Mount Olive Lutheran Church
Home About Worship Music and Arts Parish Life Learning Outreach News Contact
Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Olive Branch, 5/2/11

Accent on Worship

They were together . . .

On that first night, the evening of the day when everything changed forever, the disciples were together in the Upper Room and Jesus appeared to them. As we heard yesterday, Thomas wasn’t with the others, though he was the following Sunday evening when Jesus once again came. This Sunday, we hear the story of two disciples who are walking the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus on the day of resurrection and Jesus meets them. They run, together, back to Jerusalem and meet the other disciples who are, as we can now expect, together. Apart from Jesus’ encounter with Mary Magdalene which John tells in chapter 20, all of the resurrection appearances we hear are group settings.

Some people call yesterday “Low Sunday.” The Second Sunday of Easter is thought to be a Sunday of low attendance, because of all the infrequent worshipers who came the Sunday before and don’t come twice in a row. I suppose it is true that some congregations experience a drop off in attendance on the Sunday after Easter. As for this community, I rejoiced to worship at Mount Olive yesterday and see a full sanctuary. I was not surprised, however. I am coming to understand that this is a community of believers who need to be together, who are regular in worship attendance and not just on the High Holy Days, because we know how important it is to be together in worship. I have been delighted to worship with you, my sisters and brothers, in these months I have been your pastor. This is a fellowship which takes worship seriously, but not for its own sake, rather because it is in worship we meet almighty God, are fed by the grace of the risen Christ in his meal, and are filled with the Holy Spirit. It seems to me that the people of Mount Olive understand and cherish what a gift that is.

Because it is a gift, isn’t it? Jesus appears, risen from the dead, among group after group of disciples who have gathered together. They have gathered to speak of him, to pray, to hold and support each other through a horrible week which culminated in their Lord’s brutal execution. They cannot imagine being apart at such a time. Into the midst of these gatherings, Jesus comes and brings peace. He brings the gift of the Holy Spirit. He brings the joy of his presence. He feeds them with his grace.

After the Day of Pentecost, the first thing we hear of the nascent Church is that the believers gathered for prayer, to hear the apostles’ teaching, and to break bread, to share the Lord’s meal. Jesus had risen, had ascended, and now the Spirit had given birth to the Church. And the only thing the Church, newly born, could think to do was gather together. Hear the teaching from God’s Word. Share in the meal. Be together and wait for Christ. They cannot imagine being apart.

2,000 years later we still are doing that, because we still cannot think of anything better to do, anything we need more, anything which could give us life like this. Because we cannot imagine being apart in such a time. The miracle is this: the risen Jesus still appears in our midst when we are together (even when it’s only two or three of us as he said), still brings the gift of peace, still feeds us, still gives us grace and forgiveness, still sends us out to feed his lambs, to witness to what we have seen and heard, just as he did that very first day of Easter life. We continue the practice of those first believers because together we find life, together we are fed, together we are loved, and together we meet our Lord. Because we cannot imagine doing anything else. For Christ is risen, indeed – and we rejoice in his coming among us!


Sunday Readings

May 8, 2011 – Third Sunday of Easter
Acts 2:14a, 36-41 + Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
I Peter 1:17-23 + Luke 24:13-35
May 15, 2011 – Fourth Sunday of Easter
Acts 2:42-47 + Psalm 23
I Peter 2:19-25 + John 10:1-10

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.

Neighborhood Ministries Newsletter

The spring issue of Greetings from Mount Olive Neighborhood Ministries is printed and will be distributed on Sunday, May 15, after each liturgy. If you are not in church that Sunday, you may pick one up any time at the window of the main office.

New Members Received

This past Sunday, May 1, Mount Olive was pleased to welcome the following persons into membership: Janet Moede, Timm Schnabel & Tim Lindholm, Karen Mohrlant, Gary Wilson, Cynthia Prosek, Don & Rhoda Nelson, Bjorn Gustafson, Oswaldo Ferrucci-Villalba, John & Connie Marty, James French & Ken Shortridge, Craige Knutson, Ann Becker & Adam Peterson, and Bob and Berta Wick.

