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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Olive Branch, 11/13/13

Accent on Worship

     “Such times we live in,” the saying goes.  And if the old Chinese blessing has any merit (“May you live in interesting times.”), we must be blest indeed!

     For Christians, the experience of time is a very blessed and hallowed reality, as we live into God’s New Creation. In worship especially, our participation in Christ’s body has one foot planted in our experience of time, and one foot in the timeless eternity of God’s kingdom, where we sing with saints and angels. For our Orthodox sisters and brothers, liturgy is the one place in this life where we get to step out of our temporal lives and enter into this new creation of God’s making. Though we cannot grasp anything other than our experience of passing time, faith allows us to see in a mirror, dimly, a different reality—a simultaneous reality—a continuum within which our lives are held fast.

     I had an uncle who taught at Luther Seminary while I was a student there. I remember a classmate who thought my Uncle Bob’s ideas were terribly dated and old fashioned, and in class one day, this student accused him of “having one foot in the grave.”  My Uncle Bob sighed, and said: “the minute the church no longer has one foot in the grave, it is in dire trouble.”

     So in these last Sundays of the church year, these last Sundays of “Ordinary Time,” we focus on time itself, and the nature of God’s reign among us. We are reminded that we have one foot in the grave, even as we “live, and move, and have our being.”

     For the secular world, time is a cruel and ruthless master and serves-up a sentence that continually reminds us of our death. Thanks be to God for our life in Christ, who transforms this death-sentence into life itself, right through the center of every moment. Gone is the futile feeling that history is “just-one-damned-thing-after-another” (Arnold Toynbee).  In Christ’s new creation each moment of time is blasted open into eternity itself, leading on to God instead of death.  This, to me, is what these “end-time” Sundays at the end of the church year are all about. They are, to be sure, Sundays in “Ordinary Time,” yet the message is clear, and hope-full, and indeed, extraordinary!

- William Beckstrand, Interim Cantor

Sunday Readings

Nov. 17, 2013 – Time after Pentecost, Sunday 33
Malachi 4:1-2a + Psalm 98
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 + Luke 21:5-19

Nov. 10, 2013 – Christ the King, Sunday 34
Jeremiah 23:1-6 + Psalm 46
Colossians 1:11-20 + Luke 23:33-43


     This Sunday, November 17, the Congregational Life Committee will hold a NovemberFest Fundraising Dinner. This event will be a fun opportunity for Mount Olive members and friends to visit with each other and guests, eat a wonderful meal of German food prepared by members of our church, play some games (led by Hans Tisberger), all to help raise money for new ovens for the Undercroft kitchen.  A freewill offering will be received. If you want to come and haven’t signed up, call Gail Nielsen at 612/825-9326 to RSVP, so we know how much food to prepare.

Theology on Tap

Faith journey conversations for folks 21 and up
When: Tuesday, Nov. 19, 7:30pm
Where: Longfellow Grill, 2990 W. River Pkwy, Mpls
Topic: That “small, quiet voice”-- how and when do you hear it, what does it tell you, what gets in the way?
Contact: Bob Anderson, 952-937-8656

Thanksgiving Eucharist
Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28
10:00 a.m.

     Bring non-perishable food items to help re-stock local food shelves. Monetary donations are especially welcome (for every $1 donated, food shelf personnel are able to buy about $9 worth of food!)
     The entire offering received at the Eucharist on Thanksgiving Day will be given to Sabbathani Community Center and Community Emergency Services.

Adult Forum 

November 17: “An Introduction to Matthew,” part 2 of a 3-part series, led by Pastor Crippen.

November 24:  “An Introduction to Matthew,” part 3 of a 3-part series, led by Pastor Crippen.

Thursday Evening Bible Study

     On Thursday evenings (except for Thanksgiving Day) through December 19, Vicar Beckering will lead a topical study on the Biblical witness to suffering and who God is for us in the midst of that suffering. This Bible study series will meet in the Chapel Lounge from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Each gathering will begin with a light supper. All are welcome!

Attention, Bakers!

