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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Olive Branch, 4/5/13

Accent on Worship

Life in a Bubble

     We all live in a bubble – a small cozy little world that makes sense to us.  In this bubble, we make definitions of people and things in order to make sense of the world as we see it.  Poor people are poor because… Gay people are… Republicans believe… The truth is that most often we make presumptions from a distance, not able to see the truth until we actually experience it in person.

     And I think that is what it is like for the disciples when they see Jesus for the first time.  The disciples (and we, ourselves) have a preconceived notion of death, namely that it is permanent.  So when Jesus shows up there is a lot of fear, shock, and puzzlement that is palpable in the room.  “Peace be with you,” Jesus says.

     Wait a second. Didn’t Jesus tell the disciples that he was going to die and be resurrected?  How is this shocking to the group of people who were closest to Jesus?

     Simply put, its one thing to hear about the resurrection, but it’s another thing to experience it in your own life.  Think of it this way.  By the time I was in college, I had seen the Taj Mahal on postcards, in textbooks, and in pictures of all kinds from all angles.  To be honest, not having a keen eye for architecture, I never thought much of it.  But when I traveled abroad to India, took the two hour train ride to Agra and saw it in person, it was an entirely different experience.  The detail was astonishing.  The grandeur was supreme.  To be there was awe-inspiring and magnificent.  Bubble popped.  Similarly, I had heard about the poverty in India, but nothing compared to being overwhelmed by it in person.

     The same thing must have been true for the disciples.  They heard about the resurrection and they had inclinations of what it would be like.  But nothing compared to being in the presence of resurrection.  “Put your finger here and see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it in my side,” says Jesus.  Bubble popped.

     This is a gift that Jesus gives us in our lives.  He destroys our preconceived notions of the world by saying “Peace. Come and see for yourself.”  And in this we have a faith that is not detached from reality, a faith that isn’t distant but close.  So if a rich person complains that people are poor because they “are lazy,” then Jesus responds “Come and see.”  When people say that gay couples don’t have relationships like straight couples, Jesus responds, “Come and see.”  And when people say that a person can never be resurrected from the dead, Jesus responds, “Come and see.”

     Bubble popped.

- Vicar Neal Cannon

Sunday Readings

April 7, 2013 – Second Sunday of Easter
Acts 5:27-32 + Psalm 118:14-29
Revelation 1:4-8 + John 20:19-31

April 14, 2013 – Third Sunday of Easter
Acts 9:1-6[7-20] + Psalm 30
Revelation 5:11-14 + John 21:1-19

Attention Mount Olive Worship Servants

     On April 15 I will begin working on the schedule for the 3rd quarter of 2013.  Please submit any requests for the months of July, August and September 2013 to me no later than April 15, 2013.      
     You may contact me via e-mail at or by phone at 952-835-7132.
- Peggy Hoeft

This Sunday’s Adult Forum

April 7 & 14: “Exemplary Youth Ministry: How Churches are Shaping the Faith of Young People,” a 2-part series, presented by Vicar Neal Cannon.

Hebrews Study on Thursday Evenings to Begin April 11

    The third Thursday Bible study series of this year begins on Thursday, April 11, and runs for six weeks.  Meeting in the Chapel Lounge from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Pr. Crippen will be leading a study of the book of Hebrews, an early Christian sermon preserved in the New Testament.  As usual, there will be a light supper when we begin.  If anyone wishes to provide the first meal, please let Pr. Crippen know.  All are welcome to this study opportunity!

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.

Paschal Garden

     Thanks to all who helped beautify our Easter worship by donating flowers for the Paschal Garden: Maury Anderson & Tom Olsen; Al & Margaret Bostelmann; Randy Werner & Peter Tressel; Don & Rhoda Nelson; Tim & Amy Reddy; Matt & Consuelo Crosby; David  & Susan Cherwien, to the glory of God; Brad & Linda Holt; Louise Lystig Fritchie; Louis & Kay Krohnfeldt; Linda & Mark Pipkorn; Rob & Lynn Ruff; Rosalie Griesse; Stan & JoAnn Sorenson; Ellie & Ken Siess; Geri & John Bjork; Marcella Daehn; Melba Smrcka; Evelyn Royce; Charles Gjovig; George & Marlys Oelfke;, Beverly Shupe; Bob & Berta Wick; Leila Froehlich; Lynn Dobson; Paul Odlaug, in memory of his father; Walter & Marian Cherwien; Mary Rose Watson; John Meyer; Lillian Olson; Carol Austermann; Walter & Lydia Iverson; Walt & Judy Hinck, in honor of the life of Greta Hinck; Melissa Stone; Reid & Ruth Peterson; Brenda Bartz; Michael Edwins, in memory of his parents, Mildred & Sam; Marty Hamlin & Cathy Bosworth, in honor of their families; Bonnie & Donn McLellan; Helen Bender, in memory of her husband, William; Larry Duncan, in memory of Annetta & Thomas Duncan; Joseph & Mary Crippen; Dan & Julia Adams, in memory of Eleanor Hilpert; Ginny Agresti & Tom Graves, in memory of loved ones, Steve & Dixie Berg, in memory of loved ones; Annette Roth, in memory of John Clawson; Janet Moede, in memory of her parents; Judy Graves, in memory of her mother; Walt & Jacqui Blue, in memory of their parents; Lora & Allen Dundek; The Hennig family; Dennis Bidwell & Eric Zander, in memory of their parents; Joe & Elizabeth Beissel, in memory of Rev. Thomas Weiskotten and Francis Beissel; Timm Schnabel & Tim Lindholm, in celebration of the past 6 years and future years to come. Special thanks is also extended to Gary Pagel, who brought and arranged the palms, and to Naomi Peterson, for arranging the flowers for the Paschal Garden.

