Lasting Connections

Every Tuesday evening throughout the school year, high school students at the West Campus connect with Mount Olivet Rolling Acres in a program which supports our neighbors and friends with developmental disabilities. Tuesdays with Rolling Acres brings our Hi-Leaguers and members of the Rolling Acres program together for a variety of activities – kickball, concerts, dances, movie nights, theme parties, crafts, carnivals, and more. ‑e evening activities are wide ranging and always fun, but are only the beginning of what is truly being achieved. Partnering with Rolling Acres allows our Hi-Leaguers at the West Campus to experience ­firsthand the rewards that come from serving others, and the importance of accepting others for the wonderful, enthusiastic, joyful, and loving people they are. It reminds us that our apparent differences are always outweighed by our similarities. Physical limitations, communication barriers, hesitations about removing yourself from your comfort zone –all are overcome through the common ground of friendships made at Tuesdays with Rolling Acres. As Rolling Acres programming becomes increasingly integrated with the neighborhoods and communities our members live and work in, so have the connections and friendships our youth and the Rolling Acres’ participants are making. When we see each other at neighborhood coffee shops, we connect. When participants say “hello” to their new high school friend who works at the grocery store they shop at, we connect. When we take time to get to know our neighbors and experience the reciprocal joy and excitement of making a new friend –we connect. This is the true purpose of Tuesdays with Rolling Acres.



Building Community

On a Wednesday night at the end of August, I met a few of our high school youth at the Harrison Neighborhood Block Party in North Minneapolis. A perimeter four blocks wide encapsulated Redeemer Lutheran Church and their annual block party. At the party, all human traffic was being directed to the two thanksgiving-style picnic tables in the courtyard behind Redeemer’s chapel. My name is Dane Moore and I am one of the high school youth coordinators here at Mount Olivet. That night, however, it was my duty to stand behind the picnic tables with one of our high school youth and serve snow goose and collard greens. As we stood, tongs in hand, we were greeted by smiles and the naturally perplexing question of, “What does snow goose taste like?” During the school year, I volunteer at the Redeemer after- school program called Kids Café. Almost every Tuesday, a group of Mount Olivet high school students and I pile into one of the church vans and we head to the Harrison neighborhood where we spend time with the elementary-aged youth of Redeemer’s congregation. Similar to when I was serving goose, at Kids Café the faces I see do not always look the same as mine, but they echo a quintessentially Christian sentiment. That of fellowship, fun, and the feeling of being safe in a faith-based environment. The high school students and I may not have grown up in the Harrison Neighborhood, but we feel welcomed and that we are part of this community. If you attended Mount Olivet’s outdoor worship service at the Lake Harriet bandshell on Labor Day weekend, you heard Pastor Kelly Chapman preach. “Pastor Kelly” or “PK” as he is referred to at Kids Café is the senior pastor at Redeemer. Pastor Kelly along with Mount Olivet’s outreaching ministry has worked diligently to foster a relationship between our two congregations. My hope is that

You ask questions about the ministries of Redeemer Lutheran Church and pray for future success as we at Mount Olivet continue to partner in this faith based community.