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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Olive Branch, 4/19/11

Accent on Worship

The Resurrection of Our Lord

“Do not hold on to me,” Jesus said to Mary Magdalene in the garden after his Resurrection. Those words just popped out at me when I read John’s Gospel. There is more than one level to that request. Jesus knew he would shortly be returning to his Father. He had forty days to prepare his closest followers. He had to forgive and heal those who abandoned and denied him. He had to instruct them on what his life, death and resurrection meant to the world, and he had to say good-bye, knowing that soon his Spirit would return to them and the world would never be the same.

The Resurrection is God’s “yes” to Jesus and the world. It is the Father’s vindication of Jesus, all that he is and all that he taught. It is our salvation, but it is much more than that. The Resurrection is cause to embrace our own life, death and resurrection, because it has shown us that through the love of God death has been defeated. Like Mary, we must not linger in the garden holding on to Jesus, but go forth into the world armed with his wisdom, guided by the Spirit and the power of the Resurrection. To draw on the power of the Resurrection is to give us the courage to live as Jesus lived, compassionate and healing those hurting and in pain, helping those defeated by life, reassuring the burdened of God’s love and forgiveness, challenging the domination systems that twist the law to benefit only those who hold the power and wealth. To draw on the power of Jesus’ Resurrection is to walk humbly with our God giving our life to God, as Jesus did, in prayer and service.

Jesus did not hold on to his Godhood but went forth into the world and said “yes” to the Father the whole time he was with us. Like Mary, we must not hold on to Jesus in the garden, but rather embrace our life in Jesus and bring it to the world in a resounding, “yes!” For this is the power of the Resurrection in us and through us. It is God’s “yes” to us and the world.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

- Donna Pususta Neste

Sunday Readings

April 24, 2011 – Resurrection of Our Lord
Acts 10:34-43 + Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Colossians 3:1-4 + Matthew 28:1-10

May 1, 2011 – Second Sunday of Easter
Acts 2:14a, 22-23 + Psalm 16
I Peter 1:3-9 + John 20:19-31

Carry-In Easter Brunch This Sunday, Easter Day
9:00 am in the Undercroft
Sponsored by the Mount Olive Youth
Bring a favorite brunch dish to share!

Join Us In the May Day Parade

Hey everyone, it's time to put on your walking shoes and march with Mount Olive members and friends in the May Day Parade, on Sunday May 1! It has been our tradition to let folks know that we are in the neighborhood by marching behind the Mount Olive banner. Meet after the second liturgy at Cedar Park on 18th Ave. and 25th Street. MONAC members will be there to greet you with fun stuff to wave. We will walk from there down Bloomington Ave. to Powderhorn Park.

If you have never done this and want to participate this year, you are in for a treat. It is energizing and fun to have thousands of people wave back at you and wish you a happy May Day! It might be a good idea to carpool or have someone drop you off at the park, because parking is limited there.

Book Discussion Group

For its meeting on May 14, the Book Discussion Group will red the essay collection Small Wonder, by Barbara Kingsolver. For the June 11 meeting, Nine Stories, by J. D. Salinger.

Wish List Update

There has been little activity on the Mount Olive Wish List in recent weeks. Remember to either view it here online in the Olive Branch, or in the church office next to the Altar Flower and Coffee Hour sign-up sheets. Currently, there are several furniture items, and several Godly Play items listed which need to be donated. Please do consider donating one of these items to enhance our newly renovated spaces, or to help the Sunday Church School program to advance their available curriculum. All you need to do is sign your name and telephone number, and you will be contacted regarding total pricing, as delivery fees may apply. You may write your donation checks to Mount Olive and insert them in an envelope with an indication on it regarding what you're donating.

Currently, we are most in need of at least 17 of those comfortable upholstered stack chairs that you see in the East Assembly Room. We would like to move the folding chairs back to the Undercroft. As the new library space will be finished by early June, we'd also like to get a new library table in that space. We are also hoping to get combination storage/shelf units to be used in each of the new restroom vestibules.

On a separate note, members of the Vestry, Building Committee and ad hoc decorating committee met to discuss what items are needed to complete the renovation of the new spaces. It seems that the reception desk that was generously donated is not being used as planned in the West Reception Area. I will be working on moving some furnishings and placing the new coffee tables sometime this week. We will toy with different placement of the reception desk to see what works best. This desk is designed to be used by those who are selling or soliciting donations for tickets, plants, gifts, MFA events, etc. A stool will be donated soon by President Adam Krueger to be used by the person sitting behind the desk doing the selling. Having the desk placed prominently, visibly and permanently in the area will render it more usable. There will be no need to set up card tables anymore to perform the above sales and solicitations. It was also agreed that certain of the new and refurbished chairs will be switched around for better aesthetics. You'll notice that several items have been reupholstered, thanks to talented Carol Austermann, however, we are still in need of a few more donations before calling the project complete. Please consider perusing the Wish List again and help us finish up this project!!

Remember, any group can place items on the Wish List for anything that would fall over and above their annual budget. Please contact me to do so!

Brian Jacobs--Wish List Coordinator/Vice President of Vestry

Highlights from the April Vestry Meeting

The Vestry met on April 11, 2011. First order of business was to continue discussion of the Visioning Process. Pastor Crippen asked for a few more volunteers from the Vestry who would work with him to help prepare a process for the Vestry to consider, and then to bring to the congregation. This is directly related to the desire of the congregation set forth during the call process to begin to discern together what God’s vision is for the future of Mount Olive.

Kathy Thurston was approved by the Vestry to take over the open seat on the Columbarium Committee, upon the expiration of John Bjork’s term.

A list of nominees for the Staff Support Committee will be assembled soon, from which the Vestry will appoint a committee in coming months.

