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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Olive Branch, 4/2/14

Accent on Worship

Do You Believe?

     I love this Lent, in year A.  Each week we have magnificent stories by John which show people encountering Jesus and finding God, though they may have thought they were seeking something else.  Nicodemus, the unnamed ones – a woman at a well, a man born blind – and then the family from Bethany.  This week we get those three friends of Jesus: Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.  Siblings, but so different.

     Lazarus is desperately ill, and then Lazarus is dead.  Mary is deeply in touch with Jesus’ teachings and listens carefully when he’s there, and then Mary is weeping at her brother’s death.  Then there’s Martha, dear, direct Martha.  Martha is hospitable, loving, active when Jesus comes, and then feistily holding Jesus accountable for abandoning them in their hour of need. These are real people, people like us.  And Jesus blesses them, and so blesses us.

     Lazarus is given more years of life.  Perhaps that isn’t a great blessing; one wonders if he might have regretted having to come back.  Mary is given love and compassion, not instruction.  Her Lord and Master stands at her side, at the tomb, and weeps with her.  But Martha gets the most, I think, maybe because she’s so forthright, so honest, so willing to share her anger and disappointment in her Lord.
     What she “gets” is faith.  Confronting Jesus for his apparent lack of care for them in need, Jesus turns to her and asks if she believes in him.  Perhaps to her surprise, Martha realizes she does, in fact. “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

- Pastor Joseph Crippen

Sunday Readings

April 6, 2014: Fifth Sunday in Lent
Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 130
Romans 8:6-11
 John 11:1-45

April 13, 2014: Sunday of the Passion Palm Sunday
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11
Matthew 26:14—27:66

This Week’s Adult Forum 
April 6:  “Hungry Neighbors,” presented by the Rev. Nancy Maeker from A Minnesota Without Poverty.  

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.

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

Paschal Garden

     Volunteers will be on hand for the next two Sundays (March April 6 and April 13) before and after the liturgies to receive your donations to purchase Easter flowers for this year’s Paschal Garden.

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.

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.

Lenten Centering Prayer Group  

     Sue Ellen Zagrabelny is leading a Centering Prayer group this Lent. The monastic discipline of Centering prayer is an emptying of oneself in prayer in order to be accessible to the Spirit. This Centering Prayer Group has one week left, meeting on Tuesday after Bible Study, from 1:15 to 1:45 on April 1; and on Wednesday, April 2, before the Soup Supper at 5:30 to 6:00 Both sessions will meet in the library.    

Notice of Congregation Meeting

     The April Semi-annual congregational meeting will be held after the second liturgy this Sunday, April 6.   Business before the congregation will include election of officers and Vestry members for 2014-2015, annual report of the Mount Olive Foundation, and an update on the Capital Campaign.

     At the April 2013 congregation meeting, the congregation approved a limited capital campaign that would help to put Mount Olive and its many ministries on firm financial footing in 2014 and beyond.  A target of $182,000 was approved to be used for two purposes. The first is to restore funds that the congregation borrowed over a number of years from its restricted accounts (funds given by individuals who designated them for specific purposes); and the second is to create a cash reserve to help cover routine future expenses at times when donations are insufficient.

Vestry Nominees

     At the semi-annual congregation meeting on April 6, the following slate of nominees for Vestry positions will be presented to the congregation for voting.  Nominations may also be made from the floor.

President:  Lora Dundek (second 1-year term)
Vice President:  Robert Gotwalt (first 1-year term)
Secretary:  Peggy Hoeft (second 1-year term)
Treasurer:  Kat Campbell-Johnson (third 1-year term)
Director of Education:  John Holtmeier (filling third year of a  vacated 3-year term)
Director of Missions:  Judy Hinck (first 3-year term)
Director of Stewardship:   Donn McClellan (first 3-year term)
Director of Youth:  Amy Thompson (filling third year of a vacated 3-year term)

Night On the Street

     On Friday night, April 11, Mount Olive and TRUST Youth will again participate in Night On the Street at Plymouth Congregational Church.  Night On the Street is an opportunity for teens to learn about youth homelessness through activities, speakers, and by experiencing what it is like to sleep in a card board box in the parking lot.  

     We've been asked to raise at least enough funds to provide one week’s worth of safe housing and supportive services for a homeless youth, $140 (seven days of housing and supportive services).  All donations should be made payable to “Night on the Street.”  Donations will go to Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, which provides housing and services for homeless youth.  If you would like to make a donation, please contact the church office or Julie Manuel.

Dusting and Polishing Day

     The Altar Guild will host a chancel-cleaning event on Saturday, April 12, from noon to 3:00 p.m. Bring your favorite duster and polishing rags, and help our worship space glow for Holy Week and the Triduum. Questions? Contact Steve Pranschke: hspranschke [at] gmail [dot] com.

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 north transept 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 between the liturgies at 9:30 am

 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!

Luther College Cathedral Choir to Perform at Mount Olive Saturday

     The Luther College Cathedral Choir will perform in concert at Mount Olive this Saturday evening, April 5, at 7:00 p.m. 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, including 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.

     All are welcome!    

Life Transitions Support Group

     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.

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.

Book Discussion Group’s 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, Susan Hill.

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