Accent on Worship
In the Gospel reading for the Presentation of Our Lord, Mary and Joseph go to the temple in Jerusalem in order to present Jesus to the Lord as their first born son.
Though all the characters in this story are quite compelling, like Simeon, who would probably be considered the main character and is the one who gave Mary the bad news about how she is going to suffer, the persons who most capture my imagination in this narrative are the women, Mary and Anna.
What draws a person like Mary to say yes to God? Truly it was her willingness to serve, but was she also not just a bit flattered that she was chosen for the task, not realizing how hard it was going to be? Remember how excited she was when she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth? The Spirit gave her only the vision of the end results. I would like to think that Mary was like many of us who are often excited and flattered into taking on the lead role in a noble venture, (one we feel called by God to do) and in the midst of it regretting our decision more times than we care to admit. But, in the end we are glad we did it and like Mary, glad we put our trust in God and said yes. The Gospel tells us how amazed Mary and Joseph were to hear the praise for Jesus and the prophecies of his greatness. The mother in Mary would dwell on those things rather than on her own suffering.
Anna is the other fascinating person in this Gospel story. I am assuming that, like most women of her time, she was a teenager when she married. Therefore, she would have been in her early twenties when she entered the temple as a widow and never left. I feel that Luke mentions her father and her tribe in order to make a statement about her ability to make such a decision of her own free will. She was not a widow who went to the temple in order to be cared for. She had family. Therefore, it was her decision and hers alone to take on a life of prayer and fasting. She was recognized as a prophet, which is pretty remarkable for a woman of her time. Anna is one of only six women in both Old and New Testaments recognized as a prophet, six among forty eight male prophets, sixteen of whom have their own books in the Bible. However, only two prophets held the Messiah and she was one of them.
– Donna Neste
February 2, 2014: Presentation of Our Lord
February 9, 2014: 5th Sunday after Epiphany
I Corinthians. 2:1-16
This Week’s Adult Forum
February 2: “Postures of Prayer: How our Bodies Shape and Reveal our Faith,” presented by Dwight Penas.
Book Discussion Group Upcoming Reads
For its meeting on February 8, the Book Discussion group will read and discuss The Bell, by Iris Murdoch. For March 8 they will read Howards End, by E. M. Forster.
Website Mapping Event
Do you think Mount Olive’s site could be better organized? Here’s a chance for you to offer your two cents. This Sunday, Feb. 2 between liturgies, come to the Undercroft to participate in a website mapping exercise and discussion about Mount Olive’s site. Questions? Contact bethgaede [at] comcast [dot] net.
Annual “Taste of” Festival Set For February 9
Mark your calendar for Sunday, February 9! This year’s annual celebration will be “A Taste of Mardi Gras celebrating Lutheran Volunteer Corps!”
The Adult Forum will feature guests from Lutheran Volunteer Corps, sharing the history of LVC, its impact, and its current mission and initiatives. Guests will include the Regional Director of Lutheran Volunteer Corps, the Development Director, and several current volunteers who are serving in the Twin Cities. Following the second liturgy, join us for a Mardi Gras celebration with gumbo, jambalaya, slaw, dirty rice, macaroni and cheese, and bread pudding–all prepared by Mount Olive members. Feel free to invite others.
In places like New Orleans, Mardi Gras is celebrated over the weeks ahead of “Fat Tuesday.” So let’s kick off Mardi Gras right (And this event will be a good bookend for the Fat Tuesday pancake dinner, planned with our youth.)
Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC), is one of the supported missions of Mount Olive through our congregational giving. Each year, the Lutheran Volunteer Corps provides opportunities for young adults and others to complete a year of full-time service work at select nonprofits in cities across the country, including Minneapolis and St. Paul. During their year of service, participants live in community and have opportunities to reflect on their commitments, their spiritual journeys, and the ways they hope to put their values into practice.
Questions? Please e-mail Paul Schadewald at email@example.com.
