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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Olive Branch, 8/20/14

Accent on Worship

Come with me

     I missed you all.  It’s as simple as that.  The two weeks’ vacation I took at the end of July was restful, good, helpful.  I did almost nothing during the days but read and do crosswords.  We took a couple days out of town.  It was a successful vacation as well, in that I was able to forget about work, forget about duties, trusting that all was being done well in my absence.

     But then Sundays came.  We worshipped in two different places, an Episcopal church in Wisconsin one week, one of our neighbor Lutheran congregations the next week.  Both times we were blessed, not only by the worship we were welcomed to join, but because we did feel we worshipped, and we certainly were fed by God’s grace.  But.  It wasn’t the same as it is with you, my sisters and brothers.

     There is something about a worshipping community that is irreplaceable, wherever one worships.  We come to need each other alongside as we approach God, and while it can be done elsewhere, something about who we are together makes it different, good, blessed.  I missed you all.

     Is this the generative impulse behind all evangelism, that once we’ve experienced something important, been blessed by the grace of God in a community, we want to invite others to come with us?  It’s not enough that we know; we want to welcome others to know and see what we do.

     On Sunday we celebrate the feast day of St. Bartholomew, who most likely was also the disciple who bore the first name “Nathanael.”  In John’s account of Nathanael’s calling, Philip is what draws my eye this morning.  Philip has met Jesus, believes him to be the one
Moses and the prophets foretold.  But he can’t stop there.  He has to run and find his friend, Nathanael, and tell him to come and see.  Philip doesn’t want to keep this to himself, it’s just too important, too wondrous.  It wouldn’t have been the same for Philip if his friend did not come and see himself.

     That’s the deal.  That’s why we invite others here (and so many of us do this so often!)  For no other reason than this Good News of God’s abundant grace for us and for the world is too good to keep to ourselves.  We want all the people we know (and even those we don’t) to come and see for themselves.  So that they, too, become part of this community.  So that they, too, become the ones we miss when we are away.

- Joseph

Sunday Readings

August 24, 2014: St. Bartholomew, Apostle
Isaiah 51:1-6
Psalm 138
Romans 12:1-8
Matthew 16:13-20

August 31, 2014: 12th Sunday after Pentecost (Lect. 22A)
Jeremiah 15:15-21
Psalm 26:1-8
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28

Olive Branch Summer Publication Schedule

     The Olive Branch resumes weekly publication with the next issue which will be published on September 3. Information for that issue is due in to the church office by Tuesday, September 2.

 Andrew Siess to Speak at Mount Olive This Sunday

     Andrew Siess, a young member of this congregation, has set himself the goal of walking, alone, around the entire globe. He has almost completed his journey, and has stopped off in his hometown to visit friends and family and to assure them that he is doing well.

     Andrew will address the Adult Forum this Sunday, August 24, following the coffee fellowship time after Eucharist. He will tell of his journey – including tales of some of his adventures and challenges, music he has learned along the way, and lessons he is drawing. He will also be willing to answer questions. Please join Andrew and the fellowship of Mount Olive on Sunday.

Childrens Choir

     Dear parents and helpers of our young!

     The results of the poll are in - we're going to give it a go!

     WEDNESDAYS, 6:00-6:45 pm, with Cantor Cherwien as director.  Children grades 2 to 8.  (roughly - these lines can be blurred - first graders can participate if you feel they can)
     Starting:  Wednesday, September 10, 2014.  6:00 pm.
     This will be preceded at 5:30 with an optional simple meal.  RSVP will be necessary until we have a handle on how many might be eating.  It's offered as a help to you who will be spending more time than we wish transporting!  Least we can do is offer the meal. When we did this in the past, it became a really fun time for some social interaction between the children, me, and parents.  We'll need volunteer help preparing and cleaning up, but it will be very simple.

     As to choir, the children will sing in the 10:45 Eucharist,  on October 12,  November 16,  and December 14.  They'll vest just after Godly Play and stay the entire service in the choir loft (except for the procession or Eucharist, of course).  They will likely sing several short things each time; perhaps a Psalm antiphon, a hymn stanza, maybe even an anthem.

     More information and RSVP instructions will come the first week of September. But if you can let me know your intentions - either way - at this point, it would be very helpful.

     I'm very hopeful, as I find this an extremely important thing to be doing.  We always hope for all ages - including our youngest - to be engaged in what we do in worship, and to have every opportunity we can to get to know them.  And the gift of music, which is such a tremendous value to us at Mount Olive is something we wish to ignite in the young as well,  and the best way to do this is through this ministry.  It's tremendously worth going out of our way to accommodate, isn't it?!      Send me a note.

