Peace with God through Jesus Christ

The Olive Press — April 2016

A Happy Ending? …How about the BEST Ending?!

The couple sped to the emergency room. It was dark, nearly 11:00 p.m. It had seemed that their daughter was a little late coming home from her after-school job at the nursing home.
The call from the hospital had been very brief, and the nurse would only say that there had been an accident and that their daughter was in the emergency room being seen by the doctor. No, they couldn’t talk to her. No, the nurse couldn’t say how badly she was injured. No, the nurse couldn’t give any more details, just please come right away, but don’t speed, because one accident was enough.
They both whispered prayers to themselves. “Dear Lord, Let her be O.K. Let her be alive. Let her not be suffering.” Just 18 months before another couple in their church had arrived at the emergency room to find out that their son had already been dead before they had received the call, so they knew what could be waiting for them.
They ran into the emergency room together and told the receptionist who they were. They were ushered into the back rooms, and to their immense relief their daughter in some bandages, sat up on the bed and started to cry. She would be OK. Praise God!
Such happy endings bring joy beyond belief. What a joy it is to find out that the person we love is really OK, really was only slightly injured, really will live!!
Can you imagine a happy ending where the person we love suffers terribly and dies slowly?
In the season of Lent, we witness such a story – the only one of its kind. We are alerted to our sin, and the terrible wreckage that it makes of life. We are called to the cross, to see what Jesus can do about it.
But when we go to the cross, we find out that the worst is happening. Because of our sin, sin that Jesus carries for us, the unthinkable happens. Jesus suffers the terrible anger of God because of our sins. Nothing can be done. He suffers terribly, and slowly, He dies. It was no happy ending for the disciples that Friday, as Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb, and there couldn’t be now, ever, because Jesus was dead.
But unlike all the other stories, death didn’t prevent the happy ending for Jesus, or for us. On the third day, Jesus rose triumphantly from the dead. He showed Himself to the man and women who had been following Him, and then to hundreds of others.
Jesus has conquered sin, death, and hell. This isn’t just a happy ending for Jesus, but for us, too, since all who trust in Him will also rise with Him at the last day. He has given us the victory through His perfect life, and His sacrifice.
“But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
1 Corinthians 15:12-14


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.


Online Worship Services

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


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)
8AM 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



Serving Mt. Olive


1st Service: David Norris (captain), Ryan Buch,
Kyle Buch, Dan Gerdts
2nd Service: Bill Bohning (captain), Daniel Neubauer, Mark Olson, Scott Pithan, Taylor Pithan, Ethan Pithan


1st Service: Ernie & Marge Lillo,
Eldon Sting, Keith Anderson
2nd Service: Steve & Lois Jaeger,
James & Carolyn Gates
1st Service: Ross & Betsy Hermanson, Elson Sting, Keith Anderson
2nd Service: David & Kathryn Sulzle,
Mark & Vivian Smith

Altar Guild

April: Joni Bode, Sharon Madson
May: LuAnn Sting, Lynette Merseth


April: Will Holt, Lance Schwartz
May: Craig Christiansen, Bruce Gratz


Monday Night Services:

Our Monday night services will resume  April 4th.


An Open Forum Meeting

is scheduled for April 10 in between services to which everyone is invited. (This takes the place of a quarterly Voters’ meeting.) Is there something at Mt. Olive you’d like to know more about? Is there a topic you’d like addressed? If you have input on topics we should cover at this inaugural Open Forum, please contact Mike Smith at or 507-351-4630.


Important Dates at Mt. Olive Lutheran School

Friday, April 1
No School – Parent/Teacher Conferences
Sunday, April 10
Boys’ & Girls’ Choirs Sing
Tuesday, April 12
No AM busing
Wednesday, April 13 – Sunday, April 17
Scholastic Book Fair
Thursday, April 21
8th Grade Examination (7PM)
Saturday, April 23
8th Grade Confirmation Portraits and Practice (9AM)
Sunday, April 24
8th Grade Confirmation (10:45AM service)
Monday, April 25
Charger for a Day at MVL (7th grade)
Friday, April 29
11:15 Early Dismissal/No End of Day Busing


Sr. Youth Group

Start gearing up for this year’s trip to Dallas, TX with the Lutheran Youth Association (LYA) on July 28-31, 2016. The convention’s theme this year is, “Two Kingdoms”. Go to: to register. The cost is $250 before May 1st, or $300 after. More info to come regarding the bus to get us there, cost, fundraisers, etc. Any questions? Contact Peter or Sarah Bloedel.


