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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Olive Branch, 1/17/12

Accent on Worship

We are Called

In the lessons for last and this coming Sundays Jesus invites Philip, Simon, and Andrew to follow him, calling them to form his community of followers. Gordon Lathrop, our guest lecturer and preacher at this past weekend’s Conference on Liturgy thanked us for responding to the unique and important calling to serve the role of being a community that cares deeply for things liturgical. He has noticed that many metropolitan areas have one or at best a very small number of communities where these values provide a very important place for those in need of this kind of faith life in community. The combination of all these things gave cause for some thoughts which I share here.

First of all, we can understand that to be unique, and embracing that in and of itself, is unique. It’s not the way of the world in these days of the “consistency of commercial chains.” We can stand out as NOT being the same. In our role, God is blessed and proclaimed, we are blessed, and we are strengthened each week to return to that same culture to live in the world loving and serving our neighbor as God’s people.

As a “liturgical” people, there is responsibility, or a further calling to even deeper things.

I tell choirs I direct this: composers provide instructions for “how” to sing what we are singing. Loud here, soft here, crescendo here, accent here, long or short notes there. Simply observing them is one thing, but it is not enough. We need to explore “why” those instructions are there. The musical phrase needs to crescendo because it can do nothing else! The text in order to carry meaning needs staccato (short) notes and not legato (longer and deeply connected from note to note)! These instructions, in fact, are relatively recent in the grand scheme of music history – only included in the past couple of hundred years. Prior to that, musicians just “knew what was needed,” and composers presumed that and did not provide those instructions.

The same could be said for being called to be “liturgical.” It’s not really enough to simply observe the rubrical rules or instructions, or to be merely fascinated by them. We need to consider getting “under them” to know why they are what they are. Why do we process? Why do we not have announcements and constant verbal instructions? Why do many bow? Why do we observe the church year? Why do we stand? Why do we sing? Why do we process to the center for the reading of the Gospel lesson? Why do we adhere to using the lectionary? WE could just do these things – and indeed – even be fascinated by them (everyone loves a parade - processions are fun to watch, aren’t they?) but with thought, perhaps even personal research, we can get “underneath” why those things are practiced. And how do they become of the rest of our daily lives? Does doing anything “liturgical” mean anything to you outside of this community? I knew of one household that instead of band-aids to make a child feel better after getting a scratch, kept a small amount of “holy oil” to “anoint a wound” which probably addressed a deeper kind of healing for a crying child.

And, as I have often said, and will probably continue to say until I join the saints in the walls of the columbarium, what people who join us will notice is not so much “what” we do, but “how” we are doing it, and to what level we are “underneath” the meaningfulness of what we do. We do not need to presume our calling as community needs to be everyone’s, nor that ours is THE right one, nor that we can be critical of other’s calling. It can mean that we embrace that calling with joy and responsibility, and that it is meaningful and from a deep place is enough.

We do play an important role. We are unique. We are called to this unique ministry. Let’s get UNDER it!

- Cantor David Cherwien

Meals On Wheels

Mount Olive left the South Minneapolis Meals on Wheels program last January. In order to continue in this vital neighborhood ministry, we joined TRUST, Inc. One of TRUST’s many programs is that of Meals on Wheels.

The list of Meals on Wheels driver/deliverers at Mount Olive was given to TRUST, Inc. They have scheduled the following Mount Olive members to drive/deliver Meals on Wheels: Nancy and Gary Flatgard, Elaine and Art Halbardier, Karen Johnson, Mary and Bob Lee and Connie and Rod Olson. Others from the list of driver/deliverers at Mount Olive could be recruited by TRUST, Inc. We are thankful to those who continue to drive and deliver Meals on Wheels. Gary Flatgard has represented Mount Olive on the TRUST, Inc. board of directors.

TRUST, Inc. has many other neighborhood ministry programs in which Mount Olive could participate. Their wide range of programs will be described at a future adult forum by a TRUST, Inc. representative. All are encouraged to watch for this forum and attend. We need to be well informed and supportive of these neighborhood ministries

Foundation Gift Requests

Mount Olive Lutheran Church Foundation's Board of Directors will meet on Tuesday, January 24, to recommend program and project recipients from its annual gift to the Church. Board members are seeking from staff, Vestry, and congregation members gift designation ideas that will move Mount Olive's ministries forward in a variety of ways. In the past, the Foundation has benefited among other things: musical events, youth trips, capital improvements, Neighborhood Ministries, church anniversary celebrations and Diaper Depot.

If you have an idea for a program or project, please speak with the Vestry member who oversees the area of your interest. Together, you can decide whether to submit a brief one-page request to the Foundation for consideration. Please contact Keith Bartz at or (612) 823-3572 with questions or to obtain a gift request form.

Adult Forum Topics for January

Jan. 22 & 29: Susan Cherwien will offer a 2-part series on Hymns and Worship.

Book Discussion Group

For it's meeting on January 21 (postponed one week this month due to the annual Conference on Liturgy), the Book Discussion Group we will read William Faulkner's A Light in August. And for the February 11 meeting the selection will be Native Son, by Richard Wright.


At Mount Olive we identify ourselves as Musical, Liturgical and Welcoming. Each of these descriptive terms has a number of facets.

On Sunday, February 12, 2012 at the 10:45 a.m. liturgy, we will welcome those who have indicated that they want to become "official" members at Mount Olive. If you are interested in membership at Mount Olive, please speak with Pastor Crippen, contact the office at 612-827-5919, or speak with Andrew Andersen, the Director of Evangelism.

