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

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Olive Branch, March 7, 2011

Accent on Worship

A Journey Together

Lent is upon us, with Shrove Tuesday (and pancakes!) tomorrow and Ash Wednesday looming ahead as the herald of a 40 day journey we make with each other and our Lord. It is a time for us to learn discipline as we prepare our hearts and minds for the celebration of the deepest mysteries of our faith, the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is an austerity to Lent, with the ancient disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving more strongly emphasized during this season. I find that austerity refreshing, having the Church call me to stop doing things, to put aside other things, to consider the greater meaning of the life of a disciple. Our family has often given up food items for Lent, but I’m also considering attempting fasting once a week this year as a spiritual discipline which our forebears often have recommended for focusing on God’s call to us. In our worship we even set aside a word, Alleluia, which we will not sing or say until we sing it anew at the Great Vigil. Lent enables us to practice for the journey of faith that is our whole life, as we learn discipline which will stay with us far beyond these few weeks.

Let us make this journey together, brothers and sisters. In the gift of community we help each other in our walk of faith, and during this Lent we can exercise that gift for each other. We receive the blessings of God’s grace here, together, and now we help and teach each other to walk in that grace. To that end, there are a number of opportunities for us to practice discipline together, to walk the path of Lent together, which I want to highlight and encourage.

First, Susan Cherwien has written a devotional book for the season of Lent, as in past years, which will be available at the church. It will also be placed online, as a blog, at, with posted daily entries. As we journey together into Lent, this could be a wonderful way for us to pray together wherever our daily prayer lives take place.

We also gather in the middle of the week in Lent, unlike most other seasons. There is a simple Eucharist Wednesdays at noon, starting Mar. 16, followed by a soup and bread luncheon. In the evening at 6:00 p.m. is a soup and bread supper, which this year will include a meditation and conversation, followed by Evening Prayer at 7:00 p.m. I will be reintroducing preaching to our midweek Lenten time together, returning to an earlier practice at Mount Olive. We will focus on the Lord’s Prayer using Luther’s Catechism as a guide, and the sermon at the noon Eucharist will form the meditation at the evening meal which will lead to conversation together. These Wednesdays can be for us a stopping point, a rest in the middle of the week, and a recall to the discipline of the season and of our lives of faith, and I encourage all to find time to come together for this.

A third connection we can make: I will begin a lectionary Bible study this Lent which will continue beyond Easter. On Tuesdays at noon, beginning Mar. 15, any and all are invited to come to the West Lounge for an hour’s conversation on the readings for the next Sunday. (If the numbers are too large, we’ll move to a more convenient space.) Bring a lunch and we’ll see where the Spirit leads. It’s an informal conversation, somewhat in the style of lectio divina, where we’ll read all the texts together and then we’ll talk about what seemed to shine from them for our lives of faith.

Lastly, but perhaps most important, we will continue to celebrate the Holy Eucharist each Sunday in Lent, and will be fed God’s grace and healing by Word and Sacrament, prayer and song. Sundays in Lent are in some ways lived outside of Lent, as each Eucharist is really a little Easter celebration, but the austerity of the season carries into the Sunday ritual as well. We will enter worship each week either with the Kyrie or the Great Litany, using the fifth setting for the Eucharist. The Gospel readings, after the Temptation story for Lent 1, are all from John’s Gospel this year, and are powerful stories John gives us of encountering Jesus: Nicodemus, the woman at the well, the man born blind, Lazarus – these all meet Jesus and are forever changed. This Lent, John invites us to the same transformation as we meet Jesus and encounter his grace in our lives.

Lent is indeed upon us. May God make this a season of life for us, as together we walk the journey of faith, learn the discipline of following Jesus, and anticipate the joyful celebration of Easter which makes all things new.

- Joseph

Sunday’s Adult Education
9:30 a.m. in the Chapel Lounge
Sunday, March 13: "Lutheran Youth: the Call to War and the Call from Jesus." Al Bostelmann and Amy Blumenshine (Mpls. Area Synod Diaconal Minister) will lead this discussion of a proposed resolution to Synod Assembly.

