New Years Miracles

New Year’s Day 36 years ago, I held a miracle in my arms – our youngest son. He was not due until later in February, but here he was. Through much of the night, I stared at the wonder and beauty of him, crying silent tears of gratitude to God that, though tiny, our son’s prognosis was good. For me ever since, New Year’s is my reminder to expect not only the unexpected, but perhaps the miraculous.

As Christians, we have just celebrated the birth of Christ – God come down to dwell among us, fully human and fully divine. If that does not prime us for being open to miracles, what can? I invite you in this New Year to make time in your life to stop and pay attention. So much of what many of us take for granted is to others “miraculous” – freedom to worship, safe food and shelter, choices in how and where we will live, expectation of justice, the prospect of life itself, and so much more.

Do not take the life God has given you for granted – including your faith. Pay attention, be grateful, make time for worship, study of scripture, prayer, devotions, and service in Christ’s name. Extend grace to others, knowing the grace in which you now live is because of Christ. And do not forget to watch for miracles. God may even make you part of one. I wish you the happiest of New Years!


Winter Opportunities to Learn

Register online or by contacting Carol Throntveit 612.767.2246 or Josh Nelson 612.767.2284

Wednesday and Thursday Word: Life in the Grace Lane, Part 2
W 1/10-2/7 9:30-10:50am (note later start time), Mpls Rm 482-86. Th 1/11-2/8 10-11:30am, West CFL Bldg.
So we can plan appropriately, please register! After a lively start this fall, we continue our exploration of what the Bible tells us about the vital, purposeful life God wants for us at all times, including our years after retirement, the “third chapter” of life. Join Pastor Cornils as we continue to explore the plans God has for your “life in the grace lane”! Cost: Donation.

Tuesday PM Bible Study: The Puzzling & Perplexing Parables of Jesus!
Tu 1/16-2/6 7-8:30pm, Mpls Room 482-86.
Jesus told parables to teach us about God’s love for all of creation. Each parable invites us to ask questions and ponder the ways that God works in our lives. Join Pastoral Associate Anna Helgen as we explore the parables of Jesus and consider what they might mean for us today. Cost: Donation.

Living the Message Pastor’s Introduction: What Does the Glory of God Look Like?
1st M 7-8pm, 1/8 location: Mpls Rm 482-86. Speaker: Pastor Cornils. Reading: Mark 9:2-13.
Come and learn, whether or not you participate in a small group. To join a LTM small group or form a new group, contact Carol Throntveit 612.767.2246

Energy Healing
M 6-9:30pm 1700 Chapel Lower Level.
Learn how prayer, God’s power, and the natural energy paths within the body can bring comfort and healing. Now meeting weekly! 

Swedish Language through Hymns and Songs
This class led by Peter Johnson, will resume M 3/5.

Flying Solo

(singles 40s-60s) Are you an adventure-seeking single? Join us for fun events, community service projects, and fellowship, all in one! Past events have included a boat cruise, a puzzle escape room, concert, and a ballroom dance lesson. This year, we are kicking off with a SOUPer Bowl & Wings Cook-Off (see details below), followed by Feed My Starving Children in February, and a cooking class in March. Visit the Adult Ministry page at for contact information, photos, and event schedule. Bring a friend and join us for our next adventure!

Flying Solo: SOUP-er Bowl & Wings Cook-Off (singles 40s-60s)
Sa 1/20 6-9pm, The Colony of Edina Party Room, 6330 Barrie Rd, Edina.
Join us for fun evening of friends, fellowship, and friendly competition! Prizes! Prizes! $10. Register by 1/18. Questions: Mary Morton or Josh Nelson 612.767.2284

Conference & Retreat Center

Women’s Weekend: Discovering Grace, Sharing Our Stories
6pm F 1/26 to 12noon Su 1/28, Check-In Starts at 3pm, Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center.
Join Pastor Monica Hammersten, Pastoral Associate Anna Helgen, Dr. Sarah Henrich, Carol Throntveit, Carol James, and a group of fun, insightful women as we explore the stories that define who we are and how we got there. Using a wide variety of artistic images and expressions, Dr. Henrich will share the ways women from the beginning of time have kept stories alive for generation after generation. From hilarious to tragic, such stories help us to know and love ourselves better. Enjoy wonderful food, walks in the woods, relaxing in the whirlpool, and massages by appointment (extra cost). Single occupancy, if available, $235; double occupancy $175pp; dormitory occupancy $140pp. Register: 952.469.2175.

