“Let’s Talk About WORSHIP….”
Did the title of this article grab your attention? When some people hear the word “WORSHIP,” their first inclination might be to grab a pitchfork! For some it might be as a defense mechanism—making sure no one is going to mess with their “worship” forms and styles. For others, it might be that they are hoping to mix things up—they would welcome trying different things, hoping to reach out to more or different people. If we’re honest, we will have to admit that there are diverse ideas and notions concerning “worship” even among the churches of our fellowship. And to be perfectly honest with you, when a Pastor finds himself in a room full of his congregants who begin talking about their diverse ideas on “WORSHIP” he faces a very serious temptation to run and find the closest fire alarm to pull! (Just Kidding!—Kind of…)
Relax. In the short space we have here, we aren’t going to talk about traditional vs. contemporary; or the value of praise bands vs. organs; or of screens vs. bulletins vs. hymnals. We are certainly not going to suggest we discuss or debate any of these things…not yet anyways.
Before getting bogged down in the differences and disagreements that people have about the style of a Sunday Service—or over the media used to deliver the various parts of the Sunday Service—or over any of the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches of the Sunday Service—we need to have some common ground and understanding. Perhaps some of the struggles and sensitivities we have about “worship” can be lightened if we first make sure we aren’t talking past each other. So let’s first of all, make sure we are talking about the same thing when we are talking about “worship.”
I think there is misunderstanding about “worship” and how it applies to our Sunday Morning “Worship Services.” St. Paul writes about “worship” in Romans 12:1: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
According to this verse, “worship” is about offering “living sacrifices.” It’s about what we are doing for God. It’s about our own sanctified living. Without question, this “worship” is a good thing—God wants to be “worshipped.” However, this is not really talking about what we do for an hour on Sunday mornings. The kind of “worship” spoken of in this verse, describes how we should be living our lives to God’s Glory every moment of every day.
This kind of “worship” is not possible for us unless we are first of all, (as Romans 12:1 explains,) “in view of God’s mercy.” This is the purpose of our Sunday Morning Services—of our “Divine Service of Word and Sacrament.” This is also the purpose of the many Bible Classes our church offers. It also should be the reason you have your own daily personal or family devotions. Before we can have any reaction of thanks and praise to God—before we can “worship” Him—we need to be “in view of God’s mercy.” We need the Gospel given to us. We need the forgiveness of sins, and assurance that we have salvation & eternal life! Once we have these things, then—and ONLY THEN—can we actually go out and “worship” God throughout the rest of our lives! “Worship” can only be a reaction to receiving God’s grace.
With this in mind, what should our Sunday Services really focus on and be about more than anything else? What would the styles and forms—the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches focus us on and strive to do? It’s about bringing God’s forgiveness to us! That is the primary and most important part of a Sunday “worship” Service! It is going to inspire and motivate true “worship.” In this place, we find God’s mercy and grace, and the message that we, who are otherwise unworthy, miserable sinners have the forgiveness of our wins! We receive this forgiveness not through our “worship”—but in the Word and Sacraments that are shared with us at the Sunday Divine Service.
Before we can have any fruitful discussion about styles and forms of “worship” and the various differences of opinion that we might have concerning it, we must first of all be on the same page about what “worship” is.
May God continue to bless us with His Grace—that we might be inspired constantly to “worship” Him.
-Pr. Luke Ulrich
I suppose you might call it faith if you believe in the sun, even on a cloudy day. We probably all have that kind of faith.
There are places where it might cloud over for weeks at a time. It’s easy to get discouraged by the grey sky. Yet, even in cloudy weather, we know the sun is still up there. It’s still providing heat and light. It’s still making life possible.
What happens if our life should cloud over with troubles? What if we have to live for a while under the cover of dark disappointments?
At times like that, we might ask why such things could happen to us. We might question whether or not God is really there, whether or not He cares, whether or not He’s able to help.
We can’t see Him directly. But God is certainly there. He is doing His work, protecting and providing for us. He causes the sun to shine, and the earth to produce. He provides for our physical needs, making our life possible.