Camp Indianhead

is scheduled for July 10-15 at Luther Island Camp, and is open to youth ages 11-16. The cost per camper is $275. Register online at: (scroll down and click on our logo, then click “create new parent”) or ask the church office for registration and health forms.
Families are encouraged to reserve bus seats early for their camper(s). Reservations made by May 8, 2016 cost $30 per camper, and $45 per camper after. The bus holds 35 passengers, so please email or call Lance Johnson with the names of your camper(s) at: or 507-720-2130. We appreciate and thank Lance for serving our campers and families in this way!


Thank You

for your generous donations to the Sr. Youth Group’s Easter Breakfast! Your donations of food and money are greatly appreciated. Over $800 was raised to help our Youth attend LYA in Dallas, TX this July.



is scheduled for April 9 (with a rain date of April 16).   This will include both inside and outside cleaning.  Start time will be 9 AM. Your help is appreciated.


New Member Sunday:

Please join us in welcoming our newest members to Mt. Olive on Sunday, April 17.  There will be no Bible class that day as there will be a reception in the social hall between services.


New 2 You

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 New2You at 507-385-1455~Mt. Olive provides volunteers on the first Saturday of every month.  The sign-up sheet is on the table in the narthex.
As our way of giving thanks for your unwavering support throughout the year we are holding our Volunteer Appreciation/ Annual Meeting on April 24th at St. Paul’s Church, North Mankato. Your efforts combine to help us with our goal of supporting Christian education. Thank You!   Please join us for dessert and conversation from 2-4PM.


Notes From the March Church Council summary for March, 2016

~The Board of Deacons reported a gain of 8 members and a loss of three members.
~The Treasurer’s report showed that giving is currently $138 ahead of budget for the fiscal year.
~The Board of Education indicated that next year’s CDS Kindergarten class is projected to be at 23/24 students.
~A request has been made to start a “Before School” program.  Research will be done on that subject.
~The Trustee’s reported that applicants for the custodial vacancy were being interviewed, that remodeling work on restroom’s was underway, that a new sound system for the worship area would soon be installed and the annual spring clean up day was scheduled for April 9,  8-12:00.
~The Pastors’ report indicated that a Red Cross blood drive is scheduled for Mount Olive on Friday, March 25, 9:00-2:00, and that the Monday evening services would resume on April 4 at 6:30, and that a “New Member” reception is planned for April 17th between services.
~The Council determined to call a special Voters’ Meeting for April 17 at noon, for the purpose of considering using up to $35,000 of the Mueller Estate to be designated for a preliminary architectural study for phase one of a building program.


MVL Booster Club Auction

The MVL Booster Club Annual Auction is scheduled for Sunday, April 3. Hundreds of items will be awarded to highest bidder, but no one single item has been as beneficial to the overall success of the auction as the homemade pies made by the ladies of the MVL Association congregations. Last year, these pies alone made $2400 for the students of MVL. What a blessing! You may bring the pies to MVL between the hours of 9AM and 1PM on Saturday, April 2 or Sunday, April 3. Thank you for your support!


Bethany Spring Play

Bethany’s spring play Aboveboard is the premiere of a new comedy by Mt. Olive members, Emily Kimball and Peter Bloedel, directed by Peter Bloedel. Performances are April 22-24 and 29-30. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 pm, Sunday matinee at 2 pm. The box office opens on April 11. Reserve your tickets or at 507-344-7374 on weekdays, 1-5 pm.


The Mankato chapter of the Bethany Auxiliary

will host its annual tea honoring women in the graduating classes at Bethany Lutheran College on Tuesday, April 12 at 7 p.m. in Honsey Hall on the campus. 
The invitation to attend the tea is open to all women who would like to meet and congratulate these recent or upcoming graduates. Following the reception and time of fellowship the chapter will hold their usual spring business meeting.


