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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Olive Branch, 1/13/16

Accent on Worship

“I Don’t Want You to Be Uninformed”

     In these upcoming three green Sundays after Epiphany we have a brief run through First Corinthians as our second reading. Beginning with this Sunday, we hear from chapters 12 and 13 before Transfigura-tion on February 7.

     These are remarkable words from a remarkable letter. Paul begins a discussion of spiritual gifts in chapter 12, with this explanation: “Concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.” In spite of that, I’m not sure we are becoming informed as he hopes. Too often we read these sections, as in the next Sundays, separately, out of context from the others.

     When we read them together (and I encourage you to do this before Sunday) we see a thread of truth we don’t talk about as we could: the Spirit’s gifts are for the good of all. So this Sunday Paul says, “to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” Next Sunday, he claims we all belong to each other and care for each other, an inseparable body in Christ that we did not make. Then on Jan. 31, his hymn to Christly love is a powerful description of how we live together in that body.

     We each are given gifts of the Spirit for the common good. We all belong to each other in one, inseparable body, where all are different and important. Sacrificial, Christly love, the highest of all spiritual gifts, and one given to all, shapes the life in this body. This is what Paul needs us and all believers to be informed about.

     Most days we live into this life relatively well as the people of God at Mount Olive. But in the broader Church, among such different and diverse ways of speaking Christ’s name in the world, such a sense of the common good, our oneness in Christ, and the love that binds us, seems rarer and rarer.

     Sometimes I think we’d do well as the Church to keep our mouths closed and read more of the Scriptures. It’s sad that 2,000 years after this first was sent to believers, our broader witness as Christ’s Church in this world shows us to still be uninformed, and unwilling to learn.
Perhaps our gift here at Mount Olive can be to show by our actions and life in the world this word of Paul, so that at least those who encounter us as examples of Christians might see that we are, in fact, informed as to the center of the heart of Christ, and so informed, are living in that heart. For the good of all the world’s people.

In Christ,

- Joseph  

Sunday Readings

January 17, 2016: 2nd Sunday after Epiphany
Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm 36:5-10
I Corinthians 12:1-11
John 2:1-11

January 24, 2016: 3rd Sunday after Epiphany
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19
I Corinthians 12:12-31a
Luke 4:14-21

The Presentation of Our Lord
Tuesday, February 2
Holy Eucharist at 7:00 pm
All are welcome!

Thursday Evening Study on the Book of Daniel

     “Singing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land” is the title of the current Thursday Bible Study, exploring the book of Daniel. Written in a time of national tribulation and set in another such time, the book explores how God’s faithful live faithful lives in a threatening world. As always, the study begins with a light supper at 6, followed by the study. All are welcome!

Book Discussion Group

     Mount Olive’s Book Discussion Group meets on the second Saturday of each month, at 10:00 a.m. in the West Assembly Area at church. All readers are welcome!  For the February 13 meeting, they will read God's Hotel, by Victoria Sweet. For March 12  they will read In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson.

Desk Needed!

     The German family that Mount Olive has helped to bring to Minneapolis for a short-term work/study period would like a small desk to use.  If you have a desk that you could lend them until the end of July, please contact Lora Dundek with the dimensions (  We have a desk chair already.    Thanks.

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, please consider joining us on January 13, 2016.

     This is an opportunity to share in fellowship, prayer, and discussion with others in the Mount Olive community.

Transitions Support Group meets on Wednesday, January 13 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, or Amy 612-710-1811,

Sunday’s Adult Forum: January 17

     “Panhandling and Other Dilemmas,” presented by Mount Olive Coordinator of Neighborhood Outreach and Ministry, Anna Scott.

TRUST’s Annual Martin Luther King Celebration
Sunday, January 17, 5:00 pm, Living Spirit United Methodist Church, 4501 Bloomington Avenue South

     Join us for fellowship and music.  Featuring the voice of Libby Turner, Ann Jensen, and Leon Patterson, reflecting on their journey to Selma for the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March.  TRUST Youth will provide music and lead the service.

    A soup and sandwich supper will follow the service, and a freewill offering will be received.

Mark Your Calendars

Sunday, January 31, 4:00 p.m.
“A Winter Tapestry” From Age to Age Choral Ensemble

     Mount Olive Music & Fine Arts is pleased to welcome From Age to Age choral ensemble for the first time on their concert series. From Age to Age brings a program that will warm your heart as you listen to an eclectic mixture of repertoire representing all musical eras, and the standard of excellence that resounds the mission of our ensemble.

     A reception follows the concert in the church’s Chapel Lounge.

Help Wanted for Our Saviour’s Meals

     It's sign-up time for serving at Our Saviour's Shelter!

     Mount Olive serves on the second Sunday of every month.  If you have served before you know how rewarding it is to meet the residents and to have dinner with them.  There is a 2016 calendar where you can put your name down for the month that is best for you.
     More hands are always welcome!

