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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Olive Branch, 9/4/13

Accent on Worship

Bowing at Mount Olive

     We at Mount Olive describe ourselves as a “musical, liturgical, and welcoming” congregation.  We are a bowing church as well.  That is, there are many of us who bow during the liturgy as one of our worship practices and postures.  There are at least a couple of reasons for this practice.

     First, we bow to worship God, acknowledging the presence of the Holy One in our midst.  This is why many of us bow to the processional cross (the symbol of our salvation), to the altar (the symbol of God’s presence), and when the name of Jesus and the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are sung or spoken.  Bowing to God is a practice mentioned a number of times in the Bible. For example the Psalmist writes, “O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!”  (Psalm 95:6).  Bowing before God has been a traditional worship posture for God’s people, both Jewish and Christian, since the earliest times.

     We also bow to one another as a way of showing love and respect to our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Since the gathered assembly of worshippers is part of the body of Christ and since Jesus has promised to be present whenever two or three believers gather in His name, the presence of the Holy One is located not only in the symbols of cross and altar but in the assembly as well.  This is why Pastor Joseph bows both to the altar and to the people before entering the pulpit to preach.  Bowing to one another, with a nod of our heads, acknowledges that each person is a beloved child of God, created in God’s image.  It reminds us that we are called to love one another – friend, neighbor, and enemy alike.

     Bowing in worship is neither something I grew up with nor something I learned in seminary (the Lutheran church of my upbringing and seminary I attended being rather non-liturgical places.) But it has become a practice I hold dear.  I like that bowing allows worship to be something I/we do physically, a way to worship with our bodies as well as with the words of our mouths and meditations of our hearts.  Bowing reminds me that God is present not only spiritually, in our minds and hearts, but physically in the very space we occupy as we gather for worship.  And I appreciate that bowing allows us a way to form ourselves – body, mind, and spirit - into a posture of respect and reverence for the living God.

- Rob Ruff

Regular Worship Schedule to Resume This Sunday, September 8

This Sunday, September 8, we return to our regular worship schedule of two Sunday liturgies at 8:00 and 10:45 a.m.

God’s Work. Our Hands

     To mark the 25th Anniversary of the founding of our national church body, all Evangelical Lutheran Church in America faith communities are being asked to promote activities that give life to ELCA's byline:  God's Work.  Our Hands. Please join us for brunch between liturgies this Sunday, September 8. We will learn more about and celebrate Mt. Olive's service to the broader community, both in our neighborhood ministries and in our own ministries beyond these walls.

Sunday Readings

September 8, 2013 – Time after Pentecost: Sunday 23 
Deuteronomy 30:15-20 + Psalm 1
Philemon 1-21 + Luke 14:25-33

September 15, 2013 – Time after Pentecost: Sunday 24
Exodus 32:7-14+ Psalm 51:1-10
I Timothy 1:12-17 + Luke 15:1-10

Keeping Up with the Cantor

     Anyone who is interested in seeing what Cantor Cherwien is up to during his sabbatical should check his blog:

God’s Work, Our Hands - Be Prepared to Draw Your Hand!

     On September 8, the ELCA will celebrate its 25th anniversary! In observance of this special day, Mount Olive will celebrate with a luncheon at which you may tell of the stories of our own experiences of reaching out into the neighborhood and community. In anticipation of this day, several members have scheduled service opportunities.

     Come and enjoy the meal and conversation and be prepared to engage in our community. Members of Mount Olive know how to use their hands and hearts to do God’s work.

First MFA Event for 2013-14 Season
The Portland Cello Project
Friday, September 13, 7:30 pm

     Mount Olive Music and Fine Arts presents cellists doing innovative things with music!! The Portland Cello Project has wowed audiences all over the United States with extravagant performances. The group has built a reputation mixing genres and blurring musical lines and perceptions wherever they go. No two shows are alike, with everything from Beethoven to Arvo Pärt to instrumental covers for Adele, Kanye West and Pantera. Check them out at

     A reception follows in the Chapel Lounge. This event is free and open to the public, and a free-will offering will be received to support the Music and Fine Arts program.

The Olive Branch Resumes Weekly Publication

With this issue of The Olive Branch, we resume regular weekly publication of the church newsletter. The deadline for information to be published is Wednesdays at Noon.

