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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Olive Branch: July 26, 2010

This Sunday, August 1, 2010 - 4:30 pm
“Baptized Children of God,” a hymn festival featuring the singers from the Youthful Voices Choir Camp
David Cherwien, organist
Free and open to the public - all are welcome!

Accent on Worship

There was a story in the news recently about a billionaire. Unlike Warren Buffett, who is working to give away all his billions before he dies, this person gave away his fortune today. He purchased a small parcel of land in the woods, built a very small cabin on it and, I imagine, set aside a certain amount of money to live on. He told a reporter that as soon as he unburdened himself of all that wealth and moved into his little place, he felt one hundred percent better.
Most of us would never think of great wealth as a burden. We would be happy to have it. However, even the affluence we do have can be a burden. We have to take out insurance in order to protect our assets, we fuss about remembering to lock up the house, the car, or the cabin. If we get burglarized we have to fill out all sorts of forms in order to be compensated. We lose sleep when our stocks or pension take a hit on the market and wonder how we are going to make it in our old age. If we have more than others in our family, we may have to fend off all the hands that are out. We are often pressured into buying more, even though it gives us little or no joy. Like the man in Jesus' parable for Pentecost 10, who had the hassle of tearing down his old barns and building bigger ones in order to store his over-abundance of grain, we, too, are willing to put up with the burdens and inconveniences of affluence.
There is a real relationship between poverty and wealth. When our brothers and sisters are forced to go without, it means that the rest of us have too much. This imbalance in our world and the suffering of the poor are symptoms of a collective spiritual disorder. The burden of affluence is a small price we are willing to pay. The larger price is the discontinuation of our reliance on God. We begin to believe that we are the captains of our own destiny and, like the man in the parable, we may learn too late that we are not.

- Donna Neste

Special Congregation Meeting
A special meeting of the Mount Olive congregation will be held following the morning liturgy on August 8, 2010. The Call Committee unanimously recommended and the Vestry voted to place the name of the Reverend Joseph G. Crippen, Senior Pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church-Northfield, MN before the voters to be called as the next Pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church.
All voting members of Mount Olive are invited and encouraged to attend this special meeting of the congregation, to hear and discuss the recommendation of the Call Committee before voting to extend the call during the meeting. Because of Pastor Crippen's current Sunday morning responsibilities and in keeping with common call practices, he will not be present at the August 8 meeting.
Due to the anticipated attendance at this meeting, the significance of the sole agenda item, and the work currently being done in the Undercroft, this special voters' meeting will be held in the nave.
While the proximity of Northfield to Minneapolis may prove tempting to visit Pastor Crippen’s current congregation, you are encouraged to respect both his (and his family’s) privacy and their relationship with the people of St. John’s. A good alternative to making the trip to Northfield would be to check out St John’s website, for public information.
We are currently in conversation about the possibility of arranging an informal social gathering with Pastor Crippen before the Congregation Meeting. If we are able to schedule such a gathering, you will be notified via email, or by a postcard (for those who subscribe to The Olive Branch via hard copy) for details.

A Note About Mount Olive's Prayer List
We recently removed several names from our prayer list, because many have been on this list for a very long time, and we are unsure if they are still in need of our intercessions. If we have removed them prematurely, or if there are others whose names should be added to or removed from the list, please let us know.

Men’s Ensemble
Cantor Cherwien is forming a choir of men to sing in the liturgy this Sunday, August 1. This group will come together on Sat., July 31, at 10 a.m. to rehearse. If you would like to sing in this group, please contact Cantor Cherwien – or just come to the rehearsal.

Midsummer Hymn Festival
"Baptized Children of God," is a Hymn Festival which will be held at Mount Olive this Sunday, August 1, 2010, at 4:00 p.m.
Children from local congregations will lead this hymn festival, which features Cantor David Cherwien at the organ. All are encouraged to attend.

Special Offering for Our Neighbors
On Tuesday, July 20, our neighbors the Quintana family (Juan, Laura, and their children Juanito, Avi, Lupita, and Laura), who live on the 3100 block of Chicago, lost everything in a house fire. Laura (the mom) works at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. This family has many immediate needs, especially clothing for themselves and their children.
Mount Olive is receiving a special offering to help the Quintana family. Last Sunday we received almost $1,500. This Sunday, August 1, will be our final Sunday to receive offerings to help them. Please give what you can. You may make your check payable to Mount Olive and in the notation write "fire victims." You may use one of your a blue envelopes for the offering, but be sure it is clearly labeled for this purpose. And please remember this family in your prayers.
Thanks for whatever you can do to help!

Mid-Year Financial Update:
As of June 30, 2010, general giving year to date totals $217,745.00. This giving total is $16,631 less than the actual amount received last year for the same period. Our budgeted income for June 30, (what we planned on receiving and the amount approved during the budgeting process last fall), totals $287,900.00. Comparing actual income as of June 30 to budgeted income places us $70,000 behind - ( I would like to note that the church’s operating expenses have been lower through June 30, which has lessened the impact of budgeted income being behind the planned amount).
Mid-year contribution statements are available to be picked up in the narthex at church. Please pick yours up and prayerfully consider Mount Olive as you review your statements and your giving plans for the remainder of the year.

