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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Olive Branch, 2/11/15

Accent on Worship

Extra Time

     I was talking to someone about our Eucharist February 2 on the feast of the Presentation.  He said, “I don’t do the extra ones, only Sundays.”  This is not uncommon.  We had 35 at that Eucharist, far from our usual Sunday crowd.  But the comment was intriguing.

     Sunday is Transfiguration, so we are on the cusp of our season of “extra” liturgies.  Ash Wednesday is next week, Eucharist at noon and 7:00 p.m.  Noon Eucharist and 7:00 p.m. Vespers for the next five Wednesdays after.  In the six days between the two liturgies on Passion Sunday and the two liturgies on Easter Sunday we will have eight additional liturgies.

     I love this time of “extras,” Lent through Holy Week.  That’s the truth I want to share.  I was standing at the altar on that Monday, Feb. 2, having just veiled the elements after sharing Christ’s Body and Blood as a people of God, and I was filled with a sense of joy and peace, and the thought, “There is nowhere else I’d rather be right now than right here, with these people, having Eucharist.”  This sense comes to me almost every time at our “extra” liturgies.

     It wasn’t that on February 2 I absolutely felt a need to celebrate Jesus’ presentation in the Temple, to hear Simeon’s song, though that is worthy.  The joy was that a group of us were able to gather together once more before the altar, pray, listen, sing, eat, rejoice, and be together in the love of God.  That we took time in the middle of our lives to come together around Word and Table, that this was where we needed to be.  That’s why I love the “extras.”

     They’re coming fast and thick starting next week, these “extras,” thanks be to God.   Thank you, too, for being a place where we can come together any time of the week for the grace of God’s presence, and the blessing of our life together as Christ’s Body.  Most days there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.


Sunday Readings

February 15, 2015: Transfiguration of Our Lord
2 Kings 2:1-12
Psalm 50:1-6
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
Mark 9:2-9

February 22, 2015: First Sunday in Lent
 Genesis 9:8-17
Psalm 25:1-10
I Peter 3:18-22
Mark 1:9-15

Sunday’s Adult Forum
February 15, 2015:
“Bach’s Cantata 23, The Opening of an Era,” an audio/visual presentation by Art Halbardier, in anticipation of the Cantata Vespers Sunday afternoon by Mount Olive Cantorei, soloists and orchestra.

Bach Vespers This Sunday 

Sunday, February 15, 4:00 pm
Bach Vespers, with Cantata 23, Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn

Mount Olive Cantorei and Bach Ensemble; David Cherwien, Conductor

     This event is sponsored by Mount Olive Music & Fine Arts.

Thursday Evening Study Returns February 26

     Starting February 26 the Thursday evening study will begin meeting again in the Chapel Lounge from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

     Not strictly a Bible study this time, Pr. Crippen will lead a five week series studying “The Use of the Means of Grace,” our church’s 1991 statement on our sacramental practices.  Presiding Bishop Eaton has asked all congregations to study and discuss this.

     As always, there will be a light supper.  If anyone wishes to provide the first week’s meal, please let Pr. Crippen know.

Book Discussion Group’s Upcoming Reads

     For their meeting February 14, the Book Discussion Group will read Wise Blood, by Flannery O’Connor. For their meeting on March 14, they will read The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.

Attention, Mount Olive Worship Assistants!  

     The Servant Schedule for the second quarter of 2015 (April-June) will be published at the beginning of March 2015.   The deadline for submitting requests to me is February 15, 2015.
     Please email your requests to me at Thanks!

- Peggy Hoeft

Lent Begins.
Ash Wednesday, February 18
Holy Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes at Noon & 7:00 p.m
All are welcome.

An Evening with Donald Jackson

      Concordia University St. Paul invites all to a rare U.S. speaking engagement by Donald Jackson, renowned British calligrapher, illuminator, and artistic director of The Saint John's Bible. This event will be held on Thursday, February 12, 2015, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. at Buetow Music Auditorium, Concordia University St. Paul, 1282 Concordia Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104.
     This event is free and seating will be on a first come first served basis.

Choral Music Fans, Take Note!

     The St. Olaf Choir (Northfield, MN) will present a concert at Orchestra Hall (1111 Nicollet Mall)
this Sunday, Feb. 15, at 3:00 p.m. Ticket information is available at

     The Concordia Choir (Moorhead, MN) will present a concert at Roseville Lutheran Church, 1215 Roselawn Ave. W., Roseville, on Sunday, March 7 at 7:30 pm. Ticket information is available at, or at the door.

Vestry Listening Sessions

     This Sunday, Feb. 15, will be our first Listening session, an opportunity for the congregation to discuss the Vision Expression statements introduced earlier this month. This week’s focus will be on Evangelism.

     Following both the first and second liturgies, Andrew Andersen (Director of Evangelism) will be available in the East and West Assembly rooms to hear your ideas on his committee’s work.

     Grab your coffee and join the small group to talk. Each session will last 30-45 minutes, and you may move in and out as you wish.

Common Hope Vision Team 2016

     Many thanks to all who helped with Taste of Guatemala last Sunday. Keep learning about the two ways that you can become more involved in our partnership with Common Hope: sponsorship of a student and joining a vision team. Brochures on both are available.

     Would you like to learn more about a Mount Olive Vision Team to visit Common Hope in Guatemala in 2016? We will be an intergenerational team of 10-12 people, high school age or older. Common Hope will ask what skills/talents our team brings and design our visit to use our gifts. We will learn and prepare. We will be gone for eight days.

