For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth." She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.
-1 Kings 17:14-16
The widow of Zarephath is one of my favorite Bible characters. Unnamed, starved, and poverty-stricken, she gathers sticks near the outskirts of town so that she can build a fire to cook her last meal. She assumes death is right around the corner. But then she runs into a man of God. Elijah invites her to first share what little flour and oil she has with him and then go feed her son. He promises that she will have enough food. The widow does as she is told and Elijah’s promise comes true. She and her family eat for many days.
The widow of Zarephath inspires me. In her desperation, she finds it within herself to trust Elijah, a person whom she identifies as a man of God. She takes a risk! And that risk moves her from despair to hope, from little to enough, and from death to life. Being in relationship with God involves both trust and risk. We trust that God will provide, but we don’t always know how it will happen. It is easier for us to trust God in times of joy and happiness, but this story reminds us that God calls us to have courage even in times of fear. And that is what feels risky! It requires an openness to oneself and to God. This widow is a woman of faith. Her faith enables her to trust Elijah and to be open to how God might show up in surprising and unexpected ways.
Her story is not over, however. If you read on, you’ll learn that she soon faces another crisis: the illness and death of her son. The widow’s story reminds me of the importance of those people who come into our lives in times of chaos and uncertainty and bring us hope. Like Elijah, they help bring us from death to life. For these people, I rejoice!
- Vicar Anna Helgen
Sunday’s Adult Forum
November 8: "Begin With Wonder: Music, Cosmic Awareness, and Care for the Earth," presented by Susan Cherwien.
Images of God: Thursday Bible Study
This Thursday, Nov. 6, a new six- week study will begin, led by Vicar Helgen, which will run through December 19. (The study will not meet Thanksgiving Day.) The study, called “Images of God,” will explore how we talk about God through the language of image and metaphor. The sessions will reflect on common images of God and participants will have the opportunity to share a creative presentation of an image of God that speaks to them.
As always, the sessions begin with a light supper at 6:00 p.m. Please let Vicar Helgen know if you are able to provide a meal.
November Music & Fine Arts Events
+Sunday, November 15, 4 pm: SING! With Alice Parker
The SINGs led by Alice Parker have delighted groups all over the United States and Canada since she started leading this kind of program forty years ago. The unique feature of these SINGs is their high musical accomplish-ment – the sheer beauty and communicative power of the singing. The atmosphere is one of delight in joining in music-making, and of ease in creating varied sounds. A reception will follow the event in the Chapel Lounge. This event is free and open to the public – bring a friend!
+ Sunday, November 29, 4 pm: Advent Procession
Mark the season with a solemn procession and a series of lessons and carols for Advent. Enter this season of hope in the darkest time of the year. Candles, incense, and beautiful music all invite the listener to engage in this very profound liturgical season.
Church Clean Up
The Altar Guild will sponsor a Thanksgiving/Advent /Christmas clean-up of the worship areas of Mount Olive from 9 am to noon on Saturday, November 14.
We anticipate that the renovation process will be substantially completed by then. Any help from congregational volunteers would be greatly appreciated.
Please contact Steve Pranschke if you are willing and able to volunteer for this effort.
- The Altar Guild
New Member Welcome – Note Date Change!
Mount Olive will welcome new members and associate members on Sunday, December 6, during the second liturgy (please note change of date!). If you are interested in becoming a member or associate member, please contact the office via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 612-827-5919. You may also contact Pastor Crippen at church, or Andrew Andersen (763-607-1689).
A welcome brunch will follow the liturgy for new members and for all who would like to be part of the welcome festivities.
Transitions Support Group
All are welcome at 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 Wednesday, November 11 at 6:00 pm.
This is an opportunity to share in fellowship, prayer, and discussion with others in the Mount Olive community.
Transitions Support Group meets on Wednesday, November 11, 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 at 612-708-1144, email@example.com, or Amy at 612-710-1811, firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Lutheran Choir to Present All Saints Concert, “Blessed Are They”
Join the National Lutheran Choir for their annual All Saints Concert: “Blessed Are They,” a concert of music and texts reflecting on the lives of those who have been loved and lost.
One concert remains: 7:30 pm, Friday, November 6, at St. Bartholomew Catholic Faith Community in Wayzata.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call Brown Paper Tickets (800) 838-3006, or order online at www.nlca.com. Tickets will also be available at the door on the day of the concert.
