Thankfulness 

Hello friends, my name is Madison Feller and I am a senior at St. Louis Park Senior High. As graduation grows closer, I’ve been thinking a lot about the things that I will miss when I leave for college and how extremely thankful I am to have had them in my life. At the top of my list is Mount Olivet. Nowhere else in my life have I found a place where I am able to feel so full and content. The sense of community and connection everyone feels with each other is like nothing else. Often times when I’m out living my normal life in Minneapolis I don’t make the time that I would like to connect with God. I spend so much of my time doing homework, sports, etc. that I forget to check in with my faith, and I forget that God is watching over me. I am so thankful to be a part of this church where I can come sing every Wednesday and Sunday, and come back Sunday nights to be a part of Hi-League. Whenever I come to church I am reminded that I have a God and a bunch of humans around me who know the struggles I’ve been through and are willing to be by my side. This past year at camp my good friend Acacia made me a mason jar filled with the water and sand from Caribou Lake so I could have COP with me wherever I go. This meant the world to me and I keep the jar in my room so I can look at it every day and remember how lucky I am to have a community and God that love me for everything I am. – Madison Feller

When asked what I am most thankful for, I think immediately of my family, friends, education, Cathedral of the Pines, and Mount Olivet. Even though I am able to acknowledge my biggest blessings, they can still be taken for granted. As a teenager, learning more about the world can sometimes be synonymous for focusing on the negative aspects of life. With violence, injustice, poverty, corruption, hate, and dishonesty, it’s easy to forget to have a positive outlook, and about the many blessings and privileges I have. Despite the distress that overwhelms me at times, there is plenty of beauty to be accounted for in my own life, and life everywhere. When we forget to see our blessings, we live without gratitude, which is an unhealthy cycle, that lets envy and greed prevail. After a long summer of opportunities to spend time at camp, I always leave wishing I could have more. I come back home dreading the routines of school, and becoming trapped in a feeling of discontentment. Places like Cathedral of the Pines are special, in that we as campers, counselors, or staff, are all forced to sit in a chapel and reflect. The beauty and simplicity of the chapel makes proclaiming thanks easy. At camp we are well aware of how blessed our lives truly are. Back at home is where gratitude tends to wander away from us. We are likely to waste too much energy on our problems. Our daily blessings can easily go forgotten, like opportunities to go to work or school, having a family, loving and being loved, all of which should be celebrated. It is good to keep in mind that your life can be filled with as much thanksgiving as you let it. It could be as simple as waking up grateful to live another day. – Zoe Seipp

 

Faith Statements

In September, the Confirmation class of 2016 was confirmed and Mount Olivet welcomed 183 new members to the congregation. We are so fortunate to have them actively involved in our church and their eagerness to participate through service and fellowship is outstanding. For one of the final steps of their Confirmation journey our Confirmands write faith statements. They are asked to write a genuine view of their faith at this time in their lives. Below are a two examples from the confirmation class of 2016 that were read aloud at the Confirmation celebration in September.

Faith can mean many different things for different people, but to me, faith is believing in the unbelievable, such as miracles and putting your trust completely in God, because he always knows what is best for you and has your best interest. – Samantha Mpaulo

My faith means to me that Jesus died for me even though he didn’t know who I was when he died on the cross as I wasn’t born yet, but he loved me and took the world’s sins away and all you have to do is believe. God is amazing. Whenever I am having a bad day, I know God has a plan for me and that everything happens for a reason. I pray every night and at every opportunity. I do this because I know he will listen and will care for me. It is one thing to know about God, but it is another thing to know God. I believe that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He did roll the stone away and he saved me from sin and death.
Noah Borwege