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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Olive Branch, 7/9/12

Accent on Worship

     “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”  What if this postal carrier’s “creed” was about church and its worship?
     Indeed – I see a variety of methods being put to use by churches these days – ways to entice people to fill the pews (if they have them).  Ways to ensure convenience and comfort, and certainly a promise of a subjectively pleasing, favorable experience – certainly better than Competition Lutheran Church down the road.  Then hopefully they will choose them and come back.  Snow, rain, heat, or deep darkness would not be helpful to this approach.

     Summer – especially with congregations like ours without air-conditioning – really puts that to test.  What brings us here?  Comfort/convenience can’t be it.  I’m amazed that Sundays with snow, pouring rain, or even excessive heat, people come.  They sing.  They praise. They listen.  They partake in the Holy Meal.  There is a huge difference here – it is “who” these activities are about.

     Summer points out that it clearly is not about us.  It is indeed about God.  It’s precisely that God calls us out of convenience – calls us out of our sense of narcissism into a sense of what God needs, and what our neighbor needs.

     It is fun when you throw an open invitation party and lots of people come!  And the collective experience does bond us together – including experiencing each other’s joys and woes.  But when we gather for liturgy, it is not WE who threw the party,  it is God.  God is host – we are the grateful recipients of the tremendous gifts God has to offer to us and to the world.  How do we respond?  (“Could you make it a little more comfortable for me?”  “Could you say this and that instead?”  “Could you really just tell me what I want to hear?”  “Can you serve Pinot Noir instead of Merlot?”  “Could you sing the song my mom sang to me?”)  It’s easy to come down with a bad case of “I, Me or My” disease.

     How about responding with a sense of gratitude and excitement as WE spread GOD’s invitation to venture beyond ourselves?  In spite of temperature.

     It is reassuring to see us “sweat for Jesus one hour a week” (quoting saint Dorothy).  It is reassuring that week after week, so many do respond and not just for themselves.  It is reassuring that after crises like September 11, 2001, attendance in some places like here did not swell,  because we are largely already always here.  Our prayer and sense of need intensified, but we were already here.  So was God.

     Now don’t hear me saying we should never get air conditioning.  Sometimes it can be physically dangerous and human bodies aren’t used to heat the way we were even 30 years ago.  What I AM saying that it wouldn’t matter:  we’ll still be here with or without it.

     And for me it is not only reassuring to hear so many sing out like you do here – not for me, not for yourselves, but for God.  God really matters to us, and that’s why we’re here.  In spite of the heat.


- Cantor David Cherwien

Sunday Readings

July 15, 2012 – Time after Pentecost, Sunday 15
Amos 7:7-15 + Psalm 85:8-13
Ephesians 1:3-14 + Mark 6:14-29

July 22, 2012 – St. Mary Magdalene, Apostle
Ruth 1:6-18 + Psalm 73:23-28
Acts 13:26-33a + John 20:1-2, 11-18

 Missing the Font?

     Mount Olive’s baptismal font is being restored and re-built. It will be back in the nave by mid-summer.

Attention Worship Assistants!

     Here is the link to the most current version of this quarter’s Servant Schedule online:  Click on the large red bar that indicates “View Current Servant Schedule.”

     Take a few minutes to note when you are scheduled to serve, and mark your calendars accordingly. Save this page as a bookmark or favorite in your browser, and you will always have the most current schedule available.

     Hard copies of this schedule are available in the narthex, in the church office, and on the table next to the server’s albs in the back hall at church, if you would like to pick one up. If you would like a schedule mailed to you (via snail mail), please call the church office.

Garden Tour Fundraiser

     See some beautiful gardens and support a worthwhile project!

     This garden tour is a fund raiser to purchase a rolling overhead door for the serving window in the East Assembly Room. This would allow folks to work on the counter without disturbing those who may be meeting in that space.

     The tour will take place on Sunday, July 22, after church.  Participants will  be served brunch at the first garden stop, travel to another garden or two, and end the tour with a garden party at the last stop.  The charge for the tour will be $25.00 per person.  More information will be available soon, but in the meantime, mark your calendar! We hope many will be able to attend.  We had a great time with this fundraiser two years ago and we are sure that this year will be just as much fun.

     Rides will be provided for those who need or want them. Please call the church office if you would like a ride, and someone will get back to you to make arrangements.

Book Discussion Group

     Mount Olive’s Book Discussion group regularly meets on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m. For the July 14 meeting, they will read The Way We Live Now, by Anthony Trollope, and  for August 11 they will read The Razor's Edge, by W. Somerset Maugham. All readers welcome!

The Bargain Box

     Each August, Mount Olive Neighborhood Ministries sponsors The Bargain Box, an affordable way for neighborhood families to obtain good quality clothing (new and gently used) for children of all ages to wear as they return to school in the fall. This year, the Bargain Box will be on August 4, from 8-11:30 a.m.

     You can help by donating new or gently used children’s clothes or money to purchase clothes (please include “Bargain Box” in the memo line of your gift), before August 4.

     If you have any questions about Bargain Box, please contact Irene Campbell at 651-230-3927.

