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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Olive Branch, 10/28/15

Accent on Worship 

     Rome, Italy is a place that can make you feel so tiny, and yet so significant amidst its tattered grandeur. Walking among  pillars that have stood for over 2,500 years there is a placid mood that shifts and rotates in the shadows around the burial grounds of these monumental structures, now crumbling, but miraculously still so imposing and present.  As Josh and I gazed over the huge stretches of brick and marble, it took just a bit of imagination to picture what an incredible, frightening sight this must have been so many years ago. We wondered that in all the years, events, catastrophes and normalcy we are still walking across these ruins talking about people who existed thousands of years ago.

     As impressive as Rome is, there was a little voice in my brain that said “someday this will all pass away.” Someday all of this toil will return to dust and there will be “a new heaven and a new earth” as is the vision in Revelation 21, and “God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  

     The old order will pass away. All of this will pass away. Though it may seem like loss, there is no sadness in this transition. There is only joy and expectation. The day that I watched my grandmother take her final breath through her aching lungs, she was shedding the old order and stepping into the new one. One that we cannot see or feel or know in our little earthly bodies and brains, but we wait for, we hope for, we believe in. Each brilliant shining soul that walked the marbled world of Rome
thousands of years ago, or hauled away its bricks to build a new home, or takes selfies with its pillars in its backdrop – we are all part of the order that will pass away, but Jesus is holding our tears and mourning and pain and will trade them in for a feast.

     I don’t much care about Caesar or Augustus. I care about my grandma and grandpa, my birth mom, my aunt Kim, my faithful saints that are waiting at that feasting table. They have passed away, but, oh, what joy - WHAT JOY! when we all trade in our tears for a seat at the table with them again.

- Anna Scott

Sunday Readings

November 1, 2015: All Saints Day
Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 24
Revelation 21:1-6a
John 11:32-44

November 8, 2015: 24th Sunday after Pentecost B
I Kings 17:8-16
Psalm 146
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44

Funeral Liturgy October 31

     The funeral Eucharist for Elaine Stender will be held this Saturday, October 31, at 1:00 p.m. Visitation will be held one hour before the Eucharist, beginning at Noon.
     Rest eternal grant her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on her. May Elaine and all the blessed dead, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Wedding Bells have Rung!

     On October 11, Anna Kingman (now Anna Scott), our Neighborhood Ministry Program Coordinator, married Josh Scott at Solomon's Porch Christian Community in Minneapolis.  We want to celebrate with them this Sunday, November 1, after the second liturgy.   We'll get to see pictures, eat treats, drink Mimosas and even get a glimpse of THE DRESS!  You all received an email last week about how you might help, and we could still use some contributions of time or goodies.  In that email were also suggestions for gifts, should you be so inclined (certainly not required!).  For more information, contact Lora Dundek or Mary Crippen.

TRUST Youth Update

     On Sunday, Sept. 27, Sedona Crosby and Eric Manuel participated in the TRUST Youth kick off picnic at Lake Calhoun. On October 11, they went on a Mississippi river paddle through Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventure. It was a beautiful day to canoe from Hidden Falls Park in St. Paul to Ft. Snelling Park and back. Next up: Holiday Baskets for the Aliveness Project on Sunday December 6.  In January TRUST Youth will participate in a Martin Luther King Jr. service on Sunday January 17, 2016.   Events for the spring are still being planned but will include a Monarch and Milkweed activity, Earth Day, and other fun things soon to be announced.  A mission trip to Pilgrim Point Camp near Alexandria in August 2016 is also in the works.

     TRUST Youth is comprised of kids from local Protestant churches of varying denominations and is open to youth grades 6-12.   If you have a young person in grades 6-12 and are interested in having them attend TRUST Youth activities, please contact Julie Manuel.  

Attention Worship Assistants!

     The Servant Schedule for the 1st quarter of 2016 (January- March) will be published at the beginning of December 2015. The deadline for submitting requests to me is October 30, 2015.  Please email your requests to Thanks.