A Day Lenten Journey: Unexpected Grace – Martin Luther’s Easter
Tu 2/13 10am-3pm, Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center.
Using portions of his powerful Lent and Easter sermons, “Luther” will share thoughts on faith, human imperfection, and the wondrous grace of God as he explores events from Holy Week through the Resurrection. Join the great reformer Martin Luther (Rev. Mike Zacher), Carol Throntveit, and Carol James for this very special day that also will include a delicious lunch, stimulating conversation, warm fellowship, and conclude with Holy Communion worship. $20 ($5 for optional bus from 7500 York (8:45am), West Campus (9am), and Mpls Campus (9:15am). Reservations required: 952.469.2175.

Career & Calling

W 1/17 7-9am, Mpls Fellowship Hall.
This new ministry supports Mount Olivet members and friends at any stage of their careers with job transition support, workshops, and quarterly breakfasts that offer inspiration and opportunities to meet other professionals. 1/17 speaker: Jack Fortin. Topic: Listening for God’s calling and living a centered life. Space is limited. Register online or by calling Josh Nelson 612.767.2284. 

The Gift of Life Until Death: Conversations for All Generations

Sa 1/20 & 2/24 8:45-10:30am, MPLS Rm 482-86.
Creating a plan for the end of life is one of the greatest gifts you can give. Learn how to have difficult conversations and create a plan that will allow loved ones to confidently carry out your wishes. $30. Register at or contact Julie Goodman 612.767.2208 If you are interested in completing a Health Care Directive on your own, contact Julie.
Jan 20 Session: Dr. Thomas J. Klemond, MD, Internal Medicine and Hospice /Palliative Care Specialist, will present the Health Care Directive document and help you to recognize its importance for yourself, your family, and our society.
Feb 24 Session: Annette Langdon, along with a panel of professionals, will answer questions and help you finalize your Health Care Directive. A notary public will be present to notarize your document.


URGENT NEED for West Campus Parking Lot Volunteers We REALLY need help directing traffic in the newly paved parking lot on Sunday mornings! Volunteer as your schedule permits. Contact: Diane Matthews 952.767.1501
West Campus Nursery Volunteers Read to, play with, and love the smallest people of our church on Sunday mornings. You will be with a trained staff member for all the fun. Contact: Amy Porthan 612.767.2224
Simpson Housing Dinner 1/13 & 2/11 5:45-8:30pm, 2740 1st Ave S, Mpls. Prepare, serve, and clean up after supper at this homeless shelter.

Counseling Service

We are imperfect beings living in a complex world. Stress, tension, and change add to the complexity. It takes courage and maturity to acknowledge a problem and do something about it. Our professional staff is available to work with you. GROUP and ONE-ON-ONE sessions take place in Mpls (1804 W 50th St and 5000 Logan Ave S).  ONE-ON-ONE sessions also take place at the West Campus Center for Faith & Life building (7150 Rolling Acres Rd, Victoria). Cost for group sessions: $10 per session MO members / $20 non-members. Cost for counseling, psychiatric services, and prescriptive medication sessions: $40 per session MO members / $80 non-members. Financial aid available upon request. Appointments: Anne Lied 612.927.7335

Mpls Support Groups
Caregiver’s Tu 1/23-4/3 2-3pm
Young Widows / Widowers from Accidents
Tu 1/23-4/3 4:30-5:30pm
Divorced & Separated Tu 1/23-4/3 6-7pm
Loss of a Spouse Th 1/25-4/5 10-11am
Retirement Th 1/25-4/5 11:30am-12:30pm

Moving from Anxiety to Optimal Wellness

Sa 2/10 9am-12noon, Mpls Fellowship Hall.
Back by popular demand: L. Read Sulik, MD, FAAP, DFAACAP, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Medical Officer, Praestan Health. Through stories and examples, Dr. Sulik will help us understand how individuals with anxiety are so easily misinterpreted, misunderstood, and misdiagnosed. He will will introduce a framework for a personal health and wellness transformation. $15 includes program and continental breakfast. Register online or with Andrea Brown 612.767.2209

10th Motorheads Winter Event

Tu 2/20, Park & Shuttle from Mount Olivet West, arrive between 5:30pm and 7pm (comfortable Northfield mini buses run continuously until 9pm). While our cars are tucked away for the winter, invite a friend and come “talk cars” at this fun gathering at Warren Herreid’s amazing garage complex. Enjoy delicious food, interesting displays, devotions, THE MEDICINE SHOW MUSIC COMPANY, and a replica of the GREEN HORNET’S CAR!
$10 in advance (must be paid by 2/18 online or at church), $15 at the door, $5 for youth 18 and under.

