Peace with God through Jesus Christ

The Olive Press — February 2017

Dear Members and Friends of Mount Olive,
As you know, Mount Olive is right next door to the hospital, which makes visiting there very convenient for us pastors.  We can walk out one of the back doors of the school and within a couple minutes we are entering through the emergency room lobby.  But while walking to the hospital on glare ice the other day, it occurred to me that I probably should have taken the car.  The streets were icy, too, but driving would have been less treacherous.  Each step required a careful deliberation.  I have to say I was very thankful to get to my visit and return to the church office safe and sound, without an embarrassing or painful fall along the way.  Most days during the year I don’t give it any thought.  But this winter has proven to be very icy, more so than most.
So it’s at times like this that we appreciate something we might easily take for granted – the warm rays of the sun.  How nice it is to feel it on your face and observe its melting power on a spring day as it turns the dangerous ice into harmless trickles of water on the streets and sidewalks.
There’s another sort of coldness and ice more perilous than that which forms on the pavement in winter and causes a fall – an icy heart, frozen in sin, refusing to repent.  Such a heart shows itself in cold indifference to the sufferings of others, an unwillingness to forgive and reconcile with those who have hurt us in some way.  May God always protect us especially from that kind of icy pathway!  For such a frigid heart is one which will not permit itself to be thawed by the warm sunshine of the Gospel, preferring to be locked firmly in the ice to the very end.
As Christians we can avoid such a condition when we remember that God Himself has warmed up to us sinners and broken through the ice by the saving and forgiving work of His own Son.  For the sake of Jesus who was willing to bear all of our guilt and to be nailed to the cross in payment for our sin, we stand under the life-giving warmth of God’s mercy.  The Psalm writer describes Him: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory.” (Psalm 84:11)  In Jesus’ Name He declares that the harsh winter is over and the warmth of an eternal summertime has come to us.  Comparing His love to the bright sunlight which burns through and dissipates the dense morning fog, He promises: “I have blotted out like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins.” (Isaiah 44:22)
Knowing and trusting this Good News, every day is sunny and warm for us.  Having the bright love of God in Christ, we want to remain in the Word which reveals it and burns away our guilt through the Sun of Righteousness rising in our hearts.  Stay safe from a fall on the ice this winter.  Stay safe from a cold and icy heart.  Stay close to the warm heart of your loving God.  For Jesus’ sake.
Yours truly in Him,
Pastor Petersen

Meet Johnathan Winkels

Introducing our new Mt. Olive member Johnathan Winkels.  Johnathan was raised and went to school in Dodge Center, MN through the 2nd grade. Grades 3-8 were in nearby Bryon. He attended high school in New Prague, MN, with his senior year at the Arcadia Charter School in Northfield. After a year at Mankato State University, Johnathan  made a welcome move to Bethany college where he is now a sophomore, majoring in History. His future goal would be going into the Seminary and eventually being a pastor in a small congregation. His hobbies include playing Blue Grass music on the banjo and reading Theology and History. He has a rescue dog named Lulu, a Japanese chin miniature Poodle mix. His dad likes Harley Motorcycles and he has a photo of his Dad and Mom sitting on a Harley. His brother, Nick, is a junior in high school. Johnathan, who has a form of Autism, got the honor of throwing out the first pitch at a Minnesota Twins game on a day that was raising awareness for Autism. Recently, Johnathan’s Grandpa died of cancer. It was great comfort that his grandfather had a conversion to Christ just months before his death. Johnathan is looking forward to serving God in the ministry.

Bible Classes at Mt. Olive

The following Bible Classes are offered at Mt. Olive:
9:40AM Sundays (Bible Information Class)
9:40AM Sundays (Bible Study) – St. Paul’s Missionary Journeys
10AM 2nd & 4th Mondays (Veteran’s Bible Study)
8AM Tuesdays (Ladies Bible Study) – Book of Genesis
8AM Wednesdays (MOM’s Bible Study) – Family Vocation
9AM Wednesdays (Bible Study) – Table of Duties
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.

Come join us on

March 1 – Ash Wednesday
5:00 – 6:15 PM
Sponsored by
Bethany Auxiliary
Proceeds go toward
Auxiliary Projects

Online Worship Services

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

Giving Statements:

Your 2016 Giving Statements are available for you to pick up. They are located on the table in the narthex.

Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School

Be Our Guest! Come and watch our MVL Boys’ Basketball teams take on the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds on Thursday, February 2 for the Mt. Olive Congregational night. The Junior Varsity game starts at 6PM followed immediately by the Varsity game at 7PM. The Dance Team and Pep Band will also perform. Pick up the complimentary tickets in your church office. We are thankful for the support and prayers your congregation shows for MVL and the opportunity to work with your students.

Serving Mt. Olive

1st Service: Tom Bode (captain), Eli Bode,
John Schauer, Alex Schauer and John Pfeffer
2nd Service: Chris Kind (captain), Larry Rude,
Dale Schaffer, Izayah Harrison, Luke Buelow
1st Service: Dave Norris (capt.), Ryan Buch,
Aaron Buch, Kyle Buch, Dan Gerdts
2nd Service: Bill Bohning (capt.), Dan Neubauer,
Mark Olson, Scott Pithan, Taylor Pithan,
Altar Guild
February: Ellie Fisher, LuAnn Sting
March: Joni Bode, Elyse Haugen
February: Sally Sorensen, Chris Kind
March: Lisa Holt, Brenda Garbers & Connie Meyer
1st Service: Dean & Cathy Kluge,
Scott & Theresa Dzwonkowski
2nd Service: Mike & Vivian Smith,
Steve & Lois Jaeger
1st Service: Ron & Mary Younge,
Eldon Sting, Keith Anderson
2nd Service: Mike & Anita Smith,
Connie Long, Peggy Harstad

Important Dates at

Mt. Olive Lutheran School

Thursday, February 2
Mt. Olive Night at MVL
Friday, February 10
Jr. Youth
Sunday, February 12
Boys’ & Girls’ Choirs Sing in Church
Tuesday, February 14
NO AM Busing
Friday, February 17
No School – MLC Basketball Tournament
Monday, February 19
No School – Presidents’ Day/Teacher In-service
Sunday, February 26
K-8 CDS Sing in Church – Start of Lutheran Schools Week

We All Need A Plan For Our Money

Financial Peace University (FPU) is that plan! It teaches God’s ways of handling money. Through video teaching, class discussions and interactive small group activities, FPU presents biblical, practical steps to get from where you are to where you’ve dreamed you could be. This plan will show you how to get rid of debt, manage your money, spend and save wisely, and much more! Cost: $103 (Normally $210) per family includes lifetime membership in FPU. Sign up here: FPU is a nine week course. Meetings Thursdays at 6:30pm at Peace beginning February 16th. If you have any questions about this course, please feel free to contact Matt Wiechmann at 507.382.7283

Bethany Auxiliary

The Mankato Chapter of the Bethany Auxiliary will meet on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28 AT 7 P.M. Please note change from usual date. The program for the evening will feature Bethany’s Director of the Nursing Program, Sara Traylor. Anyone interested in the new nursing program and its facilities is welcome to attend. The auxiliary’s usual business meeting will follow the presentation. Please watch the bulletins on February 19 and 26 for additional information.

Nursing Program at BLC

Bethany Lutheran College is seeking your help in identifying individuals who may be able to serve as faculty members in our new Nursing program. Bethany will welcome the first cohort into our new BSN program in the fall of 2017. To make that happen we need to hire qualified nursing faculty. More information can be found on the Bethany website: We are looking for nurses within the ELS or WELS who have at least a Master’s degree in nursing. Bethany Lutheran College is committed to the teachings of the Bible as expressed in the Lutheran Confessions. As such, we look for individuals who fully embrace our beliefs. Teaching experience is desired but not required. Three years of clinical experience is required. Any names or ideas can be sent to the attention of Dr. Eric Woller:

Energy Assistance Program

With heating season upon us, Greater Minnesota Gas, Inc. (GMG) would like to remind residential homeowners or renters of the Energy Assistance Program (EAP).  This federally funded program helps pay for home heating costs and furnace repairs for income-qualified households.  Please contact your location EAP Service Provider to apply.  For help finding your local EAP provider, call 1-800-657-3710.  Applications must be received or postmarked by May 31, 2017 to be processed for benefits for the 2016-2107 program year.  You can find more information on-line at the Minnesota Department of Commerce website at:
The 2017 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!

Kindergarten Round Up

is scheduled for Thursday, February 23 at Mt. Olive and will begin at 6:30PM.  Kindergarten enrollment for next year is open to children who will be 5 by Sept. 1, 2017.

