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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Olive Branch, 11/26/14

Accent on Worship

     I have a daily journal. It asks one different question a day. I am now on my second year of this journal, and it is rewarding to see my answers from the previous year. Through the pages of this journal I can see snapshots of where I was, my frame of mind, and how I viewed my life.  I will share with you that a year ago I was not doing incredibly well.  Even through so many things were going well, there was a sense of frustration and impatience wrapped up in the difficulty of job searching and feeling inadequate. Many of my friends were also experiencing this, and what I continued to see is that we were aware of, but not experiencing, the peace that comes with trusting God’s plan for our lives.  We were quite sure that we were just victims of a tough economy and had to simply keep trying.

     Now with many days past and a winding trail of defeats and victories behind me, I smiled when the other night my journal asked the question, “what is your dream job?” What an amazing feeling of gratitude to write down, “I have my dream job!” after such a time of questioning and exasperation. Each day I share in the generosity and goodwill of this congregation towards their neighbors and community. I meet with people in their need, speak with them, and provide some small piece of relief with a blessing that is carried out the door and to God knows where in their life. Finding myself in such a different place this year has allowed me to reflect on the twisting path that brought me to right now, and see God’s presence that was simply molding my life like clay.    
     We cannot know what is ahead, but we can see what is behind us and reflect. As we enter into Advent, where much of the purpose is to be prepared for what is to come, let us also acknowledge the path that brings us to this day. Where is there evidence of God’s faithfulness through the impatience, the struggles, the doubting, and also in the joys and triumphs? What will your daily journal say in a year from now when it asks, “what is God working on in your life?”      

- Anna Kingman  

Sunday Readings

November 30, 2014: First Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 64:1-9
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
I Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13:24-37

December 7, 2014: Second Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Mark 1:1-8

This Sunday’s Adult Forum: November 30:

 “An Advent Invitation to Spiritual Practice,” presented by Vicar Meagan McLaughlin.

Thanksgiving Day Eucharist
(Tomorrow!) 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 Day will be given to Sabathani Community Center and Community Emergency Services.

Advent Procession Service
This 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.
     Advent Procession is sponsored by Mount Olive Music & Fine Arts.

Seniors’ Advent Luncheon to be Held This Wednesday, December 3

     Attention seniors!

     Have you received your invitation to the annual Advent Luncheon?  If you are age 65 or older and haven’t received an invitation, you’re invited, too! (It just means we don’t have your birth date.) Please call the church office and we will add you to the list of our senior members, and to the list of those who plan to come to this fun annual event.

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

     Vicar McLaughlin is currently 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.”

       This study meets in the Chapel Lounge on Thursday evenings, beginning with a light supper at 6:00 pm.

     This Bible study runs through December 18.There will be no study on Thanks-giving.

Annual Conference on Liturgy: “Common Ground: Hearing the Word Through the Lectionary”
Friday–Saturday, January 9-10, 2015

     Each Sunday at Eucharist, Christians of many different traditions gather to be fed by Word and Sacrament and share the same readings from Scripture. In the Revised Common Lectionary there is a visible sign of the unity of the Church for those who know they encounter the same Word of God each week with their sisters and brothers in many places.

     This year at Mount Olive’s annual Conference on Liturgy we will explore the richness of this shared, “common” tradition, consider the ways that the use of a common lectionary can bless the life of the parish, and ask questions of its place in the present and future life of the churches who use it.

     The keynote speaker this year is Dr. Gail Ramshaw; workshop presenters will be Pastor Joseph Crippen, The Rev. John Setterlund, and Dr. Paul Westermeyer.

     Registration fee for Mount Olive members is $35/person.

Capital Campaign Update

     We have surpassed the $90,000 dollar amount raised toward fully funding our designated accounts and creating a cash reserve to assist us during the "ups and downs" of revenue from offerings.  Thanks to those of you who have pledged and/or donated.   If you have not already done so, please consider a gift or a pledge before the end of the year, when we will wrap up this campaign.   Please note - pledges received in 2014 can continue to be paid in 2015.

