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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Mourn, Repent, Act: There is Enough for All

Today, as we reflect on the 400 year history of racism, we are called to mourn and repent. As we go out from here, let us courageously share the good news. There is enough for all.

Vicar Meagan McLaughlin
     The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary 13, year B
        texts: Lamentations 3:22-33, Psalm 30, 2 Corinthians 8:7-15, Mark 5:21-43

Last Wednesday evening, there was an act of domestic terrorism driven by racism and white privilege at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Nine people—Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, Tywanza Sanders, Myra Thompson, Ethel Lee Lance, Daniel L. Simmons, Rev. Depayne Middleton-Doctor, and Susie Jackson—were shot to death by a young man who believed their lives had no value, and that their existence threatened his own, not because of anything that they had done, but because of the color of their skin.

Already today, the story about the horrific act itself has fallen a step back in the media. Already, we are beginning to return to “normal,” whatever that is. But for the sake of the nine people who died, their families, and our Black brothers and sisters, and for ourselves, we cannot go back to normal so quickly.

There are many ways we can distance ourselves from the shooting, lessen the horror, isolate it from our day-to-day lives. We can argue that this is the work of one crazy person, and not a sign of an ongoing pattern of systemic racism in our country. But there is a chilling parallel between the violence of last week, and the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church that killed four black girls in 1963. Both churches held central places in the effort to end segregation and bring justice for our black brothers and sisters. Both were places of worship, where by all rights people should feel a sense of safety and belonging. And in both places, people died violent deaths for no other reason than their blackness. That something so unthinkable in 1963 could happen again in 2015 should be enough to wake us up to the reality: what happened at Emanuel AME Church last week is not an isolated event, but the latest in a 400-year history of the violence, intimidation, and disenfranchisement that is systemic racism.

We can try to exonerate ourselves of this brokenness, but today we are called to see truth. The truth of the brokenness of the communities we live in, and the truth of our own complicity in this brokenness. I don’t think that any one of us here consciously believes, as Dylan did, that the lives of black people have no value. And there are those among us here is this sanctuary who have themselves experienced oppression on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, abilities. Today we are called to recognize that those of us who are white are all, whether consciously aware of it or not, bound in the web of sin that is systemic racism, white privilege, and we all benefit from it. As Lamentations says, we need to sit in silence, when the Lord has imposed it. We need to listen, and hear the truth.

We can say that we are not responsible for this act, that Dylan Roof was not one of us. The truth is that Dylan was raised and confirmed at St. Paul’s church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Charleston. His pastor, Reverend Tony Metze, and Reverend Clementa were colleagues, friends, who supported each other’s ministries. Dylan is, as Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton claimed in her letter of last week, one of our own. Today, we join other ELCA congregations throughout the country in honoring Bishop Eaton's call to mourn and repent.

I never worry, when my nephew goes to school, or to camp, or to soccer, that he might be beat up or blamed for a crime he did not commit because of the color of his skin. I am not routinely followed by store security when I shop. Virtually all of my teachers, church leaders, and other role models in my life have been white. Almost no one I know has been to prison. And I take all of this for granted, most of the time blissfully unaware that I am living a very different life from the majority of my black brothers and sisters. And although I hate to admit it and wish it weren’t the case, my automatic response when I pass a black man on the sidewalk who is not wearing what I think of as professional dress is fear or suspicion.

We who are white in this world are all bound, and pretending that we are not only strengthens the bonds of systemic racism, both for us and for our African American brothers and sisters. If there is ever a time for us to listen, to bear the yoke of God’s conviction for our participation in sin and oppression, this is it. If there is a time for us to put our faces to the ground and ask for God’s forgiveness, today is the day.

This, my brothers and sisters, is the truth. We are captive to sin, and cannot free ourselves, as we confessed at the beginning of our worship today. That is, in good old fashioned Lutheran terms, the law. The gospel comes in the words of forgiveness proclaimed to us this morning. We have sinned. God, in his compassion and faithfulness, has forgiven our sins. God’s grace is abundant! And we must not receive this incredible gift as a free pass to return to life as normal, to go back to life as we have always lived it. The realization of our brokenness, and the grace of forgiveness, should change us. But, how? What do we do now?

