Accent on Worship
Transfiguration of our Lord
“Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” -Luke 9:28-31
I recently read a story on MPR about a town called Ittoqqortoormiit. Ittoqqortoormiit is located in Greenland and for two months the sun does not rise. Yes, you read that correctly! For two months, or 58 days, the people who live in Ittoqqortoormiit live in darkness. Can you imagine what that would be like? No sunlight on Christmas when we celebrate the coming of the light into the world. No sunrise when you wake up in the morning. No sunset as the day comes to a close. The people of Ittoqqortoormiit don’t mind, though. They’re used to it. They go about all their daily business in the dark.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t celebrate the return of the sun (which happened this year on January 20). On the day the sun is about to rise, all the kids in town put on their warm clothes and climb to the top of a hill where they have a welcome celebration. The kids carry with them posters that they’ve made that depict the sun, made of markers and con-struction paper. And together they sing a song. “Welcome back, my dear friend. Welcome back the sun.” From this day on, each day will have more sunlight than the last.
I have no idea what it was like for this small group of disciples to experience the transfiguration of Jesus. But I wonder if it was something like welcoming back the sun for the people of Ittoqqortoormiit. The brightness and glory of that first sunrise surely had the ability to bring hope to this community. The shining sun likely reminded them of the great mystery of God and focused their attention on God’s transformative power.
As we celebrate the Transfiguration of our Lord this coming Sunday, may you too, with the people of Ittoqqortoormiit, be shaped, molded, and transformed into God’s image.
– Vicar Anna Helgen
Climate Justice Task Force–Join Now
Here is your chance to take action on your concerns. In January the Vestry supported the formation of a Climate Justice Task Force to investigate and recom-mend education and action for our congregation and its members. This short-term (3-6 months)”big issue” task force will investigate and make recommendations to other standing committees (properties, missions, neighborhood, education, etc). Climate Justice is already a consideration for many of these committees, and the Climate Justice Task Force will offer the opportunity for creative thinking and “whole picture” action. Say, “Yes!” when asked, or volunteer by leaving your name in the church office, dropping a note to Judy Hinck at email@example.com, or writing your name and “Climate Justice” on one of the cream-colored cards in the pew and placing the card in the offering basket.
Ash Wednesday, February 10
Holy Eucharist at Noon and 7:00 pm
Midweek Lenten Worship
Wednesdays during Lent
Holy Eucharist at noon
Evening Prayer at 7 pm
February 7, 2016: Transfiguration of Our Lord
2 Corinthians 3:12—4:2
Luke 9:28-36 [37-43a]
February 14, 2016: First Sunday in Lent
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
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.
Attention Worship Assistants
The Servant Schedule for the 2nd quarter of 2016 (April – June) will be published at the beginning of March 2016. The deadline for submitting requests to me is February 10, 2016. Please email your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Peggy Hoeft
Tending the Family of God
As a congregation, we want to be respectful of people’s journeys. Some people are here long-term; some people are here only for a short time. Both are OK. There are a multitude of reasons for staying and a multitude of reasons for leaving.
How can we send those who are leaving on their way knowing that they have our love, our blessing, and our prayers?
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
The Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper will be held on Tuesday, February 9, beginning at 6:00 pm.
Plan to come for a night of fun and fellowship for the whole congregation!
If you are willing to help with this event, please contact Amy Thompson via email to:
– Sponsored by the Mount Olive Youth
Meet the Voigts!
On Feb. 21, there will be an opportunity for everyone to meet the Voigt family at Mount Olive. The Voigts are from Leipzig, Germany and are in the Twin Cities until August as part of an exchange with the Minneapolis Area Synod’s sister synod partnership with the Leipzig Church.
Pr. Voigt is serving at Christ Church Lutheran, but is spending time with other congregations as well.
He and his wife, Anke, and daughters Hannah and Marie, have interesting stories to tell! Come for a light lunch on Feb. 21 after the second liturgy to meet the Voigts.
Sunday’s Adult Forum: February 7
Stewardshift!, presented by Bob Sitze. Bob Sitze is a former ELCA staff member in the ministries of hunger Christian education, stewardship education and family life. An experienced ecclesiological observer, Sitze brings more than 40 years of wide-ranging experience as a congregational leader and denominational executive. He is the author of Starting Simple: Conversations About the Way We Live (Alban, 2007). This forum is sponsored by the Stewardship Committee
Lenten Devotional Book Available
“Return to God,” Susan Cherwien’s new devotional booklet for Lent 2016, is free and available at church. Pick one up for use during Lent!
If you have palm branches left from last year’s Palm Sunday Eucharist, please bring them to the narthex and place them in the basket provided.
They will be burned on Shrove Tuesday to make ashes for Ash Wednesday liturgies next week.
Stewardshift: Join the conversation
Are you passionate about stewardship and pretty certain that, yes, it’s about our financial support of the church’s mission, but, properly understood, it’s about much more than that in our lives as Christians and members of congregations?
Join us Saturday, February 6, 10:30 a.m.–2 p.m., in the Chapel Lounge as Bob Sitze leads us in a Stewardshift! workshop. Bob, whose Stewardshift: An Economia for Congregational Change (Morehouse) was published in January, comes to us after years of leadership, conversations, thinking, and writing about stewardship in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, former Lutheran Church in America, and the ELCA. We’re hoping to start continuing conversations that will broaden and deepen our lived-out stewardship as the people of Mount Olive.
