Accent on Worship
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s 2015 Easter Message
The gospel of Mark ends abruptly. The women came to the tomb to care for the body of their friend and Lord. They expected death. Seeing the stone rolled away, they entered the tomb – they entered into death. They didn’t find Jesus. Instead, they saw a young man who told them not to be amazed, that Jesus had risen. This same stranger told them to tell the disciples and then head to Galilee.
Is it any wonder that terror and amazement seized them?
We are on the other side of the first Easter. We have grown used to the story of the resurrection. The Good News brings hope and comfort. It brings freedom and joy. But I don’t think it causes terror and amazement. Maybe we are missing something.
The Greek word for amazement, “ekstasis,” literally means, “change of place.” And that is what has happened to us and to all of creation because of the resurrection.
Before Easter, we stood in a place of sin and death. After Easter, we stand in a place of forgiveness and life. Everything is changed. We are not the same. The world is not the same. The deadly, but familiar way of the world can no longer be counted on.
This new reality of forgiveness, life, and salvation is and should be unsettling. Terror and amazement, indeed!
The world is turned upside down. It might look the same, but we are standing in a different place. Christ is risen. We are risen. Alleluia!
April 12, 2015: Second Sunday of Easter
I John 1:1—2:2
April 19, 2015: Third Sunday of Easter
I John 3:1-7
Sunday’s Adult Forum : April 12, 9:30 am
"Dietrich Bonhoeffer: On the 70th Anniversary of His Death," presented by John Matthews, Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Apple Valley, and author of Bonhoeffer: A Brief Overview of the Life and Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
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 Starting April 16
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 Worship for the Feast of the Ascension.
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 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 of caring folks. 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 April 11 meeting, the group will read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain; and for May 9, The Boat of Longing, by O. E. Rølvaag. This group meets at 10 am on the second Saturday of the month, in west assembly area.
We Have a Team Racing!
On Saturday, May 2, Mount Olive will have a team participating in the Amazing gRace. What is that? Who is the team? How can we cheer and support?
The Amazing gRace is sponsored by the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, one of Mount Olive's Global Mission partners. The LVC "unites volunteers with financial supporters, nonprofit organizations, and ministries to work for peace with justice across the nation." You might remember learning about LVC at our 2014 Taste of New Orleans.
The Amazing gRace combines brain-twisting challenges, service work, community outreach, and social justice education. Teams of two people compete against each other to solve a number of challenges spread out across the city. For instance, they might make their way to a food shelf and shelve food as quickly as possible or they might need to locate an historical social justice site. Who knows what challenges this year’s race will bring?
Our team is Anna Dundek and Eric Bell. Anna and Eric are up for the challenge and need your support!
Did we get you interested? Watch for more info in the coming weeks!
Koester Presentations Now Available Online
The lectures on the book of Revelation from the recent Adult Forum series presented by Dr. Craig Koester are now on YouTube!
First lecture: https://youtu.be/gA-tRFB1FKk
Easter Paschal Garden Contributors
Thanks to the following persons who donated flowers to beautify our church for the celebration of Easter: Joe & Elizabeth Beissel; Marlene & Jim Sorenson; Christina Harrison; Tom Graves & Ginny Agresti; Mary Rose Watson, Judy & Walt Hinck; Art and Elaine Halbardier, in memory of Susan Cheshire; Louis & Kay Krohnfeldt; Steve & Sandra Pranschke; Leanna Kloempken; Robert Gotwalt; Bruce & Linda Wagner; Larry Duncan; Dennis Bidwell & Eric Zander; Evelyn Royce; Melba Smrcka; Katherine Hanson; Cathy Bosworth & Marty Hamlin; Carol Austermann; Ken Siess; Ann Bruggeman; Tim & Samantha Pipkorn; Judy Graves; Adam Krueger & Thomas Fenner, in memory of Alfred Krueger; Donn & Bonnie McLellan; Mike Edwins, in memory of Steve Edwins; David & Susan Cherwien, in honor of their parents; Rob & Lynn Ruff family; Beth & Neil Hering, in honor of their parents; Allan & Margaret Bostelmann, in honor of Lucy Hulme; Brenda Bartz; Walter & Marian Cherwien; George & Marlys Oelfke; Bill & Nan Wilson; Carol Martinson; Annette Roth; Leila Froehlich; George Ferguson; Paul & Melissa Stone, in memory of John W. Sears; Allen & Lora Dundek, in memory of loved ones; Al Bipes; Janet Moede; Don Johnson; Tom Olsen, in memory of Harry & Gen Olsen and in memory of Jim & Grace Tomson; Joseph & Mary Crippen; John, Audrey, and Eleanor Crippen; Don Luther & Heather Halen; Beverly Shupe; Kathy Thurston & Dwight Penas; Andrew Andersen; Dan & Julia Adams; and Larry & Janet Crosby.
