stories change us
Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14th - Easter Sunday, Apr. 1st
Lent is a time to connect with God and community in an intentional manner. It’s less about showing restraint by giving up a food or a habit, and more about becoming present to what God is doing in your life and the life of the world. This year, Mount Olivet focuses on the spiritual practice of listening deeply to stories – from Scripture, from each other, and from our wider community. Wherever they’re from, God is present as we become aware of how we are changed because we’ve heard them. Stories change us.
In worship, we will hear stories from Scripture on Sunday, and stories from Mount Olivet members on Wednesdays. In our community book read, we will hear stories from people of color and indigenous people in Minnesota as we read A Good Time for the Truth. And in our Lent Learning Tracks, we will engage with God’s unfolding story in our church as we do Mission and Outreach with our community partners, dive deep into the world of Ignatian Spirituality, or reflect on what it means to exist in a pluralistic world with Many Faiths.
Stories from Scripture
Each Sunday during Lent, we will take time in worship to reflect on how Stories Change Us. Following our scripture reading from the Gospel of Mark and a message from Pastor Beth or Pastor Joel, we will set aside some time and invite the congregation to consider how this story of faith changed those involved and in turn can change us, through silent or written reflection. We will also celebrate Holy Communion and share a time of prayer as a community of faith.
Stories of Faith from MO Members
Scripture tells us that there is a “Time for Every Purpose under Heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3). Each Wednesday night during Lent, as we focus on how Stories Change Us, we gather for worship and prayer at 6:15pm. At the center of each worship service is a faith talk from a Mount Olivet member about their personal journey through a time of change or transition. Following their time of sharing, we will each take a few moments to reflect on their experience – by drawing, writing, praying, or even writing a note to share with the faith talker. We are invited to consider how this story of faith changed them and in turn can change us. We celebrate Holy Communion and share a time of prayer as a community of faith.
community wide book read: "A Good time for the truth"
This Lent, we are learning that Stories Change Us. A Good Time for the Truth contains stories from our wider community, told by Minnesotans of color about the joys and challenges of their lives. These vibrant and accessible essays help us learn what life in this state looks like from many different vantage points, and engaging with these stories will change the way we see ourselves and the place we live.
By reading and discussing A Good Time for the Truth, we will:
- Build empathy for people whose race is different than our own, and increase our commitment to racial equity
- Learn about ourselves and the role race has played in our lives
- Listen for God speaking through the stories that are shared with us
We invite everyone in the congregation to read and discuss this book together. We will gather in the Fireside Room for small group discussion during MOtalk time (10-10:45am) on Sundays, or from 7pm-8pm on Wednesdays in Room 272.
You can purchase the book for $13.00 from MO, either through the registration link, or by check/cash at church. Books will be available for pick-up in the Welcome Center.
Schedule of readings:
lent learning tracks
In this five week series, people will explore the dynamic nature of a world filled
with many belief systems. There will be an introduction to many faiths and how
the Christian and Lutheran lens impact our understanding of different faith
expressions in the world. Jewish and Muslim speakers will engage us in
interfaith dialogue as together we search for deeper truth,
understanding and friendship.
In this five week series, we will put our hands to work serving our neighbors. Each week will feature a different service project and learning opportunity. Let's explore the various ways we can love our neighbor and pursue justice together this Lent. Activities and discussions will be accessible for 5th graders through adults. This series will be led by Beth McGrew-King.
In this five week series, we will explore a few spiritual practices emerging from the wisdom of St Ignatius of Loyola. With the focus on noticing and growing our awareness of God and Spirit in our lives, we will have an opportunity to experience different prayer and meditation practices, reflect individually and in group, and listen for the way our hearts are calling us to make a return of love in our lives. This series will be led by Melissa Borgmann Kiemde, Spiritual Director at Loyola Spirituality Center and Vocation Partner at Visitation Monastery in North Minneapolis.
Come away for 24 hours. Pastor Beth will lead a 24 hour contemplative women’s retreat at Christ the King Retreat Center beginning at 4:00pm on Friday March 23rd and ending before dinner on Saturday, March 24th. Christ the King Retreat center is located in Buffalo on Buffalo Lake and has ample beautiful space inside and outside for walking and reflecting. This retreat will bring together the spiritual practices we learn through Ignatian Spirituality on Wednesday nights through Lent, although participation in the learning sessions is not required to attend the retreat. The retreat will be held the Friday and Saturday before Holy Week giving us space to think deeply about the death and resurrection of Jesus in the context of our own stories.
The cost of the retreat includes room, 3 meals and all supplies. $135 for a private room and $125 for shared room. Transportation to and from the retreat is on your own.
Check out the retreat center http://kingshouse.com/
On Wednesday evenings this Lent, gather with friends and family for a tasty meal before worship AND support MO students going on mission trips this summer! We will be collecting a free will donation to benefit mission trippers.
We'll serve a rotating selection of soups and sandwiches. Lenten suppers will replace pizza on Wednesday nights. Pizza will return April 4.
Each week we’ll be featuring soup and sandwiches with a rotating selection of soups.
Wednesdays // 5:30-6:15pm // Fellowship Hall
Feb. 14 // Ash Wednesday // Dinner 5:30-6:45pm // Italian Menu (Gluten Free option available)
Feb. 21 // Sandwich Bar, Loaded Baked Potato Soup, Chicken Noodle, Vegetable Vegetarian (Gluten Free option available)
Feb. 28 // Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Tomato Basil Bisque, Chicken Noodle, Vegetable Vegetarian (Gluten Free option available)
Mar. 7 // Sandwich Bar, Chili, Chicken Noodle, Vegetable Vegetarian (Gluten Free option available)
Mar. 14 // Sandwich Bar, Chicken Wild Rice, Chicken Noodle, Vegetable Vegetarian(Gluten Free option available)
Mar. 21 // Sandwich Bar, Loaded Baked Potato Soup, Chicken Noodle, Vegetable Vegetarian (Gluten Free option available)
Helping others during Lent
During Lent, MO will be collecting hygiene items for Northport Elementary. Northport families in transition need basic self-care items like: socks, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, tooth brushes, combs, deodorant, chapstick, brushes, (also brushes for African-American hair,) Vaseline, soap bars, products like Blue Magic Hair & Scalp conditioner, Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Hair Conditioner. There's a particular need for brushes and hair care items for African-American students.
Northport welcomes both full size and travel sized items. We will collect items from Sun, Feb 18th - Wed, Mar 21st. Items can be brought to the Welcome Center, to BE, or the CLC.
Here is sample of some of the products needed: