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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Olive Branch, 8/6/14

Accent on Worship


     It is with a full and grateful heart that I prepare to leave Mount Olive.

     I thank you for myself, and on behalf of all the vicars before me and yet to come who have been or will be blessed by your ministry. You have forever shaped me and how I will serve congregations.
     Saint Paul’s words to the Philippians immediately come to mind as I think of this year together: “I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Christ.” (Phil. 1:3-6).

Of this I am certain: God is at work in you, not only for your vicars, but for this city, your neighborhoods, and you as well so that everyone might see, and hear, and know the love of God. You proclaim the gospel as you relentlessly care for one another, risk speaking the truth in love, attend to the presence of the Holy in worship, patiently journey with vicars, and live out your compassion and commitment to this neighbor-hood. Through you, by your love and your patient under-standing, Christ has revealed to me even more of his love and grace. In you, I have seen the face of God.

     For all that you have taught me, for sharing your lives and welcome, for your generosity, and for your faithfulness to the gospel, I thank you.

     The peace of Christ will be with you always, just as he has promised.

- Vicar Emily Beckering

Mary, Mother of Our Lord
Friday, August 15, 2014
Holy Eucharist at 7:00 p.m.
All are welcome.

Sunday Readings

August 10, 2014: 9th Sunday after Pentecost  (Lect. 19A)
I Kings 19:9-18
Psalm 85:8-13
Romans 10:5-15
Matthew 14:22-33
August 17, 2014: 10th Sunday after Pentecost (Lect. 20A)
Isaiah 56:1, 6-8
Psalm 67
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
Matthew 15:10-28

Olive Branch Summer Publication Schedule

     During the summer months, The Olive Branch is published every other week.

     The next Olive Branch will be published on Wednesday, August 20.  Information for that issue is due in to the church office by Tuesday, August 19.

     Weekly publication resumes September 3.

Neighborhood Ministry Coordinator Search Update

     The deadline for applications for the new Neighborhood Ministries Coordinator position has passed, and the search committee has narrowed the list of candidates to six people.    

     Interviews will take place during the weeks of August 11 and 17, and we hope to have a candidate to recommend to the Vestry soon after.   We are on track to have someone in place by the second half of September.  In the meantime, Connie Toavs is busy getting our fall programs off the ground.

     Thanks to the committee for such good work  (George Ferguson, Gretchen Campbell-Johnson, Sue Ellen Zagrabelny, Cynthia Prosek, Neil Herring, Kathy Thurston, Pastor Crippen, Vicar Beckering, and Lora Dundek)!

Summer A.C.T.S. Recap

     The Summer ACTS five-week program ended July 18. 23 volunteers, including 20 Mount Olive participants had the opportunity to interact with 18 community youth over the course of the program.

     Volunteers participated with youth in 6 different types of service to the community and to the church, enjoyed lunch together and shared experiences. Volunteers helped introduce youth to this church as a place of peace and acceptance and a place where community counts. A very diverse group of 10–14 year olds experienced helping to meet community needs, a new experience for many. Each youth had the opportunity to earn up to $150 during the program and most never missed a day. Youth learned to relate to adults and to each other and hopefully learned some work “soft skills.” Each left with a reference letter to present to a future potential employer.

     The program ended with a celebration meal prepared and served by volunteers. Youth, their family members, volunteers, church staff and organizations that benefitted from the youths’ work came together to share a meal, watch a power point presentation showing each of the activities, and view the art work that now brightens the undercroft. Stop down and take a look at “Seasons of the Heart.”

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 will act as 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

Book Discussion Group’s Upcoming Reads

     For their meeting on August 9, the Book Discussion group will read, All the King's Men (restored edition), by Robert Penn Warren.  For the September 13 meeting, they will discuss, The Woman Behind the New Deal, by Kirstin Downey.

Food and Personal Items Needed!

     Remember your contributions to the food shelf during these summer months.  You may use your blue envelopes and designate "food shelf" as the recipient.  Non-perishable food items may be placed in the shopping cart in the coat room.

