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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Accent on Worship

“I’m going to try to make it…”

Have you heard that from people you know responding to the issue of whether or not they’ll be at an event? Wow. Talk about non-committal. To me it comes off as, “I don’t really want to be there but am having difficulty being honest about that.” Although maybe it’s absolute truth: they have a totally unreliable car and never know if it will get them where they need to go (yeah, that’s it…). Hearing this from others has not only helped me to not use that phrase, it’s reminded
me that there are times when I need to put self aside, and go to something that someone hopes I’ll be there for. It might be meaningful for them if I’m there. Then I discover it was also meaningful for me.

I think of that during Lent – and especially Holy Week. We go out of our way to be here extra times. Do we say to God, “I’ll try to make it…”?

Where do we WANT to be? Where do we NEED to be?

There are times when we can fall into a mindset of “I’ve got to take care of myself” as our lives get more and more filled with places to be, people to see, commitments to fulfill, etc. And we think that bowing out and staying home might be the best thing for us.

Well, maybe that is, in fact, the right thing. Or not. Lent is a good time to re-align our planets. Is there so much on the docket that the things that are really important to us get the short shrift? Loved ones? Our souls? God?

I remember a situation when a student responded to my suggestion that he practice a bit more. He burst into tears: “Practicing is what I WANT to do, but my mother has me signed up in various groups and activities all week and I can’t get to the organ!” (In defense of his mother, she was dealing with the sudden loss of her husband and the father of her son and was struggling
with being a single parent). But there was something I learned there. He wanted to spend time practicing but was giving his time to things that were not important to him. A bit of schedule pruning might be what the soul needs.

Every Lent I think about this as we add a midweek service. At first I think it would be a burden to add one more thing – but then as we pray Evening Prayer, I’m drawn to a completely different place. I become quieted and re-aligned. It’s definitely what the soul needs to be doing. It’s a chance to “be still and know that God is God.”

Lent is a time for us to re-evaluate what it means for us to live as baptized children of God. What is important? Where do we WANT to be? And more importantly, where do we NEED to be?

I look forward to our being together where I suspect we know we need to be in the next weeks.

- Cantor David Cherwien

Sunday Readings

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

March 18, 2012 – Fourth Sunday in Lent
Numbers 21:4-9 + Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
Ephesians 2:1-10 + John 3:14-21

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.

“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!

Book Discussion Group

For the meeting this Saturday, 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.

Foundation’s Annual Gift to the Church

Mount Olive Lutheran Church Foundation recently made its 2011 annual gift to the Church in
the amount of $21,553.83. This sum represents the largest gift that the Foundation has given to the Church. The Foundation’s Board of Directors recommended that these funds be apportioned as follows:

Bach Tage - $3,500.00
Baptismal Font and Lectern Restoration- $4,500.00
Conference on Liturgy - $2,500.00
Defibrillator and Cabinet - $2,000.00
Lutheran World Relief Fair Trade Project - $500.00
Neighborhood Ministries - $5,000.00
Office Technology - $2,000.00
Worship Space Projects (Lighting, T Coil Loop, Reredos) - $1,553.83
Total: $21,553.83

Over its history, the Foundation has given more than $250,000 to the Church. In the past ten years, our endowment has grown from $234,000 to $690,000 thanks to the generosity of many. Given the continued growth of our endowment, we look forward to fostering Mount Olive’s mission in even greater ways.

-Keith Bartz, President

Every Church a Peace Church

The next ECAPC Bimonthly Potluck Supper Meeting will be held on Monday, March 12, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at St. Luke Presbyterian Church, 3121 Groveland School Road, Minnetonka 55391 (952- 473-7378 The program begins at about 7 pm and will feature a presentation by Sen. John Marty, "Move to Amend: Working for Justice in
an Unjust World."

"Move to Amend" is the effort to remove special interest money from the political process (corporations are not persons). John Marty is a Minnesota State Senator (SD-54). He has authored numerous consumer protection, government ethics and environmental initiatives. He is an outspoken leader in the fight to remove special interest money from the political process.
For more information visit the website:

Church Library News

Our Louise Schroedel Memorial Library has been the recipient recently of numerous new (or slightly used) worthy books given as outright donations or else given as memorial gifts and we would like you to come in soon to check out two new displays, as well as some helpful and timely Lenten reading.

Donations from Nancy Flatgard:
Three Cups of Tea (One Man's Mission to Promote Peace One School at a Time), by
Greg Mortenson and David O'Kelin
Tears of a Warrior - A family's story of combat and living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, by Janet Seahorn and E. Anthony. (One of the first books available
on this important topic!)
Walking Together Through Illness (12 steps for caregivers and care receivers), by Wanda
Scott Bledsoe and Milt Bledsoe
Grievers Ask (Answers to Questions About Death and Loss), by Harold Ivan Smith
Tear Soup - A recipe for healing after loss, by Chuck DeKlyen and Pat Schweibert
Grace All Around Us: Embracing God's Promise in Tragedy and Loss, by Stephen Paul
We Were Going to Have a Baby But We Had An Angel Instead, by Pat Schweibert
Mama’s Going to Heaven Soon, by Kathe Martin Copeland
If Nathan Were Here, by Mary Bahr and Pat Schweibert
God, I’ve Gotta Talk to You (Prayers for Children), by Anne Jennings and Walter
Wangerin, Jr.
It’s Hard Not to Worry, (Stories for Children About Poverty) by John M. Barrett; also,
Celebrating the Musical Heritage of the Lutheran Church - an audio CD collection
(not yet available for loan)

Donations from Bonnie McLellan:
Constantine’s Sword (The Church and the Jews-- a History), by James Carroll
Ornament of the World (How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of
Tolerance in Medieval Spain), by Maria Rosa Menocal
The Cloister Walk, by Kathleen Norris

Donation from Lora Dundek:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (the story of a poor black tobacco farmer whose
cells, taken without her knowledge, became an important tool in medicine), by Rebecca

Book donations given as memorial gifts from Leanna Kloempken:
Devotions From the Heart (100 Reflections on the Way God's Love Keeps Us Growing), by
Pamela Kennedy -- given in memory of LaVern Olson
The Bible’s Most Fascinating People (Stories from the Old and New Testaments), by R.P.
Nettlehorst -- given in memory of John Clawson

Two new books for the Church, Health, and Social Activities category also given by Leanna Kloempken
Conquering Heart Attacks and Strokes: Your 10 Step Self-Defense Plan
Stopping Diabetes in its Tracks, by Richard Laliberta (see disclaimer in each of these two

Other Books Donated:
Pastor and People (Making Mutual Ministry Work) by Laurie J. Hanson and Ivy M.
Generous People (How to Encourage Vital Stewardship), by Eugene Grimm and Herb
Miller, eds.
Practicing Our Faith, by Dorothy C. Bass, ed.
The Wisdom and Witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, by Wayne W. Floyd.
Hymnal Companion to Evangelical Worship, by Paul Westermeyer -- an accessible one-volume manual that gives the context, origins, and character of all 650 hymn texts in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, together with their tunes (over 530 of them).

Special thanks to all those donors who helped make our church library ministry more current and effective! As is my custom, I will close this time with an Irish blessing from "May God grant you always -- A sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you, Laughter to cheer you, faithful friends near you, and whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you."

- Leanna Kloempken

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