Good Question

Good Question!

In an effort to communicate to the congregation, we have implemented a new section to the website called “Good Question.” A staff person will answer a question that has either been emailed or personally asked. After all, if one person has a question, maybe others have the same question.

If you have a Good Question, please email it to mtolive@mtolive-anoka.org.

Will there be a nursery available for the 9:30 and 10:30 Sunday worship services?

Are there degrees or levels in heaven or hell?

What happens when we die?

In Acts we read about different Jewish sects that did not believe in Paul’s teachings. What happened to the Jews who believed in Jesus – did they become Christians and were they no longer Jews?

Why do we have to use and sign the friendship pads each week? What are they used for?

How do I give my Capital Building fund offering?

How do I get Pastor to make an announcement about my event?

What are the duties of an Elder at Mount Olive?

Commenting on some of the things I do, my grandmother reminds me that my grandfather is watching me from heaven.  Can the dead really see and hear what is happening here on earth?

Sometimes people knock on our door and ask to speak with us about God and eternal life.  Should I engage them, or should I just decline with a polite “No, thank you.  I’ve got my own church and religion?”  Should I accept the free literature they offer?

During these beautiful days of summer, sometimes the only time I get to golf or fish is on Sunday morning. Is it a sin to miss worship? Can't I worship God just as easily in the great outdoors?

I have this friend who says "you don't have to go to church to be a Christian." What do you think?

What does the Bible say about cremation? What is our church’s position?

Is there going to be a Confirmation ceremony this year?

How does God give us pastors? (Part 1)

What is ordination? (Part 2)

When do we celebrate Holy Communion at Mount Olive Lutheran Church?

Why should I prepare for the Lord's Supper and how often should I come to the Lord's Table?

Why does Holy Communion have so many different names? What is a 'sacrament and where is this word mentioned in the Bible?

Last week we talked about worship forms, rites and ceremonies being adiaphoron. What is adiaphoron?

Why do we have only two Scripture readings in our worship services at Mt. Olive, and why do they sometimes not include an Old Testament reading?

"Is Jesus the only way to heaven?" Stated another way, "Could someone be saved without knowing Jesus as Savior?"

What's happening with the School's Outdoor Environment Learning Center?

Why do we have different styles of worship?

What is the significance of the white cloth that is draped over a casket during a funeral?

How do I sign up my child for Preschool at Mount Olive?

How do I get notified of a death of a Mount Olive member or funeral service times?

Do I need my envelope box if I use Simply Giving for my offering?

What is “Lent”?

What is Stewardship?

How do I get someone from the church to visit me in the hospital?

What is the purpose of VBS?

If I am already a Missouri Synod Lutheran, why do I have to go through Life 101 to become a member?

What is a Vision Assembly?

What is the role of a Christian Citizen in the United States?

Why doesn’t the Lutheran Church talk about being a ‘born-again Christian’?

What is God's role in competition, both athletically and in business? 

Why do we have a foodshelf?


Will there be a nursery available for the 9:30 and 10:30 Sunday worship services?

Good Question! We are very hopeful that we will be able to provide nursery care for those families with young children (ages 0-3) this fall. However, due to recent budget cuts, we no longer have a paid staff member to coordinate the nursery and nursery volunteers. It is a valuable ministry to young families here at Mount Olive, and a great opportunity to serve Jesus and your community at Mount Olive. We are currently seeking one or two people to help coordinate nursery volunteers, as well as numerous people to help staff the nursery on Sunday mornings. On Sunday mornings we try to have two adults in the ABC Nursery for both the 9:30 and the 10:30 services. You may opt to volunteer for one or both of those time slots on a given morning. In the nursery your time will be spent greeting parents as they drop off children (and assigning a pager to the parents, should they need to be contacted), enjoying time with small children, serving a small snack (provided), and making sure the nursery is put back together at the end on the day. If you are interested in either or both of these opportunities, please leave your contact information at the welcome desk or email it to mtolive@mtolive-anoka.org.


Are there degrees of Heaven and Hell?

Good Question! Our Synod’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations says regarding hell: “In both “body and soul” unbelievers will suffer eternal separation and condemnation in hell (Matt 18:8; 25:46; Mark 9:43; John 3:36; 2 Thess. 1:9; Jude 13; Rev. 14:11.). Indescribable torment will be experienced consciously, the degree determined by the nature of the sins to be punished (Matt. 11:20-24; 23:15; Luke 12:47-48).”

