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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Olive Branch, 10/29/14

Accent on Worship

All Saints Sunday

     In the adult forum some weeks ago, I recalled a scene from the movie “Places in the Heart” – a story full of terrible things people did to each other in 19th century rural America: murder, prejudice, stealing, and at the same time, grace. It begins with the death of a farmer. The presumed murderer was a black slave who was immediately brutally murdered as well. The movie continues with the farmer’s wife trying to run the farm, with the help of an escaped slave she takes in, neither given respect by society. It was tough.

     The ending scene is one that I get chills even thinking about: it’s a Eucharist, where people are passing the bread and wine to each other on trays. Men, women, Black, White, young, older, those who were dead passing to those still alive who had murdered them, folks still alive once again dining with their loved departed partners.

It’s a scene of the fullness and equal nature of souls, a scene of forgiveness, of grace, and of the wide and equal inclusiveness of that love of God.

     To me this is a beautiful depiction of the Eucharist, and is a scene that All Saints Sunday especially brings to mind.

     All Saints Sunday reminds me that the Holy Meal is one at which we sing and eat with a much larger picture of God’s people. Those who have passed sing “Holy, Holy, Holy,” too, and also eat the bread and wine of our Lord along with those of us still alive “on earth” as we say, still in need of physical sustenance (food and water). “So with all the saints, with the choirs of angels and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn: Holy, Holy, Holy...”

     We ... join them!

     It reminds us who is really the host of this meal, and reminds us of an extended family as diverse as it can be with time AND space. And it is all-inclusive.

     This year we have experienced the death of loved family, friends and colleagues, spouses of friends, parents and grandparents, friends themselves. We grieve, and we gratefully remember. At our house, Susan puts out pictures of friends and family who have died along with votive candles. All week we remember stories from the intersection of our lives with these people.

     This Sunday, All Saints Sunday, come early and light a candle, and leave it by the Baptismal font or in the Columbarium in their memory, in thanks for our having intersecting journeys with these people and in thanks for their gifts to us and God. This collage of flickering lights illustrates again that we share in the baptismal promise that death is not the last word. Drops of water are sprinkled on all of us and send that chill of remembrance: “You are mine,” God says, “along with all these others here with me.”

     Then we sing and eat with them in the Eucharist.

     I look forward to singing and eating with everyone again this Sunday.

- Cantor David Cherwien 

Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend!
Don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour on Saturday night.

Sunday Readings

November 2, 2014: All Saints Sunday
Revelation 7:9-17
Psalm 34:1-10, 22
I John 3:1-3
Matthew 5:1-12

November 9, 2014: 22nd Sunday after Pentecost, Lect. 32 A
Amos 5:18-24
Psalm 70
I Thessalonians 4:13-18
Matthew 25:1-13

There will be no Adult Forum
this Sunday, November 2.

All Saints Sunday, November 2

     During this Sundays' prelude, as we gather to remember the saints who have gone before us, everyone will be invited to light a candle in memory of loved one.

     If you wish to light candles in memory of loved ones, please come to the columbarium in the north transept or to the baptismal font either before or during the prelude.  An assistant will be on hand to help you.  The candles are lighted and placed in recognition of the eternal life promised to all the baptized in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Reformation Commemoration

     On Thursday, October 30 (Reformation Day eve), one hundred singers from St. Olaf College will join the Cathedral Choir of the Basilica of St. Mary to lead a service based on the Lutheran Liturgy of Vespers. The combined choir will present a number of anthems which will be interspersed with hymns and psalms and meditations read by author and poet, Susan Palo Cherwien.

     This service will take place at 7:30 pm at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, and it is free and open to the public.

     Plan to join in this celebration of common faith in an amazing space.

Thanksgiving Day Eucharist
Thursday, November 27, 10:00 a.m.

Book Discussion Group’s Upcoming Reads

     For their meeting on November 8 the Book Discussion Group will read Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver, and for their meeting on  December 13, they will read Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen.

Crafting Project with a Purpose

     Strands of Hope is a beading project, done in community education. Each participant follows easy directions to create a necklace from a kit. Each contains everything you need to make a finished necklace to keep for yourself or give away as a heart to heart connection. The beauty of the project is that the necklace you make is meant to be given away. During the beading hour, your hands are working while your heart is connecting to the person to whom you will give the necklace. Some beaders have given it to a person in need of support while going through hard times of illness or grief. Sometimes a necklace is given in celebration!  The person and the way you wish to give it away is up to you.

     Mount Olive member Connie Marty, along with 2 friends, created this small business from an idea over breakfast seven years ago. The mission is to connect hearts and build hope, hence the name, Strands of Hope. Our faith gives us hope.  

     The time spent together beading with friends is social and community building. Connie will be available to assist as needed. Please visit her website at for more information or a look at the necklaces and colors.

     You are invited to bring a friend, a neighbor, or relative. Each kit is on sale for only $14, cash or check, to be paid as you arrive. No credit cards. There will also be a basket for donations should you wish to contribute to the fund for extra necklaces to be presented to Mount Olive members who might need one in the future. You will then choose a kit. There are many color combinations to choose from. Connie will give instructions and be there to help us.