Volunteers Needed

The Evangelism Committee will be hosting a booth at the Baby Expo on February 18, 2017 from 9AM to 1PM, held at the Verizon Event Center.  We will be engaging the community by giving away Gospel centered books, pamphlets on our church and school and upcoming programs.   If you would like to volunteer to help with this outreach event , please contact Michelle Graham:  (507) 720-7258

2017 Directory

The Mt. Olive 2017 Directory is ready for the members of our congregation. Please pick up your copy (one copy per family, please) in the narthex today.

Would you care to become involved in the

Jesus Cares Ministry at Mt. Olive in any of the following ways?

  • do birthday mailings
  • help drive participants to church for Sunday worship
  • give a monetary gift
  • assist with the craft projects during class
  • be a substitute for a staff person
  • be willing to make class reminder calls
  • clerical help (typing)
  • be a door greeter for class sessions

If you would be interested in helping with any of these, please talk to any team member to see what is entailed or contact Mary Born 388-6963,
The Mt. Olive Jesus Cares Team
Lisa Basel, Steve Beilke, Sherri Bukowski,
Mary Born, Ashley Covell, Silas Born
Mt. Olive Jesus Cares group would like to thank everyone who came to their Christmas program on Tuesday, Dec. 20th. The offering taken of $100 will be sent to aid the Jesus Cares Ministry in Malawi – Africa.

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.

Tickets For BLC’s Winter Musical,

The Music Man

are available at or at 344-7374 weekdays between 1-5 pm. Performances are Feb. 3, 4, 10 and 11 at 7:30 pm and matinees on Feb 5 and 11 at 2 pm. $10 for all ages. Plan ahead, tickets will go fast!

Congregational Update as of Jan 13, 2017

The Mt. Olive Building Committee has met several times since the last update in December. ISG and architect Bryan Paulsen continue to make refinements and adjustments during this “design phase” of the project per directives from the building committee. Plans are still too preliminary to present to the congregation but we are pleased to report that progress is being made. As mentioned before, this is a very complex project involving multiple needs expressed by our members and user groups. As plans continue to be refined, the building committee returns regularly to the original “Needs Assessment Prioritization” document to stay focused on the needs identified most often and most widely across the congregation. As shared with the congregation back in October, the number one priorities to be addressed are as follows:

  • A new main entrance to the facility with enhanced curb appeal and a covered drop-off
  • Improved security that addresses external access to the church and school as well as the ability to control internal access to specific areas of the facility based on the need or event
  • Larger narthex space that offers an open and welcoming atmosphere and creates better traffic flow for people attending church, school, and events
  • Improve office space and working arrangements for pastors, church staff, and principal
  • Increase available space for fellowship, kindergarten class size, school related activities, and use by other various groups
  • A combination of additional storage space and more effective use of current storage spaces

The committee is working diligently to incorporate all of these priorities into the design plan and is looking forward to sharing these plans with the congregation as soon as they reach a more refined/detailed stage, which may not be until middle or late February.  Please continue to keep the Building Committee and the Mt. Olive congregation always in your prayers.

I Will Remember Your Sins No More

Way back in the day if you made a mistake while typing you pulled out the little bottle of “White Out” and brushed over the typo.  Then came the erasing ribbon.  Then computers came along and we no longer needed “White Out” or erasing ribbon, we simply hit the delete key.
What if we dealt with our sins in the same way?  Well, it doesn’t work that way.  There is not enough “White Out” in the world to cover your sins.  There is not an erasing ribbon long enough to make your sins go away.  And even when you delete your mistakes on the computer, don’t be fooled, they are still out there somewhere.  Nothing on a computer is ever truly deleted.  God sees them all.
Your sins are not just insignificant typos.  They are acts of hate.  They are thoughts of lust.  They are words of pain.  And they have consequences.  Your sins cause you and the people in your life frustration, pain, and sadness.  More than that they separate you from God.
There is only one way for your sin to be erased.  Isaiah 43:25 God states, “I, even I, am he who blots out your sins, for my own sake”. How did God do that?  1 John 1:7, The blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.  In Jesus there is forgiveness, full and complete.  Not just for the typos of life but also for all sins, no matter how big or how far back they occurred.  When Jesus said “It is finished” while hanging on the cross, God hit the delete key on all of your sins.