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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Olive Branch, 5/1/13

Accent on Worship


     Praise is not always easy to come by.  Some people are stingy in how and when they give praise.  For these people, you really have to do something special and unique in their eyes to earn that pat on the back or those words of encouragement.  Taking out the garbage or cleaning your room doesn’t get recognized because those are the things you are supposed to do and you don’t get praise for the everyday or the mundane.

     When one’s life lacks praise, one can feel underappreciated and taken for granted.  For example, resentment often builds up in a relationship when one person does all the work and the other sits around watching TV and eating Cheetos.  In essence, when the ordinary doesn’t get noticed or appreciated we take for granted the people who make those things happen.

     And I wonder if that’s not the essence of Psalm 148, that we should remember to praise God for all the little miracles in our lives that take place every day.  Thirteen times the psalmist encourages all things to praise God, the creator of our world, for all that God has done.  “Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created.” In essence, the psalmist says that every created thing in the world owes its existence to God and for that alone God is worthy of our praise.

     But this psalm moves beyond a thank you letter of praise for our existence.  This psalm praises God for being God.  This psalm exhorts us to praise the Name of God itself.  “Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted.”  In this sense, praise is not predicated on an action that that is done for us; rather the psalmist gives praise to God because God simply is great.

     Praising God in this way helps us to value the daily miracle of our lives but it also teaches us to value existence itself.  In the same way that we value God for being God, what if we valued people for being people?  What if we said we inherently value people before they did anything for us, without condition to their actions toward us?

     Learning to praise God for all created things helps us to appreciate the daily miracle of sun, life, and breath; for our very creation.  Going a step further, praising the name of God is praising God’s very existence.  Similarly, perhaps today we can praise and give thanks for all the everyday things people do; for the mail carrier bringing us our mail, for a loved one doing the dishes, for waiter who serves us our meal.  But more than that, perhaps this song of praise can remind us that we should generously love and value all people just for being people.

     Praise the Lord all you Minnesotans! Praise the Lord!

- Vicar Neal Cannon

Sunday Readings

May 5, 2013 – Sixth Sunday of Easter
Acts 16:9-15 + Psalm 67
Revelation 21:10, 22—22:5 + John 5:1-9

May 12, 2013 – Seventh Sunday of Easter
Acts 16:16-34 + Psalm 97
Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21 + John 17:20-26

New Members to Be Received on Sunday, May 19, Day of Pentecost

If you are interested in becoming a member of Mount Olive, please contact Pastor Crippen (, or Andrew Andersen, Director of Evangelism (

The Ascension of Our Lord
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Holy Eucharist at 7:00 p.m.

This Sunday’s Adult Forum

     May 5 - "Luther and the Hungry Poor," presented by Dr. Samuel Torvend. Dr. Torvend teaches courses in the history of early, medieval and reformation Christianity as well as historical courses on the reform of social welfare, Christian responses to local and global hunger, Christian art and architecture, and Christian rituals at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.

Hebrews Study on Thursday Evenings

     Postponed twice due to bad weather, the third Thursday Bible study series of this year began last Thursday, April 25, and will run for five more weeks on Thursday evenings.  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.  All are welcome to this study opportunity!

May Day, May Day!

     The May Day Parade will take place in our neighborhood this Sunday.  We would like to have a large number of folks from Mount Olive come to watch the parade as a group, making our presence in the community known in this way.  The plan is to leave from Mount Olive after the Congregation Visioning Meeting (lunch will be served there) this Sunday, May 5, either walking or by car, to view the parade together from between 31st and 33rd on Bloomington Ave. We will meet in the West Hospitality area after the congregation Visioning meeting. Rides may be arranged for those who need them. If you have a Mount Olive shirt, or other item with the Mount Olive logo, please be sure to wear it.  You may also want to bring a lawn chair. Let’s have a good turnout for a fun time, taking part in a neighborhood activity.

Summer Jobs After School

     The Summer Jobs After School Program is in need of one more volunteer.  If you would like to hang out with three or four cool kids to supervise jobs and an art project once a week for up to two hours for six weeks, call Donna at church, 612-827-5919.  Jobs After School will run from the first week in July through mid-August.  It’s a lot of fun!

