Mount Olive Lutheran Church
Home About Worship Music and Arts Parish Life Learning Outreach News Contact
Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Olive Branch, 9/23/15

Accent on Worship

Needed Repairs

     Our building is starting to look renewed. Mortar is filled in on the major peaks on the back of the chancel, the worn-out wall along the alley is get-ting filled in. The sign looked like it was hit by a truck for a week, but all the bricks are in, the mortar is set. Once the workers do an acid wash of the brick, we won’t see the difference between old and new mortar. Turning the corner into fall, this is good.

     A brick building is deceiving in its solidity. Brick houses, brick churches look strong, unassailable. What we didn’t see was water gradually wearing down mortar and joints in places only the birds sat. We didn’t see a tiny bit of water eroding away a structure that looks solid and forever. But the drone that flew over our roof lines saw the truth, and helped us understand our need to fix this grand old  structure.

     Is this like us? Outwardly we might also project that we’re fine, doing great, while hiding our struggles, keeping them to ourselves. Our spiritual practices might be eroding, we may be overwhelmed by what life brings to us, yet to others we act as if we’re put together. The psalmist this week even suggests we might not know ourselves well enough to know where the cracks are, the openings for water, the broken bricks. “Who can detect one’s own offenses?” we’ll sing on Sunday.

     Our Christian community in this place gives us a chance to see the truth about our brokenness together and, as with our building, find a way to healing and restoration. It’s sometimes frightening, but when we learn to trust one another to see each other truly and honestly, we’ll learn to find wholeness together in Christ.
     The building needed to be secured before the arrival of winter. Our life together is a way we can all be better prepared to handle the cold and bitterness that life sometimes brings. For my part, I’m grateful for your eyes to see and ears to hear as you help me in my journey. God give us all the grace to be and receive such eyesight and insight.

- Joseph

Sunday Readings

September 27, 2015: 18th Sunday after Pentecost, 26B
Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29
Psalm 19:7-14
James 5:13-20

October 4, 2015: Feast of St. Francis of Assisi; 19th Sunday after Pentecost, 27B
Genesis 2:18-24
Psalm 8
Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12
Mark 10:2-16

Now is the Moment to Respond

     Your Missions Committee had decided at its last meeting to wait until we heard from our Synod how our church would respond to the refugee crisis before we asked for your special gifts. We heard this week--and now it is our turn to respond and meet the challenge.

     "In response to the refugee crisis in Europe, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Park, has committed to match all gifts from Minneapolis Area Synod congregations, up to $50,000 for Lutheran Disaster Response.  Senior pastor Chad Brekke said, "our members watched vulnerable families risk lives and livelihoods to leave war zones and they asked ‘what can we do?’ And then they asked, ‘Who can be in this with us?’"

     The answer: You can!  Lutheran Disaster Response states that LDR "is committed to meeting basic humanitarian needs and upholding the rights of those fleeing war and crisis. We are working with our companion churches, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary, the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession in Serbia, and The Lutheran World Federation to provide food, diapers, blankets, water, health kits, hygiene kits, and psycho-social services to assist those who have fled their homes."

     So Mount Olive members and friends--let's have our gifts doubled! The Missions Committee will contribute from its general fund, not taking away money from another other ministry. Your contributions, clearly marked Refugee Relief, will be added to the Committee's contribution and sent along to the Synod as soon as possible to join with Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.  Please make your checks payable to Mount Olive, and be sure they are clearly designated for “Refugee Relief."

     Together we can help many.

Updated Photos

     If you need an updated photo for the church’s online pictorial directory, please contact the church office or Paul Nixdorf ( or 612-296-0055). We plan to update the online directory in November after new members are received, so it’s a great opportunity to update your photo if needed.

Dust Off Your Name tags!

     With the arrival of our new Vicar, Anna Helgen, at Mount Olive, please consider wearing your name tag for the coming six weeks.

      This act of hospitality will help Anna to better serve in our midst.  If your name tag is missing or worn out, please contact the church office for a new one.  There are holders with clips in the narthex under the name tag board for those who prefer an alternative to the original pin style.

Thursday Bible Study Continues

     Thursday evening Bible Study continues through October 29. The evening starts with a light supper at 6:00 pm, followed by Bible Study. This session, titled “The Last Enemy,” is led by Pr. Crippen.  The focus is on mortality, death and dying, and how the Scriptures guide us.

Tending the Family of God
     People who know me know that I am in church every Sunday. A couple of months ago I was sick on a Sunday, so I wasn’t in church. That afternoon a member of our congrega-tion called to let me know that she had missed me in church and to ask if everything was all right. That was kind, gracious, compassionate – and easy! All of us can do that.

