

     Feel free to contact:
Cathy at 952-949-3679 (email:,
Marilyn at 651-704-9539 (email:,
Peggy at 952-835-7132 (email:,
Warren at 952-935-9262  (email:
or Sandra at 612-859-5448 (email:

     And watch for more details about this project in the future. Please pray that we who have been given much will have much to give.

An Opportunity to Help an Intern

     Mount Olive people have an opportunity to help a seminary student serve her internship next year in Minneapolis at a neighboring parish.  Mount Olive has been made aware of a seminary student from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Melissa Sidars, who needs to restrict her internship to the Twin Cities area because her partner is working here.  There were no sites that Luther Seminary was able to share, consequently Salem Lutheran Church in Uptown (part of the SpringHouse Ministry Center with two other congregations) was asked if they could have her serve as their intern.  They would very much like to do it, but had not budgeted for the expense, and wouldn’t be able to pick up the whole cost.

     Salem was able to work out an agreement with LSTC that they would cover $9,000 of the cost, and Salem would try to find the other $9,000.  Pr. Jen Nagel, Salem’s pastor, asked some of the neighboring congregations if they’d be willing or able to help.  Mount Olive’s Vestry voted in May that we would come up with $2,000 toward Salem’s share.  Salem will try and find $3,000, and other congregations have indicated they would likely be able to contribute, thus making it possible for Melissa to serve at Salem.

     Long-term members of Mount Olive reminded the Vestry that there was once a time when Mount Olive was struggling to fully fund the vicar program here, and received aid and assistance from Luther Seminary. The Vestry sees this as a wonderful opportunity for us to give back, and make it possible for another student to experience what we cherish here, the opportunity to learn ministry in a rich congregational setting.  If any would like to donate to our pledged commitment, please put “Salem intern” in the memo line of your check to Mount Olive, and thank you!

Theology on Tap

     Theology on Tap is a group at Mount Olive that meets once a month at local bars/restaurants to enjoy a good beverage and dialogue about faith and life (no preparation or book reading required, only your personal knowledge and insight).  Contact Vicar Neal Cannon (, 612-827-5919 x12) if you would like to join us or have questions about Theology on Tap.

June Event Details
Who: Anyone 21+ is welcome to join
Where: Grand Central: 1672 Grand Ave, St. Paul
When: Thursday June 20, 7:30-9:00pm
Discussion Topic: Environmentalism in the Bible

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


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