Regarding heaven and “degrees of glory” the Commission says: “Eternal life is pictured in the Scriptures as a state of never-ending “blessedness.” This means on the one hand, that Christians will live forever in perfect freedom from sin, death, and every evil (Is. 25:8; 49:10; 1 Cor. 15:26, 55-57; Rev. 2:7, 11; 20:14; 21:4). At the same time, they will experience the unending joy of being with God in the new heavens and new earth (e.g. Revelation 21-22; Ps. 16:11). This blessedness will bring with it the joy of being in eternal communion with fellow believers, whom we have reason to believe we shall recognize (cf. Matt. 17:3). And there will be no limitations or degrees attached to the enjoyment of the happiness to be experienced, though there will be degrees of glory corresponding to differences of work and fidelity here on earth, producing praise to God but no envy (see 2 Cor. 9:6; Matt. 20:23).”


What happens when we die?

Good Question! For unbelievers, there is the “second death” (Rev.20:14) in which their souls are immediately in the presence of Satan and immediately begin to suffer the torment of eternal punishment in hell (Luke 16:22b-24), from which there is no possibility of escape. On the day of judgment, their bodies join their souls in hell.

Those who trust in the redemption won by Jesus pass from death to life. This is why the Bible uses so many comforting images to describe the death of a child of God.  Some of the phrases in Scripture describing the Christian’s death are: being gathered to one’s people; departure in peace; departure and being with Christ; sleep; rest; passing from death to life; deliverance from all evil; and finally, “gain” (Phil. 1:21).

Each Christian, therefore, may rejoice in the life that Christ has won and gives to him or her through the Word and Sacraments. When we die, our souls in heaven will await the final consummation of all things on the day Christ returns. We shall then receive glorified bodies that are free from tears, pain, sickness and age – perfectly renewed and glorified resurrection bodies. In these new and glorified bodies, we shall spend all eternity in heaven, enjoying the presence of God and all His saints, forever and ever. It is a truth almost too much to comprehend, but brings us overwhelming joy!


In Acts we read about different Jewish sects that did not believe in Paul’s teachings. What happened to the Jews who believed in Jesus – did they become Christians and were they no longer Jews?

Good Question! Some Jewish leaders and sects rejected Paul’s teachings because they rejected Jesus as God’s Messiah. Paul spoke to the Jews in Acts 3:17-18, “Now , brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ must suffer.” The Jewish leaders interpreted God’s promises differently.

The Jews who believed Paul’s message and in Jesus as Messiah, became Christians because of their belief in Christ as their Lord and Savior. They continued to be Jewish by nationality. In Jesus there is no spiritual difference between people groups: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29)


Why do we have to use and sign the friendship pads each week? What are they used for?

Good Question! We use the friendship pads and the information given in several ways. First, we have many new and returning visitors each week in worship (25+ families). We send letters and make contact with new visitors. Repeat visitors are asked regarding possible membership at Mount Olive. Second, members at Mount Olive are helped to identify people sitting next to them that they don’t recognize. The friendship pads have initiated many a conversation between members and guests. Finally, it helps us track member attendance to assist us in member care. We strongly encourage all (member and guest) to fill out the friendship pad each week. Thank you.


How do I get Pastor to make an announcement about my event?

Good Question! Typically announcements are made before worship services on the weekends. First make sure your event has been well publicized using all the avenues available here (bulletin, email, newsletters, posters, etc.). Since we do not want to take away from the Worship services, announcements are kept to a minimum. If you have a last minute change or you feel your event needs one more “push” you can ask to have the Pastors announce it. Your announcement should be simple and to the point. Please email your announcement to mtolive@mtolive-anoka.org or leave a written copy at the Welcome Desk by 12:00 PM on Thursdays. All announcements are subject to the Pastor’s discretion.


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Question: What are the duties of an Elder at Mount Olive?

Good Question! Along with the qualification of an elder at Mount Olive, Article VIII, section B of our church constitution also speaks to the duties of an elder: The duties of the Commission of Elders shall be:

  1. Strengthen and enhance the spiritual welfare of the members, both individually and corporately
  2. Strengthen and enhance the spiritual welfare of the staff
  3. Supervise the worship life of the congregation
  4. Assure adherence to the teaching and confessions of the congregation as listed in Article III.

