Peace with God through Jesus Christ

The Olive Press — October 2015

Dear Members and Friends of Mount Olive,

WHO Can Forgive?

Prior to his landing in the United States, Pope Francis announced that priests will now be able to forgive the sin of abortion for women with “contrite hearts.” In other words, women who are truly sorry for committing this sin can now be forgiven by a priest, instead of asking forgiveness from a bishop. On the surface, this may seem a merciful announcement. In reality, it continues a false teaching that has divided Christianity since the time of the Lutheran Reformation. The Roman Catholic Church has ranked sins in order of severity, with different consequences for the sinner and different requirements for absolution. What does God say about this?
The Bible is very clear regarding sin. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). All sins, whether they appear bigger or smaller, earn eternal death in hell as their punishment because they all are essentially the same sin: disobedience to God.
While we agree with the pope that abortion is sinful, we do not agree on how that sin is forgiven. What should a woman who has undergone an abortion and is truly sorry for her sin do? According to the catholic teaching, she must confess to a bishop (or, from December 15, 2015, through November 20, 2016, to a priest) and ask for forgiveness. This is a false teaching. God’s Word clearly tells us that Jesus Christ has already earned our forgiveness. That sin of abortion has already been forgiven by Him. And in faith, a woman with a contrite heart looks to Jesus and, through the Holy Spirit’s power, grabs hold of the assurance of God that her sins have been forgiven by Him.
A woman who has sinned can certainly confess her sins to her priest, to a bishop, or to a Lutheran pastor. And those men, recognizing repentance, have an obligation to forgive any sin confessed. A woman who has sinned can confess her sins, for example, in the public confession of the Lutheran worship service and believe, without a doubt, when the pastor says “Your sins are forgiven” in the absolution. It is certainly a good practice to confess our sins privately to our pastor or another Christian, or in the public worship service. The pastor has been called by God, through the Church, to forgive sins. As a trusted servant of God, he will be able to help both now and in the future when Satan tempts you to feel guilty over sins that have been washed away. But we also have the joy of knowing that we can approach the throne of God for forgiveness directly because of our Savior, Jesus. For through him [Jesus] we both have access in one Spirit to the Father (Ephesians 2:18).
Our forgiveness does not depend on confessing our sins to a bishop. It does not depend on our work of confession. Forgiveness comes from God as a free gift to us, earned by Jesus, our Savior. Sin separates us from God. But Jesus brings us back together with the Father through His holy life and innocent death. In faith, confess your sins to God. And you can believe, without doubt, Jesus’ own words, “Your sins are forgiven.”
-Rev. Paul Fries

Meet David and Briana Gullixson
A life-long member of Mt. Olive, David graduated from Mt. Olive Lutheran School, and MVL before continuing on at Bethany.  There he earned his degree in business administration and currently works as a compliance officer for Eide Bailly.  David plays on the Mt. Olive church softball team.  Other hobbies are fishing, hunting and woodworking.
Briana grew up in Nicollet, MN and also graduated from Bethany with a degree in business administration.  She currently works at Ag Star in the crop insurance department.  Briana enjoys playing and watching sports.
The two met through mutual friends, and have been married for four years. Together they enjoy golfing, skiing and spending time at the family cabin on Lake Jefferson.  Last winter the couple took a ski trip to Steamboat Springs, CO, which proved to be a bit more challenging than Mt. Kato.
Very soon we will be welcoming another new member into our Mt. Olive family as David and Brianna are expecting their first baby on October 19.  Congratulations!

Singing Through the Hymnary
It has been suggested that having another time to sing our hymns could help our members be more familiar with the ones they don’t know as well.  If you are interested in getting together once a month or so, beginning on Saturday, October 3 at 7PM, please call Lois Johnson at 278-3369.


Important Dates at Mt. Olive Lutheran School

Tuesday, October 6
No AM Busing
Thursday, October 8
Vision/Hearing Screening
Wednesday, October 14
Early Dismissal at 11:15AM
No PM Busing
Thursday-Friday, October 15-16
No School – Teacher’s Conference

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.

Quarterly Voter’s Meeting
The quarterly voter’s meeting is scheduled for Sunday, October 25th at 12PM. Please plan on attending this important meeting.

Altar Flowers: 
There are several opportunities coming up in November 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!



1st Service:  Dave Sulzle (captain), John Bungum, Rich Hultgren, Rich Andreason, Craig Zibrowski
2nd Service:  Steve Jaeger (captain), Joe Meyer, Herman Harstad, Jeremy Jacob, Sam Barbosa
1st Service: Juel Merseth (captain), Ron Bequette, Greg Lieske, Ron Koth, Tim Merseth
2nd Service: Dean Kluge (captain), Bill Bukowski, Joe Madson, Jon Mueller, Jacob Mueller

Altar Guild:
October:  Carol Leiferman, Ellie Fisher
November: Carol Petersen, Sherri Bukowski

October:  Ron Younge, Jeff Younge
November: Dan Gerdts, Joe Meyer

Bible Classes at Mt. Olive

9:40AM Sundays (BIC)
9:40AM Sundays (Bible Study)
8AM Tuesdays (Ladies Bible Study)
9AM 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.

Echo Food Shelf
At Thanksgiving about 9,000 people received a COMPLETE Thanksgiving meal from ECHO Food Shelf. How can you help provide the needed food? You will find a basket in the narthex for donated items.

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  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.

Our Services are now ARCHIVED ONLINE!
Mt. Olive services are archived on a
VIMEO page.
Check it out:

Mt. Olive services are also being shown on local cable channel 181 (Charter) and 7 & 507 (Consolidated Communications) on Wednesdays at 10AM and Thursdays at 11:30AM.

