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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Monday, November 8, 2010

Accent on Worship
It has been warmer than normal the past couple days, but the reality is sinking in – we’re in autumn. Trees are increasingly bare, mornings are cold, grass isn’t growing anymore. What’s powerful in our worship is that as the growing season comes to an end in northern climates, so too our Church Year comes to an end. Our readings from Scripture, our hymns, the whole liturgy, all have a tone of not only the end of a season, but the end of all time. Apocalyptic words of Jesus, prophets speaking of the day of the LORD to come, it is impossible to miss the sense that we live in a finite world and we are finite people.

There is wisdom in the calendar and lectionary of the Church, at least for those of us who live with these seasons of weather changes, to tie this theme, this conversation, to concurrent events in our environment. Somehow at this time of year we are open to considering (in a way we do not in the spring, for example) that this will not all last. Yet we do not consider this reality apart from the reality of the risen Jesus who has defeated death and in whom all endings become beginnings. We remind ourselves of our mortality, and the world’s mortality, even while we stand in hope of the new creation God is promising. We stand as Easter people, even amongst dead-looking trees and brown grass and visible breath and sometimes frightening words of Scripture, in hope of the life of God which is always working in and through us and this world. From this truth, we move into our season of hope, Advent, even as the darkness deepens to its fullest. (But that must wait for a few weeks!)

A few more words on the Eucharistic Prayer: I want to follow up briefly on what I wrote about in The Olive Branch on Oct. 18 regarding the Eucharistic Prayer. As I said then, these are deeply important ideas for all of us, and I am committed to making this a conversation, not a unilateral decision of any kind. So the Worship Committee and Cantor Cherwien and I have already talked more of this, and will continue to do so. Part of this conversation was also me sharing with you the theology of the Eucharist that has shaped me for so long, and leading you at the table in a way consistent with that theology. But it is also important for me to understand how Mount Olive has been accustomed to celebrate the Eucharist, and that’s not something I can do abstractly. We are all incarnational people, and we understand each other far better when we experience things instead of merely talking about them. So I want you to know that the next important part of this conversation for me as your pastor is that I experience what it means to face the altar at this point in the liturgy, so that I can also better understand this. So for a time I have celebrated facing the people, and I’m grateful that has been well received by some. Now for a time I will celebrate facing the altar as well. This is “meet and right” as we like to say, not a random way of “trying something out.” The gift of our Lord in this meal is a rich gift, and there are so many ways it affects us and touches our lives, and as I said earlier, the two views of table and altar are both important and long-standing in our faith. You have honored me by supporting me as I led you facing the congregation; I need to honor you and the tradition and architecture here and experience the richness of what you have all experienced here as well. We will keep talking to each other, and more importantly, worshipping with each other, as we are ultimately centered not on anything other than the grace of God we receive in this meal.

- Joseph

Sunday’s Adult Forum, November 14: 9:30 a.m. in the Chapel Lounge
Representatives from Bethania will talk about the mission and the people it serves (see article elsewhere in this issue of The Olive Branch).

Consecration Sunday This Weekend!
Consecration Sunday, the day members of Mount Olive pledge their intentions for giving in 2011, will be this Sunday, Nov. 14. At worship that day members of Mount Olive will be invited to offer pledge cards declaring their intent for giving to the ministry God has called us to do together. (These pledge cards and current third quarter contribution statements were mailed to each household a couple of weeks ago.) Then, on Christ the King Sunday, Nov. 21, we will focus on opportunities for service in the ministries of Mount Olive, and host a celebratory meal following the second liturgy.

As we end the Church Year, we will commit ourselves in these two weeks to the work that God has placed before us here, and all members are invited to participate in these events.

From India With Love
Did you know that your financial offerings support poor, orphaned and disabled children in South India? For over 20 years, a portion of Mount Olive’s mission budget has been dedicated to Bethania Kids. Bethania’s Board Members and Advisory Board members personally pay for all administrative costs, including the ministry’s website, postage, travel, video production, public relations materials, newsletters, and salaries, so Mount Olive’s dollars directly provide basic care, immunizations, education, and housing.

On Sunday, November 14, two of our partners in service will be visiting Mount Olive to meet and celebrate with us and to give a report about their work. It is also Consecration Sunday that day. Please do the following: 1) pray that God will bless Godfrey, Paramadass and all that they do together with us for the sake of the Gospel and for the welfare of children, 2) pledge your intentions for financial giving to Mount Olive in 2011, 3) come to the adult forum at 9:30 a.m. to hear about the children whom your giving supports, and 4) stay for a “Biryani and Bethania” Indian meal after the second liturgy, celebrating India and the gifts these men bring to this project.

Gene Hennig, a founding member of Bethania, Mark Spitzack, who visited Bethania Kids projects in 2009, and Paul Schadewald and the Missions Committee are helping to coordinate these events. RSVPs for the meal are welcomed but not required. A freewill offering will help to cover the cost of the food. “Rise and take your treasure, yours in fullest measure. Sing, for love has found you; joy is all around you. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”
(from a popular Indian hymn)

Sunday Readings
November 14, 2010 – Ordinary Time: Sunday 33
Malachi 4:1-2a + Psalm 98
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 + Luke 21:5-19

November 21, 2010 – Christ the King
Jeremiah 23:1-6 + Psalm 46
Colossians 1:11-20+ Luke 23:33-43

Thanksgiving Eucharist
Thursday, November 25
10:00 a.m.
Bring non-perishable food items to help re-stock local food shelves. Monetary donations are especially welcome (for every $1 donated, food shelf personnel are able to buy $9 worth of food!)

