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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Olive Branch, 9/30/15

Accent on Worship

Thoughts on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

     There is a wonderful consistency upon entering the church on a day that I bring Jack to work. We come in the back door and he bolts through the hallway, usually careening towards the main office, but often stopping for a quick hello at David’s office before taking off in the direction of Cha’s lap. You can hear a familiar, “Hi Jack!” from each person in their own style. Then Jack races off in search of William who usually has some extravagant treat for him like hot dogs or pork chops. Eventually he makes his way back to my office simply to grin widely, look for some water, and bring his tennis ball to someone to play with him. Every doorbell is met with passionate barking (sorry!) to greet each person that comes through the doors. To many who are new around here it is a surprise and usually a
delight to see a dog in church. To Jack’s familiar family here he is beloved, anticipated, and spoiled rotten.

     It has been a particular pleasure to observe these interactions and the positive impact Jack can make just through his eager playfulness and his irresistible puppy dog eyes. Many people, both Mount Olive members and neighbors, come by hoping to see him. It seems like the simplest pleasure in the world to interact with this small dog and watch him chase a ball down the hallway.
God designed it that way. There were layers of creation; earth, water, sky, and the creatures to fill them. I often wonder at Adam’s task to name each one. He must have roamed around in peace with them, observed them, and looked them in the eyes to see who they were. Maybe he, too, wondered what was behind those peering eyes when much was communicated but nothing was said. Often when I look at Jack and he looks back I find myself looking in to that start of creation, the first relationship between humans and animals that has existed since God gave a command upon the earth. It was all “Good.”

     The small little role that one puppy can play around Mount Olive continues to remind me of how utterly close we all are to those first moments on a newly created earth and the responsibility we were given. I hope to keep bringing Jack to work, barking and all, so he can take part in his place in this community and be a blessing to us in the same way we try to be for one another, tail or no tail.

- Anna Kingman

Sunday Readings

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

October 11, 2015: 20th Sunday after Pentecost, 28 B
Amos 5:6-7, 10-15
Psalm 90:12-17
Hebrews 4:12-16
Mark 10:17-31

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 psychosocial 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.

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
Sunday, October 4, 1:30 pm
Blessing of Animals

Bring your pets to this annual service of blessing!

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 will update the online directory in November after new members are received, but updated photos need to be taken before then. This is a great opportunity to update your directory photo if needed.

Tending the Family of God

     Have you ever noticed that someone who has regularly been at worship is now no longer there, and have you ever wondered what has happened to him or her? Have you considered that your wondering what has happened may be the voice of God calling you to action? Make a phone call. Write a note. Send an email. Attend to those around you.

- Warren Peterson

Work on Church Floors to Begin Soon

     As work continues outdoors on the walls, roof, and windows of the church, why not start some more projects?

     Next week, on Monday, work will commence in the Undercroft to replace the floor, and also in the sanctuary to clean, strip and refinish the floors under all the pews. The Undercroft project will require two weeks, because there is asbestos in the tiles and the mastic that glues them down.

     Week One will be "abatement," which involves sealing the space with plastic so workers can safely remove the nasty stuff without contaminating the atmosphere in the rest of the building. Mavo Systems, specialists in this work, have been engaged to do this important phase of the project.

     Week Two, beginning October 12, will be laying a new floor in the Undercroft. The color scheme will be similar to the upper floor of the Parish House. The new floor will be in place by October 15 or 16. This winter, the walls will be given a fresh coat of paint.

     This project has been in the planning for some months (months before the outside repairs demanded attention), and is funded by a generous grant for this year from The Mount Olive Foundation. Eventually the lower level hallway will also be redone to match the upper level, and the Parish House will all look "of a piece," but not right now.

     Meanwhile, volunteers and Sexton William Pratley will be busy upstairs in the church - a project also planned many months ago. All the pews will be taken loose in sections and moved aside so that the floor underneath can be cleaned and resealed. Everything will be back in place for worship on October 11.
     A busy time of taking care of our beautiful church home!

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.

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.

Can We Help?

     A great sorrow has struck a family of this neighborhood that considers Mount Olive a source of support and friendship. More than thirty years ago, Sylvia Thompson Leith was actively involved in Neighborhood Ministries here, particularly the Clothes Closet. Even today her children and grandchildren approach Mount Olive with a familiarity from being in the doors, taking part in Jobs After School programs, or the ties of relationships with members.

     During the past week the Thompson family has experienced the sudden death of two of Sylvia’s children, Noel “Ole” Thompson, and his sister Laura Thompson Goodwin. Laura was on the way home from the funeral of her brother when she died suddenly. This family is faced with a new wound and the process of grieving the loss of two loved ones. A prayer was said in the service last Sunday for the Thompson family and I assured Laura’s daughter, who just left my office moments ago, that we will continue to raise them up in prayer and spirit during this time.

     She, like all other members of this clan, came to Mount Olive seeking help as if they were asking a friend, not a stranger. It is another reminder of the ties that bind us all within the world and the importance of community in times of joy and times of great sorrow.

     If you are interested in helping this family, please contact me at church.

- Anna Kingman

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? Let us know by Oct. 15

     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.  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

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.  This Sunday's forum will be "Restorative Justice Community Action," presented by Cynthia Prosek

     Cynthia Prosek is the Executive Director of Restorative Justice Community Action, an organization that serves communities in the five precincts of Minneapolis, endeavoring to place offenders, victims and neighborhoods in conversation with each other to heal the community. For more information, see

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 .

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