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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Olive Branch, 2/4/15

Accent on Worship

     Why assemble for liturgy?

     In two short weeks we embark on our Lenten journey.  In addition to our regular assemblies for Holy Eucharist on Sundays,  we add Evening Prayer on Wednesdays,  and during Holy Week (March 29-April 5) there are daily assemblies for prayer,  and of course the Three Days (Triduum) with their intense focus.


     Of course there are the almost obvious reasons we know and have rehearsed:  Because God is central to our lives.  As a community of faith, we gather regularly.  As we do, we expect to participate in praise, prayer, to be challenged by God’s Word,  strengthened by the meal,  and sent.  The season of Lent is a time where we renew our lives in Christ – recommitting to our Baptismal identity as God’s chosen.  The word “discipline” gets used for the season as if a negative.  I like to link the word “disciple” to that word – and ask, “What does it mean to be a disciple?”

     The Wednesday Evening Prayer services are an opportunity to be reminded mid-week whose we are, to rejuvenate our efforts and focus (discipline?) of the season.  Holy Week is a time when we reverse the norm:  Rather than being mostly in the world and here one day, we are mostly HERE every day around this central story of Christ’s death and resurrection.

     But consider the following aspect.  Your presence may be what SOMEONE ELSE needs.   By your being there, someone else may be drawn into participation where they may not otherwise.  What do people see in our participation when they decide to be among the assembly – perhaps for the first time?  Smaller gatherings especially need folks willing to carry a bit of extra weight to insure we don’t sound like an uninterested group of mumbling worshipers.

     The smaller the gathering, the more stepping out with more full responses is needed!  “Amen” or “Thanks be to God” – speak up!!!  Sing out!!  Most are a little uncomfortable singing in public, the smaller the gathering the more exposed it may feel – but if there are those here singing out (even if a few, or even one:  YOU!), it’s much easier for others to enter in.  Maybe they can’t sing for whatever reason – then we need to sing FOR them.

     I have had too many experiences being a part of assemblies where people are afraid to sing out or speak out.  It’s difficult for me to enter in, and frankly, that situation is a bit unfortunate.  Smaller shouldn’t mean softer responses and singing.  Just fewer in number.

     Be brave.  Be here.  Sing and speak out.  Don’t mumble.

     After all – many are watching - including God.  Let your inner glow be known!

-Cantor David Cherwien

Sunday Readings

February 8, 2015: 5th Sunday after Epiphany
Isaiah 40:21-31
Psalm 147:1-11
I Corinthians 9:16-23
Mark 1:29-39

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

Sunday's Adult Forum: February 8, 2015

"A Taste of Guatemala: Celebrating our Partnership with Common Hope,” sponsored by the
Mount Olive Missions Committee

End of Life Planning: Join the Conversation

This Saturday, February 7: 9-Noon at Mount Olive – Mount Olive members Kathy Thurston and Rob Ruff will present perspectives and direction on end- of -life planning including the POLST and Honoring Choices Advance Directive.

     This workshop is a follow-up to last Sunday’s Adult Forum (2/1) presentation by Pastor Crippen on this topic. The presentation was recorded by Paul Nixdorf and can be viewed at:

     Registration for Saturday is not required, but if you know you are coming, a call or email to the church office or Marilyn Gebauer (612-306-8872, helps us have enough handouts available.  Friends and family welcome.

     Feel free to stay for lunch.  The Community Meal will be served at noon in the lower level.

More Helping Hands Are Needed to Feed the Homeless

     Members of Mount Olive provide the evening meal at Our Saviour's Shelter the second Sunday of every month.  This important ministry meets a real need right in our own neighborhood.  You can serve in these ways:

Food preparation - We'll cook the meal in our kitchen Sunday afternoon.
Food transportation - We will bring the food eight blocks north to the shelter.
Serving - We'll meet the residents as we serve the meal to them.

     You can find the sign-up sheet for 2015 in the East Assembly Room, near the Sunday coffee.  Come and be part of this chance to help.  Questions?  See Elaine Halbardier or Connie Olson.

