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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Olive Branch, 6/27/11

Accent on Worship


With Easter occurring so late this year, and consequentially Pentecost and Trinity Sunday so late, we’ve finally said “amen” to the festival half of the year and have entered the green season, the “time of growth”. This liturgical time, coupled with our summer practicality of one service, we have the opportunity to use some settings of the ordinary that we have not sung since last summer.

First, a review of what I mean by “settings of the ordinary.” The ordinary refers to a group of songs within the liturgy that we “ordinarily sing” – which means week after week. They don’t change, and hopefully we sing them enough times to learn them thoroughly, if not from memory. Historically, this includes the Kyrie, Gloria, Gospel Acclamation (Alleluia), The Great Thanksgiving, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei. For that reason, we will sing some settings through July at least – long enough for worshippers of all ages to completely learn them, even those who do not read notes!

For the past couple of years during part of Ordinary Time we have sung a setting of the Sanctus harmonized by J. S. Bach. This is an ancient melody (also used in ELW setting 4, page 153), though we’re not sure how ancient. We know it to be an early Gregorian chant, perhaps coming to the Christians as an early Hebrew chant before the time of Christ. What’s amazing about this is how the church has carried it into subsequent generations, taking on different qualities in each case. In the case of the Bach setting of the melody, it is the glorious harmonies of Bach, coupled with everyone being able to sing in a “power” range that makes it so amazing to sing. The fact that the congregation sings it strongly, with four parts, is powerfully inviting to those who are here for the first time. Everyone can sing with full strength, and they are not alone. There’s nothing like it.

When the organ was removed for maintenance a few years ago and we worshipped without organ for several weeks, we adapted and took into our repertoire an Orthodox setting of the Lord’s Prayer by Nikolai Kedrov, Sr. It, too, provides for a deep moment in the liturgy.

To those of you who read music: the choir director in me does want to say something to you – keep the half notes only half notes. There are times when you want to make them dotted half notes or even whole notes. We need to keep it moving without dragging and this is where the piece can drag. These half notes help to keep the music moving forward when they are only given two beats. To those of you who don’t read music: we’ll carry it for you. It’s our job. No worries.

We also return to Franz Schubert’s setting of “Lamb of God.” This too is best sung without accompaniment. For the Gospel Acclamation we will sing Taize’s “Alleluia.” From the “sans orgue” time, we’ve learned to jump right into this without accompaniment. May that continue!

As we live the “green season,” in addition to giving heed to “growing our faith,” let’s help our singing grow, especially the unaccompanied four-part singing. When it is meaningfully strong, anyone present (me being chief among them) gets drawn deeper and deeper into the loving arms of God’s presence together as an assembly. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in life. Sing winsomely! There’s much to sing about!

- Cantor David Cherwien

Book Discussion Group News

For its meeting on July 9, the Book Discussion Group will read. Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese; and for the August 13 meeting, A Bed of Red Flowers, by Nelofer Pazira.

July 10 Adult Forum

A Minnesota Without Poverty is a statewide movement to end poverty in Minnesota by 2020. This movement incorporates a vision where all people thrive with those things that protect human dignity and make for a healthy life: adequate food and shelter, meaningful work, safe communities, health care and quality education. A Minnesota Without Poverty works to build the public will to end poverty, effect public policy, engage public leadership form all sectors of society, promote public accountability and broaden the public access for the development and economic well being of all Minnesota communities.

Ending poverty is possible and there is indeed enough—for ALL. Come to the Adult Forum on Sunday, July 10 to learn more about this important movement.

School Supplies Collection

Each year at the August Community Meal, MONAC distributes school supplies to guests and neighbors of school age. This Community Meal is one of our best- attended each year, and our goal is to help 100 children with basic supplies for the start of school. Along with designated funds (which we will use to purchase school supplies), we will happily receive donations of school supplies on Sundays July 10, 17, and 24, during the coffee hour after liturgy. Thank you for your support and please join us for lunch on Saturday, August 6.

