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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Olive Branch, 3/4/15

Accent on Worship

Young Among Us!

     It’s so wonderful to see so many young people in our midst again.  It’s bringing us toward an even better balance – as every age group brings to the others unique qualities.  We need the wisdom of the elders, we need the responsibility of the middle-agers, we need the intellectual curiosity of the young adults, and we need the energy and openness of the young.  All compliment each other and an imbalance can be challenging!

     You might have noticed some things in particular with regard to our younger people.  They sit in front.  How else can they see what all is going on?  We do not have a nursery as our hope is for them to be with us in worship from the start.  They really pick up on certain parts of the liturgy and already enter into them at a very early age – such as sharing of the peace or perhaps even the Eucharist.          
     Here are some things for us to think about with regard to the young among us. They’re watching us.  What are they seeing?  Commitment?  Compassion?  Participation?  Loving interaction?  Singing?  It’s my belief that all people sing – especially the youngest.  Sometimes folks “unlearn” singing as they grow older.  If you think your voice isn’t that particularly wonderful, all the more reason to be singing.  It’s not an exclusive activity.  We can treat them with the same respect as we do our own peers.

     It’s important for us to be encouraging! Expect and encourage their participation in whatever way they can.  They can find page and hymn numbers, and most from second grade on can read.  Let them and their parents know we’re glad they are here.  It’s hard work for parents to bring the young to worship, and any sounds the child makes seem ten-fold to the parents. Let them know it’s OK, and that we’re rooting for them in this endeavor!  Some parts of the service are harder to stay with for the young, and we can learn that rather than being distracted by activity and noise, we can be grateful.

     It is also our responsibility to see to their needs.  We need teachers for Godly Play – our Sunday education program for children.  Is it your turn?  This is an amazingly important responsibility, and it belongs to all of us in the community – men and women alike,  from any age bracket,  whether we have children or not.  What about you?

     I’m very happy to once again have a children’s choir up and running.  There are seven singers who gather on Wednesdays (through heavy traffic to get here) at 5:30 for a light supper, then rehearsal at 6.  Most of what we do is liturgy songs, hymns, and learning about participating in liturgy.  Last month they even composed the Psalm antiphon for worship as a group.  I love these young people and their curiosity.

     Let us be grateful!  And remember:  a smile goes a long way (an accidental frown, unfortunately, goes farther).

- Cantor David Cherwien

Sunday Readings

March 8, 2015: Third Sunday in Lent
Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19
I Corinthians 1:18-25
John 2:13-22

March 15, 2015: Third Sunday in Lent
Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
Ephesians 2:1-10
John 3:14-21

Sunday’s Adult Forum

March 1-22, 2015: Scholar-in-Residence, Dr. Craig Koester, on the book of Revelation.

Save the Date: 

Saturday, April 18, 10:00 am-Noon
End of Life Decisions:  The Conversation Continues

     The conversation began at the February 1 Sunday Forum (to view Pastor Crippen’s presentation on line visit, and the February 7 workshop at Mount Olive.

     We will continue to look at how we as people of faith approach our deaths and the deaths of our loved ones by specifically addressing the Honoring Choices Health Care directive. How do we know what we want and what are the options?  How, when, and with whom do we have the conversation?  These and other questions will be addressed.  Help with completing the form will be available, as well as a notary to finalize any documents that are completed on that date.

     Scheduling this workshop is dependent upon the demand for it.  If you would like to participate, please let Marilyn Gebauer or the church office know in advance.  You can contact Marilyn at 612-306 -8872 or, or the church office at (612) 827-5919.

     Some suggestions made previously for future workshops include:
Estate planning – with or without an agent
Funeral planning – burial rites, “green funerals,” the Columbarium
Writing a will
Assisted suicide – ethical and faith considerations
Establishing a volunteer group at MO to serve as
            healthcare proxies for fellow members who are
            without close family, friends, etc.
Near death experience
You may have ideas for future topics of discussion.
            If so let Marilyn or the church office know.

Book Discussion Group Update

For the March 14 meeting we will discuss  The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho; for April 11, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain; and for May 9, The Boat of Longing, by O. E. Rølvaag.

 Daylight Savings Time begins this weekend!       

     Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night, March 7!

Midweek Lenten Worship
Wednesdays during Lent
Holy Eucharist, at noon
Evening Prayer at 7 pm

March is Minnesota FoodShare Month!