The Neighborhood Ministries and Missions Committees will be conversing about how to earmark projects for the remaining $80,000+ tithe as a result of the Capital Campaign. Dispersal criteria and solicitation of grant proposals will be discussed.

The gifting list recommended by the Mount Olive Foundation was approved by the Vestry. The following is the disbursement of gifts this year:
• Capital Campaign: $5,000
• Sanctuary Sound System: $6,000
• Bach Tage: $1,000
• Manz Tage: $2,000
• Adult Forum: $2,000
• Neighborhood Ministries: $3,658.43

Staff Reports and Director Reports were given. Most notably, Diana Hellerman reported that both the Adult Forum and Godly Play have seen dramatic increases in attendance, speaking well of the curriculum. Andrew reported that there is a new members’ luncheon on Sunday the 17th for those interested in becoming members. New members will be received on May 1. Andrew continues to clean up the Mount Olive roster.

Paul Schadewald reported that the next “Taste of....” event will be held in the fall. Paul submitted his committee’s timeline for the year and he indicated that the committee is trying to better define the boundaries of missions served by his committee and the Neighborhood Ministry Committee. The Vestry discussed the changing view of the word “global” and, after reviewing the bylaws, indicated that Neighborhood Ministries is given the charge to focus on the immediate neighborhood within which Mount Olive sits. The Missions Committee is focused on every other mission which lies outside of South Minneapolis and the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. Eunice and Carol reported that the Neighborhood Ministries Committee will host a fundraiser for supplying the newly renovated kitchen on June 12. They also want us to know that Mount Olive is registered for the annual May Day parade and celebration in the Powderhorn Park area. Their committee voted to grant their remaining tithe in full to Community Emergency Services. They are also considering expanding the Community Meal concept from 1 monthly luncheon to 1 luncheon and 1 breakfast. They are in talks with All God’s Children Church to consider jointly hosting the breakfast. David Molvik reported that repairs were made on the south side of the sanctuary roof. Their committee has approved the purchase of a rain sensor, so that our sprinkler system will water only when needed. The library is nearing completion and will have a grand reopening in June. Rooms 11 and 12 are currently being remodeled on the lower level. The community rain garden project around the parking lot should be finished this spring. Carla Manuel, Congregational Life, reported that the soup and sandwich lunches and dinners this Lent have been well-received. She’d like to thank all those involved with preparation and cleanup. Adam Krueger reported on behalf of Paul Odlaug that our offering envelopes will be reworded as of July 1, changing “Capital Campaign” to “Bridging the Gap”. Irene Campbell reported that Youth will host the annual carry-in Easter brunch on the 24th. Paul Sundquist submitted his treasurer’s report. The Capital Campaign income has met budget expectations every month. First quarter giving was up notably, but our deficit continues. He indicated that most budget categories have been underspent, however, which is a good indicator that we are able to stay solvent with decent cash flow.

The next Vestry meeting will be held on May 9 at 7:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Brian Jacobs, Vice President

Art Exhibit in Chapel Lounge
Selections from the St. John’s Bible

In 1998, St. John’s Abbey and University commission- ed renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson to produce a hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible. This display will invite you to explore this work of art which unites an ancient Benedictine tradition with the technology and vision of today, illuminating the Word of God for a new millennium.

This exhibit is sponsored by Mount Olive Music and Fine Arts, and will be open to the public before and after all church services and events in April.

Missions Committee Update

Where is God leading Mount Olive? Over the next months, the Committee will be reconsidering Mount Olive’s mission partnerships. The Missions Committee welcomes and encourages your feedback, comments and prayers.

Our goals are to be good stewards of Mount Olive’s resources; to support missions that are not just about donating money but about building mutually transformative relationships; to ensure that our missions reflect the diversity of interests and ways that people at Mount Olive define mission; and to consider ways that the missions are effective, culturally appropriate, and address needs, while building on assets and strengths.

Our congregation allocates 4% of gifts to Mount Olive toward missions and frequently, members use the blue envelopes to make additional gifts to Mount Olive’s missions. Our area of support is everything that is “beyond” Mount Olive’s immediate neighborhood—at the state, national, and international levels.

In 2011, Mount Olive is supporting four areas of missions as part of its regular giving: (1) Bethania Kids; (2) The ELCA’s Department of Global Missions (the Knutson Family in South Africa and the Haug Family in Slovakia); (3) Sierra Leone’s Kids in Need; and (4) Lutheran World Federation’s medical and housing programs in Jerusalem.

In the past few years, we have also provided support to: Lutheran World Relief, Common Hope’s Education Fund in Latin America; the Global Missions Institute of Luther Seminary, Abraham’s Tent in Beit Jala, Palestine, International Partners in Mission, and a higher education scholarship program for a Lutheran student in El Salvador. We have also discussed other mission possibilities such as Lutheran Volunteer Corps, a sister church relationship in Latin America, and programs in Nigeria.

We consider Bethania Kids and the ELCA’s Department of Global Missions as a strong foundation that will continue into the future. But as we start to plan for 2012 and beyond, we want to consider prayerfully: What other relationships should be part of Mount Olive’s regular mission? Which ones should we strengthen? Which new endeavors should we begin? We imagine that in addition to Bethania and the ELCA’s Department of Global Missions, our congregation can support about 6 other relationships as part of its regular giving for multi-year commitments.

If there are mission relationships that you want the committee to know about or if you want to comment about any of the missions listed above (in addition to Bethania and the ELCA), please e-mail Paul Schadewald at or leave a message for him at church. In a world of good organizations, Mount Olive cannot do everything, but we want to prayerfully consider: Where is God leading us?

- Paul Schadewald, Director of Missions

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