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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Olive Branch, 9/14/12

Accent on Worship

     I remember a scene.  I was at Central Lutheran Church for a worship event, Paul Manz was the organist.  I remember the hymn was “For All the Saints.”  Dr. Manz led us with a stately speed (which I found wonderfully majestic).  The person next to me, however, had a different idea.  She was literally squirming, muttering “Come on …!  Move it!!  A little faster!!” Wow. I also remember thinking,  It doesn’t matter who’s right and who’s wrong about how fast that hymn should go,  her choices at that point were one of two options:  to sing with the rest of us (at the tempo we were singing) or,  not to sing with rest of us.

     The readings for this and next week underscore something I learned in the above situation.

     When we gather for worship with its various activities, including singing, there’s an important dimension that we can be aware of: it’s not about us.  We have to put “self” aside in order to become “us.”  If we are going to express our faith “with one voice” we need to be in the same key, at the same tempo, singing the same song.

     For that person next to me at Central, she probably learned “For All the Saints” at a quicker pace. Perhaps it was jarring for her to slow down.  And I’ve learned that most assemblies are made up of individuals whose experiences and learning sources were elsewhere – all with different understandings of issues like how fast, what key, or even which hymns they know and love.  It’s not that anyone is absolutely right (although I am always right, of course).   For the sake of unity, one decision needs to preside to bring us out of individualism and into community as one voice.  Otherwise each song becomes an aleatory hodge-podge of individuals in competition with each other.

     That is where my mind went with the next couple of Gospel readings. This week, “Deny yourselves and take up the cross,” then next week the disciples arguing about who was the greatest, all speak of setting aside “self” for the sake of the community of Christ.

     Any choir becomes an excellent illustration.  If everyone tries to be a soloist, if everyone sings at their own speed, it’s a mess.  One person decides and all join in as one.  Even if it’s not YOUR favorite hymn, or if it’s a different tempo than what you learned, or if it’s in a key different from your memory – your choices are one of two: to sing, or not.

     We pray for the first.

- Cantor David Cherwien

Sunday Readings

September 16, 2012 – Time after Pentecost, Sunday 24
     Isaiah 50:4-9a + Psalm 116:1-9
     James 3:1-12 + Mark 8:27-38

September 23, 2012 – Time after Pentecost, Sunday 25
     Jeremiah 11:18-20 + Psalm 54
     James 3:13—4:3, 7-8a + Mark 9:30-37

This Week in Adult Education

     This Sunday, September 16, Pastor Crippen will present part 2 of a 2-part series, “An Introduction to the Book of James.”

New Members

     New members will be received on Sunday, September 23. If you are interested in becoming a member of Mount Olive, please speak to Pastor Crippen soon!

Welcome Our New Members

     Please join the Mount Olive Vestry for a welcome brunch with our new members on Sunday, September 23, following the second liturgy (approximately 12:30 pm). We will gather in the Undercroft for introductions, a light meal, and conversation.

     RSVP by Friday, September 21, to the church office (e-mail:, or call 612-827-5919).

Prayer Shawl Ministry

     Do you knit or crochet?  Yes?  Then mark Sunday, September 23 on your calendar because you are needed at the next meeting of the Mount Olive Prayer Shawl Ministry group.   We will meet at 9:30 AM.

     Don't know how to knit or crochet?  No problem.  We can teach you!  If you need additional information or have any questions about this project, contact Peggy Hoeft (

Coffee Hours This Sunday

     This Sunday, September 16, members of the Worship Committee Altar Guild will host the Coffee and Fellowship following each of the morning liturgies. These two committees wish to use this opportunity to acknowledge the countless hours of service provided by the many volunteers at Mount Olive.

     We are still trying to determine just how many consecutive years Marcella Daehn has served Mount Olive on both the Altar Guild and Worship Committee. She has decided to retire and pass the baton to others. Marcella is certainly not the only long serving volunteer in our midst. So we take this opportunity of her retirement to thank her for the example she has set for us all, and to thank all who have served and continue to serve.

     Well done, good and faithful servant(s)!

Book Discussion Group

     Mount Olive’s Book Discussion  group meets on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m. For the October 13 meeting they will read Remarkable Creatures, by Tracy Chevalier.

October 2 is Drawing Near

     Tuesday October 2, is the first day of Way to Goals Tutoring for this year, and I am looking for a few good men and women to be a positive force in a child's life by becoming a volunteer tutor.  If you have a heart for children this is the job for you!  This is a once a week commitment on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-8:30 p.m.  You will spend one hour with your student and the last half an hour enjoying a snack and fun activity, or just visiting with the other students and tutors.  The youth are in second through sixth grade.  The season goes from the first Tuesday in October through the last Tuesday in May.  We do not meet when the Minneapolis Public Schools are off and a few other Tuesday evenings. If you would like more information or you are interested in volunteering please give me a call at church, 612-827-5919.

- Donna Neste

Name Change and Request for Helpers

     The Worship Committee recognizes the valuable service the greeters are performing during our worship services, and most of you realize it goes far beyond greeting folks at the door.  Greeters arrive at least thirty minutes prior to the services, ensure bulletins and other informational brochures are available to the worshipers.  As well, they ensure doors are unlocked, lights and fans turned on, and windows opened or closed.  They may also be asked to perform some minor duties for the other worship assistants, depending on the logistics of the service.  They keep track of and record the numbers in attendance. They are also responsible for the offering collection, the procession of the gifts to the altar, as well as coordinating the flow of traffic to the Eucharist.  At the end of the service, they see that the offering is transferred quickly to the safe and conclude their duties by tidying the pews in the nave.  They also often field questions of newcomers, and now and again may have to respond to minor emergencies.  In other words, the greeters are much more than people who just greet at the door.  They are ushers, gracious hosts, ambassadors.  Therefore, it was decided in the most recent Worship Committee meeting that there will be a name change in the servant roster from "Greeter" to "Usher."

     With all of that in mind, we are always looking for new ushers, especially those who can serve with flexibility for both services, as well as evening services.  Those who serve in the evening would be asked to learn how to close the building, therefore adding some additional duties, similar to the previous "Building Keeper" position. This commitment is available for new and current ushers.  If you are interested in learning the building keeper duties of the ushers and have a flexible schedule that allows you to serve in the evening, please let Brian Jacobs know.

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