     Donate cash or groceries to the local food shelf during Minnesota FoodShare month in March!

     A donation of money more than doubles the amount of food available to food shelves, because food shelves can purchase food at discounted prices.  If you choose to give in this way, make your check payable to Mount Olive and write Food Shelf on the memo line. If you prefer to donate non-perishable groceries, they may be brought to the grocery cart in the coat room.

Volunteer at Feed My Starving Children

     Feed My Starving Children is a non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit. The approach is simple: children and adults hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children, and we ship these meals to nearly 70 countries around the world.

     Mount Olive Youth are going and invite everyone to volunteer with them!  We have 26 spots reserved for Feed my Starving Children in Chanhassen on Saturday, March 7, from 7-9 pm. We plan to meet at church between 5-6 to share dinner beforehand and rides if needed.  You can also meet us at the site.

     If you are interested or need additional information, please contact Aimee Engebretson at or 612-387-1820, or Amy Thompson at
Please include in your email:
-Full names of the people who will be attending (age 5 and over).  And their ages if <18 .="" p="">-Your email address (this will be sent to them so they can send you a reminder about the event). You don't have to provide this if you don't want to.

     Space is limited, so we can take the first 26 committed volunteers who email or call.  

Holy Week at Mount Olive

Sunday of the Passion/Palm Sunday, March 29
Holy Eucharist, 8 & 10:45 am

Monday-Wednesday of Holy Week, March 30-April 1
Daily Prayer at Noon, in the side chapel of the nave

Maundy Thursday, April 2
Holy Eucharist at Noon
Holy Eucharist, with the Washing of Feet, 7:00 p.m.

Good Friday, April 3
Stations of the Cross at Noon
Adoration of the Cross at 7 pm

Holy Saturday, April 4
Great Vigil of Easter, 8:30 pm, followed by a festive reception

The Resurrection of Our Lord, Sunday, April 5
Festival Eucharist at 8 & 10:45 am
Easter Brunch at 9:30 am

Crossing Bridges: Selma to Minnesota, Sunday, March 8, 2:00pm

     March in solidarity with those gathered in Selma to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the march from Selma to Montgomery. We gather to celebrate the work of Martin Luther King Jr and countless others, and to re-commit to new levels of action for justice.

     2:00pm: Gathering at the State Capitol
     2:20pm: March begins
     3:00pm: Program at Central Presbyterian Church in            
                    downtown Saint Paul

     Dr. Barbara Holmes, spoken word artist Joe Davis and local religious and civic leaders with music by Larry Long, Tonia Hughes and Cameron Wright.

     Crossing Bridges is supported in part by Luther Seminary and United Theological Seminary. For details and to register, see

     To join other Mount Olive members attending, contact Vicar McLaughlin.

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:  The cost is $40).

     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.

Vestry Listening Sessions Continue

     Vestry Listening sessions continue this Sunday, March 8. This is an opportunity for the congregation to discuss the Vision Expression statements introduced earlier this month.

     This week’s focus will be on Congregational Life and Neighborhood Ministries.  Following both the first and second liturgies, Amy Thompson (Youth) and Donn McLellan (Stewardship) will be available in the East and West Assembly rooms to hear your ideas on the work of their committees.

     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.

Jearlyn Steele in Concert, Sunday, March 15 

     Mount Olive Music & Fine Arts is pleased to present Jearlyn Steele, accompanied by Billy Steele, in concert at Mount Olive next Sunday, March 15, at 4 pm.

     This concert is free and open to the public – bring your friends!

     A light reception will follow the concert.

Concordia Choirs to Perform in Twin Cities March 7

     The Concordia Choir will present a concert on Saturday, March 7, 7:30 pm at Roseville  Lutheran Church, 1215 Roselawn Ave. W. in Roseville. Tickets available at

     The Concordia College Chapel Choir will present a concert on Saturday, March 7, 7:30 pm, at First Lutheran Church, 1555 40th Ave. NE, Columbia Heights. A freewill offering will be received.

Pastor’s Sabbatical Is Coming

     Plans for Pr. Crippen’s up-coming sabbatical are coming into focus.  As was discussed at the October semi-annual meet-ing, his sabbatical is this spring.  He will be on sabbatical from the Tuesday after Easter, April 6, through July 19.
     Pr. Crippen spoke with several pastors about serving as interim.  After consulting with staff, President Lora Dundek, and with the approval of the Vestry, Pr. Crippen has invited the Rev. Robert Hausman to serve as full-time interim during his absence.  In the next couple weeks in The Olive Branch there will be more about the Rev. Hausman, and more about what Pr. Crippen will be doing on sabbatical.  If you have any questions, please ask Pr. Crippen or President Dundek.

