Accent on Worship
I am a planner, from way back. I decide where I’m going, and then determine the precise steps needed to get there. My concept of letting God guide me often looks like this: “OK, God, tell me where I’m going. I’m going to plug it into my GPS to get the fastest route from here to there. What? We’re going where? I’m not so sure I agree with that ... ” The idea of following where God leads, one step at a time, without knowing where I will end up or how I will get there, is terrifying!
Sheep see things a little differently. Unlike humans, sheep seem to have little concern for knowing where they are going, how they will get there, or what they will do when they arrive. Sheep stick together, and follow the shepherd, trusting that they are taken care of. When they get lost, the shepherd finds them and leads them back to the flock. The sheep know their shepherd will feed, protect, and guide them along the way.
In this week’s readings, we are called to be like sheep on the journey with one another and God, living in the moment and trusting our shepherd. Knowing God as shepherd means that God is not off in the distance, but right there in the messiness of life with us. As we travel, we are called to stick together, and care for each other in very concrete ways—visiting those in prison, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked. It’s expected that we will get off the path sometimes, and our shepherd is right there with us, to help us find our way again.
When I travel this journey with God as my shepherd, it’s not about getting where I planned to go, finding my way quickly, and not getting lost. It’s about being present to the shepherd, and my fellow sheep, on the journey.
November 23, 2014: Christ the King
Ezekiel 3:11-16, 20-24
November 30, 2014: First Sunday of Advent
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
I Corinthians 1:3-9
This Sunday’s Adult Forum: November 23:
“Introduction to the Gospel of Mark,” part 3 of a 3-part series presented by Pastor Crippen.
All Mount Olive children and/or young people (and their families!) are invited to an afternoon of lefse-making at our house this coming Sunday, November 23! Please call Karen Cherwien for details: 507-766-5033.
Praying for Others: Strands of Hope Necklace-Making Event
If you have been interested in the prayer shawl ministry but are not a knitter, this Strands of Hope necklace-making event might be a wonderful alternative for you. Using a kit of their color choice, participants will make a necklace to give to a person as a gift of encouragement, hope, or a heart to heart connection. As we add the beads to the strand we will intentionally pray for that person. Participants also make it for themselves to wear in memory of a dear one or in celebration of a special life event. If you don't have a person in mind but would like to participate, sign up and we'll help find a member of the church or community to receive your necklace. Cost is $14.
The event will be on November 21, 6:30 - 8:30 pm at Mount Olive. Instructor and refreshments provided. No jewelry making experience necessary. RSVP to Julie Manuel by November 20 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book Discussion Group’s Upcoming Reads
For their meeting on December 13, the Book Discussion group will read Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. For the meeting on January 17, (postponed one week because of the Conference on Liturgy) they will read, The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield.
The Book of Esther: Thursday Evening Bible Study Continues
The second Thursday Bible study series of this year began on November 6, and runs for six weeks in the Chapel Lounge from 6:00-7:30 pm. (We will skip Thanksgiving).
Vicar McLaughlin is leading a study on the Book of Esther, exploring the historical context and many issues raised in this book, including justice, violence, power and privilege, the role of women, the presence of God, and what it means to be called “for such a time as this.”
Bethania Kids – Serving Children in India
In 1987, Gene Hennig present-ed Mount Olive with the oppor-tunity to support a new mission in India dedicated to reaching out to destitute and orphaned children. We said yes and you continue to support this effort today. Beginning with a handful of kids and a great deal of faith, this effort has steadily grown and expanded. By 2000, Bethania was ministering to over 300. After the 2004 tsunami struck the Indian coast, Bethania responded and today serves over 1,000 children in six locations in the southeast part of the country.
Today there is increased focus on long term support and educa-tion, growing Bethania kids into various vocations through which they become contributing mem-bers to the community. Mount Olive's relationship with Bethania is our longest-standing individual mission, and Gene Hennig continues to serve as an emeritus member of the board. In addition to our budgeted mission contributions, you are invited to become an individual supporter by sponsoring a child.
For more information, go to the Bethania Kids web site at http://bethaniakids.org.
A Note To All Ushers
As we finish our 4th quarter service, we'll be ramping back up into yet another quarter which will include several noon and evening services through the end of March and through Holy Week.
Again this year, we will need dedicated folks who can step up and make an effort to be at each of their assigned services. In the midst of our normal busy schedules, it's understandable that it is difficult to squeeze these extra services in. However, it might be worth considering that this is just part of the contemplative church seasons of winter and that perhaps we could sacrifice a little more time out of those schedules to keep the church central in our lives.
If you are absolutely unable to serve on an assigned day, please secure a substitute prior to the service you are scheduled and let Cha know of the schedule change so that it can be accurately reflected in the bulletin.
Consider Becoming Part of the Usher Corps!
