Peace with God through Jesus Christ

The Olive Press – March 2017

LENT IS COMING! What Should We Give Up? What Should We Add?

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
“Are you going to give something up for Lent?” Such a question might be met with skepticism among Lutherans. “Isn’t that a Roman Catholic Practice? …up there with eating only fish on Fridays?” Certainly the practice of giving something up for Lent can be abused and misunderstood. But it can also be something that is helpful as you strive for a meaningful devotional life during this special season of repentance.
Jesus Himself practiced fasting (Matthew 4:2). Though Scripture does not command Christians to fast, it is described in many places as a practice that helped believers focus on God and promoted spiritual growth. But it is not simply the act of giving something up–whether that is food, or some sort of habit or vice–that promotes spiritual growth. That depends upon what is taking the place of the thing being given up.
As Christians, our concern should not be about what we are giving up for Lent as much as what is taking its place. If we desire to spend our Lenten season striving for a better devotional life, stronger faith, and closer relationship with God, then we will want to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” (Matt. 6:33) That doesn’t mean that go and do some act or good deed for God that will please Him, that will “make Him owe us one.” No action or deed or good work could ever accomplish that! If we think that by giving something up, we will make ourselves closer to God, we are terribly mistaken. The only thing that will bring us closer to God is to find God in the places where He comes to usdrawing us closer to Himself–through His Word and Sacraments.
Are there things that have taken the place of honor in your heart that should belong to God?  Are there things that distract you from His Word and Sacraments? Are there certain things in your life that you could do without–that would give you more time for your own, personal, devotional and prayer life?
Wouldn’t that be a good thing to consider and ask ourselves as we begin this season of Lent? Yet, realize that the objective is not what we are giving up–but what we will put in its place. Our true focus in Lent should be to fill our time with God’s Word and Sacraments through which comes Jesus’ Forgiveness, Salvation, and Eternal Life! As Jesus encouraged us in Matthew 6:33:But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
May God Bless your Lenten Season! -Pr. Luke Ulrich


Meet Mt. Olive’s Members

Please welcome our new members, Philip and Jean Jurgenson, to Mt. Olive!They became members in September 2016.
Philip was born in Fairmont and grew up on a farm outside of Darfur. He attended Comfrey Public School and Martin Luther Academy when it was located in New Ulm. He went to Dr. Martin Luther College for a couple of years and went to Mankato Vo-Tech for Computer Programming, which led to jobs with various companies as an independent contactor.
Philip is now retired and stays busy remodeling their home and supporting their wife Jean.
Jean was born in Braham and they later moved to St. Paul. She received her elementary education at St. John’s Lutheran in St. Paul. She went to high school at the Tower-Sudan High School where her dad was a teacher and coach. She went to DMLC in New Ulm and earned her Elementary Education degree in Special Education. She taught Special Education in Fergus Falls, Roosevelt in Mankato and St. Mark’s School in Mankato. Jean later returned to DMLC to finish her synod certification. She taught 20 years in the public schools teaching English as a second language to immigrants. She also taught them helpful and valuable information for every day living.
Philip and Jean met each other while attending DMLC in New Ulm. Philip sings in the Mt. Olive choir and likes to golf. Jean likes to go fishing and play Scrabble. They both feel at home at Mt. Olive~!


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.


The 2017 Flower Calendar

The 2017 Flower Calendar for the church year is available in the front entrance next to the bulletin board. Please consider  signing up to bring flowers to beautify our altar this coming year! Thank you~!


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


Blood Drive

Mt. Olive will be hosting a blood drive on Friday, March 17 from 12 – 5. To schedule an appointment call 1 800 733 2767 OR visit their website at www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code MTOLIVEKATO.


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

Ushers

March

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

April

1st Service: Bruce Gratz (captain), Alec Gratz, Seth Tweit, John Sehloff, Keith Anderson
2nd Service: David Munsen (captain), Matthew Munsen, Dan Maas, Justin Maas, Craig Christensen

Greeters

March

1st Service: Ron & Mary Younge, Eldon Sting, Keith Anderson
2nd Service: Mike & Anita Smith, Connie Long & Peggy Harstad

 April

1st Service: Ernie & Marge Lillo, Don & Beth Westphal
2nd Service: Robert & Ruth Heidenreich, James & Carolyn Gates

Altar Guild

March: Joni Bode, Elyse Haugen
April: Carol Leiferman & Sharon Madson

Counters

March: Lisa Holt, Brenda Garbers, Connie Meyer
April: Will Holt, Lance Schwartz


Lutheran Schools Week begins Sunday, Feb. 26-March 3rd:

Upcoming Events for Lutheran Schools Week
Sunday, Feb 26: K-8 sing at both services
Monday, Feb 27: Jump Rope for Heart:
9:00 – 9:25: Second, Fifth, and Sixth Grade 9:30-9:55: First and Seventh Grade 10:00-10:25: Kindergarten and Fourth Grade 10:30-10:55: Third and Eighth Grade
Tuesday, Feb 28: K-8 sings at various nursing homes/ Volleyball game between Teachers & 8th grade
Wednesday, Mar 1: Pastries with Parents 7:15-8:00 Chapel to follow (please join us!!!)
Lenten meal provided by Teachers
Thursday, Mar 2: Movie K-6,  7-8 Field Trip
Friday, Mar 3: Bethany Band, Family Fun Night of Bingo at 6:30
(Please consider donating prizes. PTF will gladly accept them!)


