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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Olive Branch: December 20, 2010

Accent on Worship

During the busy holiday season, we find ourselves preparing in many ways. We are preparing our homes for family and friends. We prepare our tables for the holiday feasts. We prepare the gifts to give to the people whom are special in our lives.
I want to share a preparation that happens each week at Mount Olive. It is my own quiet time of reflection and it is a time for beautifying. It beautifies the church, which we all can appreciate, but it also personally adds beauty to my time of worship. As a member of the altar guild, I set up the altar before the first service. It is a task that I may do one or more times a month. It is not a burden, but a time that enriches my experience at Mount Olive in so many ways.
This is a time where it is generally dark and quiet when I arrive. In the winter, one can be assured it will be dark, quiet and also chilly. As I get to my tasks, the church comes to life a little bit at a time. It starts with a skeleton key that I use to open the sacristy and safe. As I am back doing my tasks, footsteps are heard and I know that others are here to join me. Lights come on little by little. I turn some on to find my way, and then when others arrive, more life is turned on. I feel that I am privileged to a private concert as hymn segments begin and then end abruptly. I know that David is there to practice the day’s music. He is boisterous and bold in these early morning hours. At times, a beautiful voice is heard or an instrument is tuning up – I then know that a solo or two will be in the hours to come. It is a time where the pastor’s laugh is heard as he prepares for the morning, and the worship assistants are scurrying around to be sure the finishing touches are in place. Kneelers come down with a muffled thud. People are coming in for quiet moments of prayer and thoughtfulness. I respect their quiet time and try to tiptoe about behind the scenes. When my duties are done and I come to sit with my family, the church is full of life and light and the pews are beginning to fill with many coming to refresh themselves as I have.
This quiet time in the morning gives me a comfort in what I do. It is in the routine and the orderliness, the knowledge that I am needed. And, it is the fact that I am needed to do the same preparations each week. I enjoy the time that I can give to serve Mount Olive in a quiet way and in a consistent way that allows my family in Christ to appreciate the beauty of the season, but also the beauty of our church.
- Lynn Ruff

Christmas Day Carry-In Breakfast

We will gather in the East Assembly Room on Christmas Day at 9 a.m., just before our Christmas Day liturgy, for a light and cheerful breakfast. By the way, bring some breakfast! Coffee will be provided

Advent Evening Prayer

One more week: this Wednesday,
December 22, 7:00 p.m.

Christmas Worship Schedule

Friday, December 24: Christmas Eve
9:30 pm – Choral Prelude
10:00 pm – Festival Eucharist

Saturday, December 25: Christmas Day
10:00 am – Festival Eucharist

Prayer Office of Compline to be Offered at Mount Olive January 16 - April 17

The Minnesota Compline Choir and Mount Olive will partner to offer the liturgy of Compline on Sunday evenings at 8:30 pm during the seasons of Epiphany and Lent of 2011. The first service will be Sunday evening January 16 (The Second Sunday after Epiphany) and the last one will be Sunday, April 17 (Passion Sunday).
The Minnesota Compline Choir formed under the direction of Charles A. Parsons at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota where it kept the office of Compline from 1992 to 2005. The Choir had been resident at Hamline United Methodist Church in St. Paul, Minnesota from October 2005 through January 2010 and is now in search for a new permanent residence.
Mr. Parsons retired from the Choir at the end of the 2008-2009 Season. James Biery directed the choir during the 2009-2010 Season and is succeeded by Erick Lichte.
The choir is comprised of 18 male voices, selected by audition from a wide variety of congregations and denominations. They meet weekly to prepare for each service, and on other occasions for performances at special holiday services.
In worship, the choir assists with the liturgy, hymns and psalms, as well as offering anthems. Currently the Choir can be found at Assumption Catholic Church in St. Paul, Minnesota Sunday evenings at 8:30 pm through December 19, 2010. All are welcome!

