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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Olive Branch, 5/14/14

Accent on Worship 

    It’s no secret that very recently close to 50 of us from Mount Olive attended the dedicatory events for a new organ built by Lynn Dobson at Merton College in Oxford England.  It’s a wonderful installation and the organ fits the choir and liturgy there like a glove.  We attended several liturgies and the dedicatory recital.

     Refreshed in my experience is the appreciation for the Anglican tradition for Psalm singing.  Four-part chant sung by the choir,  often accompanied by the organ, is extremely expressive of the text.  At Merton College, the dynamic contrast and the musical setting is chosen to reflect the meaning and mood of the words.  One can’t help but notice the words, and it was always clear through listening if what was being expressed were words of comfort, or shaking our fists at God as the Psalms often do.    It was obvious that they always approached the Psalms thoughtfully and thoroughly prepared – fully aware of the meaning of these ancient prayers which are still sung by the people of God today.

     In liturgies here at Mount Olive, the practice is a bit different.  Our vocal participation is important, and so most of the time the entire assembly sings all of the verses in some form or another.  On occasion an antiphon is sung – by all, or perhaps by the choir.  Some times we sing the verses to a unison chant line – either from the ELW (pages 337-378),  a version of a Gregorian psalm tone,  or a tone composed by your Cantor (me).  Sometimes we sing Anglican four-part chant settings as we did last Sunday for Psalm 23.

     One thing can (and should) be the same between what we do here and what one can hear in England and most Anglican liturgies:  thoughtful expression. The British choirs get the luxury of the rehearsal to determine which
words are the important ones, and which syllables will receive more weight for meaningful expression.

     As a congregation we don’t have a rehearsal, but we do have the opportunity to notice what we are singing and we can reflect the meaning in how we are singing these texts.  Are we singing of comfort (“the Lord leads me beside still waters” –Ps. 23 from last week)?  Or are we singing something stronger:  (“Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe, for you are my crag and my stronghold” – Ps. 31 for this Sunday)?  Our voices can reflect each differently, or at the minimum, we can simply be aware of the differences.

     So here is the invitation:  notice the words.  Ask that famous question, “What does this mean?” and do not be afraid to reflect that meaning in your singing.  It renders the invitation contagious.

- Cantor David Cherwien

Sunday Readings

May 18, 2014: Fifth Sunday of Easter
Acts 7:55-60
Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16
I Peter 2:2-10
John 14:1-14

May 25, 2014: Sixth Sunday of Easter
Acts 17:22-31
Psalm 66:8-20
I Peter 3:13-22
John 14:15-21

This Week’s Adult Forum 

May 18:   “The Filioque in the Nicene Creed,” presented by Pastor Crippen

Guest Choir This Sunday

This Sunday, May 18, Mount Olive is pleased to welcome the Youth Choir of All Saints Lutheran Church in  Minnetonka,  and their director Jim Hild, for the 10:45 Eucharist.  They are on a mini-tour, experiencing liturgy in different contexts. Their music will be integrated into the liturgy this Sunday.

1 Thessalonians Bible Study

     The final Thursday Bible study series before summer began on Thursday, May 8, and will continue 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.

New Members to be Received This Sunday!

     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. All are invited to attend!

Rolling Out a Word of Thanks

     Thank you to everyone who donated money and toilet paper to Community Emergency Services during the Children and Family sponsored coffee hour on Sunday, May 4.  We raised $200.00 and collected 200 rolls of toilet paper.

Book Discussion Group’s Upcoming Reads

For their meeting on June 14, the book discussion group will read, The Orphan Master's Son, by Adam Johnson; and for the meeting on July 12, they will read, All Over but the Shoutin', by Rick Bragg.

Adult Education Offerings Through May

May 18 – The “Filioque in the Nicene Creed, presented by Pastor Crippen
May 25 – Bread for the World Campaign of Letters

Attention Needleworkers!

     Do you have UFOs in your closet? Most needleworkers have at least one unfinished object lurking somewhere in the house.

