Peace with God through Jesus Christ

The Olive Press — December 2016

Dear Members and Friends of Mount Olive,

On the recent trip to Ukraine we visited the ancient monastery at Pochaev.  Traveling across the rather bleak terrain of western Ukraine, the golden domes of the adjacent cathedral stand out on the horizon, looking like something from another world.  Even from a distance of several miles, the view is striking and beautiful, and it only becomes more beautiful as you draw closer.  Pochaev was founded in the 1200’s and is famous for a legend that Mary, the mother of our Lord, appeared there, and her footprints left behind a spring of fresh, healing water.
We’re waiting for something beautiful.  Now in early December we’re getting ready to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Part of our spiritual preparation involves the special midweek Advent services, scheduled for Wednesday evenings, Nov. 30, December 7 and 14.  The theme for our services this year is A BEAUTIFUL SIGHT, SEEN FROM A DISTANCE.  We will look at three Old Testament prophecies which pointed to the coming of the Savior:

  • We’ll see what Balaam saw.  He beheld a star and a scepter signifying the coming of a great King who would protect and avenge the suffering of His subjects.  (Numbers 24:17)
  • We’ll consider what Daniel saw, the coming of the God/Man, alone fully capable of saving us from our sins. (Daniel 7:13,14)
  • We’ll share with Isaiah the vision of the coming Light of the world, who would win salvation for both Jews and Gentiles.  (Isaiah 49:6)

The beautiful sight that God granted to be seen from a distance of several centuries was fulfilled when Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  Now we see it from a distance backwards.  And though the Lord was born over 2000 years ago, the sight remains beautiful for us, since He came to be our saving King, the Light of the world, the true God in human flesh, the only one who could deliver us from our sins.  Someday, maybe soon, we will see the glory of His coming again for the judgment.  Then we will see Him up close as He brings His believers home to heaven.  Until then He permits us to see the beauty of His salvation as we hear the word and receive the sacraments of baptism and His holy supper.
Join us as we look at A BEAUTIFUL SIGHT, SEEN FROM A DISTANCE, during Advent on Wednesday evenings. Supper is at 5:00, and the worship service is at 6:30.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Petersen

Important Dates at

Mt. Olive Lutheran School

Friday, December 9
Jr. Youth to the Divers’ Concert at BLC – 6:30pm
Sunday, December 11
Boys’ & Girls’ Choirs Sing in church
Tuesday, December 13
No AM Busing
Sunday, December 18
Children’s Christmas Service – 3pm
Wednesday, December 21-Monday, January 2
No School – Christmas Break
Tuesday, January 3
Classes Resume

Bible Classes at Mt. Olive

The following Bible Classes are offered at Mt. Olive:
9:40AM Sundays (BIC)
9:40AM Sundays (Bible Study)
10AM 2nd & 4th Mondays (Veteran’s Bible Study)
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.

Online Worship Services

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

Monday Evening Worship Services

There will be NO Monday evening worship services November 28-December 26. Please join us for our Wednesday evening Advent services at 6:30PM on November 30, December 7 & 14, and also our Christmas Eve and Day worship services.


It’s that time of year again!  If you would like to order a poinsettia to be displayed at church this Christmas, please sign up on the sheet on the narthex table by Monday, December 5.  Poinsettias are $9.50 each.  Don’t forget to drop off your payment in the church office.  Thank you.

Serving Mt. Olive

     1st Service: Steve Beilke (capt.), Nate Beilke,
Don Westphal, Eric Westphal, Elias Bonnet
2nd Service: Mike Pleiss (capt.), Keith Eisberg,
Loren Halvorson, David Liverseed, Sam Hendricks
     1st Service: Jeff Younge (capt.), Aaron Younge,
Joseph Roemhildt, Tim Roemhildt, Dustin Basel
2nd Service: Mark Madson (capt.), Kirk Hankins,
Joel Petersen, Andy Overn, Ian Overn
1st Service: Mark & Michelle Graham,
Eldon Sting, Keith Anderson
2nd Service: Steve & Lois Jaeger,
James & Carolyn Gates
                1st Service: Dan & Kathy Bruss,
Keith Anderson, Elson Sting
2nd Service: Dave & Katie Sulzle,
Dan & Joanne Maas
Altar Guild
December: Heidi Graham & Sharon Madson
January: Connie Gullixson & Connie Meyer
December: John Foede & John Baumann
January: Steve Lussky & Jon Pfeffer

New 2 You

Mt. Olive volunteers are scheduled to work at New2You for the first Saturday of each month. There is a morning (9:45-12:15) and afternoon (12:15 – 3:00) shift. Would you consider helping at one of them – JUST ONCE A YEAR? The sign-up sheet is on the table in the narthex.  If you would like to become a volunteer, you may also call New2You at 507-385-1455. Thank you!

Children’s Christmas Service

The Children’s Christmas Service will be held in the gym on Sunday, December 18 at 3PM. Band members should meet in the band room at 2:30PM to tune and line up before their pre-service performance. Please have your children to their classrooms by 2:45PM. Also, there will be a practice for the Service on Sunday, December 18 at 9:40AM.

Dog in Church on Sunday Mornings

Emma is a service dog that is able to detect low and high blood sugar in diabetics; she is a Lab Australian Blue Healer mix and is three years old. She lives with Denny and Pam Davis and goes everywhere with Denny. She is trained to work off-leash due to the risk of entanglement with his walker. She can work up to six hours with no breaks or food. She likes music, sports and animals on television. At home without the harness, she likes to play and do normal dog things. Emma has also learned to detect some types of cancer in people because of her biweekly trips to the clinic with Denny. She is still somewhat shy and should not be petted.


