Peace with God through Jesus Christ

The Olive Press – August 2015

IN the World, But Not OF the World…

A High School student from our congregation came up to me and asked what she should do. She works with people who aren’t Christians. She goes to school with people who have divergent ideas that are not in line with hers. She had friends that now are not so friendly, because she has a faith that she cares about and stands up for when others try to subject her conscience to their will. Should she write these people off? Should she not have anything to do with these people? Should she ignore them and walk away? “How can and should we as Christians interact with non-Christians? Does God want me to not have anything to do with them?”
Perhaps you know of people who are in a similar conundrum. Perhaps this is your own situation and these are questions that you are asking! “How do I not be OF the world, while still being IN the world?” (John 17:16) Especially as our culture and society becomes increasingly hostile to the Christian faith and to what God’s Word says, what are we to do? Thinking about all the spiritual dangers we and our loved ones are subjected to, it might be appealing to sequester ourselves away—to go find a commune and live in seclusion away from the sin and evil of the world! Sure, it might be appealing, but this is not what we as Christians are called to do!
St. Paul clarifies this for us in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13:

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. 12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside.

St. Paul explains that it is not possible to remove ourselves from all outside or worldly influences—otherwise we would “have to leave this world.” Fact is, there are going to be immoral, greedy, idolatrous people everywhere—as there have been since the fall into sin and as there will be until Judgment day. We are in vocations where we will have to interact and deal with such people. This is a simple fact of the Christian’s life. But what we must not allow—as St. Paul explains here—is corruption within our spiritual community—within our church. When Paul says: “You must not associate with them,” he means in a spiritual context. God does not allow or permit sin. If someone within our church falls into error, we are called upon to take the proper steps to call them to repentance —but this does not refer to our interactions with those outside of the Church.
So what should be our attitude toward those outside of the church—with those that we interact with each day? Jesus explained that to us in Matthew 5:13-16: “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” God desires us to go out into the world as salt—a preservative—that was used in the days before refrigeration to prevent certain foods from rotting and spoiling. In the same way, as we are IN the world, our Christian influence helps preserve the world from completely rotting and becoming spoiled! And yet, be careful to not become OF the world—as Jesus warns: “If the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty
again…It’s good for nothing!” Similarly, God desires us to be light—providing guidance and direction in a world that is otherwise pitch black. And yet, be careful to not become OF the world: “Do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl!” Instead, let it be seen!
So as you go out as a Christian and interact with Non-Christians, remember that God desires that Christians go into all the world and share the Gospel with people—even to share it in a world that is hostile to the Gospel. As we go out into the world and lead our lives interacting with Non-Christians we carry with us the saving Hope that we have in Christ—in this way we are Christians IN the world. But we proceed with caution that we do not become OF the world—losing the Hope we have in Christ or not letting that be seen in us.
May God bless you and your efforts to be Salt and Light in a hostile world!
–Pr. Luke Ulrich

Confirmation Class

Confirmation classes will begin soon for 7th and 8th grade students. If your child is not enrolled at Mt. Olive Lutheran School please contact the church office to sign him/her up for Confirmation classes. (345-4966)


Church Picnic

Join us at Duck Lake Park on Sunday, August 9th for our church picnic. This will also be a fundraiser for Andy and Chris Waltz. (Chris recently received a kidney transplant.) Watch future bulletin announcements for more information.

Sunday Worship Schedule

We’ll return to our Fall/Winter Sunday schedule on September 13, with the services at 8:30
and 10:45. That day Sunday School and Bible classes will resume at 9:40.

Altar Flowers

There are several opportunities in August to mark a special occasion, honor a loved one, or simply beautify our sanctuary by providing flowers for a Sunday/Monday worship. Please check the flower calendar in the narthex if you would like to reserve a date – or contact Lois Jaeger at 507-351-5488. Garden flowers are also an option for this time of year if you have any to share. Thank you for your consideration!

School Cleaning

Our Mt. Olive All-school Cleaning event will take place on Tuesday, Aug 11 & Wednesday, Aug 12 from 3-7PM. Please set aside some time to come and help. A sign-up sheet is located on the table in the narthex.


Church Table and Chair Use

Members may borrow chairs and the older brown tables from the church. All arrangements MUST go through the church office to be sure there are enough available.


News Deadlines

Please submit any announcements to be included in our Sunday bulletin or the Olive Press Newsletter to the church office. You may call (507) 345-4966, or email information to Sarah Bloedel at mtolive@mtolivelutheran.org. The deadline for submitting bulletin announcements is noon on Wednesday.
Any Olive Press newsletter articles or announcements should be submitted by the 15th of the previous month.


Join us for our summer Bible Class series:

August 2— Dr. Mike Smith—”How we Got the New Testament”
August 9— Encourage One Another Series-Don Moldstad—“Care-Giving: The Work of a Pastor”
August 30—Prof. Dennis Marzolf—”Hymnody.”
August 16— Dan Basel—”Christ’s Love: Compelling Us to Love Christ & Our Bretheren in All We Do.”
August 23— Encourage One Another Series-Janet Wassman— “Experiences as Nurse and Caretaker”


Ushers

August
1st Service: Frank Selvey (captain), Mike Smith, Silas Petersen, Darrell Iverson, Ray Iverson, Art Westphal 2nd Service: Paul Tweit (captain), Keith Anderson, Lance Johnson, Dennis Runck, Bob Fosburgh, Blake Fosburgh
September
1st Service: Ron Younge (captain), Brian Strom, James Strom, Silas Born, Aaron Younge
2nd Service: Jim Gullixson (captain), Peter Bloedel, Hans Bloedel, Jerry Hanson, Spencer Olson


Altar Guild

August: Joni Bode, Terri Westphal September: Krista Petzel, Lynette Merseth


Counters

August: Stacy Olson, Seth Tweit September: Mark Graham, Andy Overn


New 2 You Family Thrift Store

New 2 You has been richly blessed in their efforts to support Christian education. (Your church)has received a check for $298.72 from New 2 You for the 1st quarter earnings. 75% of the earnings go to MVL and each of the member congregations receive 5%.

Did you know it takes on average 120 hours a week of volunteer time to fill the shifts? This is about 24 hours, per church, per week or 6—4 hour shifts. Thank you to all those who volunteer to make our mission possible.


Mt. Olive School Scrip program

The Scrip program offers gift cards for purchase for a wide variety of retailers. A percentage of gift card purchases go towards Mt. Olive Tuition. Visit www.shopwithscrip.com to view the 400+ participating retailers. If you have any questions or need help getting started email Tanya Norris scrip@mtolivelutheran.org or Krista Petzel krista.petzel@gmail.com.


Bible Classes at Mt. Olive

11AM Sundays (BIC)
11AM Sundays (Bible Study)
8AM Tuesdays (Ladies Bible Study)
9:30AM Wednesdays (Bible Study)

Bible Information Class (BIC) is available for anyone interested in learning more about our Christian faith. Please talk to one of the Pastors if you’re interested.