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:  Hilda

     “You know the feeling like you’re drowning and you just can’t pull yourself up?” a teary Hilda shared in my office this week. She feels like she’s drowning in unpredictable problems with car repair bills, insurance, and an eviction notice. It’s hard to know what would comfort this beautiful grandma-like woman who keeps apologizing for crying through the stress. Hilda holds her head high, though. She brought in her resume and is looking for work. With three stents and bad knees, it needs to be a type of receptionist position, but she wants to be busy. Since losing her job last June she has not been able to deal with life’s emergencies on Government Assistance and needed a financial helping hand to be able to stay in her apartment. Through grace and generosity, this place is somewhere she can find that help. From here she was headed to LSS to get support navigating her situation and developing a plan.
     If anyone connects with Hilda’s story or knows of any employment opportunities for an older woman close to this area, please let me know. Please keep Hilda in your prayers and in your smile as you meet others who may be struggling to stay above the water.

Get 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: “Do you live in this neighborhood?”
Spanish: “Usted vive en este barrio?”
(Oo-sted vee-vay ehn es-tay bah-ree-oh)
Review: ‘Excuse me’  Spanish: Permiso’ (Pear-mee-soh)

Who We Are, Where We Are Map

     Have you “pinned” yourself yet? If not, please do so by letting us know where you live, using the map hanging in the East Assembly room. Instructions are posted by the map – please contribute your pin!

Opportunities to BE involved:

Check out the information in front of the main office or in The Olive Branch for more details. There is also a sheet listing coming events and opportunities throughout March. Post it on your fridge or door and pick at least one to do!

Feed My Starving Children – Sat., Mar. 7, 7-9 pm Chanhassen
March with Selma – Sun. Mar. 8, 2-4 pm State Capital
JRLC Day on the Hill – Tue., Mar. 10, 9 am – 3 pm River Centre, St. Paul
“Bottom,” a play about sex-trafficking – Sat., Mar. 17,  7 pm, Minnehaha Upper Academy
Better Halves Couples Financial Workshop – Sat., Mar. 21, 9- 11:30 am at Mount Olive Church.

Every Church A Peace Church  

      The next regular bimonthly potluck supper meeting of Every Church a Peace Church Twin Cities will be on Monday, March 16, 6:30 p.m., at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 4537 3rd Ave. S. in Minneapolis; (parking lot access), 612-823-8205,

     The theme for the March meeting is "An Apocalyptic Peace? Pacifism and the end of the world (as we know it). The speaker for this meeting will be David Weiss.

     David Weiss is a theologian, writer, poet and hymnist committed to doing "public theology," thinking out loud in plain (and poetic) English about how faith informs the way we view, encounter, and respond to God, the world, and each other. He has taught college religion classes for 15 years and is the author of two books, a collection of hymns, and a set of Reader’s Theater scripts, among many other writings.

     His interests range from sexuality to eco-theology to peace. Although in recent years his work has focused primarily on inclusion of LGBT persons in faith communities, David has long history of peace activism, including nonviolent protest and civil disobedience. He is an adjunct faculty member in Religion at Hamline University. Besides writing and teaching, he speaks on college campuses and at church and community events.

Vets Ministry Roundtable

     The next meeting of the Vets Ministry Roundtable will be Tuesday, March 10, 12:30-2 pm, at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 2315 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis.

The speaker at this meeting will be Cortney Amundson. Her presentation will be "Nature As A Partner in Healing."

     Many veterans are finding recovery and growth by way of a cultivated connection to nature, some through projects Cortney guides with the Wounded Warrior Project. Cortney will explain the healing that is possible when humans spend time in and with nature in a variety of ways including outdoor recreation, gardening, bonding with animals, nature-based journaling, and wilderness restoration.  

     This meeting and lunch are made available at no charge by the Coming Home Collaborative and Our Saviour's Lutheran Church as a way of promoting best practices in ministry with veterans and their families.    

     Come to learn, network with others, and add your wisdom to the mix!

     Pre-register now by sending an email to

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