Mount Olive to Welcomethe Haug Family

On Sunday, July 17, Pr. Arden and Janna Haug, ELCA Regional Representatives in Europe, will visit Mount Olive. Arden Haug will preach at the morning Eucharist. Following the liturgy, please join the Haug family during the education hour for a presentation on their work in Europe. The Missions committee will have Eastern European treats, and there will be good conversation and fellowship. Many Mount Olive members will remember Arden as a former Mount Olive Vicar, and the entire Haug family has been friends of the congregation for many years. The Missions committee, through your offerings, has supported the Haug family in their work in Europe. The Haug family is in Stillwater during their home assignment this summer.

Highlights from the June Vestry Meeting

This will be the last Vestry Update I write, as the duties will be passed along to new Vestry Vice President, Lisa Nordeen. At the June 13 meeting, we celebrated the service of Warren Peterson, as Director of Worship, Paul Odlaug, as Director of Stewardship, and Brian Jacobs, as Vice President. We also welcomed new Vestry members, Dennis Bidwell, as Director of Stewardship, Al Bipes, Director of Worship, and Lisa Nordeen, Vice President. An excellent light summer meal was served and business was underway promptly at 7.

The members who have agreed to serve on the new Staff Support Committee were unanimously approved. They are Al Bostelmann, Allen Dundek, JoAnn Sorenson, Mike Edwins and Naomi Peterson.

Donna Neste presented her sentiments over the future of Neighborhood Ministries, as she anticipates retirement in three years. Donna has noticed a general decline in volunteer support. She is asking the congregation to consider how we will transition her duties once she's retired. She presented examples of logistical and economical hurdles she faces on a daily basis, specifically with the youth-based programs, and she would like the Vestry and the congregation as a whole to begin considering what the current programs mean to us and the neighborhood, and if and how we should continue all or some of them. This is a topic we expect will be part of the upcoming Visioning process , given the changing makeup of the congregation and the changing dynamics of the neighborhood.

Adam read a letter from Nancy Biele, Executive Director of TRUST, with whom we now affiliate for the popular Meals on Wheels program. We expect to welcome Nancy at a future Vestry meeting or perhaps Neighborhood Ministries meeting, so that we may acquaint ourselves more fully with the expectations of both parties. Adam will follow up with TRUST regarding our working relationship with their organization.

We were again reminded that the Vestry and congregation will have to begin planning budgets and logistics for the back-to-back sabbaticals of Cantor Cherwien and Pastor Crippen, which will take place in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

We discussed and agreed on a process for placing an item on the Wish List. Suggestions will need to be brought to the Vestry by the appropriate Director after their committee has discussed and recommended the addition. The Wish List has dwindled quite a bit, as we expect a furniture shipment within days, including a table for the new Library. The Wish List management will also transfer to Lisa Nordeen, as Brian Jacobs steps down from the Vice-Presidency.

Pastor Crippen, Donna Neste and Warren Peterson all submitted written reports. Pastor Crippen also informed the Vestry that he is one of the newest members of the National Lutheran Choir!! He will also report on his visit to the Holy Land in an upcoming Adult Forum.

Paul Schadewald reported that Arden Haug will visit the congregation on July 17 to report on his missionary work in Bratislava. Pr. Haug is a former Vicar of Mount Olive and will also preach at that morning’s Eucharist.

Eunice Hafemeister and Carol Austermann reported that Neighborhood Ministries has been approached by A Minnesota Without Poverty to look at space in Global Market for homeless or impoverished artists to display and sell their artwork as a way to build entrepreneurial skills. The Committee would be helping to pay for the space for six months, along with two other local organizations. They also reminded us of the Foods of Many Nations fund raiser to be held Sunday, June 19.

David Molvik reported that Mount Olive is going through an insurance review. Because a comprehensive review and reassessment hasn't been completed for a number of years, our coverage was lower than it should have been. We will have more accurate insurance coverage with a slight cost increase this coming year. David also wishes the Vestry to think about a policy statement to assist in determining responses to requests for building use.

Irene Campbell said her committee is beginning preparations for the youth gathering in New Orleans next year.

Warren Peterson asked the Vestry to approve the appointment of Brian Jacobs to the Worship Committee representing the Greeter Corps. The motion carried.

The installation of church officers and directors will be Sunday, June 26, at the 9:30 liturgy. The next Vestry meeting will be July 11 at 7 pm. Prep work will begin on the annual budget and annual calendar.

Respectfully submitted,
Brian JacobsVice President

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