- Paul Sundquist, Treasurer

Tuesday, July 27
12 & 1 pm Music Lessons (Mount Calvary Academy of Music)
10 & 1 Summer J.A.S.

Wednesday, July 28
10:00 am Staff meeting
10:30 & 1 Summer J.A.S.
8:00 pm N.A.

Thursday, July 29
10 & 1 Summer J.A.S.

Friday, July 30
8:30 am Youthful Voices rehearsal
10 & 1 Summer J.A.S.

Saturday, July 31
9:00 am Men of Purpose
10:00 am Men’s Ensemble rehearsal

Sunday, August 1 – Ordinary Time: Sunday 18
9:30 am Holy Eucharist, with Reception of New Members, followed by fellowship & coffee
11:00 am Adult Education / Altar Guild meeting
11:00 am Theological Discussion Group
4:30 pm Hymn Festival: "Baptized Children of God”

Monday, August 2
10 & 1 Summer J.A.S.

Tuesday, August 3
10 & 1 Summer J.A.S.
12 & 1 pm Music Lessons (Mount Calvary Academy of Music)
6:00 pm Capital Campaign Committee meeting

Wednesday, August 4
10:00 am Staff meeting
10:30 & 1 Summer J.A.S.
8:00 pm N.A.

Thursday, August 5
10 & 1 Summer J.A.S.

Friday, August 6
10:00 am Summer J.A.S.
1:00 pm Summer J.A.S.

Saturday, August 7
9:00 am Neighborhood Ministries/Men of Purpose
Noon Community Meal

Sunday, August 8 – Ordinary Time: Sunday 19
9:30 am Holy Eucharist, followed by fellowship & coffee
6:45 pm Mount Olive serves Our Saviour’s Meal

Monday, August 9
7:00 pm Vestry Meeting

Neighborhood Ministries Newsletter: Summer Edition
This Sunday, August 1, the greeters will distribute the summer edition of the Neighborhood Ministries newsletter, Greetings from Mount Olive Neighborhood Ministries, after the liturgy. If you will not be present and would still like to pick one up, they will be available at the church office window.

Bargain Box
Bargain Box is a very affordable way to help families provide good, useable school clothes for their children at a very affordable cost. If you have donations of gently used children’s clothes, please bring them to church and place them in the receptacle provided. Cash donations are also welcome.
Bargain Box will be held at Mount Olive on Saturday, August 7, from 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Adult Education: Sunday, August 1
Interim Pastor Hollie Holt-Woehl will report on a continuing education event she recently attended at the Summer Institute for Ministry at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, “Disability and Theology: The Call and Promise of Pastoral Leadership and Theological Education.”

Mary, Mother of Our Lord
The Feast of Mary, Mother of Our Lord is August 15. Because it falls on a Sunday this year, it will be celebrated at our regular Sunday morning Eucharist. There will not be a separate service later in the day with Gethsemane Episcopal Church this year.

Meals on Wheels Delivers!
Many thanks to those from Mount Olive who delivered Meals on Wheels during the week of July 12: Connie & Rod Olson, Gary Flatgard, Al & Margaret Bostelmann, Elaine & Art Halbardier, John Cegielski, Mary Rose Watson, Mary & Bob Lee, Lillian & Howard Rand, Naomi Peterson, Liz & Joe Beissel, Harvey Hanson, Andrew Andersen, JoAnn & Stan Sorenson, and Dan Adams.

Attention, Women!
Gail Nielsen cordially invites all women to her home for a Garden Luncheon on Wednesday, August 18, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Men are welcome, too! There is no charge for the luncheon, but a freewill offering will be received to help defray the cost of the food.
Please RSVP to Gail Nielsen if you are interested in coming, 612.825.9326 – feel free to leave a message.

Book Discussion’s Upcoming Reads
For its meeting on August 14, the Book Discussion Group will read and discuss, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, by Mark Kurlansky. For the September 11 meeting it will be Troubles, by J.G. Farrell

