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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Olive Branch, 7/15/15

Accent on Worship

     Well, I guess this is my “swan song!”  That is a figure of speech, based on the legend that a swan is mute until just before death.  Then the swan lets out with a beautiful song and dies.  Well, I have not exactly been mute these months, but it is still applicable.  I may stop singing, but, as they say, the beat goes on!  The beauty belongs to the song, not the singer.

     That is just an introduction to what I want to write about: the relationship of the gospel to the one who is sent to preach it.  At Corinth, some believers were dividing on the basis of their favorite preacher.  Paul’s answer: “What then is Apollos?  What is Paul?  Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each.  I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” (I Cor. 3:5 ff.)

     Paul then switches the image from agriculture to the building trade.  “According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it.  Each builder must choose with care how to build on it.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.”  (I Cor. 3:10 ff.)  Then, just as in the story of the three little pigs, Paul starts to list the different building materials used, from superior to inferior.

     One more image Paul uses for ministry we could call the olfactory image.  The gospel is called the fragrance of knowing Christ as Lord.  “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one, a fragrance from death to death, to the other, a fragrance from life to life.  Who is sufficient for these things?” (II Cor. 2:14 ff.)

     That is our challenge.  Who is sufficient for these things?  As hard as we may try, often we are unsure whether we are watering enough or whether the materials we build with are precious stones, or only straw.  Then we have to trust in God’s hard grace.  It is hard, because it tells us that on the last day our buildings will be tested with fire.  It is grace, because Paul says that the poor builder will be saved, but only as through fire.  (I Cor. 3:13 ff.)  

     “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.  My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus.”  (I Cor. 16:23, 24)

- Interim Pastor Robert A. Hausman  

Sunday Readings

July 19, 2015: 8th Sunday after Pentecost, 16 B
 Jeremiah 23:1-6
Psalm 23
Ephesians 2:11-22
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

July 26, 2015: 9th Sunday after Pentecost, 17 B
2 Kings 4:42-44
Psalm 145:10-18
Ephesians 3:14-21
John 6:1-21

Farewell and Godspeed

     This Sunday, July 19, we bid Farewell and Godspeed to Interim Pastor Robert Hausman, who has served Mount Olive during Pr. Crippen’s three-month sabbatical leave. A light reception will be held following liturgy on Sunday to thank Pr. Hausman for his work at Mount Olive. All are cordially invited!

Let's Talk About Racism
Friday, August 7, 6-9 pm

     In response to the shooting at Emanuel AME Church, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has asked us to enter into a conversation about racism. This raises many different questions . . . Why do we need to talk about racism? What is it? What can we do about it?

     Please join us for a meal and facilitated conversation. Contact Vicar McLaughlin for more information.

Summer Organ Concert

     All are invited to hear Mount Olive member Bill Wilson play a summer organ concert at Wayzata Community Church, 125 E. Wayzata Blvd, Wayzata, MN, on Wed., July 22, at 12:15 pm.  The 30-minute concert is free and open to the public.

Mount Olive to Host National Night Out Gathering 

     We are going to host a National Night Out event in our parking lot on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

     The Open Space Committee (a part of Neighborhood Ministries) is organizing the event.
National Night Out is a program aimed at bringing neighbors and neighborhoods together so they
can get to know each other and become closer.

     If you and your family would like to join the Mount Olive family on August 4 you are more than
welcome.  We are a part of this neighborhood and we hope events like this will help us become
closer and build bonds with those who live around our church.

     If you can join us that evening please:
1. Let Anna Kingman know you are coming and how many to expect.
2. Bring snacks or deserts to share.
3. Bring your own lawn chairs.
     Water and beverages will be provided.

     See you on August 4!!

ReconcilingWorks/RIC Gala 

July 31-Aug 2, 2015 - Augsburg College, Minneapolis

     So far two folks from Mount Olive have contacted me and want to attend the Reconciling Works-RIC gala event on Friday, July 31. It would be great to have a few more, so please check your calendars and let me know if YOU can attend.  The fee for the gala is $40.00.

     I am also putting together a set of items from Mount Olive to be sold in the silent auction at the gala. If you have some new items or would like to give a gift card from a store or restaurant, please contact me.  We could use a nice set of items for that auction.

    Please consider coming to the gala and meet other local and national members of RIC congregations.

- Paul Nixdorf-Chair, Reconciling Works-Twin Cities  

Spiritual Gifts Workshop

     Have you been asking yourself these questions?
What gifts has God given me?  Where is God calling me now? How can I be the presence of God for those around me?

     Explore these questions and more at this workshop!

Unwrapping Your Spiritual Gifts
Saturday, July 25, 8:30 a.m.–noon
Mount Olive Lutheran Church
Workshop Leaders: Connie Marty and
Vicar Meagan McLaughlin

Before the workshop, take an online gifts inventory:

     RSVP Required: Vicar McLaughlin at 612.827.5919 or

Olive Branch Summer Publication

     During the summer months of June, July, and August, The Olive Branch is published every other week. The next issue will be published on July 29.

     If you have information to be published in the July 29 issue, please have that information to the church office by Monday, July 27.

Lost and Found

     Have you lost an umbrella, coat, gloves, glasses, or keys at church? Did you bring a dish to pass, only to forget or lose the dish at church?

     Our lost and found is full to overflowing! Watch for a table with lost items in the coming weeks – see if your missing things are there and take them home!

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 August 8 meeting they will read the collection of essays, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, by David Sedaris, and for the September 12 meeting, I Heard the Owl Call My Name, by Margaret Craven.