Way to Goals Tutoring to Begin Soon

     Tuesday, October 1st is the first day of our school year program, Way to Goals Tutoring, and we will be meeting most Tuesday evenings after that until the last Tuesday in May.  We begin at 7:00 p.m. with an hour of tutoring followed by a half hour activity and snack time, and ending at 8:30 p.m.

     If you would like to help as a volunteer tutor of one or two elementary school students call Donna Neste at Mount Olive for all the details.

Freedom of the Christian: Bible Study on Thursday Evenings Starting Sept. 19

     The first Thursday Bible study series of this year begins on Thursday, Sept. 19, and runs for six weeks.  Meeting in the Chapel Lounge from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Pr. Crippen lead a study of the book of Galatians, one of Paul’s most vital and important letters.  As usual, there will be a light supper when we begin.  All are welcome to this study opportunity!

Altar and Chancel Cleaning Day to be Held September 14, 12 noon - 3 pm

     Several times each year members of the Altar Guild gather to clean the altar and chancel.  This involves dusting (lots of dusting, including some pretty high places!), polishing all the brass, and scraping wax from the floor, to name just a few of the tasks.  This cleaning day is open to all members of the parish.  You do not need to be an "official" member of the Altar Guild to participate.  Please join us on Saturday, September 14 at 12 noon.  

Every Church A Peace Church

     The next regular bimonthly potluck supper meeting of Every Church a Peace Church will be held on Monday, September 9th at 6:30 p.m. at Robbinsdale United Church of Christ, 4200 Lake Road, Robbinsdale, MN  (763-537-6965,  and on the

     The speaker for this program will be Jay Carlson, pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, a congregation that has long been a neighborhood leader for social justice. In recent years, Holy Trinity has supported a campaign for better wages and working conditions for retail cleaning workers and has been leading an effort to address problems associated with payday lending. His program will be "Faith, Community, and Building Power: A Reflection on Holy Trinity’s Work for Peace with Justice in the City."

     Pastor Carlson will be joined by Holy Trinity’s parish organizer, Meghan Olsen Biebighauser, who has received training in community organizing methods from the Midwest Academy in Chicago.

Pictorial Directory Information

     Photography for the new Mount Olive online Pictorial Directory will begin in earnest the first week of September.
     We will be producing an online digital directory.  This online directory will be password-protected so that access is limited to Mount Olive folks who are issued a password through the church office. For those who do not have computer access a hard copy will be available.

     Photography sessions will take place at Mount Olive Lutheran Church. Arrangements will be made for photographs of shut-ins.

     An email will be sent to each household of the parish giving instructions as to how you can sign up for a photography session.

     There will be time slots for photography sessions during the month of September on weekday afternoons and evenings.  Time slots will be available on weekends.

     For those households that do not have e-mail, a letter will be sent via U.S. Post Office with instructions for scheduling a photography session.

     After the initial period of self-initiated photography session sign up, follow-up contacts and phone calls will be made to arrange for those households that have not scheduled their session.

     In the week following your photography session, you will be asked to select one of the photographs taken of you or your household for the directory.  Each person/household will be given a digital copy of the photo selected for the directory.  There will be an opportunity to purchase prints and/or digital copies of your photos should you want to do so.

     We need volunteers for the following jobs related to the project:

a) Hosts during the photo sessions at the church
b) Data entry and photo management that can be done from your home online
c) Follow up phone scheduling.

     If you are willing to assist with one of these jobs, please contact Andrew Andersen at, or Sandra Pranschke at

Introducing Vicar Emily Beckering

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

     Greetings to you and peace! I am overjoyed to be beginning my time with you all; it is a privilege to be able to worship and to serve with you as the 43rd vicar at Mount Olive. On behalf of those who have come before me, and those who are yet to come, I would like to sincerely thank you all for your commitment to training vicars; your ministry is truly a gift to me and to the Church.

     My husband, Taylor, and I come to you from Luther Seminary in St. Paul. We will continue to live on the Luther Seminary campus throughout the year. Recently in July, we celebrated our second anniversary! I grew up in East Bethel, Minnesota, which is also the town of my home congregation, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. Taylor is from Worthington, Minnesota, and we both graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College. Currently, Taylor works as a substitute mail carrier for the U.S. Post Office in Apple Valley. He will begin the Master’s program in Counseling Psychology at St. Thomas University this coming fall. We enjoy visiting our families in Worthington and Howard Lake, playing board games, fishing, crafting gifts, and reading novels. If you would like to introduce us to some of your own board games, favorite authors, or consider yourself a crafty soul, we invite you to pass along your secrets!

