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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Olive Branch, 5/8/13

Accent on Worship

You’ll Do Fine

     I don’t recall the exact circumstances, but one of my classmates in seminary arrived on his internship and the supervisor immediately left for a couple weeks’ vacation.  Apparently he’d been pretty over-worked and stressed and was looking for relief.  It wasn’t the best of ideas, nor was it terribly faithful to the idea of an internship.  Still, I do remember the first time my supervising pastor took vacation time and left me alone to cover all pastoral care needs and anything else that might come up in his absence.  I was a little nervous about the whole idea.

On the other hand, it was what I was there to do.  I don’t believe he used these exact words, but in leaving the parish to my pastoral care, my supervisor was essentially saying, “you’re ready for this, you’ve been trained for this.  You’ll do fine.”

     The ascension of Christ and his return to the Father seems very much the same to me.  Neither the first disciples nor we ourselves are fully prepared for the plan of Jesus to entrust us with the ministry of the Gospel.  It seems like an enormous burden, and one for which we are ill-prepared.  But the ascension of our Lord actually is central to the whole plan of his coming.

     From the beginning of creation, God intended humanity to care for this planet, to bear God’s image in this place, and as we are told again and again in Scripture, to love God and each other and live in the grace and joy of the creation.  That humanity did not prove up to the job, instead seeking self-centered and destructive ways of dealing with the creation and for other people, moved God to act in this world to bring us back to the original plan.  The incarnation of the Son of God among us was not intended as the Triune God’s way of taking charge of the whole enterprise.  It was a full plan of salvation, an ending to the way of death by God’s taking on death and breaking it.  But in the fullness of the plan, God has always wanted us, the people of God, to go back to what we were made to do, care for this creation, for each other, and live in love toward God and neighbor.  It is what we are saved to do.

     Now, in ascending to the Father, the Son of God says to us in effect, “you’ll do fine.”  Best of all, we are not left alone to our task.  We are given constant promises that the Holy Spirit will be with us to guide us and shape us, to help us witness to God’s love in Jesus for the whole world, and to begin to find our true calling as God’s caretakers and stewards of this creation and of God’s people.  But the ascension shows us that God in fact does trust us to live our calling and be Christ to the world.

     Come celebrate this feast on Thursday night, and let us rejoice in the trust God has in us that we can do this calling which is now given us, and all the baptized children of God.

- Joseph

The Ascension of Our Lord
Thursday, May 9, 2013
(tomorrow evening!)
Holy Eucharist at 7:00 p.m.
Reception to follow.

Mother's Day Recital
This Sunday, May 12, 9:30 a.m.
All are invited!

Sunday Readings

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

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

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

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

Hebrews Study on Thursday Evenings

     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! Note: There is no class this Thursday, May 9, due to the Ascension liturgy.

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 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.

Vigil of Pentecost
Saturday, May 18. 2013
7:00 p.m.

A Thousand Voices in the Park

     A Community Sing will be held on 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

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.

Every Church A Peace Church

     The next regular bimonthly potluck supper meeting will be on Monday, May 13, 6:30 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth United Church (1658 Lincoln Ave., in St. Paul, 651-698-8871,

     The program will begin at about 7 pm and will feature the presentation of "The Ground Truth," a very moving documentary film followed by an open discussion.

     "The Ground Truth" stunned filmgoers at the 2006 Sundance and Nantucket Film Festivals.      Hailed as “powerful” and “quietly unflinching,” Patricia Foulkrod’s searing documentary feature includes exclusive footage that will stir audiences. The filmmaker’s subjects are patriotic young Americans – ordinary men and women who heeded the call for military service in Iraq – as they experience recruitment and training, combat, homecoming, and the struggle to reintegrate with families and communities. The terrible conflict in Iraq, depicted with ferocious honesty in the film, is a prelude for the even more challenging battles fought by the soldiers returning home – with personal demons, an uncomprehending public, and an indifferent government. As these battles take shape, each soldier becomes a new kind of hero, bearing witness and giving support to other veterans, and learning to fearlessly wield the most powerful weapon of all – the truth.

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