A Gentle Reminder
Information for the weekly Olive Branch is due on Monday of the week it is to be published. If you have information to share, please be sure it’s in to the church office on Mondays. Thanks!
Thanksgiving Day Eucharist: Thursday, Nov. 26, 10:00 a.m.
Bring non-perishable food items to help re-stock local food shelves. Monetary donations are especially welcome (for every $1 donated, food shelf personnel are able to buy about $9 worth of food!)
As has been our custom for a number of years, the entire offering received at the Eucharist on Thanksgiving Day will be divided between Sabbathani Community Center and Community Emergency Services food shelves.
Advent Luncheon for Seniors to be Held Wed., December 2
Attention Seniors (65 and over)! Be on the lookout for your invitation to the annual Advent Luncheon for Seniors. They will be in the mail soon!
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 November 14 meeting they will read The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery, and for December 12 they will read The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James.
South Minneapolis Coalition for Grief Support
The South Minneapolis Coalition for Grief Support provides education & support for those who are grieving. Support groups are designed for adults experiencing grief as a result of the death of a loved one.
Small discussion groups follow the speaker each week, led by trained facilitators. Groups are open-ended; come as you feel the need. Individuals may join the group at any time.
The current session is held on Thursdays through Dec. 3, 6:15-8 pm, at Our Lady of Peace Church, 5426 12th Ave. S. in Minneapolis.
All are welcome.
News From the Neighborhood
Anna Scott, Coordinator of Neighborhood Outreach & Ministry
Powderhorn Park Neighbor-hood Association will hold its Community Meal and Annual Meeting on Thursday, Nov. 12. Dinner will be at 5:30 pm and elections and meeting at 6 pm. Celebrate the gift of community with the neighbors of Mount Olive!
A Wish List
Parents in Community Action, Inc. Head Start serves the community of children and families experiencing hunger, homelessness, poor access to resources, and the devastating effects of poverty. They will host the annual Head Start Health Fair for neighborhood children and families and are requesting any donations of new or gently used prenatal or early childhood supplies: things like diapers, wipes, clothes, blankets, bottles, toys, formula, etc. Any donation will help and goes directly into the hands of the most needy children and families in the neighborhood. Donations can be dropped off in the coat room near the upstairs kitchen and are needed before Friday November 13. Thank you! Please call Anna Scott at church with any questions.
Powderhorn Empty Bowls
Friday, November 6, 11am - 7pm
Powderhorn Empty Bowls was started in 2007 by five neighbors and potters who met at the Powderhorn Park Pottery Program. Their mission, to promote art, provide sustenance and promote the common good has been carried out every year since, with the help of donations and hundreds of volunteers. Every year hundreds of neighbors and community members gather together to help end hunger. These people choose a hand-made bowl that has been donated, which is filled with soup made by volunteers and local businesses and accompanied by bread made on site by volunteers.
For this, each adult is asked to make a $20 donation, or a $5 donation for kids. Any and all donations, of any amount, are gladly accepted.
When finished, wash your bowl and bring it home. Enjoy it and have it as a reminder of all the empty bowls in your community, across Minnesota and around the world. Also leave with that bowl feeling good, knowing that on this day, you did something to feed people in your community.
Many volunteers are needed to make this day happen. If you’re able, please visit them on the web to see if there’s anything you can help with.
THANK YOU! More information on facebook or http://powderhornemptybowls.org/
In With the New!
The new sidewalk to the 31st Street door will soon be ready for use, thanks to our two top-quality in-house concrete masons, Mark and Tim Pipkorn. Here they are, hard at work last Friday.
Thanks, Mark and Tim, for an outstanding job. You’ve got talent -…and probably VERY SORE knees!!! We’re all grateful.
Also new is several restored stained glass windows. The large window over the altar is now cleaned, and new protective glass is installed. Another window on the South side of the nave will be complete this week.
The goal is to continue the repairs as long as weather stays on our side. The crew will try to select the units in most urgent need of attention. Wisely, they are working on only as many windows as they can finish within a reasonable period of time. One is never sure in Minnesota when winter will settle in for good!
Thank you to all the people of Mount Olive for your patience with inconvenience and gracious support during these past few months.
Christine Skogen invites you to join her for her junior organ recital, to be held in the Center for Faith and Life at Luther College, 700 College Drive, Decorah, Iowa.
The event will take place on Thursday, November 19, at 6:30pm, in the Main Hall. The recital will include works by Bach, Widor, and Fletcher.
A short reception will follow the program. All are welcome!