     I am grateful to gather around Word and Sacrament with you each week for the coming year, and I look forward to our time together. I anticipate that I will learn much from our conversations, from our shared service in the name of Christ, and from feasting on the Word with one another.

     Thank you for welcoming Taylor and me into your midst. I am eager to witness how God is at work among you for the sake of the world!

Christ’s peace be with you,
- Vicar Emily Beckering

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 September 14 meeting they will discuss Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, for October 12, The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, and for November 9, Parade's End, by Ford Madox Ford.

South Africa Learning Tour

     Christ the King Lutheran Church (Bloomington), a congregation that also supports the ELCA mission work of Pastor Phil Knutson, will sponsor a trip to South Africa, February 14- March 1, 2014.  They will be visiting Johannesburg, Phil Knutson's base for his work, as well as other areas including Durban and Cape Town.  The goal is to broaden visions and perspectives.  The cost is approx $5099, including flights. Mount Olive members are invited to join this group.  For more information, contact Pastor Hans Lee of Christ the King at 952-881-8600 or

Invitation to Attend Lutheran Volunteer Corps Commissioning

     Mount Olive members are warmly invited to join the Twin Cities' Lutheran Volunteer Corps Commissioning Service and Reception at 2:00 p.m., this Sunday, September 8, at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church.  Mount Olive is a supporting congregation for Lutheran Volunteer Corps.  This will be a great way to show our support, to meet the 2013-2014 volunteers, and get to know other congregations and community organizations.  This celebration is also a great way to mark the 25th anniversary of the ELCA by showing our support of service to the world.  If you are interested in attending, please send an e-mail to Sophie Gardner, ( and bring a dessert to share if you can.  They would love to see Mount Olive members there and build connections between the young adults in LVC and Mount Olive.

Vestry Meeting Highlights: August, 2013

     The August 12 meeting of the Vestry just happened to fall on new Vicar Emily Beckering’s first day.  What a great way for her to see Mount Olive members in action!  Pastor Crippen introduced Vicar Beckering and she shared that, prior to entering Luther Seminary, she had been a special education teacher.  It was a great opportunity for her to share some of her background and get to know a little more about Mount Olive and the Vestry.

     The meeting was a lively one and included updates on the Visioning Committee.  They are currently in the process of synthesizing the material that was gathered by the different observation and interviews and plan on submitting a report to the Vestry in October so that a formal update can be included in the Semi-Annual Congregational Meeting.  There is a lot of information to cover, but it is an incredible opportunity for Mount Olive to engage in the community.

     Several committees had new members to submit for approval.  The newest member of the Internship Committee will be Joe Kane.  A newly formed Library Committee will include Dan Burow, Dwight Penas, Bonnie McClellan, and Leanna Kloempken.  Tom Graves and Ginny Agresti are now members of the Congregational Life Committee, and new to the Staff Support Committee is Rob Ruff.

     This was Cantor Cherwien’s last Vestry meeting before his sabbatical.  He spoke to the joy and energy that has been present during summer worship and also expressed his excitement to be travelling to places that will give him the opportunity to experience some amazing music.  Interim Cantor William Beckstrand will begin his three month tenure on September 1.

     Members of the congregation will be asked to schedule time to have their photos taken for the pictorial directory.  Paul Nixdorf will take photos in September and members will be able to select the proof of their choice to be included in the directory. Andrew Andersen and the Evangelism Committee have also been working on ways to augment internal parish communications to ensure that everyone has the important information that they need to stay current.

     The next meeting of the Vestry will be September 9, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

Service Event at CES

     There will be a day of service event for families of Mount Olive at the Community Emergency Services on September 8 from 1-3.  CES is located at 1900 11th Ave S. in Minneapolis.  We will be doing some sorting and cleaning--projects which are much needed.  They are grateful for our willingness to help.  If your family would like to participate please call or email Beth Sawyer at or 651-434-0666.  There are 8 spots left.   CES is looking for additional volunteers on Monday, September 9 from 9 to 10 am to top off grocery bags.  If you can help please contact Pastor Lyn Peterson at

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