- Cantor David Cherwien


     Summer is almost over. As autumn approaches, many of us are planning our future activities. TRUST has many programs to brighten our days and enhance our lives! Here’s a list!

Thursday, October 9:  CoAM’s Fall Colors Tour
Thursdays, Sept. 25-Dec. 4: Grief Support group
Sundays, Sept, 14,  and 21: Flu Shot Clinics
First Thursday of each month:  Memory Loss Caregivers Group
Thursday, December 11: CoAM’s Christmas Tour

    Posters with more information on these events are posted on the bulletin board downstairs near the Neighborhood Ministries Office. Additional information on any of them is available by calling TRUST at 612-827-6159.

Transitions Support Group Continues

     Any who would like an opportunity to discuss concerns and receive support are welcome to attend the Transitions Support group. Their next meeting is on Wednesday, August 27, at 6:30 in the Youth Room. Amy Cotter and Cathy Bosworth are the facilitators.

     Since our last 4-week session concluded in May, the group members decided they wanted to continue meeting, as needed.  Since May, we will have met on an every six-week basis.

     All are welcome and encouraged, especially by those who have been meeting for support regularly, to participate whenever we meet.

     If you have questions, please call Cathy at 612-708-1144 or email her at

Welcome Vicar McLaughlin!

     Meagan McLaughlin is our new vicar for this year, serving her seminary internship with us.  She will be at Eucharist this Sunday, and her Internship Committee will be commissioned to work with her this year.

     Meagan grew up in the Twin Cities and is a St. Olaf graduate.  She is currently a student at Luther Seminary and United Theological Seminary. She and her wife Karen have been together for 14 years, have lived in the Longfellow neighborhood for about 8 years, and have been worshiping at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

     Serving on her Internship Committee are Elizabeth Beissel, John Crippen, Ro Griesse, Peggy Hoeft, Joe Kane, and Warren Peterson.  Please take time to greet her Sunday, and welcome her to Mount Olive!

     At the first Adult Forum on Sept. 7 the congregation will have an extended opportunity to hear from her and ask her questions.

Anniversary Open House

     Walter & Lydia Iverson are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary and cordially invite Mount Olive members and friends to celebrate with them!

     An Open House will be held on Saturday, September 6, from 2-4pm at their new home, Minnehaha Senior Living: 3733 - 23rd Ave S., Minneapolis, MN  55407.

     Plan to stop by to greet the Iversons and enjoy some light refreshments.

Join in Prayer for the Middle East 

     As people of Mount Olive, your mission dollars have supported the work of the Lutheran Federation in Jerusalem. We share with you a request from Rev. Mark Brown, regional representative for the LWF there. "I invite you to join the ACT Palestine Forum's international prayer vigil for peace.  Prayer vigils devoted to peace in the Middle East are held on the 24th of every month."

     From the Forum's website:  "This global ecumenical prayer vigil began on 24 December 2012 and will continue across the globe, on the 24th of every month, until the Israeli occupation is dismantled, violence in the Middle East ends, and all can celebrate a just and lasting negotiated resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
     We urge people to see this prayer vigil as an outpouring of concern for Palestinians and Israelis – Christians, Muslims, and Jews – whose lives are overtaken by broken relationships and the conflict that flows from these divisions."

     We will join the vigil on Sunday, August 24, and our prayer chain ministry will continue on the 24th of each month.  You are invited to add your prayers.

-Mission Committee

Neighborhood Ministries Tutoring Program Is Gearing Up for Fall 

     Would you like to help a grade school child excel in school this year?  Would you like to have a part in closing the Achievement Gap in Minneapolis?  Do you have 1.5 hours available on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 -8:00 PM September 30th through May 26th?  

     The Mount Olive Tutoring program is recruiting tutors for the 2014-15 school year.   This summer several members had a chance to experience short term relationships with community youth. Tutoring provides the opportunity to build a longer term mentoring relationship with one or two youth and a chance to get to know their parents while building academic skills   We hope to increase the number of tutors this year and are looking forward to these enhancements:

Frequent contact with parents and teachers
Internet access for homework/ education sites for skill building
New Resources by grade level
School curriculum information
New (used) books

     Several families have already asked to enroll their children.  If you can tutor or have questions, please call Connie Toavs, Interim Coordinator, Neighborhood Ministries or email to

Good News From The Art Shoppe

     The Art Shoppe has now fully paid off their loan from A Minnesota Without Poverty to develop The Art Shoppe in the Midtown Global Market!