The Olive Branch Publication Schedule

The Olive Branch is not published during the week between Christmas and New Year. The next issue is scheduled to be published the week of January 3, 2011.
Please note the church offices are closed on Monday, December 27.

Highlights from the Vestry Meeting

The Vestry's first order of business at their December meeting was a piece of new business presented by Al Bostelmann. Al distributed a draft of a resolution crafted by the Joint Peace with Justice Committee of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Area Synods referencing the church's stance on military recruitment and killing. A lively discussion followed and it is hoped that the Vestry study and ponder the resolution in order to offer guidance to Al regarding the resolution. Al hopes to have it crafted for use in the upcoming synod assembly.
David Molvik reported that Pastor Crippen, Andrew Andersen and he had concluded initial interviews with five candidates for the Sexton position. He reported that all five are acceptable candidates and that they will be making their decision in the next few days after background checks are completed. The position will be full time and the Sexton will be available and working on Sunday mornings, as was the case previously.
Pastor Crippen indicated that he'd like us to be prepared to discuss our visioning process during the January Vestry meeting. He encouraged us to have input available at that time. Pastor Crippen, Warren Peterson, and Al Bipes are working on expanding the Communion Ministers program, hoping to get 20-24 interested individuals trained and active soon to bring communion to all who desire it.
Donna Neste's report was reiterated by Carol Austermann, and she emphasized that Donna is in critical need of tutors for the Way to Goals tutoring program. Carla reported that there will be a carry-in Christmas breakfast on Christmas morning. She also reported that the new freezer is in the kitchen and her committee is looking into purchasing open shelving.
Paul Schadewald reported that the Bethania visit was a huge success. He also noted that there is one more week of Lutheran Fair Trade sales. There will be a "Taste of Chile" event in February. Eunice Hafemeister reported that Our Savior's is requesting donations of warm clothing and other items and she hopes that we'll be able to receive some donations this coming Sunday. Both Our Saviors and Store to Door will be speaking at their committee meetings and are asking for more Mount Olive involvement. Carol Austermann reported that Neighborhood Ministries will be having a "Southern Home Cooking" fundraising event on the 23rd of January. The association of Mount Olive with Meals on Wheels and Gary Flatgard's representation on their board was discussed. Further assessment will be made by the Vestry on the January 10th meeting.
Paul Odlaug reported that the Opportunities for Service brunch was attended sparsely, but that pledges for 2011 seem to be up slightly from last year. Approximately $328,000 was pledged, which is 72% of the 2011 budget. Ninety members pledged. Those who did not pledge will be contacted via letter.
Paul Sundquist said he is in the process of cleaning up all accounts by year end. Giving is still down, but donations to the Capital Campaign continue to come in on schedule. He is speaking with Thrivent about renewing our line of credit loan.
Pastor Crippen introduced a conversation about the internship program, including asking the Vestry for their input on past experience with the Vicar. He also asked the Vestry to affirm the intent of Mount Olive to have a vicar for next year. Andrew Andersen moved that we formally apply with Vicar program with Luther Seminary to host a new Vicar from September 2011-August 2012. Paul Odlaug seconded. The motion passed unanimously. The deadline for application is January 15. It was noted that there is a new cost to this program. We will cover approximately $2700 of medical insurance premiums. The increase in costs will be addressed at our April congregational meeting.
Nominating and Audit Committees will need to be set up and approved at the January meeting.
- Submitted by Brian E. Jacobs, Vice President

Book Discussion Upcoming Reads
For its meeting on January 15 the Book Discussion group will discuss Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler, and for the February 12 meeting they will read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford.

Walking Humbly
All are invited to attend the 6th annual RIC (Reconciling in Christ) Festival Worship, “WALKING HUMBLY – The Journey Together.”
The service will take place on Saturday, January 29, at 5:00 p.m. at Lutheran Church of Christ the Redeemer
(5440 Penn Ave. South, Minneapolis) Brenda Froisland from Edina Community Lutheran Church will preach at this service and a light supper & rich fellowship be held afterwards.

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