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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Olive Branch, 3/19/12

Accent on Worship

It is always a great loss when people of tremendous compassion and power are taken from us. I will never forget the death of Paul Wellstone, his wife Sheila, his daughter and a number of his staff in that tragic plane crash on October 25, 2004. On March 24, 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero was slain in San Salvador by right-wing forces while saying Mass. I was a college student on April 4, 1968, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated and it shook me to the core. Their deaths, and the untimely deaths of all heroes of peace and justice, are tragic on many levels.

At those times, I felt that life would never be the same. Who could replace such out-spoken champions for the poor and oppressed? Who could replace the powerful voice of Wellstone in the U.S. Senate, for the poor and the powerless? Who could replace the cries of the oppressed spoken through the voices of Archbishop Romero and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? But as tragic as these events were, I learned that their blood cried from the ground and spoke of injustice as loudly as their voices. For in their deaths seeds were planted which brought forth a harvest of great abundance. In Senator Wellstone’s death came a harvest of renewed activism throughout the nation for better candidates through Wellstone Action. In Archbishop Romero’s death came a harvest of awareness in the American people about what was going on with our neighbors to the south and a movement for the U.S. to stop arming El Salvador and help them come to a negotiated peace. The abundant harvest of the passing of the Civil Rights Bill and all its ramifications, though passed before his death, came out of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose presence continued to threaten the forces of injustice and is the undying spirit of civil rights in this nation.

Despite the harvest of righteousness that came out of the deaths of all those named above, none can compare with the death of Jesus. In the Gospel of John for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, Jesus speaks of the fruit that will be born as a result of his death. “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Jesus was given to us to show us the path of peace and though he was handed over to the forces of evil, he did not resist, because his death became their powerful defeat. The end of Jesus’ earthly life, marked the beginning of salvation for the world.

- Donna Pususta Neste

Palms and Paschal Garden

Donations for Passion Sunday palms and the Easter paschal garden will be received for one more Sunday, March 25. Members of the Worship Committee will be available after each liturgy on those dates to receive your contribution. Checks should be made payable to “Mount Olive Women.”

“A Very Present Help”
Midweek Lent at Mount Olive

For the Wednesday Lenten services this year we will focus on the presence of God in our lives, specifically the places where God’s healing grace is offered. We’ll be using as our starting point a section of Luther’s Smalcald Articles (from the Lutheran confessions) in which he describes the ways God’s grace and forgiveness are given us in concrete and knowable places.

The midweek schedule is Eucharist at 12:00 noon, followed by a soup lunch at 1:00 p.m. In the evening, there will be a soup supper at 6:00 p.m., and Evening Prayer at 7:00 p.m. The preaching at the noon Eucharist will be based on our theme, and the same meditation will be shared during the evening soup supper, with opportunity for further conversation at the meal. Note: If you normally come to Evening Prayer in Lent but don’t come early for the supper, you’ll miss the conversation; consider coming early and concluding the evening with Evening Prayer.

March is Minnesota FoodShare Month!

Bring non-perishable food donations any Sunday during March and place them in the grocery cart in the cloak room. The goal this year is to collect a total of 12 million combined dollars and pounds of food from congregations, businesses, and individuals throughout Minnesota. This amount will stock food shelves around the state with more than half the food distribution needed annually. And remember, food shelves can stretch donations of cash further than donations of food, because of their access to discount products and programs. So your cash donations go much farther! If you would like to make a cash donation, make your check out to Mount Olive and in the memo line write "MN FoodShare," and place it in the offering plate.

Keep Us In the Loop!

Are you moving? Do you have a new phone number or email address? Don’t forget to call or drop a note to the church office and let us know! Our directory of members and friends is published about twice each month, and so updates are always being made. Thanks for helping us keep contact information as current as possible.

Altar Guild Cleaning Day

Mount Olive Altar Guild members will clean our chancel on Saturday, March 24, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Extra hands are always welcome as we prepare for the upcoming Holy Week and Easter liturgies. We usually work two to three hours, but workers stay as long as they're able. If you have questions, contact Beth Gaede ( or 715-531-0098).

