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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Olive Branch, 3/22/13

Accent on Worship

     We’re at the gate.

     It’s a week of high drama.  We’re going to be together a lot, again rehearsing the steps that bring us to the next gate:  the fulfillment of the baptismal promise of new and everlasting life.

     In a normal schedule, our weekly Sunday liturgies are a time to recharge the faith batteries so that we can go back to our lives and contexts carrying out what we’ve learned and live the values we have professed.  Not as easy as it sounds.  We’re here for one morning, then go about our work/play for the remaining 6 ½ days.  Easy to forget.

     Holy Week is our time to almost reverse that pattern.  We should spend a half day out “in the world” and the rest here.  This could be our super battery charge that needs to last us not only 6 ½ days, but forever.  It’s reigniting our trust in the promise that we won’t need to fear the worst of fears: death itself.

     The week’s journey is a reminder that this is no simple endeavor.  It does mean death.  Following Christ means going through things we’d probably rather not do, and we’d consider joining Peter in saying, “Who?”  Death is indeed a reality, as is pain, suffering and sometimes terrifying reality of decision making.  (To follow, or . . . not).

     We have liturgies every day during Holy Week.  Monday through Wednesday at noon, a prayer service is offered.  (Even if you’re not there, we’re praying for you).  At the center of the day – a trek here puts prayer at the core of the day, the core of daily life.

     Thursday is the family meal – and we make an effort to bring as many here who might otherwise have difficulty getting to an evening service.

     Friday noon is a most dramatic and powerful prayer service – Stations of the Cross – with its improvised organ interpretations of each station and hymn stanza.  The room gradually fills with smoke as the story builds to its climax – the death on the cross.  During that service, the organ goes silent until the Easter proclamation.

     Friday evening we return – for the liturgy of the adoration of the cross, and the powerful reproaches from the cross: “Oh my people, what have you done to me?”

     Saturday, of course, is the high drama of the Easter Vigil – the stories told of God’s saving grace  in the starkness of the darkened room – with our re-commitment of our baptismal vows,  and the explosion of praise at the Easter proclamation.  After this, we gather socially to celebrate with champagne and food!  Why not? We have something exciting to celebrate!

     Then … we come back Sunday for more!  All with a feeling of happy tired.  If all that doesn’t re-charge us, what will?

     See you.  Again, and again, and again, and again.  How about eight days in a row?  Maybe your friends and co-workers you’re with all week will do as the Exodus story wonders in Thursdays readings when you say “Gotta go”:  they might ask “why” do you do this?    Ah…..There’s the chance to explain.

- Cantor David Cherwien

Sunday Readings

March 24, 2013 – Sunday of the Passion
Isaiah 50:4-9a + Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11 + Luke 22:14—23:56

March 31, 2013 – Resurrection of Our Lord
Isaiah 65:17-25 + Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
I Corinthians 15:19-26 + Luke 24:1-12

Paschal Garden

     Members of the Worship Committee will be on hand for one more Sunday, March 24 (Palm Sunday) between the liturgies, to receive your donations to purchase Easter flowers for this year’s Paschal Garden.

Holy Week Worship Schedule

Sunday, March 24: Sunday of the Passion
Holy Eucharist at 8:00 and 10:45 am

Monday, March 25: Monday in Holy Week
Daily Prayer at 12:00 noon, in the side chapel of the nave, near the columbarium

Tuesday, March 26: Tuesday in Holy Week
Daily Prayer at 12:00 noon, in the side chapel of the nave, near the columbarium

Wednesday, March 27: Wednesday in Holy Week
Daily Prayer at 12:00 noon, in the side chapel of the nave, near the columbarium

Thursday, March 28: Maundy Thursday
Holy Eucharist at 7:00 pm

Friday, March 29: Good Friday
Stations of the Cross at 12:00 noon
Adoration of the Cross at 7:00 pm

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

Sunday, March 31: Resurrection of Our Lord
Festival Holy Eucharist at 8:00 and 10:45 am

Need A Ride During Holy Week?     

We know that several in our community find it difficult to travel to church for evening liturgies for a variety of reasons. We’d like to help! If you need a ride to Maundy Thursday Eucharist (7:00 p.m.) or any other liturgies of Holy Week, just let us know and we will find a ride for you. Simply call the church office (612-827-5919) or Warren Peterson (952-935-9262). Also, if you are willing to offer a ride to someone who needs one, please call the church office.

Semi-annual Congregation Meeting to be Held Sunday, April 28

     The Vestry has announced the date of the April semi-annual congregation meeting to be Sunday, Apr. 28, after the second liturgy.  Among the items on the agenda will be election of officers and directors, whose terms will begin on July 1.  Any wishing to suggest names to the nominating committee for the positions of president, vice-president, secretary, and directors of congregational life, evangelism, or neighborhood ministries are encouraged to contact Adam Krueger, congregational president.

     Also on the agenda are several constitutional and bylaw amendments presented to the congregation by the Vestry, attached to this Olive Branch as a separate document.  The first page, the constitutional amendments, is a second hearing of amendments presented and approved at the October semi-annual meeting.  Should these be approved again, with at least a 2/3 majority of those present and voting, they will be formally ratified.  The second pages are bylaw amendments which only need the one hearing and vote at this meeting.  Included in these amendments are bylaws establishing a business and finance committee, directed by the treasurer, and some corrective edits to several directors’ bylaws.

March is Minnesota FoodShare Month!