     We will meet Friday, Nov. 21, 6:30 -8:30 pm in the East Assembly Room at church. Wine, soft drinks and a light snack will be provided. Bring a snack or treat to share.

     Since Connie and her colleagues will close down this business at the end of the year, this might be the last chance to participate in a Strands of Hope event. Please RSVP or send questions to Julie Manuel at so that we can have enough kits and refreshments. We hope to see you there!

National Lutheran Choir All Saints Concerts: “The Souls of the Righteous”

     This All Saints weekend, the National Lutheran Choir invites you to honor the saints in your life by gathering to reflect through song and prayer. Prior to our two concerts, guests are encouraged to add the name of a friend or family member that has passed away to the Book of Names (also available online at Candles will be lit in remembrance, and the Book of Names will be read aloud throughout the concerts. Artistic Director, David Cherwien, conducts.

     Musical highlights include: Funeral Ikos by John Tavener, When David Heard by Thomas Weelkes, O Tod, wie bitter bist du (O Death, how bitter are you) by Max Reger, This is My Father’s World and Stars by Eriks Esenvalds, Angels Hovering Round by Kevin Siegfried, and The Souls of the Righteous by David Cherwien.

When & Where:
Saturday, November 1, 2014 – 7pm
Normandale Lutheran Church (6100 Normandale Rd, Edina, MN 55436)

Sunday, November 2, 2014 – 4pm
St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church (900 Stillwater Rd, Mahtomedi, MN 55115)

Tickets: $25 Adult | $23 Senior | $10 Student | 17 & under – FREE. For additional information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 612-722-2301.

Gloves and Such


     Cold weather is on its way to Minnesota, and you can help keep precious hands and ears and bodies warm. Please bring new or gently used (and clean) hats, gloves, and scarves to the collection box outside the upstairs kitchen. There is also a great need for winter coats before it gets unbearable. The nearest Coats for Kids drop-off is at:  Salvation Army, 1604 East Lake St., Minneapolis, MN 55407 (612-721-1513) or any Kowalski's or Cub Food Store.

     You may also bring coats to church and drop them off in the corner near the grocery cart for food donations. Thank you.

Neighborhood Participation Opportunity: Empty Bowls 
Friday, November 7, 2014
11:00 am to 7:00 pm
Powderhorn Park Building (3400 15th Avenue S)
     Empty Bowls is a local project that gathers neighbors and community members to help end hunger. Come and choose a hand-made artisan bowl, fill it with homemade soup and bread, and share in a meal in recognition of those whose bowls are empty.

     Proceeds from Empty Bowls go to support local food shelves.  The suggested donation for regular bowl is $20, but any donation is accepted and appreciated. Gather some friends, family or neighbors and support this effort in our neighborhood! I'll be there myself around 4pm if you want a buddy.
     For more information, visit the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association’s website at

- Anna Kingman  

The Book of Esther: Bible Study on Thursday Evenings Starting November 6

     The second Thursday Bible study series of this year begins on Thursday, November 6, and runs for six weeks in the Chapel Lounge from 6:00-7:30 pm. (Note that we will skip Thanksgiving.)

     Vicar McLaughlin will lead a study on the Book of Esther, exploring the historical context and many issues raised in this book, including justice, violence, power and privilege, the role of women, the presence of God, and what it means to be called “for such a time as this.”

     As usual, there will be a light supper when we begin.  If anyone wishes to provide the first meal, please let Vicar McLaughlin know.

Bowing to the Holy: Reverent Worship and Justice in an Irreverent Age
Saturday, November 22, 2014, 9:00am - 4:30pm, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, St. Paul, MN

     This one-day event is an ecumenical conference celebrating the organic connection between liturgical worship and communal justice organized by Lutheran Church of the Redeemer (St. Paul) and her three daughter churches: Lutheran Church of the Resurrection (Roseville), Pilgrim Lutheran (St. Paul), and Mount Olive Lutheran (Mpls.). The keynote presenter will be The Right Reverend Melissa Skelton, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster, British Columbia.

Share the warmth: share your clothes with Minneapolis homeless

     Those who had gathered to hear him at the river asked John the Baptist, “what should we do?”  He told them if they had two coats they should give one to someone who had no coat.

     This past month Mary was clearing out closets, partly to prepare for fall, and partly to set aside clothes no longer used to be given away.  This time, instead of dropping them off at Goodwill, where they are sold, even to wealthy people, we took them to Central Lutheran Church, our sister congregation in downtown Minneapolis.

     Central is running a deeply important and vital ministry called The Restoration Center for the homeless of Minneapolis.  They offer fellowship, worship, and Bible study opportunities, do job-interview training, and provide free clothing.  They have health care and financial services, and provide computer access.  One of their inspirations is to have a separate room of dress clothes specifically for people they’re coaching for interviews, so they can shower at the church and then dress up well for their interview.  If you have dress clothes you no longer use, this is a wonderful way to help someone find a path out of homelessness with a job.  But they also give all kinds of clothing away for free, so the closets and dressers are all fair game!

     It’s very simple to give; just drive up to their entrance off of Third Avenue, and right inside the entrance, in the gathering area, are large bins for donations.  The person at the desk can give you a receipt.  It couldn’t be easier, and more importantly, starts moving toward John’s vision of the kingdom.

 - Pr. Crippen

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