    Cost: $800 plus airfare. Fund raising is possible. Mount Olive Global Mission Committee is committed to supporting the $4,000 program donation.

     These dates are being considered: winter, possibly Jan.24-31, 2016; early summer, possibly June 19-26, 2016; and late summer, possibly July 31-Aug 7, 2016.  We would like to decide by Easter.

     Get your input registered! Fill out a yellow interest form and leave it in the church office or with an usher, talk to a member of the committee (Lisa Ruff, Mark Pipkorn, Paul Schadewald, Mike Edwins) or contact Judy Hinck at or 612-824-4918. Do it today!

Granlund Exhibit at Mount Olive

     Mount Olive will host an exhibit of sculptures by the famed artist, Paul Granlund, beginning in mid-February and going through mid-April.  The exhibit is sponsored by Mount Olive Music and Fine Arts program.

     Paul Granlund wanted his sculptures to be viewed and enjoyed from all angles and even touched.  The exhibit will be on display in the Chapel Lounge and assembly areas.  We encourage members to invite guests to visit.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – Bring Your Palms!

     The Shrove Tuesday pancake supper will be held this Tuesday, February 17, from 6 to 6:45 pm.  Everyone is invited for an evening of pancakes and fun! At 6:45 pm we will observe the burning of the palms for the Ash Wednesday ashes.

     Bring your dried palms from last Palm Sunday and leave them in the basket in the narthex. They will be burned to make the ashes for Ash Wednesday liturgies.

JRLC Day On the Hill

     Calling ALL people of faith! Consider participating in the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC) Day on the Hill on March 10, from 9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. at the RiverCentre in St. Paul and the State Capital.  This year's theme is Dignity in Democracy.

     Use your gift of citizenship to speak out for the needs of the most vulnerable in Minnesota and make a difference.  The keynote speaker is Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Vice President for Catholic Relief Services. There will also be Issue Briefings and District Table strategy sessions before we shuttle via buses to the Capitol to meet with our elected officials. The Social Justice issues and background papers that people of faith will be invited to advocate for on March 10 can be found by visiting JRLC online at:

     Register by Feb. 20 at and the cost is $30, which includes breakfast, lunch and resources (after Feb. 20 the cost is $40). There is a flyer posted at the church for you to look at also.

     As an extra bonus to the day, arrangements have been made for the group from Mount Olive to meet with Mount Olive member, Senator John Marty in his office at the State Capitol.  Contact Connie Marty if you want to be included in this opportunity:;  651-633-8934.

     Brochures with more information about the event and important ways to contact your representatives are placed on the cabinet in the West Assembly area.

National Lutheran Choir Winter Concert

     NLC’s Winter Concert, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” will be presented February 28 and March 1, 2015.

     So much of the world’s powerful choral music has emerged from peoples caged and hemmed-in by oppression. These works endure over centuries and across oceans to shine light on the human condition and pronounce the power of hope, and that is what you’ll experience during these special performances: hope.

Saturday, February 28, 2015 – 7pm
Zion Lutheran Church, 1601 Fourth Avenue, Anoka

Sunday, March 1, 2015 – 4pm
Woodlake Lutheran Church, 7525 Oliver Avenue South, Minneapolis

Tickets: $25 Adult - $23 Senior - $10 Student - 17 and under FREE.

     To purchase tickets or for more information about these concerts, please call (888) 747-4589 or visit

News from the Neighborhood

Anna Kingman

     In effort to share in the relationships being built through our interaction in the neighborhood, we will hear from the people who find support, relief, and help through Mount Olive.

Profiles:  Yourself.

     The message that has been most prominent throughout this week is the value and importance taking care of ourselves in order to take care of one another. Through many avenues, God has been gently nudging me (and others I believe) to stop, slow down, and take time to nourish my own spirit so that I even more capable of showing grace and love to others. Our benefits provider, Portico, is promoting the discipline of stillness. My friend recommended a podcast from Thich Nhat Hanh, a zen Buddhist monk and peace activist speaking on awareness and being present. Last night I read a TED interview titled, “Want to be happy? Slow down” with monk Matthieu Ricard and journalist Pico Iyer. Matthieu said, “Stillness is to avoid the chaotic aspect of the mind, and then you can deal with thoughts and emotions, or sometimes you just sit or rest in that pure awareness. That’s a place of immense peace.” We, too, are members of this neighborhood that need care and give care – what better to offer than our own peace so that we can notice beauty or hurt or joy or need around us.

     There is so much cool stuff happening in this area and in Minneapolis -so much to try to do and be. But the messages that I’m hearing right now are ones to be calm, be patient, be quiet, so that we can actually hear and respond when we are called. Peace to you and your mind.
(For info on these articles or TED Talks, feel free to email or call at 612.827.5919 x14).

Getting to Know Our Neighbors

     Part of sharing in community is understanding one another through language, culture, or experience. As we explore our community and get to know our neighbors, let's continue with some helpful language lessons.

English: ‘Excuse me’
Spanish: ‘Permiso’ (Pear-mee-soh)

Review: ‘Have a nice day’     Spanish: ‘Tenga un buen dia’ (Ten-gah oon bu-eyn dee-yah)

     Go out and be fearlessly friendly folks!

Opportunities to BE involved:  

Invite friends and neighbors for pancakes and service on Shrove Tuesday!

     Pancakes are a GREAT way to invite someone to share a meal and a meaningful (brief) service. Also, be mindful this week and take any opportunities for stillness as if it were food for your brain.

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