Vestry Update, 3-12-12

The Vestry met on Monday, March 12, and reviewed several different points of progress across all of the committees. Updates on the Capital Campaign Tithe and Visioning Process were first on the agenda. Currently the Capital Campaign Tithe Committee is working to determine how the remaining tithe will be distributed. They have received many good suggestions so far and will meet again in April to continue the discussion. Andrew Andersen and Diana Hellerman have agreed to work with Adam Krueger and Pastor Crippen to further develop the Visioning Process that will be rolled out this spring and summer to the congregation.

The Aesthetics Committee submitted its first report for Vestry review. In it they outlined some projects that they noted on their walk-through of the building. The committee hopes to be able to organize the list and develop more detailed information for each potential project.

On the past two Sundays, the Nominating Committee has met to discuss potential nominees for the open Vestry positions. They anticipate a full slate of candidates prior to the next Vestry meeting and the semi-annual Congregational Meeting being held in April.

In other committee reports, Andrew Andersen thanked the Vestry members for helping to welcome the new members into the congregation and also for helping to initiate conversations with visitors. With as many visitors that come each Sunday, we want to continue to offer a welcoming environment of hospitality. To aid with this, Adam Krueger encouraged everyone to wear their nametags.

Cantor Cherwien reported that he has been busy with the Cantorei, the NLC, and with helping Annie Becker Peterson and Diana Hellerman teaching the Godly Play children music to sing on March 25 and May 20.

Please note that the semi-annual Congregational meeting will be held on Sunday, April 22 at noon.

The next Vestry meeting will be on April 16, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Lisa Nordeen

Book Discussion Group

On April 14 the Book Discussion Group will discuss Birth of Venus, by Sarah Dunant. For the meeting on May 12 they will discuss Paths of Glory, by Jeffrey Archer.

Please note this advance announcement: at the meeting on July 14 we will discuss The Way We Live Now, by Anthony Trollope. This advance notice is shared due to the length of the book.

Organ Recital to be Held March 25

Organist Ken Cowan will present an organ recital at Mount Olive on Sunday, March 25, at 4:00 p.m.

Praised for his dazzling artistry, impeccable technique, and imaginative programming by audiences and critics alike, Ken Cowan maintains a rigorous performing schedule which takes him to major concert venues across the U.S., Canada and Europe. Mr. Cowan is Assistant Professor of Organ at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ, where he was awarded the 2008 Rider University Distinguished Teaching Award.

Included in the program will be:
  • Sonata No. 4 in B-flat (Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy)
  • “The Soul of the Lake,” Op. 96 No. 1, from Pastels from the Lake of Constance
    (Sigfrid Karg-Elert )
  • “Prelude to Act III,” from Lohengrin (Richard Wagner)
  • Prelude and Fugue in g minor, Op. 7, No. 3 (Marcel Dupré)
  • Prelude and Fugue in e minor, BWV 548 (Johann Sebastian Bach)
  • “Danse Macabre” (Camille Saint-Saëns)
  • Fantasy on the Chorale “How Brightly Shines the Morning Star”, Op. 40 No. 1 (Max Reger)

This event is sponsored by Mount Olive Music & Fine Arts.

Holy Week at Mount Olive

Sunday, April 1: Sunday of the Passion
Holy Eucharist at 8:00 and 10:45 am

Monday, April 2 Monday in Holy Week
Daily Prayer at 12:00 noon, in the side chapel of the nave, near the columbarium

Tuesday, April 3: Tuesday in Holy Week
Daily Prayer at 12:00 noon, in the side chapel of the nave, near the columbarium

Wednesday, April 4: Wednesday in Holy Week
Daily Prayer at 12:00 noon, in the side chapel of the nave, near the columbarium

Thursday, April 5: Maundy Thursday
Holy Eucharist, with Washing of Feet at 7:00 pm

Friday, April 6: Good Friday
Stations of the Cross at 12:00 noon
Adoration of the Cross at 7:00 pm

Saturday, April 7: Holy Saturday
Lumen Christi, The Easter Vigil, at 8:30 pm, followed by a festive reception

Sunday, April 8: The Resurrection of Our Lord
Festival Holy Eucharist at 8:00 and 10:45 am
A youth-sponsored Easter Brunch will be served between liturgies at 9:30 am

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