Can You Help?

     The Vision Team is in need of a couple people who enjoy data entry and could help compile the results of the Community Observer and Community Interview forms.  The only requirements are a modest typing skill and familiarity with and access to email and Microsoft Word (or compatible) software.  If interested and you could spend a couple of hours doing this, please let the Church office know.  Thank you and God bless!

Summer Worship Schedule Begins Soon!

     Beginning Memorial Day weekend and running through Labor Day weekend, Mount Olive celebrates one Sunday Eucharist, at 9:30 a.m.  This year, the first Sunday of Summer Schedule is Sunday, May 26.

Book Discussion Group

     Mount Olive’s Book Discussion group meets on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m. at church. For the May 11 meeting, they will discuss Children of God, by Mary Doria Russell, which is the sequel to her book The Sparrow.  And for the June 8 meeting, they will discuss The Calligrapher's Daughter, by Eugenia Kim.

Visioning Update

     I heard at this week’s Vision Leadership meeting that one of our members asked why we didn’t have an Olive Branch article last week.  It’s exciting that people have visioning on the mind even without prompting.  It’s thrilling to sense an eagerness for “better vision”.  We don’t have plans to write Vision articles every week, but we do hope and pray that you are always open to and looking for ways in which God is leading us forward.  And if you have some ideas  (dare we say vision) for how God is at work among us in this effort, please let us know.

     This Sunday, May 5, the Leadership Team is hosting another Congregational event with the focus on “values”.  Self-aware people are aware of their values, the things that are important to them, the essence of what they believe in.  The same is true of congregations. Values come in all shapes and sizes – love, calmness, personal growth, making a difference, courage, honesty, confidence, friendship, win-win, determination, resourcefulness, adventure, caring – the list goes on and on as we will see Sunday.

     Once our values are recognized and celebrated, they become the code that guides our decisions – our work and choices become aligned with OUR values and not those of pop culture or trends.  By examining our core values we will gain valuable understanding of who we are and what makes us tick - a very important aspect of our growth and development into what God would have us be and do for God.

     Detailing our values is not easy, but it is beneficial.  Our values say what is important to us, what matters. When we know what our values are, decisions become easier and our vision more clear– we just follow the values we identified.  They move us toward opportunities rather than away from challenges.  They move us ever forward without disregarding or forgetting where we are or have been.  They become the signposts, the beacons, marking the way God has chosen for us.

Please join us this Sunday after the second liturgy to explore and identify those values that define Mount Olive and her people and are the hallmarks of what God is doing and will do with and through us.  All are welcome.  A light lunch will be served and we plan to have you on your way before 2:00 for those who are attending the May Day festivities in Powderhorn Park afterwards.

- Adam Krueger

Church Library News

      I am writing this during National Library Week (April 14-20) and it seems like a good time to remind you to make use of your church library often.  One of the current displays in our library features these informational and inspiring books:

    Through Many Windows, by Arthur Gordon
    The Innermost Room, by Eileen Mitson
    The Irrational Season, by Madeleine L'Engle
    By Way of Response (Journeys in Faith) by Martin E. Marty
    Raspberry Kingdom, by Renee Hermann
    Beyond Feminism, (The Woman of Faith in Action) by Marilyn Brown Oden
    The Divine Yes, by E. Stanley Jones
    Ha! Ha! Among the Trumpets (Messages by a Master Literary Craftsman Presenting New Insights into Scripture) by Martin H. Franzmann
     I’m Human, Thank God! (a book to enjoy) by Robert McMillan
    My Body, My Life, by Daniel R. Ellingsen and Darcy D. Jensen
    Love Is An Everyday Thing, by Colleen Townsend Evans
    Stillmeadow Album and My Own Cape Cod, both by Gladys Taber

     There are always new members and visitors to Mount Olive who might not know where the Library is and when it is open on Sunday morning. Our library is located at the end of the north corridor, past the church staff offices, and it can also be reached by the two passageways from the East Assembly (or coffee hour) room, if you might find that more convenient.  Also the library is open and volunteer-staffed on Sunday mornings from 9:15 to 10:45 a.m. or at other specific times by request left with the church office or by calling me.