Paul speaks words to the Corinthians that I believe speak to us, too. Paul speaks to a people living in abundance and privilege, a people who, like us at Mount Olive, want to share that abundance. Paul is speaking to a people who, perhaps like those of us today who have privilege, seem to have gotten stuck or stalled somewhere along the way. It seems that all forms of oppression are based on fear, and on a fundamental sense that resources are limited, there is not enough for everyone, and that ultimately someone will have to go without. And our society seems to hardwire us to think of what we have as ours, and ours alone. If we are not defending it against people of another ethnicity, we will defend it against people of other religions, or nations, or sexual orientations. We go on the defensive, always defining an “us” and a “them,” and so long as this continues, the struggle will never end.

Over time, our well-being comes to depend on another person’s lack. Paul addresses this head on, and reminds the Corinthians of the Mannah provided for the Israelites in the desert, one measure for each person, neither too little, nor too much. Everyone gathered what they could, and everyone had what they needed. Paul encourages the Corinthians to see that their abundance is meant to meet another person’s need. And to trust that another person’s abundance will meet their needs.

Mark’s healing story today is a beautiful example of the abundance of our God. Jesus is called to heal the daughter of Jairus the synagogue leader, a person of privilege among his people, and Jesus is interrupted on his way. A woman who has been bleeding for 12 years, an outcast, sees Jesus, and in desperation and faith, reaches out and touches his cloak. She is healed, not only physically, but also emotionally and socially, as Jesus proclaims her whole, and calls her daughter. Then Jesus finds out that, because of this delay, he is too late to save Jairus’ daughter. Except, he is not too late. The abundance of God is enough for all, and the little girl is healed, raised from the dead. There is enough for all.

There is enough for all. There is room at God’s table for everyone. And out of this day of mourning and repentance, we can act to be a voice for change, a voice for justice.

Last week, African American theologian and minister Crystal St. Marie Lewis wrote: “I understand, my religious friends and colleagues, how desperately you desire to pray, given the tragic nature of last night’s events. However, I have run out of prayers and only desire to ask you: Will you instead talk face-to-face with someone about white supremacy and racism? Are you willing to start a conversation about what the world needs in order to move forward in peace? Is it possible that our prayers for God to somehow “fix” the world seem unheard because we don’t yet see ourselves as the answers to those prayers? And if so, how do we change our faulty perspective?”

What if we began to see our abundance, our privilege, as being for another person’s need? What if, instead of “us” and “them,” we all began to see ourselves as “we”? What if we were willing to take a stand against racism when we see it, at risk of disagreement or even anger? What if we were to commit ourselves to ensure that everyone, not just those like us, has a place at the table?

Today is a day of mourning and repentance, a day to recognize how we have participated and benefited from systems that oppress children of God simply because of the color of their skin. As we go out from here, let us courageously share the truth of our brokenness, and the grace of the good news. No one needs to go without. There is room at the table, for everyone. There is enough for all.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Olive Branch, 6/17/15

Accent on Worship

“Cantor”:  What does this mean?

     I was called to Mount Olive with the title “Cantor.”  I’ve learned that we (Lutherans) have a particular understanding of that role which is not shared among all who use the term.  A Jewish “Cantor” is one who act-ually sings.  In current Roman Catholic practice, a “Cantor” stands in front of the assembly and sings and gestures, with the goal of inviting the assembly to join the singing.  Verses may be sung by this person, with every-one joining for a refrain.

     For us (and for me), “Cantor” is better defined as the steward of the congregation’s song.  The Lutheran Cantor doesn’t sing for you, but facilitates (encourages/enables) and cares for the assembly’s song.

     First, this involves decisions about what is sung.  Those decisions have many contributing factors.  Of course it means making sure we offer the best we can – discerning what is worth the time and effort to offer up to God in song or, over the long haul, what is worth adding to the communal memory bank.  Another factor is ensuring that a sense of “we” remains important, so that we are not tempted to have the goal of satisfying individual’s subjective preferences - including those of Cantors themselves!

