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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Olive Branch, 4/15/14

Accent on Worship

The Triduum

     As today’s sun sets, the Triduum quickly approaches. With its arrival, we, together with our brothers and sisters around the world, keep the greater Church’s tradition of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Vigil of Easter. As we do, we move with our Lord Jesus Christ from death into life.

     A pastor from Argentina once shared this observation with me: “In Argentina, our crosses always bear Jesus. They help us never to forget that Christ is with us in our suffering. But we are forever in the death of Christ; I never celebrated the resurrection as a child. In the U.S., your crosses are always empty. Christ is risen indeed, and you know hope. We cling to the crucifixion, you to the resurrection. What I have learned is that we must hold them both together.”

     The observation is, of course, a generalization that does not capture the breadth of witness in either country. It does, however, witness to the whole of the Gospel. The Triduum does the same. Christ lived, died, and rose again among us all for the sake of love, and so we hold this all together as we tell again the story that shapes our own.

     Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Vigil of Easter form the very pattern of our lives. In the breaking of bread and the washing of feet, we are formed to serve as Christ commanded and to love one another as he loves us. Because we are called to follow in the way of Christ, we will also give of ourselves for the sake of love. And through Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, God will raise us each day from death, darkness, and despair to live again as Christ.

     So as we gather together to keep the Triduum, we sing, pray, eat, drink, wash one another in, and tell again of God’s love and mercy.
In the telling, we are transformed; the Triune God will be in our midst to shape us yet again to be Christ for the world so that not only these Three Days, but our whole lives, witness to the Gospel of our Lord.

- Vicar Emily Beckering

Adult Forum
There will be no Adult Forum on Easter Sunday, April 20. Forums resume next week.

Holy Week and Triduum at Mount Olive

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
Carry-in Easter Brunch, 9:30 am

Noon Liturgy on Maundy Thursday

     There will be a simple noon Eucharist on Maundy Thursday this year, in addition to the Eucharist at 7:00 p.m.  In the evening will be the full rite beginning the Triduum, including confession and absolution, footwashing, and the stripping of the altar.

     The noon service is offered to accommodate those who have difficulty getting out in the evening, and will include confession and absolution and the Eucharist.

Books Needed!
  Many public libraries are holding their Friends of the Library Used Book Sales in April and May.  The Way to Goals Tutoring Program would very much appreciate some new "reads."  Fiction, non-fiction, or reference books appropriate for reading levels from 2nd grade through 7th grade would be eagerly used by the students.
  Thanks for any help you can offer!

Easter Carry-In Brunch

     There will be a carry-in Easter Brunch between liturgies on Easter morning, April 20.  Bring your favorite Easter treats to share.

Come One Come All to the May Day Parade!

     For many years the Mount Olive Neighborhood Ministries Committee and several other Mount Olive members have made a point of participating and marching in this wonderful annual neighborhood event.  If you have never watched the parade you have no idea what you are missing.  It is unlike any other parade you have ever seen!

     Mount Olive has made a commitment to keep the first Sunday in May free of other afternoon events so that all of us can join with our neighborhood in this annual celebration the first Sunday in May every year.  This year we are focusing on getting more people involved.  We are not marching this year, BUT will have a dedicated Mount Olive observation area reserved so that a whole bunch can watch the parade this year.
     Plan to come to the parade on Sunday May 4 after the second liturgy.  We will meet in the undercroft where a simple lunch will be provided that can be taken with you to the parade.  Vans/cars will be available to shuttle to the Mount Olive observation area on the parade route.  We’ll even have extra chairs and blankets so people don’t have to carry anything with them.  We will also provide a simple map with directions with where to park and how to find the observation area if people prefer to drive on their own that day.

     We are making it as easy as possible for all to come! Please set the time aside now on Sunday, May 4, and watch for more details as the day approaches.

Book Discussion Group’s Upcoming Reads

For their meeting on May 10, The book discussion group will read, The Small Hand and Dolly, Susan Hill. For their June 14 meeting they will discuss The Orphan Master's Son, by Adam Johnson.

A Note of Thanks

     Thank you to the following people who worked hard on  sprucing up  the chancel and nave in preparation for the Easter celebration:  Peggy Hoeft, Elizabeth Hunt, Tim Lindholm, TJ Schnabel, Sandra & Steve Pranschke, Bonnie McLellan, Lynn Ruff, Christina Harrison, Cynthia Prosek, and Eunice Hafmeister.

   Three times a year Altar Guild members and other volunteers gather to do in-depth cleaning and brass polishing. I appreciate their efforts.

- Steve Pranschke,
Altar Guild Chair

Capital Campaign Corner

     Sometime this week you will receive a letter from Vestry President Lora Dundek and Pastor Crippen asking you make a pledge or donation to our ongoing capital campaign.  As the letter explains, the Vestry is asking for everyone's help to fully fund our designated funds and to provide a two-month cash reserve to help us cope with the ups and downs of congregational giving.  

     This is a financially healthy church.  We meet our budget every year and give generously to causes missions outside our walls.   But we need a stronger financial foundation as we move forward into the future, and this is what we hope to gain with this campaign.  