If you’re coming, please let me know: email@example.com or 952-452-2049. We’ll have coffee and goodies of some sort when you arrive, and we’ll join the community lunch at noon.
—Donn McLellan, Director of Stewardship
Transitions Support Group
(Please note day of week change for March only!)
All are welcome at the Transitions Support Group. If you’re looking for new ideas or encouragement to meet the challenges or uncertain-ties that are before you, please consider joining us on Tuesday, March 8.
This is an opportunity to share in fellowship, prayer, and discussion with others in the Mount Olive community.
Transitions Support Group meets on Tuesday, March 8 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, firstname.lastname@example.org or Amy 612-710-1811, email@example.com.
The Sheridan Story: Fighting Child Hunger
We believe that no child should be hungry, so we are fighting child hunger through community and school partnerships
Over 100,000 children in the Twin Cities don’t always know if they will have food for their next meal. These children have access to meals at school, but on weekends they often go hungry. The Sheridan Story has taken up the challenge to closing this weekend food gap. Click here to watch the story of Jordan, and how the Sheridan Story has made a difference for her and her mom.
The Sheridan Story works to mobilize the community to partner with nearby schools. Mount Olive cares about children, and cares about our community. We will soon have an opportunity to support the children at Jefferson Elementary nearby.
The Sheridan Story makes it easy for us to make a difference for these hungry children. They locate, pack, store and deliver the food to the schools – we take it from there by distributing the food to the kids who are hungry, and perhaps discover over time other ways that we can help the children.
Children who are hungry struggle to learn and pay attention in class. The Sheridan Story has shown that when we fill this weekend food gap for them, grades, test scores, attendance and self-esteem go up. The kids have a chance to succeed that hunger takes away from them. Click here to watch a short video of how we can give hungry kids that chance.
Ukrainian Easter Egg Workshop
Pysanky, or Ukrainian Easter eggs, are made during Lent and Holy Week among those in Slavic countries. The word “pysanky” is from the word “pysanta”= to write, because the designs are written on the egg in hot wax. The traditional designs and colors have specific meanings, and the eggs are often passed down in families from generation to generation. Pysanky is a very old tradition, combining meditation and prayer with art.
Cha Posz, Mount Olive’s administrative assistant, along with her husband Kurt, both members of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in St. Paul, have offered to teach a basic class at Mount Olive on the making of pysanky. The class will take place on Saturday, February 27, from 9 am to 12 noon in the East Assembly Room next to the Chapel Lounge. A fee of $10 will be charged to cover supplies. Please e-mail or call the church office to register, so we are sure to have enough supplies on hand. All ages* are welcome! (*keeping in mind that it does involve hot wax and a flame…)
Lenten series on Christian Nonviolence
Last summer the’ Minneapolis Synod Assembly passed a resolution calling for Lutherans/Christians to “soul search on our nation’s continuing and expanding war effort.”
Since Lent is a time for reflection and repentance, Mount Olive and Twin Cities Every Church a Peace Church will present a video series on the theology and spirituality of Christian Nonviolence as background for “soul searching” on expanding wars.
Nonviolence is the original tradition in Christianity pre-dating the Christian Just War theory by more than three centuries. The video series features Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, who has been leading workshops and retreats on this topic throughout the U.S. and other countries. A nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, Fr. McCarthy has informed Twin Cities Lutherans for several decades in venues such as Luther Seminary, Lutheran Social Service, St. Paul Synod, and, more recently, to over 430 people at a two day Central Lutheran conference (in addition to numerous events in local Roman Catholic seminaries, churches, and religious orders).
The plan is to offer this series on Sunday afternoons during Lent, beginning Feb. 14. We are working out times and logistics for accommodating an audience which will likely include other faith community members interested in learning more about this original but lesser known Christian understanding.
Look for more specific information in the next Olive Branch.
Contact Al Bostelmann (firstname.lastname@example.org, 612 722-5957) with questions, thoughts and suggestions.
Psalms & Spirituals with the National Lutheran Choir
Saturday, February 27, 2016 – 7:30pm
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley
Sunday, February 28, 2016 – 4pm
St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church in Plymouth
Tickets: Adult $25 | Senior $23 | Student $10 | 17 and under FREE
Call Brown Paper Tickets (800) 838-3006 or order online at www.NLCA.com.
Minneapolis Area Interfaith Initiative Feb. Meeting
MAII (Minneapolis Area Interfaith Initiative) holds monthly educational programs at the Southdale Library. All are invited to attend the February meeting, “The Pope & Climate Change,” this Sunday afternoon, February 7, at 2:00 pm (Super Bowl kickoff is at 5:30) at the Ethel Berry Room, Southdale Library, 7001 York Ave. S, Edina 55435.
This presentation will be led by Dr. Amy Levad, Associate Professor of Moral Theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, where she has taught since 2009. She will present an overview of Laudato Si (“On Care for our Common Home”), the encyclical written by Pope Francis on the environment and climate change.
More details available by sending an email to email@example.com. MAII unites individuals and faith communities in the Minneapolis area in learning about other religious traditions, increasing interfaith understanding and building personal relationships across faiths.