Forty days after the confusion, amazement, and joy of Easter Sunday, the disciples were once more in a situation of sadness. Jesus had just left them again, ascending to the Father. They must have longed for more than just those forty days with their beloved and now risen Lord.
But it was a need. Even before his crucifixion, the evangelist John tells us, Jesus told the disciples he would be leaving them, but not orphaning them (John 14:18), the Gospel reading we heard last Sunday. Later John says Jesus said this: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7). Jesus says it is better for them that he return to the Father, that it is to their advantage.
This is what the Church celebrates Thursday, as will Mount Olive at a 7:00 p.m. Eucharist. There are so many times that it seems it would have been better for Jesus to have stayed here, so we could see him in the flesh, as the disciples did. But we remember Jesus’ ascension precisely because we need Jesus’ ascension. We need the risen Son of God to return to the Godhead, to sit at the right hand of the Father, so he can keep his promise to be with us always (Matthew 28:20) and send the Holy Spirit to transform us, as at Pentecost.
When the Son is no longer bound by human time and history, but is able to be fully within the song and work of the Triune God who transcends time and history, then Father, Son and Holy Spirit can be with us always. Were Jesus the risen Christ to have remained here on earth, bound in time 2,000 years ago, how could he be present to all believers at all times?
How could he truly be found in the Meal of his body and blood? More to the point, how could we continue his work as he hoped, and as he invited us?
Far from being a farewell, Jesus’ ascension completes the journey of the Son to come to us, show us how to love and live, and invite us back into the dance and song of God, to join earth and heaven together once more. So let us celebrate!
June 1, 2014: Seventh Sunday of Easter
Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35
I Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11
June 8, 2014: Day of Pentecost
Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35
I Corinthians 12:3b-13
The Ascension of Our Lord
Thursday, May 29
Holy Eucharist at 7:00 p.m.
A light reception will follow.
Capital Campaign Corner
As of May 25, 2014, we have received cash or pledges equal to $73,620, which represents 40% of our goal of $182,000.
The purpose of this campaign is to fully fund our restricted accounts and to establish a rainy day fund equal to two months of basic operating expenses.
This will help us through the inevitable ups and downs of cash flow. You may bring or mail your pledge card or donation to the church office, or simply put it in the offering plate on Sunday morning.
Please prayerfully consider a pledge or donation.
Bach Tage Events
May 31-June 1, 2014
Saturday, May 31, 4 pm – Bach Recital for Organ, David Cherwien, organist
Sunday, June 1 – Vespers with Bach Cantata 172, Erschallet, ihr Lieder
All are invited – bring a friend!
Mount Olive Church Picnic June 22
Mount Olive will have a Church Picnic this year on Sunday, June 22, from 3:00-7:00 p.m. John and Patsy Holtmeier welcome all to their (spacious!) backyard at 601 Drillane Road in Hopkins.
Games and hilarity for kids and adults will be held from 3:00-5:00 p.m., including a Bean Bag Tournament, Zip Line Run, lawn games, and more. A potluck picnic will begin around 5:00 p.m., and the day will close with a hymn sing on the lawn. All are invited! Sign-up sheets for attendance, food prepara-tion, set up, etc. will be at church before and after the liturgy on June 1, 8, and 15.
In the event of rain on the 22nd, a modified picnic will be held that day in the Undercroft from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Life Transitions Support Group
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 by life’s changes?
Cathy Bosworth and Amy Cotter are facilitating a 4-week structured support group on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm, in the Youth Room. 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.
Olive Branch Summer Publication Schedule
During the summer months, The Olive Branch is published every other week.
This is the last weekly issue until after Labor Day.
The next Olive Branch will be published on Wednesday, June 11. Information for that issue is due in to the church office by Tuesday, June 10.
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.
CoAM Mailing List
TRUST is an interfaith coalition of south Minneapolis congregations serving families, youth, and seniors since 1970. Mount Olive is a part of this coalition! Cooperative Adult Ministries (CoAM is a part of TRUST) which serves the needs and interests of seniors. If you are interested in seeing what CoAM has to offer you, call their office and ask to be placed in their mailing list (612) 721-5786.
