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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Olive Branch, 3/12/14

Accent on Worship

      “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him,” said Jesus to Nicodemus in the Gospel for the Second Sunday in Lent.
     That is what Jesus was all about.  He was a healer, one who restored and spoke the truth to those who benefited by wounding, withholding and tearing apart.  That is what Christ’s Church should be about and (though we fail at times) often it is.  It has been a body to come to for comfort, one that works to heal and make whole, one that does not ask, “what’s wrong with you?’ but “what happened in your life that is in need of healing?”

And that is why the congregation that belongs to the beautiful brick church on the corner of 31st and Chicago hired me almost 30 years ago.

     Being followers of Jesus, they saw all the pain and need in the community.  They needed someone to organize their efforts as healers, and they were so ahead of their time.  I wasn’t even the first person to hold that position when I came in the mid-eighties.  Mount Olive congregation was reaching out to the community with someone at the head of an organized effort since the early 1970s.

     As I leave you, I want to thank you with my deepest gratitude for giving me the gratitude, for giving me the opportunity to serve this neighborhood in the name of Jesus.  It has been a tremendous honor and I will hold you in my heart for as long as I live.  You are truly blessed to be so close to opportunities to serve, to restore, and to heal.  I have witnessed the outpouring of your compassion to those in need, and your willingness to be a part of the salvation of the world as followers of Jesus, as the precious children of God that you are.

     Thank you for everything.
- Donna Pususta Neste

Sunday Readings

March 16, 2014: Second Sunday in Lent
 Genesis 12:1-4a
 Psalm 121
 Romans 4:1-5, 13-17
 John 3:1-17

March 23, 2014: Third Sunday in Lent
Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 95
Romans 5:1-11
John 4:5-42

This Week's Adult Forum

March 16: “From Earth, to Eden, to Ground: The Opening Chapters of the Book of Genesis” (part 4 of a 4-part series), presented by Scholar-in-Residence, Prof. Earl Schwartz of Hamline University.  

Midweek Lenten Worship on Wednesdays, March 12 – April 9

•  Noon: Holy Eucharist, followed by soup luncheon
•  7:00 pm: Evening Prayer, preceded by soup supper, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Farewell Celebration: This Sunday

This Friday, March 14, will be Donna Neste's last day as our Neighborhood Ministries Coordinator.  Donna has served God and Mount Olive admirably for many decades and it's time to bid her a fond farewell. There will be a meal and celebration after the second liturgy this Sunday, March 16.

Soup-Makers Needed!

     Soup makers are needed to provide soup and bread for our midweek Lenten meals. Soup and bread for the lunch following Wednesday midday Eucharist should feed 40-50 people, and for the supper before Wednesday Evening Prayer, we need soup and bread for about 10-12 people.

     If you can help by signing up to bring a meal (or two!), the sign up chart will be on the refreshment table at coffee hour on Sundays.

Lenten Devotional Books

     Copies of Susan Cherwien’s Journey Into Lent 2014 are available in the narthex and in the church office, for your devotional use during this Lenten season.

     Again this year, the devotional is also available online. Visit the blog and save it as a favorite, so that it’s easily accessible to you throughout the season of Lent.

An Invitation to Confession

     During the season of Lent I am making myself available at some regular times to hear individual confession and to offer absolution to any who desire it.  I will be in the chancel from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. each Monday in Lent, and continuing through the Monday of Holy Week.  If you wish to come for confession, simply come to the altar rail.  There will be a worship book so we can follow the rite together.  If someone is already there, please wait near the back of the nave and when I’m free, come forward.  While waiting, even if I’m free and you want to prepare yourself, praying the psalms in the pew or reading Scripture is worth considering.

- Pr. Joseph Crippen

March is Minnesota FoodShare Month!

     This is an annual event is supported by congregations and other religious and civic associations throughout Minnesota.

     Mount Olive has participated every year since it began in 1982.  We encourage you to be extra generous with your food or financial donations for our local food shelf during the month of March.  This drive fills the shelves of 300 food shelves across the state of Minnesota.