Altar Flowers

     The sign up chart for weekly altar flowers has been posted in its usual spot next to the church office. If you would like to sign up to provide flowers for worship to commemorate a special day, in memory of a loved one, in honor of a special event, or simply to help beautify our church for worship, please sign up on the chart for the date you want, and be sure to include your designation. The cost of the altar flowers this year is $50 per Sunday for two bouquets. If you wish to provide only one of the bouquets, simply sign on only one of the two lines provided for each Sunday. The cost for one bouquet is $25.

Please use one of the envelopes provided at the chart for your payment.

Reconciling in Christ Annual Service

     The 2016 RIC Festival Service, "Diversity Thru Inclusivity," will be held on Saturday, January 30, 2016, 4:30 PM, at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church (4150 Dupont Ave. N, Minneapolis, MN  55412). Pastor Robin Provis will serve as presider for this service, and Pastor Kelly Chatman will preach.

     A soup supper will follow the service, and a freewill offering will be received. This event is sponsored by the Twin Cities Chapter of ReconcilingWorks.

Confronting Racism: A Holy Yearning

     ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton and William B. Horne, an ELCA member from Clearwater, Fla., will continue their conversation on racism – a violation of God’s intention for humanity – in another live webcast Jan. 14, 2016, at 8 p.m. (CST). Eaton and Horne will be joined by other ELCA members who bring various perspectives on the U.S. criminal justice system. As with the previous webcast, this one will be grounded by two commitments. One is this church’s proclamation of Christ and the confidence this good news brings to set us free from the captivity of racism. The second is this church’s enduring commitment to address the complexity of racism and end discrimination.

     Mount Olive will host this webinar broadcast in the Chapel Lounge starting at 8:00 pm on Thursday, Jan. 14, immediately following Thursday Bible Study. We will gather in the West Assembly Area beginning at 7:30 pm. We will watch together and have a discussion with other churches and neighbors.

Tending the Family of God

     Sometimes when people are no longer present with us at worship on Sunday morning it is because they have moved or have moved on. For example, our vicar completes her year with us, or someone moves to another part of the country or another part of the world. Often, when that happens, we send them on their way from our liturgy with a rite of farewell and Godspeed.

     Are there ways we can do that whenever anyone leaves, regardless of the circumstance, so that they know they have been important in our life together and that we will always carry them in our hearts?

News from the Neighborhood
Anna Scott

Let me introduce ...

     CLUES Comunidades Latinas Unidos En Servicio (Latin Communities United in Service).

     CLUES is one of the organizations that Mount Olive supports for its local mission work and support of our neighborhood. This organization sits right across Lake Street, with another two offices in St. Paul. They diligently serve the Latino population in a variety of ways. Their programs focus on: health and wellbeing, economic vitality, education, and cultural and civic engagement. As their website says, living out their mission involves family, community strength, respect, collaboration, and accountability.

     Thank you for helping support this vital and vibrant partner in the neighborhood!


     Who we are: CLUES (Spanish for: Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio) is a linguistically and culturally relevant resource and service nonprofit organization that was founded in 1981 by Latinos for Latinos. Our programs and services connect families to resources, skills, institutions, and systems and create an environment for people to be engaged and empowered.

     Who we serve: Our services focus on the Latino family, yet our experience and capabilities enable us to serve individuals and families from all walks of life including new immigrants and low-income families who dream of a better future.

     Our mission: To advance the capacity of Latino families to be healthy, prosperous and engaged in their communities.

     Our vision: A thriving multicultural community enriched with confident and strong Latino families who contribute their voice, skills, entrepreneurial spirit, and cultural richness.

Listen for Change

     The Trinity Institute National Theological Conference presents “Listen for a Change - Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice” on January 21-23, 2016.

     Hosted at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, this event is free, but registration is requested. For more information or to register go to: and click on Events & News.

Headed to Kenya! 

     Coming up on January 25 - Feb 6, Josh and I and a crew of 4 other friends will be headed to Kenya to hike Mount Kenya and hopefully do a safari in Tanzania.

     It's a dream come true for me, as I've longed to climb Kilimanjaro for many years, but this trek will suffice! Josh used to fly planes for Airserv, an NGO fleet that worked with the likes of Doctors Without Borders and ARC. He lived in Congo, Uganda, and Chad, but spent time in Kenya and many other countries on the fascinating continent. I'm looking forward to learning, enjoying, seeing incredible things, and having a lot of fun! See you when we get back (and please pray for safety for us. Last time I did something like this I ended up with a broken elbow).

- Anna

Coming Events of Interest

Sat., Jan, 16, 7:30 pm: We Shall Overcome: a concert by Cantus and the Minnesota Boychoir (celebrating the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Excelsior, MN.

Sat., Jan 16, Noon, 2, 4, and 6 pm: Scandinavian Lutefisk and Meatball Dinner. First Lutheran Church, Columbia Heights, MN.

Mon., Jan 18, beginning at 9:30 am: MLK Jr. Day (lectures, worship lunch and panel discussion) Luther Seminary, St. Paul.

Sat., Jan 30, 7 pm: Luther College Symphony Orchestra concert, Trinity Lutheran Church, Stillwater, MN.

Mon., Feb. 1, 7:00 pm – Luther College Nordic Choir concert. University Lutheran Church of Hope, Minneapolis.

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