Some of their specific tasks are: serving as Elder of the Day at worship; praying and caring for the pastors, staff, and congregation members; serving on subcommittees, task forces, committees as assigned, and connecting with various groups and ages to “live to love people to Christ.”


Question: Commenting on some of the things I do, my grandmother reminds me that my grandfather is watching me from heaven. Can the dead really see and hear what is happening here on earth?

Good Question! The Bible nowhere indicates that the deceased have any awareness of what transpires on earth after their death. It is only from a parable of Jesus (the Rich Man and the Poor Lazarus, Luke 16) that some people get this unbiblical idea. Clearly Jesus didn’t teach this parable to indicate awareness of earthly events by the deceased – but rather to emphasize that final judgment occurs for each individual at death, and is irreversible! I’m sure your grandmother’s warnings are well-intentioned, wanting you to do good and avoid sin. However any concerns you may have about past miss deeds ought to be addressed to your Lord in prayers of repentance. You do well to be concerned about what Jesus thinks of your life, because He can and does watch over you. And don’t forget that He also freely offers forgiveness and hope for your future here on earth and an eternal future with Him.


Question: Sometimes people knock on our door and ask to speak with us about God and eternal life. Should I engage them, or should I just decline with a polite "No, thank you. I’ve got my own church and religion?" Should I accept the free literature they offer?

Good Question! Recall Peter's encouragement from 1 Peter 3:15, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." Jesus often encountered people who were trying to "test" or "trick" Him. These were people whose agenda was not to encourage the "hope" which Peter suggests, but rather to question, and even tear down the good which Jesus did.

I'm glad you suggested that you would offer a polite answer. It is also helpful to ask such visitors, "Who are you? What group do you represent?" And then perhaps "What would be your goal in talking to me today?" If you have the time and inclination to talk to your visitors, you may wish to adopt the advice of a seminary professor: "Play dumb." Agree to listen for a certain pre-determined amount of time, perhaps ten minutes, with the prior agreement that they will listen to you for the same amount of time.

So before the next visitors come knocking, prepare yourself by memorizing or writing down a few key verses which describe the "hope" of eternal life which you have. Remember that for your "hope" is not a dream, or wish, but a certainty. Entry into eternal life is based not on your life or lifestyle, but on the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior from sin. "By His wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5.

If you choose to accept their free literature, you may study it with other Christian friends, to further develop appropriate responses for the next time. And remember to be gentle and respectful, even when others aren’t!


Question: During these beautiful days of summer, sometimes the only time I get to golf or fish is on Sunday morning. Is it a sin to miss worship? Can't I worship God just as easily in the great outdoors?

Good Question! People in Jesus' time often posed similar questions, but not about fishing or golfing. They focused more on their "traditions" than on God's Word. In response to questions brought to Him, Jesus often quoted Old Testament prophets. Like Isaiah, Jesus easily looked beyond their questions and said, "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." (Matthew 15:8, Isaiah 29:13) Life does become very busy, and schedules are often hectic. Focusing on God while golfing may seem admirable, but it may not do much for your game. Those who try to substitute golf or fishing for gathering in God's house with other Christians and the reading of His Word, often don't do a very good job of either. Can you find a way to do both, well? God doesn't just want your body in worship - He wants your mind - in fact He wants all of you. That's why in His first commandment given to Moses, God reminds us to "Put Him first." And if we truly put Christ first in our hearts, time for all the other things will come as well. "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Jesus who shed His blood for us is waiting for us at the door of His house, regularly. Matthew 6:33.


Question: I have this friend who says "you don't have to go to church to be a Christian." What do you think?

Good Question! I think your friend is right. Going to church doesn't make a Christian, but being wherever the Word of God is taught and preached certainly helps. In fact considering all the temptations and roadblocks in life, people who seek to follow God are well served by taking every opportunity to hear God's Word as often as they can. "Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it." Luke 11:28. Like the age-old question, "which came first, the chicken or the egg," your friend's question makes for interesting thought and discussion. But being good, keeping the commandments, and going to church doesn't "make" a Christian. Rather these are things that a Christian will gladly do to honor the God who sent His Son to be our atoning sacrifice for sin.


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Question: What does the Bible say about cremation? What is our church’s position?

Good Question! Cremation is increasing in favor, in part because of space limitations in some cemeteries and because of health considerations.  The primary reason for the increase in creations is economic, however, since it avoids such costs as the purchase of coffins and cemetery plots and substantially lowers the expense of a funeral.