      We are also receiving donations of small toiletries (like the complimentary items provided by hotels and motels) for distribution to homeless persons, who have little space for such items. Bring your unused/unopened toiletries to the designated basket in the coat room.

2014-2015 Vestry

     New Vestry members were installed at the morning liturgy on Sunday, July 20.  The current Vestry is now as follows:

President – Lora Dundek
Vice President – Robert Gotwalt
Secretary – Peggy Hoeft
Treasurer – Kat Campbell-Johnson
Congregational Life – Sandra Pranschke
Education – John Holtmeier
Evangelism – Andrew Andersen
Neighborhood Ministries – Carol Austermann
Missions – Judy Hinck
Property – Brenda Bartz
Stewardship – Donn McLellan
Worship – Al Bipes
Youth – Amy Thompson

Diaper Depot in Need of Year-Round Funding

     Several years ago, as the Neighborhood Ministries Committee considered ideas for a program which would directly help families in our neighborhood, they decided that a service to provide low cost diapers to area families would be a practical and much-needed service.  They held a fundraiser with a “name that program” contest, and so the Diaper Depot was born. This has been a very popular program with neighborhood families for a number of years. Two elderly grandparents who are raising their three young grandchildren recently said, with tears in their eyes, “You don’t know how much this helps!”

     The funds to provide this much-needed 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.

Calling All Worship Assistants!

     The Servant Schedule for the 4th quarter of 2014 (October-December) will be published at the beginning of September 2014.

     The deadline for submitting requests to me is August 15, 2014. Please email your requests to me at

- Peggy Hoeft

Our Going Out and Our Coming In: Staff Summer Schedules

Cantor Cherwien is on vacation August 1-6, and August 21-27.
Administrative Assistant Cha Posz will be on vacation August 11-15.

Summer Ensembles Forming Now!

     Cantor Cherwien is assembling two ensembles to sing for summer worship.

     A men’s ensemble will meet, rehearse and sing for the liturgy on August 10, and a women’s ensemble will meet, rehearse, and sing for the liturgy on August 17.

     In each case, the plan is to meet at 8:00 that morning and rehearse until 9:15, singing for the morning liturgies at 9:30.

     Come and lend your voice to the choir(s)!

Help Us Keep in Contact!

     Please remember to contact the church office with your updated address, phone number, cell phone number, or email address!

     Help us stay in touch and keep you in touch with each other.

A Note from Former Vicar Neal

Dear Friends at Mount Olive,
     I am writing to let you know that after graduating from Luther Seminary in St. Paul in May of 2014, I have received a call as Associate Pastor of Youth and Family Ministry at Christ Lutheran Church in Belvidere, Illinois.  I am extremely excited to join in this ministry that God has called me to.  Mount Olive played a major role in bringing me to this point.

     Serving as your vicar was one of the most rewarding times in my life.  I truly loved preaching, teaching, and working with the community at Mount Olive. Even more, I was blessed by your presence in my life.  Not only did you all go out of your way to welcome me to your church, but you also shaped me as a future pastor.  You encouraged my preaching by giving careful feedback.  You taught me what it means to truly love all people.  You became my friends and family during my time there.  I am especially grateful for the hard-working staff and internship committee at Mount Olive who mentored me and taught me what it means to work in a church as the Body of Christ.  Thank you for your love and care!

     I am extremely appreciative for the gifts of love you have shared with me.  You have shaped my faith and affirmed my call to pastoral ministry.  I can never pay you back, but know that I am eternally grateful for the gift Christ has given me in you.

In Christ,
Neal Cannon

Neal's ordination will be on October 26, at 4:00 p.m., in Illinois. The place is yet to be determined. Installation will be at Christ Lutheran Church, Belvidere, Illinois, on November 16.

And Another Note …

To the people of Mount Olive:
Thank you for the faithful prayers for healing for my cousin Janet Prokosh.  She has been on our list of concerns for many months following a serious brain bleed that left her with many significant challenges.  Due to the diligent care of many wonderful people she has recovered significantly and life is returning to normalcy.  Thanks be to God.

