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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Olive Branch, 2/5/14

Accent on Worship

Salt and Light

     You are the light of the world.

This is what we will hear from our Lord this Sunday.
We do not hear: “You might be the light” or “If you ___(fill in the blank)____, then you are the light” or “You will someday in the future be the light,” but “You are the light.” Here. Now. Today.

     You are the light of the world and you are the salt of the earth because the Word of God makes it so. As Jesus speaks this to us, we are made into the salt and the light. This being made into the salt and the light of the world is a gift.

     The gift is a call.

     Neither light nor salt exist for themselves, but for very specific purposes. Salt disinfects, heals, purifies, preserves, and adds flavor. Light shines, not in order to be seen, but to let things be seen as they are. This is the very nature of salt and light. We are made the light and salt of the world, not for ourselves, but for the sake of a dark and hungry world.

     Jesus says, “No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.” In the same way, none of us, in a power outage would turn on a flashlight just to put it back into the drawer or box from whence it came. Neither would we buy salt just to let it sit on the shelf or to throw it straight into the trash. We buy it to make our food tasty! We point the flashlight where we need to see.

What does it look like to be the salt and light? What we will hear from Isaiah on Sunday gives us a pretty clear clue: “to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them…then your light shall break forth like the dawn.”

Neither Isaiah nor Jesus say that we become the light when we do good works but that we who are already the light, shine—that is, do what light does—when we live a life of love, forgiveness, mercy, and
caring for our neighbor. The gift is a call.

You are the light of world, so shine.

 – Vicar Emily Beckering

Sunday Readings

 February 9, 2014: 5th Sunday after Epiphany
 Isaiah 58:1-12
 Psalm 112:1-9
 I Corinthians. 2:1-16
 Matthew 5:13-20

February 16, 2014: 6th Sunday after Epiphany
 Deuteronomy 30:15-20
 Psalm 119:1-8
 I Corinthians 3:1-9
 Matthew 5:21-37

This Week’s Adult Forum 

February 9:  As part of the Taste of Mardi Gras celebration, representatives from Lutheran Volunteer Corps will be with us to share information about their work.

Annual “Taste of” Festival This Sunday

“A Taste of Mardi Gras celebrating Lutheran Volunteer Corps” will be held this Sunday, February 9.
The Adult Forum will feature guests from Lutheran Volunteer Corps, sharing the history of LVC, its impact, and its current mission and initiatives.  Guests will include the Regional Director of Lutheran Volunteer Corps, the Development Director, and several current volunteers who are serving in the Twin Cities.  Following the second liturgy, join us for a Mardi Gras celebration with gumbo, jambalaya, slaw, dirty rice, macaroni and cheese, and bread pudding--all prepared by Mount Olive members. Feel free to invite others.
In places like New Orleans, Mardi Gras is celebrated over the weeks ahead of “Fat Tuesday.” So let’s kick off Mardi Gras right (and this event will be a good bookend for the Fat Tuesday pancake dinner, planned with our youth.)

 Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC), is one of the supported missions of Mount Olive through our congregational giving. Each year, the Lutheran Volunteer Corps provides opportunities for young adults and others to complete a year of full-time service work at select nonprofits in cities across the country, including Minneapolis and St. Paul.  During their year of service, participants live in community and have opportunities to reflect on their commitments, their spiritual journeys, and the ways they hope to put their values into practice.

Book Discussion Group Upcoming Reads

For its meeting on February 8, the Book Discussion group will read and discuss The Bell, by Iris Murdoch. For March 8 they will read Howards End, by E. M. Forster.

Neighborhood  Ministries Newsletter

     The final edition of Greetings from Mount Olive Neighborhood Ministries is now printed and will be available this Sunday, Feb. 9.  The ushers will distribute them after each liturgy, and they will also be available for pick up in the church office.

Stories for the Journey:  Thursday Evening Bible Study

The Thursday evening Bible study meeting in the Chapel Lounge from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. continues this week.  Pr. Crippen is leading 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. The series runs through February 20.

