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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Olive Branch, 2/26/12

Accent on Worship

To [the LORD], indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and I shall live for him. -- from Psalm 22

The psalmist says “I shall live for him.” What does that involve? Awe of God. Listening to, and helping, the afflicted. Feeding the hungry. Teaching children about God. All these are things which God does; but they are also things we may do as God’s baptized children as part of our lively faith. Different members of our community have different gifts, so some may teach and others may feed hungry people; still others may pray. Living for God in community will use the specific gifts God has given you to serve others, especially those in need. We are still awake, and able to do our part. All year long this is true; but we do have this special focus in Lent, a time of reflection and preparation. Service is our duty and delight. We may consider: For whom do we live?

Lent reminds us of our mortality and our limits as fallible human beings, not only on Ash Wednesday but in readings throughout the season. All of us will “sleep in the earth” when we die; all of us will “go down to the dust,” returning again to the elements of earth from which God made us. This is not meant to be depressing and macabre, but instead Lent should wake us up! We will sleep in the earth, but we’re not asleep yet. There is plenty to do as we prepare for the Paschal feast and for service in God’s world.

In Lent we look at our limits not so that we can be oh-so-pious, but so that we can re-focus our lives on God’s call to us.

- Vicar Erik Doughty

Sunday Readings

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

March 11, 2012 – Third Sunday in Lent
Exodus 20:1-17 + Psalm 19
I Corinthians 1:18-25 + John 2:13-22

Midweek Lenten Worship
Wednesdays during Lent

Holy Eucharist at Noon, followed by soup luncheon
Evening Prayer at 7 p.m., preceded by soup supper
and Lenten discussion beginning at 6 pm.

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.

March is Minnesota FoodShare Month!

Once again Mount Olive congregation is invited to participate in Minnesota FoodShare Month. Bring your non-perishable food donations any Sunday during the month of March and place them in the grocery cart in the cloak room. The goal this year is to collect a total of 12 million combined dollars and pounds of food from congregations, businesses, and individuals throughout Minnesota. This amount will stock food shelves around the state with more than half the food distribution needed annually. And remember, food shelves can stretch donations of cash further than donations of food, because of their access to discount products and programs. So your cash donations go much farther! If you would like to make a cash donation, make your check out to Mount Olive and in the memo line write "MN FoodShare," and place it in the offering plate.

Taste of Chile - This Sunday, March 4

Mount Olive’s annual “Taste of …” events are occasions to remind our congregation that we are part of a global community with connections throughout the world. This year on Sunday, March 4, we will focus on Chile. Our guest preacher at the 8:00 and 10:45 services, will be Jenny Mason. The Rev. Mason served as a missionary for the ELCA in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile from 1989 to 2001, working in both parish ministry and youth ministry.

The Education Hour will be an overview of Chile, the Lutheran church in Chile, and especially the work of the Lutheran Church’s partner in Chile, EPES (EducaciĆ³n Popular en Salud), which trains individuals and communities to identify the root causes of illness and fight for improved conditions and services, especially for women. Our speakers will be Karen Anderson, the founder of EPES, Valeria Garcia, a health educator from EPES, and Claudio Calcagni a resident of Chile living in the Twin Cities. Karen Anderson and Valeria Garcia are flying into the Twin Cities from Chile for multiple EPES events that are happening over the weekend.

After the second service, please join us for a lunch of Chilean food, prepared by the Global Missions Committee and by many other Mount Olive members. We will have vegetarian and meat options as well as coffee and wine. There is no charge but a free will donation will support the meal and a congregational donation to EPES. Our special guest will be Luisa Cabello Hansel, co-pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, who is from Chile.

If you have questions or want more information about Taste of Chile, please contact Paul Schadewald at or 612-237-8517.

A Note About Our Lenten Sunday Readings and Preaching

For the first five Sundays in Lent, the preaching at the Sunday liturgies will primarily focus on the Old Testament readings assigned for the day (though the other readings may sometimes be included.) For these Sundays, the first readings are a journey through major covenants God made with humanity.

Last Sunday was God’s covenant with Noah and all creatures never to destroy the earth with a flood again. This coming Sunday is the covenant with Abraham and Sarah. On Lent 3, the first reading is the covenant at Sinai and the gift of the Ten Commandments. On Lent 4, rather than a covenant, it’s an episode of disobedience which finally results in God’s healing grace. The Fifth Sunday of Lent gives us the promise from Jeremiah 31 that God will make a new covenant with us, written on our hearts.

Films of Faith in February (and early March!)

One last film scheduled. This Sunday, March 4, we will watch Into Temptation, beginning at 3:00 pm. Following the movie, we will talk about what the movie showed and said and how it speaks to us as we try to live our lives of faith. All are welcome!

Help Needed, This Saturday March 3

This 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 able to help out, please let Paul Schadewald know that you will be stopping by to help (612-237-8517), or by email,

Thursday evening Bible Study Begins March 1

A new opportunity for Bible study and conversation will begin at Mount Olive this 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.

“A Very Present Help” Midweek Lent at Mount Olive

For the 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.

Calling all Mount Olive Knitters and Crocheters!

If you knit or crochet and and enjoy the company of others while you work, please join us on the second Sunday afternoon of each month. We will have a yarn working bee from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and our next one will be Sunday, March 11. Bring your own project or work for one of our charities. At the moment we are working on warm winter wear for Our Saviour’s Shelter (and English Learning Program students.) Or maybe you have a prayer shawl project in the works and you just want some company while you get it done. We'll also have extra yarn, needles and hooks, so if you want to learn how to knit or crochet or start a new project, just come as you are and we'll help you get started. Call Cha Posz or Kate Sterner if you have questions.

Mount Olive Yarn Working Bee, second Sunday of each month, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Join us!

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