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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Olive Branch, 10/9/13

Accent on Worship

Participation in the Body of Christ

     I’ve always said that within the body of Christ there are no spectators.  Paul spoke about that eloquently (1 Cor. 12) when he reminded us that the hand cannot say to the foot “I have no need of you.”  When there are members of the body that do not participate, the body is said to be sick.

     So it is in worship, as we re-member the body of Christ, our liturgies are a participation in that body. Christ is fully present as the body comes together in his name.  There can be no spectators.

     Mount Olive “gets” that in a way that many places today do not. Faith here is truly embodied in the Sunday liturgy.
     So that begs the question; what does it mean to participate? How do we define participation?

     One of my pet peeves is the all-too-common reference to worship as an experience (the “Worship Experience” is talked about ad nauseam in the church-growth movement).  Worship is not an experience like going to a movie is an experience.  Worship is an encounter… with a risen Lord who shows up and is fully present.  There is no body to speak of in a movie theater.  Which seems to suggest it is the body itself which defines our participation in worship.

     Here’s the thing: in a culture where it is politically correct to be politically correct… we all, liberal and conservative alike, are rather fundamentalist in our thinking.  The ability to be discerning, a sign of maturity, is the first casualty of a fundamentalist culture. And so there was a time (the corrective swing of history) when we thought that the worshipping assembly must participate in everything … everybody-sing-everything-all-the-time…  But do we not also participate with our ears and our devotion?

     Fortunately, the Church’s practice has more recently reclaimed the historic Lutheran pattern of alternatim—sometimes the men sing, sometimes it is the women, or the choir or a cantor. Sometimes we even let the organ proclaim the word to us—all the while fully participating, whether by lips or by heart.  And our music and liturgy is full enough, and expansive enough to hold up the entire body—the joyful as well as the depressed, the healthy as well as the sick, in music that is both joyful and pensive, loud and soft, fast and slow, new and old.  Each of us has need of all the other members to make this work, and in our willing participation we come to meet the one whose body we share—in whose death and resurrection we, too, will be fully participants.

- William Beckstrand, Interim Cantor

Sunday’s Adult Forum 

October 13: A presentation by the Congregational Care Committee
October 20: “The State of the Lutheran – Roman Catholic Dialogue,” presented by The Rev. Lowell Almen

Notice of Congregation Meeting

     The Fall semi-annual congregation meeting of Mount Olive Lutheran Church will be held after second liturgy on October 20, 2013, in the Undercroft.  Included on the agenda will be a vote to approve the congregational budget for 2014, and updates on the Neighborhood Ministries Visioning Process and the Capital Campaign approved at the Spring congregation meeting.  If you are a member of Mount Olive, please plan to attend.

Budget Preview Session

     There will be a 2014 budget preview session after the second liturgy this Sunday, October 13.  Copies of the proposed budget are included with this issue of the Olive Branch (either as an attachment to the same email or as an insert). They will also be available for this session, so bring your coffee and come with any questions that you have about the budget.  Members of the Vestry will be available to answer questions.

Final Days for Photos!

     Sunday, October 13 is the final day to have your photos taken for the new Mount Olive Online Pictorial Directory.

     To make your appointment you can do one of the following:
1. Sign up on Sunday during the education hour and coffee hours.
2. Call Bonnie McLellan at 952/452-2049.
3. E-mail Elisabeth Hunt at or Marty Hamlin at

     If you have special circumstances or needs that require attention, please call the church office at 612/827-5919, and leave a message for Andrew Andersen or Sandra Pranschke.

Freedom of the Christian: Bible Study on Thursday Evenings

     The first Thursday Bible study series of this year began last Thursday, Sept. 19, and it runs for six weeks.  Meeting in the Chapel Lounge from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Pr. Crippen is leading 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!

Galatians Study Begins at Becketwood October 15

     Pr. Crippen will offer a second run of the current six week Galatians Bible study at Becketwood Cooperative on six Tuesday afternoons. This study examines one of Paul’s most important and influential letters.

     The idea behind offering a second time for this study is to provide a time during the day for this study (currently running on Thursday evenings at Mount Olive), and also to offer it in a place where it might be easier for some to attend than getting to church. The first session will be in the East Dining Room at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15.  There will be a couple of the six sessions that will be in the chapel at Becketwood, so announcement will be made of those locations. Note: This is not only for Mount Olive members, nor is it only for those who live at Becketwood. It was just thought that this is a relatively central location, and having an afternoon meeting is better for some who don’t like driving in the evenings.  All who are interested in this study are welcome! Becketwood is at 4300 W River Parkway in Minneapolis.