     Some of the prayer shawl makers have decided to rid themselves of the guilt and clutter of some of their projects. We will meet at Mount Olive on Monday, May 19 from 9 am to 3 pm to complete, or at least get a good start on completing some of those projects. We can work on our own and also help each other.

     Bring a bag lunch and your crocheting, knitting, quilting, cross stitch, needlepoint - whatever project you have - and see if you can get one done!

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 This Evening

     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.

Sign Up for Altar Flowers  

     All members and friends of Mount Olive are invited to donate flowers for our Sunday liturgies.
     The cost per week is $50. You may sign up for either the full cost (both bouquets) by writing your name and the occasion on both lines on the chart, or for half the cost, (just one of the two bouquets), by writing the information on just one  of the two lines provided.

     The sign-up chart is on the wall to the left of the door to the church office, near the elevator and restrooms.

     Questions? Contact Naomi Peterson (612-824-2228), or talk to Cha Posz, Mount Olive's administrative assistant.

Capital Campaign Corner

Pledges or gifts to date:  $58,000.
Percent of $182,000 Goal:  32%
Number of households making pledges/donations to date:  38

     Remember to submit your pledge or gift to the office or place it in the offering plate during Sunday morning worship.   Your gift will support a variety of ministries through designated funds, and help us build a cash reserve for "rainy days."

Getting to Know You …

     Get better acquainted with our Interim Neighborhood Ministries coordinator, Connie Toavs, after liturgy on Sunday, May 25.  (Remember that we have only one liturgy at 9:30 that day.)

     Connie will share information about her past experiences in social justice and her current work with Mount Olive. Treats will be served.

Coming Soon! Summer A.C.T.S. 
(Adults, Children Teaming to Serve)

     Neighborhood Ministries Summer Program this year is an opportunity for adults and youth from the congregation and community to work together on service projects in the community while building relationships and learning from each other.

     The program will run four half-days a week, June 16 through July 18  (10 am to 1:30 pm, including a light lunch).   Youth ages 10 to 14 can work for five weeks, two half-days a week on either Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays and earn $30/week.  Adults can volunteer to work on a team with youth for any length of time – whatever fits into your schedule.  Each week we will focus on a different community project - food needs, neighborhood activism, needs of Seniors in the community, health and fire safety needs at home and in the community, and the use of items that would otherwise end up in landfills to create art for our undercroft. The project will culminate on July 18 with a celebration meal and an unveiling of the art projects for all A.C.T.S. participants.
     Do you have a child, grandchild or friend who would like to work this summer, earn a little cash, and learn about service at the same time?  Would you like to take two half-days off work and be a part of the action?  Are you available this summer and looking for a way to serve?

     Check The Olive Branch next week for a brief description of each week’s activity and information on how to sign up to be a part of A.C.T.S.

     Questions? Call Connie at church, 612-827-5919.

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 exhuberant 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!

Foundation's Gift Sets New Record

     Last month, Mount Olive Lutheran Church Foundation presented its annual gift to the Church.  As in recent years, the $29,902.54 sum is the largest in the Foundation's history.  Having studied the Vestry’s nearly $49,000 in funding requests,  the Foundation’s Board of Directors recommended that its gift be apportioned as follows:

Conference on Liturgy $3,500.00
Bach Tage $4,000.00
Scholar in Residence $1,500.00
Accounting Software $2,500.00
Vault Shelving $500.00
Video Equipment $3,425.00
Jobs After School $2,000.00
Diaper Depot $2,500.00
Property Needs $9,977.54

TOTAL $29,904.54

     Over its history, the Foundation now has given over $305,000 to the church.  Your gifts, during and after your lifetime, will enable the Mount Olive Foundation to support our church even more significantly in the future.  To learn more about providing for the Foundation through a will provision, retirement account designation or other gift options, please contact Keith Bartz at (612) 823-3572 or by email to, or speak with another Foundation board member:  Dixie Berg, Michael Edwins, Elaine Halbardier, Reid Peterson, Mark Ruff or Doug and Pat Spaulding.

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