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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Olive Branch,. 5/31/11

Accent on Worship

He ascended into heaven

Thursday night we gather at Mount Olive at 7:00 p.m. for Eucharist celebrating the Ascension of our Lord. The Church Year has six major festivals – Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, and Holy Trinity – and Ascension is certainly the one Lutherans neglect the most. At the risk of spilling some of the beans for the sermon I will preach Thursday, I’d like to suggest that neglect is unwise and unhelpful.

In the first place, the Ascension of the risen Jesus marks a powerful shift in the Gospel story. Jesus appears, risen from the dead, again and again to believers in those forty days after Easter. Following the Ascension there are no records of his appearing in this way again, save for Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus. As we celebrate the key events in the life of the incarnate Son of God, gathering for his Meal on the night he returned to the Father seems a worthy thing.

But in the second place, this powerful shift is critical to the mission Jesus has for the Church. It is clear from Jesus’ calling of the disciples and his direction to them after the resurrection that he intends to bring about the salvation of the world not only through his death and resurrection, but through the work and ministry of his followers. By ascending to heaven, Jesus leaves the work to his believers, to us. The angel’s question of the disciples on the Mount of Olives, “Why do you stand there, looking up toward heaven?” is our question as we ponder the meaning of Christ’s Ascension. Do we stand around looking for God to fix all things, waiting for God to show up, deus ex machina, and make all things right? Or do we understand that the power we are given by God, the gift of the Spirit, sends us out to be a part of the healing of the world in Christ, and not just a part, but the key workers in that healing? Celebrating the Ascension prepares us to welcome the gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives, prepares us to eagerly embrace Pentecost ten days later, prepares us to take on our role as active participants in God’s work in the world.

There is another good reason for the believers who are the people of God at Mount Olive to celebrate the Ascension. Our parish is named for the Mount of Olives, the place of Jesus’ ascending into heaven. It is the closest thing we have to a parish name-feast, a feast day for the congregation. We will have Eucharist, and a reception following, to recall that our founders saw fit to name this parish for the place Jesus gave us his mission. Perhaps their hope was that we might continue to embrace that mission, to gather in worship at the Mount of Olives and recall that from here we are sent as God’s grace to the world. God give us the strength and courage to do this!

- Pastor Crippen

The Ascension of Our Lord
This Thursday, June 2, 2011
Holy Eucharist at 7:00 p.m.,
followed by a festive reception

Help for North Minneapolis: Here’s What We Can Do

1. Donate Money: In light of the recent tornado damage in North Minneapolis, we encourage all Mount Olive members and friends to donate to Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) as a way of helping alleviate the suffering of our neighbors to the north. If you wish to make a gift and would like it recorded on your giving statement, write the check to Mount Olive and designate the gift as “Minneapolis tornado relief,” and the church will send one check to Lutheran Disaster Response with that designation. (People may also give directly to LDR if that’s their preference, but they should send the check to the Minneapolis Area Synod offices.)

2. Donate Time and Labor: 2,000 volunteers are needed to help with clean up effort this Saturday, June 4. Those interested in working must sign-up with the city. For additional information or to volunteer for this crucial effort, please call the City of Minneapolis Information Line at 311.

Sunday Readings

June 5, 2011 – Seventh Sunday of Easter
Acts 1:6-14 + Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35
I Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11 + John 17:1-11

June 12, 2011 – Day of Pentecost
Acts 2:1-21 + Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
I Corinthians 12:3b-13 + John 20:19-23

This Weekend is Bach Tage!

Each year, a group of Bach-lovers from around the country gather at Mount Olive to learn about the life and work of Lutheranism’s greatest composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, and to rehearse and present a Bach Cantata. The following Bach Tage events are free and open to the public – all are welcome!

 Saturday evening, June 4 – 4:00 p.m.An All-Bach Organ Recital, presented by Mount Olive Cantor David Cherwien. This recital will include Prelude and Fugue in c minor (BWV 546) and Fantasia and Fugue in g minor (BWV 542)

 Sunday afternoon, June 5 – 4:00 p.m.Service of Evening Prayer with Bach Cantata 106, Gottes ist die allerbester Zeit (Actus Tragicus).
Vigil of PentecostSaturday, June 11, 2011at 7:00 p.m

Congratulations to Our High School Graduates!

After the morning liturgy this Sunday, June 5, we will gather to celebrate this important milestone with our high school graduates. Those (that we know of) who are graduating from high school this year are Jacob Ruff (Irondale High School, New Brighton) and Erika Penas Thurston (Southwest High School, Minneapolis). Plan to be with us to share your best wishes with them!

Praying for our Graduates

On Sunday, June 19, we would like to remember all of Mount Olive’s graduates in the Prayers of Intercession at the morning liturgy. If you, a member of your family, or someone else from Mount Olive is graduating from an post-secondary school (college, seminary, graduate school), please drop a note to the church office so that they may be named in the prayers that Sunday.

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!

Olive Branch Summer Publication

During the months of June, July, and August, The Olive Branch is published every other week. This is the last weekly issue until fall. The June issues will be published on June 13 and June 27. Information for the Olive Branch may be submitted anytime before these dates.

Music & Fine Arts Bonus Event: Arias, Duets, and More!
Sunday, June 26, 2011 – 4:00 p.m.

An afternoon of delightful singing is planned for June 26! Angela Neiderloh (mezzo soprano) and Matthew Hayward (lyric baritone) team up for a summer afternoon concert.

Angela Niederloh has been acclaimed by The New York Times as “a charismatic mezzo soprano,” and Matthew Hayward is rapidly establishing himself as one of the most versatile young artists of his generation. Both travel singing in prestigious opera productions across the country including Baltimore, San Francisco, and the Met in New York.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity!

Book Discussion

For its meeting on June 11 the Book Discussion Group will read Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger, and for the July 9 meeting, they will read Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese. The Book Discussion group meets on the second Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. All readers welcome!

Summer Worship Schedule

Please note that from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, we celebrate one Sunday Eucharist at 9:30 a.m.

The Day of Pentecost is Sunday, June 12.
Wear red to church!

Thanks From Elaine

Elaine Stender wishes to thank everyone from Mount Olive for the beautiful flowers, the hugs, and the well wishes given to her as she celebrated her 90th birthday this past Sunday. She is grateful to God for the gift of your friendship.

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