Peace with God through Jesus Christ

Olive Press – April 2017

Dear Members and Friends of Mount Olive,
“It is finished.”  What is the emotion behind those words?  It varies.  If that statement is spoken by a store owner who has to close his business due to slow sales, there’s a strong note of discouragement and frustration being expressed.  “It’s finished.”  If those words are exclaimed by a student after writing the conclusion to an important term paper, they signal relief and confidence that the project has been successfully completed.
As Jesus died He said, “It is finished.”  Though He uttered those words from the intense pain of crucifixion, there is surely a clear note of triumph expressed by them.  He knew as He drew His final breath that He had done what He had come to do.  By His obedient life and His innocent death on the cross, He fulfilled all that was necessary for the salvation of the human race.  No one could ever feel such emotional and physical and spiritual anguish as Jesus felt on the cross.  No one could ever feel such a sense of accomplishment as His life was ending.
Voices echo off rocks.  Jesus’ words, “It is finished!” echo off the rock which had been moved aside from His empty tomb on Easter morning.  By His resurrection Jesus proved that He is the Son of God who paid every bit of the ransom required for our salvation.  His resurrection from the dead and the tomb which encased Him means that we too will rise from our graves to everlasting life when He comes for us on the last day.
Easter means that it really is finished.  Nothing needs to be done to supplement Jesus’ triumph.  The forgiveness of sins and eternal life which He won is perfect and complete. We shouldn’t think that there is anything we can or should do to “complete” the task of saving us.   At the same, Easter means that it rally is just beginning.  Our new life becomes connected to Jesus as we hear and trust His Gospel.  That new life won’t end, but will continue on forever in the bliss and peace of heaven.
Be sure to be with us at Mt Olive as we commemorate Jesus’ suffering and death at our Midweek and Holy Week Services, and as we celebrate His rising again on Easter morning.  Then be certain that your salvation is finished and that your new and everlasting life is just starting!
Your friend in Him who died for us and rose again,
Pastor Petersen

The Resurrection Proves You Are Forgiven

Where is the evidence?  We are fortunate to live in a country where one must be proven guilty.  The presumption of innocence is central to our legal system.  The lawyers involved in a court case present evidence to support their claims of guilt or innocence for the accused.  A baseless claim will be met with the question, “Where is the evidence?”
All truth claims should be proven valid by supporting evidence.  Christianity is held to the same standard.  What are some of the truth claims of Christianity?
The first is that everyone is sinful.  The evidence for this is overwhelming.  Just think.  Have you ever told a lie?  Have you ever taken something that didn’t belong to you?  Have you ever had sexual desires for someone who is not your spouse?  Have you ever hated someone?  The evidence proves that you are sinful.
The Bible claims that God sent His Son, Jesus the Christ, to live a perfect life, to suffer and die innocently, and to rise triumphant from the grave so that the sins of all people are forgiven.  It says, “He was delivered over to death for our offenses, and raised to life for our justification (forgiveness).” (Romans 4:25) The resurrection is the crux of the matter.  If Jesus rose from the grave, then everything else claimed holds true.
What evidence is there for the resurrection of Jesus?  Here are some things to consider.

  • The disciples never changed their story. There are no inconsistencies in the different accounts of the resurrection.
  • The disciples were willing to die for their faith in the resurrected Jesus. All of the Apostles but John were martyred – killed for their faith.  Why would they die for a lie?
  • Over 500 men saw the resurrected Jesus at the same time. Jesus appeared to people for 40 days after He was raised to give many convincing proofs that He was alive.
  • Where is the body? No event has had such a great impact on the world.  To prove Christianity a hoax, all one must do is produce the body of Jesus.  His enemies certainly would have if it was possible.  But they haven’t because Christ is risen.  He is risen indeed!

The resurrection of Jesus is a valid event in human history.  It really happened.  Therefore, everything that the Bible claims about Jesus is true.  He did live a perfect life.  He did die an innocent death for the sins of all people.  He rose from the grave to prove that God has accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf.  Here is the greatest claim:  Your sins are forgiven.  Jesus’ resurrection proves that it is true.
Gather with us for our Easter services and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.  Celebrate because it proves that you are forgiven.