Night On the Street
On Friday, April 17, TRUST Youth will once again participate in raising awareness and funds to help alleviate youth homelessness. Sponsored by Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, hundreds of youth from around the Twin Cities will participate in an overnight in the parking lot of Plymouth Congregational Church near downtown Minneapolis. The youth (and chaperones) will get their own cardboard box to sleep in for the night, have a soup line meal, and learn from former homeless youth and those that help them what can be done to help.
Donations (which are tax deductible!) from Night on the Street go to help fund the interim housing facilities run by Beacon Interfaith. You can make a tax deductible donation to this effort through April 16. Please make checks payable to “Night On the Street” and give your donation to Julie or Eric Manuel or leave it in the church office. If you have any questions, please contact Julie or Eric Manuel.
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. It will be held 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. Light refresh-ments provided. Please come and bring your friends!
Easter Weekend Videos on YouTube
Thanks to Paul Nixdorf, who captured a couple of brief but wonderful moments at the liturgies this past weekend – one from Easter Vigil, and one from Easter Day. Click the links below to see them (if you haven’t already seen them on Facebook).
Easter Vigil: http://youtu.be/qVYJktNXBv0
Easter Gospel Procession: http://youtu.be/tNLS36bCLiY
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: The Crisis Fund
I’ve been able to share some stories recently about the people that come to Mount Olive in need of some assistance, whether that is spiritual, material, financial, or all those things. You’ve heard about Rodney, Istarlin, Bradford, and Hilda, to name a few. These are neighbors of Mount Olive who have found themselves being tossed in the waves by the trials in their lives and they need some help to feel solid ground beneath their feet.
So often I get to have conversations with people not only about their struggles, but also about their hope. Their effort alone is evidence to the spark of hope that lingers through trials. Because of the generosity of those that give to Mount Olive, we are able to help meet their needs in a small financial way, without the red tape and strings attached that many other organizations have. The Crisis Fund budget is about being a means of grace and hope on the corner of Chicago Ave. It’s not a perfect solution, but for many whose stories I’ve shared, it’s the blessing they need and God provides through you. From those who have received those gifts, thank you for supporting that ministry in so many ways – in food donations, hygiene supplies, your gifts, prayers, words, and actions in caring for our neighbors.
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 is Coming Up
Summer ACTS (Adults and Children Teaming to Serve) will take place at Mount Olive for four weeks, June 21 – July 16, from 10 am-2 pm (Monday through Thursday).
Kids ages 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!
More info and sign-up information is coming soon.
Questions? Contact 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, 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 challenged as well, from first things to last. This Rutlen Lecture probes the meaning of creation, sin and sacrament for a new epoch.
Congregational 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.
Palm Plants Free for the Taking!
Would you like to have one of the palm plants from our Holy Week liturgies last week? Help yourself! They are in the East Assembly Room, and are available on a first-come-first-served basis.
About Those Green Cards
You may have noticed the new ticket-sized green cards that peek up from behind the visitor cards in the pews. They’re a response to what some have called the “empty plate problem”—collection plates with little in them as they’re passed through, say, the seventh row and not close to full when they reach the back of the nave. Stated more positively, the cards—now used in many congregations—are intended to give the growing number of worshipers who give electronically or write fewer, larger checks a way of sensing their participation in the offering when it is presented in the liturgy.
As it says on the card: “When the offering is gathered, you may use this card to represent your gifts through Simply Giving® or another form of direct deposit or early gifts that fulfill your intended giving for a month, quarter, or other period.”
Use of the green cards should represent actual giving, but how a person may choose to use them is flexible. If, for example, my Simply Giving transaction is set up to take place on the twelfth day of each month, can I use a green card every Sunday of the month? Do whatever to you feel is appropriate.
To enroll in Simply Giving or another form of direct deposit, contact the church office (612-827-5919 or email@example.com).
Is this a “push” to get more of us to give electronically? No. It’s simply recognizing that the ways we make financial transactions in our society are changing and that more and more of us are opting for electronic ways to use money. We now have thirty-one households using Simply Giving.
Because the cards are at the ends of the pews, take one as you’re entering the pew if you intend to sit near the middle of the pew. Don’t write your name or gift amount on the card; they get recycled back to the pews.
We hope the cards will help all of us, individually and as a worshiping community, sense more fully our participation in the offering.
- Stewardship Committee