The Bible does not give any specific teaching about cremation. Cremation was practiced in biblical times, but it was not commonly practiced by the Israelites or by New Testament believers. In the cultures of Bible times, burial in a tomb, cave, or in the ground was the common way to dispose of a human body (Genesis 23:19; 35:4; 2 Chronicles 16:14; Matthew 27:60-66). While burial was the common practice, the Bible nowhere commands burial as the only allowed method of disposing of a body.

The LCMS has no official position on cremation.  Some Christians continue to oppose cremation, noting that cremation is never referred to positively in the Bible.  The Christian burial of bodies was view as a way to proclaim the belief that our bodies will be raised from the dead.  However, this is a matter of Christian freedom and no Christian who chooses to have a loved one cremated rather than buried should be led to think that such a decision is sinful or in opposition to the Word of God.  As a matter of fact, Synod’s Lutheran Service Book Agenda, approved by the LCMS in convention, includes an instruction (rubric) for the committal of a person’s ashes, encouraging burial or interment and discouraging the scattering of ashes.


Question: Is there going to be a Confirmation ceremony this year?

Good Question! Our practice at Mount Olive Lutheran Church has been to have confirmation instruction during the 5th and 6th grade years. We held a Confirmation ceremony upon completion of 6th grade. Then we offered two years of learning how to use that information in their everyday lives. These 7th and 8th grade years were called Living Disciples. Unfortunately what seemed like a great idea has not had the fruits that we were hoping for. Many of our youth have not felt the commitment to continue once they were confirmed. They are missing out on enriching Bible studies, service opportunities and fellowship with other young Christians.

After much prayer and discussion, our staff and elders have decided to lengthen the time spent in formal instruction. Confirmation will begin in 5th grade and continue through 8th grade. During their 5th grade year we will give students the opportunity to learn about the Lord’s Supper and they will receive Communion for the first time on Maundy Thursday. Students will be confirmed at the end of their 8th grade year. Because of this change there will not be a group being confirmed until 2014. We are excited to watch the youth grow in their faith, knowledge and love of God. They are also growing in their relationships with each other. Please keep praying for our young people!


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Question: How does God give us pastors? (Part 1)?

Good Question! The pastoral office is a gift God has given to the church, as Paul says, "When He ascended on high He gave gifts to men" (Eph. 4:8, 11-12). Paul enumerates pastors and teachers among the gifts belonging to the church, and he adds that they are given for the work of ministry and for building up the body of Christ. Therefore, the right of electing and ordaining ministers is a duty and responsibility of the church. Our Lutheran Confessions refer to the pastoral office as the "Preaching Office," to which men are called and ordained. We also speak of the office of the holy ministry. The ministry is holy not because of the men who are in it, but because of the One who established it. It is holy because of what the Lord is doing for His people through the work of His pastors.


Question: What is ordination?  (Part 2)?

Good Question! When a man receives and accepts his first call to serve as a pastor, he is then ordained. Ordination marks the conclusion of the process of preparing a man to be a pastor. Ordination has its historical roots in the New Testament and in the church through the ages. "It is a solemn ecclesiastical (church) rite by which a duly qualified and trained member of the body of Christ who has accepted a valid call from the church is presented to the church as a gift of the Holy Spirit and publicly declared to be a holder of the office of the public ministry" (Theology and Practice of the Divine Call, CTCR 2003, LC-MS). Ordination is a confirmation of a man's call into the ministry of the church and is the historic and apostolic rite by which, through Word and prayer, a man is set apart for service to Christ and His church as a pastor. During his ordination, he is also installed into the pastoral office of the congregation that calls him. In the future, if he accepts other calls to serve, he will be installed, but not ordained again.


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Question: When do we celebrate Holy Communion at Mount Olive Lutheran Church?

Good Question! We serve communion at Mount Olive on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month during the 10:30 AM worship service. Communion is served at the 8:00 AM Sunday worship service on the 2nd and 4th Sundays. Communion is served at the 9:30 AM worship service on the 3rd Sunday of the month. To understand the schedule for communion during the Saturday 5:30 PM worship services, follow the 10:30 AM Communion schedule. When communion is served on the 1st and 3rd Sundays, it is served the preceding Saturday evening. Communion is not celebrated on the 5th Sunday of the month.


