Dear Members and Friends of Mount Olive,
Happy New Year! May the Lord richly bless you throughout the coming 12 months of 2016. As we ponder the new calendar year which lies open before us, we naturally think about our goals and dreams, the things we want to accomplish this year. Maybe it’s a promotion at work, or the completion of an educational degree, improved health, a more prosperous financial situation, the elimination of debt. Those are all worthy goals for any of us as we contemplate the new year.
We know also that there are things we fear about the coming year. It’s always that way with the future. What does it hold for me and my loved ones? Will 2016 be marked and remembered for some international catastrophe? A market crash? A devastating storm? A horrible terrorist attack on our country? Will there be some personal loss and sadness to be endured in this new year?
It’s only natural that we think about both extremes as we plan for the coming months. We dream for the good things, and we dread the bad things. The Lord, however, gives us a different perspective on the new year. He spoke about it in Luke 13. There He describes an owner of a vineyard who is disappointed in a certain tree which has failed to bear fruit. The owner has a suggestion: “Cut it down! Why does it use up the ground?” But the caretaker wants to take another approach. He counsels patience. “Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.”
Jesus encourages us to approach the new year in a distinctively spiritual way. It’s okay to have plans and to dream for success and prosperity. But it’s more important to focus on our connection to Him by faith. Where our faith is strong and healthy, there the fruits of faith will be evident. Those fruits are not measured by the bottom line or the accumulation of earthly goods. They are measured in things like love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Where does such fruit bearing faith come from? It comes from hearing the word. By the word of God, the Holy Spirit is continually strengthening our faith in Jesus as our true and only Savior from our sins. The word directs us to Him who loved us and bore our guilt, dying to take it away and making us God’s own children. Let this be our resolution for 2016, that we remain connected to our saving God by faith, and that from our faith may come fruits which help our neighbor and glorify our Savior. He said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit…As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”
Sincerely in Him,
Meet Mount Olive
Matthew Shields was born in Port Orchard WA. Since his father was in the Navy their family moved around before settling in Columbia, SC. His brother Nathan lives in high school in South Carolina, and his sister Alyssa is a freshman at Bethany.
Matt was home schooled by his mother, and is currently a Junior at Bethany, majoring in Business Administration with a minor in History. After graduation he plans to work in Human Resources. His long-range plans include possibly going back to school, and then teaching History.
Spare time for Matt is spent writing short stories and playing video games.
Red Cross Blood Drive
The next Red Cross Blood Drive at Mt. Olive will be Friday, January 29 from 1 – 6PM.
Online Worship Services
Our Services are ARCHIVED ONLINE! Mt. Olive now has a page on VIMEO where our services are archived. Check it out: http://Vimeo.com/mountolive
New 2 You News
Please consider volunteering your time at New 2 You. Mt. Olive volunteers work at the store on the FIRST Saturday of the month. New 2 You supports MVL and our congregation. Volunteers are needed for January 3. If you are interested in volunteering, call the church office at 345-4966.
Kwik Trip Cards
Mt. Olive youth (grades 5-12) are selling Kwik Trip Cards as a fund-raiser to help raise money for Mt. Olive Youth Groups. 5% goes to our youth groups and individual youth. This is a year-round fundraiser. Cards are sold between services on Sundays year round. Contact Angie Younge: 389-9137 or Rebecca Strom: 386-0372 with questions.
Bible Classes at Mt. Olive
The following Bible Classes are offered at Mt. Olive:
9:40AM Sundays (Bible Class)
9:40AM Sundays (BIC)
8AM Tuesdays (Ladies Bible study)
8:30AM Wednesdays (Mom’s 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
A new address listing will be published in January. Please stop in the entry way before January 10 to check the current copy to be sure your address and phone number are correct. Please include your email address.
The 2016 Flower Calendar
for the church year is now up in the entry way next to the bulletin board. Thank you for signing up to bring flowers to beautify our altar this coming year!
1st Service: Steve Beilke (captain), Nate Beilke, Don Westphal, Eric Westphal, Elias Bonnet
2nd Service: Mike Pleiss (captain), Keith Eisberg, Loren Halvorson, Daniel Halvorson, John Halvorson
1st Service: Jeff Younge (captain), Aaron Younge, Joseph Roemhildt, Tim Roemhildt, Dustin Basel
2nd Service: Mark Madson (captain), Kirk Hankins, Joel Petersen, Andy Overn, Ian Overn
January: Connie Gullixson, Connie Meyer
February: Ellie Fisher, LuAnn Sting
January: John Pfeffer, Steve Lussky
February: Chad Sorensen, Chris Kind
Important Dates at Mt. Olive Lutheran School
Monday, January 4
Friday, January 8
Mt. Olive Night at MVL
Tuesday, January 12
No AM Busing
Friday, January 22
Friday/Saturday, January 22/23
Charger Classic Tournament
Sunday, January 31
Friday, January 29
Early Dismissal at 11:15AM
Lego League News
Four teams from Mt Olive competed in the FIRST Lego League Minnesota Regional Tournament on Saturday, December 5th at Capitol Hill Magnet School. Every team received awards. The Wastelanders received first place in Robot Design. The P.S. Bots received first place in Core Values and a Judges Award for displaying good sportsmanship. The Trashmongers earned first place in Programming. In the head-to-head robot game, The Recycled Children won second place in the Lakes division and The Wastelanders were champions in the Woods division. Three of the teams are advancing to the Sectional Tournament to be held in January. 3-2-1 LEGO!!!!!
Annual Report Deadline Update
At a recent voters’ meeting, it was decided to make our June 26, 2016 meeting the annual meeting. No reports are due at this time.