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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Olive Branch, 1/14/15

Accent on Worship

“That they may be one”

     The week of January 18-25 is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, an octave (eight days) set at this time in January for over a century.  This octave dates back to prayers for unity of a divided Church beginning in the Reformation, through Anglican and Roman Catholic emphases starting over 150 years ago.  This week is an opportunity for us to pray for what Jesus prayed in John 17, that the Church be one even as the Triune God is One.  The days that bracket this octave, the Confession of St. Peter on Jan. 18, and the Conversion of St. Paul on Jan. 25, fall on Sundays this year, so the week looms a little more prominently than in other years for us, and provides an opportunity for us to recall this important task.

     I would invite all sisters and brothers at Mount Olive to consider adding Christian unity to their prayers during these eight days.

     Our witness to the grace and love of God for the whole world made known in Jesus’ death and resurrection and lived out in the lives of the faithful is diminished by our hatred and fighting within the Body of Christ.  When we ignore or neglect or despise those with whom we disagree who are yet bound to us in Baptism, we grieve the heart of God.  Offering prayer brings our hearts in line with the heart of the Triune God, and opens our lives to the Spirit’s grace which can move the Body of Christ ever closer together.

     Here is a helpful plan for our prayer that has been suggested and is found online, which I commend to you.

January 18: pray for the Eastern Orthodox, Coptic, and other Eastern Churches
January 19: pray for the Roman Catholic and Uniate Churches
January 20: pray for the Anglican, Old Catholic, and allied churches
January 21: pray for the Lutheran, Moravian, and Methodist Churches
January 22: pray for the Congregational, Presbyterian, and Reformed Churches
January 23: pray for the Baptist, Amish, Mennonite, Hutterite, and Christian (Disciples of Christ) Churches
January 24: pray for the Pentecostal and charismatic churches
January 25: pray for the nonmainstream communities; and for theologians and councils seeking to promote Christian unity while preserving Christian truth.

     “Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”  John 17:11b

In Christ,

Sunday Readings

January 18, 2015: Confession of St. Peter
Acts 4:8-13
Psalm 18: 1-6, 16-19
I Corinthians 10:1-5
Matthew 16:13-19

January 25, 2015: Conversion of St. Paul
Acts 9:1-22
Psalm 67
Galatians 1:11-24
Luke 21:10-19

Sunday’s Adult Forum: January 18, 2015:

 Pastor Crippen will facilitate a discussion on the ELCA Statement, “The Use of the Means of Grace.”

Congregation Visioning Event

     A congregational event to unveil the work of the Visioning Lead team will be held on Sunday, January 26, after the second liturgy.   We will review the material that the committee has written and begin to plan how all of us will bring that work to life.

     You will receive in the mail this week a copy of the Visioning Team’s “expression of vision” (as well as your annual contribution statement). Please take a moment to review this important information from the Visioning Team before this event.

     There will be a light lunch served, and activities to occupy the kids are being planned.  We know your time is valuable, so including lunch, we'll be here no more than an hour and a half. Please come!  We need everyone's voices to be heard!

Book Discussion Group’s Upcoming Reads

     For their meeting on January 17 (postponed one week because of the Conference on Liturgy) , they will read The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield. For the meeting on February 14, they will read Wise Blood, by Flannery O’Connor.

Centering Prayer Continues

     Centering Prayer continues in the new year, Wednesdays ,at 6:15 p.m.

     Centering Prayer is an ancient monastic tradition that brings one into the presence of God through silence. The format of the time together includes a short reading from the Psalms or other Scripture, 20 minutes of silence, and then 5 minutes to come together at the end.

     Please join us at 6:15 pm on Wednesday evenings.

     Questions? You can find a brochure describing Centering Prayer in the rack by the display case in the narthex or call Sue Ellen Zagrabelny at 612-875-7865.

