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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Olive Branch, 2/14/12

Accent on Worship

A Clean Heart

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” King David, Psalm 51:10.

In most years, the month of February is a month of transition in the Church Year because in most years Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent are in this month. What this means is that our worship and the texts for our worship will undergo a great change during the next few weeks.

We began February in the season of Epiphany, still hearing the story of the light of Christ sent to the world, still carrying memories of our recent Christmas celebration. Epiphany’s green season closes, as it always does, with the awe-filled story of Jesus’ transfiguration and the revelation of his divine glory to three of the disciples, our worship next Sunday. During the season we were called by Scripture to mission, to spreading the Good News.

But this Sunday with the help of our children, we will put away our Alleluia banner until our Easter celebration, and we will turn our eyes toward Lent, and the journey of faith and life those six weeks bring us. With Lent we begin a forty day pilgrimage which is less focused our mission in the world and more focused on our own lives, faith, and hearts. And the hinge-pin of this shift is Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday is a day when we hear God’s call to us to repent and seek forgiveness. Ash Wednesday is the day when we sing the song of King David as he asked forgiveness from God: “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” Our prayer to God, as we shift from celebrating God’s light in the world to looking at our own sin and our need for that light, is that God make us new inside, that God clean us inside and out.

In fact, that is why Ash Wednesday is such a good transition point to move us from Epiphany to Lent. Whether we are trying to live in our call as missionaries and witnesses of God’s love in the world, or are looking inward and seeing the sin of our hearts and lives and wanting God’s forgiveness, we need God to make our hearts clean. With our inmost being clean and looking to God, not only are our lives lived as the children of light we are, but we are able to witness to God’s grace as well.

Pray David’s prayer with me this month, as we make our great transition in worship and in focus. Ask God to clean your heart so you are the person God has called you to be both inwardly and outwardly. God grant us all clean hearts in Christ Jesus our Lord.

- Joseph

Lent Begins
Ash Wednesday
February 22
Holy Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes
Noon and 7:00 p.m.

Sunday Readings

February 19, 2012 – Transfiguration of Our Lord
2 Kings 2:1-12 + Psalm 50:1-6
2 Corinthians 4:3-6 + Mark 9:2-9

February 26, 2012 – First Sunday in Lent
Genesis 9:8-17 + Psalm 25:1-10
I Peter 3:18-22 + Mark 1:9-15

This Sunday’s Adult Forum

February 19: Art Halbardier will lead a presentation on the development of the Nicene Creed.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
Tuesday, February 21 – 6:00 pm

We Need Your Palms

It’s time to bring in any palm branches you have from last year’s Palm Sunday liturgy. These branches may be placed in the designated basket in the narthex. They will be burned on Shrove Tuesday, and their ashes used for the Imposition of Ashes on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22.

The Bread of Life

The LORD gives “wine to gladden human hearts, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen human hearts,” according to Psalm 104:15. Bread is the staff of life, and given by Jesus as part of the gift of the Eucharist. The one loaf symbolizes all the people of God gathered together and formed into one Body, fed by the bread which is itself the Body of Christ.

During Lent Mount Olive will be using real bread at the Eucharist to better connect to this powerful symbol and gift of Christ. We will try it for the period of Lent to explore whether this could be possible as our permanent way of sharing in the one bread and one cup of the Meal of our Lord. Several recipes will be tried as well, to best determine which works. Should we continue this into the future, members who are interested will be invited to bake bread for our weekly Eucharists as part of their way of serving. If you have thoughts or comments on this, please don’t hesitate to contact Pastor Crippen, Vicar Doughty, Al Bipes (director of the Worship Committee), or any other members of the Worship Committee: Marcella Daehn, John Gidmark, Ro Griesse, Art Halbardier, Brian Jacobs, Kandi Jo Nelson, Paul Nixdorf, Tom Olsen, Dwight Penas, Rob Ruff, Cantor Cherwien.

Films of Faith in February(and early March!)

Seen any good movies lately? It’s a good question, because film (like the other arts) can be a great way to be challenged, inspired, and guided to reflect on our lives of faith. And as with the other arts, one’s appreciation of a film can be enhanced by discussing it with others.

So on three of the four Sundays of February (including Super Bowl Sunday) and the first Sunday of March, we will have the opportunity to gather at church at 3:00 pm to watch movies of substance and discuss them. The rest of the schedule is as follows:

Feb. 19: Joyeux Noelle
Feb. 26: (No film because of Lent Procession)
Mar. 4: Into Temptation

We will watch the movie, munch (quietly, please) on popcorn, sip a little cider, and then, after the movie, talk about what the movie showed and said and how it speaks to us as we try to live our lives of faith.

Taste of Chile

Mark your calendars for Sunday, March 4! The Missions Committee will host Taste of Chile to celebrate Chilean food and culture and to learn about missions in Chile. If you are interested in making an authentic Chilean dish for the event (recipe provided), please contact Lisa Ruff at or 651-636-4762.

Lent Procession Service
Sunday, February 26, 2012, 4:00 p.m.

Join Cantor David Cherwien and the Mount Olive Cantorei for another contemplative service of lessons and carols - for Lent! Designed especially for those who serve churches as leaders of such events, this is offered as an opportunity to withdraw from the busyness of life to pray, sing, listen, smell- to fully enter into the season of Lent, a time to renew our baptism.

“A Very Present Help”
Midweek Lent at Mount Olive

The forty days of Lent begin on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22, with Eucharist and the Imposition of Ashes at noon and 7:00 p.m. (Celebrate Shrove Tuesday at Mount Olive on Feb. 21 – see separate announcement.) For the other Wednesday Lenten services this year we will focus on the presence of God in our lives, specifically the places where God’s healing grace is offered. We’ll be using as our starting point a section of Luther’s Smalcald Articles (from the Lutheran confessions) in which he describes the ways God’s grace and forgiveness are given us in concrete and knowable places.

