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Monday, August 23, 2010

The Olive Branch, August 23, 2010

The Witness of Song and Open Windows

Earlier this summer I served as organist at a two-week workshop for Presbyterian Musicians in Montreat, NC. There was daily Eucharist at 11:00, and workshop sessions went on all day in the un-air-conditioned worship space. That meant my practice time on the organ was limited to 7 to 8 am. While wailing away with preparations one morning, I was approached. Some neighbors had complained about the organ music coming from the open windows, and because of this police would be coming at 11:00 to be sure our liturgy didn’t violate the legal noise level limits of the community. Wow. I was imagining what a wonderful ticket that would be to
brag about: cited for “praising God too much”. Bring it on! They did come with their meter, but unfortunately we were just below the limit. Too bad. I should have used all the reeds.

One Sunday here at Mount Olive, Susan came to church a bit late and had to park a block and a half away. As she approached the building, she could hear the robust singing with its full organ accompaniment (from as far as a block away!) So could the neighborhood. People walking by would slow down, looking in. Cars with rolled-down windows were also looking.

I had never considered this. The neighborhood HEARS us all summer as we “suffer in the heat.” They can hear that God means something to us. They hear us, and they want to see what all that noise is about. I have said it before and will continue to say it: our participation – our meaningful participation – gets noticed. And what it says gets noticed too: God really does mean something to us. Our songs are not just noise, they are expressions from deep within of what is most important to us. We should not sing just to get ourselves noticed, but we can enjoy the fact that God gets noticed in our song. And that is enticing. People want to look in. Those inside want to sing along.

Sing on!
- Cantor David Cherwien

Pastor Joseph Crippen’s Installation as Mount Olive’s Seventh Pastor
October 17, 2010 – Save the Date!

As most of you learned in last week’s ‘Twig’ Pastor Joseph Crippen has accepted the Solemn Call of Mount Olive Lutheran Church to be our next pastor. What an exciting, affirming, and busy time the next few weeks will be as we prepare for his arrival and installation. His last day at St. John’s is September 12, and he will take some time with his family before beginning his work among us on October 11. Please continue to remember him, his family, both congregations and their staffs in prayer during this time of transition and change.

The 8:00 service on October 17 will be Morning Prayer, so that Pastor Crippen’s installation during the 10:45 Eucharist may be emphasized. Glenndy Ose, Bishop Johnson’s associate for Stewardship and Rostered Ministries in the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA, will be our guest preacher for this service and will conduct the Rite of Installation. The liturgy will be
followed by a welcome luncheon/reception for Pastor Crippen, his wife Mary, and their family—both immediate and extended. Mark this important date on your calendar and join us to warmly welcome the Crippens to Mount Olive. Additional details of the day’s activities will be published as they become available.

Getting to know our new Pastor and his family (and they, us) will be an important part of our shared experience in coming months. One of the first things we hope to have after the installation is an adult forum time to begin those conversations. In the meantime, I had a
more basic question: “What do we call him?” We have had a wide range of ‘pastor naming conventions,’ at least in my time at Mount Olive. I already knew that ‘Joe’ was a ‘no-go’. Mary, his best friends, and even his own mother call him ‘Joseph’, but I’ve never been able to call
my Pastor by only his first name. So I asked; and found that he has been ‘Pastor Crippen’ to most people at St. John’s, though ‘Pastor Joseph’ has also been uttered in informal conversations with no ill effects. Formally and in print, though, he is most comfortable with Pastor Crippen. Now I know--and so do you.

And I haven’t forgotten Elayne’s question about what he is reading…so stay tuned for this and more.


And Speaking of Transition—

Pastor Hollie and I have discussed and concluded that Sunday, September 26, 2010 will be her final day as our Interim Pastor. This will allow a couple Sunday’s before Pastor Crippen begins, which she felt is important. Please continue to remember Pastor Hollie and her family in your prayers as she concludes her work among us at Mount Olive and prepares to hand the mantel of
pastoral care to Pastor Crippen.

The Adult Forum time on September 26 will be a time for us to thank Pastor Hollie for her work among us during this interim, and the 10:45 liturgy will include our Farewell and Godspeed as she looks to the future and what God has in store for her next. Please join us for both.

Members in the News

From Bench & Bar of Minneapolis:
“The Hennepin County Bar Association recognizes two individuals each year - a judge and a lawyer – for their commitment to the highest of professional standards in the legal community. This year’s recipients are the Hon. Jay Quam, judge of the 4th Judicial District Court, and Gene H. Hennig. Judge Quam is currently the presiding judge in probate/mental health court. Hennig is a member of Gray Plant Mooty’s business advisory group.”
Congratulations, Gene!

Book Discussion

For its meeting on September 11, the Book Discussion group will discuss Troubles, by J.G. Farrell, and for the October 9 meeting they will read The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen. All readers welcome!

Summer Worship Schedule to End Soon

Summer worship schedule ends on Labor Day weekend. Beginning Sunday, Sept. 12, we return to two services each Sunday, at 8 and 10:45 a.m.

On Sept. 12, Morning Prayer will be prayed at 8 a.m., with a single Eucharist at 10:45 a.m., in order that we may celebrate together the blessing of our newly renovated facilities.

Our regular worship schedule of two Sunday Eucharists resumes on Sunday, September 19.

Notes of Thanks

From the family of Harold Diersen: Thanks to the staff and musicians of Mount Olive for their
contributions to the funeral liturgy for Harold Diersen, and to the members and friends who have given gifts to the Mount Olive Foundation and to Music and Fine Arts in his memory.

From Anne & Warren Bartz: In our recently published note of thanks to those who came to help us clean out our basement, we inadvertently forgot to include Mark Spitzack, who organized the project. Thanks, Mark!

Highlights from the Vestry Meeting

The Vestry met on Monday, August 9, at 6 pm to spend a full hour on refining the church calendar through May of next year. It was confirmed that plans are underway for the
blessing of our newly-renovated parish house. A celebration will be held on September 12 during and after the 2nd liturgy. Worship and Congregational Life Committees are working together on the events of the day.

The Evangelism Committee will be looking into publishing a "Parish Events" sheet that may be
distributed to worshipers upon exiting the sanctuary after each service.

Staff members and directors gave their reports. Pastor Hollie introduced her Confirmation Handbook, which is designed using a three-year teaching cycle. Donna Neste noted that the Bible for Big Kids activity will no longer be on the calendar. Paul Sundquist discussed the Capital
Campaign and indicated that Art Halbardier is overseeing a renewed emphasis on campagin proceeds and pledges. Paul indicated that Capital Campaign giving has held up very nicely, compared to regular giving to the general fund. He also indicated that general giving continues to be disturbingly lower than last year. We are still paying our bills and have good cash flow, but we are not paying down our line of credit as quickly as we'd like to, and our deficit is widening.

The most notable directors' reports were from Properties and Stewardship this month. David Molvik shared plans for a rain garden that will be planted along the west side of the parking lot. This will be done for free by Metro Blooms in conjunction with the Powderhorn Park neighborhood, to help clean up the runoff water that empties into Powderhorn Lake. The Vestry approved this action and David will inform Metro Blooms to proceed. The kitchen renovation is going along as planned, and other than signage and furnishings, the upstairs project has been completed. David indicated that his committee will prepare and implement an updated preventative maintenance plan for building equipment. The building committee is considering
refurbishment of the Choir School room for the new Godly Play program; is performing various minor heating repairs; is making various lighting upgrades in the Nave and Narthex; and plans to upgrade the sound systems in the Nave and Undercroft. They are also considering reallocating space in the basement along with building cabinetry and remodeling other rooms on that floor.
Paul Odlaug reported that the Stewardship committee is revamping the Financial Secretary position and the counting procedures. He indicated that we are in dire need of an interim Financial Secretary to replace John Meyer, and that anyone interested in becoming a counter and/or joining the Stewardship Committee would be most welcome!

The Vestry went into Executive Session to prepare the Letter of Call and salary/benefits package for Pastor Crippen, drawing upon previous work done by the Salary Review Committee.
The next Vestry meeting will be September 13 at 7 pm. We will begin preparing next year's budget that evening and finalize it during the October meeting.

Cantorei is Open to You

We float the word "member" around the church - and sometimes it may send an incorrect message. It can sound like a club - either you're in (a member) or out. Not so with our worship, and also not so with our choir. Some basic information about Cantorei: It is really open to anyone, regardless of your age, musical ability (we can teach), your ability to attend every rehearsal or be here every Sunday. There are no auditions, we just hope for positive energy, and a love of singing. We rehearse each Wednesday from 7:00-8:45 pm. While it may seem cumbersome to commit to a weekday evening, folks who sing in Cantorei find this time to be refreshing, and actually energizing. As director, I work on not wasting time of those who come. We work hard. We learn good music and leave the so-so out of our folders. Liturgies in the choir loft are just as formal as the main floor. We do everything the main floor does except
kneel(since we have no kneelers). We can see and hear wonderfully. We can sing lustily. It doesn't feel like another room up there. Personally, I like the company.

On Sundays we generally sing in the 10:45 Eucharist, warming up in the choir room at 10:20 am.
It's also a kind of open-community within our community. We laugh a lot as we work. We get together socially. We try to be there for each other. As we work at our task, we get to know each other fairly well. I say "open" community, because often people sing with us just for a while - they come and go. Some of the singers have been singing for more years than they'd like to admit. Some are brand new to the whole idea. All are valued, appreciated, and contribute equally.

We won't ask you to be a "member" of the choir - but we do invite you to sing with us. As often as you can - or whenever you can. Try it for a short season, and see how it works for you.
We start on Wednesday, September 8, singing in the September 12 Eucharist. Just come. You can let me know you are coming, or simply show up. We'll hand you some music and join you in singing.
- Cantor David Cherwien

Mount Olive Music and Fine Arts Announces 2010-2011 Series

Brochures for the new series is in preparation, and will be mailed soon. Here is an advance notice of the events:

Sunday, October 3, 4:00 pm: Silent Movie with improvised organ accompaniment. John
Schwandt, Organist
Sunday, December 5, 4:00 pm: Advent Procession Service
Friday, January 7, 2011, 7:30 pm: Hymn Festival (Conference on Liturgy)
Sunday, February 13, 4:00 pm: Minnesota Boychoir
Sunday, March 13, 4:00 pm: Lent Procession Service
Sunday, May 15, 4:00 pm: WolfGang Chamber Music Concert
Sunday, June 5, 4:00 pm: Bach Cantata Vespers (as a part of Bach Tage 2011)

Upcoming Events – Heads Up!
  • September 4 – NO Community Meal this day, postponed to Sept. 11 (holiday weekend)
  • September 6– Labor Day; Church offices closed
  • September 12 – Blessing of newly-renovated Parish House. (Please note revised schedule for the day: Morning Prayer at 8 am, and Holy Eucharist at 10:45 am, with celebration luncheon following the liturgy.)
  • September 19, Noon – Opportunities for Service Brunch
  • September 26 – Farewell and Godspeed for Pastor Hollie (her last liturgy as Mount Olive’s interim pastor)
  • October 4, Feast of St. Francis of Assisi – Blessing of Animals at 7 pm
  • October 17 – Installation of Pastor Joseph Crippen (Please note revised schedule for this day also: Morning Prayer at 8 am, and Holy Eucharist at 10:45 am, with celebration luncheon following the liturgy.)
  • October 18, Feast of St. Luke – Holy Eucharist with Rite of Healing at Noon and 7 pm
  • October 24, 9:30 am – Semi-Annual Congregation Meeting
  • October 31, Reformation Day – Consecration Sunday

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