Though I wouldn’t so blatantly disagree with Jesus about his teaching in this week’s reflection on Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, and 21-23, I do won-der what he would have said if he had listened to some of today’s popular music, or watched some current movies. Jesus was literally referencing food in these verses, and the Pharisees hypocrisy in creating human rules around what is pure and impure, but the message hits me in a different way. As I drive in my car and listen to the lyrics of some songs, or my friends talk about the latest happening in Game of Thrones, I am constantly aware of how precious and sensitive my heart and mind are to what goes in. Jesus said in Mark 7:20, “’what comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come…’” For me, like I believe most human beings, what goes in is often the root of what comes out.
There is evidence of this struggle everywhere. In the recent flood of scandal and heartache associated with the exposure of Ashley Madison account holders (secret online accounts connecting married persons with opportunities for affairs), to the beating of a homeless Mexican man by two men inspired by Donald Trump’s attitude towards immigrants, there is obviously something powerful about what we choose to allow in to our bodies physically, mentally, and emotionally. This is not just bad pork or skipping a hand washing coming out of the bathroom. This is the world in which we live, and move, and have our being. It is full of fear, corruption, hyper-sexualization, skepticism, criticism, anger, and deceit. But that is not all that it is, and we don’t have to just gobble it up! Alleluia! We can offer something else to be consumed by others; service, hope, patience, peace, Christ.
There are encouraging, if not strictly instructive words found in James 1:22, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” And further in verse 27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” My car stereo is set more to KTIS than KS95, and I watch documentaries about nature instead of “The Bachelor.” It’s my small way of trying to do both and watch what ‘goes in’ so that my best comes out.
- Anna Kingman
August 30, 2015: 14th Sunday after Pentecost, 22 B
Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
September 6, 2015: 15th Sunday after Pentecost, 23 B
Special Congregation Meeting
The Vestry has called a special congregational meeting for this Sunday, August 30, immediately following the morning Eucharist for the following purpose:
• Presentation on urgently-needed repairs to the roof, masonry, and stained glass windows of the church and authorization for the Vestry to obtain a loan to cover the cost of these repairs.
All voting members are encouraged to attend the meeting this Sunday after the morning Eucharist.
Regular Worship Schedule Resumes on September 13
Two Sunday Eucharists at 8:00 & 10:45 am
Sunday Church School and Adult Forum at 9:30 am
Annual TRUST Sustaining Contribution Drive
TRUST and its member congregations and supporters have been serving south Minneapolis residents since 1970. Mount Olive has been a part of the TRUST network for the last several years. By now you should have received TRUST’s annual Sustaining Contribution Drive mailing asking for your support.
If you are able, please be generous in helping this agency which helps so many people.
Transitions Support Group
All are welcome at the Transitions Support Group. If you’re looking for new ideas or encouragement to meet the challenges or uncertainties that are before you, join us on September 9.
This is an opportunity to share in fellowship, prayer, and discussion with others in the Mount Olive community.
Transitions Support Group meets on Wednesday, September 9, from 6- 7 pm at Mount Olive in the lower level Youth Room, and will be facilitated by Cathy Bosworth and Amy Cotter.
For more information, please contact Cathy (612-708-1144, firstname.lastname@example.org) or Amy (612-710-1811, email@example.com.)
Every Church a Peace Church September Potluck
The next ECAPC potluck will be held on Monday, September 21, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 4537 3rd Ave. S.*; Minneapolis (*access to parking lot), 612-823-8205, www.stjoan.com
The purpose of this meeting is for support, networking, delicious food, and an outstanding pro-gram! This month's program speaker will be The Rev. Nancy E. Maeker. She will address, "A Christian Response to the Wealth Gap.” Through discussion, presentation, and an interactive exercise, we will explore the causes and realities of the wealth gap, and how God calls us to care for each other and work toward enough for all.
Thursday Bible Study: Mark September 17
The Thursday evening Bible Study returns this fall on Thurs-day, Sept. 17, 6:00 pm, for a six-week study titled “The Last Enemy.”
The focus is on mortality, death and dying, and how the Scriptures guide us.
More information to come.
Olive Branch Summer Publication
During the summer months of June, July, and August, The Olive Branch is published every other week. We return to weekly publication with the next issue to be published on September 9.
If you have information to be published in the September 9 issue, please have that information to the church office by Tuesday, September 8. The deadline for weekly publication is Mondays, beginning September 14.
