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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Olive Branch, 7/10/13

Accent on Worship

     When I talk about my neighbors, you know who I mean:  the peole who live in my condo building or in my neighborhood.  When you talk about your neighbors, I know who you mean:  those with whom you share an alley, or those who live on the same street, or those with whom you share a zip code. My neighbors and I are pretty much alike.  Same with you, I'd guess.

     In the Gospel for this Sunday, a man asks Jesus a question:  "Who is my neighbor?"  You know the story, and since you also know Jesus you know that if you are going to ask him a question you'd better be prepared to have your view of the world changed.
     So Jesus tells a story.  A man was going from Jerusalem to Jericho.  A Jewish man, most likely.  A religious man, perhaps.  A priest and a Levite pass by.  Two of his own kind.  People from his own zip code.  They pass by and do not stop to help.  You know the story.  And then a Samaritan comes along.  And since you know the story, you know that for the Jews of Jesus' day, Samaritans were the lowest of the low, a people despised, a people with whom you had no dealings.

     And the Samaritan stops, helps the man left for dead by the side of the road, and makes sure that the costs of his recuperation are covered.  So who was the neighbor to this man?  You know.

     If Jesus were to tell the same story in answer to the same question in our time and place, it would not be a Samaritan who would come to the aid of the man beaten and left for dead on a south Minneapolis street.  Who would it be?  A welfare cheat?  A serial rapist?  A redneck bigot?  A hardened gang member?  A terrorist bomber?  Who is most despised by you?   That is who it would be.  And that is your neighbor.

     In fact, if Jesus is to be believed, everyone is your neighbor--maybe especially those you most despise.  Since there is no one outside the circle of God's love, there is no one who is NOT your neighbor.  Mine, too.

     So, what are we to do?  Love God and love our neighbor.  All of them.  That's what.

     And so the world will know that we are disciples of Jesus.

- Warren Peterson

Sunday Readings

July 14, 2013 – Time after Pentecost: Sunday 15
Deuteronomy 30:9-14 + Psalm 25:1-10
Colossians 1:1-14 + Luke 10:25-37

July 21, 2013 – Time after Pentecost: Sunday 16
Genesis 18:1-10a + Psalm 15
Colossians 1:15-28 + Luke 10:38-42

Godly Play for Grownups

     Join storyteller Diana Hellerman to experience Godly Play just as the children of Mount Olive do.  On Sunday, July 14, come to the Godly Play room at 11:15am for the second story in a series of four.  We'll hear the story of The Great Family and our place in it. We’ll cross the threshold into the Godly Play space. We’ll build the circle one at a time, hear the 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.

     Additional sessions: July 28: A Parable (you’ll have to wait and see which one) and August 18: The Faces of Jesus.  Questions?  Contact Diana at 612-581-5969 or

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.

Adopt a Plot

     We need volunteers to help with the up keep of the planted areas and grounds.  Can you help? 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.  Eight gardeners have already signed up, but 5 more are needed! If you can help, 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).

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.

Meals on Wheels Thanks

     Thanks to the following volunteers from Mount Olive who delivered Meals on Wheels for TRUST during the second quarter of 2013: Gary Flatgard, Art & Elaine Halbardier, Bob & Mary Lee, and Connie & Rod Olson.

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 is 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.

Bring Your Pails and Bring Your Shovels!

     Phase One of Project Bicycle Rack happens this Saturday, July 13!  Starting at 8:30 a.m., the Property Committee invites you to take part in setting two small paver plots that will form the platforms for the bicycle racks.  We will shovel dirt from the planter at the north parking lot and replace it with gravel base, sand and paver blocks.  The two bicycle racks will be set in August.  Many hands make light work – and we will be grateful for your help.  If you have any questions, call Brenda Bartz at 612-824-7812 or 651-558-7979.

Common Hope

     Mount Olive generously supported Common Hope’s Antigua Library and Reading Promotion Initiative with a gift from our congregation’s Capital Campaign Tithe.  Our gift helped to launch this program and make a commitment to literacy and early childhood development in Guatemala.  Here is a link to an article about the program:

     One of the criteria our congregation thought important in determining the tithe recipients was that we maintain a relationship with the organization.  Common Hope invites Vision Teams to come to Guatemala and spend eight days working at the project, building relationships and experiencing Guatemalan culture.  If you might be interested in participating in a Vision Team, perhaps next summer, please email Lisa Ruff at

Servant Schedule Request Deadline

     I will be working on the Servant Schedule for 2013 4th Quarter (October-December) in early August.  If you have requests for that period, please submit them to me by August 1, 2013 @  Thanks!

    - Peggy Hoeft

Intrepid USA Hospice Seeks Volunteers

     You have an opportunity to give of your time, heart, and talents to hospice patients and their loved ones!  Training sessions are now being scheduled for volunteers throughout the Twin Cities metro area by Intrepid USA Hospice in Roseville, MN.  If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, please call Karen Cherwien, Hospice Chaplain and Volunteer Coordinator, at 651-638-7899 for more information and an application.

Mark your calendar! 
“God’s work. Our hands.” 
Saturday & Sunday, September 7-8, 2013

     For 25 years, the ELCA has been a church deeply rooted in faith and in sharing its passion for making positive changes in the world.

     To celebrate our 25th anniversary and our church’s commitment to sharing God’s love with our neighbors, Mount Olive is called to take part in a dedicated weekend of service on September 7-8 known as “God’s work. Our hands.”

     You work every day to welcome your neighbors and make your community a better place. Now let’s do it together as one body, using our hands to do God’s work in Jesus Christ’s name.

     Imagine the nearly 10,000 congregations of our church serving meals, cleaning up neighborhoods, making quilts for refugees or simply visiting the neighbors who need us. We are a church that rolls up our sleeves and gets to work. Let’s harness that experience in a focused weekend of service to others.  Maybe you want to work alone on a project that is near and dear to you.

  Perhaps you want to join with others in the congregation for a larger project.  Interested in trying something new?  Meeting new people from the congregation?  There’s a place for you in this weekend event.

     Watch upcoming Olive Branch articles for suggestions about what you can do to pitch in.  

“And the King said to them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”  Matthew 25:40

Name Badges

     We invite members to wear their name badges in the next couple of months.  This will be helpful for the following reasons:

1) To help members learn the names of fellow members. When we go from two liturgies to one during the summer months, there are members from the liturgy that you don't usually attend who may not know you or may not know your name.

2)   During the summer months at Mount Olive, we have a larger than usual number of visitors at liturgies.  Your name badge can serve as a welcome aid if someone is seeking information or needs assistance.

3) We have a new vicar, Emily Beckering, arriving in mid-August.  There are over 500 of us for her to get to know and having a name spoken and printed helps with remembering who a person is.

4) We have been blessed with a number of new members during the past year.  Like those of us who have been around for a while, they usually regularly attend one or the other of the liturgies.  There are a number of folks who may be familiar but for whom a name is not known or remembered.  Knowing a name can make it easier to initiate a conversation. A name badge can help with the process of getting comfortable in a new place.

5) As I am maturing, my memory is just not as good as it used to be. When I don't remember a person’s name after three or four conversations, I am hesitant, or even embarrassed and sometimes hesitate to ask their name again.  A name badge helps reduce the embarrassment by giving me a visual cure.

     If you cannot find your name badge on the racks in the narthex, or if you have misplaced your name badge (as I have on three occasions), please give Cha a call at the church office, 612-827-5919, and she will print a new name badge for you.

- Andrew Andersen, Director of Evangelism

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