- Peggy Hoeft

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,

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.

Light a Candle

     All Saints Day, November 1, is this coming Sunday. Before the liturgies on this day, all are invited to light a candle in memory of the faithful departed, the saints we have known, at the baptism font. This practice, begun in 2003 at Mount Olive, is an extremely powerful devotion for many people.  Come a few minutes early and pray in the peace of our nave and in the light of the saints’ reflections of Christ.  

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, and for December 12 they will read The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James.

Sunday’s Adult Forum

     On November 1, All Saints Day, there will be no regular no teaching session. All are encouraged to view the display of the baptismal and death registry books of Mount Olive Lutheran Church.

A Gentle Reminder

     Information for the weekly Olive Branch is due on Monday of the week it is to be published. If you have information to share, please be sure it’s in to the church office on Mondays. Thanks!

November Music & Fine Arts Events

+ Sunday, November 15, 4 pm
SING! With Alice Parker

+ Sunday, November 29, 4 pm
Advent Procession

Hymn Survey Results are In!

     We heard from 84 of you.  139 hymns were named.  Of those:

One hymn was mentioned by eleven people:  “There in God’s Garden.”
One hymn was mentioned by ten people:  “Lift High the Cross.”
One hymn was mentioned by 9 people:  “Lord Thee I Love With All My Heart.”
One hymn was mentioned by 7 people: “O God Our Help in Ages Past.”
Four hymns were mentioned by 6 people: “Beautiful Savior,” “For All the Saints,” “Love Divine All Loves Excelling,” and “When Peace like a River.”
One hymn was mentioned by 5:  “Children of the Heavenly Father.”
Four hymns were named by four: “A Mighty Fortress,” “All My Hope on God is Founded,” “God of Grace and God of Glory,” and “O Day Full of Grace.”
6 hymns were named by 3 people.
28 Hymns were named by 2 people.
And 92 hymns were named by one person.

     While fascinating, there are some things to keep in mind:  our average worship attendance is 228.  Add to that, the most-named hymn was named by 11 of you (as in 11 out of 228!). While we had four hymns rise as the “top” hymns, it’s not a huge percentage of our average attendance (not that anything would be “average” around here?!).  While I am not an expert on poll results, my hunch is that this poll is not something to take too terribly seriously with regard to declaring any majority trends/preferences,  but it does say some interesting things.

     For one, with the exception of “Beautiful Savior,” our top hymns on this list are not the typical hymns named in most contexts.  In fact, “There in God’s Garden” and “Lord Thee I Love,” I suspect, would rarely be named by even one in most assemblies in a typical community. Second, it says we embrace both history and new.  The top three include a brand-new hymn, a British Victorian hymn, and a German Chorale. There may be other things one can derive from this list – and I’m sure our ensuing conversations will provide those!

     I went into this venture somewhat expecting some results:  that there would be push-back to only being asked for three (and not more), that the list of named hymn would be predominantly single (as in a hymn named by only one person), and I expected the list to be somewhat diverse in terms of the kind of hymns named (like from where they came, when, style/culture; although predominantly European in nature).

     One thing I think is so important about this exercise:  that we strengthen the sense of “Having it OUR way” over and above “Having it MY way.”

- Cantor David Cherwien

Images of God: Thursday Bible Study

     This Thursday, Oct. 29, is the last session of the study titled “The Last Enemy.” On Thursday, Nov. 6, a new six- week study will begin, led by Vicar Helgen, which will run through December 19. (The study will not meet Thanksgiving Day.) The study, called “Images of God,” will explore how we talk about God through the language of image and metaphor. The sessions will reflect on common images of God and participants will have the opportunity to share a creative presentation of an image of God that speaks to them.

As always, the sessions begin with a light supper at 6:00 p.m. Please let Vicar Helgen know if you are able to provide a meal.

“Please, may I have some more?”

     This is a poignant quote from Dickens, in which the orphan boy, institutionalized, receives a meager bowl of gruel and dares to ask for more.