     Then it is the Cantor’s task to be sure the assembly has what they need to sing the song, clearly knowing what it is they are to sing,  and when they are to sing it.  This means access to both text and music.  It is inhospitable to provide words only as there are always folks in any given assembly who DO know how to read music and can do their part to help.

     Any directions for unified singing and maintaining vitality are also the Cantor’s responsibilities.  Tempo, when to breathe, and even “how” to sing a particular melody and text meaningfully can be encouraged by the Cantor.  Gregorian chant with its mystical flow is quite different from Renaissance Chorale with its rhythmic dance!  Some texts are full-bodied praise, others are muted prayer.

     Most of these “unifications” occur with the help of the organ, sometimes the piano, choir, or even drums!  This Cantor feels best, however, if these tools feel almost unnecessary –because it means the congregation has understood and is able to clearly and vibrantly sing.  The singing is always the point.  When that is going strong, the organ is free to bring out the text and its meaning.

     As always, I pray for full-bodied singing every time we gather.  It’s like nothing else and it is very hospitable to folks who aren’t used to singing in public.  Do your part: sing out!

- Cantor David Cherwien

Sunday Readings

June 21, 2015: 4th Sunday after Pentecost, 12 B
Job 38:1-11
Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Mark 4:35-41

June 28, 2015: 5th Sunday after Pentecost, 13 B
Lamentations 3:22-33
Psalm 30
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
Mark 5:21-43

Quick Look: Our General Fund Giving

+28% = May giving, compared with May 2014
+9% = Year-to-date giving, compared with the same period in 2014
98% = Year-to-date expenses covered by gifts
122% = May expenses covered by May gifts

Yes, May was a very good month! Thanks for generous and faithful giving. Our challenge remains: to have that second percentage (here 9%) at or above 7% at the close of the year. Remember, we’ve often experienced a summer slump in giving. Regarding that 122% above note that Mount Olive’s general fund expenses can and do vary from month to month.

     Credit for the above way of showing trends in our general fund giving goes to outgoing treasurer Kat Campbell-Johnson. She’s for some time provided this information on the first page of her detailed monthly treasurer’s reports, and it’s my sense that vestry members and other leaders have found it clear and helpful. Miss the dollar figures? Don’t worry. We’ll continue to provide them from time to time.

- Donn McLellan, director of Stewardship

Olive Branch Summer Publication

     During the summer months of June, July, and August, The Olive Branch is published every other week. July issues will be published on July 1 and July 15.

     If you have information to be published in the July 1 issue, please have that information to the church office by Monday, June 29.

Communion Ministers Needed!

     Every week, parishioners bring the Eucharist to Mount Olive members who are unable to join us for liturgy.  

     Additional communion ministers are needed, especially for the summer months. If you are willing and able to bring communion to Mount Olive members in their homes, please contact Tom Graves and Ginny Agresti.

Book Discussion Group Update

     Mount Olive’s Book Discussion Group meets on the second Saturday of each month, at 10:00 am in the West Assembly Area at church. All readers are welcome!

     For July 11 meeting, they will read, Bleak House, by Charles Dickens, and for August 8 the collection of essays, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, by David Sedaris.

Mark your Calendars for Wednesday, August 5: Transitions Support Group

     All are welcome to visit the Transitions Support Group meetings if you've been hoping to find new ideas or encouragement to meet 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.

     The next session meets on Wednesday, August 5 from 6- 7 pm at Mount Olive in the lower level Youth Room, and will be facilitated by Amy Cotter and Cathy Bosworth.  

     If you have questions, please contact Cathy at 612-708-1144 or

Meet Our Missionary July 12

     After church on Sunday, July 12, grab some coffee and a seat and spend some time getting to know Karen Anderson, our ELCA missionary to Chile. We support Karen through the ELCA and her community health work through our support of EPES/ Action for Health in the Americas. Karen had wanted to be with us when we celebrated the Taste of Chile a few years ago, but at that time her delay-ed flight kept her away.

     Now is our chance to catch up with Karen, learn about her commitment to developing strong community health organizations that meet the real needs of the communities they serve, from strengthening prenatal health to helping rebuild after a community fire to campaigning to end smoking. And even more: Karen and her team are now reaching out to teach com-munity health techniques to community workers through-out Central and South America, and even to those working in Africa. Through our support of Karen we have real impact in improving health and lives in Chile. Save the date. Save the time. Join the conversation.

