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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Olive Branch 11/15/2010

Accent on Worship
Sunday we celebrate the festival of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the Church Year. We will proclaim to all the world that Christ is our Sovereign, that we are living in the reign and rule of the Living One who has conquered death and gives life to us and to the world.

It’s kind of a funny thing to be saying in a democratic republic. With the help of the wisdom and restraint of George Washington, the founders decided we’d had enough of kings over here, and we’d have a president instead. We do not have it in our cultural personality to bend to someone’s rule. The American way is one of independence and self-rule. So what are we doing proclaiming that we have a King, divine or otherwise? Is it merely lip service, or do we truly believe something different about how we live our lives in this world?

The festival of Christ the King is a relatively new one for the Western Church. In fact, the celebration of this festival is not yet one hundred years old, having begun in 1925. But think about what was happening then: Hitler was on the rise, Mussolini was already on the throne. The Great Depression was still in the future, but tensions of economic and national matters were already bubbling up, and would lead to devastating times for the world. Into this world environment, Pope Pius XI instituted this festival, which has been adopted and shared by most mainline Western Christian bodies. In a secular and nationalistic age, many Christians take this time to recognize a higher authority for our lives and discipleship.

Perhaps what we want to consider is what it means on a daily basis for us to have Christ as our King. We proclaim that we are forgiven and given life in the death and resurrection of Jesus, and that his rule and reign have begun with his defeat of death. What will it mean for us to live in that rule and reign, to be blessed as we serve our King and not ourselves?

- Joseph

Sunday’s Adult Forum, November 21
9:30 am in the Chapel Lounge
“Making a Good Death,” part one of a two-part series, led by Rob Ruff.

Opportunities for Service Luncheon to be Held This Sunday, November 21
All are invited to stay after the second liturgy this Sunday, Nov. 21, for a luncheon celebrating the ministries we do here at Mount Olive and inviting people to indicate how they will serve in the next year.

The menu is lasagna, both with meat and vegetarian, and all the accompaniments, and brochures titled “Opportunities for Service” will be distributed so we can better connect people and their gifts with the particular and varied ministries of the congregation.

Directors of all the committees will be present to answer questions about particular ministry opportunities. An announcement will also be made as to the current amount pledged for 2011. Many pledges were received Sunday, Nov. 14. If you have not had an opportunity to complete and return your “Estimate of Giving” card for 2011, you are encouraged to do so. Cards are available in the church office and in the narthex on Sunday morning.

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

Advent Procession Service
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

–Brian Jacobs

Affordable Housing Trust Fund
Over ten years ago Mount Olive Neighborhood Action Committee (MONAC) helped MICAH, a faith-based advocacy organization, pass the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) in the Minneapolis City Council, currently funded at $10 million. There is a proposal to cut these funds to $8.2 million. It makes sense to keep it fully funded not only because of the great need for it, but because of the revenue it leverages and generates.

MONAC is urging members of the congregation who live in Minneapolis to support the Affordable Housing Trust Fund at full funding by contacting your City Council representative and urging him/her to vote for fully funding the AHTF. The following are some talking points:
  • it would generate over 1,100 jobs
  • it would create or preserve approximately 500 units of affordable rental housing.
  • it would enable developers to leverage almost $60 million in additional funds from both the federal government and private investment (foundations and investors)
  • it would put underutilized properties back on the tax rolls and increase the tax base.

2011 Conference on Liturgy
Mount Olive’s ninth annual Conference on Liturgy will be held on Saturday, January 8, 2011. The theme for this year’s Conference is, “Holy Death: The Parish and its Liturgy at the Time of Death.” Keynote speaker for the conference will be The Rev. Dr. Thomas Long.

Conference brochures will be available at the church beginning later this week. Cost for Mount Olive members to attend is $35/person. Please share this brochure widely with all of your friends who may be interested.

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 ELCA, 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.

Highlights from the Vestry Meeting
The Vestry met on Monday, November 8. Several large items were discussed, including reviewing the Sexton job description. It was again discussed and decided that the scope of the job would require a full time person caring for our physical plant. David Molvik indicated that the position will be posted as of November 9.

Brian Jacobs reported on the Mount Olive Wish List, stating that a sofa, reception desk, and a Godly Play set have been the first donations to come in. After the meeting, Brian Jacobs and Ann Sorenson signed up to donate two of twenty stacking, upholstered meeting chairs that will be used in the East Assembly Room. The Vestry encouraged that the Wish List be promoted on a weekly basis until it becomes second nature for members to think of it as a permanent way to donate items wished for and approved by committee members.

It was noted that all staff reviews have been completed for the year. Staff and director reports were offered, the most notable being the following. Carla Manuel reported that Mount Olive Women shopped for and purchased a new freezer and microwave, along with generous support from Eric Zander. She also noted the Installation Dinner was well-received and well-attended. Diana Hellerman stated that Godly Play is becoming excitedly anticipated by participants each week, and that James Berka is working nicely now with the older youth in a separate program.

Andrew Anderson indicated that new members will be received on Advent I, most notably Pastor Crippen and his family. Paul Schadewald noted that Mike Edwins is joining the Global Missions Committee. He also mentioned that visitors from Bethania Mission in India will be at Mount Olive the weekend of the 14th. Carol Austermann mentioned that a Southern meal will be served on January 23, 2011 as a fund raiser, and that the Store to Door program is up and running, providing food delivery to homebound persons. She also said the blood pressure clinics are scheduled. Paul Odlaug mentioned that Consecration Sunday, when we receive annual pledges, will be Nov. 14, followed by a celebration meal on the 21st to promote Opportunities for Service. Irene Campbell wanted everyone to know that the youth flower sale is underway, and Ann Sorenson suggested the sale possibly could be tied into the National Youth Gathering trip to New Orleans. Pastor Crippen brought a request to the Vestry from an MCAD student to use the sanctuary for a portion of a student film on questioning faith. All Vestry members discussed the ramifications and decided it would be a most welcoming gesture to allow the small film to be shot here.

It was decided, upon suggestion of the Neighborhood Ministries Committee, that all offerings received at the Thanksgiving Day service will go directly to the local food shelf. The next Vestry meeting will be December 13th. Some items to be discussed in coming sessions will be committee goals and objectives, membership roster review, and visioning process discussions.

Sexton Position Open
The Properties Committee is currently receiving applications and resumes for the position of Sexton. This is a full-time position with benefits. A complete position description is available on the homepage of the church’s website, Applicants are asked to submit a resume of previous experience with their contact information to the church office at, or via snail mail to Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 3045 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN, 55407. Once a number of resumes are received, the committee will review them all and contact those persons they wish to interview for the position.

Back to India With Love
Thanks to the efforts and generosity of many, our Bethania Kids ambassadors Godfrey and Paramadass were given a warm Mount Olive welcome this past Sunday, most especially by those who prepared and served the biryani luncheon; namely, Carol Peterson, Julie Manuel, Paul Schadewald,* Lisa Ruff,* Mark Pipkorn,* David Dobmeyer,* Jessinia Ruff, Carla Manuel, Christina Nissen, Eunice Nissen, Evie Essenwein, Kate Sterner, and Andrew Andersen (*Missions Committee).

The weekend's events were coordinated by Gene Hennig and Mark Spitzack, along with the Missions Committee. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to Miriam McCreary, friend of the congregation, who prepared and donated all of the biryani. Dr. McCreary grew up in India and served as a medical missionary there in the 1960s. You may send a note of thanks to her at 2467 Bridgeview Ct., Mendota Heights, MN, 55120. Pray for Godfrey and Paramadass as they travel on to Missouri, Arizona, Colorado, California and back to India, where they serve respectively as an administrator and physical therapist/community worker for Bethania Kids.

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