Coming Soon! Summer A.C.T.S. (Adults, Children Teaming to Serve) June 16 – July 17
Mount Olive 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 and for the community while building relationships, understanding critical social issues and learning from each other. We need adult volunteers to make this program work!
There will be two Teams of adults and youth. Team 1 will work Mondays and Wednesdays; Team 2 will work Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sessions will normally run from 10AM to 1:30 PM and include a light lunch. Adults can volunteer to work on a team with youth for any length of time – whatever fits into your schedule and most peaks your interest.
Check out the activities and dates and sign up on the charts in the fellowship area.
From the Church Library
Parents of young children will want to check out the display of 14 new DVDs for children in our library. They are on display near the window for the next couple of weeks and then will be moved to the spinning media rack, where other DVDs are also available for check-out.
• Veggie Tales: God Made You Special
• Veggie Tales: Heroes of the Bible - 3 Stories in One (David and Goliath, Esther, and Daniel in the Lion's Den)
• Veggie Tales: Heroes of the Bible - 3 Great Stories (Moses, Miriam, and Joseph)
• Veggie Tales: King George and the Ducky, and ‘Twas the Night Before Easter
• Veggie Tales: Duke and the Great Pie War (a Lesson in Loving Your Family)
• Veggie Tales: Dave and the Giant Pickle (a Lesson in Self-Esteem)
• Veggie Tales: The League of Incredible Vegetables (a Lesson in Handling Fear)
• Veggie Tales: Larry Boy and the Rumor Weed (a Lesson in the Power of Words)
• Veggie Tales: King George and the Ducky (a Lesson about Selfishness)
• Veggie Tales: Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry's Big River Rescue (a Lesson in Helping Others)
• Veggie Tales: Big Stories for Little People (Little Ones Can Do Big Things Too!)
• Veggie Tales Live! Sing Yourself Silly, featuring 18 live silly songs
• Veggie Tales: Sing a silly song, includes 20 hand-picked Silly Songs
• Gigi's Big Break - Sheila Walsh's Gigi, God's Little Princess (a Lesson About Honesty and Loving Siblings)
Just a reminder that along with one liturgy on Sundays during the summer months, the library's Open Hours have also changed. The library will be open and staffed 1/2 hour before the liturgy (9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m.) and again 1/2 hour after the liturgy is over.
Books for Africa is a non-profit organization which began 25 years ago with a mission of ending the book famine in Africa. They have collected and shipped 30 million books to students in 49 countries. This organization is still very active today. An article in the April 26, 2014, Star Tribune detailed the organiza-tion's walk from Taylor's Falls to St. Paul, ending at the State Capitol steps. This was a fundraising effort to help send some 22,000 books to Somalia - a worthy project, indeed! For further information or to support this effort, go to www.booksforafrica.org.
The Mount Olive library ministry strives to teach children "the joy of books, fostering early literacy, and the inspiration that knowing Jesus is in their lives at all times, and is there for all ages as well."
Happy Summer Reading!
- Leanna Kloempken
Calling All Graduates!
On Sunday, June 22, we will recognize and remember in prayer those who are graduating this spring … but we need to know who you are! If you are graduating from high school, college, or graduate school (or if your family member is), please call the church office with your name and the name of the school, so that your name can be included in the prayers.
We would love to celebrate your achievement with you!
Thursday, May 29: The Ascension of Our Lord - Holy Eucharist at 7:00 pm, followed by a light reception.
Saturday, May 31 – Bach Tage: Organ recital by David Cherwien at 4:00 pm
Sunday, June 1 – Bach Cantata Vespers, 4:00 pm.
Saturday, June 7 – Vigil of Pentecost, 7:00 pm
Sunday, June 8 – Day of Pentecost, Holy Eucharist with Celebration of
Confirmation at 9:30 am