59th Ladies' Night

M 2/26 6:30pm, MPLS Fellowship Hall. Speaker: HEATHER BROWN, host of WCCO-TV’s Good Question.
Topic: “How do we choose and answer the questions?” $15. Register online or 612.926.7651. Men Serve at Ladies' Night to volunteer, contact Sue Mills 952.240.6375

Faith-Centered Yoga

Chair Holy Yoga
M&W 12:15-1:15pm Mpls Gym. $5 to leader.

NEW! Yoga & Devotions
Sa 1/20-2/24 8-9:15am, West Campus Narthex.
Leader: Lisa Domyahn. All levels of yoga/fitness welcome (must be able to get up and down from the floor). Bring a yoga mat, water bottle, notebook, and pen. $10 per class or 6 weeks for $50. Register by 1/13: 612.767.2268

Prayerful Yoga
Su 1/21 6:30-8:30pm, Mpls Rm 482-486.
Through biblical devotions and guided yoga practice, Liz Otteson and Rachel Kamin help answer the question, “How can my yoga practice enrich my walk with Christ?” On 1/21, we will practice Yoga Nidra as a as a path to praying boldly and confidently. $10.

Book Groups

Parents Share Book Discussion: The Whole-Brain Child – 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
W 1/10-2/7 9:30-11am, Mpls Rm 199.
Join Marilyn Sharpe, parent educator and Mount Olivet member, and other wonderful parents to learn Learn 12 key strategies that foster healthy brain development and that lead to happier, calmer children. $15 (includes book), optional $10 for nursery. Register at

Book Discussion for Women: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
W 1/10-1/31 11:45am-12:45pm, Mpls Rm 392.
A practicing surgeon, Gawande is humble, honest, and humane as he argues convincingly that changes must be made if indeed the goal is not a good death, but a good life – all the way to the very end. Carol Throntveit facilitates. $15 (includes book). Please register.

Book Group: Evening
2nd W 7-8:30pm, Mpls Lounge.
Facilitator: MARY SLINDE 952.884.4975. Books: The Song Poet by Kao Kalia Yang (1/10), The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (2/14).

Book Group: Midday
3rd Tu 11:30am-1pm, Mpls Library.
Facilitator: CHELLE URABE. Books: A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen (1/16), Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf (2/20).

West Campus Book Discussion: The Book(s) of Joy
Tu 2/6-2/27 7-8:30pm, WEST CFL Rm 300.
The wisdom and experience of spiritual leaders suggests that hardships cannot dampen our deep, abiding contentment. On the contrary, hardships create opportunities to find joy in our God and in ourselves, and then spread that joy to others. We will explore this idea by reading The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World about a week-long conversation between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and studying Paul’s letter to the Philippians – the New Testament’s book of joy. Facilitated by Liz Otteson. $20 (includes book). Register by 2/1.

Feed My Starving Children 

FMSC is a Christian non-profit organization committed to feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit. Join us for this fun event where adult and youth (6yrs+) volunteers will hand pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children around the world. Our goal is 101,000 meals. This effort requires 500 volunteers over 3 shifts in just one day! Mount Olivet helps to offset the cost, but we need your help!

Register online.
Sign up for any of these shifts:
Fri, Jan 19: Set Up 4-6pm
Sat, Jan 20: Pack Food (3 shifts!) 9-11am, 12noon-2pm, 2:30pm-4:30pm Clean Up 4:30pm-6:30pm Nursery provided for infants-3yrs during the 9-11am shift. Children 6+ are welcome during any shift.

Give online at 

  • Invest $50 for one box of food (216 meals)
  • Donate $80 and a child will eat for an entire year
  • Give $10 for a family of 4 for a week

“Whatsoever you did for the least of my children, that you did unto me.” Matthew 25:40