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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Olive Branch, 5/16/11

Accent on Worship

The Fifth Sunday of Easter

In the Gospel reading for the Fifth Sunday of Easter Jesus claims his Godhood with the Father. He says to his disciples, “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.”

If we are to focus on the mission and ministry of Jesus and believe them to be the work of the Father, then we must conclude that our God is merciful and forgiving. The public life of Jesus exuded mercy and forgiveness and, as written in the book of Acts, the early church celebrated the life of their Savior by living lives of mercy and forgiveness.

“The one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.” How could we ever do greater works than Jesus? But the church that Jesus began has and does do greater works. These are the works of mercy that have come down from Jesus, through the early church and continues into the present.

Jesus’ followers are all over the world doing works of mercy. We cannot raise the dead, but we have certainly rescued millions from pain, misery and indeed death. Lutheran World Relief, Catholic Charities, ChurchWorld Services and Bread for the World are just a few of the many Christian based organizations doing Jesus’ works of mercy, by feeding the hungry, healing the sick, housing the homeless, empowering and alleviating the suffering of millions of the worlds poor.

Stephen, as written in the this Sunday’s first reading, was the first martyr, but not only was his life a model of the ultimate sacrifice to God, but one of forgiveness. Like his Lord, Stephen forgave those who were executing him. “Lord do not hold this sinagainst them,” he cried out before he died. It is no casual observation, in this story of Stephen’s martyrdom, that Saul was one of the witnesses to this incredible forgiveness. Forgiveness generates peace, love and power. As the Book of Acts unfolds, we witness the spiritual power of forgiveness, when the early Christians were called to forgive Saul.

Without the forgiveness and trust of Jesus’ followers Saul would not have gone on to become the powerful evangelist of the early church he was. What the Church is all about comes from the works of Jesus and the lips of Stephen this Fifth Sunday of Easter.

- Donna Pususta Neste

Sunday Readings

May 22, 2011 – Fifth Sunday of Easter
Acts 7:55-60 + Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16
I Peter 2:2-10 + John 14:1-14

May 29, 2011 – Sixth Sunday of Easter
Acts 17:22-31 + Psalm 66:8-20I Peter 3:13-22 + John 14:15-21

Ascension of Our Lord
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Holy Eucharist at 7:00 p.m.

Summer Worship Schedule

Please note that from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, we celebrate one Sunday Eucharist at 9:30 a.m. This year, summer schedule begins on Sunday, May 29 and runs through Sunday, September 4.

Adult Education, Sunday May 22

Bob Lee will lead the second part of a discussion entitled, “Responsible Enterprise.” Jesus commands us to love our neighbors and this presentation will outline the difficult, but possible, path to accept Jesus’ command and end the immorality of poverty.

Summer Jobs After School Volunteers Needed

Summer is almost upon us and I am preparing for the Mount Olive Neighborhood Ministries youth program, Jobs After School. It will run from June 27 through August 12. This program is in need of volunteers to help supervise the many projects in which the JAS kids will be involved. If you can volunteer one day a week (that's 7 total days for the summer) for two to three hours each day to mentor four youth this summer, please call me at Mount Olive, 612-827-5919.

- Donna Neste

Foods of Many Nations

This MONAC fundraiser will be a great opportunity to sample foods of a variety of countries and cultures right at your church! This event will be held following the second liturgy on June 19, in the Undercroft. It will feature samples of some signature foods of many different countries.

Participants will be invited to visit various stations to sample a small serving at each station. (We promise you will get enough to eat!) Cost for this event will be $12 for adults and $5 for children. The proceeds will be used to purchase needed kitchen equipment. Come prepared for an eating adventure!

Highlights from the May Vestry Meeting

The Vestry met on May 9 with all members in attendance.