Called to Care: A Forum for Those Touched by Memory Loss
Saturday, August 1, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

    Learn about supportive resources within our community and be inspired by stories of folks who have lived this journey.  Hear presentations by speakers from MN Council of Churches Dementia Friendly Congregations Program, Lyngblomsten’s The Gathering, Mount Olivet Day Services, and Normandale Center for Healing and Wholeness.

     This forum is free for caregivers and care receivers; $10 for everyone else.

     Look for brochures in the church office or download from    
     Questions?  Contact Nancy Biele at 612-827-6159 or

Every Church A Peace Church - Twin Cities

     The next ECAPC potluck supper meeting will be on Monday, July 20, at 6:30 p.m. This meeting will be held at St. Albert the Great Catholic Church, (29th St. & 32nd Ave. South, Minneapolis: 612-724-3643,

     The speaker for this meeting is Jay Kvale. Jay taught math, science, and reading at Catholic schools in the Twin Cities for 20 years. Following that, he served the state of Minnesota as a travel guide at the Albert Lea Information Center for 16 years. Since retiring in 2006, Jay has devoted his time to justice and peace activities, particularly nuclear disarmament.  He is a member of WAMM, the Minnesota Peace Project, and the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Committee.

     The title for his presentation is "Nuclear Weapons: A Christian Perspective."  He will address the current status of nuclear arsenals, whether the use of nuclear weapons can be justified, and provide thoughts and statements by leading Christian thinkers about this subject.

     All are welcome.

Transitions Support Group to Meet Wednesday, August 5 

     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, August 5, from 6- 7 pm, at Mount Olive in the lower level Youth Room. It will be facilitated by Amy Cotter and Cathy Bosworth.  

     If you have questions, please contact Cathy at 612-708-1144 or

Donations Still Needed!

     Thanks to those who have contributed items for the Voigt family.  Many items are needed, but the key ones are listed here:
-  twin bed or bunk bed (and mattresses)
-  dressers
-  night stands
-  lamps (floor or table)
-  desk and chair
-  occasional tables
-  area rugs and scatter rugs
-  dining room table and chairs
-  twin and queen sized sheets and blankets
-  vacuum cleaner
-  adult bicycles (The Voigts are very accustomed to using public transportation and bicycles for transportation, although they will have a car to use here.)
-  gift cards/cash donations to help with purchasing items not donated.

Please see the "wish list" at:  for a more complete list, or call/email Lora Dundek (651/645-6636 or

Bargain Box

     What’s better than the start of a new school year? Making sure that all children have clothes and school supplies to make school something to look forward to!

     On Saturday, August 1, Bargain Box will sell new and gently-used clothing for kids. School supplies will be distributed to all children at the Community Meal. Each year, we are able to supply about 100 students with clothes and school supplies, which makes going back to school fun for kids and much easier for parents!

     You can help by volunteer-ing a few hours on that day, by bringing donations of gently used kids’ clothes, by donating new and gently used back-packs, or by making a mone-tary donation to purchase school supplies.

     For one more Sunday (this Sunday, July 19), someone from the Neighborhood Ministries Committee will be outside the lounge during the coffee hour to receive your donations.

     Thank you for making this annual ministry so successful!

News From the Neighborhood                        
Anna Kingman                  

     The last 48 hours for my family have been an unfolding of what staff here at Mount Olive call a “Cannon,” endearingly named after a previous Vicar’s consistency in sharing stories with troubling beginnings and a redeeming conclusion.

     My parents’ home in Blaine was struck by lightning in Sunday’s storm, sparking a fire in the attached garage and causing a considerable amount of damage, but only in a small area. My parents were out of town on a well-deserved vacation, but my sister was home alone. Around midnight our neighbors heard a loud crack and investigated, finding smoke in the garage. They leapt into action, getting my sister out of a smoky bedroom and the dogs out of the house. The fire department came very quickly, extinguished the fire, and made it safe. No one was injured and the constant statement of “it could have been so much worse” was soon found on everyone’s lips.

     Sometimes you need a bad thing to shake out all the good. Our neighbors were and continue to be an incredible support. What an immense blessing to have people so fully embrace your bad moments and sooth them. Offers to stay, offers for freezer space, calls of concern, meals, and everything was offered, but mainly comfort in the frustration. My wise little sister was shaken, but immensely grateful to the people who stuck their heads out their window when they sensed something wrong. There is no end to the trail of what could have happened, so we’re just grateful for what did happen and the ways that we can clearly see God acting throughout the story in small and big ways.

     We are grateful for our neighbors and family in an even deeper way. I hope you all feel that sense of trust and comfort in the many communities you sojourn through, and are able to find ways to be a good neighbor to those around you as well.

Summer ACTS: Last Week!

     Summer ACTS is providing jobs for 19 neighborhood youth and it’s been a great success! This fun group of youth, helped and mentored by some wonderful adults, worked with Stone's Throw Urban Farms, the Minneapolis Police Dept., Handyworks home help, and an art project.

     Thanks to the following adult mentors who helped make this program possible: Judy Hinck, Elizabeth Biessel, Joyce Brown, Connie Marty, Elaine Halbardier, Cynthia Prosek, Jo Ellen Kloehn, Eunice Hafemeister, Amy, Ted, and Rose Thompson, Gretchen Campbell-Johnson, Gail Neilsen, Sue Ellen Zagrabelny, and Vicar Meaghan.

Coming Up

OPEN STREETS - Lake Street on Sunday, Aug. 2, 11am - 5pm. Walk, bike, and participate along Lake Street to promote healthy living, local businesses, sustainable transportation, and civic pride in Minneapolis.

DO-IT-GREEN CLOTHING SWAP on Saturday, Aug. 8, 9am - 3pm, in the Undercroft. Watch for details in the next issue of The Olive Branch.

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