Volunteer Help Needed!
Donna Neste is currently in need of a volunteer or two to help transport groceries to the local food shelf. Thanks to generous worshippers our grocery shelves are full, and with the annual collection of non-perishable food items at the Thanksgiving Eucharist coming up there is simply no space to store more groceries!

If you are a strong, able-bodied person with a truck, van, or SUV and a willing heart, please call Donna at church (612.827.5919). This is a task she cannot do on her own.

Book Discussion Group
For their meeting this Saturday, November 13, the Book Discussion Group will read, The Red and the Black, by Stendhal, and for December 11, Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh. This group meets on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 am in the Chapel Lounge. All readers are welcome!

Christmas Plant Sale
The annual Youth Christmas Plant sale is on now. Order forms are available at church. Please pick up a form, place your order, and leave the completed forms in the box provided or in the Youth mailbox in the church office. The pick up date for Christmas plants is Sunday, December 5.

You’re Invited!
All are invited to attend the November Every Church a Peace Church meeting on Monday, November 8. The meeting begins with a potluck supper at 6:30 p.m., followed by a program beginning at 7:00. This month’s program is “Peacemaker’s Predicament: Opposing War while Affirming Warriors,” presented by Bishop Lowell Erdahl, Bishop Emeritus of the St. Paul Synod, ELCA.

The meeting will be held at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, 1600 W. County Road B, Roseville, MN (south of Hwy. #36 and west of Snelling Ave).

Diabetes Prayer Day
Diabetes Prayer Day is Sunday, November 14. Sponsored by the Diabetes Prayer Day organization, all are invited to keep those suffering with diabetes in prayer, and to pray for its cure. More information on the organization and this day can be found at

Foundation Information
A copy of the Mount Olive Foundation’s latest tax return is now on file in the church office. If you would like to see it, please call the church office to make arrangements.

Thanks to all who participated in tasting the new Fair Trade/Equal Exchange coffee varieties yesterday! Of the votes cast, the Sisters Blend was the favorite flavor.
Congratulations to Susan Cherwien and Carla Manuel for winning prizes in the drawing. Watch for the Fair Trade craft sale during Advent.

Neighborhood Ministries Fall Newsletter
The Neighborhood Ministries fall newsletter is out, and will be distributed by the greeters following each of the liturgies on Christ the King Sunday, November 21.

If you cannot be present that Sunday and would like a newsletter, they will be available to pick up at the church office window.

The Lutheran Magazine Subscription Renewal Request
Each month, the households of Mount Olive Lutheran Church receive The Lutheran magazine as part of our congregational life budget. As an official publication of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Lutheran is an important communication tool. It enables us, as individuals and a congregation, to be aware of events, celebrations, and needs of the Church beyond Mount Olive and the greater Twin Cities metro. At the same time, it was apparent from discussion at the October Congregation Meeting that people get their news of the ELCA and the church-at-large from many sources and that not everyone necessarily wishes to receive a copy.

In an effort to be the best stewards of the gifts of God’s people, a motion was made, seconded and passed to ask members and friends of Mount Olive who wish to continue receiving The Lutheran magazine to contact the church office. We are very happy to continue to provide this excellent publication to those who enjoy and benefit from it. Similarly, if we can redirect funds for subscriptions that would go unread to other ministry needs, that also is a good thing.

If you wish to continue receiving The Lutheran magazine, please call (612) 827-5919 or email ( and let Cha know by December 1, 2010.

The Wish List
The Mount Olive Wish List is up and running and we’ve had a few donations come in. Naomi Peterson originally wanted to remain anonymous, but I believe she is too generous and one of those pillars of Mount Olive that should not go unrecognized. Her donation of a new reception desk for the West Social Hall is exactly the catalyst we need to get the ball rolling. Naomi also magnanimously donated the Advent Godly Play set for the new Sunday School program. Naomi’s son, Steven, has donated one of two new leather sofas that are part of the interior design plan for our social spaces! We will begin to see interior design changes soon, thanks to these wonderful donations.

Please consider donating even just a single item on the Wish List. Banner stands, Godly Play items, and furnishings are on the list. The sign up sheet is in the office next to the altar flower donation board. Please indicate which item you wish to donate and put your name and contact number beside the item you are donating, and you will be contacted about total cost and how to pay. Your donation will be reflected on your giving statement for tax purposes.

Advent Procession - Service of Lessons and Carols
Sunday, November 28, 2010 - 4:00 p.m.
Join us for the annual Advent Procession Service, a liturgy of lessons and carols for Advent, sponsored by Mount Olive Music & Fine Arts.

Leading the music will be the Mount Olive Cantorei and Cantor David Cherwien. A reception will follow in the chapel lounge. All are warmly invited.

Thanksgiving Offerings
The offering received at the Eucharist on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, will be given to Sabbathani Community Center and Community Emergency Services.

New Members to Be Received November 28
Interested in becoming a member of Mount Olive? New members will be received on Sunday, Nov. 28, the First Sunday of Advent. Please talk to Pastor Crippen if you would like to consider joining at this time, or if you simply would like to talk about membership for a future time.

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