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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Olive Branch, 3/26/12

Accent on Worship

A miracle-working, controversial itinerant from outstate rides into town on a donkey, attracting and stirring up the massive crowds of people who were already streaming in for a major religious festival, as occupying armies report to their leader, “This guy is being called ‘king’ -- and he’s acting like a Jewish king.” This can’t end well.

Jesus’ actions on Palm Sunday would have brought to mind Zechariah 9:9:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

We don’t know much about Pontius Pilate, but we do know that acting like a kingly messiah was not a way to avoid the attention of the Roman authorities. Caesar was king; any challenge to that statement would make a kingly procession end at a cross, not a throne.

No one seeking governmental power would ride toward a cross; the cross was a horrible, humiliating way to die, suffocating from the weight of one’s own body, wracked with pain, naked, alone. That is what Jesus knows will happen, as soon as he tells the disciples to find a colt. The cross is closer with each wave of the palms, each shout of Hosanna.

Yet we, too, voice “Hosanna,” every Sunday, as we sing the “Holy, Holy, Holy,” before communion. Our thanksgiving to God is connected to Christ’s cross.

We look through a lens of faith, and we see that the cross is Christ’s throne. The cross is the victory of God, because Jesus takes our sin and dies. Yet sending anyone to the cross is awful. We know Christ’s cross is our salvation, so we give thanks for it; and the cross also rightly repels us. It should do both.

- Vicar Erik Doughty

Sunday Readings

April 1, 2012 – Sunday of the Passion
Isaiah 50:4-9a + Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11 + Mark 14:1—15:47

April 8, 2012 – Resurrection of Our Lord
Isaiah 25:6-9 + Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
I Corinthians 15:1-11 + Mark 16:1-8

This Week’s Adult Education
Palm Sunday, April 1, 9:30 a.m.

On Palm Sunday, April 1 (this Sunday) the adult education hour will include two activities:

At the beginning of the hour, Cantor Cherwien will offer a brief introduction to the musical responses for the opening portion of the Easter Vigil.

After that, Donna Neste will facilitate the annual Bread for the World Offering of Letters. Everything that Bread for the World has worked to secure for poor and hungry people over the past thirty years is at risk of being cut by congress - WIC, SNAP (food stamps), tax credits for low income families, international food aid assistance, poverty-focused foreign development, and more. You are invited to learn more about these life-giving issues and voice your concern by writing a letter to your representatives in Washington at adult forum. Everything you need will be available, (information, paper, envelopes, addresses, and even stamps) to help you exercise your God-given gift of citizenship, to do for the least, to do for Jesus.

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 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


Thanks to the dedicated crew that dusted walls and furnishings, polished brass, and scraped wax off the floors in our sanctuary and narthex. Marcella, Daehn, Beth Gaede, Judy Hinck, Peggy Hoeft, Annette Roth, Sandra Pranschke, and Steve Pranschke worked hard to make our worship space glow for the upcoming Holy Week and Easter liturgies.

A Wonderful and Generous Blessing

Earl Juhl grew up on 10th Avenue South, across from Powderhorn Park and only a block or two from Mount Olive. Earl lost his father at age 5, but his mother, sister, and Earl all were lifelong Mount Olive members. A star football player at Minneapolis Central High School, Earl went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota with a degree in engineering. While he spent much of his adult life in Richfield, Earl continued to keep Mount Olive as his church home.

Life for Earl and his wife Denise changed sadly and dramatically in 1996 when they lost their only daughter to cancer. As they coped with this tragedy, they eventually had to decide how to direct their estates after their lifetimes. They decided to divide their assets into equal halves benefiting Denise's Roman Catholic parish and Mount Olive. The result is the largest bequest that our church has ever received--$236,000. Following our bequest sharing agreement, the Church receives one-quarter of this amount and the Mount Olive Foundation receives three-quarters.

Earl Juhl was baptized, confirmed, and committed to eternal life from our church. Both in life and in death, Earl's legacy is his deep love for Mount Olive, both this place and its people.

- Keith Bartz, President
Mount Olive Lutheran Church Foundation

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.

Preserving our Tradition Through Tender Loving Care

If you have been in church during Lent, and entered the nave by the center isle, you have "run into" the font! Not bad imagery when you think about it, that we should "run into" our Baptism regularly! Some of you were baptized in that very font, and from that very bowl.

You may also have noted that our font is in need of some TLC. The original finish is deteriorated; several of the panels are split. It also has some structural issues.