Does it seem that you always see the same faces performing the usher duties at Mount Olive week after week? You're not imagining things. We have a central corps of only 24 Ushers, and of these, only 8 serve at the 8 am liturgy.
Many of our current Ushers are frequent travelers, are already serving at the altar, are working on weekdays, or have regrettably had to retire from the corps. We are in great need of a few new helping hands! Might that be you?! If you're a newer member and looking to become involved and to meet new people, or if you've just always considered helping out with this important task, please let me or anyone in the church office know and we'll have you trained and ushering easily by the 2nd quarter of 2015.
We are especially looking for a couple of folks who prefer starting their day early and helping out at the 8 am service.
- Brian Jacobs, Usher Coordinator
The Mount Olive Altar Guild is looking for some additional people to help with cleaning the chancel in preparation for the Advent and Christmas season.
The cleaning will take place on Saturday, November 22 between the hours of 9 am and noon. If you are interested in helping, please contact Steve Pranschke at 612-803-0915 or email@example.com.
As the old saying goes, "Many hands make for light work". Please consider being a set of those hands.
- Steve Pranschke
Advent Procession Service
Sunday, November 30, 4:00 pm
As the year turns toward its darkest point, the Church also gathers in hope for the coming of the Light of the world.
In this Advent service of prayer and Word, song, and incense, Mount Olive’s Cantorei lead worshippers into this season of preparation and anticipation. Come, and wait, and see.
Gloves and Such
Cold weather has arrived in Minnesota, and you can help keep precious hands and ears and bodies warm. Please bring new or gently used (and clean) hats, gloves, scarves, and coats to the collection box/area outside the upstairs kitchen.
Vocal Master Class with Vern Sutton to be Held at Mount Olive
Singers from Twin City Voice Academy, Gary Wilson, Artistic Director, will present a Master Class with Vern Sutton at Mount Olive at 3:00 p.m. this Sunday, November 23, 2014. Three of the singers have sung for us at liturgy several times in the past few months. Most of us know Vern Sutton as the great singer/actor from Minneapolis who has entertained and inspired many people for many years. Several years ago, Sir Tyrone Guthrie referred to Vern as the “finest musical theater actor on the American Theater stage.”
Several genres of music will be performed and it will be an enjoyable musical event for all! This event is free and open to the public.
‘Tis (Almost) the Season – to Shop the Art Shoppe
Our mailboxes, newspapers, and online activities are full of gift ideas, so we are already thinking of things to put under the tree! How about something truly unique?
The Art Shoppe has the most unusual and diverse selection of gifts which will delight recipients, all made by local artists. Go to the Midtown Global Market and find the Art Shoppe. Look, buy, and support the artists!
Thanksgiving Day Eucharist
Thursday, Nov. 27, 10:00 a.m.
Help support our food shelves!
Bring non-perishable food items to help re-stock local food shelves. Monetary donations are especially welcome! Each dollar spent by Second Harvest can obtain approximately 7 pounds of food. The average retail cost of a pound of food is $2.41. At retail price, the same 7 pounds of food would cost approximately $17. In other words, $1 spent = $17 in retail value.
The entire offering received at the Eucharist on Thanksgiving D ay will be given to Sabathani Community Center and Community Emergency Services.
Transitions Support Group
All are welcome to drop in and visit the Transitions Support Group to see if this is a place where you might find some solace and reassurance for the challenges or uncertainties that are before you.
This is an opportunity to share in fellowship, prayer, and discussion with others in the Mount Olive community.
Please note the following change in time and location for our next meeting. The next session meets this Saturday, November 22, 9:00 am at the home of Richard & Grace Wiechman, 3120 E. Minnehaha Parkway, Minneapolis. It will be facilitated by Amy Cotter and Cathy Bosworth. If you have questions, please contact Cathy at 612-708-1144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Home Care Holiday Kits for Our Savior’s Housing
Many residents of Our Savior’s Shelter have moved into the permanent Supportive Housing Program. These individuals have struggled with homelessness for years and are now finally settled into their very own apartment, which they are able to maintain with the support of Our Saviour's Housing Case Manage-ment. Holiday Home Care Baskets are a wonderful gift to help ease their budgets and maintain a beautiful and clean home of their own. Suggested items include:
-glass cleaner -toilet cleaner
-all-purpose cleaner -disinfectant wipes
-micro-fiber cloths -laundry soap
-sponges -fabric softener
-dish soap -bleach
-bathroom tissue -paper towels
You may also add additional personal and gift items such as socks, gift cards to Rainbow, Target, or Cub Foods, Metro Transit cards, personal hygiene items, candy, cookies, cocoa or snack mix, hats, gloves, slippers, etc. Bring these items to church in a laundry basket or reusable shopping bag, or just bring them to church in a bag or a box and we will prepare baskets with items collected.
