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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Olive Branch, 5/15/13

Accent on Worship

Profound Witnesses

     I have heard a lot of chatter around how delightful it is to see our younger worshippers singing the Gospel Acclamation “Be not Afraid” with such vigor!  Indeed, it’s a great way to greet the Gospel for all of us and to see them singing with reckless abandon is delightful.  We all smile.

     I have two thoughts about this subject.

     Firstly,  it reminds me of the importance of “the Ordinary” – those songs in the liturgy that we sing week after week,  or put in a different way,  the songs that we “ordinarily sing” for a season.  This past Easter season that included the Kyrie, This is the Feast, Gospel Acclamation “Be Not Afraid”,  The Great Thanksgiving from ELW setting 3,  and “Christ Our Passover.”  Seven weeks in a row really helps these songs go deep into the soul and memory.  The children connecting with one of them reminds us that we are all absorbing these perhaps more than we are aware.  Hopefully, we could now sing them from memory.  This includes the longer canticles like “This is the Feast” as much as the short songs like “Be Not Afraid”.

     Once while serving as guest organist somewhere, a young person (maybe 6 or 7 years old) wandered into the balcony where I was playing, and sang the entire setting of “Gloria” from memory, with full voice!  It’s a hard canticle – without a refrain or even repeated theme, a tricky rhythm, and lots of words!  (from LBW setting 1).  I was amazed and went home and set out to teach the children in my church all those songs of the ordinary, AND we needed to quit changing the setting of the liturgy each week which we did for variety.  We realized we could achieve variety in other ways.  All of our singing improved because of that – the children helped us see what we all needed.

     Secondly, watching the children sing with such joy and free from inhibition teaches us something very important.  What do the children see US doing?  HOW we are entering into the liturgy is what will communicate what we believe.  They’re watching and likely with the same delight we have seeing them enter into “Be Not Afraid” with full body, mind and soul!  That’s enticing for them to join in, too.

     It’s something I’ve said before:  people see what we believe through HOW we are doing what we do in liturgy.  Does God mean something to us?  We can do all kinds of “styles,” tricks, or gimmicks to entice people, but our actions will say more.
     It’s just something to be aware of.  Are we being profound witnesses?

- Cantor David Cherwien

This Sunday is the Day of Pentecost!
Wear Red!

New Members to Be Received This Sunday, May 19

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

Sunday Readings

May 19, 2013 – Day of Pentecost
Acts 2:1-21 + Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
Romans 8:14-17 + John 14:8-27

May 26, 2013 – The Holy Trinity
Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31 + Psalm 8
Romans 5:1-5 + John 16:12-15

Spring “Greetings”

     The spring issue of the Neighborhood Ministries newsletter, Greetings from Mount Olive Neighborhood Ministries, has been published and will be distributed at the end of both liturgies this Sunday, May 19.

Hebrews Study on Thursday Evenings

     Class resumes this week! Meeting in the Chapel Lounge from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Pr. Crippen is currently 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!

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.  Summer Jobs After School will run from the first week in July through mid-August.  It’s a lot of fun!

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 June 8 meeting, they will discuss The Calligrapher's Daughter, by Eugenia Kim. For July 13, they will read The Violent Bear It Away, by Flannery O'Connor.  And advance notification (because of its length) that for August 10 we will discuss Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

A Thousand Voices in the Park

     A Community Sing will be held this Saturday, May 18, 5:30 pm at Powderhorn Park – rain or shine! All songs will be led by Bret Hesla and Mary Preus, with Jose Antonio Machado. A $5 per person donation is requested. Everyone is welcome!
For additional information, visit

Attention Graduates!

     If you are a regular worshipper (member or friend of the congregation) and will be graduating from high school, college, or a graduate school this spring, please let us know as soon as possible. We want to be sure all graduates are included in our upcoming graduate recognition.

     Simply call the church office (612-827-5919), or drop an email (

Many Thanks for a Successful School Year in Way to Goals Tutoring

     It has been a successful school year in Way to Goals Tutoring.  We will complete our season in the last week of May.  There are so many volunteers I wish to thank.  Many thanks first to our wonderful and dedicated volunteer tutors who gave their all to thirteen students from October through May: Yvette Berard, Diane Brown, Peter Bunge, Neal Cannon, Joe Kane, Celia Marshall, Catherine Pususta, Christine Skogen, and Amy Thompson.

     We had very few blank spots on our sign-up sheet for snacks this year, due to the generous donations of treats for our snack and activity time in Way to Goals.  Many thanks also to the faithful snack donators.  They were very much appreciated and so several who contributed numerous times: Naomi Peterson (5 times), Judy Graves   (4 times), Amy Thomson (3 times), Gail Neilsen (2 times), Dennis Bidwell & Eric Zander, Andrew Andersen, and Margaret Bostelmann.

     Margaret Bostelmann also did a game night during our activity time, which was fun and much appreciated.  If you have an idea about a fun thing to do or make and would like to share it with us next year, please let me know.

- Donna Neste

Olive Branch Summer Publication

     Please note that during the months of June, July, and August, The Olive Branch is published every other week.  Weekly publication resumes after Labor Day.

A Note from Pr. Crippen

     There is a lot of joy bubbling up around many members and friends of Mount Olive given the votes of last Thursday and Monday, and the signing on Tuesday by the governor of the Freedom to Marry bill.  We rejoice that all our members, and brothers and sisters around the whole state, now share equality under the law, something Americans cherish but don’t always achieve.

     There will be a lovely impact of this law at Mount Olive, in that some couples will be looking to seek God’s blessing on their marriage here now that they also can enjoy legal married status.  Other couples already are legally married and have had Christian weddings, others have had Christian weddings here and will seek legal marriage to accompany their God-blessed vows, so there will likely be a variety of ways in the next months that the people Mount Olive will be invited to support one another and rejoice with one another.  There is so much cause for celebration.

     It has come up in conversation that some wonder what will change at Mount Olive as a result of this vote.  The answer is, not much, apart from our ability to provide legal witness to all marriages.  Some years ago the Vestry voted to give the pastor of Mount Olive prerogative to decide whether or not to hold weddings or services of blessing for both same gender and different gender couples.  In the summer of 2011, however, the Vestry approved guidelines presented by the Worship Committee regarding weddings which made it clear that our policy at Mount Olive was that our guidelines for planning and having weddings applied to both same gender and different gender couples.  So for nearly two years we’ve been officially operating with this understanding, which was based on a much longer standing pastoral practice.  We have believed God’s blessing on such commitments transcended any decisions the state might make.  Still, it brings great joy that the state now recognizes the equality that many Christians and other people of faith have already believed existed, and even more joy that all couples will enjoy legal protection and benefits to their life-long commitments.

     So this is a time for thanksgiving, and I’m aware that some are already talking about how Mount Olive might celebrate this watershed historical moment with some kind of party.  That seems meet and right for us to do, since we do enjoy celebrating here.  For now, we give thanks to God for this moment and this grace which now reaches so many people.

In Christ,


Adult Forum June 9

     Jessinia Ruff, daughter of Mark and Lisa, is a recent high school graduate. She will be traveling to the Dominican Republic with SCORE International for an 8 month-long trip to study Spanish and participate in local ministry. Following the liturgy on June 9, she will talk more about the organization, the work she'll be doing there, and how you can support her.

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