Update from Pastor Johnson

What a glorious Christmas season we had! Thank you for inviting your friends and family to worship with us. Those of you who were able to join us at one of our 56 Advent / Christmas services know the community at Mount Olivet is alive and well, with an estimated 34,488 worshipping with us at one of our two campuses. Thank you to everyone who helped make the Christmas season so spectacular at Mount Olivet – the ushers, the parking lot attendants, the 1000+ choir members, the 200 people who volunteered and served 1400+ pounds of lutefisk, the Congregation Council who assisted in our finance office, the greeters, the kitchen helpers for our many fellowship events, the Altar Guild and more – thank you! This Christmas, Carol and I have been the recipients of many cards, expressions of thanks, and a multitude of kindnesses. We love “Christmas at Mount Olivet.”

The glow of Christmas leads us into the new year. A new year means many things in a church. The business of the church dominates the calendar – annual meetings, budgets adopted, reports received. Our three task forces (transition planning, West building plan review, and the same for the James project at Mpls) will be starting up soon. Yes, God works through mundane things like budgets, audits, elections, and meetings. It is true that, “God so loved the world that he didn’t send a committee!” Yet, wherever a committee gathers with Jesus present, the collective wisdom and gifts of many individuals interact to advance the work of the Kingdom. God bless all those willing to serve.

It is not just the business of the church, but Adult Learning starts up again, and I call your attention to the superb offerings available. Make 2016 a year to grow in every area of our lives – physically, mentally and spiritually. As we enter a time of looking back and looking forward, I recall the words of Dag Hammarskjold, “For all that has been, thanks! To all that shall be, Yes!”

Update on Pastor Hogenson

Pastor Hogenson extends his warmest wishes and greetings to each of you for a happy and healthy 2016! He continues his treatment for a malignant brain tumor and at the time of this printing was looking forward to completing his final round of chemotherapy. He and his family are grateful for the many prayers and expressions of care the Mount Olivet community has provided. Updates can be found on his CaringBridge site at http://www.mtolivet.org/news/pastor-john-d.-hogenson/caring-bridge-updates.