Property Committee

     The Property Committee will meet Sunday, July 29, at 11:00 a.m. in the Undercroft.  Those experienced in maintaining the Mount Olive facility and those who would like to become part of the property team are invited and encouraged to attend.  The meeting will be over by lunchtime.  If you have any questions, please contact me at 651 558 7979.
 - Brenda Bartz, Director of Properties

Adult Forum July 29, 2012

     “All this is from God, who reconciled us through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”  2 Corinthians 5:18

     Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only the union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?

     Join the conversation on Sunday, July 29. Our guest is Tim Feiertag, Grassroots Organizing and Training Coordinator at Lutherans Concerned North America headquarters (LC/NA) in St. Paul. Tim holds a degree in Social Work from Valparaiso University and a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. His involvement in Lutherans Concerned includes being co-chair of the Kansas City/Lawrence Chapter, serving on the national board of directors and as Regional Director for the Central Region. In 1998, he was elected co-chair of LC/NA, a position he held until 2002.  Across time he has participated in and conducted various trainings, from I-Wheel to RIC and Building an Inclusive Church.  He comes to LC/NA and St. Paul from the Missouri Children's Division in Kansas City where he served as a caseworker for abused and neglected children and their families.

School Supplies Drive

     Summer's just begun and for the Neighborhood Ministries Committee that means looking forward to the beginning of .... school!? That's right!  

     Summer is when we start thinking about gathering school supplies for distribution to 100 neighborhood children at the August 4 community meal. While this is an item in our budget, the generous contributions we receive each year from the congregation help us to provide as many supplies as possible. Please look for a Neighborhood Ministries Committee member during coffee hour on July 15, 22, and 29 and offer your support to this vital neighborhood ministry.

- Kathy Kruger, Neighborhood Ministries Committee member

Capital Campaign "Tithe" Update

     The Tithe Task Force will meet over the summer to continue working on the process for capital campaign tithe allocations.   We are pleased to report that Celia Ellingson volunteered to join the task force and was approved by the Vestry.  The Task Force also wants to thank the congregation for suggesting worthy nonprofit organizations and initiatives that might be appropriate for the capital campaign tithe. Nearly 40 organizations or initiatives were suggested by congregation members or by the neighborhood ministries committee or by the missions committee.  We will continue to update the congregation during the summer and fall about our progress in considering how Mount Olive can faithfully act as stewards of the capital campaign gifts.

Heat Advisory Volunteers Needed

     We would like to open Mount Olive's air conditioned building to those who need a break from the heat when it is extreme, like it was for most of last week. Volunteer hosts are needed. This task involves welcoming those who come, showing them to the west assembly area, and offering a cold drink and a place to sit for awhile.

     We hope to provide this relief whenever a heat advisory is issued for Minneapolis. If you are interesting in being a heat relief host or if you have any questions at all about this project, please call Donna Neste at church (612-827-5919), or send her a note (  Hopefully we can find a few volunteers who might be able to make themselves available for a couple of hours at a time on short notice.

August Choral Ensembles

Women's Ensemble
Interested women are invited to come and sing for the August 4 Eucharist at 9:30 am.  There will be one rehearsal on Wednesday,  August 1,  at 7:00 for one hour.   The group will sing several liturgical things and an anthem for women's voices,  conductor will be Christine Hazel.

Men's Ensemble
Men are invited to join together to sing for the August 12 Eucharist.  There will be one rehearsal,  on THURSDAY, August 9, at 7:00 for one hour.  This group will also sing several liturgical things and an anthem for men's voices.  Cantor Cherwien will lead this ensemble.

Thank You Very Much!

     Mary and our family and I want to thank you, our sisters and brothers at Mount Olive, for making it possible for us to move from Northfield this past month.  I don’t know how many of you were aware that when you called me, the Vestry set aside a budget for moving and decided to carry it over until we were able to sell and buy and get moved.  It was incredibly kind and helpful of them to do that on your behalf, and we are very glad to be close by now.  Our house in Northfield sold, which is a huge relief, and we’re pretty much all unpacked now.  It feels much more “settled” for us in more than one way.  There have been many who have asked over the past 20 months how my commute was going, but the truth is, Mary’s been commuting to Bloomington for nearly 13 years, so this is probably a greater gift for her than for me!

     Our new address is 6821 W. 82nd Street, Bloomington, Minnesota 55438.  It takes me only about 15-17 minutes to get to church now, and the remarkable thing is that this gives me at least 6 extra hours a week that I was previously using to drive.  I should be able to catch up on some reading this summer!  

     Again, thank you all so much for all your kindness and support since we’ve come to be with you, and especially for this move.  God’s blessings be with you all!

– Pastor Crippen 

Meals on Wheels

     According to Betsy Peregoy, Program Director for TRUST, Inc.’s Meals on Wheels program, the following people from Mount Olive delivered meals during the second quarter of 2012: Nancy & Gary Flatgard, Elaine & Art Halbardier, Bob Lee, and Connie & Rod Olson. In her note Betsy says, “All of us at TRUST are grateful for their dedicated service!”

     And the members of Mount Olive are, too.

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