Pledging Update: Mind the Gap

     In our committee’s November 6 letter to members and friends we outlined the reasons Mount Olive’s 2015 revenue and expenditure budget is some 7% higher than last year’s. By early February we’ll report how actual contributions compare with those a year ago. Meanwhile, we’ve been closely watching pledges, hoping that they will, collectively, total at least 7% higher than last year’s. We have mixed news to report. As of January 11, we’ve received 95 pledges totaling $387,843, averaging $4083 per household, some 11% above last year’s per-household figure. But that total dollar figure—only 98% of last year’s pledged total—is about $35,000 shy of the amount that would represent a 7% increase, in part because we have 13 fewer pledging households. If you’ve been intending to pledge but haven’t gotten to it, you’re not too late. We’ll have pledge cards available outside the church office the next few Sundays; or you can email your pledge to, indicating a dollar amount and whether it’s weekly, monthly, or whatever. Together, let’s bridge that $35,000 gap!

—Donn McLellan, 
Director of Stewardship

More Helping Hands Are Needed to Feed the Homeless

     Members of Mount Olive provide the evening meal at Our Saviour's Shelter the second Sunday of every month.  This important ministry meets a real need right in our own neighborhood.  You can serve in these ways:

Food preparation - We'll cook the meal in our kitchen Sunday afternoon.
Food transportation - We will bring the food eight blocks north to the shelter.
Serving - We'll meet the residents as we serve the meal to them.

     You can find the sign-up sheet for 2015 in the East Assembly Room, near the Sunday coffee.  Come and be part of this chance to help.  Questions?  See Elaine Halbardier or Connie Olson.

 An Evening with Donald Jackson

      Concordia University St. Paul invites all to a rare U.S. speaking engagement by Donald Jackson, renowned British calligrapher, illuminator, and artistic director of The Saint John's Bible. This event will be held on Thursday, February 12, 2015, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. at Buetow Music Auditorium, Concordia University St. Paul, 1282 Concordia Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104.
     This event is free and seating will be on a first come first served basis.

     Concordia University St. Paul is honored to present An Evening with Donald Jackson.  Mr. Jackson is one of the world’s foremost Western calligraphers. As a scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Mr. Jackson was responsible for the creation of official state documents. In 1985, he received the Medal of The Royal Victorian Order (MVO). Mr. Jackson is an elected Fellow and past Chairman of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators, and in 1997, was named Master of the 600-year-old Guild of Scriveners of the city of London.

     Concordia is pleased to host an exhibition of all seven volumes of the Saint John’s Bible Heritage Program on our campus during the month of February 2015, and two of the volumes (The Pentateuch and The Gospels and Acts) from August 2014 through July 2015.

Every Church a Peace Church Monthly Potluck 

Date: Monday, January 19, Time: 6:30 Potluck
Place: Hospitality Hall, St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis
Topic: Martin Luther King and the Nonviolent Jesus
Speaker: Mel Reeves

     Mel Reeves has been a human rights activist for the last 30 years. He has been involved in struggles against South African Apartheid and struggles for worker’s rights, and has helped lead several efforts to get justice in some well-known cases of police brutality. He has been a long time anti-war and anti-racist activist. Most recently he worked with Occupy Homes and is the adviser to a fledgling young peoples' alternative political party.

RIC Festival Service to be Held Saturday, January 24, 2015, 4:00 p.m.*

     This annual service will be held at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 285 North Dale Street, St. Paul, MN 55103. Rev. Jim Erlandson will preside, and Rev. Bradley Schmeling will preach. A soup supper follows the service.

* please note change new service time!

Granlund Exhibit at Mount Olive

     Mount Olive will host an exhibit of sculptures by the famed artist, Paul Granlund, beginning in mid-February and going through mid-April.  The exhibit is sponsored by Mount Olive Music and Fine Arts program.

     Paul Granlund wanted his sculptures to be viewed and enjoyed from all angles and even touched.  The exhibit will be on display in the Chapel Lounge and assembly areas.    We encourage members to invite guests to visit.

End of Life Planning: Join the Conversation

Sunday, February 1: 9:30 am - Adult Forum on End-of-Life planning with Pr. Crippen

Saturday, February 7: 9-Noon at Mount Olive - Kathy Thurston and Rob Ruff will present perspectives and direction on end- of -life planning including the POLST and Honoring Choices Advance Directive.

     Start the conversation and gather resources so that you can prepare or review your own Advance Directive.

     What should I know about health care directives?

• All individuals ages 18 and older should have a health care directive to appoint an agent and address basic quality of life and medical questions.

• The directive is a “living document”.  It should be updated as life circumstances change and when any of the "Five Ds" occur:  Decade; Death of a loved one; Divorce; Diagnosis; Decline.