Question: Why should I prepare for the Lord's Supper and how often should I come to the Lord's Table?

Good Question! Lutherans have been instructed to prepare to attend the Lord's Table by "examining" themselves with some simple questions - lest they take this special and holy meal lightly. In 1 Cor 11:27-28, the Apostle Paul encourages a Christian to " . . examine himself and then eat of the bread and drink of the cup," lest he eat and drink in an unworthy or thoughtless manner. On a given Sunday we might notice that the Lord's Supper is offered and decide, "Oh, I should go." Or we may notice everyone else going and say, "Oh, I should go too."

Our faith is better served, and our Lord more faithfully worshipped if we spend some time in prayer, preparing to eat and drink in a meal which is so special that it cost Jesus His life! We come to His meal because, a) He commands us to "do this;" b) because He here offers us the blessing of forgiveness of sins and assurance of eternal life; and c) we need forgiveness and the strength of this meal often to resist temptations.

Martin Luther suggested we could "examine ourselves" by asking three simple questions; a) Am I truly sorry my sins, ways in which I have offended God and others; b) Do I believe Jesus Christ is my only hope - my Savior from sin; c) As a result of this close relationship with Jesus, and with the strength of this meal, do I truly intend to ammend my sinful life?

A helpful way to prepare might be to open your Bible or Catechism and review those places where the Lord's Supper is mentioned. You could also mentally review the Ten Commandments, acknowleging ways you have sinned against God and others. We are then encouraged to cheerfully and confidently draw close to Jesus in His Holy Meal, knowing that we are worthy only because of Christ's shed blood for us. Come often, perhaps every time the meal is offered. And come with the joy in our hearts which overflows onto our faces!


Question: Why does Holy Communion have so many different names? What is a 'sacrament and where is this word mentioned in the Bible?

Good Question: Over the centuries, the meal called Lord's Supper or Holy Communion has been referred to in several different ways. Perhaps the first scriptural reference is to "the breaking of bread" in Acts 2:42: "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." While the word "sacrament" is not included in our scriptures, it was a word used by early Christians to describe the sacred, and mysterous way in which God acts through "means" or objects, according to His promises in the Bible. It is "The Sacrament of the Altar." The Lutheran Church has been called a "sacramental" church because we obey and cling to promises of God in both Baptism and Holy Commuion, as the fulfillment of these promises come to us through visible objects, such as water, bread and wine. We attach significance to these objects because Jesus did!

The name Holy Communion points us to the "communion" or close union we enjoy by eating with Jesus and other believers. The Lord's Supper reminds us that it is Jesus, not the pastor or the church that offers this great gift, and that it is a meal. The Lord's Table, reminds us that it is from the Lord Himself that we receive small amounts of visible "food." Jesus offers us high-protein spiritual food - forgiveness and eternal life. This special meal is also called Eucharist, which is a Greek word which means "I give thanks." In this special meal we give thanks to God for His gracious gift.

Many names, but one wonderful meal which Jesus commands us to celebrate often. One wonderful meal in which Jesus invites us to come so close to Him that we come into "union" with Him.


Question: Last week we talked about worship forms, rites and ceremonies being adiaphoron. What is adiaphoron?

Good Question: Adiaphoron refers to things that are neither commanded not forbidden.  The plural adiaphora is from the Greek word aδιάφορα which means "indifferent things."  Adiaphora in Christianity refer to matters not regarded as essential to faith, but nevertheless as permissible for Christians or allowed in church.  Many practices in our churches are not specifically mentioned in the Bible or the Lutheran confessions.  While such practices or rites or ceremonies or preferences may be part of a congregation’s tradition, they are not commanded nor forbidden by God.


Question: Why do we have only two Scripture readings in our worship services at Mt. Olive, and why do they sometimes not include an Old Testament reading?

Good Question! The simple answer is that neither the Bible nor the Lutheran Confessions dictate the exact form for worship, including things such as the number of readings.  Such matters are called adiaphoron (next week’s good question) which are neither commanded nor forbidden.  Secondly, great care is taken to choose Scripture readings which best fit our theme for the day.  Often we will choose two readings to be read and others are used in the sermon itself.  “The Scripture and Confessions give the people of God considerable freedom in choosing forms that aid the worship of God” (LCMS Council of Presidents – September 2009).