But even more than that, the Son of God shines in His Holy Word. This is God’s answer to our spiritual need.
God hasn’t left us in darkness, to try to figure out the answers to life all by ourselves. He hasn’t left us to the wolves that prey upon our fears and needs. God has given us everything we need in Jesus, His Son.
We were sinful. Jesus came from heaven to be our holiness. We were dying. Jesus came from heaven to be our life. We were lost; Jesus came from heaven and found us. He was punished in our place on the cross, and all our sins are forgiven in Him.
So where we’d desperately try to understand … where we’d desperately try to get life right, and find comfort against fear and guilt for the wrong we’ve done … God breaks in, shows us His Son, and says: “the righteous shall live by faith,” faith in Him!
That means forgiveness for sins. That means the exchange of our fate in hell, for eternal joys in heaven. That means help for cloudy days, fears and doubts.
Why not join us this Sunday? God has given us His Holy Word, that we might obtain this faith: assurance that we have a gracious God in Christ.
Bible Classes at Mount Olive
The following Bible Classes are offered:
9:40AM Sundays Adult Bible Study
9:40AM Sundays 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
8AM Tuesdays Ladies’ Bible study
9AM Wednesdays Bible Study
Bible Study for Veterans
The Mount Olive Veterans Bible study meets on the 2nd and 4th Mondays each month at the Mankato Veterans Townhomes (710 Raintree Road, Room C), across from River Hills Mall. Bible study is at 9AM – 10AM. All veterans are welcome. Contact Herman Harstad at 385-0796 for more information.
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
Meet Mt. Olive’s Members
Introducing new Mount Olive members David and Ashley Covell. David was born in Yakima, Washington, and attended several elementary schools in Washington and South Carolina, finishing high school at West Valley in Yakima. After a short time at a community college, David enlisted in the United States Army. He worked as a tank mechanic and after five years at Fort Hood, Texas, was deployed to Germany, Bosnia, Cosavo, and Iraq. After his honorable discharge, he attended Bethany College, earning a degree in sociology.
Because of the G.I. bill, he was able to go on escorted tours to Turkey, Greece, and Israel.
Ashley was born in Litchfield, Minnesota, and attended Litchfield elementary and high schools. She then spent two years at Bethany and two years at Mankato State University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Then it was on to Knoxville, Tennessee, to earn a doctorate in mathematics. Ashley now teaches math at Bethany. And, it was on the trip to Israel that she met David. They were married July 22, 2015.
For hobbies, David likes mechanical work, woodworking, and reading. Ashley likes gardening and crafts. Together, they really enjoy cooking and baking. They live in Mankato and enjoy Mount Olive.
Congratulations, Dave & Ashley! Welcome to Mount Olive, Dave.
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.
Email Addresses for the Office
Wendy Herfendal is at email@example.com
Annette Feistner is answering both firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Bethesda, in partnership with the Bethesda Auxiliary, is accepting scholarship applications for the 2017/2018 academic year for Lutheran high school, college and seminary students with a career objective in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
They will award 14 scholarships:
- For seminary students: Six $3,000 awards
- For current college students: Four $3,000 awards
- For high school seniors: Four $500 awards
The application deadline is May 19, 2017. Applicants must be active, communicant members of a Lutheran congregation and have a minimum 3.0 grade point average. Other application requirements include documentation of volunteer or paid service to people with developmental disabilities, an essay, and letters of recommendation.
Bethesda announces recipients in July. Awards are directly applied to school fees at private or public four-year, post-secondary institutions.
If you have any questions, contact Barb Schultz at 800-383-8743, ext. 4427, or email Barb.Schultz@mailblc.org or go to BethesdaLutheranCommunities.org/Scholarships
Can You Help?
Kevin & Cheryl Chapman, a Mount Olive family, seeks a Lutheran nanny for 3-4 days a week during the school year, approximately 26-32 hours a week. Salary is negotiable. Ideal for a mom of school age kids who is looking for some extra income—maximum flexibility for sick kids and school field trips. Mostly fun play and education time with our three year old and one year old girls. Former nannies that you can visit with as our references. References and background check required. Contact the Chapmans for more information, call or text 979-703-2136 or 972-849-8899.