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

From the Building Committee

Thank you! The Mt. Olive Building Committee would like to thank everyone who attended the information meetings following both services on March 19. The questions and comments were excellent and provided a wonderful opportunity for presenting the proposed project to the congregation. The voters’ meeting on April 2 will determine ONLY whether or not the congregation approves progressing to the fundraising stage, NOTE: This phase of fundraising effort is the collection of “pledges” only, not the actual collection of funds that are pledged. During this phase the fundraising subcommittee will conduct small group “cottage meetings” to answer questions and further explain how members can consider how they might be able to financially support the project over the next three years. The pledge information will be gathered and compared to the existing funds and project costs. If that total amount does not cover the estimated project costs, the amount that needs to be financed, along with other related budgetary impact items and final design plans would then be brought to the voters as a proposal (hopefully by the annual meeting in June) to decide whether to proceed with the project.
While you’re at Mount Olive… Please take a look at the architectural renderings of the plan on display in the narthex. The slides from the informational meeting as well as a transcript of the questions and answers at that meeting are available on the Mount Olive website.
As you consider the plan and as voters consider their decision on April 2nd regarding the next step, please continue to pray that everything be done according to God’s will and in a way that is pleasing to Him.

Group Leaders

Are you a leader of a committee or a group?  June is around the corner.  The Congregational Annual Report may need you!

From the Trustees

The annual Mount Olive Spring Cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, April 22, from 8AM to 12PM and 1PM to 5PM. Sign-up sheets are available in the Narthex for the following areas:
Outdoor cleanup – Trucks with trailers welcome. Please bring rakes, shovels, and wheelbarrows if able.  Severe weather date is Saturday, April 29.
Sanctuary, Parish Hall, and hallways – Polishing pews and alter area, dusting, and cleaning.
Basement/Storage cleanup and organization – great workout opportunity! Any help would be greatly appreciated! Plenty to do before Confirmation the next weekend!
Storage Cleanup The Mount Olive Trustees are clearing items from the basement and other storage areas. If you have items in storage, please label them promptly so we know who to contact to discuss their fate. Items that are damaged, under-utilized, or hazardous will be discarded or given away during the Spring Cleanup.
Related to this clearing out…The following items are available: the old brown wood tables in the ball room by the gym (about 17 of them), a few smaller wood tables (about 2′ x 8′) in the basement, and multiple random school chairs in the Northeast corner of the basement that have not been moved in many years. If you would like any of these items, please contact one of the trustees or call the church office. We will set up a time for you to remove them. First come, first served. They will be donated to New-2-You or disposed of April 22 if they are still around. Please do not return them once you take them.

Online Worship Services

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

Meet Mt. Olive’s Members

Introducing new members to Mount Olive, Kurt and Rose Shrader and their daughter Evelyn.
Rose was born on the south side of Chicago and moved to Midland, Michigan, at the age of two.  Elementary K-8 was at Good Shepherd School in Midland.  High school was at the Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw.  That was followed by 2 years at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, and then a degree in theater from Bethany College in Mankato.  After a time in early childcare daycare, Rose has a new job with the Children’s Museum in Mankato.
Kurt was born in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Being in a pastor’s family, they moved a lot, including Columbus, Ohio; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Ontario, Canada.  Kurt was home schooled, and then received an associates degree in business management from the Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls.  This was followed by a bachelors in communications at Bethany College in Mankato along with a masters degree in television production.  He now works at Bethany with KTV television station, along with teaching and being a faculty advisor with a production company at Bethany.
Kurt and Rose met at Bethany and were marrid at Saint Paul’s in North Mankato.  Their daughter Evelyn is turning four.  For pets, they have a freshwater tank with fish and shrimp.
Rose likes theater and quilting.  Kurt likes film and gaming with friends.
Welcome to Mount Olive, Kurt, Rose, and Evelyn!

Kwik Trip Cards

Mount 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.