Sign Up for Altar Flowers

The Altar Flowers Chart for 2012 is now posted in the church office. If you would like to sign up to provide flowers for worship to commemorate a special day, in memory of a loved one, in honor of a special event, or simply to help beautify our sanctuary for worship, please sign up on the chart for the date you want, and be sure to include your designation. The cost of the altar flowers this year is $50 a Sunday for two bouquets. You may sign up to purchase both bouquets by signing on both lines, or purchase just one bouquet ($25) by signing on only one line.

Hymn Festival Reflections

Due to some technical difficulties at last Friday evening’s Conference on Liturgy Hymn Festival, Susan Cherwien’s reflections may not have been completely audible to all in attendance.

Susan has graciously made these reflections available in written form to any who may want them. They are located on the ledge just outside the church office, next to extra programs from the hymn festival.

2011 Year-End Statements

Contribution statements for the year ending December 31, 2011 will be available on a table near the coat area for contributors to pick up beginning this Sunday, January 22.

If you cannot be at church in the coming weeks and would like your statement mailed to you, please call the church office.

Church Library News

Thanks to our Mount Olive furnishings committee of 2010-11 for the addition of a new child-sized table and two chairs placed in the Crossroads Library area recently. The attractive table is even glass-topped and when I checked all the tiny fingerprints on it prior to our second liturgy on Sunday, I agreed that whoever made that decision, did so wisely. That also testifies that many little ones visit the popular children's browser bin quite regularly before, after or even during our liturgies.

In my usual helter-skelter method of perusing the articles in each Sunday's Star Tribune, imagine my surprise to find in yesterday's paper an article entitled "Decor By the Books," written by Sandra Barerra of the Los Angeles Daily News. The article includes details of interior designers who are installing whole walls of either real or fake books to create a library-look that is meant only to impress their client's friends or colleagues. You can read the article for yourself but one Minneapolis designer supposedly "loves his books, keeping many leather-bound antiques that have been in his family for generations, and also that he hopes the day will never come when books are eliminated from the home as they add so much ambience."

Well, with part of the above, I might agree, however, pondering the last sentence further and the continuation of the entire article, soon left me completely frustrated and frankly a bit angry. How sad that the books in use in the article are only there for "window dressing" so to speak. As an admitted "bookaholic," I struggle to find enough appropriate space in my apartment for all my many books. Keeping my books nearby is a necessity for most of them are my long-time "friends" you see, and it has very little to do with only adding decor to my home!

All of the above comes back to the congregation's use of our Louise Schroedel Memorial Library. Granted that the decor of our room may be enhanced by the books lining the shelves, but much more important is the "treasure trove" of good reading to be found there. In short, there is sure to be something there for everyone, if you will just come and take the time to explore it. Have you visited our church library recently? Let your New Year's resolutions include one that brings you (and your children) into our library soon to spend some time finding numerous "friends" of your own choosing, and plan to do so at least once a month all year long!

In my next article I will tell you about three new reference books to be added to our collection (plus some other newer books) that will soon be available for your use. I will close this time with the following quote from Joseph Howe: "My books are very few, but then the world is before me --- a Library open to all --- from which poverty of purse cannot exclude me ---- and in which the meanest and most paltry volume is sure to furnish something to amuse, if not to instruct and improve."

- Leanna Kloempken

Cultivating Respect, Creating Safe Schools for All Students

Twin Cities PFLAG announces the “Cultivating Respect, Creating Safe Schools for All Students” Conference, a day-long conference for 250 to be held on January 20, 2012 at Hamline University, St. Paul.

We invite all educators, social workers, psychologists, school nurses, school board members, administrators, parents, of GLBTQ individuals, students middle school through college, GLBTQ youth and allies, GSA leaders or anyone invested in creating healthy and safe schools for our children. Please encourage your neighbors, your child’s teacher or principal to attend as this is a great opportunity for learning and creating a new dialogue in which our children and their well being is placed front and center in our schools and communities.

There will be a number of break-out sessions on important topics such as how to create safe spaces, the impact of bullying on mental and physical health, understanding what is at the heart of bullying, prevention, and many more. Jamie Nabozny, the subject of the Southern Poverty Law Center documentary “Bullied,” will be the keynote speaker, along with a panel of youth from the Anoka-Hennepin School District. In the evening, we will host an awards dinner (which can be attended separately from the conference) where PFLAG will honor members of the community who have been committed to creating safer schools for our children.

To register for the conference, please visit: For more information, visit, or email:

2012 RIC Festival Worship to be Held
January 28, 4:30 p.m.

This seventh annual festival worship service celebrates the Metro area ministry of Reconciling in Christ congregations at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church, 1509 27th Ave. NE., Minneapolis on Saturday, January 28 at 4:30 p.m.

The Rev. Justin Lind-Ayres of Bethany Lutheran Church will preach. Freewill offering to benefit the RIC Program. Light supper (no cost) & fellowship to follow. Over supper, debuting a Readers Theater play by William Randall Beard, "Families Valued."

Bread for the World Workshops and Offering of Letters

The 2012 Bread for the World workshop, "Cut Hunger, Not Hunger Programs" will be held at three different locations and dates. On Thursday, February 23, 9a.m. -noon, at Guardian Angels Catholic Church, 8260 4th Street N, Oakdale; on Saturday, February 25, 9a.m.-noon, at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, 8400 France Ave. S., Bloomington; and on Wednesday, February 29, 7-9 p.m. at Bethel University, Eastlund Room in Community Life Center, 3900 Bethel Dr., Arden Hills.

This year, Bread for the World members and advocates need to raise our voices more than ever. The deficit-reduction proposals Congress is considering could result in the most severe cuts to programs for hungry and poor people in Bread's history.

Bread's 2012 Offering of Letters overall campaign will work to create a circle of protection around those most vulnerable by working to protect the funding of programs for hungry and poor people. The focus will be on four mini-campaigns: domestic nutrition assistance, poverty-focused foreign assistance, tax credits for low-income families, and international food aid.

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