News From the Neighborhood         

Come to the Neighborhood Garage Sale This Saturday!

     The sale is this Saturday, June 20, from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm in the parking lot. Come and see what treasures you might find! We have ten vendors signed up so come support our community and neighborhood.

     If you would like to sell a few items at the sale, please mark the price along with some way to identify your goods (i.e. initials/name). Your “earnings” will be returned to you along with unsold items.  If you choose to donate this money to Mount Olive, you can do so on your own, after the sale.  We will follow the general plan that has been put in place for neighbors selling their goods for personal profit.  Since this sale is an effort to get to know our neighbors, it seems we who are joining them by selling personal items should follow the same protocol so that it doesn’t have the appearance of being a fund-raiser.

Summer ACTS

     Summer ACTS program begins on Monday, June 22, and runs Monday to Thursday for four weeks. Eighteen kids ages 9-14 are ready to come do jobs around the community and learn valuable life skills. Mentors (you!?) help build relationships and provide positive role models. Do you have a day or two between 10 am and 2 pm to come be a mentor or a kitchen crew member and help this program make an impact in the community? Call or email Anna Kingman, 612-827-5910 or

     We will partner with organizations such as: Community Emergency Services, Stone's Throw Urban Garden, HandyWorks, Courageous heARTS, and the Minneapolis Police Department.

Extra Hands Needed at the Diaper Depot This Summer! 

     The Diaper Depot program runs Tuesdays (4:30-6:30) and Thursdays (1:30-3:30) each week. Dozens of families make their way to Mount Olive each week for this extra support. Please consider if you can help any day this summer - just 2 hours of greeting families and neighbors who need diapers! Orientation for volunteers will be offered on Tuesday, June 30, at 4:00 pm. Call Anna Kingman 612-827-5910 for more info and thank you.

The Bargain Box

     Saturday, August 1 will be a busy day at Mount Olive as we help to get neighborhood children ready for the school year with the Bargain Box!  We need donations of cash, new and gently used children’s clothes (no adult clothes, please), school supplies, and backpacks.

     If you have time to help with the meal, or assist with clothing or school supplies distribution, please plan to come to the August Community Meals!

Church Library News

     A special display in our church library includes specific books that are meant to help revise and upgrade our current Reference section.  Before Pastor Crippen left for his sabbatical, he came to the library with two arm-loads of books (donated to our library by Robert Gotwalt) and he challenged us to find room for them in our already crowded Reference section, plus 3 or 4 in other related categories as well.  The display will be available for about three Sundays, and then each item will be incorporated into our present shelving.

Nave’s Topical Bible, by Orville J. Nave, editor
Lutheran Questions, Lutheran Answers (Exploring Christian Faith), by Martin Marty
The Dead Sea Scrolls and the First Christians, by Robert Eisenman
Principles of Lutheran Theology, 2nd Edition, by Carl E. Braaten
A Compend of Lutheran Theology, by Hugh T. Kerr, editor
The Promise of Lutheran Ethics, by Karen Bloomquist and John R. Stumme, editors
The New International Dictionary of the Bible, (Pictorial Edition) by Merrill Tenney and J.D.                       Douglas, editors
Selected Writings of Martin Luther (1517-1522), by Theodore Tappert, editor
     Also same (1520-1523)
     Also same (1523-1526)
     Also same (1529-1546)
Martin Luther, Selections from his Writings, by John Dillenberger, editor
Luther’s Spirituality, by Philip and Peter Krey, editors
Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings, 2nd edition, w/CD by Timothy Lull, editor
The Complete Sermons of Martin Luther, Volume 1, by Nicholas Lenker, editor
     Also same, Volumes 2, 3, and 4
The Complete Sermons of Martin Luther, Volume 5, by Eugene and F.A. Klug, editors
     Also same, Volumes 6 and 7
The Seven Storey Mountain, by Thomas Merton

     Last September I wrote about a "Floating Library," built on an 8' square raft and holding approximately 80 unusual book titles, that would appear on Cedar Lake during the weekends during the month of August.  This unusual library is the brain-child of Sarah Peters, a teacher at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.  Watch for this special library again this August (weather permitting), and be one of those privileged to check out a book or two from a different kind of library!