Current Needs

If anyone would like to donate a larger fridge/freezer, please contact one of the Trustees.
Non-Digital Scrapbookers who use 12” × 12” sheet protectors, if you saved any unused liners, the After School Care program could use them for an upcoming art project.  By May 1, please leave the 12” × 12” white liners in the Youth Room or with Annette Feistner in the front office.
Can you save your egg cartons for us? Drop them into the box by the office door by April 5th for use in a craft project during our Easter for Kids on April 8th. Thank You!
If the CDS can find 531 more points from Campbell’s Labels for Education, then Mount Olive can order one more football or kickball.  That reduces our banked points to zero! The Campbell’s program ends with the end of school. If you’ve not looked in the back of the junk drawer this year, please consider doing just that. Or, while spring cleaning, keep your eyes peeled for those elusive critters: they’re marked Labels for Education and have a UPC bar code attached. By the next big bonfire at Bethany, any labels not turned in will just be kindling. Are the labels out there? Do we get to have one last ball? The PTF will keep you posted.
The 2017 Flower Calendar for the church year has a few dates available.  If the following dates interest you, please find the calendar in the front entrance next to the bulletin board: May 21, July 30, Sept. 3, Sept. 17, Oct. 1, Nov. 19, Nov. 26, Dec. 10. Please consider signing up to bring flowers to beautify our altar this coming year.  Thank you~!
Save Your Pop Tabs! After School Care is saving pop tabs to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities – our service project for this school year! If you would like to help, leave your pop tabs in the youth room. Thank you!

Serving Mount Olive



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


1st Service: Ross & Betsy Hermonson, Lois Otto
2nd Service: David & Tanya Norris, John & nada Foede



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


1st Service: Ross Hermanson (captain), Craig Brown, Broderick Brown, Will Holt, Nathan Younge
2nd Service: Robert Irwin(captain), Scott Dzwonkowski, Dennis Soule, Kent Waletski

Altar Guild

April: Carol Leiferman & Sharon Madson
May: LuAnn Sting & Lynette Merseth


1st Service 2nd Service Monday
April 2 Dennis Mark
April 5 Elisabeth
April 9 Dennis John
M. Thurs. Dennis
Good Fri. Mark
April 16 Cassie Mark
April 23 Dennis John Kristin
April 30 TBD TBD TBD


April: Will Holt, Lance Schwartz
May: Bruce Gratz & Craig Christensen

Call Meeting

The call meeting is at 1PM April 2. All congregation members are welcome. Voting members of Mount Olive will be asked to vote on which candidate will be called from the list given by the Board of Education.

Last Lenten Supper 2017

The last Lenten worship service is Wednesday, April 5, at 6:30PM.  Walking tacos are served at 5PM supper by the Junior Youth.  Stay to hear Vicar Wolf Parsons’ message Repent! Turn to Jesu; Do Not Turn Away.

BOGO BOOK FAIR is coming!

As a “thank you” to everyone who made our book fairs so successful this year, there will be a Buy One, Get One Free Scholastic book fair Wed., April 5 through Sun., April 9. The book fair will be open Wed., April 5 from 2:40 -5:30 p.m. , Thurs., April 6 from 2:40 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday, April 7 from 2:40p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 -7:00 and after the 4th grade play. It will be open Sat., April 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. during Easter for Kids. It will be open Sunday, April 9 from 9:30- 12:15. This is a wonderful time to stock up on books for summer reading! Lots of Easter basket stuffers too! Everything is Buy One Get One Free!

Easter for Kids!

One-Day VBS will be held on April 8th, from 8:30am – 1pm. Please invite family and friends especially from outside of our congregation (and especially those without a church home) to attend. For more information and for signing up, please go to the Mt. Olive website: . We encourage our own youth to consider this a mission opportunity–bring along friends who may like to learn more about Jesus!

Easter Brunch

You’re invited to join us for an Easter Brunch between services on Easter Day, April 16th! The Senior Youth Group will be serving a light brunch and all proceeds will go to offsetting the cost of attending the LYA Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. Please come to enjoy good food, fellowship and a chance to support our Christian teens!

Monday night services Resume

Mount Olive’s evening service resumes with the conclusion of Easter week.  Please join us Monday, April 24, as we anticipate the ascension of our Lord and the arrival of our Paraclete at Pentacost!