     It’s not too late to donate cash or groceries to the local food shelf during Minnesota FoodShare month in March. A donation of money more than doubles the amount of food available to food shelves, because food shelves can purchase food at discounted prices.  If you choose to give in this way, make your check payable to Mount Olive and write Food Shelf on the memo line. If you prefer to donation non-perishable groceries, they may be brought to the cart in the coat room.

Music & Fine Arts Event Date Revision

     The Uptown Brass Quintet will appear in concert at Mount Olive on April 21, 4:00 p.m. (not April 14, as previously published!).

     These brass virtuosos are all members of the Minnesota Orchestra and will present an exciting concert of gorgeous brass sonorities featuring great music ranging from Bach to Piazolla.

Book Discussion Group

     For the April 13 meeting the Book Discussion group will discuss In the Company of the Courtesan, by Sarah Dunant.  For the May 11 meeting we will discuss Children of God by Mary Doria Russell.  This is the sequel to her novel The Sparrow which we read earlier.

Night on the Street

     On Friday night April 19, Peter Crippen and Eric Manuel and their mothers, along with members of Trust Youth group and more than 400 other teens from 30 Twin Cities congregations, have committed to spend the night in a church parking lot near downtown Minneapolis to learn about youth  homelessness. Together they will learn what life is like for teens on the street.

How do homeless teens make it from day to day?
What resources are available to them?
What can be done to help those who have no place to call home?

     For that evening, they will stand in a soup line for dinner and spend the night sleeping outside in cardboard boxes.

     They are doing this not only to increase awareness of youth homelessness, but also to raise money to help in efforts to end the problem. Participants been asked to raise enough funds to provide one week’s worth of safe and supportive services for a homeless youth. That’s $140.00 for seven days!

     If you are able to help us meet that goal, please see Peter or Eric on Sunday  morning, or drop off a check in the church office, payable to Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, with "Night on the Street" in the memo line.  

     All donations to A Night on the Street will go to Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, a faith-based nonprofit housing organization. The event has corporate sponsors, so every dollar we raise will go directly to serving the youth!


     At Mount Olive we have just completed a successful multi-year Capital Campaign, Pastor Crippen is well into his third year as our pastor and has a strong sense of who and where we are, and our Neighborhood Ministry Coordinator, Donna Neste, has announced her retirement in 2014.  This is the time to discern God's vision for our shared ministry in this neighborhood and the world.  Listed here are opportunities for you to gather as community so the heart and soul of Mount Olive can discern what God would have us do in this place at this time.

     To Pray and Gather for 3 congregational meetings this spring:  We ask each member to pray for this process over the next few months and participate in three congregational meetings to build community around our vision process.  Come together after the second liturgy on April 7 and May 5 and the only liturgy on June 2.  A light lunch will be served.

On April 7 we will create a time-line of our history in this place with the neighborhood.  We need the memory of those who have been here many years as well as the questions and insights of those who have become members more recently.
On May 5 we will identify our core values that will help us determine how to move forward in the process.
On June 2 we will hear a report from our community observers and community interviewers and then actively brainstorm ideas about God’s vision for our future as God's people in this place.

     To Listen and Observe:  We need members to go to pre-determined locations around the church’s neighborhood in groups of three to observe what they see and hear and then meet in someone's home and pray together.  We call these members  Community Observers because they will not speak to others, just observe.  We are asking them to commit to 2-3 visits as a group between April 14 and May 12.  The purpose is to simply observe and pray, to let your eyes and heart be open, not judge or find a solution.  We need 90 volunteers (30 groups of 3)!

     To Listen and Interview:  We need members to interview identified community leaders about what they see in and hope for the neighborhoods around Mount Olive.  We call these members Community      
Interviewers and are asking them to commit to 2 visits between April 14 and May 12.  Sample interview questions will be provided.  The purpose is to understand what is being offered and what gifts and challenges they see.  We need 25 volunteers!

     On April 14 there will be training for all Community Interviewers and Community Observers after 2nd service from 12:30 to 1:30 pm.  A light lunch will be served.

     Sign-up sheets for all of these activities are at the church office with a more detailed job description.  Or please talk with any member of the vision team.

     There are also copies of the neighborhood report that we commissioned the Precept Group to do for us around the church and parish house (narthex, reception areas, chapel lounge, office) or ask a team member.  It shows faith preference, diversity, issues they care about, income level and more about the people who live within a two mile radius of the church.

     It is exciting to think about being deliberate in seeking what God has planned for Mount Olive, her people, and our neighborhoods.  Won’t you be a part of discovering what that might be and how it could look for our life together? Plan now to join us!

- Team members: Andrew Andersen, Judy Hinck, Adam Krueger, Connie Marty, Peter Tressel, Carol Austermann;  Staff members: Pastor Crippen, David Cherwien, Donna Neste.

Mount Olive Friendly Phone Call Ministry

     A new congregational ministry at Mount Olive is about to begin, developed by the Congregational Life and Neighborhood Ministries Committees. The ministry is intended to help the congregation keep in closer contact with members who have difficulty getting to church or who are living alone.

     We are in process of identifying people who might like to receive a call on occasion and those who would act as callers. If you are a person who would enjoy receiving a regular phone call and would enjoy staying in touch with a member of the congregation, or if you would like to be a caller, I’d like to hear from you.

     To participate, please call Sue Ellen Zagrabelny at 763-420-8377 or you may contact her by email at

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