- Leanna Kloempken

Twin Cities Gay Pride Festival

     Again this year, Mount Olive will be one of the area churches who will staff an information booth at the Twin Cites Gay Pride Festival, June 27-28, 2015.

     Would you be interested in staffing a one or two hour shift at the booth?  If you can help, call Andrew Andersen at 763-607-1689 or the church office at 612-827-5919.  Times are open:  Saturday 10–6, and Sunday 12-6.  If you would be willing to share information about Mount Olive with folks who stop by the booth, please call.

Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Conference
July 31-Aug 2, 2015 - Augsburg College, Minneapolis

     Mount Olive has been a long standing RIC congregation and we have been exemplary in our welcome of the LGBT community.  At the end of July we have an opportunity to show our support and commitment to the RIC program and to be a voice to the many other congregations in the ELCA who have not become RIC congregations.

     The National Reconciling Works Assembly and RIC conference is being held at Augsburg College July 31-August 2.  I want to encourage any member of Mount Olive who would like to attend the entire conference to go to the website and get information and register for the conference. If you cannot attend the entire conference I would like Mount Olive to have a delegation at the July 31 gala (Friday night) for the Assembly.  Tickets are $40 and it would be great if we are represented at the gala.  There will be a dinner and silent auction.  If you or you and your spouse would like to attend the gala please call or email me so I can get you on the list.  (Paul Nixdorf - 612-296-0055; )

     Second!  I am chair of the Twin Cities ReconcilingWorks board for the two ELCA synods and we have been asked to gather items for the silent auction.  We are asking each RIC congregation to assemble a set of items to be placed in the silent auction at the gala.  If you have ideas or know of items from Mount Olive that we can put together for the silent auction please call me.

     I hope you will consider coming to the gala on July 31, and also please help me with Mount Olive’s Auction Items.

- Paul Nixdorf – Chair, Twin Cities Reconciling Works Board

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Olive Branch, 6/3/15

Accent on Worship

Nothing Ordinary about “Ordinary Time!”

     We have just finished the first half of the Church Year, some-times called the Festival half or our Lord’s half.  It runs from Advent to Pentecost and keeps us focused on God’s saving activity in Jesus Christ.

     Now, with the Ascension of our Lord and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we turn our attention to the life of the Church.  No more great festivals, bombastic worship, or striking symbols.  Instead, we settle into “green worship,” marked by a subdued liturgy, a simplified style, and a more modest agenda.  We count these Sundays by noting their numerical place “after Pentecost.”    
     This second half of the church year is often called “ordinary time;” but not because it is in any way bland or mundane.  It comes from the Latin ordinal and means something counted in a
sequence. So we count the Sundays after Pentecost in sequence.

     This is a time when we hear about our Lord’s teaching, his miracles, and his parables.  We struggle to apply what we hear to our Christian lives so that we can grow in sanctification, or become “greener.”  As the psalmist pleads, “Teach us all to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

     This numbering should be a salutary time for us—not just one darn thing after another!  Time that marks our mundane existence we call “chronological,” from the Greek word chronos.  So, we waste time, kill time, save time, etc.  The Church also knows a different time; time that is marked not by a clock, but by the significance of an event.  For that time, the church borrows a different Greek word, kairos.  As we head into this ordinary season, I trust that we will know many more kairotic moments, filled with grace and truth.

- Interim Pastor Robert A. Hausman      

Summer Worship

Holy Eucharist is celebrated each summer Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m.

Sunday Readings

June 7, 2015: 2nd Sunday after Pentecost, 10 B
 Genesis 3:8-15
Psalm 130
2 Corinthians 4:13—5:1
Mark 3:20-35

June 14, 2015: 3rd Sunday after Pentecost, 11 B
Ezekiel 17:22-24
Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15
2 Corinthians 5:6-17
Mark 4:26-34

BACH TAGE: This Weekend!

     Bach Tage is this Saturday and Sunday, June 6 and June 7. Two public concerts are a featured part of Bach Tage – invite your friends!

