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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Olive Branch, 1/21/15

Accent on worship

“In the presence of God. Being the presence of God.” These words expressing the vision of Mount Olive’s next years have been rolling around in my head the last few days. “In the presence of God” calls me to be aware of how God is at work all around me. Like a mantra, it washes over me, re-minding me that God is present, in the midst of phone calls, e-mails, meetings, and even Accent-article-writing. I am always “in the presence of God.”

     Saul walked the road to Damascus, and found himself in the presence of God, and he was never the same. Those Saul once persecuted were astonished at the change. Being in the pre-sence of God transformed Saul into the presence of God for those around him.

     Saul didn’t plan this. He thought he knew what he was called to do—protect the faith  he loved and cherished from anyone who would threaten it. Saul was doing just that when the presence of God over-whelmed him, and he realized he had been wrong. He let go of his own plans and beliefs, and allowed God to guide him, his physical blindness an outward sign of his need for God’s help. He became the presence of God for those around him, and was willing to go where he did not want to go, even to death.

     “Being the presence of God” is both an invitation and a challenge. And when I think about it, it raises far more questions than answers. And that scares me, because it means acknowledging my own blindness to how to live out this call. But then, I am always in the presence of God, who will show me the way. And so I ponder . . . What does it mean to be the presence of God? How can I live this out in my family? My neighborhood?  In my work at Mount Olive?

- Vicar Meagan McLaughlin

Sunday Readings

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

February 1, 2015: 4th Sunday after Epiphany
Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Psalm 111
I Corinthians 8:1-13
Mark 1:21-28

Sunday’s Adult Forum
January 25, 2015:
Thomas Merton: A Film
On the occasion of Thomas Merton's
100th birthday.

The Presentation of Our Lord
Monday, February 2
Holy Eucharist at 7:00 p.m.
All are welcome.

Congregation Visioning Event to be Held This Sunday

     A congregational event to unveil the work of the Visioning Lead team will be held this 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.

     By now you should have received in the mail 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.

     A light lunch will be 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!

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.

RIC Festival Service to be Held This 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!

Book Discussion Group’s Upcoming Reads

     For their meeting February 14, the Book Discussion Group will read Wise Blood, by Flannery O’Connor. For their meeting on March 14, they will read The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.

Centering Prayer Continues

Wednesday evenings
at 6:15 p.m.

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

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.

Heaven and Earth in Little Space
A Hymn Festival with David and Susan Palo Cherwien

Sunday, January 25, 4 pm
The Lutheran Church of the Resurrection
3115 Victoria St. N., Roseville, MN

Free and open to the public – all are welcome!

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.

Common Hope and Taste of Guatemala at Mount Olive - February 8

     What is Mount Olive's support of Common Hope in Guatemala all about?

     We learned about this organization through Lisa and Mark Ruff and their family, and we were impressed with the focus on education and community development. We could see that we could learn much and could contribute much. Here's an introduction for you.

     Common Hope promotes hope and opportunity in Guatemala, partnering with children, families, and communities who want to participate in a process of development to improve their lives through education, health care, and housing. Serving Guatemala since 1986.

We EDUCATE children and help them graduate from primary and secondary school, and some continue on to college.
We PARTNER with local schools to help them reach new standards of excellence.
We TREAT illnesses and TEACH parents how to prevent them so that their families live healthier lives.
We help parents BUILD houses so that their families have clean, dry, and safe places to live.

The Ghosts of Jehu: A Documentary Film

     St. Joan of Arc/WAMM Peacemakers will sponsor the viewing of The Ghosts of Jehu on Thursday, January 29, 7:00 pm, at Hospitality Hall, St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis. All are invited.

     This documentary film describes the non-violent resistance by residents of a small village on Jeju Island, South Korea, to their government's construction of a gigantic naval base on the island. The film also describes the effect the base would have on the environment and the traditional culture and livelihood of the villagers who live there. It links the resistance today to the resistance of the peasants to U.S. and South Korean military domination following World War II.

     The resistance effort has the support of many Korean and global peace and justice organizations and Christian groups, particularly the Catholic Church.

     The base also represents a major expansion of American militarism in that region, the so-called "Pivot to Asia."

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 longer valid.

     WHO – me?  This event is open to all, including spouses, parents, adult children, caregivers and friends.  Even if immediate life changes are not evident now, they can happen surprisingly quickly.  If you wish an invitation be sent to someone who will not see the Olive Branch notifications, let the church office (612-827-5919) know.

     Registration – Not necessary, BUT if you plan to attend, a call to the church office or Marilyn Gebauer (612-306-8872) will help in planning for enough handouts and refreshments.

Bach Vespers at Mount Olive 
Sunday, February 15, 4:00 pm
Bach Vespers, with Cantata 23, Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn
Mount Olive Cantorei and Bach Ensemble; David Cherwien, Conductor

     On the Sunday before Lent, February 7, 1723, J.S. Bach was invited to perform a cantata of his own composition as part of his audition for the post of Cantor at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. Bach actually prepared two cantatas for that day, one of which will be heard in this Service of Evening Prayer, Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn.

     This event is sponsored by Mount Olive Music & Fine Arts.

Keep Us in the Loop!

     Have you moved? Are you moving? Dump your land line or get a new phone number or email address?

     Please be sure to let us know so that we can update your information and keep YOU in the loop!

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:  Rodney
     Some of you had the opportunity to meet Rodney last Sunday as he visited church. He’s a writer, poet, philosopher, neighbor, ex-convict, orphan, and entrepreneur. Rodney was recently released from prison and is trying to piece together his life again to reflect his positive perspective on life in its entirety. He has created a 124 page collection of writings he hopes to publish as well as encouraging greeting cards. Daily living is complicated as he battles with multiple health issues and the trials of a criminal background. He does not have access to a job, transportation, quality healthcare, or the ability to buy himself clothes.

     Rodney taught me a new word: “indefatigable,” which means persisting tirelessly. I’m impressed, challenged, and encouraged by this new friend. If you connect with his story, let me know. If you happen to have any of these items to help him make his room into a home, also let me know: a walking cane, sheets, underwear, a suit coat, home items such as garbage bags, toilet paper, towels, cookware, etc.

It's STILL Cold!

     As long as the weather stays cold, warm clothes are still needed!

     Please continue to donate coats, hats, gloves, mittens, and scarves to the box near the coat room. They will be given away at the Community Meals as the cold weather demands.

     Thank you!

Get Involved!
Opportunities to BE involved highlight:  Selma

     Go and see the movie, Selma!

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: ‘Welcome’
Spanish: ‘Bienvenidos’ (bee-en-ven-ee-dos)

Review: ‘How are you?’
Spanish: “Como esta” (como  es-tah)

Go out and be fearlessly friendly folks!

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