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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Olive Branch, 9/19/11

Accent on Worship

What Just Happened?

Have you experienced this phenomenon? When waking up from an afternoon nap, you have a moment of not quite knowing where you are, what time it is, and what has just happened. Or you attend a movie, play, or experience a concert that takes you out of time and space and it takes you some time to re-enter reality and the here and now.

When attending a hymn festival led by Paul Manz, this was almost always the case for me. I’d want to hear “him play” but would leave with that sense of having been some where else. I’m not alone in that experience with these hymn festivals, as I hear these stories everywhere I go – most recently from a pastor in Midland, Texas.

The extent of Paul Manz’s influence is something to ponder. His life and work had a profound influence on perhaps more than he knew, and perhaps more than any of us will know. We do know that it was not limited to being amazed by the playing itself – it was deep.

What was it? What began here at Mount Olive?

As we “wake up” from his direct influence now that he and Ruth are no longer here with us “on earth” (as we say - a rather curious way of putting it, don’t you think?) and try to figure out where we are, and what the here and now calls us to. We can do this as we reflect on the experiences we had with our direct interaction and partnership with Paul Manz here at Mount Olive and beyond.

The Music and Fine Arts committee has planned a two-day event called “Manz Tage” during which we will hear about his ministry first here in Minneapolis, and then in Chicago following these years. We will sing together, we will hear about what the role “Cantor” means for Lutherans. (The term is also used in the Jewish Synagogue, and in Roman Catholic liturgies in different ways). Organists will learn about improvising for hymnody. We will hear an organ recital by a recipient of the scholarship Mount Olive established years ago.

The purpose is not only to nostalgically remember (which we will do, of course) but to talk about carrying forth the momentum begun by this congregation and this prophet in our time. We reflect how we respond to “water having been poured” - how we carry forth the power of this Baptismal water on our own.

A brochure with additional information and registration form is attached to this edition of the emailed Olive Branch. Hard copies of the Manz Tage brochure are available at Mount Olive. Sign up, and join us.

- Cantor David Cherwien

This Sunday’s Adult Education: 9:30 am in the Chapel Lounge

The second part of a 2-part presentation by The Rev. Dr. Terrence Fretheim of Luther Seminary: “Where is God in the Tsunami?”

Minneapolis Guitar Quartet

Mount Olive Music and Fine Arts’ 2011-2012 season kicks off with a concert by the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet this Sunday, September 25, at 4 p.m.

Volunteer Tutors Needed

The Way to Goals Tutoring Program for students from second through sixth grade, will resume on Tuesday, October 4. We will meet every Tuesday evening (except for the days that Minneapolis Public Schools are not in session) from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. for tutoring, a snack, and an activity. The program will end for the year on May 29, 2012. Consider being a part of this wonderful program, by volunteering to be a tutor.

There will be a dinner and short training session for new tutors on Saturday, September 24, at the home of Donna Neste, beginning at 6:30 p.m. If you would like more information, would like to volunteer, or need directions to Donna’s house, call her at church 612-827-5919.

Sign up, Sign Up for Coffee!

Volunteers are needed to serve coffee following both Sunday morning liturgies for the next several weeks. If you are willing to serve, please sign up at coffee hour on Sunday – or call the church office to be signed up!

Book Discussion
For their meeting on October 8, the Book Discussion group will Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton, and for the November 12 meeting they will discuss The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot.

Mount Olive’s Book Discussion Group meets on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m. All readers welcome!


 To former Mount Olive member, Daniel Ross-Jones, on his ordination into the ministry of the United Church of Christ on September 24. He has been called to serve as Minister for Youth and Young Adults at First Congregational Church (UCC) of Palo Alto, CA;

 To former Vicar Jennifer Peters McCurry on her installation as pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Etna, PA.

Brunch, Anyone?

Mount Olive shares a small tri-fold flyer with the names and addresses of several local restaurants which serve Sunday brunch. We are in the process of updating that brochure and are eager to include any of YOUR recommendations! Have you enjoyed a Sunday brunch at a local restaurant recently? If so, please drop a note to Susan Cherwien at within the next couple of weeks, and we will include your recom- mendations in the updated flyer.

MICAH Fundraiser Event

MICAH, a faith-based organization that works for affordable housing for all, has been supported by Mount Olive for seventeen years. They would like to invite Mount Olive members to join them on Sunday, Oct. 16, to realize a vision for a metropolitan area where everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home.

Professional musicians and spoken word artists will inspire and motivate each of us to take action and raise funds for MICAH. The event includes a reception (with drawing for special prizes) at 2:30 pm, and a program at 3:30 pm at Capri Theatre in Minneapolis. Tickets are $30.00 each, available at or by contacting Paul Stoll at You may also purchase tickets from Donna Neste by calling her at church (612-827-5919) or by sending an email to her at

Vestry Update, September 12, 2011

The September 12 Vestry meeting served as the meeting for August and September as there were not enough members able to attend the August meeting to meet quorum. The meeting opened with everyone introducing themselves to Vicar Erik Doughty and welcoming him to Mount Olive.

