Accent on Worship
Running the Race
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7).
In the 1991 World Championships, Derek Redmond and the British team won gold in the 4×400 meter relay. At the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Derek posted the fastest time of the first round in the 400 meters and went on to win his quarter-final. That all changed, however, in the semi-final.
When Derek rounded the back-straight, 250 meters from the finish line, he tore his hamstring and fell to the ground in pain. Medics rushed over to him, but Derek stood up and began to limp around the track in order to finish the race. As Derek fought through the pain and disappointment to complete the race, a man emerged from the crowd and joined him on the track: the man was his father. Jim Redmond refused security’s insistence to leave the track and instead held his son up and walked alongside him, supporting him until they finished the race together.
The Triune God does the same for us. This Sunday, we will celebrate the festival of St. Peter and St. Paul, as is our custom at Mount Olive when a festival falls on a Sunday in the green season. From Paul’s second letter to Timothy, we will hear the promise that as we run the race of following Christ where the Spirit leads us and as we fight the good fight of loving in Jesus’ name, we are not alone. The Triune God is with us, standing by us, strengthen-ing us, and speaking through us so that we might proclaim the gospel in word and deed. As the security guards could not hold back Jim Redmond from his son, nothing can separate us from God’s love for us in Jesus Christ.
In this race, we are not promised that we will be saved from pain, be named as the winner, or receive the standing ovation that welcomed Derek as he crossed the finish line. Instead, we like Paul, like Peter, and like our Lord Jesus Christ will be poured out as a libation in order to reveal the love of God (2 Tim. 4:6). We are, however, promised with absolute certainty that just as was done for Peter, for Paul, and for all the saints, the Triune God will stand by us and give us strength to run the race that is the Christian faith so that through us, the gospel might be fully proclaimed.
So run on, dear Saints; we do not race alone.
– Vicar Emily Beckering
June 29, 2014: Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles
Psalm 87:1-3, 5-7
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18
July 6, 2014: 4th Sunday after Pentecost (Lect. 14A)
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
Olive Branch Summer Publication Schedule
During the summer months, The Olive Branch is published every other week.
The next Olive Branch will be published on Wednesday, July 9. Information for that issue is due in to the church office by Tuesday, July 8.
Transitions Support Group Continues
Participants in the recent 4 -week life transitions support group have decided to continue meeting but on a less regular basis. They invite others who would like an opportunity to discuss concerns and receive support to join them.
The next meeting is on Wednesday, July 16, at 6:30 in the Youth Room. Amy Cotter and Cathy Bosworth will act as facilitators. If you have questions, please call Cathy at 612-708-1144 or email her at email@example.com.
School Supplies Drive
Though summer has just begun, for the Neighborhood Ministries Committee it means that it’s time to look forward to the beginning of school!
Neighborhood Ministries is collecting school supplies for about 100 neighborhood children. These supplies will be distributed at the August 2 Community Meal. While this is an item in our budget, generous contributions from the Mount Olive community will help to provide as many supplies as possible.
A Neighborhood Ministries Committee member will be on hand during coffee hour on Sundays, July 13, 20, and 27 to receive your donations.
Thanks for offering your support to this vital neighborhood ministry!
The Bargain Box
Saturday, August 2 will be a busy day at Mount Olive! We will be helping to get neighborhood children ready for school year with Bargain Box fitting children with new school clothes and distributing school supplies during the Community Meal. We are looking for donations of cash, gently used children’s clothes (no adult clothes, please), school supplies, and backpacks.
If you have time to help with the meal, or assist with clothing or school supplies, please plan to come to the August Community Meals!
Please note: Neighborhood Ministries is looking for backpacks, new and gently-used, to distribute at the August Community Meal. We want children to be ready for school! Stay tuned for more information.
– Neighborhood Ministries Committee
Food and Personal Items Needed!
Now that school is out for the summer, many children who receive free or reduced-price lunches at school will often go hungry. Please keep up or increase your monetary and food contributions during the summer months. You may use your blue envelopes and designate “food shelf” as the recipient. Food contributions may be placed in the shopping cart in the coat room.
In our summer travels, let’s remember that the complimentary toiletries provided by hotels and motels are ideal for homeless people who have little space for such items. Most of the time, we are charged for these items as a part of the payment for accommodations. Please bring your unused toiletries to the designated basket in the coat room.
Know that your donations help provide basic needs, as Christ would have us do.
Book Discussion Group’s Upcoming Reads
For their meeting July 12, the Book Discussion group will read, All Over but the Shoutin’, by Rick Bragg; and for the August 9 meeting, All the King’s Men (restored edition), by Robert Penn Warren.
Neighborhood Ministries Coordinator Position Description Now Available
The position description for the Coordinator of Neighborhood Ministries and Outreach has been completed and is available by contacting the church office or on the Mount Olive website.
Congregational members who are interested and meet the qualifications are encouraged to apply for the position. Thanks to the search committee for working hard on this step. The next step will be to screen applicants and host interviews. We hope to have a new Coordinator in place by the end of September.
Committee members are Kathy Thurston and Sue Ellen Zagrabelny (Neighborhood Ministries Committee), Cynthia Prosek and Neil Hering (Visioning Lead Committee), George Ferguson and Gretchen Campbell-Johnson (at-large), Pastor Crippen, Vicar Beckering, and Lora Dundek (ex-officio).
Every Church a Peace Church July Meeting
The ECAPC July potluck supper meeting will be held on Monday, July 21, 6:30 p.m., at St. Albert the Great Catholic Church, 29th St. & 32nd Ave. S., Minneapolis. (612-724-3643, www.saintalbertthegreat.org.)
The program for the July meeting will be a presentation and discussion led by John Keller, Executive Director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (ILCM). His presentation will be “Immigration Reform: A Christian Response.”
John Keller has been the Executive Director ILCM since 2005; prior to that he had been a staff attorney at ILCM for six years. In 2007, Keller was named Attorney of the Year by Minnesota Lawyers, and he received the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits 2007 Advocacy Award on behalf of ILCM for work he led in response to immigration raids in 2006.
All interested are cordially invited to attend – and to bring friends!
Mount Olive T-Shirts
Gail Nielsen will sell Mount Olive t-shirts for the next two Sundays, following the morning liturgy.
The shirts are $7 each and are available in a variety of colors (almost all of the liturgical colors! Pick one for your favorite season of the church year!)
Stop and see Gail on Sunday and get your very own!
Summer A.C.T.S. Thanks
Many thanks to all who have volunteered so far with the Neighborhood Ministries Summer A.C.T.S. program! You have made a difference!
We could still use one more volunteer on Tuesday and Thursday, July 8 and 10. If you can spare a little time for this very worthwhile project, please call Connie Toavs at church (612-827-5919).
The last day of Summer A.C.T.S. will be July 18.