Less obvious to most is that the lectern, after 80 years of service, also needs repairs and refinishing so it can continue to serve us for many years to come.

Thanks to a generous gift from the Mount Olive Lutheran Church Foundation, both these projects can go forward in the next few months. Worship Committee, consulting with the Director of Properties, has been discussing these projects for several months.

Let me emphasize, the plan is not to replace either the font or lectern. They both are beautiful pieces, and part of our heritage. Rather they will be restored and refinished, so that they can continue to serve in worship for years to come.

Here’s a little background on what is planned:

For most of its life, the font was secured to the floor in the area just to the left of the lectern. At one point, it was detached so that it could be made more visible and central in our worship during the Easter Season, All Saint's Sunday, and when used for baptisms. However, the font was never designed to be portable, and it has become somewhat shaky as a result.

Another issue is that baptismal remembrance with asperges has become a meaningful addition to our worship. The original bronze bowl was very difficult to remove so that it could be carried for this rite.

Several years ago, a member of the church provided the larger bowl that has been in use for the past few years. As we considered alternatives for the font, various plans were discussed that involved slightly enlarging the existing font, to bring it into proportion with the larger bowl.

Consideration of this alternative ended abruptly at the meeting when we passed the original bronze bowl around for careful examination. Looking into the dry bowl, Dave Cherwien exclaimed, "look at the rings"! Indeed, the various water levels that had been maintained over the decades had left pronounced rings in the bowl. David was quick to draw the comparison to the rings that record the life of a tree. From that point, discussions centered on repairing, refurbishing, and refinishing the font, utilizing the original bowl.

Briefly, the structure of the font will be repaired, including the cracked panels. A discreet bit of molding added around the bottom will improve the stability of the font, as it is no longer attached to the floor. An ornate cover was originally part of the design. For years, the font has been typically left open and filled with water. Without the cover, the top looks a little “unfinished.” A molding replicating the existing will be added to the top edge enhancing the appearance when the cover is off. There will also be a provision to make the bowl portable for asperges. The cover will be restored to match the base as well, to preserve the integrity of the original design.

Because of the excellent work done by St. Paul Fabricating in creating the Columbarium, they will be entrusted with doing this work as well.

As always, the worship committee appreciates your thoughts and comments. While we appreciate your conversation, please don't trust our memories to accurately bring your comments to the group for discussion. Please take a moment to drop us an email, or hand us a note.

- Al Bipes Director of Worship

Church Library News Announcing New Library Open Hours

After careful and prayerful deliberation, we have decided to alter slightly the hours that the Louise Schroedel Memorial Library is open for the congregation's use. As you know, our library committee members who staff the library on Sunday mornings and do a variety of other maintenance and processing procedures during the week, are all volunteers. We have been trying to keep the library open all Sunday mornings, however, it is because we value the generosity and stewardship of those volunteers that we hope to utilize their time in a more efficient and protective manner. Therefore, effective immediately, the library will be open from 9:15-10:45 a.m. for the upcoming Sundays in April and May. Once the congregation is on the summer worship schedule, the library will be open from 9:00-9:30 and again on either side of the liturgy, from 10:30-11:00 a.m.

I assure you we are not trying to discourage your use of our library; but rather to encourage you to increase your library usage during the new announced open hours. We will try to be responsive to "other than normal open hour needs" for specific library usage. In that case, let me know or leave a note with Cha in the church office, and we will try and be helpful.

Because there are newer members in our congregation, I would like to acquaint you with the location of our main library, which is at the very end of the north corridor, past the church offices. If it seems like a very long way, we would like to advise you that there are two passageways to reach the library from the East Assembly room, where you receive coffee and refreshments on Sunday mornings.

There is an attractive and fun commercial on TV for a feline product that ends with a lilting jingle "feed the senses." Maybe it is because I am the Grandma of two family cats, but seeing this commercial makes me smile every time I hear it and perhaps most of you do too. It recently made me stop, even if only for a few seconds, to offer a quick prayer of thanks for the gift of my senses. If you don't remember, the five senses are -- smell, taste, sight, hearing and touch. For someone who loves to read and is working with our church library ministry, however, the gift of sight is very, very extra special to me. I know the gift of our senses is generally taken for granted by most of us, but let's not let this be the "norm" any longer. Join me and put it at the top of your prayer list, whether it is something you access every day or every week!

In closing, the following quote from Eugene Rand is timely: "We would have to live more than a thousand years to experience first hand what we can experience in a lifetime of reading!"

- Leanna Kloempken

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