Softball Umpires Needed
Mt. Olive Lutheran Grade School sponsors a grade school co-ed softball tournament on Tuesday, May 16 at Caswell Park. Games begin at 9:00, so umps will need to report by 8:45. The tournament usually gets done around 3:30. We are looking for volunteers (or paid individuals) for umping. Umps do not need to worry about balls and strikes, since they just call the bases. Each batter gets 4 pitches to attempt to get a hit. Batters may still strike out. Umps will need to know the basic softball rules. If you are able to help out on this day ( all day or partial ), please contact Mr. Zibrowski by calling the school office at 345- 7927 or emailing Mr. Zibrowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boards, Committees and Groups
Please submit your report for the annual meeting to the church office by June 1, for the June 25 meeting. Reports are needed from the Board of Deacons, Treasurer, Board of Budget & Finance, Board of Stewardship, Board of Education, Board of Youth & Parish Education, Board of Trustees, Evangelism Committee, PTF, Booster Club, and Lutheran Girl Pioneers.
The 2017 Flower Calendar
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
The 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!
Campbell’s Labels for Education
We need about 200 more points for our last (recess) ball. LfE program terminates this spring. If you’ve not looked in the back of the junk drawer, please do. Those elusive critters have a UPC bar code attached to the Labels for Education logo.
From the Synod
In addition to being the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, 2017 also leads up to the 100th anniversary of the ELS-Norwegian Synod. After the merger of three churches, based on doctrinal compromise, a small minority began to reorganize their Norwegian Synod.
Oak Leaves, published by the ELS Historical Society, will publish articles illuminating the events leading up to the convention in 1918, including translations from the church paper Luthersk Tidende.
The next two issues of Oak Leaves will be posted on the Historical Society web site available for free download. We hope that you will like our little paper and will want to subscribe to Oak Leaves. This in turn will help to support the society’s efforts to preserve and share our heritage.
Follow this link to the Oak Leaves site: http://www.els-history.org/oak-leaves (You can also reach it by going to ELS.org; click on “Our Work Together”; click on “ELS Historical Society”; a link to Oak Leaves is in the second paragraph).
~Erling T. Teigen
Oak Leaves editor
Many thanks to all who participated in our annual spring clean up day. We had many volunteers and a lot was accomplished. Thanks again!
Serving Mount Olive
- 1st Service: Ross & Betsy Hermonson, Lois Otto
- 2nd Service: David & Tanya Norris, John & Nada Foede
- 1st Service: Paul & Mary Jane Tweit, Steve & Lois Jaeger
- 2nd Service: Paul & Mary Jane Tweit, Steve & Lois Jaeger
- 1st Service: Ross Hermanson (captain), Craig Brown, Broderick Brown, Will Holt, Nathan Younge
- 2nd Service: Robert Irwin(captain), Scott Dzwonkowski, Dennis Soule, Kent Waletski
- 1st Service: Frank Selvey (captain), Mike Smith, Silas Peterson, Darrell Iverson, Ray Iverson, Art Westphall
- 2nd Service: Paul Tweit (captain), Lance Johnson, Dennis Runck, Bob Fosburgh, Blake Fosburgh
- May: LuAnn Sting & Lynette Merseth
- June: Elyse Haugen, Carol Leiferman
|1st Service||2nd Service||Monday|
|May 25||Ascension Thursday: John|
- May: Bruce Gratz and Craig Christensen
- June: John Schauer and Craig Christensen
Memorial Day Service Cancelled
Monday, May 29th, is Memorial Day. Mount Olive’s Monday Evening service is cancelled for the extended weekend. Come join us for Ascension Thursday, May 25th, the weekend before.
Teacher Call Update
Special Voters’ Meeting May 7 after the 10:45AM service to extend a teaching call to the upper grades. All voters are encouraged to attend this meeting.
From the Editor
Bulletin Deadline: Wednesday, noon.
Newletter Deadline: 15th of the current month for the next month’s newletter.
Announcements may run in the Olive Press and then the bulletin. But, they may not run in the bulletin and then the Olive Press.