     Please prayerfully consider your response and return your pledge card as soon as possible.  Thanks so much!

Goal:  $182,000
Currently pledged:  $39,200 Percent reached:  21.5%.

New Video Ministry

     The Mount Olive Foundation approved a proposal to start a video ministry project for Mount Olive.  The proposal included getting our own fine video camera, tripod, memory cards, and a computer with the capable of producing high quality videos.

     As word of this video project has spread, I have heard from several who are interested in helping with the project.  We have members with much experience in producing video and I am excited to get people involved.  A word of thanks to Elisabeth Hunt for setting up the special Mount Olive YouTube channel.
  The first thing I learned is that there is a reason longer movies take time to prepare, edit, add titles, and then have the computer and the internet render them for YouTube and then go through the whole upload and processing process.  The learning curve is getting better but the entire process is time consuming, so please be patient. I am excited that we now have our first examples to share with everyone.

  Our first video project was to record the four-part Earl Schwartz Adult Forum Series on the Book of Genesis.  The entire series is now on YouTube and the links to the videos are below.  When you go online to view your first video you will note that under the YouTube screen there is a note that tells you there are four videos.  If you click on that note (link) all four videos will appear and you can then click on the next video you want to view.  If you save the YouTube link in your “favorite” online file you will be able to access the videos quickly.

  Dwight Penas and Susan Cherwien do a masterful job in organizing thought-provoking adult forum sessions throughout the year.  As Dwight explains in the opening video, the Mount Olive Foundation approved a grant which allowed Mount Olive to bring Earl Schwartz in for four consecutive weeks.  Before Earl’s sessions even began some Mount Olive members were concerned because they knew they would have to miss one or more of his lectures and choir members always had to step out before each session was over.  With our new videos anyone can now go back and view all four sessions in their entirety.

  This Forum project is the first video project and you will see as you view the four videos that I have experimented with titles etc.  Looking back, I see I made a title error in one of the bottom titles of video 3 and called it session 2.  I hope to correct the error but it literally will take over 3 hours to make the change.  I look forward to your comments so we can always improve our videos and that the videos will reflect the quality of worship and devotion we share at Mount Olive.

- Paul Nixdorf

Earl Schwartz Adult Forum Videos
Video #1 - February 23, 2014:
Video #2 - March 2, 2014:
Video #3 - March 9, 2014:
               (note) an error in the bottom title says this is the second session,
                         it should say, the third session.  
Video #4 - March 16, 2014:

Sign Up to Bring Tutoring Snacks

     Check out the snack sign-up sheet for Way to Goals Tutoring in the lower level.  Snacks for approximately 25 youth and tutors are needed on Tuesday evenings through May 27.  Your help is very much appreciated!

Life Transitions Support Group to Begin May 14

     Caregiver? Chronic Illness?  Loss of home?  Loss of loved one?

     We each encounter a variety of losses throughout our lives.  Have you wished for a familiar place where you could find some reassurance, share your story, discover a simple skill or two that could help in those moments when you feel overwhelmed?

       Beginning May 14, join us for a four-week structured support group at Mount Olive.  Cathy Bosworth will serve as facilitator for this group on Wednesday evenings.  Each week a brief educational component will be offered with time for you to share personally in a confidential, supportive setting.  Vicar Emily Beckering will offer guidance on the Lament Psalms, which we will use as a vehicle for prayer and healing.  Tentatively, the group will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Youth Room. We will establish a firm meeting time when we know what works best for those who wish to participate.

     If you are interested in attending, or have questions, please contact Cathy Bosworth (952-949-3679, email or call the church office.  If three or more people express interest in participating, each will be contacted to confirm the group will meet as planned.

Travel to Italy!

     Walt Blue will host a trip to Italy next fall (October 6-20) under the aegis of the OLLI Program (University of Minnesota).

     The group will visit (briefly) Milan, Cremona, Bologna and Ravenna, and will spend over a week in Florence, with multiple day trips to the regional cities of Pisa, Siena, Lucca, and San Gimignano.  The cost of the trip is $4,700, and it includes airfare, accommodations, meals (all breakfasts, five group dinners), ground transport, sightseeing, porterage, local guides, gratuities and taxes.  For more information, contact Walt Blue  at 651-646-3355, or via email to You may also contact Group Travel Directors (952-881-7811 /

National Lutheran Choir to Present “Exalt.” 

     This Spring’s “Exalt” program showcases the artistic excellence of the National Lutheran Choir with works for choir and organ alongside unaccompanied choral pieces.    

     Nationally renowned organist, Aaron David Miller, joins the NLC for a program that is both affable and energizing. Some of the works on the program include: Benjamin Britten’s Te Deum; a world premiere of a commission by Zachary Wadsworth, Great or Small; and Frank Martin’s Mass for Unaccompanied Double Chorus.

     Organ pipes and choral pipes join together for a unique experience that will leave the listener inspired and revitalized. NLC Artistic Director, David Cherwien, conducts.

When: Sunday, May 4 – 4pm
Where: St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 900 Stillwater Rd, Mahtomedi, MN 55115
Tickets: $25 Adult, $23 Senior, $20 Student
Contact: visit or call 612-722-2301.

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