Some of these folks are new faces, some have been around Mount Olive for quite awhile, some are returning to Mount Olive after an extended absence, and some simply changing their status from Associate Member to Member. All were received with joy.

Wish List Update

The Mount Olive Wish List has seen little action in recent weeks. We are still hoping for an additional 17 upholstered stack chairs to complete the set to be used in our East Assembly Room meeting space. A library table will help us complete the library by its June 26th “grand opening.” As our palms have remained with us since Palm Sunday, and as they seem to be adding a bit of color and life to the gathering spaces, we'd like to place the greenhouse pots into decorative plant holders, which estimate at about $30 per pot.

Anyone wishing to donate matching decorative planters would be welcome to sign up! Diana Hellerman is still hoping to find donors for five additional Godly Play sets. Those are duly listed as well. Again, the Wish List is posted on the bulletin board just inside the church office. If you would like to donate one of the listed items, please sign your name and number next to the item you wish to donate and you will be contacted regarding the total amount. Delivery costs may apply to certain items. Your check may be written to Mount Olive and there should be a notation on the check as well as the envelope as to what you're donating. We appreciate all of the previous generous donations and we very much hope to continue the Wish List tradition for many years to come!

Brian Jacobs-Wish List Coordinator

Bach Tage - For You

In just six weeks, June 4 and 5, Mount Olive will host our Fifth Annual Bach Tage.

That weekend, we will again welcome guests, both professional church musicians and ordinary music lovers, from the local area and far away. Over the past four years, members of Mount Olive have also participated in Bach Tage, and again this year you are invited. Mount Olive members are entitled to a special discounted rate of $50.

Kathy Saltzman Romey will again be conducting the Bach Tage singers and orchestra. Kathy Romey is well known locally as faculty member at University of Minnesota and conductor of the Minnesota Chorale, but she is an internationally recognized conductor as well, especially for her work with the Oregon Bach Festival and her many collaborations with Bach specialist, Helmuth Rilling.

Bach’s cantata 106, Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit also known as Actus Tragicus, plus one of his motets will be on the program for this year. Musicologist Alfred Dürr wrote, “The Actus Tragicus belongs to the great musical literature of the world.”

Participants will study and rehearse on Saturday and Sunday, and then perform the music with orchestra and soloists during a service of Evening Prayer on Sunday, June 5. Scores will be available to all who register in advance to allow time for preparation.

Bach Tage brochures with more information, the schedule for the days, and a registration form are available around the building. Invite friends you think may enjoy this experience to share it with you. Be sure to register soon to allow yourself time to learn the music before Bach Tage.

Of course the Evening Prayer on June 5, and the all-Bach recital on Saturday, June 4, presented by Cantor David Cherwien are public events, and all are welcome.

Consider being part of this memorable event at Mount Olive, June 4 and 5.

Mount Olive Music & Fine Arts to Present The WolfGang
Sunday, May 15, 2011 – 4:00 p.m.

The WolfGang was formed in 1996 as a collaboration to perform music from the Classical Era on period classical instruments. The group consists of Stanley King (oboe), Mary Sorlie (violin), Steve Staruch (viola), Laura Handler (cello), Gail Olszewski (fortepiano), and Paul Jacobson (flute).

They return to Mount Olive’s Music and Fine Arts series this year to present an all-Beethoven program.

A reception will follow the concert.

Pastor Crippen to travel in May

Pr. Crippen will be traveling with a group of ELCA Lutherans to Israel and the Palestinian territories this month as part of a group invited and organized by Christians for Fair Witness in the Middle East.

Christians for Fair Witness is a group headed by Sr. Ruth Lautt, a Dominican nun, and the group seeks to expose American Christians to a more even-handed understanding of the situation in the Holy Land than often is offered. Christian groups tend to polarize between being completely pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli, and Christians for Fair Witness hopes to invite the church in American to speak in a voice which might encourage peace with justice for all involved.
Pr. Crippen will leave on May 10 and will return to work at Mount Olive on Monday, May 23. More information about pastoral coverage during his trip will be included in next week’s Olive Branch. All are invited to keep Pr. Crippen and his group in prayer during these days.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Reconciling in ChristRIC

Copyright 2014 Mount Olive Lutheran Church