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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Olive Branch, 9/3/14

Accent on Worship 

    The readings for this Sunday spoke very powerfully to me about love and forgiveness. In my first few weeks as your Vicar, I have been blessed to witness love at work in many ways in the Mount Olive community. I have experienced that love in the warm welcome I have received from everyone I have met, in the commitment to teach me what I need to know, and in the flowers that magically appeared on my desk overnight. I saw love at work in the careful attention given to polishing brass, replacing candles, and cleaning the sanctuary. Love was evident in the offer to give up a seat in the common room for a fellow parishioner who needed it. Love presented itself each time a communion minister shared about visiting and bringing the Eucharist to a member who is not able to join us in worship. I see love in the time committed to the Diaper Depot and other Neighborhood Ministries, as all who come through our doors are treated with respect and dignity. Love was present in the celebration of a baptismal anniversary and the sharing and receiving of stories in the time of fellowship after worship. The love of this community is truly a gift!

     Along with love comes the grace of forgiveness. In this week’s Gospel from Matthew, Jesus outlines a process for responding to conflict directly, and with respect for all involved, and in the verses following this passage, Jesus tells us that we are to forgive those that harm us “seventy times seven times.” In other words, forgive often, without limit. For that I am grateful, as I am sure that there will be many times over the next year when I will have need of your forgiveness! What a blessing to know that we have a God who forgives, and encourages us to forgive each other . . . a God whose law is fulfilled by love.

- Vicar Meagan McLaughlin

Sunday Readings

September 7, 2014: 13th Sunday after Pentecost  (Lect. 23A)
Ezekiel 33:7-11
Psalm 119:33-40
Romans 13:8-14
Matthew 18:15-20

September 14, 2014: Holy Cross Day
Numbers 21:4b-9
Psalm 98:1-4
I Corinthians 1:18-24
John 3:13-17

Regular worship schedule resumes this Sunday, September 7!
Holy Eucharist, 8:00 and 10:45 a.m.
Church School and Adult Forum, 9:30 a.m.

Children’s Choir

Parents and guardians of our young!

     If you are hoping that your young one will be able to participate in the children's choir, please contact Cantor David Cherwien this week.  We need to know that we have critical mass for this to work, and also for the food necessary.

     The first rehearsal is set for next Wednesday, September 10, 6:00-6:45 pm, with a light dinner just before rehearsal, beginning at 5:30.

     RSVP via email ( for both participation in the choir itself, and also for how many are planning to join us for supper.
     Again, it's for children grades 2 to 8 (roughly).

     Please feel free to contact Cantor Cherwien with any questions you may have.

Interested in the Business and Finance Committee?

     Are you interested in serving Mount Olive with your business, legal, technical or accounting skills?  The Business and Finance Committee is entering its second year and has some interesting projects underway:

We are in need of an insurance coordinator to review policies and providers, make sure our coverages and premiums are appropriate, and act as the liaison with the insurance agency representatives.
The Mount Olive Foundation granted the committee funds to implement a new accounting system - that project has yet to begin and help is needed to plan and implement this updated system.
Overall all help with budget process and providing input into policies and procedures that govern our financial routines.
     If you are interested speak to any current member:  Paul Sundquist, Ty Inglis, Tim Lindholm, or Kat Campbell, Treasurer.  The committee meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, starting September 17, from 5:30 to 7 pm, in the Library.

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.


     Thanks is extended to Altar Guild members Bonnie McLellan, Beth Gaede, Sandra Pranschke, Cynthia Prosek, Peggy Hoeft, and Steve Pranschke, as well as congregational volunteer, R.T. Pranschke, for their hard work in cleaning the altar/chancel area as well as removing wax from and polishing the altar brassware on Saturday, August 23.

     The Altar Guild sponsors three special chancel cleanings a year - at the start of Advent, at the start of the Easter celebration and sometime during the summer. We enjoy having congregational volunteers join us in preserving and beautifying Mt. Olive's  wonderful worship space. The next opportunity to participate in one of these activities will be Saturday, November 22, 2014, from 9 am to noon. Please contact Steve Pranschke if you are interested.

New Member Welcome

     Mount Olive will welcome new members and associate members on Sunday, October 5, during the second liturgy.   If you are interested in becoming a member or associate member, please contact the office as soon as possible via e-mail to,  or by phone, 612-827-5919. You may also contact Pastor Crippen at church, or Andrew Andersen (763-607-1689).