John Weaver Recital October 20

     Mount Olive Music and Fine Arts presents one of America’s foremost concert organists in  a brilliant program of “Toccatas: Scary and Joyous” on the Schlicker organ at Mount Olive, Sunday, October 20 at 4 pm. He will be joined in this recital by his wife, flautist Marianne Weaver, in two pieces dedicated to this performing duo.

     Here is an excerpt of a recent New York Times review of a John Weaver concert:  ‘John Weaver plays everything as though to its manner born, as though he had the inside track to each composer's individuality and had no need to work his way over the barriers or through the channels of stylistic attitudes that serve lesser performers as stepping stones ... Exaggerated?  Well, go and hear a Weaver recital before you decide."

     John Weaver was head of the organ department at The Julliard School until his recent retirement, and previously held the same position at Curtis Institute, Philadelphia. For many years, he was Music Director at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York. Early in his career, he founded the Bach Cantata Series at Holy Trinity Lutheran, New York, which still continues successfully.

     John and Marianne Weaver frequently perform together, to high critical acclaim. This is a program not to be missed. Mark your calendar to attend, and tell friends about this as well.

Book Discussion Group

     Mount Olive’s Book Discussion group meets on the second Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. at church. For October 12 they will discuss The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, and for Nov. 9, Parade's End, by Ford Madox Ford.

Mount Olive Greeting Cards

     A set of three greeting cards with photographs taken around Mount Olive Lutheran Church have been designed by Paul Nixdorf and are available for purchase at church on Sunday mornings.

     Single cards are priced at $2.50 each.  For quantity of five or more the purchase price is $1.75 each.  Pricing covers production costs. The cards are being made available through sponsorship by the Evangelism Committee.

Follow Mount Olive on Facebook and Twitter

     Have you liked Mount Olive on Facebook yet? Are you following us on Twitter? If not, we encourage you to! We are now using these sites to spread the word about events, sermons, Bible studies, and other things happening at Mount Olive. Find us on Facebook at or on Twitter at

The Great TRUST Auction

     On October 26, TRUST will have both a live and silent auctions. There will be live music and dinner and great desserts. Plan to come and join the fun and support TRUST, which sponsors CoAM, Meals on Wheels, TRUST Youth, and many other ministries and services.

     The event starts at 6:00 pm, so you will have time to look over the auction items. Tickets are available from Carol Austermann; $20/adults, $15/seniors, and $5/kids under 10.

     This event will take place at Lake Harriet Methodist Church, 4901 Chowen Ave. S. in Minneapolis.
     See you there!

Peace Not Walls Trip to the Holy Land for Young Adults

     The coordinator for the Peace Not Walls Campaign and the program director for young adult ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) would like to invite young adults ages 18-30 to apply for the Peace Not Walls Young Adult trip to the Holy Land, January 3-17, 2014. This is an opportunity to travel to Palestine and Israel on an experiential learning trip with other young adults for the purpose of learning how to lead trips to the Holy Land for young adults in the future. They are especially looking for young adults in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

     Peace Not Walls is a campaign of the ELCA that was adopted in 2005 to urge members, congregations, synods and the churchwide organization to stand for justice in the Holy Land. The campaign focuses on accompaniment, awareness-building, and advocacy. This partnership with the program director for young adult ministry has been developed to create a network of young adults who lead trips for their peers to the Holy land with the express purposes of:

Accompanying local Lutherans and Christians in Israel and Palestine;
Educating participants about the conflict in Israel and Palestine;
Sharing the religious, political and social history of the region;
Deepening faith and identity of travelers as they build relationships with global neighbors;
Connecting with the ELCA's efforts through the Peace Not Walls Campaign by practicing accompaniment, raising awareness and engaging in advocacy;
Building a base of individuals who not only travel but return home to engage their local contexts in issues of peace and justice.

The Basics
When: January 3 - 17, 2014 (Jan 3-6 in Jordan and Jan 7-17 in Palestine and Israel)

What will we do in Palestine and Israel? We will visit key sites in and around Jerusalem and seek to build relationships with local Lutherans and other Christians engaged in the pursuit of peace in the Holy Land. We will connect with Palestinians and
Israelis working for peace and justice. Preparation for the trip will begin with an orientation to learn about the historical, religious, socio-political, and cultural context of the region. The trip will also provide space for leadership development, advocacy connections, and community organizing in participants' local context.

Where will we stay? Lutheran World Federation guest house on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

Cost: The cost of lodging, food, and travel in country will be covered by the ELCA. The young adult will be responsible for their airfare.

What are my responsibilities? Everyone who joins the trip will be expected to lead one or two trips of young adults from their region to the Holy Land in the next two years and facilitate local engagement with the Peace Not Walls campaign.

     And, a bonus! We will visit Jordan and participate in the dedication of the new ELCJHL (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land) Baptismal site along the Jordan River.
     We are looking forward to working with you on this exciting opportunity! The deadline for applications is October 15, 2013.

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