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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Olive Branch, 1/2/14

Accent on Worship

Presiding Bishop’s Christmas Message

"O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant."

     We all know the story. The shepherds traveled to Bethlehem and found the little Lord Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. But what I think we often overlook is what the shepherds did after they left the manger.

     "When they saw this, they made known what had been told about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them" (Luke 2:17-18).

     The shepherds shared the good news that God is now with us, has become one of us and remains with us, bringing abundant life to all. As we gather this Christmas to celebrate the birth of the Christ child and hear the wondrous story, let us join together as a church to proclaim the good news. "Christ the child was born for you!"

     This time also marks the completion of our observance of over 25 years together in Christ as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We are a church that belongs to Christ, and we give thanks and praise to God for the many ways in which the coming of Jesus has blessed this church and our world.

     It is all too easy for us these days to be constantly aware that this world is fraught with turmoil and danger. The same was true for the world in which Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus lived. But the ultimate hope for all people across all times is the hope God gives us in the Word made flesh, our Lord Immanuel.

     "O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!"

Christmas blessings,
Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Sunday Readings

January 5, 2014 – Second Sunday of Christmas
Jeremiah 31:7-14 + Psalm 147:12-20
Ephesians 1:3-14 + John 1:1-18

January 12, 2014 – The Baptism of Our Lord
Isaiah 42:1-9 + Psalm 29
Acts 10:34-43 + Matthew 3:13-17

Thank you, thank you!

     Many thanks to the people of Mount Olive for the generous Christmas gifts we received, and for all your kindness and support throughout the year!  You are Christ to us in so many ways, and we are deeply grateful for you in our lives.  Blessings and peace to you all in this new year in God’s care!

– The staff of Mount Olive: Emily Beckering, David Cherwien, Joseph Crippen, Donna Neste, Cha Posz, and William Pratley

Conference on Liturgy: Jan. 10-11, 2014

     By now you should have received the brochure for this year’s Conference on Liturgy, to be held January 10-11, 2014. The theme of this year’s conference is, “The Psalms: Humanity at Full Stretch.”

     The conference begins with a hymn festival on Friday, January 10, at 7:30 p.m. Leadership for the hymn festival this year will be by the Mount Olive Cantorei, Cantor David Cherwien, and the Rev. Dr. Don Saliers. Don Saliers will be the keynote speaker for the conference this year, and will also be guest preacher at Mount Olive that Sunday for the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, January 12.

     Please note that the cost for Mount Olive members to attend this year’s conference is $35/person.

Hymn Festival, Friday, January 10

     Mount Olive is offering its annual hymn festival (connected to the Conference on Liturgy) Friday, Jan 10 at 7:30.   This event is open to the public,  and you do not need to be registered for the conference activities on Saturday in order to attend.  The more singers the merrier!  The program will be led by the Cantorei and Cantor Cherwien, with reflections by guest theologian Donald Saliers,  Professor Emeritus at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

     The theme is “Psalm Dimensions” and focuses on various aspects of the Psalter,  singing a variety of Psalms (in a variety of ways!) and hymns around the same topic. Themes include praise, lament, comfort, narration, supplication, thanksgiving and hope.  Well known hymns as well as some new ones will be sung – also in a variety of ways.

     The hymn festival format was firmly established by Cantor Paul Manz, and is now a tradition practiced many places.  Our continuing these events is an important contribution to the church and its song. Bring friends!

Stories for the Journey: Thursday Evening Bible Study Returns January 16

     Starting January 16 and running for six weeks, there will be a Thursday evening Bible study meeting in the Chapel Lounge from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Pr. Crippen will lead a series on the parables of Jesus and how they provide us a vision of God’s reign. As with all these Thursday series, there will be a light supper when we begin.  If anyone wishes to provide the first week’s meal, please let Pr. Crippen know.

Bible Study at Becketwood

     Vicar Emily will offer a second run of the six- week Bible study on human suffering at Becketwood Cooperative on five Tuesday afternoons (January 7 through February 4) from 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm. This study examines the Biblical witness to suffering and who God is for us in the midst of that suffering. The first session will be in the East Dining Room at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 7. The meeting room at Becketwood changes each week, so announcements will be made at the study regarding the location of the following week. All are welcome!

Help with the Greens – Down They Come!

     The taking down of the greens and trees will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 8:30 a.m.  In particular, this last task requires a lot of hands, so having a good group come will make the work much easier.

Mount Olive T-Shirts

     Gail Nielsen is selling Mount Olive t-shirts for $7 each. These shirts come in small, medium, large (red, black, royal blue, purple), and extra large (red, royal blue).  These shirts will be sold until they are gone, at which time different colors could be ordered if desired.
     If you are interested in purchasing a shirt, please contact Gail Nielsen (

Book Discussion Group

   On January 18 (one week late due to Liturgical Conference) the Book Group will discuss Moon Tiger, by Penelope Lively, and on February 8, The Bell, by Iris Murdoch.

Brunch Brochure

     In the brochure racks at Mount Olive is a small guide to recommended brunch places within, at most, three miles from the church. Most restaurants are within 1½ miles. If you notice deletions, additions, or corrections that need to be made to the brochure, please contact Susan Cherwien   ( sometime during the month of December, so that we can have the corrected version ready and available for our guests at this January's Liturgical Conference.

Every Church a Peace Church January Meeting

     Every Church a Peace Church's bimonthly potluck supper meeting will be held on Monday, January 13, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. at Spirit of St. Stephen's Catholic Community, 2201 First Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55404.

    The speaker this month is Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, and his presentation is entitled, "Maintaining Hope in Hard Times." Pallmeyer is Associate Professor of Justice and Peace Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.  He is an activist academic whose life and work over the past thirty has been have focused on addressing the political, economic, faith, and foreign policy dimensions of hunger and poverty.

     This event is organized by Every Church A Peace Church, and co-sponsored by Twin Cities Peace Campaign and WAMM End War Committee. FFI: Call 612-522-1861 and/or visit them online at http://www://

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