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 September 12 meeting, they will read I Heard the Owl Call My Name, by Margaret Craven. For the October 10 meeting they will read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers, and for November 14, they will read The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery.
1. Instrumentalists! A special plea from your cantor – please don’t wait for a formal invitation from me to participate by playing some Sunday. I may not know you are able and/or interested in playing! As you might have noticed, we do not have an overabundance of instrumentalists – so if you can, and would like to play, please contact me! We’ll schedule it when it works for you, and can custom fit the music to your abilities.
2. Have you considered singing with the Cantorei? There is no highly involved process in doing so, just come. If you think you are not “good enough,” I have two words in response: “Hog. Wash.”
We’ll fit anyone in, we’ll train. We rehearse Wednesday evenings at 7 beginning Sept. 9. Many of the singers tell me it is truly worth it – the rehearsals are energizing, and actually, fun! We begin regular rehearsals again Wednesday, September 9.
Questions about either? Call or e-mail!
- Cantor Cherwien
Writing for Others on September 6
Let's start the fall season by getting together after worship on Sunday, September 6, to sit with our coffee and treats and write a short letter or two. We will join with Christians around the world in celebrating progress and calling for continued efforts in the fight against world hunger. It's easy with help from our Bread for the World partners.
Together we can call for sup-port of the Global Food Security Act, "a bipartisan bill aimed at combating global hunger and malnutrition by making permanent the Feed the Future initiative." That sounds pretty technical, but this is a lovely effort to build on successes, leverage sup-port and go for maximum efficiency and impact. Bread for the World gives us the back-ground and even provides sample letters. This is timely advocacy---connecting with Congress just before Pope Francis calls for such an effort when he visits later in September. Keep tuned for more information.
- Missions Committee,
Judy Hinck, Director
What is Congregational Care at Mount Olive?
It is Mount Olive members caring for one another in tangible ways. People at Mount Olive have a strong history of supporting and encouraging each other through a wide variety of caring actions. Could it be that more could be done? Were some people and families falling between the cracks, unnoticed?
About two years ago, Marilyn Gebauer and Cathy Bosworth began a dialogue with long time member Warren Peterson, who had been co-coordinating transportation needs for many years, and Peggy Hoeft, who contributed her experiences and vision for meeting the needs of those within our congregation. Together they wondered, could we be doing more?
After an initial introduction at a Sunday morning Adult Forum, the Congregational Care Committee evolved. Since then Amy Cotter began sharing her learning in Spiritual Direction with the Transitions Support Group and, most recently, Heather Halen has been contributing her knowledge of and experience with End-of-Life Planning.
At present the following services are supported via the Congregational Care group. Would you please review this list and let us know if you are aware of other unmet needs and/or concerns in our congregation?
• Meals provided for new parents and members experiencing life-changing events.
• Transportation to worship and medical appointments, for those unable to drive.
• Support via a group, for those experiencing stressful life events (i.e. chronic illness of self, partner/spouse/parent/child), serious illness and/or death of a loved one.
• Workshops on Health Care Directives
• Adult Forum Presentations:
Panel consisting of Mount Olive members sharing their experiences during times of personal crisis – what was helpful and/or needed.
• End of Life Planning Conversations: End of Life Decisions with Pr. Crippen,
(View at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npRfQf8TTJg&feature=youtu.be)
Contact information for Congregational Care group members:
Amy: firstname.lastname@example.org , 612-710-1811
Cathy: email@example.com, 612-708-1144
Heather: firstname.lastname@example.org. 612-822-0953
Marilyn: email@example.com, 612-306-8872
Peggy: firstname.lastname@example.org, 952-835-7132
Warren: email@example.com, 952-935-9262
Church Library News
All are invited to visit our parish library soon where a new display of books awaits your browsing or specific topic use. This display is comprised of three different components, the first of which are books given in memory of someone from our congregation who is no longer with us but whose memory is dearly beloved to us all; the second group of books are given to our library by specific donors, and the third group of books are chosen to provide topical or inspirational help to our readers.
