Easter is not just a Spring Fling. There are seven Sundays in Easter—seven opportunities to unpack the Resurrection, fathom its depths, and ask what it means, both for our lives and for the life of the world.
The gospels use different forms for “talking Resurrection.” The simplest form is the story of the empty tomb. “He is not here; he is risen.” Of course, the “risen” part is an interpretation, since there are other ways for a tomb to empty.
The most common way to talk Resurrection is to say that the dead man appeared; but Hellenistic texts are full of stories about gods dying and rising, appearing and disappearing, even impregnating women in their sleep.
So, how do our Lord’s appearances differ? At first he comes and goes, through doors. He is un-recognizable and can be interpreted as a ghost. But this is balanced by his demonstration of his body, particularly his scars. That is what establishes continuity with the Jesus of Galilee. Then they know it is the Lord. Then they know it is their friend.
The gospels want to present us with more than a ghostly Jesus. This Jesus has triumphed over death and has restored our relationship with God. It is not just our being that matters, but our being in relationship, in family, in community with God and neighbor. We are not desperate souls, searching for a way out of a body doomed to die. We are children of God, born anew through Baptism into the death and resurrection of Christ. That life cannot wither because it has been made secure from God’s side.
So we are enabled to turn all our beloved dead over to God, all the loving relationships that we have treasured, all the special bonds we have known, believing that God will keep it for eternity.
- Interim Pastor Robert A. Hausman
April 19, 2015: Third Sunday of Easter
I John 3:1-7
April 26, 2015: Fourth Sunday of Easter
I John 3:16-24
Sunday’s Adult Forum : April 19, 9:30 am
"Exploring Spiritual Gifts," presented by Vicar Meagan McLaughlin. What gifts has God given you to share with the world?
Semi-Annual Congregation Meeting to be Held April 26
The Semi-annual Congregational meeting of Mount Olive congregation will be held after second liturgy on Sunday, April 26.
On the agenda is the election of Vestry Officers. The slate of candidates recommended by the Vestry for election are:
• President, Lora Dundek (1-year term)
• Secretary, Peggy Hoeft (1-year term)
• Vice President, Tom Graves (1-year term)
• Treasurer, Tim Lindholm (1-year term)
• Education Director, Steve Manuel (3-year term)
• Property Director, Art Halbardier (3-year term)
• Youth Director, Amy Thompson (3-year term)
Nominations for the Vestry may also be offered from the floor.
Other items of business are:
• Ministry Fair/Update on Vision process
• Mount Olive Foundation Presentation
All voting members of Mount Olive are encouraged to attend.
Encounters with Jesus: Bible Study on Thursday Evenings Starts Tomorrow!
The second Thursday Bible study series of this year begins on Thursday, April 16, and runs for five weeks in the Chapel Lounge from 6:00-7:30 pm. The final session will end with the Holy Eucharist for the Feast of the Ascension on May 14.
Vicar McLaughlin will lead a study focusing on five stories of encounters with Jesus from the New Testament. In addition to discussing the context and background, we will use the Ignatian meditation form, Praying with Imagination, as a way of entering into the stories.
As usual, there will be a light supper when we begin. (The first meal is covered, and a sign-up sheet will passed around for the remaining weeks.)
All are welcome to this study opportunity!
For Your Information
• Continue the Conversation (about end of life decision making) workshop is scheduled for this Saturday, April 18, 10 am - noon at Mount Olive. You can register at the table in the reception area. You will see “sticky notes” with questions on the poster. If one or more states a question or concern you have, attach it to a 3 x 5 card along with your name for your registration for the event and put it in the bowl. Your family/friends are welcome; we just need to know how many people to plan for.
• Can you Help? As noted previously in The Olive Branch, your Congregational Care Committee continues to “grow” this list. If you would like to be included, your name can be added now. Those of you who have signed on have not been forgotten. This is a developing program; more to come!
Book Discussion Group Update
For the May 9 meeting, the Book Discussion group will read, The Boat of Longing, by O. E. Rølvaag. For June 13, The Last Chinese Chef, by Nicole Mones, and for July 11, Bleak House, by Charles Dickens.