Field Trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

A special event is planned for Sunday, March 20, and you're invited to participate.

There is a fascinating exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, entitled The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy. These small sculptures have adorned a French royal tomb since the late 14th century. They depict mourners of all walks of life expressing their grief in various ways. This is a fitting exercise for Lent, as we are continually reminded that we are dust, and to dust we will return.

We will depart from Mount Olive after the late worship service, stop for lunch and then proceed to the MIA. There we will see the Mourners exhibit, and then be joined by a docent for a private tour of art that express spirituality in some form. Cost of lunch is on your own, and admission to the MIA is free. If you are interested, please RSVP to the church office (612.827.5919 or or contact Lora Dundek (

For more information on the exhibit, check out the MIA's website at Please join us!

“Lord, Teach Us to Pray” - Midweek Lent at Mount Olive

The forty days of Lent begin this week on Ash Wednesday, Mar. 9, with Eucharist and the Imposition of Ashes at noon and 7:00 p.m.

For the other Wednesday Lenten services this year we will focus on the Lord’s Prayer, and what our Lord Jesus teaches us about our prayer life with God. The midweek schedule, beginning on Wednesday, Mar. 16, is Eucharist at 12:00 noon, followed by a soup lunch at 1:00 p.m. In the evening, there will be a soup supper at 6:00 p.m., and Evening Prayer at 7:00 p.m. The preaching at the noon Eucharist will be reflections on the Lord’s Prayer, and the same meditation will be shared during the evening soup supper, with opportunity for further conversation at the meal.

A Menu of Brunches

As many of you know, there is a flyer in the narthex at church which includes suggested local venues for brunch after church. We will be updating this listing in the near future! If you know of a restaurant to suggest for this listing, please send the information to Susan Cherwien at, or speak to her at church.

Adult Forum Discussion

Because of our economy, many youth are looking at the military to provide stable employment and family health benefits.

The Joint Peace with Justice Committee of the Saint Paul/Minneapolis Area Synods have submitted a resolution, "Lutheran Youth: the Call to War and the Call from Jesus" to be voted in the upcoming synod assemblies in May.

Mount Olive Vestry added its name in support of the resolution which calls for more guidance from parents, pastors and congregational adults working with youth. We will discuss this resolution, answer questions and give background information at the Adult Forum on March 13. The discussion will be led by Mount Olive member Al Bostelmann, and Minneapolis Area Synod Diaconal Minister, Amy Blumenshine.

Book Discussion Group

For its meeting this Saturday, March 12, the Book Discussion Group will read The River of Doubt, by Candice Millard. And for the April 9 meeting, they will read and discuss the poem Gilgamesh.

This group meets on the second Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. All readers are welcome!

March is Minnesota FoodShare Month

The need this year is as great as ever, so we encourage you to be generous with your donations of money or non-perishable food items for our local food shelf during the month of March. This drive fills the shelves of 300 food shelves across the state of Minnesota.

Fifty percent of all food shelf recipients are children, twenty percent of all adult recipients are elderly, and sixty percent of all adults who use the food shelves are the working poor.

We especially encourage you to consider giving a financial contribution via your blue envelopes instead of groceries, noting that it is for the food shelf. For every ten dollars donated, food shelf workers can buy $40 worth of food through various purchasing resources not available to the general public. So monetary donations go much farther.

Semi-Annual Meeting set for Apr. 10

Mount Olive congregation will have its semi-annual meeting on Sunday, Apr. 10, following the second liturgy. On the agenda is the election of officers and directors, and consideration of amendments to the constitution and bylaws of Mount Olive (Copies of the proposed amendments are available at church. Please contact the church office if you need a copy mailed to you). All members are encouraged to attend the meeting.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Reconciling in ChristRIC

Copyright 2014 Mount Olive Lutheran Church