Bearing one another’s burdens: If you do NOT HAVE a K-8 student to support with your trash-to-school-cash items, would you please consider supporting Mount Olive with them: Hy-Vee receipts, Box Tops for Education, Village Hearth bread UPCs, Country Hearth bread UPCs, Tyson’s Project A+ labels or UPCs (as appropriate), Milk Moola caps or bag tops, SunnyD UPCs, and Fruit2O UPCs. Please use the orange collection box in the Fellowship Hall near the Trash For Cash bulletin board for the SunnyD and Fruit2O labels & UPCs. The other items may be dropped off in the bins at the same location or use the pair of lockers near Mr. Z’s and Mr. Rude’s rooms. Although the drawers and lockers are marked, currently we do NOT REQUIRE the items to be sorted. If you DO HAVE a Mount Olive student, please send these items to school any morning. Teachers have a golden trash-to-school-cash pail just for these items. (And the classroom earns points toward the travel trophy.)

Holiday Lights Display in Sibley Park

Mt. Olive is once again participating in Sibley Park’s Holiday Lights display for this Christmas season. Our church will have a decorated tree on display at the park, and we need volunteers to work during the open hours of the light display on Thursday, December 15 from 4:40-9PM. Please sign up on the narthex table if you can help out in this way.

Christmas at Bethany

Tickets are available for Christmas at Bethany at: or by calling the Fine Arts office at 344-7365. Concerts are daily at 4:00 pm in Trinity Chapel from Wed., Nov. 30 through Sun., Dec. 4, with the Concert Band playing pre-concert music starting at 3:45 pm. Tickets are free with a free will offering collected during the concert.

The Divers‘ Christmas Party Concert

Come and hear the Divers perform on Friday, Dec. 9 at 7:30PM in the Bethany Sigurd Lee Theater. It’s FREE! This popular annual concert includes a Christmas carol sing-along.

The ELS Ottesen Museum

You’re invited to the ELS Ottesen Museum’s 6th annual Christmas Open House on Tuesday, December 6, 2016, from 2:30-5:30PM. This year’s theme is “A Norwegian-American Pioneer Christmas”. Learn about how the first Norwegian settlers celebrated Christmas. Music, decorations, and food will take you back to the middle years of the 19th century. Hear from the settlers in their own words about their experiences. You can also make an authentic Norwegian Christmas ornament to take home with you. The Ottesen Museum is located at 4 Browns Ct. in Mankato, just next to the Synod offices.

MVL Christmas Concert

Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School’s Christmas Concert is on Wednesday, December 21 at 7PM. The concert will include participation by the Concert Choir, Freshman Choir, Chargaliers, and the Concert Band.

Sr. Youth Caroling & Party

Join us Sunday, December 11 for some Christmas Caroling! We will meet at Mt. Olive at 4PM, go caroling to our shut-ins, and then return to the Bloedels for some pizza and a party. Bring a “white elephant” gift along to exchange and a snack or dessert to share. Please have your parents pick you up by 8PM.

Attention Jr. Youth

The next Jr. Youth event will be taking place on Friday, December 9 at 6:30pm, at Bethany Lutheran College in the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center (YFAC) Room 103. We will have a Christmas Party with cookies and treats and will then watch the Divers perform their annual Christmas show in the theater (which starts at 7:30pm). Parents can pick up their kids after the show at Bethany.

Thai Village Mission Project

Our school chapel offerings are going to a mission in Thailand called Thai Village.  (See bulletin board in the social hall)  Thailand is 99% Buddhist and needs to hear about Jesus.  This mission of our fellowship trains poor villagers in handicrafts.  The handicrafts are sold and part of the money goes to the villagers to support their families.  The rest of the profits are used to fund the church and seminary in Thailand.  The villagers making the handicrafts also hear God’s Word every day, and they share it with their children and neighbors in their village.
On Sunday, Dec. 4, and Wednesday, Dec.7 there will be a display of handicrafts for sale in the narthex.  Any purchases you make will support bringing the Gospel to Thailand.  If you decide to make a purchase, we only have the ability to accept cash or checks.  If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Beilke.

Join us for our Advent Worship Services at 6:30pm!

“A Beautiful Sight, Seen From A Distance”
~November 30th
Numbers 24:17 – “What Balaam Saw…”
He saw a star and a scepter, a coming great King who would protect and avenge His people.
~December 7th
Daniel 7:13, 14 – “What Daniel Saw…”
He saw the coming God/man, fully capable of saving us.
~December 14th
Isaiah 49:6 – “What Isaiah Saw…”
He saw the coming Light of the world, who would win salvation for Gentiles too.
(Advent Meals are served from 5-6:15pm
in our Social Hall)

Mt. Olive Building Committee Update

On November 2 architect Bryan Paulsen met with representatives from the following specific user groups to gather valuable information and insights pertinent to the specific needs and wishes of the Mt. Olive congregation:

  • Narthex
  • Administration
  • Education
  • Facilities

In addition to arranging that four-hour meeting, Building Committee member Sally Sorensen contacted additional groups who utilize the facility for specific uses, meetings, gatherings, etc. Questionnaires were sent to representatives of the following groups:

  • Band
  • Kitchen
  • Jesus Cares
  • Junior and Senior Youth Groups
  • Pioneers
  • Bible Studies
  • Altar Guild
  • Nursery
  • Lego Team

The questionnaires requested feedback on each group’s:

  • Space requirements
  • Number of attendees
  • Furniture/technology needs
  • Storage needs
  • Frequency of use

Completed questionnaires, along with information from the November 2nd meeting are now in the hands of the architectural team and we await word from ISG regarding their recommendations for our project.
We give thanks to God that He has blessed our congregation in allowing us to be positioned to consider a new building project. As always, we request your prayers for the committee, the architects and their work, and for our congregation that everything may be done to God’s glory in a way that his pleasing to Him.