The midweek schedule, beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 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 based on our theme, and the same meditation will be shared during the evening soup supper, with opportunity for further conversation at the meal.

Note: If you normally come to Evening Prayer in Lent but don’t come early for the supper, you’ll miss the conversation; consider coming early and concluding the evening with Evening Prayer.

Thursday evening Bible Studybegins March 1

A new opportunity for Bible study and conversation will begin at Mount Olive on Thursday, Mar. 1, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. “Prayer and God’s People” will be led by Pr. Crippen and will examine the relationship of prayer between God and God’s people in the Scriptures. We will look at people of the Bible and how they prayed, and ask several questions: Does their conversation with God tell us anything? Does it teach us anything about our prayer life? Can they model prayer for us, or show us ways we should avoid? The hope is that through this conversation we might find our own way in our daily lives of prayer.

The group will meet Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. in the East Assembly room, pending the size of the group. We will have a light supper each night, and participants will be asked to sign up and bring this each week. (The first week will be provided.) This will be a very light and simple meal – bread and cheese and other such things to put on the bread, perhaps some fruit, but not anything fancy. There will be five Thursdays before Holy Week, and we’ll take a break for Holy Week and finish the next two weeks after Easter. After this series is complete, Vicar Doughty will lead a series on the Psalms.

Church Library News

How great to see the new members welcomed into Mount Olive membership on Sunday, and we would also like to welcome you to visit our two church libraries very soon. For those with toddlers, you may find it convenient to stop into the Courtyard Library to find what is available in the children's book browser bin, but our main library, the Louise Schroedel Memorial Library, is located at the very end of the north corridor, past the church staff offices. This library can also be reached via two walkways from the East Assembly room, in case that seems more convenient for you. We can assure you that the main library also has many wonderful books for adults and children, and an excellent reference section as well.

One of the current displays in the main library at the present time includes these books:

A Savior For All Seasons, by William P. Barker
Banishing Fear From Your Life (How to live at peace in a world of anxiety and tension), by Charles D, Baer
Godly Play (an imaginative approach to religious education), by Jerome W. Berryman Different Children, Different Needs (the art of adjustable parenting), by Charles F. Boyd
A Time for Fitness (a daily exercise guide for the Christian) by Fran Carlton
Creative Teaching in the Church, by Eleanor Shelton Morrison and Virgil E. Foster
How To Grow a Young Reader (a parent's guide to kids and books) by John and Kay Lindskoog
All God’s People Are Ministers, by Patricia N. Page
Christ’s Kids Create! (craft ideas for children 4-14 years), by Deborah Stroh
Prime Time: The Middle Years, by Carl T. Uehling

Three new books added to our Reference section include:

 The New Interpreter’s Bible (a commentary in 12 volumes - Volume II and Volume VIII - filling out ten volumes we now have)
 Augsburg Commentary on the New Testament – Mark. by Donald H. Juel

Many in our congregation already use the library resources with some frequency, but others have not availed themselves of the opportunity to dip into the rich treasure that awaits them inside the library doors. We encourage everyone to come into the library often -- browsers are always welcome!

As has been my custom, I end with a quotation that is worthy of sharing with you: Years ago, a man named Gilliman wrote a poem which ends: "You may have tangible wealth untold, caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I, you could never be, for I had a Mother who read to me!" (from What's So Great About Books).

- Leanna Kloempken

Matching Grant for Bethania Kids

Bethania Kids, one of Mount Olive's Mission partners, is celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Several supporters are offering $50,000 of matching grants for donations received by Bethnia before March 1. The Missions committee at Mount Olive has authorized a special gift of $500 to Bethania. If individual members of Mount Olive would like to give a special donation to Bethania during the matching grant period, please send donations directly to Bethania because of the short time frame. The address for Bethania is: Bethania Kids, PO Box 2140, Winchester, VA 22604-1340.

Former Vicar in the News

The year 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. A religious, political, social and economic movement, it began when Martin Luther posted his ninety-five theses at the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Through these theses, he proposed the theological discussion of the nature of God’s infinite grace and the forgiveness of sins. Wittenberg is often referred to as the cradle of the Reformation. In the German language it is known as the “city of Luther” or Lutherstadt-Wittenberg.

Unfortunately, 40 years of communism and oppression of Christians took its toll on the church in East Germany. Today, one in five people in Wittenberg claims to be Christian. Martin Luther, for some, is simply the statue of the man who stands on a pedestal in the city’s market square.

In preparation for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the German churches have invited Pastor Arden Haug (Mount Olive Vicar from 1991-1992) to accompany the Lutheran Church in Wittenberg. He will be working with The Lutheran World Federation in creating a welcoming place for Lutherans from around the world to renew their faith through visit, study and worship. He will also have oversight of the activities of the ELCA Wittenberg Center.

Part of Pastor Haug’s work will also be to introduce the city of Wittenberg and the work of Martin Luther to the ELCA. Resources will be available soon making it possible to glimpse the activities of a city reclaiming the heritage of the Lutheran tradition.

Minnesota FoodShare Cordially Invites You to Their Kick-Off Event

The Westminster Town Hall Forum, on Thursday, February 23, at 12 noon, will be the kick-off event for the 30th Minnesota FoodShare. Rick Steves, host to the popular travel show on Minnesota Public Television, will speak about hunger from a global and local perspective. Further details can be found on

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