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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Olive Branch, 4/11/11

Accent on Worship

Prepared For What?

The word preparation has been stuck in my head, like a ditty that won’t go away, since Ash Wednesday. It’s not a particularly religious word, although it sounds downright profound, even Lenten if you add the word “solemn” in front. But really, what does preparation have to do with Lent? Let’s face it, most of us have experienced Lent many times, what’s to prepare? We all know the story and how it ends, and it’s spectacular!

I have a very dear friend who has taught second grade for many years. She is in her classroom every morning at 5:00 a.m. in preparation for her class. This might seem odd. The material hasn’t changed much over time and she certainly must know it by heart. I think her preparation shows a profound dedication to her calling, and a deep love for her students. She spends as much time in preparation as she does in presentation. I believe her objective is to make the material that she knows so well relevant and exciting to this group of second graders, the class of 2021, just as she did for the class of 2020, 2019 and so on.

We have all endured lectures, presentations or meetings where it was obvious there was little or no preparation. We soon feel impatient, embarrassed and uncomfortable or even angry that our time is being wasted. We leave feeling the presenter lacked conviction and consequently credibility. On the other hand, when the speaker is prepared, conviction is obvious and remarkable things can happen. They don’t convince you of anything, but you are drawn to a new way of looking at something, a new way of thinking. Dr. Fretheim and adult forum this past Sunday was an excellent example.

We will soon hear again the story of Peter’s unfortunate confrontation in the courtyard. His lack of preparation is obvious in his three-fold denial of Jesus. Let’s not be too hard on Peter. We will encounter our own “courtyards” and be challenged by “maids,” perhaps in the boardrooms, break-rooms, classrooms and living rooms of our lives. Undoubtedly something we do or say will cause another to wonder, “I thought this person was a Christian,” or they might actually call us out like the maid, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” How much more prepared will we be than Peter? Might we be inclined to denounce Him: “Sure I’m spiritual, I believe in God, but I’m not crazy over this stuff.” Or perhaps we have become more adept than Peter and can deflect the whole issue, perhaps shift the conversation to focus on others. We might even avoid the courtyard altogether; just blending into the crowd … the one that yells “Crucify Him!” Of course, we would never yell that… but maybe just raise our fist and mumble it, just to fit in: “It’s nothing personal, Lord. This is where I work and live, I have to survive here, Lord, and I have to fit in!”

These 40 days of Lent point us to a life changing, (better said, a death changing!) event. We know the story, like the 2nd grade teacher, but have we spent the time in preparation? Will the people we encounter every day see our conviction, that we have been changed? This stuff of Lent and Holy Week makes little sense to the world in which we live. We are compelled to do far more than tell the story, we are called to show what life in Christ means in our lives. That requires a lot of preparation, a whole new way of life!

- Al Bipes

Sunday Readings

April 17, 2011 – Sunday of the Passion
Isaiah 50:4-9a + Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11 + Matthew 26:14—27:66

April 24, 2011 – Resurrection of Our Lord
Acts 10:34-43 + Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Colossians 3:1-4 + Matthew 28:1-10

Sunday’s Adult Education - 9:30 a.m. in the Chapel Lounge
This Sunday, April 17: Annual Bread for the World Offering of Letters, facilitated by Neighborhood Ministries Coordinator, Donna Neste.

“Lord, Teach Us to Pray”
Wednesdays in Lent at Mount Olive
  • Noon: Holy Eucharist, followed by a soup luncheon
  • 6:00 pm: Table Talk (meditation and discussion on The Lord’s Prayer)
  • 7:00 pm: Evening Prayer

One Maundy Thursday Liturgy

Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of the Triduum, the great Three Days in which the church contemplates, remembers, and celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus. In recent years Mount Olive has had both a noon and an evening liturgy.

Given the importance of the foot washing and the stripping of the altar in that day’s liturgy, and given the Gospel reading’s emphasis on the unity of the church, it seemed that it would be better to have one liturgy rather than two on that day. After several years of discussion, the decision was made this year to have only one liturgy on Maundy Thursday (April 21 this year) at 7:00 p.m.