Saturday, June 6, 4:00 pm: Music of Johann Sebastian Bach presented by the Bach Tage soloists and orchestra
     Cantata BWV 196, Der Herr denket an uns,  by the Bach Tage soloists and orchestra; Concerto for Oboe and Violin, BWV 1060R, with soloists Marc Levine and Stanley King; and Prelude and Fugue in c minor for organ, by Cantor David Cherwien.

Sunday, June 7, 4:00 pm: Service of Evening Prayer with Cantata BWV 150, Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, and Buxtehude’s Befiehl dem Engel dass er komm will be performed by the participants in the weekend conference, with soloists and orchestra. Kathy Romey of the University of Minnesota is our guest conductor for the weekend, with Cantor David Cherwien, organist.

There will be great music at both programs. Tell others – and don’t miss it!

Honoring the Graduates

     Next Sunday, June 14, we will honor our graduates at a reception following the 9:30 a.m. liturgy.
     Those in our midst that are graduating from high school, college, and graduate school include:

Kaiya Ruff
Maddie Nelson
Peter Crippen
Mikkel Sawyer
Erika Thurston
Jacob Ruff
Micah Marty
Steve Lenius
Elsa Marty

   Plan to stay a few minutes following the morning liturgy for a light reception and to greet and congratulate the graduates!

Communion Ministers Needed!

     Every week, parishioners bring the Eucharist to Mount Olive members who are unable to join us for liturgy.  

     Additional communion ministers are needed, especially for the summer months. If you are willing and able to bring communion to Mount Olive members in their homes, please contact Tom Graves and Ginny Agresti.

Neighborhood Garage Sale: Saturday, June 20, 9am to 3pm

     This is a great opportunity for you to step into the journey of Being the Presence of God in this neighborhood.  Please join in this activity and connect hearts, break barriers and spend some fun time in your church neighborhood.

     Actions you can take to participate:

• Be a vendor!  Find some items you no longer need and reserve a parking space size spot in our church parking lot to sell your goods and have fun with neighbors. Collaborate with others or call Anna for options if you're interested.

• Be a volunteer!  Take a shift from 8:00am - Noon or Noon - 4:00pm to host and help.  Welcome the vendors, put up signs, and be available and visible.  We open our sanctuary doors to welcome any who want to see who we are and what is going on inside as well.

• Be a promoter and spread the word! And then come shop!

     Questions? Contact any Open Space team member to join in or for further information:  Tim Pipkorn, George Ferguson, Connie Marty, Julie Manuel, Carol Austermann, Paul Nixdorf, Patsy Holtmeier, and Anna Kingman.
     Thanks be to God for our life together!

The Bargain Box

     Saturday, August 1 will be a busy day at Mount Olive! We will be helping to get neighbor-hood children ready for school year with Bargain Box fitting children with new school clothes and distributing school supplies during the Community Meal.

     We are looking for donations of cash, new and gently used children’s clothes (no adult clothes, please), school supplies, and backpacks.

     If you have time to help with the meal, or assist with clothing or school supplies, please plan to come to the August Community Meals!
- Neighborhood Ministries Committee

Olive Branch Summer Publication

     During the summer months of June, July, and August, The Olive Branch is published every other week. June issues will be published on June 4 and June 17.

     If you have information to be published in the June 17 issue, please have that information to the church office by Monday, June 15.

Our Saviour’s Housing: Building Home

      Next Sunday, June 14, Our Saviour’s Housing will host a block party to benefit the homeless – and all are invited!  Tour the newly refurbished emergency shelter and enjoy a backyard cookout for $5/plate. This event will feature a live concern with folk-blues musician Charlie Parr.

     Celebrate summer, meet your neighbors and learn more about our local homeless shelter.

     No tickets or RSVP needed. Come and go as you please. Activities will happen between 11:30 am and 2:30 pm. For more information, visit their website at

News From the Neighborhood                        
Anna Kingman            
     I had a young woman in recently who was struggling with an electric bill. Her lights had been shut off for 15 days and she was exasperated by the process and the monumental cost of getting them back on. Sixty days ago she became unemployed, and this was so foreign to her as she had worked since she was 11 years old and had never needed assistance like this before. Everything had always gotten paid for and the extras she used for her son. Now it was a desperate situation with only closed doors and no options. As she said, it’s made her thank God for what she had and helped her realize how easy it is to sit in a position above people and judge. She now sees how terribly difficult it is to need help.

