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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Olive Branch, 10/14/15

Accent on Worship

Favorite Hymns Survey

     It was no surprise to me that when I asked of you to name your “top three” hymns there was grousing about narrowing it down to so few.  It’s always been clear that this is a hymn-loving congregation.  It’s deeply a part of who we are – both as individuals, and as a community with a collective memory bank!

     There’s still a little time.  We said you had until the 15th – which is Thursday of this week. However – if you can get your list to me by the end of Monday, October 19, I’ll include it in the survey compilation.  Just jot them down.  No more than three, however.

     So far, here’s where we stand:

52 of you have responded so far.
  87 hymns were named.
    64 of those were named by one person.
    12 of those were named by TWO persons.
    3 of those were named by three people.
    4 of those were named by four people.
    3 of them were named by six people.
    1 was named by seven people.

     There are some interesting things to learn from this already.  First of all, a close unanimous thing is that the hymns named were among those sung regularly by us in our liturgies.  Only three or four of those 88 hymns are currently not sung on a regular basis by the Mount Olive community.  We’re constantly singing each other’s song, making them an “our” song!  I find this encouraging.  There isn’t a list of hymns we’re NOT singing that most of you wished we were.

     Second, isn’t it interesting to see the relatively small number of “in common” favorites? This, too, I see as a good thing.  It’s our diversity brought into unity through song.  An assumption I often have run into over the years, is that there is a list of favorites which is in common with a majority.  Not so.  At least among what we have asked for in this instance, “favorites.”  No doubt there are hymns that a majority “like” in common.  Especially here!

     To find that list, I’d have to ask you all to write down ALL the hymns you find meaningful and compile that which would be a huge task.  I can tell by your voices when we’re singing, however.
     Once we are past the 19th I will publish and post the final results with titles.  I left them out here so as to not influence those of you who haven’t responded yet.

     What are we going to do with this list?  Mostly it’s for information to keep in mind as I select hymns for our liturgies.  I’m also finding out as much as I can about you as individuals, and how that translates into community in song.  We are also preparing for a month-long celebration commemorating 50 years since the installation of the Schlicker organ (October of 2016).  One thing we will do as a part of that is record and produce a CD of hymns sung by the Mount Olive congregation!  We’ll have some recording sessions this coming spring, and perhaps include some of the “top favorites.”   Watch for more information.

- Cantor David Cherwien

Sunday Readings

October 18, 2015: St. Luke, Evangelist
Isaiah 53:4-12
Psalm 91:9-16
Hebrews 5:1-10
Mark 10:35-45

October 25, 2015: Reformation Sunday
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 46
Romans 3:19-28
John 8:31-36

Tending the Family of God

     We are sometimes reluctant to get in touch with people who have been missing from worship because we are afraid the conversation will be uncomfortable. (Actually, such conversations are rarely uncomfortable.) But which is worse: some possibility of discomfort caused by an act of love, or the people whom you have noticed missing from worship coming to the conclusion that no one cared about them or even knew that they were gone because no one got in touch with them? We want them to know they are missed and loved. They are important to us.

     Be in touch.

Semi-Annual Meeting

     The semi-annual meeting of Mount Olive congregation will be held on Sunday, October 25, following the second liturgy. The purpose of this meeting is to approve a budget for 2016.

     A budget preview meet-ing will be held this Sunday, October 18, follow-ing the second liturgy. This will be an opportunity for all members to learn more about the budget they will approve the following week. All voting members of Mount Olive are encouraged to attend these meetings!

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.

     Reminder: There will be no Bible Study tomorrow evening, October 15.

Transitions Support Group

     All are welcome at Transitions Support Group. If you’re looking for new ideas or encouragement to meet the challenges or uncertainties that are before you, join us on Wednesday, November 11 at 6:00 pm.

      This is an opportunity to share in fellowship, prayer, and discussion with others in the Mount Olive community.

     Transitions Support Group meets on Wednesday, November 11 from 6- 7 pm at Mount Olive in the lower level Youth Room, and will be facilitated by Cathy Bosworth and Amy Cotter.

     For more information, please contact Cathy at 612-708-1144,, or Amy at 612-710-1811,

What are your Top Three Favorite Hymns? Deadline Extended to Oct. 19

     I am conducting a survey in the coming weeks, to find out what our 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..?!?...)

     Those with internet access, please visit to enter your favorites. If you don’t have internet access, simply jot them down and bring/mail them to the church office – or call them in by calling the office at 612.827.5919.

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

- Cantor David Cherwien

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.

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

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 November 14 meeting they will read The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery.

Names of the Departed Saints Invited

     As a part of our All Saints liturgy on Sunday, Nov. 1, worshipers are invited to submit the names of loved ones close to them who have died in the past year, since last All Saints Sunday, who weren’t members of Mount Olive.  (Members of the parish who have died are always named.)  These other names submitted will be included in the prayers of intercession.  There will be one more opportunity to write these names this Sunday, or you may simply contact the church office with the names.  Please keep this to just those who have died this past year, so we can have a more manageable list.

