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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Olive Branch, 4/29/15

Accent on Worship

This Monday I attended a conference about Church as a Community Asset, presented by the founder of Oasis in the UK, Steve Chalke. Oasis flows around a Christ -centered ethos of holistic, inclusive, community transformation. They started by looking out-side the doors of an enormously empty London church and not just wishing for better, but dreaming about what it could, should, be and then they went about creating just that. This was a valuable piece to the question we are constantly asking ourselves at Mount Olive. What is our neighborhood? Well, maybe one way to begin answering would be to ask “what do we want our neighborhood to be?” then go about making it so.

     Along the day we discussed the definitions of church; church as a religious service provider, a community space provider, a social service provider, then church AS the community. These were revealing in what many in the room were struggling through. How can you move the church from one of the provider categories in to the realm of full, whole, collective community? This is the “in the presence, being the presence” question.

     This conference was full of quotable wisdoms, big dreams, and inspiring possibilities, but no magic answers, because there is no short-cut way to building community and provoking real change. It comes from the roots of our spiritual questions, “who am I,” and “where am I going?” and answering in faith that “I am a beloved child of God and my life has purpose and meaning.”  It means staring at Jesus’s full command, not just the Mark 12 or Matthew 22 versions, but the Leviticus 19:18 "'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” It means letting go of hurts and fears. It means showing up, serving one another, and living in to the world that God desires for us.

     There is much more I wish I could share. There is much more that I need to learn and talk through and discover. We all do. So let’s keep talking and dreaming and working towards the world that has Christ at the very center whether in a coffee shop, a school, a public restroom, or face-to-face with one another.

- Anna Kingman

Sunday Readings

May 3, 2015: Fifth Sunday of Easter
Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 22:25-31
I John 4:7-21
John 15:1-8

May 10, 2015: Sixth Sunday of Easter
Acts 10:44-48
Psalm 98
I John 5:1-6
John 15:9-17

Sunday’s Adult Forum: May 3, 9:30 am

 “Wisdom From the Desert: Stories from Women in the Early Church,” part 2 of a 2-part series presented by Prof. Sr. Mary Foreman, Assoc. Professor of Theology, St. Benedict University, St. Joseph, MN, and author of Praying With the Desert Mothers.

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, May 6, from 6- 7 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

Encounters with Jesus: Bible Study on Thursday Evenings  

     The spring Bible study series continues this Thursday, April 30, in the Chapel Lounge from 6:00-7:30pm. The fifth and final session on May 14 will conclude with Eucharist for the Feast of the Ascension. RSVPs to ( not required, but appreciated for meal planning.
     Vicar McLaughlin is leading a study focusing on five stories of encounters with Jesus from the New Testament. In addition to discussing the context and background, we are using 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.

Book Discussion Group Update

     Mount Olive’s Book Discussion Group meets on the second Saturday of each month, at 10:00 am in the West Assembly Area at church. All readers are welcome!

     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.

Calling All Graduates!

     On Sunday, June 14, we will honor our graduates at a reception following the 9:30 a.m. liturgy.
     If you are graduating from high school, college, seminary, or another post-secondary school, or if you know of some-one else from Mount Olive who is graduating this spring, please take a moment to notify the church office. We want to be sure that all of our graduates are invited!

The Ascension of Our Lord
Thursday, May 14
Holy Eucharist at 7:00 pm

Heads Up!

Summer worship schedule begins Memorial Day weekend, Sunday, May 24 (The Day of Pentecost). From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend,     we celebrate one Eucharist each Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

Race Day is Saturday!

     This Saturday is the day that Anna Dundek and Eric Bell  will compete in the Amazing gRace. They will race between Lutheran Volunteer Corps service sites, performing all sorts of amazing feats that support the peace and justice work of LVC. Mount Olive Global Missions supports Anna and Eric, and we hope that you will too!

     Financially, you can support Anna, Eric, and the LVC work by donating at their web site:  or by placing your contribution in a blue mission envelope and writing in "Amazing gRace."

     All are invited to the end-of-race potluck Saturday from 4-6 pm at St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church (100 North Oxford Street in St. Paul). Bring a dish to share and cheer for Anna and Eric as they arrive.

     Lutheran Volunteer Corps does amazing work in promoting peace and justice while helping to form and sup-port young Christians as they explore their role in being God's presence in the world. We have Lutheran Volunteer Corps graduates who have been part of our Mount Olive community, and we are committed to supporting the good work that they do.  Join this Amazing gRace event.

Congregation Meeting Recap

     Attached to this issue of The Olive Branch is an annual report prepared by several members of the Vestry, which describes the activities of their respective committees during the past year. (For those who receive hard copy newsletters, copies of the report are available at church in the office and the narthex).

     At the April 26 Semi-Annual meeting of the congregation, the following Vestry officers and directors were elected:

President, Lora Dundek
Vice President, Tom Graves
Secretary, Peggy Hoeft
Treasurer, Tim Lindholm
Amy Thompson, Education Director
Art Halbardier, Property Director
Steve Manuel, Education Director

      Thanks to the outgoing officers and directors of the Vestry, Robert Gotwalt, Kat Campbell-Johnson, John Holtmeier, and Brenda Bartz.  They have served us all very well.

     Other actions taken at the meeting:
Presentation of nearly $35,000 from the Mount Olive Foundation to the congregation to be used for various projects, and an update of the status of the Foundation's funds;
A review of the current budget status and encouragement for all to prayerfully consider their giving to the church.