Common Hope and Taste of Guatemala at Mount Olive to be Held This Sunday, February 8

     What is Mount Olive's support of Common Hope in Guatemala all about?  We learned about this organization through Lisa and Mark Ruff and their family, and we were impressed with the focus on education and community development. We could see that we could learn much and could contribute much. Here's an introduction for you.

     Common Hope promotes hope and opportunity in Guatemala, partnering with children, families, and communities who want to participate in a process of develop-ment to improve their lives through education, health care, and housing. Serving Guatemala since 1986.

We EDUCATE children and help them graduate from primary and secondary school, and some continue on to college.
We PARTNER with local schools to help them reach new standards of excellence.
We TREAT illnesses and TEACH parents how to prevent them so that their families live healthier lives.
We help parents BUILD houses so that their families have clean, dry, and safe places to live.

Keep Us in the Loop!

     Have you moved? Are you moving? Dump your land line or get a new phone number or email address?

     Please be sure to let us know so that we can update your information and keep YOU in the loop!

It’s an Open House!

     All are cordially invited to an open house at the new home of Art and Dorothy Gaard.

     The open house will be held this Sunday, February 8, from 2-4 pm at 502 Lynnhurst Ave. E., Apt 407, St. Paul, MN  55104.

     The Gaards will celebrate their “126th anniversary” ( 63 years for Art and 63 years for Dorothy). The afternoon will also include a house blessing.

     Call the Gaards (651-457-5736) with any questions you may have about parking or finding their new home.

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 on 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.

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.

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

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.

A Reminder About Parking at Church

     All who come to Mount Olive (for Sunday worship particularly) are asked to reserve the handicapped parking places in the north lot for those who need them (and there are several who do need them!) Also, please remember that the spaces with diagonal stripes near the sidewalk are to be left open so that those who park in the adjacent spot can actually get out of their cars to come in to church.

     Thanks for doing what you can to make things as easy as possible for everyone who comes to Mount Olive.

Bach Vespers at Mount Olive

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.

Vision Expression

     Vestry members will host Listening Sessions on five consecutive Sundays, beginning on Feb. 15.  These events are designed to be an opportunity to give and receive feedback on the Vision Expression document which was presented after liturgy on Sunday, January 25.  Copies of this document are available in the church office.

     Watch for these sessions and attend as many as you wish.

     On March 22, we will have a larger congregational update for everyone.

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: Writings from Rodney
     I introduced you to Rodney a few weeks ago and many more have had the pleasure of meeting him at church. Rodney has a very interesting, difficult story, but throughout his trials he has developed a talent and interest in writing. He believes this is a gift from God as a method to share with others. Here is a short excerpt from #84, Fare for Fair, of a collection of 128 writings. Full copies of some writings may be found on the new cabinet on the south wall of the West Assembly area.

     “The heart has the ability to heal, endure, satisfy, gratify, love  overcome, ease pain, bear with, care, share, see, touch, smell, here, taste, delight, desire, retrieve, forgive, calm, war, sense, determine, change, pretend, understand, and smile just to name the minimal. The abilities of the heart know no bounds and are without measure. Yes, who can search the heart of man? God, and whomever he elects to gift that ability to. Everything imaginable and even that which is unimaginable lies within the heart…”

Opportunities to BE involved: Tuesday Night Tutoring – it’s a blast!

     We have a weekly Tuesday night tutoring program from 7:00pm-8:30pm. There are great kids involved and we try to keep it to a one-to-one ratio to really build relationships and be mentors to these young students. It’s an hour of tutoring and a group activity with a snack and will be the highlight of your week!

     If you are able or interested in helping for an evening or learning more please contact Anna at:

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

Review: ‘Welcome’ Spanish: ‘Bienvenidos’ (bee-en-ven-ee-dos)

     Go out and be fearlessly friendly folks!

Mittens and Scarves and Hats – Oh, My!

     As long as the weather stays cold, warm clothes are still needed!

     Please continue to donate mittens, scarves, coats, hats, and gloves to the box near the coat room. They will be given away at the Community Meals as the cold weather demands.

     Thank you!

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