      I will close this article with a quote from a beloved author: "No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books."      - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

- Leanna Kloempken

A Time For Bach

The Seventh Annual BachTage at Mount Olive

     An original idea put forward in 2006 by Cantor Cherwien and Kathy Romey of the University of Minnesota has become a fixture of each June at Mount Olive.

     A generous grant from The Mount Olive Lutheran Church Foundation and support from Music and Fine Arts helped move the idea to reality. Their continued support have allowed BachTage to become a vital ministry to musicians and musical leaders near and far. June 8 and 9, 2013, are the dates for this year’s BachTage. Frequent participants from past years mark their calendar as soon as the date is announced. Perhaps this is the year for you to consider being part of this unique event?

     Participants study and rehearse a cantata and other selections by Bach under the leadership of Kathy Romey, whose gifts in teaching and musicianship combined with sense of humor and gracious spirit these sessions a delight rather than work.

     This year, the theme of BachTage is music for Advent. Bach’s Cantata 36 and a chorus from Cantata 123 have been selected. The cantatas are presented during Evening Prayer on Sunday afternoon, with an excellent orchestra and soloists.

     A special feature of this year’s BachTage is a Saturday afternoon, June 8, concert of Bach Masterworks for Harpsichord and Strings, presented by Tami Morse, Marc Levine, and Tulio Rondón.

     A little work is required of participants; they need to learn the music in advance so rehearsal time is not wasted on teaching the notes. Coming prepared makes rehearsal time much more valuable and exciting for all.

     Of course, the Saturday afternoon and Sunday Evening Prayer are for the public; let others know about these two special events.

      BachTage brochures are available in various spots around the church; the brochure includes the registration form. Take one for yourself, or pass it to a friend who may be interested. Registration is going on right now; scores will be mailed in early May to allow time for learning.

Theology on Tap

     Theology on Tap is a Mount Olive group 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).  If you would like to join us or have questions about Theology on Tap, contact Vicar Neal Cannon (, 612-827-5919 x12).

May Event Details
Who: Anyone 21+ is welcome to join
Where: Stella's Fish Cafe – 1400 W Lake St.,  Minneapolis (God willing, we'll be on their rooftop
   patio... not getting snowed on!)
When: Thursday May 23, 7:30-9:00pm
Discussion Topic: “Poverty, Wealth, and Money in the Church”
Facebook Page & Group: Mount Olive Theology on Tap.  (“Like” the Page to get updates on Theology on Tap)

National Lutheran Choir Hymn Festival
"Jesus Christ: Yesterday, Today, Forever"

     This hymn festival is the final concert of the 2012-13 season and will be held this weekend, May 3 and May 5. Concert repertoire will include: “Nada Te Turbe,” by Jake Runestad (Winner of the 2013 Raabe Prize for Excellence in Sacred Composition), “The Spheres (Kyrie),” by Ola Gjeilo and Paul D. Weber's “With High Delight” WORLD PREMIERE [Commissioned by the National Lutheran Choir and William Raabe].  The program will also include congregational hymn singing and reflections read by  Susan Palo Cherwien.  National Lutheran Choir’s Artistic Director, David Cherwien, will be the organist for this event.

     Tickets available at the door.

Friday, May 3, 2013 - 7:00pm
Normandale Lutheran Church
6100 Normandale Road, Edina

Sunday, May 5, 2013 - 4:00pm
Trinity Lutheran Church
115 North 4th Street, Stillwater, MN

Our Saviour’s Housing Thanks Volunteers

     The following message was received from Colleen O'Connor Toberman, who is the Volunteer Coordinator for Our Savior's Housing:

         "Our residents have helped us create a new video to say thanks for the wonderful meals you bring to them.  Check it out here: and then please pass it along to others who have volunteered.  I guarantee it will bring a smile to your face."

     To this word of thanks, we add a special thanks to Rod and Connie Olson for coordinating and carrying out this valued service.

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