Lutheran Youth Association

LYA registration fee for this year’s Lutheran Youth Association (LYA) trip to Cincinnati, Ohio on July 27-30, 2017 is $250 in April. However, for first time registrants, $50 is refunded to your credit card after we verify that this is your first time attending. Registration fees increase by $50 beginning May 2. The convention’s theme is “Saved Through Water”. Go to: to register. More information to come regarding the bus to get us there and fundraisers, etc. Any questions? Talk to or email Jeremy or Angela Merseth (541-245-7465 or

Mt. Olive School Scrip Program offers gift cards for purchase for a wide variety of retailers. A percentage of gift card purchases go towards Mt. Olive Tuition. Visit to view the 400+ participating retailers. If you have questions or need help getting started email Tanya Norris or Tiffany Riesgraf

How does New2You benefit yOu? (All students attending Mt. Olive)
(New2You has provided $9,752.90 to date)
How does New2You benefit yOu? (All students attending MVL)
(New2You has provided $146,289.99 to date)
By signing up to volunteer just once a year
yOu benefit MVL and Mt. Olive.
FYI:  April 1st has 1 volunteer opening.

Email Addresses

Wendy Herfendal
Annette Feistner is answering both and

Softball Fans and Athletes

It is that time of the year again and we are forming softball teams! There is a signup sheet out in the narthex if you would like to join us for family and fun. Mens church league is on Monday nights and co-ed league is on Tuesday nights.

Kitchen Changes

Due to the need to comply with government regulations for the hot lunch program, we have had to make some changes to our current use of the kitchen. The large freezers, large refrigerator, food storage room, and at least one kitchen cabinet must be dedicated to the hot lunch program and will no longer be accessible to the church. A fridge/freezer has been added to the kitchen for church/non-hot lunch program use. All kitchen dishes/utensils used outside of the hot lunch program must be washed and put away. The hot lunch employees cannot legally clean these since their time is paid by government program funds. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Camp VBS 2017 is June 26-30. More information will be coming as summer nears.

Camp Indianhead is July 9-14

Parents who wish to receive information for camp and bus transportation can provide their email on the sheet available on the Narthex table.
A quick look at what’s online:
Extra T-shirt:

Bethany Lutheran College News

Minnesota River Valley Wind Ensemble, a semi-professional group comprised of music educators, community members, music students and professional musicians, performs a spring concert in Trinity Chapel on Sunday, April 2, at 3PM in Trinity Chapel. MRVWE is directed by Dr. Amy K. Roisum Foley. This concert is free and open to the public.
Organ student Timothy Krause performs works by J.S. Bach, Buxtehude, Medelssohn and Handel in his senior organ recital on Monday, April 3, at 7PM in Trinity Chapel. The recital is free and open to the public.
Bethany Concert Choir and Mary Martha Singers directed by Dennis Marzolf and Ann Fredrickson perform a choral concert on Palm Sunday, April 9, at 3PM in Trinity Chapel. Advance reservations are not required. A free will offering will be collected.
Bethany World Club invites you to the annual international festival of food and music on Palm Sunday, April 9, at 6:30PM on the campus green. In case of rain, the event will take place in Honsey Hall’s lobby under the international flags. Mingle with Bethany’s international students and sample delicious food and drinks from around the world in this festive, cross-cultural event. The event is free and open to the public.
Bethany String Band, directed by Prof. Adrian Lo, presents a spring concert of music for strings and guest instrumentalists on Tuesday, April 11 at 7 PM in Trinity Chapel. Free.
Bethany Theatre Department presents Tell It to the Wind: Folk Tales of the World, a world premiere written and directed by Benji Inniger. Inspired by captivating tales from Russian, Chinese, South African, Venezuelan, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, and Native American cultures, Tell It To The Wind is a family-friendly exploration of storytelling throughout magical worlds, featuring memorable characters, live music, dance, and puppetry. Performance dates and times are Fridays and Saturdays, April 21-22, 28-29 at 7:30 p.m., and a matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 23. The box office opens April 10, M-F from 1-5 pm at 507-344-7374 or at All tickets are $10.
Bethany art majors Cora Mumme, Megan Sauer, Katie Sehloff, and Elisabeth Werre present their senior art show on Thursday, April 6 at 7 pm in the YFAC gallery. On this evening they will speak about their work, with a reception following. This first of 2 senior art exhibitions are on display through April 7.
Join Relay for Life on Friday, April 7, from 6PM-12AM in the Sports and Fitness Center on Bethany’s campus. Stay for the entire event or just stop by for a bit. The evening will be filled with food, fun, activities, and prizes; all raising awareness and funds for the fight against cancer. All ages are welcome! To make a team or sign up, please visit: