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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Olive Branch, September 20, 2010

Accent on Worship

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
When I started here a little over a year ago, someone asked me how I could take on a ministry that I know I will have to say good bye in a short time. I replied that I focus on the task ahead and do not think about saying good-bye. Now, however, my task is to say good-bye. This is a happy-sad time for me. I am happy about the call of Pastor Crippen to serve as your pastor and I am excited for the future of Mount Olive. Yet, I am sad to leave a people I have served and held in my heart for the past fourteen months. It has been a challenging year. We have faced expected and unexpected challenges and changes, but we have faced them together seeking God’s presence and guidance. I am honored to have served as your pastor for this short time in Mount Olive’s history. I have also been honored to work together with you in service to Christ’s church.
I feel a sense of completion, even though there is more work to be done at Mount Olive, but I have done what God has called me here to do. Now it is time for Pastor Crippen to do what God has called him to do in this place. The work for the kingdom of God is never over, we keep plugging along wherever God has called us to be. The message of God’s love and grace through Jesus Christ needs to be shared with the world, especially in these days where all our supports are being washed away. The power of the Holy Spirit uses workers like you and me to keep the work and ministry of Jesus Christ alive. Our calling is to serve Jesus Christ wherever we are, in whatever we do, and in whatever we say.
I do not know what God has in store for me next. I plan to take some time off to work on some writing projects before I take another intentional interim assignment. As many of you know I feel called to teach and continue to look for a seminary teaching position, however I am open to serve Jesus Christ in any way that I am needed (which, by the way, is what brought me to Mount Olive). Whatever is next for me, I know that I will be serving Christ's church and all of God's people, seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit.
In my time here at Mount Olive, I have often found myself quoting Proverbs 27:17. The whole of Proverbs 27 emphasizes two things: friendship and paradoxical twists in human relationships. Verse 17 goes like this, “Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another.” Genuine friendship, when you truly care about one another, has a sharpening effect because friends are not afraid to exercise tough love. We have sharpened one another and, I believe, we are both the better for it.
May the Spirit of the living God continue to sharpen your faith and your lives so that your bear the good news of Jesus Christ wherever you are, in whatever you do, and whatever you say.

In service to Christ’s church,
Hollie Holt-Woehl

Sunday Readings

September 26, 2010 – Ordinary Time: Sunday 26
Amos 6:1a, 4-7 + Psalm 146
1 Timothy 6:6-19+ Luke 16:19-31

October 3, 2010 – Ordinary Time: Sunday 27
Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4 + Psalm 37:1-9
2 Timothy 1:1-14 + Luke 17:5-10

Farewell and Godspeed

This Sunday, September 26, will be Pastor Hollie’s last day as Mount Olive’s Interim Pastor. 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.
A farewell brunch will be served following the second liturgy this Sunday 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.

The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
Monday, October 4, 2010
Blessing of Animals – 7:00 pm

Bring your friends (2-legged, 4-legged, and no-legged!) for this annual service of blessing of pets, held in the Nave.

Financial Update

As of August 31, 2010, general giving year to date totals $299,770.00. This giving total is $16,711 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 $383,866.00. Comparing actual income as of August 31 to budgeted income places us $84,000 behind - ( I would like to note that the church’s operating expenses continue to be lower, which has lessened the impact of budgeted income being behind the planned amount).
- Paul Sundquist, Treasurer

Upcoming Events – Heads Up!

September 26 – Farewell and Godspeed for Interim Pastor Hollie Holt-Woehl. All are invited to gather for lunch following the second liturgy.
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: The celebratory Eucharist will be at 10:45 a.m. There will also be Morning Prayer at 8:00 a.m., 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

Sunday’s Adult Forum

September 26: A conversation with Interim Pastor Hollie Holt-Woehl about our journey together over the past fourteen months.

Volunteer Tutors Desperately Needed for Way to Goals Tutoring

Last school season there were six volunteer tutors for Way to Goals Tutoring. After Christmas we had only nine students (down from 13) who came regularly. This year the program is losing two of six tutors, which leaves only four tutors. Even with six tutors, some had to take more than one student, and when we begin in October we always have more kids than we really should take. There are always a few students who should be in a one-to-one tutoring situation, but sometimes that can't happen because there are not enough volunteers.
Additional tutors are desperately needed! If YOU can find it in your heart to take on the rewarding volunteer task of helping a child with homework (for an hour each Tuesday evening at 7 pm, October-May), please call Donna Neste at church and she will give you all the details and answer any questions about the program that you may have.

Highlights from the September Vestry Meeting

The Vestry met on September 13 for a rather lengthy three hours. Three guests were hosted.
1) Keith Bartz brought a policy proposal from the Mount Olive Foundation that more clearly defines how undesignated bequests will be handled. The Vestry tweaked the proposal slightly and requested that memorial gifts be included in the document. Keith will revisit the Vestry's requests with the Foundation Board soon.
2) Lora Dundek presented a Space Use/Allocation and Furnishing Guideline document for our perusal, outlining ways to handle furnishings, space usage, and completion of the building project. The Vestry and Building committee are well aware that, although the building project is complete, the overall space use and aesthetics are yet to be realized. This guideline addresses this and assures that future acquisitions will be done in a thoughtful, economical and reasonable manner.
3) Gary Flatgard presented a report on the recent financial distress of the Meals on Wheels program in South Minneapolis. Gary outlined all of the work he's done on the board with the group in reorganizing the rules and regulations and governing structure. The Vestry decided to have Mount Olive remain in the Meals on Wheels program through December 31st to allow them to restructure the organization and correct the things that created the current crisis. At that point, we will revisit continued participation and helping the program dig out of debt.
After the guests left, we then proceeded with our agenda. Adam updated us on the resumption of the Mutual Ministry Committee which is part of the Mount Olive Bylaws. An organization committee will be up and running this month to establish some guidelines and objectives. There was much discussion on the pastoral transition. Plans are in the works for a farewell brunch for Pastor Hollie on September 26, and a welcome luncheon for Pastor Crippen on October 17. Pastor Hollie, David, and Donna all submitted their written reports. Directors gave their specific reports. Most notably, Diana Hellerman reported that the first week of Godly Play went well. Discussion ensued about the inclusion of teen members in the Godly Play program, and we all agreed that the transition into Godly Play will continue, as will dialog regarding teen involvement. It was also mentioned that the confirmation program has transitioned well and is continuing to evolve. All education programs are ongoing and in a state of adjustment and flux as we transition into a new era at Mount Olive. Paul Schadewald continues to work with Global Missions and his committee is cutting some work due to budget constraints, and deciding which projects are most valuable. David Molvik updated us on Properties issues, including rekeying the entire building, which will allow new and safer locks for exiting doorways from the church proper. It was noted that the very first items for the new congregation "Wish List" have been submitted by the Worship Committee. We still hope to publish such a wish list in October so that members who so desire may make donations to the glory of God by enhancing our work and life at Mount Olive. It was noted that annual staff reviews will be done by next month. The idea of a new Earth Care Committee was introduced, but tabled at this meeting. It will have to be decided under which committee this interest group will fall. It was hoped that a review of the current membership rolls could be discussed during this meeting, along with preliminary budgeting for 2011. However, both were tabled and a special meeting was scheduled for September 20th at 6 pm, so that the annual budget can be presented in a timely manner.
-Brian E. Jacobs, Vestry Vice President

Pastoral Care in the Post-Interim Interim

During the next couple of weeks before Pastor Crippen begins his ministry among us on October 11, please know that pastoral care is available to all who need it. If you are in need of a pastor, please call Rev. Art Halbardier at 763-639-7701, or Rev. Rob Ruff at 651-983-9622.

Book Discussion Group

For their meeting on October 9 the Book Discussion group will read, The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen. And for their meeting on November 13, they will read, The Red and the Black, by Stendhal.
The Book Discussion Group meets on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 am in the Chapel Lounge. All readers are welcome!

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