Weekly Centering Prayer begins December 3

     Centering prayer, a silent acknowledging of the presence of the Divine, begins December 3, at 6:15 p.m. in the library. Format will begin with a short reading from the Psalms, followed by 20 minutes of silence. We will end with a few moments to come together for a closing prayer.

     New to the process?  Look for brochures in the rack by the glass display case to get a more detailed description.

     Plan on joining us on Wednesday evenings during Advent for Centering Prayer, December 3, 10, and 17.

Staff Christmas Gifts

     The six people who work at Mount Olive serve us and God in many and exciting ways.   At a recent congregational meeting I stated that it feels as though Mount Olive is "humming on all cylinders" right now, and that is due in large part to our capable and faithful Pastor Joseph,  Vicar Meagan, Cantor David, Neighborhood Ministries Coordinator Anna, Administrative Assistant Cha and Sexton William.  Every year we provide a special Christmas gift for them, and we want to remind you of that opportunity again.  Please submit your monetary gifts to the church office or in the offering plate.  Checks should have "Staff Christmas Gift" noted on the memo line.   The congregation has been very generous in the past, and I thank you in advance for your gifts this year.

- Lora Dundek, Vestry President

National Lutheran Choir Christmas Festival Concerts:

"The Hopes and Fears of All the Years"
Fri., December 12, 2014 – (4:30 pm & 8 pm) and Sat.,  December 13, 2014 – 8pm
Basilica of Saint Mary, 88 N. 17th St., Minneapolis

     Immerse yourself in the beauty and majesty of the Basilica of Saint Mary for the National Lutheran Choir’s signature Christmas Festival Concert. During this busy season of parties, shopping and rushing around, take time to reflect upon the true meaning of Christmas through sacred song, poetry and readings.

     Tickets: $28 Adult, $25 Senior, $10 Student, age 17 and under FREE. For tickets or more information call (888) 747-4589, or visit

Getting to Know You

     Part of sharing in community is understanding one another through language, culture, or experience. As we explore our community and get to know our neighbors, let's start with some helpful language lessons. English: Happy Thanksgiving  Spanish: Feliz Día de Acción de Gracias (Fey-leez Dee-ah day ax-see-ohn day grah-see-ahs)

     Go out and be fearlessly friendly folks!

La Natividad

     Here is a wonderful neighborhood participation opportunity to witness the nativity story come alive in our own neighborhood! In the Heart of the Beast Theater, along with St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, will present LA NATIVIDAD - a bilingual telling of the Christmas story. Audience members move with the puppet actors and process with Maria and Jose as they seek shelter. The show moves from Lake Street to St. Paul's for the Nativity and celebration with music and food.

     This event takes place December 11,13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, at 6:30pm, starting at Heart of the Beast theater (1500 E. Lake St.)

     Individual and group tickets are available online at

     Flyers with additional information are available at church.

A Note of Thanks

     A big thank you to the following people who participated in the altar/chancel cleaning activity this past Saturday: Altar Guild members - Peggy Hoeft, Beth Gaede, Elisabeth Hunt, Bonnie McLellan, Mary Dorow, Lynn Ruff, Timm Lindholm, and Steve Pranschke; and to congregational volunteers - Gene Janssen, Janet and Matt Crosby, Eunice Hafemeister, and Arthur Pranschke.

     Many hands did indeed make light work. Plus, we had an enjoyable conversation during the coffee break. Thank you all.

- Steve Pranschke

Mount Olive Christmas Cards

     There are still some of the Mount Olive Christmas cards available for sale this year. The cards cost $2.50 each if you buy 5 or less.  If you buy 6 or more they are $1.75 each. The cards are available in the church office and will be available Sunday mornings.  Please contact Paul Nixdorf or Andrew Andersen with any questions.

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