- Kathy Thurston

Share a Meal with the Manuels

     While Julie is undergoing chemotherapy, Mount Olive members and friends are helping make life a little easier for their family by delivering meals on Fridays.

     Since the TWIG notice fir went out, response has been great; meals are now scheduled for delivery through October 10.   If you would like to schedule meal delivery after that date, please contact Marilyn Gebauer at: or by phone:  612-306-8872.

     It is suggested meals be dropped off between 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. for this family of three.  Their home is in St. Louis Park - directions and other information will be shared when a delivery date is scheduled.
     If you cannot reach Marilyn, a second contact is Cathy Bosworth.  She can be reached at 612-708-1144 or by email to

Bread for the World Summer Newsletter

     Those who are interested in reading Bread For the World’s summer newsletter, Legacy of Hope, are encouraged to find it on the bulletin board outside the Neighborhood Ministries office and take a look. (This issue features a nice photo of former Neighborhood Ministries Coordinator, Donna Neste, who serves on their national board.)

Capital Campaign News

     We have raised nearly half of our goal for the capital campaign to be used toward fully funding our designated funds and establishing a "rainy day" cash reserve.  

     We would like to wrap up this campaign by the end of the year - or at least have all pledges in by then.   If you haven't yet indicated that you'll give, please do so as soon as you are able.  

     Just send a note to the office, or use the green pledge card (extra pledge cards are available in the office).    This campaign is important to the secure financial footing of Mount Olive.   Thanks for your generosity.

Church Library News

     The current display in the church library includes a few books that come from the Inspirational section and you are invited to stop in soon to view these (or other areas which may interest you) as follows:

LET THE EARTH BRING FORTH -- a moving story of faith regenerated and a marriage restored, by Mary Warren
SMALL BLESSINGS -- by Celestine Sibley
WHY DOESN'T SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING -- what 20 women are doing about such areas as government, education, leadership, decency and morality - by Daisy Hepburn
THE DIVINE YES by E. Stanley Jones
THE JESUS STYLE by Gayle D. Erwin
TRAVELING LIGHT - releasing the burden you were never intended to bear, the Promise of Psalm 23, by Max Lucado
OLDER LOVE by local author, artist and illustrator Warren Hanson

     I have mentioned before the special non-profit project called Little Free Libraries, a movement begun in 2009 by Todd Bol and Rick Brooks of Wisconsin, when Bol built a model of a one-room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former teacher who loved reading.  He filled it with books and put it in his front yard, with the great idea of "take a book, return a book." The marvelous growth of this special inspiration includes at least 1,000 Little Free Libraries in Minnesota and the idea has spread as far as Ukraine, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, and Brazil. (That is why an article in the Star Tribune and also featured on TV - last July 11, detailing a Little Free Library located in the South Minneapolis area that was torched, infuriated so many of us that love good books and the whole idea of sharing that idea on a free, "come as you can and share as you will" kind of basis).

     Make it a point to look for one of these special places in or near your own neighbor-hood and stop by often to visit before the snow flies.  If you get a chance, thank the person or family who provided that Little Free Library in front of or very nearby their own home.

     I will close this article by repeating a great quote from the Reading is Fundamental organization: "Book People Unite -- Read to a child today and spark a lifetime of ambition!"

- Leanna Kloempken

Thank you!

     One of the joys of serving as pastor of this congregation is that there are several members of the parish who are able and willing to preside (and even preach) in my absence, making it so much easier to take vacation and really rest.  Thank you to the Revs. Beth Gaede, Art Halbardier, and Rob Ruff for presiding on several Sundays this summer in my stead, and special thanks to Art, who also preached.  I always hear good reports, and know that things are being well handled while I’m gone.  Thanks are also due to Vicar Beckering for taking care of pastoral care in my absence and all the other things she does.  It’s good to be back, but even better not to have worried about anything while I was on vacation.

– Pr. Crippen

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