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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Olive Branch, 7/11/11

Accent on Worship

For all the saints who from their labors rest . . .

Mary and I are godparents to one of our nieces whose name is Madeleine, a French form of Magdalene. In my family growing up, our parents always made a celebration on our baptismal anniversaries, and Mary and I have continued that with our children. We will also celebrate Madeleine’s baptismal birthday of course. But given her connections with Mary Magdalene, I’m also going to introduce her to the idea of a name day, and we’ll do with her some sort of recognition of July 22, the feast day of Mary Magdalene. I’m not sure if I’ll start this summer – she’s only 2 – but certainly by next summer.

I was thinking about this in part because July 22 is coming up, and also because one of the things I’ve appreciated about worship at Mount Olive is our regular notice of the calendar of festivals and commemorations, the calendar of the saints. It may seem like a little thing, but it’s a gift to our lives that we list the week’s commemorations and when the lesser festivals – apostles and other celebrations like Holy Cross – fall on green Sundays we celebrate them. There are even some whose days we remember with a Eucharist whenever they occur, saints such as Mary, Francis of Assisi, and Luke. So we’re currently between our celebration on Sunday, July 3, of Thomas, Apostle and our joint celebration with Gethsemane Episcopal Church of the feast of Mary, Mother of our Lord, on Monday, Aug. 15, at 7:00 p.m.

I especially am glad that many times our assisting ministers name the week’s commemorations aloud in prayer, so we have a chance to bring these saints to mind. The gift of our calendar is that weekly we are reminded of these saints who have gone before us and modeled for us faith and discipleship. The writer to the Hebrews spoke of a “great cloud of witnesses” who surround us and encourage us in the faith. By remembering these witnesses in prayer and in our liturgies, we stay connected to the Body of Christ which extends far beyond those in the room with us, far beyond those alive today, and back two millennia, centuries of faithful disciples who now rest in the Lord but still have things to teach us and are able to inspire us.

There is not always agreement among different Christian communions about which days to remember which saint, and there are some who are remembered in one tradition and not in another. Evangelical Lutheran Worship has our current Lutheran calendar in the front part of the worship book, pages 15-17. In 2008 Lutheran pastor and scholar Philip Pfatteicher published New Book of Festivals and Commemorations: A Proposed Common Calendar of Saints, a thorough and well-documented revision of his previous work. Saints of calendars from East to West are included, with descriptions of their lives, suggested propers, and a reading either from their work or related to each of them. It’s well worth having both as an informational resource and a devotional guide.

May we always remember with reverence and affection those saints who have gone before us, those who are on calendars, and those in our own lives, who continue to surround us with witness and who are gathered around the throne of the Lord, and let that witness inspire and shape our lives of faith.

- Joseph

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 for two more Sundays: July 17 and 24, during the coffee hour after liturgy.

Thank you for your support and please join us for lunch on Saturday, August 6.

Contribution Statements

Statements for the first half of the fiscal year are available on the table near the coat room. Please pick yours up soon!

Mount Olive to Welcomethe Haug Family

This 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.

Adult Forum July 24: Our Malaria Work

Christ calls us to care for our sisters and brothers who are poor and sick. Come to the Adult Forum on July 24 to learn how we in the Minneapolis Area Synod (one of five 2010 ELCA pilot synods) are joining together in prayer, learning, giving and telling to reduce the prevalence of malaria in Africa by 2015. This will be an opportunity to gain basic information about Our Malaria Work, and learn about approaches and interventions. Fikru Eticha, a public health nurse, originally from Ethiopia and a current Luther Seminary student, will share his powerful personal and professional stories about malaria’s devastation. Mary Simonson Clark, the Minneapolis Area Synod’s Our Malaria Work Coordinator, will facilitate the discussion. Come and learn how you can join in giving a healthier future to our neighbors in Africa through the Our Malaria Work project.

Before and after adult forum, the Missions Committee will be displaying a mosquito net in the reception area and taking donations toward the Our Malaria Work project. Did you know that the cost of one life-saving mosquito net is a mere $10? Please consider giving a donation to this effort.

New Art in Chapel Lounge

Earlier this summer, several framed prints of pages of the St. John’s Bible Project were made available to Mount Olive at a reduced cost by Carter Avenue Frame Shop in St. Paul. Mount Olive Music and Fine Arts gratefully purchased these prints for our permanent collection of art, and they are now displayed in the Chapel Lounge. Stop and see them if you haven’t already.

Book Discussion Group News

For its meeting on August 13, The Book Discussion group will read A Bed of Red Flowers, by Nelofer Pazira.

For the meeting on September 10, they will read Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison.

The Art Place

Mount Olive Neighborhood Ministries will help staff a booth at the Powderhorn Art Fair this year. This booth will feature artists who will have a shop in the Midtown Global Market called “The Art Place.”

The Art Place is a joint effort of A Minnesota Without Poverty, the Jewish Community Relations Council, and Mount Olive Neighborhood Ministries. The Powderhorn Art Fair is Sat.-Sun., August 6-7, from 10 am to 5 pm. Come see the art! Volunteer to help staff the booth and help to overcome poverty! If you have any questions about this project, please call Carol Austermann at 612-722-5123, or Eunice Hafemeister at 612-721-6790.

Much additional information about The Art Place will be shared an the Adult Forum on Sunday, August 7.

A Note From the Halbardiers

Dear Mount Olive friends,
June began with the incidental discovery of a tumor on Elaine’s left kidney. June ended with surgery to take the kidney, which will likely be all the treatment required.

Throughout this month, we have discovered anew the strength and comfort that comes from knowing that our faith community – in its many and varied voices – is praying for us in ways that would probably never have occurred to us had we asked for specific petitions. You are appreciated more than our words can ever describe. Likewise, Pastor Crippen was a faithful visitor before and after surgery. Thank you, all. God bless you. You have been a blessing to us.
We want to acknowledge in particular Connie and Rod Olson, who readily agreed to pick up leadership of the monthly meal Mount Olive prepares for the residents at Our Savior’s housing, with Gene Phelps and Donn and Bonnie McClellan. Please step forward to help them in the coming months as you have helped us in this important outreach ministry.

- Elaine and Art Halbardier

Seminar at Sea

Please join Pastor Joseph and Mary Crippen for a Seminar at Sea, sailing in the beautiful Caribbean Sea for 7 days. Pr. Crippen will provide three lectures on “Jesus, the Rapture, and the End Times,” and participants will have a short reading list in preparation.

Departure date is January 28, 2012. Inside cabin prices from $699, balcony cabin prices from $1099 - taxes and airfare additional. For full information and details, call Tom Olsen at 952-929-9781, or speak with him at church.

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