- Warren Peterson

New Member Welcome

     Mount Olive will welcome new members and associate members on Sunday, November 15, during the second liturgy.   If you are interested in becoming a member or associate member, please contact the office via e-mail to or by phone, 612-827-5919. You may also contact Pastor Crippen at church, or Andrew Andersen (763-607-1689).

     A welcome brunch will follow the liturgy for new members and for all who would like to be part of the welcome festivities.

LSS 150th Anniversary Hymn Festival 

     Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is 150 years old and is celebrating their anniversary with a hymn festival! Everyone is invited to join them for this event with the National Lutheran Choir. The concert will include the premiere of “How Beautiful, O God, How Good,” a hymn commissioned especially for this occasion.

     This celebration will be held this Saturday, September 26, beginning at 3:00 pm at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. This event is open to everyone and admission and parking are both free!

Tutoring Program Update

     Due to quite a few circumstances all at once, the Neighborhood Ministries Committee and I are choosing to postpone the tutoring program for the time being and will make a decision by October 3 at the next Neighborhood Ministries Committee meeting on how and whether to move forward with the program for this school year.  We lost 3/4 our tutors from last year for a variety of reasons, and have an upcoming remodel downstairs.  So we're going to just take a moment and collect ourselves. There is consideration for the needs of the community and the valuable relationships that we're building through this ministry, but we must also consider the nearby resources already available to this group and whether it is the right program at this moment for the time and talents of the members of this church. Though we haven't made any final decisions yet, we are looking into the opportunities to transform or adjust our program to best fit the personality of the neighborhood as well as the character and passions of this congregation.

     A letter is being sent to previous participants and their families to explain the delay in starting as well as to invite them to participate in other Mount Olive activities such as the Children's Choir and Youth group events. If you are interested in continuing this program and are able to become a tutor please contact me at 612-827-5910 or by email to Also, if you have any motivations for helping create and shape this program in what it can become for the future please let me know!

- Anna Kingman

Restoration 2015 Updates

     Follow the Renovations 2015 blog for weekly updates and new information on the project:

     There is also a link to the blog on the front page of the church website

TRUST’s Annual Auction

     TRUST's annual fundraising auction will be held on Friday, October 9, beginning at 6:00 pm at St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 3rd Ave. S., Minneapolis.

     All are invited to come and be entertained, eat great food, and bid for great stuff!
     Tickets are $20/each in advance or with reservation; $15 for seniors 65+/youth; and free for kids under age 10. Tickets  will be available at the door for $25 each.

     For reservations call 612-827-6159 or send contact TRUST via e-mail to .

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   October 10 meeting they will read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers, and for November 14, they will read The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery.

Adult Forum

     Adult Forum is held between the liturgies on Sunday mornings, beginning at approximately 9:30 am.

September 27: "Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Spiritual Life," led by Nancy Koester - Nancy Koester, former Associate Pastor at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church in St. Paul, was awarded the Minnesota Book Award for general nonfiction in April 2015 for her spiritual biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Nancy is currently preparing for a book on Sojourner Truth, and her Introduction to the History of Christianity in the United States was released by Fortress Press in August.

What are your Top Three Favorite Hymns?

     I will be conducting a survey in the coming weeks, to find out what your top three hymns are.  My hunch is that for many of you this may be difficult - to narrow it down to so few, that is!   I did this in past parishes, and learned a lot about who they were in doing so.  I suspect that will again be the case, although I also suspect the lists will look quite different from than those I've seen before.

     When you get a chance, begin thinking and thumbing through the hymnal; try to narrow it down.  We will NOT ask you to include Christmas carols and hymns, as that is too easy to guess.  (or..?!?...)

     The results might be helpful in a number of ways, but mostly will be informational for me as your Cantor.

- Cantor Cherwien

Neighborhood Garage Sale Report

     Our parking lot was crowded last Saturday, but not with cars - with people! Mount Olive hosted another Open Space Neighborhood Garage Sale and it was great! Perfect weather! Clothes, toys, whatever a garage sale needed was there for sale. Many thanks to all who made it possible. Thanks to the 18 vendors, the countless volunteers, the helpers of the Community Meal, and to all those who provided physical, mental, and emotional support for this event. About 350 people came to shop! It has been a wonderful season of using our Open Space to be a benefit and blessing to our neighbors.    
     What about next year? The Neighborhood Ministries Committee and Open Space team look forward to hearing your ideas about how our parking lot is a place we can be in the presence of God and be the presence of God.

- Carol Austerman, Director of Neighborhood Ministries

No comments:

Post a Comment


Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Reconciling in ChristRIC

Copyright 2014 Mount Olive Lutheran Church