     I was really humbled today by her sharing this good reminder that we are all just sheep in the field of the Shepherd – no better or worse than the other, just together and under the mercy of our caretaker. It caused me to examine my heart to any stores of feeling any more or less privileged, blessed, superior or inferior than any of my sisters and brothers. Please take a moment in your day and examine your heart, your head, and your tongue for any ways that we may judge or shame people whose stories we do not know, and how instead we can boast love, encouragement, and care for ourselves and for our neighbor.

Coming Up: Summer ACTS:

     Summer ACTS will take place for 4 weeks, June 22– July 16, from 10am-2pm Monday–Thursday. Kids ages 9-14 will learn about service and responsibility by holding a summer job while participating in fun, meaningful projects. WE NEED MENTORS to work and play alongside them. Please consider if this is an option for you and your family to be involved for 2 days during 1 or all of the weeks! Sign up at church. Questions? Ask Anna Kingman 612-827-5910 or

June 22-25:  Summer ACTS Orientation and Baking Skills with Cynthia at Mount Olive
June 29-July 2:  Food Packing at CES and gardening at Stone’s Throw Urban Garden
July 6-9:  Helping our neighbors with HandyWorks and TBD activity
July 13-16:  Nutrition & Cooking skills at Mount Olive, and Personal Art with Courageous heArts

 Upcoming Grant-Writing Workshop Opportunity!
     Mount Olive is hosting a 2-day grant writing workshop held by Grant Central USA on July 16 – 17, from 9am-4pm. For hosting, we are given two free spots at this event. Are you interested in attending this free workshop? Whether professional, personal, non-profit, or fun, please let Anna know ASAP if you'd like to attend. For more information, visit: or contact Anna at church or


     Neighborhood Ministries is currently in need of two things:
Paper grocery bags with handles (these may be left in the donation area of the coat room)
10x10 pop-up canopies to borrow for the Neighborhood Garage Sale on June 20 in our parking lot.

Food and Personal Items Needed!

      Now that school is out for the summer, many children who receive free or reduced-price lunches at school will often go hungry.  Please keep up or increase your monetary and food contributions during the summer months.  You may use your blue envelopes and designate "food shelf" as the recipient.  Food contributions may be placed in the shopping cart in the coat room.

      In our summer travels, let's remember that the complimentary toiletries provided by hotels and motels are ideal for homeless people who have little space for such items. Most of the time, we are charged for these items as a part of the payment for accommodations.  Please bring your unused toiletries to the designated basket in the coat room.

Book Discussion Group Update

     Mount Olive’s Book Discussion Group meets on the second Saturday of each month, at 10:00 am in the West Assembly Area at church. All readers are welcome!

     For the June 13 meeting, the Book Discussion group will read The Last Chinese Chef, by Nicole Mones, and for July 11, Bleak House, by Charles Dickens.

CoAM Day Tour: St. Croix River and Stillwater

     All are invited to ride the stern-wheeler “Showboat” on the St. Croix and enjoy a buffet lunch before taking a trolley tour of Stillwater with Cooperative Adult Ministries.

     The tour will take place on Friday, July 17. A bus leaves from Bethel Lutheran (4120 17th Ave. S., Minneapolis) at 10:15 a.m. Cost for this event is $57/person.

     Interested in joining them? Call the CoAM office at 612-721-5786 and leave a message to reserve your space, or send an email to

Twin Cities Gay Pride Festival

     Again this year, Mount Olive will be one of the area churches who will staff an information booth at the Twin Cites Gay Pride Festival, June 27-28, 2015.

     Would you be interested in staffing a one or two hour shift at the booth?  If you can help, call Andrew Andersen at 763-607-1689 or the church office at 612-827-5919.  Times are open:  Saturday 10 – 6, and Sunday 12 - 6.  If you would be willing to share information about Mount Olive with folks who stop by the booth, please call.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Reconciling in ChristRIC

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