The unfinished business portion of the meeting included reports from Al Bipes on the “Guidelines for the Staff Support Committee Members of Mount Olive Lutheran Church,” a working document that will be reviewed by the Vestry and ratified at the October meeting. There were also brief updates on the Capital Campaign and the visioning process which are ongoing projects.

President Adam Kruger shared two thank you notes that have been sent to Mount Olive. Crestview Senior Communities and Our Savior’s Housing sent their thanks to the congregation for monetary gifts received. He also passed along a request to refurbish the faded reredos to the Worship Committee.

The Worship Committee also stepped forward to cover the fee to allow Vicar Erik to attend a Preaching Conference with Pastor at Luther Seminary. Everyone agreed that this is an important event for him to attend as a part of his internship experience at Mount Olive.

The 2011-2012 calendar was reviewed and dates were finalized for events planned for the upcoming year. There will be many opportunities for the congregation to participate in not only worship, but volunteering, meals and fellowship as well.

Individual Directors within the Vestry will meet with their committees in the upcoming weeks to develop their 2012 budgetary needs and submit them to Dennis Bidwell by October 1. We were all encouraged to look closely at the budgets to determine if there are any monies that can be released or streamlined as well as any new endeavors being considered. As committees and commitments evolve, it is important for us to remember to evaluate and modify as we progress so that we are all making the best possible use of funding.

Pastor Crippen, along with Vicar Erik, is planning to add another Bible study at Mount Olive and will be discussing with Diana how it might fit into the educational plan of the congregation. He also highlighted a visit from the Leipzig District of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Saxony, Germany. A group of musicians is coming to discuss music, culture and liturgy and we need to find housing for some of the members of the group for a few days while they are here.

Cantor Cherwien is excited to have the Cantorei back up and running! It is a large group and he has been pleased with what he has heard so far. His next quest is to find new music for the choir to sing so that they might expand their repertoire from previous years.

Carla Manuel has had a busy summer with Congregational Life. She and Gail Nielsen are working to brainstorm different fundraiser opportunities so that they can purchase some additional items for the kitchen. Carla also brought up the need for a liaison to Crestview Nursing Home, which would require 2-3 visits a year from any interested individual.

Andrew Andersen is glad to be back worshiping after being out ill. He plans to have more updates from the Evangelism Committee for the next Vestry meeting. At the October meeting
Paul Schadewald will also have a list of organizations that the Missions Committee plans to work with in the future.

Eunice Hafemeister and Carol Austermann reported that the Neighborhood Ministries Committee unanimously agreed to eliminate the name MONAC to avoid confusion and include all related activities under the umbrella of Neighborhood Ministries. The congregation will be asked to vote on the removal of the parenthetical “MONAC” in bylaw 4.05 at the next meeting.

David Molvik is hoping to strengthen the Properties Committee this year by adding members. He is looking for people to help him with the various needs around the building and plans to continue work on the building usage policy and how it relates to our mission at Mount Olive.

Irene Campbell is investigating how the Mount Olive youth might participate in next year’s national youth gathering. Mount Olive’s young people may go to the gathering or they may be invited to take part in a local event such as a retreat or day-long event.

It was moved by Al Bipes that the Vestry create a standing sub-committee for communications, public relations, advertising and marketing. The committee would be composed of members of the congregation who would work to communicate all of the activities taking place at Mount Olive as well as promote the congregation through various media channels. The motion was tabled for discussion at the October Vestry meeting.

Several items on the wish list have been purchased for the Godly Play and a new chair has been purchased for Vicar Erik through the generosity of Tom Graves and Ginny Agresti. Vice President Lisa Nordeen will continue to update the wish list as items are purchased and gifts come in.

The next Vestry meeting will be on October 10 at 7:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Lisa Nordeen, Vice President

Leipzig Group to Visit Mount Olive; Home Hosts Needed

Mount Olive will be a part of the Minneapolis Area Synod’s welcome to a group of 17 church music directors and pastors in October, and host homes are needed for the three guests who will spend several days at Mount Olive.

Homes are needed for the nights of October 15 to 19. During those days our guests will meet with Pr. Crippen and Cantor Cherwien and talk about the intersection of liturgy and culture and the world in our context. The whole group will worship at congregations throughout the synod, so some of the others will likely come to Mount Olive. Five other congregations will host parts of the group as Mount Olive is doing. The Leipzig District of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony, Germany, is a companion synod of the Minneapolis Area Synod.

Please contact the church office if you are willing and able to provide room for one of our guests. This is going to be an exciting opportunity for the congregation to learn and share!

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