Missing an Earring?

     Found over the Easter weekend by the kitchen crew: one 14k gold earring in the shape of a bee, with a pearl. If you lost this earring, please contact the church office.

Practicing Faith Together: A Day for All God’s Families

     Join members of TRUST congregations for a morning of family fun and faith on Saturday, April 13, from 9:00 a.m. until noon, at Lutheran Church of Christ the Redeemer (5440 Penn Avenue S., Minneapolis), with an optional lunch and service activity to follow.  TRUST is pleased to welcome Marilyn Sharpe as the speaker for this event. You may recognize Marilyn as the writer of the monthly “Positive Parenting” column in the Metro Lutheran.

     The workshop is open to all members and friends of TRUST congregations, especially families, however you describe yourselves as family, and knowing that all of us are part of God’s family. Members of TRUST churches are also invited to attend!

Theology on Tap

     Good news Theology on Tap Enthusiasts - For our April 11 Theology on Tap, Jessinia Ruff has agreed to babysit young kids at Mount Olive!  She'll watch your kids from 7:15-9:15 p.m. so you can come join our community discussion.  Please contact Vicar Neal Cannon ( ahead of time if you would like to use Jessinia as a baby-sitter that night so we know how many kids to expect.  Cost for the night is $10 for 1 kid, $15 for two, and $20 for three or more.

     Theology on Tap is a group at Mount Olive that meets once a month at local bars/restaurants to enjoy a good beverage and dialogue about faith and life (no preparation or book reading required, only your personal knowledge and insight).  Contact Vicar Neal Cannon (, 612-827-5919 x12) if you would like to join us or have questions about Theology on Tap!

April Event Details
Who: Anyone 21+ is welcome to join
Where: Old Chicago – 2841 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55408
When: Thursday April 11, 7:30-9:00pm
Discussion Topic: TBD
Facebook Page & Group: Mount Olive Theology on Tap-  “Like” the Page to get updates on Theology on Tap
Contact: Vicar Neal Cannon (

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 thirty 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!

Dining Out For Life

     Thursday, April 25 is the 19th annual Dining Out for Life Event, a fundraiser for The Aliveness Project, a community center for individuals and their families living with HIV/AIDS. Funds raised through this annual event directly support their services and programs.

     Dining out at participating restaurants is a great way to help with this worthy project, but this year they are also in need of over 500 Volunteer Ambassadors to serve at the participating restaurants.  If you are interested in helping in this way, call the Aliveness Project at 612-822-7946, or visit them on the web at

Congregational Vision Event #1-History, This Sunday (4/7) from 12:30-2:00

     I’ve always appreciated the quote attributed to Edmund Burke, a British statesman generally viewed as the philosophical founder of modern political conservatism.  He said, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." While often used as a warning, I like to think possible interpretation allows for good as well—some things might be worth doing again, or expanding upon what was once done.

     This Sunday we will have an opportunity to recall together some of Mount Olive’s history as one tool for building a vision and direction for our future.  Following a light luncheon, we will collect remembrances of what was going on at Mount Olive and in our neighborhood around the time you became a part of this faith community.  As stories of each decade are shared, our collective memory of this Church and her ministry will grow and a better understanding of who and why we are will emerge.

     The prayer of the Vision Leadership Team is that this will be an opportunity to capture individual and shared perspectives of what shaped our history and makes us the unique and wonderful community we are today.  Those who joined in the 90s may be surprised and hopefully enlightened by the things people recall from the 50s and so forth.  Undoubtedly we will gain new or renewed insight into some of our traditions and customs along the way.  These conversations and reflections provide the context for what we do today and will guide the choices we make for tomorrow.

     So think about when you became a member of the Mount Olive family (or at least your earliest recollections) and join us this Sunday to share them.  This will be the first of three such congregational vision events designed to gather information, perspective, and wisdom from you, our members, and provide focus and direction for our future.  On May 5 we will host the second Congregational Vision Event to consider our core values.  The last Congregational Vision Event will be on June 2 to consider what we do well, what we could do better, and maybe some things we haven’t even considered yet.  Mark your calendar now to be a part of each of these ‘first Sunday of the month’ conversations.

Adam Krueger
Vision Leadership Team

PS: Have you volunteered yet to be a Community Observer or Community Leader Interviewer?  These important and fun additional vision activities are designed to provide useful information about our neighborhood that will also be helpful in determining future direction and ministry.  Signup sheets and additional information on these two opportunities and what each involves are available on the shelf outside the Church Office window.  Training for both activities will be provided on April 14.


     Here are some upcoming events sponsored by TRUST:

Saturday, April 13, 7 pm, St. John Lutheran Church – The Caritas vocal ensemble will present a concert. Tickets are $15 ($10 for seniors), and a reception follows the concert.
Saturday, May 11, 8 am-Noon, Bethlehem Lutheran Church – Annual Plant Sale. Order forms will be available so that you can select the perfect plants for your garden.
Saturday, June 8, Lake Harriet – a walk to support the Parish Nurse Program. All walkers welcome!
Did you know that TRUST has staff who conduct estate sales? The Trusty Salers conduct sales on weekends.

     For information about these and all TRUST-sponsored activities, pick up a “Communicator” at church.

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