     A welcome brunch will follow the liturgy for new members and for all who would like to be part of the welcome festivities.

Wear Your Nametags!

     In order to help our new vicar get to know our church community a bit faster, we are asking everyone to wear their nametags at church for the next several Sundays.

     If you don’t have a nametag and need one, or if you have a nametag which has been lost or damaged and you need a new one, please contact the church office. We will be happy to provide a new one for you!

Anniversary Open House

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

     An Open House will be held this Saturday, September 6, from 2-4pm at their new home, Minnehaha Senior Living: 3733 - 23rd Ave S.(they live in Apartment #336, for those who wish to send a card), Minneapolis, MN  55407.

     Plan to stop by to greet the Iversons, enjoy some light refreshments and celebrate with them!

Diaper Depot 

     Did you know?  The Diaper Depot served 319 individual households in the first 8 months of 2014, making Diaper Depot Mount Olive’s largest consistent outreach in the community!

     The Diaper Depot is now open year round, two afternoons a week.  Nearly every day, families, advocates, and agencies call to ask about the Diaper Depot. New households register at each open session.

     The diapers are not free to families.  Participants pay a little less than half of the cost of each pack of diapers and often talk about how much it helps them stretch their funds through the month.

     You can help to keep this important mission operating in two ways – by contributing dollars, and by volunteering in the Diaper Depot.  Stop in during any session and observe or assist. Call Connie Toavs at church with any questions you might have!

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.

-Missions Committee

Tutoring to Begin Soon!

     Many tutors are still needed for the weekly tutoring program beginning September 30!  This year, we would like to expand the program to as many as 12 tutors because there are many families hoping to enroll their children.
     Tutoring sessions are held weekly on Tuesday evenings, except during school breaks.  Materials and support will be provided.

     To volunteer, simply drop an email to Interim Neighborhood Ministries Coordinator Connie Toavs at, or call her at the church .

     Also, if you can’t tutor but would like to help with this worthy project, consider signing up to provide a snack for the youth on tutoring night! There is a sign-up sheet on the Neighborhood Ministries bulletin board on the lower level.

Search Process Nears Conclusion

     The search for our new staff person, the Coordinator of Neighborhood Outreach and Ministry, is nearly completed.    

     Our overall visioning process began over a year ago (and will continue this fall).  While that process is asking larger questions of the direction of this congregation, part of it also was listening and discerning what we would do with our ministry in the neighborhood upon Donna Neste’s retirement in March, 2014.  

     A group comprised of some members of the Vestry, the visioning team, and the Neighborhood Ministries Committee, planned the interim period, ultimately hiring Connie Toavs to bridge this time for us, and she’s been a tremendous gift.

     Another group, again with people from each of the three, plus two additional members from the congregation at large, simultaneously worked on the new position description and designed the search process.  The new job will incorporate the three elements reported to the congregation at the October, 2013, semi-annual meeting: working with the congregation to help us know our gifts and find places for us to work in mission and ministry with our neighbors; coordinating and administering our programming (with increased emphasis on involving congregation members to work the programs); and serving as Mount Olive’s main liaison to the neighborhood and to community organizations.

     The search team received 24 resumes and applications, from a wide variety of sources, including non-profit networks, the Minneapolis Area Synod, and various church websites.  During the process, Diana Hellerman organized a team of 13 Mount Olive members to pray for a good outcome to our search, an important gift to the process.  The search team interviewed 5 of those 24, and has made a decision to recommend a name to the Vestry.  This week background and reference checks are being made, and then the Vestry will be asked to vote on offering the job next Monday, Sept. 8, at the regular monthly meeting.  

     Assuming all goes well, in next week’s Olive Branch the new person will be announced, as well as a timeline for when this person will begin, farewells for Connie, and other details.

     Members of the search team are Lora Dundek and Pr. Crippen, from the Vestry; Kathy Thurston and Sue Ellen Zagrabelny, from Neighborhood Ministries; Neil Hering and Cynthia Prosek, from the Visioning Team; and Gretchen Campbell-Johnson and George Ferguson, from the congregation at large.  Vicar Beckering also participated in the process throughout, and was a part of the first round of interviews before completing her time with us.

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."

 -Missions Committee

Capital Campaign

Remember to make your pledge or donation to the Capital Campaign to fully fund our designated accounts and provide a financial “rainy day” fund. Pledge cards are available in the church office for your use. If you prefer, simply write your pledge amount on a piece of paper which includes your name, and leave it in the church office, or send the information via email to the church office at

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