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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Olive Branch, 1/6/16

Accent on Worship

“When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had
seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had
stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.”

 I love to think about the Magi going on their quest to find the baby Jesus, following a star in the sky. This star showed them the way. And once it stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. I wonder what made them so joyful. Did they know their journey was almost complete? Were they excited to meet the infant Jesus and present him with gifts? Or could it be that they had some sense of what this birth meant? That suddenly everything had changed?

 We, too, need light to s how us the way. Sometimes it’s real light, like a flashlight that illumines the way to the outhouse, or a candle that lights up the house after the power has gone out. But we
also need light from people in our lives who help us understand, who teach us new ways of thinking, and who enable us to make sense of our experience.

 During my college physics classes, I would often have “lightbulb moments.” They were those times when suddenly everything made sense, when my math worked out, when a professor said something to me actually made sense. Be on the lookout for these “lightbulb moments” in your life, too. They don’t happen all the time, but when they do, they’re worth celebrating.

May the light of Christ fill you with joy during this season of Epiphany!

- Vicar Anna Helgen

Sunday Readings

January 10, 2016: Baptism of Our Lord
 Isaiah 43:1-7
Psalm 29
Acts 8:14-17
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

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

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

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,

Thank you, thank you!
 Many thanks to the people of Mount Olive for the generous Christmas gifts we received, and for all your kindness and support throughout the year! You are Christ to us in so many ways, and we are deeply grateful for you in our lives.

 Blessings and peace to you all in this new year in God’s care!

– The staff of Mount Olive: David Cherwien, Joseph Crippen,
Anna Helgen, Cha Posz, William Pratley, and Anna Scott.

Thursday Evening Study Returns Jan. 7
 Starting January 7, the Thursday evening study will begin meeting again in the Chapel Lounge from
6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. “Singing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land” is the title, with the group 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, there will be a light supper preceding the study each week.

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 January 9 meeting, they will read Grand Opening, by Jon Hassler, and for February 13, they will read God's Hotel, by Victoria Sweet.

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.

New Opportunity for Ministry

 The Congregational Life Committee is looking for people who would be willing to assist members who have difficulty or are more cautious walking from the south parking lot to church.

 For more information, contact Sandra Pranschke at, or 612-859-5448.

Winter Gear Drive Continues

 Neighborhood Ministries is receiving donations of winter gear for children and adults.  New or gently used items can be donated in the box near the coat room. There is designated space for coats in
the coat rack. Items will be given away at the Community Meal throughout the winter or brought to the Central Lutheran Free Store.

Thank you!

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.

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

Sunday’s Adult Forum: January 10
“Islam and Christianity,” presented by John Matthews

 John Matthews is pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Apple Valley. John is a graduate of Concordia College (Moorhead, MN), Luther Seminary (St. Paul, MN), and did post-graduate study at the International Center for Holocaust Education at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. For ten years, he has been an adjunct professor of religion at Augsburg College’s Rochester Campus and has been very active in interfaith dialogue, especially Jewish-Christian, Native American, and Christian-Muslim.

In November 2015, John was recognized by the Islamic Resource Group of Minnesota with their "Building Bridges" Award, for his interfaith activity. He is the author of Anxious Souls Will Ask: The Christ-Centered Spirituality of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Eerdmans, 2005) and Bonhoeffer: A Brief Overview of the Life and Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Lutheran University Press, 2011).

 John presented on Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Mount Olive's 2014-2015 forums.

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. Use the envelopes provided below the chart.

News from the Neighborhood
Anna Scott

Neighborhood Ministries Direct Care Report

 One of the ministries we offer at Mount Olive is Direct Care in which, through generous funding from the congregation, we can assist our neighbors and friends with needs like a bus card, a laundry voucher, or help paying rent, utilities, or other emergencies.

 This year we helped with:
RENT: 49 people with a total of $ 3,716.53
UTILITIES: 24 people with a total of $ 1,322.96
EMERGENCY: 39 people with a total of $ 1,951.77
GAVE: 83 Bus Cards and 86 Laundry Vouchers

Diaper Depot Report

 Mount Olive hosts a Diaper Depot open to anyone who needs it as a way to lift a small piece of financial burden from parents. It is open Tues. 4:30-6:30 and Thurs. 1:30 – 3:30 downstairs by the Youth room. It’s a lovely place to see families, meet neighbors, and oogle at cute kiddos! The Depot
offers a bit of rest, a place to talk, extra supplies, and some savings to our friends.

“The Diaper Depot has lifted some financial burden from my family. I am very blessed to get discounted diapers.” – client

This year we:
- Helped 350 families who came to the depot (187 of those clients were new – the word keeps spreading!)
-Sold 1,908 packs of diapers

THANK YOU for your continued support of these ministries! As Hilda, one of our neighbors who received assistance said, “Keep it up. You really are helping out here.”

Mark Your Calendars
Sunday, January 31, 2016, 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. This event is free and open to the public; a free-will offering will be received to support the Music and Fine Arts program.

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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