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Question: "Is Jesus the only way to heaven?"  Stated another way, "Could someone be saved without knowing Jesus as Savior?"

Good Question! First off, we must define a Christian.  A Christian is not just a person who is good or at least better than anyone else.  God doesn’t grade on a curve – favoring those who keep more of his commandments or commit fewer sins than others.  Ephesians 2:8-9 is popular among Lutherans because it clarifies the relationship between good works and being saved.  “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.”  We are saved because of what Jesus did in paying for our sins – not by being good.

According to the Bible, a Christian is a person who believes and trusts in Jesus as Savior from sin.  Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  (John 14:6). 

Our logic would say that God wouldn’t or couldn’t exclude from heaven anyone just because they have never heard of Jesus.  Clear words of Scripture argue to the contrary.  Jesus encourages us to spread the saving message of His grace far and wide.  “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  Matthew 28:18-19. 

In math, when we combine fractions such as ½ and 1/3, we seek the lowest common denominator.  But faith and life are not like that.  Christians point to Jesus as the “Author and Finisher of our Faith.”  Hebrews 12:2.

If you are married, imagine someone inviting you to dinner, but asking you to leave your spouse at home.  Would you attend without that other person?  Imagine how offensive it is to invite God the Father into your life, but insist that He leave His Son, Jesus, at home?  Jesus is the first and last, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega, Revelation 1:8.  – The only way to heaven. 


Question: Why do we have different styles of worship?

Good Question! We have different styles of worship because music appeals to everyone differently. It is a "heart language" that helps achieve two things: to glorify and worship God and to draw closer to Him in a worship setting. In both our traditional and contemporary services the doctrine remains the same but the music and liturgy changes. No matter what your worship style is,by singing the traditional hymns rich with fullness of an organ to a contemporary praise chorus with strumming guitar we seek to engage the worshiper to do just that...worship the Lord. We at Mount Olive are committed to offering both types of heart languages (service styles) because we know both are important in the hearts of our people.


Question: What is the significance of the white cloth that is draped over a casket during a funeral?

Good Question! A pall (also called mortcloth) is a cloth which covers a casket or coffin at funerals. The word comes from the Latin pallium (cloak), through Old English. The pall is most often made out of white material, symbolizing the truth that in Holy Baptism Christians are clothed in the righteousness (purity) of Christ, and that at their death, that righteousness is complete. Also, the imagery in Rev. 7:13-14 is beautifully portrayed.

Funeral palls usually contain some decoration. The simplest is a large cross that reaches to the ends of the entire cloth. Some of the companies that make chancel paraments have more elaborate designs. The pall is usually placed on the casket in the narthex before processing into the nave and then removed after returning to the nave before proceeding to the hearse. No other objects, such as flowers or the American flag, should be placed on the pall during the funeral service. Reference: www.lcms.org.


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Question: How do I sign up my child for Preschool at Mount Olive?

Good Question! Registration for the upcoming school year opens for Mount Olive members on in January by the Welcome Center - check the Preschool website for more information - we may have openings so please contact Linda Stroming. If you would like a tour or have more questions about the program, please call 763.421.9048 or contact us via email (Linda Stroming) Linda@mtolive-anoka.org or Cari@mtolive-anoka.org . You may also visit our preschool website or check out the Mt. Olive Christian Preschool and Kindergarten Facebook Fan page.


Question: How do I get notified of a death of a Mount Olive member or funeral service times?

Good Question! We have two email distribution groups set up at Mount Olive. One is the Prayer Requests group which receives all prayer requests and the second is a General Announcements group which receives church business information emails but does not get the prayer requests. If you would like to be a member of either of these distributions groups, please email mtolive@mtolive-anoka.org and specify Prayer Requests, General Announcements or both. In the case of a death of a Mount Olive member, a prayer request email is sent to pray for the family and a general announcement and prayer request email is sent for service times.

If you do not have access to email, you can be a member of the phone tree. Call Jolene at 763.421.3223 to be added to a branch of the tree where you will receive a phone call with the prayer requests, etc. If you are a member of the phone tree you will also be expected to phone the next person and deliver the message. If you have any questions, please contact Jolene at 763.421.3223


Question: What is the Mt. Olive School Outdoor Exploration Learning Center?