Please join the Minnesota Valley Chorale

for their “Minnesota Moments” concert. “Minnesota Moments” will feature pieces by composers with Minnesota connections at our Spring Concert on Friday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Mankato, and on Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Chapel, Bethany Lutheran College. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10 per person.


April 22 concert to honor 40th year of organ at Good Counsel

The School Sisters of Notre Dame will honor the 40th anniversary of the dedication of the Johnson & Son organ in their chapel at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Mankato, with a concert featuring three top Minnesota organists at 7 p.m. Friday, April 22. The organ itself is 139 years old. The concert is free, but a free-will offering will be accepted.
Appearing in concert are Kraig Windschitl, a New Ulm native who since 2005 has been the principal organist at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Minneapolis and Victoria; Christopher Stroh, who has been organist at the Basilica of Saint Mary, Minneapolis, since 2006; and Jeffrey Patry, director of sacred music at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Robbinsdale. They will perform “A Festival of Franck,” three organ chorales written by Cesar Franck (1822-1890).
This Johnson & Son Opus 499 pipe organ had been in service for nearly 100 years when the School Sisters of Notre Dame obtained it in 1975. It had been installed in St. Mary of the Sacred Heart Church in Boston’s North End in 1877. When the Jesuits decided to close and demolish the church in 1974, an article written by Thomas Murray saying the organ was for sale was published in The Diapason international journal. There it caught the attention of Dr. Kim Kasling, organ instructor at what is now Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Efforts to obtain the organ began immediately. On April 1, 1975, the School Sisters of Notre Dame took ownership and worked with Richard Lurth to transport and install it at Our Lady of Good Counsel. On Sept. 30, 1976 – the 99thanniversary of its first dedication in Boston – a dedication concert was held in Mankato. With the help of a thorough update and improvements in 1994, the organ continues to serve the SSND community in the chapel at Our Lady of Good Counsel as the organ approaches its 140th year in 2017.
For more information, visit or call Sister Lucille Matousek at 507-389-4228.

Kingdom Workers Presentation

Sunday, April 3,  9:40AM at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church
Laura Harstad, Director of Volunteer Management at Kingdom Workers, will share inspiring stories from locations around the world where Lutherans like you have partnered with Kingdom Workers to share the Gospel. She will be joined by Ben and Joe Lundsten who will tell you about their upcoming mission project in SE Asia. Join us for this special presentation.
How can you serve? Kingdom Workers has opportunities for people of all ages. Volunteers have helped congregations with building projects, serving people with disabilities, clean water projects, teaching English, health education, music camps, vacation Bible school, Bible sports camps, and more. Learn more!


Spring Cleaning

In the northern hemisphere, the season of spring is upon us. Not only are we likely to be done with cold weather and snow for a while, grass is beginning to turn from brown to green. Trees are budding. Annual flowers are popping up and some beginning to bloom. Certain species of birds are returning from their trek south. We usually associate spring with new life.
Some might also associate spring with cleaning. The house has been closed up tight all winter, and so we feel the urge to open the windows and let some fresh air and sunlight pour in. But when we do, maybe we notice all the dirt and grime that has built up over the winter. Windows are cloudy with a dull haze. Dust bunnies have been multiplying in corners that haven’t seen much light for a while. The floors of our garages (at least for those “up north”) are caked with salt residue from our cars. Seeing all this dirt we feel the need to clean!
A famous man from Old Testament times once asked God to help him with his cleaning. “Create in me a clean heart, O God,” King David prayed in Psalm 51. David was not asking God to help him live a more healthful life so that he could avoid clogged arteries. The heart disease he wanted to avoid is caused by the dirt that all of us have in our lives, the dirt of sin. This filth is in us all and eventually, if it is not cleaned out, it will kill us. Forever. In hell.
But God does not want us to die forever. He sent his Son Jesus to clean out our sin. That’s why Jesus died on the cross—to take our sin away. In baptism, God washes us clean of our sin and gives us a new start. He creates trust in us, trust in him to keep taking our sin away, trust in him that he will bring us to heaven someday.
“Spring cleaning” may give us a new outlook on life, but God’s cleaning gives us life itself. Come and hear more about this good news this Sunday.