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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Olive Branch, 4/30/14

Accent on Worship

Cut to the Heart

     John Wesley once recorded the following journal entry: “In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”
The Holy Spirit was at work in John Wesley that evening, warming his heart, bringing him to faith.

     Those who gathered to hear Peter’s speech in Acts 2, this Sunday’s first reading, had a similar experience. After hearing from Peter that “God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified,” (2:36), they are “cut to the heart”—an indication of their deep anguish and distress.

     It is striking that in this first reading, as well as in the second reading, and the Gospel for this coming Sunday, God reaches people through their hearts. Their hearts are cut (Acts 2:37) and warmed (Luke 24:32), and they are called to respond through their hearts as well: by repenting (Acts 2:38)—by having a change of heart—and by loving one another deeply from that same heart (1 Peter 1:22).

     The Word of God speaks not only to our ears and minds, but also to our hearts, which signifies not only our emotions, but our most inward parts: our inward nature. This is often how the Holy Spirit works in the world: by cutting hearts—reaching us in our inmost being—in order to open eyes to God’s work and our hearts to one another. In this relationship with the Trinity, our whole selves are sought after and invited in.

     The Holy Spirit’s encounter with us, however, might not always be as vivid as the experiences of John Wesley or the crowd gathered in Acts 2. We will not always feel or initially recognize the Holy Spirit’s work: the disciples on the road to Emmaus only connect the burning of their hearts with Jesus’ presence after their eyes have been opened to recognize him.

     Since we will not always feel the Holy Spirit’s work in us, we trust instead the expansive promise offered in Acts 2:39: “we, together with our children, all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him,” are promised that the Holy Spirit has been given to us in our baptisms. So we trust with our inmost being—with all of our hearts—that the Holy Spirit is at work in us and in the world, opening our eyes to see Christ in our midst and opening our hearts to one another and to those whom the Triune God is still seeking and desires to cut to the heart.  

- Vicar Emily Beckering  

Sunday Readings

May 4, 2014: Third Sunday of Easter
 Acts 2:14a, 36-41
 Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
I Peter 1:17-23
Luke 24:13-35

May 11, 2014: Fourth Sunday of Easter
 Acts 2:42-47
 Psalm 23
I Peter 2:19-25
John 10:1-10

This Week’s Adult Forum 

May 4:  “Living, Loving, and Listening Together,” the second of a 2-part series led by Vicar Emily Beckering.

Palm Plants Available

If you would like to have one of the large palm plants which were used to decorate the nave for Palm Sunday and Easter, they are free for the taking on a first come, first served basis. Help yourself!

1 Thessalonians Bible Study

     The final Thursday Bible study series before summer begins on Thursday, May 8, and runs for six Thursdays through June 12.

     Meeting in the Chapel Lounge from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Vicar Emily Beckering will lead a study of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians.

     There will be a light supper when we begin.  If you are interested in providing the supper for our first study, please notify Vicar Beckering. All are welcome!

The Ascension of Our Lord
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Holy Eucharist
7:00 p.m.

Summer Worship Schedule Begins May 25

From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, Mount Olive worships on Summer Schedule. During the Summer, we celebrate on Sunday Eucharist at 9:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship

Regular (2 liturgy) Schedule will resume on Sunday, September 7, 2014.

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, then 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 for this Sunday, May 4.

Youth Fundraiser for Community Emergency Services

  The Mount Olive Youth are doing a fundraiser and hosting coffee hour this Sunday, May 4.  They are collecting donations of toilet paper and cash for C.E.S. (Community Emergency Services).

  Community Emergency Service (CES) has provided high-quality direct service to people in need. Through direct aid relief, advocacy, referral, guidance and prayer support, if desired, CES seeks to strengthen families and individuals. The goal of CES is to move them beyond crisis to financial stability, as well as emotional health, personal growth and spiritual depth.

  Community Emergency Services is one of the organizations which is supported by Mount Olive's local missions dollars.

New Members to be Received May 18

     New members will be received at Mount Olive on May 18, 2014, at the 10:45 a.m. liturgy.  A welcome brunch will follow the liturgy.

     If you are not a member and are interested in becoming more fully involved in the life of the parish, we invite you to let us know of your interest.  You may call the church office to begin the process. If you prefer, you may contact our Evangelism Director, Andrew Andersen, at, or you may contact Pastor Crippen by calling the church office (612-827-5919) or via e-mail at

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 and Amy Cotter will serve as facilitators 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.  The group will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Youth Room.

     If you are interested in attending, or have questions, please contact Marilyn Gebauer (612-306-8872, email or call the church office.

Spring Grounds Clean Up

     Grab your rakes and gardening gloves and join us on Saturday, May 10, for the spring clean-up of the grounds of the church.  We will clean up garden beds and get them ready for new mulch, pick up trash, and get the lawns ready for summer.  Coffee will be available starting at 8:30 am and we will work until around Noon.

     Come when you can and stay as long as your schedule permits.  Please bring your garden hand tools, rakes, shovels, and whatever other gardening tools you might find helpful.

Register Now for Bach Tage!
May 31-June 1, 2014

     All are invited to register for the 8th annual Bach Tage! Singers and Bach enthusiasts from around the Midwest gather to learn, hear, sing, and present the music of J.S. Bach. This year, Kathy Romey will lead trumpets, timpani, strings, soloists, and choir for the exuberant Cantata 172, Erschallet, ihr lieder.

     Visit Mount Olive’s homepage and click on the brochure download, or pick up a brochure at church and register soon!


CoAM Life Enrichment Series
  CoAM (Cooperative Adult Ministry) offers a Life Enrichment Series for Lifelong Learning, providing learning and social opportunities for adults in the South Minneapolis area. The current series is on Mondays (through May 19), from 9:30-11:50 am at Bethel Lutheran Church, 17th Ave. and 42nd St.).  Brochures about the series are available on the table in the church office.

TRUST Annual Plant Sale & Swap 
Saturday, May 10, 8:00 am – Noon, Bethlehem Lutheran Church parking lot (4100 Lyndale Ave. S.)
Swap your plants for new ones - bring in by 10:00 am & receive a discount on new plants (not available for Pletscher's plants);
Buy homegrown perennials, annuals,  and groundcover;
Get advice from Master Gardeners;
Raise money for TRUST's programs.

Questions or want to donate plants? Call TRUST at 612-827-6159.

National Lutheran Choir to Present “Exalt” This Sunday

     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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