Under unfinished business, an update on the Staff Support Committee was given, as well as the Capital Campaign RFP process regarding our tithe commitment. Also addressed was the transition of Building Committee tasks. The Staff Support Committee is still in the stages of finalizing the committee structure and processes. The process for discovering the right recipients of our remaining tithe monies from the Capital Campaign is underway. The Building Committee is finding that the remaining 10% of the building project has been the most time-consuming and unrelated to the actual building process, so they will meet on Thursday to discuss how to turn over the remaining items, such as interior design, building use, art displays, etc., to the proper interested parties.

There were several items discussed under new business. Pastor Crippen gave the names and terms of the members of the 2010-2011 Internship Committee. Those on the committee are Liz Beissel, Warren Peterson, Steve Manuel, Miriam Luebke, Linda Hafemeister, and John Crippen.

Warren Peterson brought up the idea of our renowned photographer, Paul Nixdorf, to stage a revolving photo gallery in the East Assembly Room of seasonal liturgical photos. The Vestry approved of this generous offer. Pastor Crippen and David Molvik indicated that our sexton William's probation period is up and they will be doing an official performance review by the end of the month. All agreed that William has been somewhat of an amazing blessing, as his work has been outstanding and done with a great deal of pride.

TRUST, the new community social services group Mount Olive belongs to, has asked that we supply mailing labels of our member names so they can send a one-time newsletter to our members. The Vestry felt that protecting the privacy of our members was more important, and we will respond to TRUST that we prefer to announce our involvement with TRUST and possible donation opportunities via electronic means.

All of the members who joined Mount Olive last Sunday were officially approved by the Vestry.
It was stated that this large "class" of new members has already given a great deal of momentum to our community and many of the members have taken advantage of service opportunities.

There was some discussion of our tax-exempt status. We were reminded that, although the ELCA is a 501(c)3 entity, Mount Olive is not. That status can affect certain gifts and donations given to various of our auxiliary organizations.

Pastor Crippen, Ann Sorenson and Adam Krueger commented on various highlights of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Synod convention. A detailed report will be given soon.

Pastor Crippen assured us that Liz Beissel and Neil Herring will assume pastoral care duties while he is travelling to the Holy Land this week. Art Halbardier and Rob Ruff will preside over worship services. All staff reported very busy days leading up to, during and after Holy Week. The Vestry is most appreciative of all of the hard work done during this busy time of year.

Director Reports were offered. Most notably, Diana Hellerman reported that Sharon Baglyos is offering her services as a Godly Play teacher! Diana is also most grateful, as we close out the school year, for Susan Cherwien's and Dwight Penas' terrific support with the Adult Education program. Andrew Andersen reported that the church web site is being updated continuously. He also said that the several new member events were excellent and well-attended and that he's looking forward to keeping the momentum going. Paul Schadewald reported that Don McLellan will be a new member on the Missions Committee. He also had several bullet points for us to ponder regarding his committee's hard work. He distributed a global map with labeling of all the points worldwide that benefit from Mount Olive's generosity. Eunice Hafemeister reported that the Neighborhood Ministries Committee is planning to have its fundraiser on Sunday, June 19. Members of All God's Children Community Church will be assisting with the 2nd community meal each month. After surveying the frequent diners, it was decided that the 2nd meal will be a noon luncheon as well. David Molvik stated that Metro Blooms will continue to work on the rain garden project near the parking lot during the month of June. He said the Properties Committee is working on a clearer labeling system for identifying electrical circuits. He also found a rider in our insurance coverage that covers acts of terrorism. By eliminating this rider, we can save nearly $800 annually. The Vestry wholeheartedly agreed that we should eliminate this language in the contract. Paul Sundquist reviewed the treasury report and indicated that he will set Mount Olive up for Simply Giving offerings to be accepted with credit accounts. Brian Jacobs reported that an additional donation by Margaret and Al Bostelmann has been received for Godly Play items on the Wish List.

The meeting adjourned at 9 pm with the reminder that June's Vestry meeting will be held on June 13th at 6:30 with a light supper to welcome the 2010-2011 new Vestry members.

Respectfully submitted,
Brian JacobsVice President

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