New 2 You Family Thrift Store
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. Please continue to support New 2 You by volunteering, making donations, shopping our store, or praying for continued blessings on their efforts.  If you would like to become a volunteer please call New 2 You at 507-385-1455.

Bethany Lutheran College
Thursday, Oct. 1 at 7:00PM– The public is welcome to a gallery talk and opening reception for Gary Wahl’s photography exhibition, on display in the YFAC gallery from October 1-31.
Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 7:00PM in Trinity Chapel: Folk musician Peter Ostroushko performs in a Guest Artist Series concert with the Bethany String Band. Tickets are available at the door an hour before the performance, $10 adults, $6 students/seniors.
Sunday, Oct. 11 at 2:00PM – Soprano Brittany Boyum presents her senior voice recital, accompanied by pianist Bethel Balge. Free and open to the public.
Thursday & Friday, Oct. 29 & 30 — Reformation Lectures, held in the Sigurd Lee Theatre, starting at 10:30AM.

New Member Sunday
Help us welcome the new members of our congregation on Sunday, October 25 with a reception in between services.

“TRASH FOR CASH” is a way that the PTF is able to make money for our school by mailing in “trash.”  This “trash” is found on products you buy every day.  It’s easy!  Just cut off the label or turn in the receipt or ink cartridge for the following products in the bins in the corner of the social hall.

  1. Box top labels from General Mill’s products
  2. Campbells labels (soups, healthy request, swanson foods, prego, pepperidge farm etc)
  3. Tyson products
  4. Any used ink cartridge
  5. Hy-Vee receipts (can be from either Mankato location and must be dated September 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016 only)
  6. Kwik trip products (from kwik star natures touch or kwik quencher products)

Mt Olive Lutheran School recently received a check from Hy Vee in the amount of $647.91 for receipts turned in last year.  Save your Hy Vee receipts!

Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School Fall Play
Drama students will present their Fall Play on Friday, November 6 at 7PM and on Saturday, November 7 at 2 & 7PM. Plan to attend and enjoy the acting talents of our MVL students.

Women’s Mission Rally
(Southern Minnesota Chapter)
This year’s Mission Rally will be held on Saturday, October 24 at King of Grace, Golden Valley, MN. The theme is, “I Am the Vine, You Are the Branches”. Any contributions should be sent to the treasurer, Sherri Bukowski, by Oct. 3. PLEASE SIGN UP on the narthex table, as the ladies from King of Grace need to plan on how many to be expected.

Jr. Youth Group (7th & 8th Graders)
Join us on October 23rd for a bonfire! Meet at Pastor Ulrich’s house at 6:30PM, and we’ll roast marshmallows and play games. In case of rain, we’ll head over to the gym. Hope to see you there!

Sr. Youth Group (Confirmed Mt. Olive Youth)
On Sunday, October 4, we’ll be joining the Youth from Norseland Lutheran and Peace Lutheran for a hay ride and bonfire at Oren Olsen’s farm by Norseland. Let’s meet in the parking lot of Mt. Olive at 4pm. We’ll caravan out to the farm together (please let us know if you’re able to help drive). Hot apple cider, snacks and hot dogs will be provided. We’ll end the night with a devotion and should be done at 9pm to caravan back to Mt. Olive for pick up. Sign up on the sheet in the narthex! Bring a friend!

Lutheran Girl Pioneers
Join us on October 11 from 5-7PM!

Handbell Choir
 Come and join the handbell choir in ringing praise to our God! No experience is necessary, but the ability to read music notes and values is very helpful and a commitment to being at rehearsals and performances is essential. Former members and new members are welcome. Weekly rehearsals will start in September. If you are interested in becoming a member or have any questions, please contact Tanya Norris at 389-8906 or

Five volunteers are needed to assist with our CDS Vision & Hearing Screening on Thursday, October 8.  Approximate start time is 8AM.  Please call the school office or email Patti at: if you are able to help.

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 to view the 400+ participating retailers.  If you have any questions or need help getting started email Tanya Norris or Krista Petzel

Home Purchase Project
Mount Olive is looking at ways we could purchase certain homes around the church when they become available, which could help us accommodate for the future growth of our congregation.  Once again a generous donor has offered a gift of $10,000 for this purpose, based on a matching amount from the members.  Would you consider a special donation which would help us direct $20,000 for the growth of our church and school.  Please note “Home Purchase Project” on your donation. Thank you!

A newspaper editor is quoted as saying, “A wise use of the garbage can is the secret to successful editing.”
But a wise use of the garbage can is not only the secret to successful editing; it is the secret to successful living as well.
So many lives are burdened with the trash that should have been thrown away a long time ago.  Old worries, silly grudges, smoldering resentments, which should have been discarded years ago, are frequently held onto and even nursed along from day to day as though we were afraid to put them down.
There is only one place for the worries, grudges, resentments, and sins of our lives.  That place is the garbage can!  Why would we want the stinky sins of our past to foul the air of a new day of God’s grace?
What a difference it would make in our families, jobs, schools, churches, our own lives, if each of us learned to not horde, but purge the sins from our lives!!
The Bible says, “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” (Hebrews 12:1)  God does not want us to carry our sins.  We are to throw them away.
Blessed, indeed, is the person who has learned to “throw off” the worries, grudges, and resentments of their life.  Those people can begin and finish each day unencumbered.   The Apostle Paul understood the blessing of a wise use of the garbage can when he said, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)