Our Saviour’s currently has ninety residents in this program and would happily accept any number of baskets the people of Mount Olive are able to put together!
In order to deliver the baskets to each resident in time for the holidays, we are asking that all baskets be delivered to Mount Olive by Sunday, December 14. You can leave them in the coat room.
Prayer Shawls: “God’s Love In Action”
"For the past two years, the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Palliative Care department has had the privilege of receiving beautiful handmade prayer shawls from the Prayer Shawl Ministry at Mount Olive Lutheran Church. I am the chaplain on the Palliative Care team at Abbott and am usually the person who takes the shawls to our patients.
Without exception, they are profoundly grateful, especially when I explain that the shawls have been knitted or crocheted with prayers woven into them. And usually when I return to the room the next day, the shawl is either wrapped around the patient or it’s prominently displayed where it can be admired and appreciated by visitors. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve chosen a shawl for someone only to have them or their family say that it’s their favorite color!
Last year, the Prayer Shawl Ministry donated a beautiful rainbow-colored blanket to our department. When I saw it, I knew I would save it for just the right person because it seemed to have a special look and feel to it. A couple of months later, we were taking care of a young mother who was dying of cancer. She had a 3-year-old son who was going to be losing his mother so I brought the blanket to her. She absolutely loved it and had her husband take it home for their son. The following week, when the patient was in her final days, her mother told me that her grandson sleeps with the blanket every night because it brings him such comfort and reminds him of his mommy.
I am very grateful to the Prayer Shawl Ministry for their generosity. The work they do is a gift to the community and to the hospital. It’s God’s love in action."
- Joan Olson, Chaplain
Abbott Northwestern Hospital
An Advent Invitation to Centering Prayer
“Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure. Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our actions quickly become empty gestures. The careful balance between silence and words, withdrawal and involvement, distance and closeness, solitude and community forms the basis of the Christian life and should therefore be the subject of our most personal attention.”
~ Henri Nouwen, Out of Solitude
Join us for Advent Centering Prayer, the prayer of silence, in the Library each Advent Wednesday starting December 3, at 6:15 pm. Stay for Evening Prayer in the Nave at 7:00 pm. For more information about Centering Prayer, contact Sue Ellen Zagrabelny.
Getting to Know You
Part of sharing in community is understanding one another through language, culture, or experience. As we explore our local community and get to know our neighbors, let's start with some helpful language lessons. Here’s the first!
English: 'Nice to meet you'
Spanish: Mucho gusto (moo-choh goo-stoh)
Go out and be fearlessly friendly folks!
Church Library News
I have heard this quotation before: "A library with strong support is a successful library" and this seems especially apropos to those of us working with our church library ministry here at Mount Olive. We have often prayed that the contents of our library might be a beacon of light and hope in our parishioner's lives and now, just as we are remembering things to be thankful for, comes a recent e-mail from Mount Olive member (and former Book Editor for Augsburg Publishing Co.) Rod Olson. We are so thankful for his kind endorsement of our library and his article is repeated here below:
"Among the treasures of the Mount Olive library is its collection of reference books -- Bibles, commentaries and dictionaries. Many of these books are too expensive for one's personal budget so we are fortunate to have these informative resources as close as our congregation's library. Those who attend the Tuesday noon Bible classes or the Thursday evening studies often have specific items they wish to investigate further. For example, the class on the Book of Esther led by Vicar McLaughlin, introduced members to the Apocrypha, that collection of books placed between the Old and the New Testament in most Bibles. The Apocrypha contains additions to Esther, 107 verses that are not included in the Old Testament book. You can learn about this unusual situation by referring to one of the Bibles in the library that includes the Apocrypha.
Many readers are familiar with The Interpreter's Bible published more than 60 years ago. This series has been revised, updated and replaced by the splendid New Interpreter's Bible which will speak to a new generation of Bible students of all ages.
Lutheran scholars have produced a very helpful commentary on the New Testament called the Augsburg Commentary on the New Testament. Whenever you have a question about a New Testament book, this would be a good place to start.
The 56-volume Luther's Works has long been an honored resident in our library. The very helpful Index Volume will help you find what you are looking for in the massive but always informative work.
For those who have questions about significant persons or events from the early days of Christianity to the present will appreciate The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Books like these deserve our gratitude, not only during the thanksgiving season, but all throughout the year. Learn to be grateful for the church library treasure within our midst."
I note the recent passing of a very special lady, Kay Sexton. I was privileged to meet her years ago. Some will remember her as the manager of the first B. Dalton bookstore in Minnesota, the developer of the Hooked on Books reading program for children, and also the creator of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.
As in the past, I will close this article with a special quotation from Charles W. Eliot of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series: "Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, as well as the most patient of teachers."
- Leanna Kloempken