Just A Minute: Devotions for the Rushed, by The Rev. Paul Peterson -- given in memory of Florence Peterson
Contemporary Writers on the New Testament, by Alfred Corn, ed. -- given in memory of The Rev. Robert Bartels
International Children's Bible Handbook, by Lawrence Richards -- given in memory of Walter Iverson
The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats -- given in memory of Ellie Siess
The NIV Complete Concordance, by Edward W. Goodrich and John R. Kohlenberger III -- given in memory of The Rev. Paul Engwall
'Tis a Gift to be Simple (Embracing the Freedom of Living With Less), by Barbara DeGrote and David Allen Sorensen --- given in memory of Paul Holt
N-O-A-H: The Real Story -- given in memory of Paul Holt
My Little Flowers, Gifts of the Moment, (daily meditations) -- given in memory of Geri Bjork
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World, by Malala W. Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick -- given in memory of Geri Bjork
(These memorial books have been given or placed by Leanna Kloempken.)
Come to the Table (Food, Fellowship and a Celebrating of God's Bounty), by Benita Long, ed. -- donated by Lora and Allen Dundek
The Myth of a Christian Religion, by Gregory A. Boyd -- donated by Dwight Penas
The Revelation to John, A Commentary, by Martin H. Franzman -- donated by Dwight Penas
The Dead Sea Scrolls and the First Christians, by Robert Eisenmann -- donated by Robert Gotwalt
Our Mama is a Beautiful Garden, by Katy Tessman Stamoch -- donated by Leanna Kloempken
The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is, by N.T. Wright
At Home with Jesus: Devotions for Children, by Joselyn W. Moldstad
A Complete Idiot's Guide to the Lives of the Saints, by Paul Williams
Are you looking for a place to donate some of your gently-used books? Consider donating them to the Friends of Andersen Horticultural Library's book sale at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, who will accept books until September 15, with the actual sale of books set for October 2-4. For more information call 612-301-1239.
Finally, a quote from a Your True Nature, Inc. bookmark --- "Advice from a butterfly: Let your true colors show. Get out of your cocoon, take yourself lightly, look for the sweetness in life, take time to smell the flowers, and be sure to catch a breeze!"
News From the Neighborhood
Another Neighborhood Garage Sale!
Our first garage sale last June was a great success and our friends and neighbors asked when we will host another. The answer? SOON!
Neighborhood Garage Sale II
Saturday, September 19, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
1. Be a vendor. Rent a parking space for $5.00 and “set up shop”
2. Be a shopper
3. Be a volunteer—we need help setting up and taking down plus monitors and guides throughout
4. Be a supporter and help spread the word.
Questions? Contact any Open Space team member to join in or for further information: Tim Pipkorn, Larry Duncan, George Ferguson, Connie Marty, Julie Manuel, Carol Austermann, Paul Nixdorf, Patsy Holtmeier, and Anna Kingman.
“Open Space”is a part of Neighborhood Ministries.
The School Year is coming! We Need Tutors!
That means it’s time to prepare for a season of tutoring the fun kids of our neighborhood and church. Tutoring takes place on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-8:00 pm, with an activity and game until 8:30 pm. It's a fun, easy way to connect with kids who desire and deserve some extra help and attention as they journey through school and growing up. Materials and support will be provided.
We will begin again on Tuesday, September 29. If it's something you're interested in being involved in, ask Anna Kingman or call 612-827-5910 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. It's a great use of time and talents!
Men's Clothes Needed!
Do you have gently-used adult men's clothing you could to donate to a worthy cause? YouthLink is an agency in downtown Minneapolis that works with homeless youth aged 16-23, and right now they are in serious need of donations of young men's clothing in good condition. They are especially in need of larger sizes, but will be grateful for any and all.
If you've got some clothes to donate, please bring them to the coat room at church by this Sunday, August 30. Be sure to label your bag or box “YouthLink.” Julie Manuel has volunteered to deliver them for us.
Thanks for anything you can do to help!
Music and Fine Arts Series 2015-2016
Attached to this newsletter email you will find the brochure listing this year’s lineup of concerts for the 2015-2016 season. In addition to the Advent and Lent Procession Services, the season kicks off on September 20 with the Charles Lazarus Jazz Quartet, then on November 15, Alice Parker returns to lead another signature “Sing!” On January 31, 2016, the choral ensemble From Age to Age will offer a concert, on April 10, The Songs of Africa will perform. Then topping the season off will be a festival Bach Tage (the tenth one!), featuring cantata 76, “The Heavens Declare the Glory of God.”
Members of the Music and Fine Arts committee will be in the narthex collecting support for the series on Sundays, September 6 and 13. These events are offered as a gift to the community free of charge, as a result of your support.
Yes, we can “fix the roof” AND offer a concert series!!!