     We will again bake communion bread for our liturgies from Advent through Holy Trinity.  There is currently a regular group of five bakers, but additional bakers are always welcome. If you are interested in baking communion bread, Please contact John and Patsy Holtmeier either by email to, or by phone: 952-582-1955.

Book Discussion Group

For December 14, The Book Discussion group will discuss The Optimist's Daughter, by Eudora Welty, and on January 18 (postponed one week due to the Liturgy Conference), we will discuss Moon Tiger, by Penelope Lively.

Please Note

Church offices will be closed on Friday, November 29 (the day after Thanksgiving).

Families with Kids, Please Note!

    Families with children and teens are invited to assist with the noon meal this Saturday, November 16.  Come at noon for the meal and help bus tables, visit with guests and make Thanksgiving cards for Meals on Wheels recipients.  Call Beth Sawyer with any questions.  651-434-0666

Every Church a Peace Church

Thursday, November 14, 7-8:30 p.m. at
St. Mary's Episcopal Church
1895 Laurel Ave., St. Paul

     Every Church a Peace Church, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Veterans for Peace and Fellowship of Reconciliation invite you to an evening with Fr. Michael Lapsley on November 14.

     Father Lapsley became chaplain of the African National Congress in 1976. He survived an assassination attempt by the South African Apartheid government. It destroyed both of his hands, one eye and his eardrums. Fr. Lapsley believed God was with him and he was able to move from victim to victor. During his lengthy recovery he became a staff member of the Training Center for Survivors of Violence and Torture and later was involved with Bishop Desmond Tutu in the Truth and Reconciliation effort in South Africa. Fr. Lapsley helped develop the Healing of Memories (HOM) American. He leads HOM retreats in Minnesota for returning veterans.

CoAM Fundraiser

     CoAM (Cooperative Adult Ministries) will have a fun fundraiser on Monday, November 18, beginning at noon, at Bethel Lutheran Church (4120 17th Ave. S.). The musical group From the Heart will perform songs from the Great American Songbook. Plan to come, share a meal, and listen to the music! For reservations, call the CoAM office at 612/721-5786. CoAM is a program of TRUST, of which Mount Olive is a part (TRUST sponsors our Meals on Wheels program).

ELCA Disaster Relief: Super Typhoon Haiyan

     One of the most powerful storms ever recorded, Super Typhoon Haiyan, crashed across the central islands of the Philippines. With winds of over 200 miles per hour and torrential rains, it has caused massive destruction, loss of lives and forced millions of people to flee their homes.

    Our help is needed to make a difference in affected areas. Through partnerships and as a member of ACT Alliance, Lutheran Disaster Response is responding to the most urgent needs of food, water, clothing, shelter, sleeping material and medicine. Possible assistance may also include helping those whose livelihood of fishing or farming has been destroyed.

     Gifts designated to "Pacific Typhoon Response" will be used by Lutheran Disaster Relief in full – 100 percent – to help with immediate and long-term need. Your generous offerings of prayer and financial support will help those affected as they journey to recover.

     If you wish to make a donation toward relief efforts, use your blue missions envelope or any other and mark it clearly for Typhoon Relief.

Lynn Dobson in the News

     The most recent issue of The American Organist features Lynn Dobson’s new organ at Merton College in Oxford, England. Several from Mount Olive will travel to Oxford in April for the dedication of this fine instrument. Stop in the church office and pick up a copy of the article which features Lynn and the work of Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, and this exceptional organ.

Special Request from CES

     Community Emergency Services has informed us of some current special needs: computers, a 2-stage snow blower, shopping carts, fans, and a vacuum cleaner. The most important need, however, is people! The need volunteers for their mail crew, clerical assistance, drivers, and painters. If you can help, please contact CES at 612/870-1125. CES is the local recipient of our food shelf donations.

2014 Pledge Cards

     A letter and pledge card for 2014 was sent to Mount Olive members this week. The Stewardship Committee would like to have all pledge cards returned by Sunday, December 1, either to the church office or placed in the designated box in the narthex.

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