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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Olive Branch, 2/20/12

Accent on Worship

The First Sunday in Lent

Mark’s Gospel for the First Sunday in Lent begins with Jesus’ baptism. The focus of Mark’s account is not so much the baptism itself, but the transformative power of this event in Jesus’ life.

The church has often emphasized the cleansing aspect of Holy Baptism, that through the grace of God and the waters of Baptism your sins are washed away. But Jesus had no sin to wash away, so what was he seeking by allowing John to baptize him? Jesus had to walk his own faith journey in his life. It started with his baptism and everything else followed. In his baptism what he found was a clear confirmation from his heavenly Father. “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” We have been taught that this voice was meant for those who were present, but I believe that Jesus also needed to hear it. The Gospel writer connects this confirmation with Jesus’ willingness to be led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested by Satan, in preparation for his mission to declare the good news.

Peter writes in the Second Lesson that Baptism is “an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Baptism is a beginning and a call for us to walk in the light and life of Jesus, to follow his example, and through his resurrection our appeals to God for a clean heart will be answered. The deep meaning of the Sacrament of Holy Baptism is a powerful confirmation from God that we are beloved. Like all Christian sacraments, Baptism is communal. Through it God first confirms God’s relationship with the baptized and by it the community of saints welcomes its new member. To grasp the deep meaning of Baptism is to know that we
are loved by God, to open our souls to God, to allow the Spirit to lead us into the wilderness, to be
transformed by the power of God’s love and grace, and to be willing to bring this love and grace into the world.

During this season of Lent let the waters of Baptism renew and refresh you every day as you live
your life and walk your faith journey in the resurrection of Jesus.

- Donna Pususta Neste

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper (Tomorrow Evening!)
Tuesday, February 21 – 6:00 pm,
followed by the Burning of Palms for Palm Sunday.

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! This service 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.

Sunday Readings

February 26, 2012 – First Sunday in Lent

Genesis 9:8-17 + Psalm 25:1-10
I Peter 3:18-22 + Mark 1:9-15

March 4, 2012 – Second Sunday in Lent

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 + Psalm 22:23-31
Romans 4:13-25 + Mark 8:31-38

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

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. 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.

“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 Study Begins 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.

Vestry Update, February 13, 2012

The Vestry met on Monday, February 13 to cover a variety of new and old business. In upcoming
weeks, President Adam Krueger and Pastor Crippen will begin working on a model to use in the Visioning Process during spring and summer of 2012. Also on the horizon is the formation of an ad hoc committee to discuss and brainstorm the formation of the newly approved PR Committee. Al Bipes will be helping with this development while Adam Krueger will be assisting in the formation of the Aesthetics/Building Usage Committee.

In other committee happenings, Doug Parish, Bob Lee, Tim Lindholm, and Kat Campbell-Johnson have all agreed to serve on the Audit Committee. The Nominating Committee will consist of Pastor Crippen, Adam Krueger, Gretchen Campbell-Johnson, Lisa Nordeen and two other members yet to be invited.

With the upcoming Synod Assembly, the Vestry approved Al Bostelmann, Dianna Hellerman and
Jessinia Ruff as the representatives from Mount Olive. Please keep them and all of the Assembly in your prayers.

The Mount Olive Foundation has given their largest gift to the church to date with a total of
$21,553.83. These funds will be apportioned to Bach Tage, the Baptismal Font and Lectern restoration, the Conference on Liturgy, an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), the Lutheran World Relief Fair Trade Project, Neighborhood Ministries, new office technology, and worship space projects as recommended by the Foundation. We all thank them and those who have contributed to the Foundation for their generous gift.

Pastor Crippen moved that the 21 new members and 2 new associate members be approved and
welcomed into the congregation by the Vestry. Watch for pictures in the Parish House display case in coming weeks.

There is much to anticipate in upcoming weeks at Mount Olive. On Shrove Tuesday the Youth Group will be serving a pancake dinner at 6pm. On March 4 the Taste of Chile event will be held. We will be working with EPES to present dishes from Chile. And on March 21 and May 20 a choir of children from Mount Olive will sing during the second liturgies. Ann Becker Peterson will be working with Cantor Cherwien and the Godly Play teachers to work with the children on their singing.

The next Vestry meeting will be March 12, 2012 at 7:00pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Lisa Nordeen

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.

Bread for the World Workshops and Offering of Letters

The 2012 Bread for the World workshop, "Cut Hunger, Not Hunger Programs" will be held at three different locations and dates. On Thursday, February 23, 9a.m. -noon, at Guardian Angels Catholic Church, 8260 4th Street N, Oakdale; on Saturday, February 25, 9a.m.-noon, at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, 8400 France Ave. S., Bloomington; and on Wednesday, February 29, 7-9 p.m. at Bethel University, Eastlund Room in Community Life Center, 3900 Bethel Dr., Arden Hills.

This year, Bread for the World members and advocates need to raise our voices more than ever.
The deficit-reduction proposals Congress is considering could result in the most severe cuts to
programs for hungry and poor people in Bread's history.

Bread's 2012 Offering of Letters overall campaign will work to create a circle of protection around those most vulnerable by working to protect the funding of programs for hungry and poor people. The focus will be on four mini-campaigns: domestic nutrition assistance, poverty-focused foreign assistance, tax credits for low-income families, and international food aid.

Help Needed, Saturday March 3

On Saturday, March 3, from 2-5 p.m. at Mount Olive, the Missions Committee will prepare for the "Taste of Chile" (which is the next day). We need help chopping vegetables for a salad, filling
empanadas, and helping get a Chilean soup ready and doing some simple decorating. If you have just a couple of hours free that afternoon, your help would be greatly appreciated! You will have fun, help make the event a success, and even learn some new skills-- we will have an empanada-making demonstration! What better way to spend a late Saturday afternoon!

If you are interested, please let Paul Schadewald know that you will be stopping by to help on Saturday March 3 (612-237-8517), or by email,

Book Discussion Group

For the meeting on March 10, the Book Discussion Group will discuss A Passage to India, by E. M. Forster. For the April 14 meeting, they will read, The Birth of Venus, by Sarah Dunant.

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