Stories for the Journey: Thursday Evening Bible Study
The Thursday evening Bible study meeting in the Chapel Lounge from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. continues this week. Pr. Crippen is leading a series on the parables of Jesus and how they provide us a vision of God’s reign. As with all these Thursday series, there will be a light supper when we begin. The series runs through February 20.
Attention Worship Assistants Schedule Request Deadline
The Servant Schedule for the second quarter of 2014 will be published at the beginning of March, 2014. The deadline for submitting requests to me is February 14, 2014. Please e-mail your requests to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Neighborhood Ministries Interim Position News
As previously announced, Mount Olive will hire an interim person to be the Neighborhood Ministries Coordinator from the time of Donna’s departure in March until a permanent replacement is hired in the fall. A position description for this interim position is being finalized and will be ready for distribution next week. If you are interested in the position or know of someone who would be interested, please contact the church office ASAP. Cha will take names and contact information, including email if possible, and then send out the position details next week. This is work that would be eligible for job-sharing. For any questions, contact Lisa Nordeen.
Godly Play Needs and Opportunities
Godly Play, our Sunday morning program with children that takes place between liturgies, is in need of people to assist on Sunday mornings by helping the children “get ready” to enter the Godly Play classroom (where we “talk more quietly and walk more slowly”) and to help with our work time and feast. Training will be provided. Please consider whether you might be able to serve in this wonderful ministry. Your service would be needed only once every 4-6 weeks. For more information, or to express your interest, please contact me at email@example.com or at 612 581 5969.
In addition, the pre-school class is looking for Arch Books Bible Stories. Do you some at home you’d like to donate? Please bring them to church.
It is a pleasure to spend Sunday mornings with the children of Mount Olive. Together with Patsy Holtmeier, Carol Austermann and Marilyn Gebauer, I thank you for this blessing and privilege and I invite you to come and be a part of this.
– Diana Hellerman
Bible Study at Becketwood
Vicar Emily Beckering is offering a second run of the six- week Bible study on human suffering at Becketwood Cooperative on five Tuesday afternoons (January 7 through February 11) from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm. This study examines the Biblical witness to suffering and who God is for us in the midst of that suffering. All are welcome!
Synod Voting Members Needed
Mount Olive is entitled to send two lay voting members (one woman and one man), in addition to Pr. Crippen, to attend the 2014 Minneapolis Area Synod Assembly May 2-3 at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Ramsey. This is the event that deals with the business of the ELCA on both a local level and beyond.
The theme this year is “Sent Forth By God’s Blessing.” If you are interested in attending – even if you’ve never done so before – please speak to Pastor Crippen or Lora Dundek (651/645-6636 or firstname.lastname@example.org). The congregation pays registration fees for voting members.
A Good Time – A Great Cause
A very good time was had by all the guests who came to the wedding shower for Cathy Bosworth and Marty Hamlin, held at the home of Tom Olson and Maury Anderson on January 19. Cathy and Marty were married at Mount Olive this past Saturday, January 25.
Their wedding shower was a tremendous blessing for the Diaper Depot! Instead of gifts, Cathy and Marty requested diapers! On Tuesday morning, the day after the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, thousands of diapers representing hundreds of dollars were waiting to be unpacked and put on the shelves of the Diaper Depot.
Thank you to all the guests who celebrated the union of Cathy and Marty in such a generous way!
National Lutheran Choir to Host City-Wide Hymn Festival
On Sunday February 23, at 4:00 p.m., the National Lutheran Choir will join forces with hundreds of Twin Cities’ church choir members for a City-Wide Hymn Festival to be held at Central Lutheran Church (333 South 12th St., Minneapolis). Mark Sedio, Cantor at Central Lutheran, will conduct the massed choir. David Cherwien and the NLC will perform with the help of the mighty Casavant organ.
Tickets for this event are $25/adults; $23/Seniors; and $20/Students, and can be obtained by calling the NLC office at 612-722-2301. or by visiting them on the web: www.nlca.com.