Support Our Amazing gRace Team!
This week a new Amazing Race starts on TV and goes for weeks and weeks. Our Amazing gRace is a one day event on Saturday, May 2, and YOU can support and celebrate our Mount Olive team.
Here are three ways to get involved:
1) Visit the team website and donate to the race: https://www.firstgiving.com/team/293972
All of the money will go to Lutheran Volunteer Corps sites--and when they win, Anna and Eric get to choose the site!
2) Be a Race Day Volunteer. The race runs all day, so you could help out for all or just part of the day. You could help get the race started, judge a station, get lunch for the teams, or help get ready for the big end of the race celebration. Email today to sign up: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) Come to the end of the race celebration! Everyone is invited to cheer our team’s success. The celebration potluck is from 4-6 pm on May 2, at St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church (100 North Oxford Street in St. Paul). Let's have a crowd to celebrate with Anna and Eric.
Need more information? See a Global Mission Committee member or send an email to Judy Hinck, email@example.com
Benefit for Our Saviour's Community Services
Caritas Vocal Ensemble will present a concert on behalf of Our Saviour's Community Services on Sunday, April 19, at 3 pm, at Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church, 2020 W. Lake of the Isles Pkwy. in Minneapolis. Admission is free, though donations are gratefully accepted to support the work of OSCS—ending homelessness and educating immigrants. Please come and bring your friends!
Local photographer, Bill Donovan, shot three great photos in Mount Olive’s nave last week and entered them in the “Capture Minnesota” Photo a Day contest. All three of his photos were in the top 10 last week (out of about 500). Please click this link to the Capture Minnesota site to see Bill’s beautiful work. http://www.captureminnesota.com/photos/upcoming?page=1
Minnesota Brain Tumor 5K
Inspired by Gene Hennig, the “Lean Mean Gene Machines” are raising research funds with the MN Brain Tumor 5K event on Sun May 17, 2015 at Lake Phalen in St. Paul.
We have set a goal of $5000. One hundred percent of tax-deductible donations support the Musella Foundation for Brain Tumor Research and Information, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit public charity. Please visit our team fundraising page here: http://bit.ly/1OYNUAA.
All are invited to join us for the non-competitive, fun run/walk! Families and dogs are welcome, provided that their caretakers assume responsibility. We are working on some fun “extras” as a part of the event, too. Feel free to contact Emily Hennig at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kate Teece at email@example.com with any questions. We hope you will join us!
- The Hennig family
Sign Up, Sign Up for Coffee!
Take a turn and sign up to serve Sunday coffee. There are plenty of openings on the chart, so find a day that works for you and sign up!
Calling All Graduates!
If you are graduating from high school, college, seminary, or some other post-secondary school, or if you know of someone else from Mount Olive who is graduating this spring, please take a moment to notify the church office. We want to have all of our graduates invited and included in our graduation recognition this spring.
News From the Neighborhood
In an effort to share about 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: YOUR Neighborhood
Sunshine makes us Minnesotans a funky type of ambitious. The warmth on our faces heats up our brain waves and we start planting endless gardens, going for innumerable bike rides, and stocking up weekend lake supplies. The real beauty of sunshine is that we SEE each other more (without our chins buried in our coats and eyes hidden from sideways snow gusts). We get out, walk, play, explore and much more.
This is all important in connecting more as well. In what ways are you interacting with your own neighborhood? How are you appreciating and participating in the life and function of the goodness going on right around you wherever you are? Are you being a good role model? This is just a reminder to be the change, be the one who smiles first, opens the door, picks up the extra trash, lets the driver in front, etc. As we’re inspired by the arrival of Spring, lets inspire others by our kindness and thoughtfulness in all places (yes, even in our cars where we think no one can hear us : )
Mark Your Calendars for the May Day Parade, Sunday, May 3, Noon
(Mount Olive friends who would like to march in the parade should meet at the corner of Bloomington Ave. & 28th St. at Noon!)