• A health care directive is a legal document which serves as the basis for medical decision making.

• A copy of your health care directive should be shared with your agent (surrogate), family, loved ones, and health care and long term care providers.

• A health care directive can be changed as you grow older or as your life circumstances change.  Always share any changes with your health care agent, family and health care providers.  Destroy old copies that are no valid.

Saturday, Feb. 7, Presenters
*Rob Ruff – Director of Chaplaincy Services at Regions Hospital, Chaplain for Palliative Care Team; Mount Olive member

*Kathy Thurston RN PHN MA - Manager of Care Coordination and Case Management AXIS Healthcare, part of Allina Health; Mount Olive member

Oh Baby, What a Deal! 

     Target is offering an amazing coupon this week in the paper ads and online (can be sent to your phone or computer).    

     If it is at all within your means, buy $100 worth of diapers and earn a $25 gift card for yourself!
That's quite a deal for the Diaper Depot and all gifts are tax deductible (with a receipt). We use Target brand diapers and most needed sizes are 3-6. Thank you!

Peace With Justice Forum

     All are invited to a Peace with Justice Forum on Sunday, January 18, 12:30-2:00 p.m., at Central Lutheran Church, 3rd Ave. and 12th St. in Minneapolis (next to the Minneapolis Convention Center).

     This forum will be a conversation on what the ELCA says about
Gun Violence, led by Rev. Dr. Ron Letnes and Jay Thacker.

     Come join the discussion of some biblical references to personal weapons violence, gun violence facts, and a discussion of the policy position of the NRA. Take a look at the Second Amendment, and hear some suggestions on what each person can do to decrease gun violence. There will be ample time for people to share their own thoughts, feelings and personal stories.

     Lunch is available for $7, and  validated parking is also available in the Central parking lot/ramp on the south side of the church.

     This forum series is sponsored by the Twin Cities Lutheran Peace with Justice Committee.

News from the Neighborhood
Anna Kingman

     In effort to share in the relationships being built through our interaction in the neighborhood, we will hear from the people who find support, relief, and help through Mount Olive.

Profiles: Bradford
     Bradford said he was just walking by Mount Olive when he thought “why not ask?”  He, his wife, and 2 kids live not far from here, but he is walking in the cold because both of his cars recently broke down and are unrepairable. This caused him to lose his temp-to-hire job down in Chaska when he didn’t have transportation. Now he is jobless and desperately trying to pay off the back-rent and January rent so that his family won’t get evicted. He admitted that this is frustrating for a 55 year-old man with young kids to be struggling in this way, but he was very hopeful that things would work out. Throughout our conversation he said that he trusts that God will make small miracles happen, as he experienced in that moment. If anyone needs help with odd jobs, painting, or shoveling, I’ve got a contact for you!

It's STILL Cold!

     As long as the weather stays cold, warm clothes are still needed!
     Please continue to donate hats, gloves, mittens, and scarves to the box by the West Assembly area. They will continually be given away at the Community Meals as the cold weather demands.
     Thank you!

Get Involved!

Opportunities to BE involved highlight:  Diaper Depot

     The Diaper Depot served 438 families last year, adding close to 225 new families to our roster. This is a unique and important ministry in the cities that reaches far and wide. Many service centers send people our way as a resource for struggling families. Because we offer one package per child, per month, we build a continuing relationship and easy, helpful interaction.
The Diaper Depot is open Tuesdays, 4:30-6:30 pm, and Thursdays, 1:30-3:30pm. If you are able or interested in helping for a shift or learning more about it, please contact Anna at:  neighborhood@mountolivechurch.orgShe will help you to get involved!

Getting to Know our Neighbors

     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: “How are you?”
Spanish: “Como esta” (como  es-tah)
Review: “Nice to meet you”-“Mucho gusto.”

Go out and be fearlessly friendly folks!

No more snow this winter?  

     Wishful thinking on my part?

     Our sexton, William, is doing a great job of keeping the sidewalks clear for us this winter season.  However, if we get hit with a major snow event yet this year, it would be helpful to have a list of volunteers who would be willing to lend a hand and shovel if needed.  If you feel so inclined, please call the office or email me with your name and contact number.  We’ll prepare a call down list that William can use if necessary.

     Thanks for your consideration!

- Brenda Bartz, Property Director

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