Good Question! Mt. Olive School staff is excited to teach children about nature, outdoors, things that grow, wildlife and how to take care of this wonderful world that God has made for us. We would like to turn the courtyard area into an outdoor exploration learning center. There would be a rain garden, science center, bird feeders, building area with natural supplies (logs, sticks, rocks etc….) natural tables and benches, sensory table and garden area. The area would be fenced in for safety with gates to allow entry to and from school. Recently the Report of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod released a report called “Together With All Creatures – Caring for God’s Living Earth”. This report supports and encourages what we are doing! There are copies of the report in the church Library for those interested. This year we will focus our fundraising efforts on this project that will cost us about $12,000- $14,000. To date, we have raised just under $3000. Our goal is to begin excavation late next spring 2011. We will have several fundraisers to help us reach our goal. We will also pursue Grants to meet that goal. One of the EASIEST ways families can join us in this effort, is by make a tax deductable donation to the school for this project. Contact the school office to do so, or you may place a special offering in the plate marked “School OELC.” Any donations received in 2010 may be deducted on this current year’s tax. You will receive a receipt for your donation. Thanks for helping out!


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Question: Do I need my envelope box if I use Simply Giving for my offering?

Good Question! Yes; you are assigned a contribution number which is associated with a particular box of envelopes. Therefore, your box of envelopes can not be used or assigned to anyone else. Because we order envelope boxes in sequential order, we must still order your box. We do not experience a cost savings regarding your envelope box. Also, there are many special giving opportunity envelopes in your box that you may want to use throughout the year. Please keep your box even if you use Simply Giving for the majority of your contributions.

Due to a change in the Thrivent sponsored Simply Giving program we are now paying the bank to administer each transaction for Simply Giving. While we still believe it is beneficial to use the Simply Giving program, we would suggest that, if possible, you would structure your contributions so that they happen once per month rather than every week. This will keep our costs to a very manageable level.


Question: What is “Lent”?

Good Question! Lent is a period of forty days of preparation leading up to Easter (celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead). The word “Lent” is actually the old Anglo-Saxon word for “Spring.” The forty days of preparation came from the forty days of fasting by which Jesus prepared Himself for His ministry – see Matthew 4:1-11. During this season of Lent we gather for worship on Wednesdays (at 11:00AM and 7:00PM) to journey to the cross where Jesus died for our sins and then to the empty grave where Jesus literally revealed Himself to be the Resurrection and the Life.


Question: What is Stewardship?

Good Question! While a definition certainly cannot explain all there is to stewardship, it can provide direction for work in this important area of the church and our own lives. Stewardship is based on the spiritual principles of the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus. Where Biblical stewardship has been implemented both givers’ and receivers’ lives have been changed. Stewardship is a way of life, a way of thanking God for all the blessings we have received by returning a portion of the time, talents, and treasure allotted to us. Stewardship engenders a spirituality that deepens our relationship with the Lord. Stewardship is participating in His mission. Stewardship involves intentional, planned, and proportionate giving of our time, talent, and treasure. AND….. Biblical Stewardship IS FUN!! “… put your hope in God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” 1 Timothy 6:17


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Question: How do I get someone from the church to visit me in the hospital?

Good Question! When you are admitted to the hospital and you are asked, “Do you have a religious affiliation?“ answer, “Mount Olive Lutheran Church”. Another good idea is to call the church ahead of time if you know you are going into the hospital so we can begin praying for you, or you can call the church from your hospital room.


Question: What is the purpose of VBS?

Good Question! The purpose of VBS is to follow our mission statement of living to love people to Christ. It is a very important outreach to children and their families. Most of the children attending are NOT from our congregation. Most of them are returning each year just for VBS. We have had many parents say how much the kids love coming each year.


Question: If I am already a Missouri Synod Lutheran, why do I have to go through Life 101 to become a member?

Good question! We ask every one interested in membership at Mount Olive to attend our Life 101 class for four reasons. First and more importantly, it is a great time to review and renew our faith. Life 101 takes participants through the foundation of our faith in Jesus Christ and what it means to walk with Him. Second, it is an opportunity for participants to get acquainted with Mount Olive. While every LCMS congregation shares a common confession of faith, each congregation has its own personality, history and vision. Life 101 is our chance to share that with new members. Third, new members meet one another. Relationships are the glue of the church. The ten weeks of Life 101 is an intentional season to connect people with people. And fourth, Life 101 is where new members meet the staff. While Pastor Heiden teaches most of the sessions, other staff members cover at least one session. In a sentence, Life 101 is a great opportunity to connect new members with their Lord, one another and our staff.