     Fifty percent of all food shelf recipients are children.  Twenty percent of all adult recipients are elderly.  More than sixty percent of those adults who use food shelves are the working poor.

     If possible, we encourage you to give funds (using your blue missions envelope, clearly labeled for the food shelf) instead of food donations. Ten dollars given to the food shelf can buy $40 worth of food when purchased by the food shelves.  How-ever, all donations are welcome! If you enjoy shopping for food to donate, please place your food donations in the cart in the cloak room.

Wanted: Confirmation Class Photos of Mount Olive’s Members   

     Pentecost Sunday, June 8, 2014, is also confirmation Sunday. For the days surrounding Pentecost we would like to display photos of the confirmation classes of current members. They will be in the hallway display case. A small sign next to each photo will identify who’s class is shown, and we will have the opportunity to go on a “where’s Waldo” search of each class photo trying to spot the current member.   After several weeks a sign will then be added identifying the location of the member in the photo.

     If you want to take part and have your confirmation photo in the display case please place your photo in  an envelope and write “To Paul Nixdorf”  and also your name, church and town (and year, if you are willing) in which you were confirmed on the envelope and leave it in the church office.  With the photo please include a note with your name plus a description of where you are located in the photo.  Please submit photos to the office by May 31.

     The display will remain up from the first week in June through early to mid-July. Your photo will then be returned to the envelope you provided and can be picked up at the church office.
Thank you.

- Paul Nixdorf

Book Discussion Upcoming Reads

For their meeting on April 12, the Book Discussion Group will read Elizabeth and Hazel, by David Margolick. For the May 10 meeting, they will read, The Small Hand and Dolly, by Susan Hill.

A Servant Community: Lenten Midweek

  Baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection, the community of the faithful are also bound into the servant role of our Messiah, called to give of ourselves for each other and the world.   Just as the kingdom comes into the world fully when the Son of God sets aside all power and domination and goes to the cross, so too we live out our lives as servant people who are willing to lose all for the sake of the other.

     This Lent in our midweek worship, both at the noon Eucharist and evening Vespers, we will be using Paul’s first letter to Corinth as an entrance into reflection on the servant life of the community of Christ, on what our call means in our life together and our life in the world, on what it is to live in the kingdom of God now.

Lenten Worship on Wednesdays: Eucharist at noon, followed by soup and bread lunch.  Soup and bread supper will be served at 6:00 p.m., followed by Vespers at 7:00 p.m.

Church Library News

     Thanks to Susan Cherwien for her wonderful gift to the Mount Olive community of a special book of Lenten devotions.  Awaiting your perusal is a further display of Lenten books in our main library, including:

     Portraits of the Christ (Messages for Lent and Easter), by John  McCollister, editor
    The Lord's Prayer and the Lord's Passion, by Paul G. Lessmann
    The Grace of the Passion, by Olive Wyon
    The Scandal of Lent (Themes for Lenten Preachings in the Gospel of John), by Robert Kysar
    A Cross to Glory (Lenten Sermons), by Alton F. Wedel
    Followers of the Cross (Messages for Lent and Easter), by Harry N. Huxhold
    Cross Words (Sermons and Dramas for Lent), by Kent Poovey
    Come, Lord Jesus, Come Quickly (Lenten Meditations), by Constance F. Parvey
    The Man Who Died for Me (Meditations on the Death and Resurrection of Our Lord),
                    by Herbert Lockyer
    A Book of Easter (with daily devotions), by Paul M. Lindberg
    Come to Easter, by Anna Laura and Edward Gebhard
    The Splendor of Easter, compiled and edited by Floyd W. Thatcher
   We Call This Friday Good (Meditations based on the 7 last words of  Christ), edited by Howard G.                            Hegaman
    The Ascension of Our Lord, by Peter Toon

    Last time our article mentioned a newer bookmark (these are always available to take for free) which listed suggestions for "What Good Readers Do" and to complete,  the reverse side mentions "Hints for Choosing a Book You'll Enjoy" such as:

        Pick a genre (mystery, fantasy, history, etc.) you like,
        Read the description on the book's cover,
        Be sure the topic interests you,
        Make sure the reading level is right for you,
        Select a book by an author you like,
        Choose a book from a series you enjoy,
        Talk to someone who has read the book,
      Ask a librarian or teacher to recommend a book.