In talking with several of those who have ordinarily attended the noon liturgy, it is apparent that the biggest obstacle to their being present for the evening liturgy is transportation. Driving at night is difficult for some. We are, therefore, going to work at matching those who will be driving to the Maundy Thursday evening liturgy with those in need of transportation to that liturgy.

If you are able to provide transportation to the Maundy Thursday evening liturgy, or if you are in need of transportation to that liturgy, please contact the church office either by phone (612.827.5919), or by email ( A coordinator will follow up with you once arrangements have been made.

Maundy Thursday Footwashing

In the 13th chapter of the Gospel of John, we read about the goings on in the upper room where Jesus and his disciples shared their last meal together. In this precious, brief span of time, Jesus does an astonishingly intimate thing: he washes the feet of his followers. It is an act of both devotion and humility that makes Peter so uncomfortable he refuses at first to accept this gift. Yet in the next moment, Peter goes overboard in wanting to participate, once he understands what it means.

We may be reluctant to receive this lesson of foot washing, but listen to what Jesus says: (John 13:14-15): "So if I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you."

Notice that Jesus does not tell his disciples that they must go out and wash a bunch of other people's feet. Rather, he tells his disciples to wash each other's feet. This powerful, intimate, humbling gift is meant to be mutual. We are to love and serve each other, both giving and receiving.

This year at the Maundy Thursday evening service, we will listen again to the Gospel story, and then do as Jesus commanded: We will wash each other's feet.

Art Exhibit in Chapel Lounge
Selections from the St. John’s Bible

In 1998, St. John’s Abbey and University commission- ed renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson to produce a hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible. This display will invite you to explore this work of art which unites an ancient Benedictine tradition with the technology and vision of today, illuminating the Word of God for a new millennium. This exhibit is sponsored by Mount Olive Music and Fine Arts, and will be open to the public before and after all church services and events in April.

Contribution Statements Available
Contributions statements for the first quarter of 2011 are printed and ready to be picked up at church. They are on a table near the coat room. Please pick yours up! If you are unable to get to church, please call the church office and your statement will be mailed to you.

New Members/Inquiry Lunch to be Held This Sunday, April 17

Those interested in joining Mount Olive this spring, or just interesting in learning more about membership at Mount Olive, are invited to a luncheon on Sunday, Apr. 17, following the second liturgy. Leaders of Mount Olive will be present to meet and greet folks, and answer questions about Mount Olive. New members will be received on Sunday, May 1, the Second Sunday of Easter. Please talk to Pastor Crippen if you would like to consider joining at this time, or if you simply would like to talk about membership for a future time.

Join Us In the May Day Parade

Hey everyone, it's time to put on your walking shoes and march with Mount Olive members and friends in the May Day Parade, on Sunday May 1! It has been our tradition to let folks know that we are in the neighborhood by marching behind the Mount Olive banner. Meet after the second liturgy at Cedar Park on 18th Ave. and 25th Street. MONAC members will be there to greet you with fun stuff to wave. We will be marching from there down Bloomington Ave. to Powderhorn Park.

If you have never done this and want to participate this year, you are in for a treat. It is energizing and fun to have thousands of people wave back at you and wish you a happy May Day! It might be a good idea to car-pool or have someone drop you off at the park, because parking is tight there.

From the Wish List

The following items currently appear on Mount Olive’s Wish List, waiting to be donated by generous members. If you are interested and able to donate any of these items, please sign your name next to the item on the Wish List, posted in the church office. Someone will contact you regarding payment and exact amount.

(3) Mahogany Upholstered Guest Chairs for Chapel @ $199 ea.;
(6) Upholstered Stacker Chairs for Library @ $139 ea.;
(17) Upholstered Stacker Chairs for East Assembly @ $139 ea.;
6x2 Maple Table for Library @ $250;
(2) White Melamine Sideboard Storage for restrooms @ $150 ea.
(2) White Mirror over Sideboard Storage @ $100 ea.

Educational Supplies:
The Ark and Tent/Tabernacle Godly Play set @ $196.95;
Prophets Godly Play set @ $36.95;
Jonah, Prophet Godly Play set @ $169.95;
Basic Lent Godly Play set @ $128.95;
Mystery of Pentecost Godly Play set @ $137.95.

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