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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Olive Branch, April 4, 2011

Accent on Worship
Lord, have mercy

We have begun our Sunday Eucharists this Lent with extended forms of the ancient Kyrie. “Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison” (Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy) is a prayer which from the earliest centuries of the Christian Church has been a part of our liturgy. Even when the Western rite became shaped in the Latin language, this ancient Greek prayer, with roots extending deep into the Old Testament, was kept in its Greek clothing. We have alternated between using the Kyrie from setting five, expanded with organ meditations, and the Great Litany, another ancient set of petitions which itself begins and ends with the Kyrie.

This pattern of prayer is something of a tradition at Mount Olive for Lent, and I have been deeply grateful for it as we’ve come together these past Sundays. Lent is often described as a penitential season, beginning on Ash Wednesday with a call to return to the Lord, “who is gracious and merciful.” As we pray “Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy” we intentionally return our lives to the One on whose mercy we rely and without which we cannot live.

“Lord, have mercy.” It’s a powerful prayer with which to come before God seeking grace and life. Often in our Lutheran tradition we begin our Eucharists with Confession and Absolution, with intentional time for confession before God and a promise of God’s grace and forgiveness. Singing the Kyrie is a similar way of entering worship. We come before God with nothing to commend us except the mercy of God. We offer our prayers for the Church, for the world, for peace, for justice, for new lives, for God’s grace to abound, all trusting that only in the mercy of our good Lord will such prayers be heard and answered.

We now approach Holy Week and the Triduum, when we will ponder the deepest mysteries of God’s love for us and for the world. Let us continue to ask

God’s mercy for our lives as we enter into contemplation of the most potent sign of that mercy, the cross and the empty tomb. As we confess together our sin and brokenness which has harmed us, our neighbors, and the world, we do so trusting in God’s mercy which will make all things new, including our hearts and lives.

Kyrie eleison.

Sunday Readings

April 10, 2011 – Fifth Sunday in Lent
Ezekiel 37:1-14 + Psalm 130
Romans 8:6-11 + John 11:1-45

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

Sunday’s Adult Education

9:30 a.m. in the Chapel Lounge
This Sunday, April 10: “Prayers in a Time of Trouble,” presented by Dr. Terence Fretheim of Luther Seminary.

Palms and Paschal Garden

Donations for Passion Sunday palms and the Easter paschal garden will be received for one more week, this Sunday, April 10. Members of the Worship Committee will be available after each liturgy to receive your contribution. Checks should be made payable to “Mount Olive Women.”

Holy Week and Easter at Mount Olive

Sunday, April 17, 2011 – Sunday of the Passion / Palm Sunday
Holy Eucharist at 8:00 & 10:45 am

Monday-Wednesday, April 18-20, 2011
Daily Prayer at Noon (in the side chapel of the Nave, near the columbarium)

Thursday, April 21, 2011 – Maundy Thursday
Holy Eucharist with Washing of Feet at 7 pm

Friday, April 22, 2011 – Good Friday
Stations of the Cross at Noon
Adoration of the Cross at 7 pm

Saturday, April 23, 2011 – Holy Saturday
The Easter Vigil at 8:30 pm

Sunday, April 24, 2011 – The Resurrection of Our Lord / Easter Day
Festival Holy Eucharist at 8:00 & 10:45 am
(Easter carry-in brunch at 9:30 am)

Book Discussion Group

For its meeting this Saturday, April 9, the book group will discuss the poem Gilgamesh, and for the May 14 meeting, the essay collection Small Wonder, by Barbara Kingsolver.

“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

Semi-Annual Congregation Meeting This Sunday

Because of the significant number of agenda items, the April semi-annual meeting of our congregation will be held following the second liturgy this Sunday, April 10.

Agenda items include election of Officers and Directors to the Vestry: Adam Krueger-President, Lisa Nordeen-Vice President, Ann Sorenson-Secretary, Paul Sundquist-Treasurer, Paul Schadewald-Global Missions, Dennis Bidwell-Stewardship, Al Bipes-Worship; reports from the Audit, Mount Olive Foundation, and Capital Campaign Committees; Internship program and proposed Constitution and Bylaw amendments; and endorsement of a resolution of the joint Peace with Justice Committees of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Area Synods.

All voting members of Mount Olive are encouraged to attend.

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.

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!

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. The 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.

April 10 Adult Forum: Prayers in a Time of Trouble

Questions about prayer are common, even in the church and especially in times of difficulty. What effect might our prayers have on God? Can our prayers help shape the future? Do our prayers make a difference? Yet, if God is in charge, why pray? We will explore such questions in view of the place of prayer in the Bible, especially the Old Testament. This forum will be presented by Dr. Terence E. Fretheim, Elva B. Lovell Professor of Old Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, where he has taught for over forty years. He has authored twenty-two books and more than one hundred articles.

New Members/Inquiry Lunch to be Held on 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.

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