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 Sunday, 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:

     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, or Kate Teece  at with any questions. We hope you will join us!

- The Hennig family

News From the Neighborhood                          

Ask me about “Open Space!”

     As a way to live into our new vision expression, this summer we will open up our parking lot space to build community and see what can happen!  The question was: “What is an asset outside the walls of our building that we at Mount Olive can make better use of?”  Someone came up with the thought of the parking lot!

     A six month task force was created and goals established: to offer our parking lot space to create connection, be the presence of God, to partner with our neighbors, and to break the barrier of “us” and “them.” We hope to have a little fun and celebration while we connect hearts and build community.  We are calling this project “Open Space.”

     In addition to communicating with you, we want to talk with our neighbors.  So we are scheduling dates to meet with folks from the churches within a few blocks of Mount Olive to see if we can partner with them in this “Open Space” project. In our first phone call to a neighboring church, the staff person told us they had actually been looking for a parking lot option to host a large event. It’s already creating connections!

     The task force has come up with a few ideas to share with the congregation for some first steps. Here are a couple of them:

1. Outdoor Community Garage Sale & Local Art Sale: June 20, 9am - 2pm in our “Open Space.” Neighbors, friends, and local artists can have a parking space plot, bring their own table, and set up their goods to sell to the public. We will go door to door to invite neighborhood residents to reserve a spot or come to the sale, and ask churches, coffee shops and businesses to help publicize the event. Mount Olive will publicize and host, opening our doors to offer a glimpse of who we are inside and out.

     We will need members to post flyers around the neighborhood, assist with hospitality that day, and put up direction signs that morning.  Because we are hosting the community meal that noon hour, around 100 friends and neighbors will be dining with us already, and perhaps they will be customers at the sale. (In case of rain the event is canceled).

2. Later in summer, we have registered our “Open Space” to be a site for National Night Out on August 4, from 6 - 8pm.  The city of Minneapolis will list us as one of the neighborhood locations.  We will invite the neighbors to bring a lawn chair and some appetizers or a dessert to share.  There will be activities for the kids and we have invited the fire and police departments to bring a truck or squad car to the event.

     What else could take place in our under-used parking lot?  Do you have ideas?  Can you join in any of this summer's activities?   Contact any of us with your ideas.  Let's see what we can do to take an empty parking lot and make God's creative, abundant presence be seen in this place.

Taskforce members:  George Ferguson, Patsy Holtmeier, Julie Manuel, Tim Pipkorn, Carol Austermann, Paul Nixdorf, Connie Marty & Anna Kingman.

Hospitality Help Wanted!

     Could you help with a behind-the-scenes hospitality task?  We are in need of two or three persons who would be willing and able to launder table linens after they are used at funeral receptions or congregation events such as the Easter Vigil.  

     Please call the church office at 612-837-5919 to volunteer or talk with Gail Neilsen, Carla Manuel, or Andrew Andersen.

May Day Parade to be Held This Sunday, May 3, 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:

   (Find the Mount Olive crew to watch the parade at the corner of Bloomington Ave. & 28th St. at Noon!)

Attention Mount Olive Worship Assistants!

  The Servant Schedule for the 3rd quarter of 2015  (July-September) will be published at the beginning of June, 2015.   The deadline for submitting requests to me is May 10, 2015.  Please email your requests to

Unwrapping Your Spiritual Gifts

Saturday, May 23   9 a.m.–noon
Mount Olive Lutheran Church

 Explore your spiritual gifts—and how and where you are called to use them. We all have spiritual gifts, but do we need some new paradigms for discovering and using them? Live into Mount Olive’s vision: Being the Presence of God.

Workshop Leaders: Connie Marty and Vicar Meagan McLaughlin

Before the workshop, take an online gifts inventory at

RSVP Required: Vicar McLaughlin at 612.827.5919 or

Guatemala Vision Team to Meet This Sunday

     Are you interested in going to Guatemala with a group from Mount Olive this summer? An informational meeting is planned for this Sunday, May 3, at 9:30 am in the Undercroft. If you have already signed up to go, or if you just want to learn more about it, plan to come to this meeting!

Mount Olive Foundation Presents Annual Gift

     This past Sunday, President Keith Bartz of Mount Olive Lutheran Church Foundation presented a check for $34,894.00--its annual gift to the congregation.  For the fifth consecutive year, this sum represents the largest gift that the Foundation has given to the Church.  Over its history, the Foundation now has given almost $350,000 to the Church.

     Subject to the Vestry’s approval, the Foundation’s Board of Directors recommended that these funds be apportioned as follows:

Neighborhood Ministries Kiosk and Display Case    3,000.00
Bach Tage $  4,000.00
Guatemala Partnership Trip $  4,000.00
New Staff Member Accounting Role $  3,000.00
Purchase new stove/oven for galley (upstairs) kitchen $ 800.00
Design for Undercroft Refurbishment $  4,000.00
General Improvements to Building Exterior $16,094.00

TOTAL $34,894.00

     To learn more about the Mount Olive Foundation and how you can build its endowment and annual giving, please contact Keith Bartz at (612) 823-3572 or, or speak with other Foundation board members:  Michael Edwins, Victor Gebauer, Reid Peterson, Mark Ruff, or Pat and Doug Spaulding.

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