The New Mount Olive "Wish List"
Stemming from discussions regarding bequests, the Worship Committee proposed the idea of creating a "Wish List" for those seeking a vehicle for donations over and above their usual giving. There are many reasons to donate; i.e. celebration, in memoriam, in honor, or perhaps in end-of-life preparations. Currently all non-designated gifts go directly to the Mount Olive Foundation. The Vestry is reviewing this procedure, but would also like to encourage donations that might capture more of the essence of the one donating or the one for whom a donation is being made.
As Vice President of the Vestry, I'll be administering this Wish List and will fine tune how and when to publish it and advertise the opportunities for giving. I envision it being similar to the altar flower donations list, hung in a prominent location, listing all of the opportunities. I invite all Vestry officers and directors, any ad-hoc committee chairs, and any persons in groups who have suggestions for additions to the list to contact me by e-mail, in person, or by church office mailbox. You may submit your ideas for items your group needs that are not currently in the budget. An example would be for the Building Committee to submit the number and cost of furniture items needed. Another example would be for the Worship Committee to list the number of vestments needed, along with estimated costs. A final example would be for the regular workers in the kitchen to request new cookware. Please submit ideas no later than September 1, for publication of the first list in October.
I plan to publish the list quarterly. How donations are handled accounting-wise will be ironed out with our Treasurer. Perhaps you would like to honor a loved one who attends all of the in-church dining events by donating new kitchen utensils. Maybe you would like to see some actual new furniture in our brand new space and would consider donating a chair or table. Or maybe you hold an intense interest in the colors and beauty of the church year and wish to donate a size-appropriate vestment for our new pastor in honor of the Call Committee. Let's get behind this and support this exciting new way of giving. May this help all of our work to be done with more heartfelt donations given freely, based on our unique interests.
Brian Jacobs, Vice President

Highlights from the Vestry Meeting
The Vestry met July 12, at 7 pm, with new president, Adam Krueger presiding.
We revisited the date set for our building re-dedication, which will be September 12. The Worship and Congregational Life Committees are preparing for the celebration. Stay tuned!
Adam updated us on the Call Committee efforts. Final interviews and social events with candidate semi-finalists have been completed and the committee will meet Wednesday, July 14, to formulate the time line from here on. The committee has met 27 times so far, with ALL in attendance for every meeting. Both David Cherwien and Adam have expressed their faith in the committee and their impressions of the candidates.
The Vestry revisited the topic of non-designated bequests. The discussion will continue and we will work to find a satisfactory solution to allow donations to flow either to the Foundation or to other accounts. This discussion precipitated the introduction of a "wish list" to fund items not currently in the budget. It was decided that the Vice President will monitor and publish the wish list, which will be open to all for suggestion and donation.
Andrew updated us on the new website and reported that Steve Berg and Beth Gaede will stay on the project as long as they are needed to fine-tune the work. Cha Posz will be the webmaster and is receiving training on how to keep it updated. Ann Sorenson will continue her work with updating the video, especially once we call our new pastor.
All directors reported on their current events. Most notably, Diana noted that the new Godly Play curriculum for church school will begin in the fall. She's seeking donations and invites all to attend any Godly Play Adult Forums and workshops. Andrew outlined his new approach for Evangelism's outreach and in-reach with in the congregation.
Paul Sundquist presented his monthly report and again reported that giving is down substantially. We are still able to generate cash flow to pay our bills, but our deficit is widening. Capital Campaign giving is still on track, but he reminded us that we need to receive 100% of our pledges to meet our goals. Art Halbardier is coordinating continued Capital Campaign blitzes that will be necessary to close out the building projects, including the Undercroft kitchen.
New members were confirmed by the Vestry. Warren brought up the idea that we might be able to hand out a "Parish Event" page when worshipers are exiting the sanctuary, to keep people up to date on scheduled events. There was discussion of streamlining use of and logging of office keys and that the office should be staffed and open on Sunday mornings. Ann Sorenson was designated as signatory backup to Adam Krueger for York Securities. We again discussed refining The Lutheran subscription list. This could save us ample money. Metro Lutheran is seeking donations, but a suggested "door offering" was replaced by a suggestion that envelopes designated for donations to Metro Lutheran could be made available in the narthex.
The August agenda will include calendar planning for the remainder of the year. Budget planning will begin in October. Brian Jacobs, Paul Odlaug and Paul Sundquist have been appointed to the Salary Review Committee.
- Brian E. Jacobs, Vice President

METROLutheran Needs a Boost
Mount Olive supports METROLutheran newpaper with an annual gift and shares its members, Ken Siess and Mike Edwins as members of the Board of Directors. Mike Sherer, former editor, was a member of Mount Olive. METROLutheran appreciates such faithful and generous support.
Because of the downturn in the economy, some of our advertisers have scaled back the size of their ads which has hurt our “ad income.” Gifts from congregations are also a bit behind previous years, perhaps also influenced by the downturn in the economy.
Our current income is about $6,000 behind expenses. If members of Mount Olive can make a special offering to METROLutheran at this time, it will help immensely. With the approval of the Mount Olive Vestry, envelopes for your use are available (outside the Church Office in its newly-remodeled location). Thank you for your generosity and continued faithful reading of METROLutheran.

A Note of Thanks
Anne & Warren Bartz wish to thank all who came to their house on a recent summer evening to help them clean out their basement: Dan & Julia Adams, Brenda Bartz, Joyce & Kristina Brown, Dave Cherwien, Allan & Lora Dundek, Bob Lee, and Mark Pipkorn.
Your help is tremendously appreciated!

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