Peace with Justice Forum

     The next Minneapolis and Saint Paul Area Synods Peace with Justice Committee’s Peace With Justice Forum will be held on Sunday, October 18, 2015, 12:30-2 pm, at Central Lutheran Church, 3rd Ave and 12th St. in Minneapolis. Lunch is available for $7.00, but the speech is gratis.

     Validated parking is available in the Central parking lot/ramp on the south side of the church.
The topic of this forum will be "A Challenge for Us All: Soul-Searching on Consequences of War," and the presenter will be the Rev. Lowell Erdahl, retired pastor, author, and former bishop of the St. Paul Area Synod of the ELCA.

Extreme Makeover: The Nave Floor 

     The refinishing of the floor under the pews went on throughout last week. By Friday, it was looking beautiful!  But, then came the huge job of vacuuming and dusting the pews, the hymnals, the kneelers – it’s amazing all the places into which dust can find a way.

     Huge thanks are due to a wonderful crew of workers who moved, refastened, and cleaned for over six hours last Saturday, so the church would be ready for worship Sunday morning.

     The workers: Mark and Linda Pipkorn, Chuck Reyer, Steve Manuel, Jo Ellen Kloehn, Bob (“Vacuum Man”) Lee, Katherine Hanson, Don Luther, David Molvik, Joyce Brown, George Oelfke, Andrew Andersen, Elaine and Art Halbardier. And a round of applause to Sexton William Pratley for long days, patience, and perseverance in getting the floor stripped, sealed, and waxed. Altogether, it was a huge job well done.

Asbestos – Gone!!

     Monday, October 5, 7 am: The sidewalk in front of the church looked like an “invasion site.” It was! The crew from Mavo Systems were there to clear the asbestos tile and mastic from the undercroft.

     The work area was sealed so that none of the nasty stuff could escape into the rest of the building; a fresh air supply for the undercroft was created, contaminated air was filtered and vented outside.

     In just four days, the asbestos was gone and the area was safe. The abatement crew was very professional and thorough. Workers are now hard at work installing the new floor to get the Undercroft ready for use next weekend. This project was funded by a grant from The Mount Olive Lutheran Church Foundation.

Powderhorn 365

     Through the lenses of volunteer photographers, Powderhorn365 tells the daily stories of the Powderhorn Park neighborhood: making people and places visible, documenting history and celebrating life. Powderhorn365 produces a visual, community-written narrative through photo postings, photobooks and exhibits.

     To see the work of this photo a day project, visit

2016 Common Hope Teams to Guatemala

     Mount Olive will send two teams to Guatemala in 2016 to visit Common Hope students and projects. One team is going in April and one at the end of July. Each team still has room for more members if you'd like to go along. Just leave your name at the church office or contact Judy Hinck (, 612-824-4918) or Lisa Ruff ( for more information.

     All of Mount Olive is part of this adventure. Our team goals: we will foster encounters that provoke compassion and challenge com-placency; we will connect needs and resources; we will build relation-ships. Practically speaking, what does that mean? We will visit students and their schools. We will meet supported families. We will help build a home. We will learn more about the health care Common Hope provides. We will provide support for schools, students and families.

     Even if you can't come along, as part of Mount Olive, you are part of the action. You'll get updates, meet students who attend school because of Common Hope. You'll see what a difference a floor can make. You'll wonder at the beauty of central Guatemala.  Look for updates as we plan, but get involved now. Support our teams as we contribute our time, talents and money to extend our Taste of Guatemala--Common Hope to a people-to-people connection.

Final Call for Refugee Relief Match

     Next week Mount Olive will submit its contribution to the synod to participate in the Refugee Relief Matching Challenge. If you would like your donation to be part of the match, contribute this week, clearly marking your contribution “Refugee Relief.”

     All funds will be sent to the Lutheran Disaster Response fund and 100% of the monies will be earmarked for refugee relief projects.

Celebrate and Rejoice!

     Your Missions Committee received this news from the ELCA:

     "I have incredible news! The ELCA Malaria Campaign just reached its fundraising goal of $15 million! Thank you for being a part of this monumental milestone and helping us protect countless lives from this preventable, treatable disease. Working with our Lutheran companions and partners in 13 African countries, we have brought about lasting change. We couldn't have done it without you! Today we celebrate all that we have accomplished together."
- Christina Jackson-Skelton, 
Executive Director, Mission Advancement, ELCA

Sunday’s Adult Forum

Oct. 18: “The Body at Worship,” presented by Dwight Penas.

National Lutheran Choir to Present All Saints Concert, “Blessed Are They”  

     Join the National Lutheran Choir for their annual All Saints Concert: “Blessed Are They” – a concert of music and texts reflecting on the lives of those who have been loved and lost. Concerts are 4pm, Sunday, November 1, at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi and 7:30pm, Friday, November 6, at St. Bartholomew Catholic Faith Community in Wayzata.

     For more information, or to purchase tickets, call Brown Paper Tickets (800) 838-3006 or order online at      

     Tickets will also available at the door on the day of the concert. The box office opens one hour prior to the concert.

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