Calendar Highlights

Wednesday, March 1
Ash Wednesday – 6:30 pm  (Lenten meal – 5:00 pm)
Saturday, March 3
BLC Band Concert at Mt. Olive
Sunday, March 5
Band Plays/Bake Sale
Tuesday, March 14
PTF-Meeting
Friday, March 17
Early Dismissal  – 11:15 am
Friday, March 31
No School – Parent Teacher Conferences


Lenten Suppers

Lenten worship services take place Wednesday, March at 6:30PM through March 16.  5PM suppers are served before each service.


Easter Flowers

If you are interested in purchasing lilies and tulips to beautify the altar for Easter, a sign up sheet will be located soon in the Narthex to order specific flowers. Please indicate the type and quantity of flowers you would like, and in whose honor they are given.  The deadline for ordering is Monday, March 22.


Monday Night Services

Please note that our Monday night services will be suspended during the Lenten season.  We encourage those who cannot attend church on Sundays to join us for our midweek Lenten services on Wednesdays at 6:30PM. The theme for Lent this year is Repent” Turn to Jesus”.


Building Committee Presentations

Please join us on Sunday, March 19, for a presentation from the Building Committee on the proposed new addition and renovations for our church and school. Presentations will be after both first and second services.


Sr. Youth Group

Start gearing up for this year’s trip to Cincinnati, Ohio with the Lutheran Youth Association (LYA) on July 27-30, 2017. The convention’s theme this year is, “Saved Through Water”. Go to: http://els.org/lya17/ 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 Jeremy or Angela Merseth.


Family Bingo Night is Back!

Join us on Friday, March 3 from 6:30-8:30 for Family Bingo Night, a part of our Lutheran Schools Week celebration. Bring your family and invite your friends. Bingo is free to play and there are plenty of prizes. Come for night of fellowship and fun!


Our Monday evening services

Monday evening services are postponed during the Lenten season.  They will resume Monday, April 24.  Join us for midweek Lenten services starting Ash Wednesday, March 1, at 6:30 PM.


Bake Sale

There will be preservice band music on Sunday, March 5. Please stop by the bake sale before and after the 2nd service to help support the band fundraiser.


Building Committee Presentations

Please join us on Sunday, March 19, for a presentation from the Building Committee on the proposed new addition and renovations for our church and school. Presentations will be after both first and second services.


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.


Save the Dates!

Easter 4 Kids is April 8th.
Camp VBS 2017 is June 26-30.  More information will be coming as summer nears.
Camp Indianhead 2017: Parents who wish to receive information for camp and bus transportation can provide their email on the sheet available on the Narthex table.
Sr. Youth Group: Start gearing up for this year’s trip to Cincinnati, Ohio with the Lutheran Youth Association (LYA) on July 27-30, 2017. The convention’s theme this year is “Saved Through Water”. Go to: http://els.org/lya17/ 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 Jeremy or Angela Merseth.


Lenten Meal Schedule

March 1 – CDS Faculty (Pulled Pork & Hotdogs)
March 8 – Bethany Auxiliary (Chili)
March 15 – Evangelism Committee (Sloppy Joes)
March 22ndAvailable for Sponsorship
March 29th – Softball Team
April 5th – Junior Youth Group


MIDWEEK LENTEN SERVICES
MARCH 1ST– APRIL 5TH 2017
“Repent:  Turn to Jesus”
March 1st Pastor John Petersen – Luke 18:9-14
Repent:  Turn to Jesus and Not to Yourself
March 8th Pastor Luke Ulrich Mark 14:32-38
Repent:  Turn to Jesus When You Face Temptations
March 15th Pastor Keith Siverly – Luke 7:44-50
Repent: Turn to Jesus; He Changes Your Life
March 22nd Pastor Gary Wong – Luke 23:32-34
Repent: Turn to Jesus; He Longs to Forgive You
March 29th Pastor Tim Hartwig – Luke 23:35-43
Repent:  Turn to Jesus; He Holds the Key to Heaven
April 5th Vicar Wolf Parsons – Matthew 27:1-5
Repent: Turn to Jesus; Do Not Turn Away