     As you recall Mount Olive and Jewish Community Relations Council each contributed $2000 toward the start-up of The Art Shoppe at the Mid-Town Global Market, just a block away from Mount Olive. A Minnesota Without Poverty (AMWP) contributed $8000, for a total of $12,000 to support the build-out and rent for the first 6 months. AMWP decided to designate $6000 (of the $12,000) as their loan. That is the amount they have now repaid, plus more. This is a very significant milestone for The Art Shoppe and the entrepreneurs who have developed it, along with us who are the sponsors who helped in this venture!

     The Art Shoppe’s loan repayment includes more than the actual loan and thus will support further micro-enterprise partnerships as we continue to assist entrepreneurs in develop-ing businesses and fighting poverty’s growth.
     The Micro-Enterprise Partnership Work Group and A Minnesota Without Poverty invite you to celebrate this accomplishment with a reception at Mount Olive at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, September 2, in observance of this special milestone of the Art Shoppe.

     Please mark your calendars and RSVP by Friday, August 29, by calling the church office if you plan to attend.  Contact Elizabeth Beissel with any questions.

Capital Campaign Update

     Now that summer is drawing to a close, it's time to take another look at the effort to put Mount Olive on a more secure financial footing by fully funding our designated accounts and creating a reserve fund for challenging financial times.  Please pledge or donate to our capital campaign goal of $182,000.   We are almost half way to our goal, and need everyone's participation - small amount to large amount - to complete this campaign.  If you can't find your green pledge card - that's okay.   You can pick one up in the office or simply mail/email your pledge to the church office at   Help us get this important work done!

Book Discussion Group’s Upcoming Reads

     For their meeting on September 13, the Book Discussion group will read The Woman Behind the New Deal, by Kirstin Downey. For the October 11 meeting they will read The Reluctant Fundamentalist, by Mohsin Hamid.

 Summer Worship Schedule Comes to an End

     Labor Day weekend is the last weekend of Summer Worship Schedule.

     Beginning Sunday, September 7, we resume our regular worship schedule of two liturgies every Sunday morning at 8:00 and 10:45 am.

     Sunday Church School and Adult Education resume that day, also.

Diaper Depot in Need of Year-Round Funding

     The funds to provide this much-needed Neighborhood Ministries service are part of our church budget, but until now, the Diaper Depot has never been open in the summer. Additional funds are needed to provide this service to our neighborhood families year-round.

     The blue Missions envelope from the offering envelope mailing has a blank line under “local missions.” Please consider making a gift to the Diaper Depot (by writing “Diaper Depot” on that line), or by using an envelope designated for this. You may also want to consider becoming a sustaining member by providing regular weekly, monthly, or yearly gifts to this important ministry (thanks to those who are already doing this!). We would also welcome volunteers to work in the Diaper Depot. It is open on Tuesdays from 4:30-6:30, and on Thursdays from 1:30-3:30.  Please contact Connie Toavs at church if you would like to volunteer!

     This neighborhood need does not take a break for the summer – and neither should we!  Please be generous, as the need continues throughout the year. Thanks in advance for your generosity.

TCAGO Organ and Choral Vespers

     The Twin Cities chapter of the American Guild of Organists is pleased to host an Organ and Choral Vespers service, led by the St. Olaf Cantorei under the direction of James E. Bobb.

     The service will be held on Sunday, September 21, 4:00 pm, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (700 S. Snelling Ave. in St. Paul).

     The event is free and open to the public. A freewill offering will be received.
     Bring your friends!

Five Ways We are Fighting Ebola 

Through our support of these international programs, we join Lutherans around the world in fighting this dread disease.

#1 Treat ebola patients. Through partnership with the Lutheran World Federation, two Lutheran hospitals in Liberia were treating infected patients.

#2 Sending protective gear. The ELCA,  the Lutheran Church in Liberia, and Global Health Ministries are partnering to deliver five pallets of protection equipment to the hospitals.

#3 Health care training. Lutheran World Relief is partnering with others to conduct prevention training for health care workers in Liberia, training them to also train others.

#4 Raising Awareness. Through LWR and its partners, community volunteers are trained and materials (posters/flyers) prepared to spread accurate information.

#5 Strengthening ties between religious and community leaders. This partnership is also training these leaders to reach out and disseminate timely, accurate information to their members.  Lutheran World Relief "works with local partners to provide lasting solutions."

You may add additional support by using the blue mission envelopes and marking them "Lutheran World Relief."

 -Mission Committee

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