Attention Worship Assistants!
Schedule Request Deadline

The Servant Schedule for the 2nd quarter of 2014 (April – June) will be published at the beginning of March 2014. The deadline for submitting requests to me is February 14, 2014. Please e-mail your requests to me at

-Peggy Hoeft

100th Birthday Celebration

On February 23, all are invited to join Paul and Ted Odlaug and their families for coffee and cake as we celebrate the 100th birthday of Dorothy Odlaug.  Dorothy’s birthday is February 22, President’s Day.

     The reception will take place in the Chapel Lounge after the second liturgy.  We know that Dorothy is eagerly looking forward to seeing all of you at this time as she has been able to be among you now for almost a year.  Please, no gifts.  Cards or just greetings would more than welcome.

Thank you,
Paul & Ted Odlaug

A Farewell Celebration

March 14 will be Donna Neste's last day as our Neighborhood Ministries Coordinator.  Donna has served God and Mount Olive admirably for many decades and it's time to bid her a fond farewell. We invite members of the congregation to donate to a gift in Donna's honor. Please make checks payable to Mount Olive Lutheran Church (be sure to designate them "Donna's Gift"), and bring or mail them to the church office by Friday, March 7. There will be a meal and celebration after the second liturgy on Sunday, March 16.  For questions, contact Carol Austermann or Kathy Thurston.

Godly Play Needs and Opportunities

Godly Play, our Sunday morning program with children that takes place between liturgies, is in need of people to assist on Sunday mornings by helping the children “get ready” to enter the Godly Play classroom (where we “talk more quietly and walk more slowly”) and to help with our work time and feast.  Training will be provided.  Please consider whether you might be able to serve in this wonderful ministry. Your service would be needed only once every 4-6 weeks.  For more information, or to express your interest, please contact me at or at 612 581 5969.

In addition, the pre-school class is looking for Arch Books Bible Stories.  Do you some at home you'd like to donate? Please bring them to church.

It is a pleasure to spend Sunday mornings with the children of Mount Olive. Together with Patsy Holtmeier, Carol Austermann and Marilyn Gebauer, I thank you for this blessing and privilege and I invite you to come and be a part of this.

- Diana Hellerman

Bible Study at Becketwood

Vicar Emily Beckering is offering a second run of the six- week Bible study on human suffering at Becketwood Cooperative on five Tuesday afternoons (January 7 through February 11) 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.  All are welcome!

2014 Lenten Devotional Books Now Available

     Susan Cherwien has prepared another Lenten devotional booklet for our use during this upcoming season of Lent.

     Copies of Journey Into Lent 2014 are available in the narthex and in the church office. Pick yours up soon! If you need a copy to be mailed to you, just contact the church office.

     Lent begins March 5.

Synod Voting Members Needed

Mount Olive is entitled to send two lay voting members (one woman and one man), in addition to Pr. Crippen, to attend the 2014 Minneapolis Area Synod Assembly May 2-3  at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Ramsey.  This is the event that deals with the business of the ELCA on both a local level and beyond.
The theme this year is “Sent Forth By God’s Blessing.”  If you are interested in attending – even if you’ve never done so before – please speak to Pastor Crippen or Lora Dundek (651/645-6636 or  The congregation pays registration fees for voting members.

National Lutheran Choir to Host City-Wide Hymn Festival

On Sunday February 23, at 4:00 p.m., the National Lutheran Choir will join forces with hundreds of Twin Cities’ church choir members for a City-Wide Hymn Festival to be held at Central Lutheran Church (333 South 12th St., Minneapolis). Mark Sedio, Cantor at Central Lutheran, will conduct the massed choir. David Cherwien and the NLC will perform with the help of the mighty Casavant organ.

Tickets for this event are $25/adults; $23/Seniors; and $20/Students, and can be obtained by calling the NLC office at 612-722-2301. or by visiting them on the web:

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