The May Day Parade and Festival has become a joyous annual rite of spring. More than 2,000 participants, along with amazing puppets and floats, parade down Bloomington Avenue telling a story and creating a moving theatrical performance. Thousands more line the streets to watch the parade and participate in day-long activities. Following the parade, a pageant and tree of life ceremony in Powderhorn Park ushers in the renewal of a new spring season. For more information or to get involved check the HOBT website: http://hobt.org/mayday/
Opportunities to BE Involved: Summer Acts
Summer ACTS is coming up!
This program will take place for 4 weeks, June 22–July 16, from 10:00 am-2:00 pm Monday–Thursday. Kids aged 9-14 will learn about service and responsibility by holding a summer job while participating in fun, meaningful projects. We will need mentors to work and play alongside them.
Please start to consider if this is an option for you and your family to be involved for two days during one or all of the weeks! Do you have children, neighbors, or grandkids that you think would like to participate? Keep them in mind and watch for an upcoming invitation. More info and sign-ups to come. Questions? Ask Anna at Neighborhood@mountolivechurch.org
Can You Help a Neighbor in Need?
The Community University Healthcare Center is looking for someone to help a single, disabled woman clean and organize her home near Lake Nokomis. Commitment could be spread out between 2-3 hours over 2-3 days. If you might be interested, please call or contact Anna, 612-827-5919, Neighborhood@mountolivechurch.org
National Lutheran Choir to Presents Gretchaninoff’s Passion Week
The National Lutheran Choir brings Alexander Gretchaninoff's glorious Passion Week to the majestic Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis and Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 – 8pm
Basilica of Saint Mary (88 N 17th St., Minneapolis, MN 55403)
Saturday, May 2, 2015 – 7pm
Zumbro Lutheran Church (624 3rd Ave. SW, Rochester, MN 55902)
Tickets: $25 Adult - $23 Senior - $10 Students aged 17 and under FREE. For tickets or more information, call (888) 747-4589 or visit www.nlca.com
Transitions Support Group
All are welcome to visit the Transitions Support Group meetings if you've been hoping to find new ideas or encouragement to meet the challenges or uncertainties that are before you. This is an opportunity to share in fellowship, prayer, and discussion with others in the Mount Olive community.
The next session meets on Wednesday, April 15 (this evening!), from 6:00 - 7:00 pm at Mount Olive in the lower level Youth Room, and will be facilitated by Amy Cotter and Cathy Bosworth.
If you have questions, please contact Cathy at 612-708-1144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faith and Creation
Join Luther Seminary for the 2015 Rutlen Lecture, a bi-annual lecture series focused on faith and creation. This year’s lecture, “Creation, Sin and Sacrament in the Anthropocene,” will be given by Larry Rasmussen, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics at Union Seminary.
The planet faces massive changes brought on by human beings. These likely include a new geological epoch, the “Anthropocene,” that challenges long-established ways of life. The base points of Christian faith are challeng-ed as well, from first things to last. This Rutlen Lecture probes the meaning of creation, sin and sacrament for a new epoch.
Congregation leaders are invited to “Integrating Green in Congregations” at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21. A $10 buffet dinner will be available prior to the lecture at 7 p.m. that evening. After the lecture, Rasmussen will hold a book signing for “Earth-honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key.” He will also preach in chapel on April 22 at 11 a.m. All events take place in the Olson Campus Center at Luther Seminary.
To find out more about Luther’s lecture series and to RSVP for the dinner, please visit: www.luthersem.edu/lectures/faithandcreation.
Easter Weekend Videos on YouTube
Thanks to Paul Nixdorf, who captured a couple of brief but wonderful moments at the Easter liturgies. Click the links below to see them.
Easter Vigil: http://youtu.be/qVYJktNXBv0
Easter Gospel Procession: http://youtu.be/tNLS36bCLiY
What do you like to do?
Talk about your faith?
Hammer and saw?
Spend time with kids?
Make things spotless?
What are your passions?
Service to the poor?
Equality and Justice?
Bible and Text Study?
Serving people inter-nationally?
Protecting the Environment?
Praying for others?
Web and Social networking?
We have an “Opp”(ortunity) for that!
Mount Olive Ministry Fair-April 26!