     Incredibly, here, now in America, many children are food-deprived.  Mount Olive has been generous in giving to a variety of causes and none is more important than providing for the hungry.  The Neighborhood Ministries Committee has been the vehicle for collecting donations.  Although it is true that cash donations bring about greater results, food donations are also welcome.  For families with small children, bringing food for the needy is a tangible way for the children to grasp the concept of helping and in which they can participate.

     Community Emergency Services suggests the following food items; food staples, such as sugar, flour and cooking oil are listed as being very important.  Other categories are dry food items, canned food, breakfast items and personal hygiene needs.
     As in the past, the first Sunday of each month is designated as food collection Sunday.  However, donations can be brought at any time.  Please bring your contributions to the grocery cart in the coat area.

     Thank you for your generous response to the needs of those who need our help the most.

Winter’s Coming – Working to Get Ready

     What’s going on outside the 31st Street door?

     The sidewalk over the past few years has become dangerous. The segments of the walk were uneven at best, and during the winter freeze, surface would become a hazard (think squares one to one and one-half inches higher or lower than their neighbors.

     It had to go. And thanks to the hard (really hard) labor of a small crew, it went last Saturday. Broken up, loaded up and carted away, and the surface prepared for a new sidewalk this Friday.

     Mark and Tim Pipkorn are heading up this project, with less skilled labor provided by Ted Thompson and Art Halbardier. And Al Bipes loaned us his truck.

     Look forward to an easier, safer walk into church this winter!

In Our Neighborhood

     Powderhorn Park Neighbor-hood Association will hold its Community Meal and Annual Meeting on Thursday, Nov. 12. Dinner will be at 5:30 pm and elections and meeting at 6 pm. Celebrate the gift of commun-ity with the neighbors of Mount Olive!

A Wish List

     Parents in Community Action, Inc. Head Start serves the community of children and families experiencing hunger, homelessness, poor access to resources, and the devastating effects of poverty. They will host the annual Head Start Health Fair for neighborhood children and families and are requesting any donations of new or gently used prenatal or early childhood supplies: things like diapers, wipes, clothes, blankets, bottles, toys, formula, etc. Any donation will help and goes directly into the hands of the most needy children and families in the neighborhood. Donations can be dropped off in the coat room near the upstairs kitchen and are needed before Friday November 13. Thank you! Please call Anna Scott at church with any questions.

Tending the Family of God

      What if it were you? What if you were the one who had been worshiping with this congregation every Sunday for five years or twenty-five years or fifty-five years, and you stopped coming because of illness of mobility issues, or because you got mad about something that had been done here – and no one even bothered to get in touch with you and tell you that you were missed? How would that feel? Like no one cared? Like you didn’t matter? Like no one even noticed you were gone?
     We can’t let that be our story. If you are missing someone, get in touch. Let them know you care.

Powderhorn Empty Bowls
Friday, November 6, 11am - 7pm

     Powderhorn Empty Bowls was started in 2007 by five neighbors and potters who met at the Powderhorn Park Pottery Program. Their mission, to promote art, provide sustenance and promote the common good has been carried out every year since, with the help of donations and hundreds of volunteers. Every year hundreds of neighbors and community members gather together to help end hunger. These people choose a hand-made bowl that has been donated, which is filled with soup made by volunteers and local businesses and accompanied by bread made on site by volunteers.
     For this, each adult is asked to make a $20 donation, or a $5 donation for kids. Any and all donations, of any amount, are gladly accepted.

     When finished, wash your bowl and bring it home. Enjoy it and have it as a reminder of all the empty bowls in your community, across Minnesota and around the world. Also leave with that bowl feeling good, knowing that on this day, you did something to feed people in your community.

     Many volunteers are needed to make this day happen. If you’re able, please visit them on the web to see if there’s anything you can help with.  
     THANK YOU! More information on facebook or

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 4 pm, Sunday, November 1, at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi and 7:30 pm, 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 be available at the door on the day of the concert.

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