Peace with God through Jesus Christ

The Olive Press — January 2017

OUR GUIDING STAR

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”  Matthew 2:1-2
Have you ever considered what a blessing we have in the Stars? They sparkle beautifully above us on clear nights. Their light travels from mind-boggling distances in order to shine and twinkle for us—that we might marvel at the amazing creation God has given us!
Throughout time, however, people developed false ideas about the stars. They believed they held the answers to life. Some try, even still, to read the stars (by horoscopes and astrology, etc.)—believing that they can foretell their future or destiny by the alignment of the celestial bodies on any given night. Christians, of course, reject this notion but we are happy to point out how practically useful the study of stars have been. For instance, navigators and sailors once depended on stars to steer their way home.
On the festival of Epiphany, we hear how God once created a special star for a glorious purpose. Its purpose was to be a guide to someone important – the most important person in all the history of the world: Jesus Christ, Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, the world’s only Savior. God wanted everyone to know about Jesus—even those from distant lands such as the Magi from the East—who “when they saw the star, were overjoyed.” (Matthew 2:10)
While the Wise Men were not Jews (—God’s chosen people–) God still wanted them to know Jesus as their Savior. Being led by that star, they came a long way to worship Jesus who was the King of the Jews, but also, as foretold and promised in the Old Testament, the Savior of the world. In faith, the Magi came and worshiped Jesus—laying before him gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
God wants everyone to know Jesus. He desires people from all corners of the earth to likewise come in faith before Jesus and worship Him. God does this—leading foreign people to Jesus today—by means of a GREATER STAR, His written WORD of the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word, a supernatural guide which leads us to Jesus like the star led the wise men.
The Bible reveals Jesus to us by faith and teaches us all we need to know about Him. It shows us how desperately we need Him! After all, our sins against God are many—God’s Word points that out to us. But this new star—the Word of God—also proclaims what Jesus did in order to save us. It proclaims to us how God the Son took on flesh and blood, how He became our fellow man and brother. It teaches us how He lived for us, living a life that was required of us to live—holy, perfect, and righteous. Though He was totally innocent, He willingly died the death of a criminal, shedding His blood upon the cross to wash away our sins! Christ’s life, death, and resurrection has secured forgiveness for the whole world!
This is what OUR GUIDING STAR leads us to see! That star is God’s Word that proclaims to us the message of salvation in Jesus! As you celebrate the festival and season of Epiphany rejoice in that Guiding Star of God’s Word that leads us to our Savior! Happy Epiphany!
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Luke Ulrich


Meet Delores and Larry Staats

We would like to introduce new Mt. Olive members Larry and Delores Staats. Larry was born in Millston, Wisconsin, but quickly moved to Augusta, Wisconsin where he attended school. After graduation, he joined the army and went to Europe. He spent his 19th birthday sleeping in a brewery floor in Ulm, Germany. While serving his country, his tank was hit and Larry received the Purple Heart award for his wounds. After the army, Larry played city league baseball which didn’t pay much. He then worked for 37 years as a Lineman for the railroad, achieving the rank as District Lineman.
Delores was born on a kitchen farm place floor near Buffalo, Wisconsin. She attended school for 8 years in a one room country school and then the public school in Gillmanton Township. After graduation, she spent one year at the Eau Claire Teachers College. It was this year that she met Larry on a blind date. This led to marriage and four daughters: Janet, Barbara, Marilyn and Laura. After moving between Minnesota and Wisconsin, they finally ended up here in Mankato and Mt. Olive.
Larry loved woodworking, building a home, a lake cabin and beautiful furniture for the whole family. Delores loves music, giving piano lessons, her granddaughter, playing the piano/organ in church and directing choir. She enjoys needlepoint, knitting and crocheting. They have ten great grandchildren.
~Jim and Sandie Tessien


The next Red Cross Blood Drive at Mt. Olive will be Friday, January 27 from 1 – 6PM.


Online Worship Services

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


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!


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.


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.
A new address listing will be published in January.  Please stop in the entry way before January 8 to check the current copy to be sure your address and phone number are correct.  Please include your email address.


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!


Serving Mt. Olive

Ushers
January
1st Service: Jeff Younge (capt.), Aaron Younge,
Joseph Roemhildt, Tim Roemhildt, Dustin Basel
2nd Service: Mark Madson (capt.), Kirk Hankins,
Andy Overn, Ian Overn, Chad Feistner
February
1st Service: Tom Bode (captain), Eli Bode,
John Schauer, Alex Schauer and John Pfeffer
2nd Service: Chris Kind (captain), Larry Rude,
Dale Schaffer, John Foede, Luke Buelow
Altar Guild
January: Connie Gullixson, Connie Meyer
February: Ellie Fisher, LuAnn Sting
Counters
January: Steve Lussky , Jon Pfeffer
February: Sally Sorensen, Chris Kind
Greeters
January:
1st Service: Dan & Kathy Bruss,
Keith Anderson, Eldon Sting
2nd Service: Dave & Katie Sulzle,
Dan & Joanne Maas
February:
1st Service: Dean and Cathy Kluge,
Scott & Theresa Dzwonkowski
2nd Service: Mike & Vivian Smith,
Steve & Lois Jaeger


Important Dates at Mt. Olive Lutheran School

Tuesday, January 3
School Resumes
Tuesday, January 10
No AM Busing
Mt. Olive Night at MVL
Saturday, January 14
Charger Classic Tournament at BLC
Tuesday, January 16
No School MLK Day
Friday, January 27
Early Dismissal at 11:15AM


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:  http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/classes/1029454
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


Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School

Be Our Guest! Come and watch our MVL Boys’ Basketball teams take on the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds on Tuesday, January 10 for the Mt. Olive Congregational night. The Junior Varsity game starts at 6PM followed immediately by the Varsity game at 7PM. 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.
Also, the MVL A Cappella Choir will be singing at Mt. Olive on Sunday, January 22. Help us welcome them with coffee and treats in the Social hall in between services.


Outreach Newsletter

Jeremiah 31:34, I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more.
Cleaning stains can be a frustrating task because they can be very difficult to remove.  One way to deal with a stain is to cover it up.  You can paint over it, but it so often bleeds through again.  If it’s on the carpet, you can steam clean it, but after it dries it can come right back up.  Frustrating!!!!
Sometimes we act as if God deals the same way with our many sins.  As if Jesus covers them only to have them come through again for us to be frustrated by their memory.  Our mistakes from the distant past of our youth, our missteps from last year, our trespasses from the morning, these can all come back to the surface and affect us with guilt and shame.
But God assures us that he does more than superficially cover our sins.  He does something far greater.  He forgives them so completely that He forgets them!!!  They are gone.  It is as if they never existed.  All because Jesus Christ took them away on the cross.
We have just entered a new year.  Last year’s sins are gone because of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  How about the sins in this New Year?  Oh they’ve happened already, and they will continue to happen.  Old sins will tempt us.  New sins will be lurking at home, work, on-line, etc.  What are we going to do?  We will lay them at the foot of the cross with a repentant heart remembering that God has forgiven us and remembers our sins no more.


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: www.blc.edu. 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: eric.woller@blc.edu


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 participates 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, mborn@mtolivelutheran.org
The Mt. Olive Jesus Cares Team
Lisa Basel, Steve Beilke, Sherri Bukowski,
Mary Born, Ashley Covell, Silas Born


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: https://mn.gov/commerce/consumers/consumer-assistance/energy-assistance/.