- Leanna Kloempken

Friendly Callers Meeting

     Mount Olive Friendly Callers will meet on Sunday, March 30, immediately following the first liturgy. This meeting will take place in the Undercroft. Please bring the names and numbers of the people you are calling on a regular basis.

The Complete Rameau Concerti

     Sponsored by Mount Olive Music & Fine Arts, Tami Morse, harpsichord, Marc Levine, violin, and Tulio Rondon, viol da gambe, will present a complete performance of the five Harpsichord Concertos of Jean-Philippe Rameau.  The concert will be held on Sunday, March 23, at 4 pm.

     Plan to come – and bring a friend!

Luther College Cathedral Choir to Perform at Mount Olive

     The Luther College Cathedral Choir will perform in concert April 5, 2014, 7:00 p.m. at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 3045 Chicago Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN. No tickets are needed, but a freewill offering will be received at the concert.

     The Cathedral Choir, directed by Dr. Jennaya Robison, performs a varied program of sacred music. Composed of nearly 90 select singers drawn from the college's sophomore class, its membership reflects a wide range of academic disciplines. The concert program will include choral masterpieces by J.S. Bach, Hassler, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. At the heart of the program is Estonian composer’s Ēriks Ešenvalds’ “Stars” for choir, water-tuned glasses and Tibetan singing bowls. Favorite works by Olaf Christiansen, F. Melius Christiansen, Moses Hogan, Z. Randall Stroope, and others are included in an eclectic program suitable for listeners of all ages.

     The choir is in need of housing for some of their members. If you are able to provide hospitality for choir members, please contact Cantor Cherwien as soon as possible.

Lenten Centering Prayer Group  

     Sue Ellen Zagrabelny, Mount Olive member and an oblate or lay associate at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, WI is hosting a Centering Prayer group this Lent. Centering prayer, a monastic discipline at the monastery, is an emptying of oneself in prayer in order to be accessible to the Spirit. This Centering Prayer Group will be offered at Mount Olive at two different times over a period of 5 weeks:  on Tuesdays, the group will meet after Bible Study, from 1:15 to 1:45 March 4, 11, 18, 25 and April 1.  On Wednesdays, the group will meet before the Lenten Supper at 5:30 to 6:00 on March 12, 9, 19, 26 and April 2. Both sessions will meet in the library.

     If you have questions, please contact Sue Ellen Zagrabelny at 815-997-6020 or via email to

Adult Forum Videos

    The four-part adult forum series with Dr. Earl Schwartz is being recorded on video and will soon be available to view online using a new Mount Olive Lutheran Church private channel on YouTube.

     Establishing that secure channel, uploading our videos, and ensuring that accessibility for Mount Olive members is easy is requiring a bit more time than originally thought.

     The project is well underway and our team of experts will hopefully soon have the process working smoothly. Once that occurs, we will send a link out to the entire Mount Olive community so that you can begin viewing this first series of videos and many more in the future.

Holy Week at Mount Olive

Sunday of the Passion/Palm Sunday, Sunday, April 13
Holy Eucharist, 8 & 10:45 am

Monday-Wednesday of Holy Week, April 14-16
Daily Prayer at Noon, in the side chapel of the nave

Maundy Thursday, April 17
Holy Eucharist at Noon
Holy Eucharist, with the Washing of Feet, 7:00 p.m.

Good Friday, April 18
Stations of the Cross at Noon
Adoration of the Cross at 7 pm

Holy Saturday, April 19
Great Vigil of Easter, 8:30 pm, followed by a festive reception

The Resurrection of Our Lord, Sunday, April 20
Festival Eucharist at 8 & 10:45 am

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