Question: What is a Vision Assembly?

Good Question! The Vision Assembly (VA) consists of all Mount Olive voting members present at a regular or special meeting of the congregation. The congregation, through the VA, shall have final authority in managing Mount Olive’s internal and external affairs. Voting membership shall be confirmed members in accordance with our Constitution who have attained the age of 17 years. The VA shall meet at least twice a year. The spring meeting’s major task is to hear and approve the next year’s fiscal work program. The fall meeting’s major task is the election of officers and Mission and Ministry Council (MMC) members. The day and hour and agenda of the meetings shall be set by the MMC and publicized at least one month in advance. Special meetings may be called by the President, MMC or the Senior Pastor with no less than two weeks notice. The quorum is 30 voting members present. Roberts’ Rule of Order is applied with Christian courtesy and charity to govern all meetings.


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Question: What is the role of a Christian Citizen in the United States?

Good Question! This is an especially good question on the heels of the elections on November 4th. There are two, of many passages, that help a Christian understand his/her role as a Christian citizen of the USA. The first is Matthew 5:13-16. The verse reads in part: "You are the salt of the earth ... You are the light of the world ... let your light shine." Jesus calls us to live lives that do not blend in with the rest of the world but lives that shine His values, lives that season our culture with His truth. His values are summed up in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) and summarized by Jesus Himself in two commands: "Love the Lord your God ... and Love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-40) One role we have as Christian Citizen in the USA is to live and to vote our values.

A second role can be located in 1 Timothy 2:1-5. It reads in part: "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority." Another role we tend to neglect or downplay is the role of prayer. Never under estimate the difference your prayers make for everyone from the President of United States to your mayor to your next door neighbor.


Question: Why doesn’t the Lutheran Church talk about being a ‘born-again Christian’?

Good Question! The phrase “born again Christian” is generally used by those who say, in order to be a Christian you must have a conversion experience as an adult. Typically, you are told, ‘You must make a decision for Christ.’ In the Lutheran Church we believe your conversion experience happens at the waters of your baptism. The words “born again” that Jesus used in His conversation with Nicodemus (John 3:1-15) are two words that literally mean “born from above.” Whether we are brought to faith in Christ as an infant or as an adult – our conversion is from above. When God applies the water and His Word He comes from above and births spiritual and eternal life in us. Our physical birth was not our decision and our spiritual birth is not our decision. Now that He has given us spiritual and eternal life – Christ reigns in our hearts and in response to Him we decide to follow Him. In the Lutheran Church we believe people should be “born again/born from above” every day as they start their day at the empty cross – and there die to sin and be raised from above to live for Christ.  


Question: What is God's role in competition, both athletically and in business? 

Good Question! It is exciting to see athletes, as well as business people, giving public witness to their faith in Jesus Christ. You are right, you will not find Biblical references to God's support of one side or another in athletic contests, except, of course for the possible exception of Notre Dame (NOT!)

This will be tough for Nebraska Cornhusker fans, or fans of any other team, to stomach, but God doesn't really care if Nebraska wins football games, or basketball games, or track competitions. He is however directly concerned about the development of His people to their full potential and with the virtues and principles to which they hold. The enjoyment of athletic contests, and cheering on one side or another needs to be kept in the proper perspective.

In regards to business similar principles though a slightly different dynamic may apply. God is indeed concerned about the welfare of His people and promises to watch over them (Psalm 121:3). Sometimes this may lead to business success and prosperity, at other times, due to competition, changing world markets, and business decisions, it may not lead to what our world may term "success". Our God is more than just an eternal ATM. What we can be certain of is that He will never leave us nor forsake us, and that "all things work together for good for them that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose."

Whatever the business climate, Christians are called to walk with integrity, and it is always safe to pray, "Hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth (in my business) as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread..."


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Question: Why do we have a foodshelf?

Good Question! After all, there is that other big one in town. (ACBC) We strive to be different. Our goal is to feed our neighbors with both physical and spiritual food. Consenting Clients (around 95% of them) are prayed with and given Bibles. All are invited to church. Some respond to our invitations to avail themselves of other support groups or services here at Mount Olive. The more often they are here feeling the love and care of Jesus, the more likely they will want to pursue a relationship with Him. That's why we have a Foodshelf.