Peace with God through Jesus Christ

Olive Press – July 2017

“Let me tell you about this thing that has changed my life for the better!” It might be a great kitchen gadget that helps you cook dinner. It might be a “super-food” that has lowered your cholesterol. It might be a new restaurant that serves the best cheeseburgers you’ve ever had. Whatever that “thing” might be, if it is great and has changed your life for the better, most people would be happy to tell others about it and encourage them to check it out! If there is a product or service out there that you know and love, wouldn’t you happily tell others about it?—wouldn’t you give it a positive review so others might know about it and come to appreciate it as much as you do?!
Let’s apply this also to our spiritual lives. Is there something that has changed your spiritual life for the better? If there was, would you be happy to tell others about it? In Romans 3:23, Paul explains that ALL PEOPLE are by nature in need of a changed spiritual life. He says: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Because of our sins we should not be in God’s presence—His glory should not be something that we should know or experience. In fact, because of our sins, we should be cast far away from God’s glory. But God has intervened in order to help us with our problem of sin. As Paul continues in Romans 3:24, “We are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” God has sent His Son, Jesus into our world that we might be “redeemed”—bought back from our sins—and so that we stand before God “justified”—declared righteous before him! The sins that we are guilty of are removed because of our Savior! Through Jesus we have a changed spiritual life for the better! No longer are we excluded from God’s glory—it belongs to us and we will enjoy it forever in heaven!
This is the heart and core of our faith and at the center of everything we believe, teach, and practice at our church. We have from God something that changes our lives for the better—really, for the absolute best! We have “His Grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” And this is something that we can be happy to share with others who can also use this life-changing message!
Over the course of the past five years our Synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod has made it a goal to “Engage Others with Jesus.” There are so many people, even in our own community—even with the many churches and Christian organizations found here, who still need to hear about and be encouraged by the Gospel message. Sometimes it is taken for granted that there is a mission field in our own neighborhood!
This year at our ELS Convention (which took place from June 18th – 21st), our churches were again encouraged to see the opportunities that we have to help the people around us change their spiritual lives for the better—as we are encouraged to “Proclaim the Wonders God Has Done!” Our congregations and the members of our congregations are being encouraged to see themselves as “mission congregations” that have many mission opportunities that God presents to us in our local communities. We are encouraged to carry out Inreach—strengthening our own members and encouraging them support the important work we have been given; and also encouraged to carry out Outreach—looking at the opportunities that we have to take the life-changing (for the better) message of Jesus to the people around us.
These are tasks that we have taken seriously at Mt. Olive over the years and that we will seek to continue to carry out in the years ahead! But we need your help! Knowing the life-changing message that is found here, please share it with the people around you. Tell them about our Savior and what He has done for us; and invite them to hear more about Him at the Divine Services and Bible Studies of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church!
-Pr. Luke Ulrich


“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
FREEDOM! –Is it just a word, or way of life? As Americans, we greatly value our freedoms, although so often, many do not fully appreciate or understand them. Today, many express concerns that we are losing our freedoms, as government regulates more and more of our lives.
It is important for all our citizens –but especially for Christians, who have been sanctified in the truth– to be active and educated, not only about the freedoms our country enjoys, but also in doing our part in maintaining those precious freedoms. That’s simply being a good steward of our American citizenship, which we have been blessed to possess!
But as wonderful as America’s freedoms are, more valuable still is the spiritual freedom we have in Christ Jesus! His freedom brings forgiveness, new life, and life forever!
The chains of sin, that shackled us at the moment of our conception and condemned us to an eternity in hell, were destroyed by Jesus, who replaced our sinful lives with His own sinless life, on Calvary’s Cross. His shed blood paid the price for the whole world’s sins and brought forgiveness and salvation to all who believe in Him!
In Christ, we have been freed FROM the guilt and condemnation of sin! In Christ, we have been freed FOR serving Christ and one another! And in Christ, we have the CERTAINTY that our eternal salvation has been secured!
But just like our nation’s freedoms need to be guarded and maintained, we also have to be careful and diligent about our spiritual freedom.
The apostle Paul calls for a proper understanding of the spiritual freedom we have, in Christ, so that we don’t lose it, or take it for granted, but always maintain it, through God’s Word and sacrament!
By way of our Lord’s life, death, and resurrection, Jesus has lifted off the burden of our sin so that we can be free of its guilt and punishment. He has removed the overbearing pressure of the law from cutting off our right standing with God. He has pulled us away from our sinful and selfish ways, and put us on the liberating course of serving Him, that involves honoring His will, growing in our faith, and dealing with others, in Christian love.
We have been freed from sin and freed to serve!
So, you see, FREEDOMIN CHRIST— is more than just a word…it IS our way of life!
May His freedom always ring loud and clear, as it reigns in our hearts and lives…and daily proclaims the saving Name of Jesus, for all the world to see and hear!

Bible Classes at Mt. Olive

The following Bible Classes are offered at Mt. Olive:

11AM Sundays (BIC)

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, working through Genesis)

9AM Wednesdays

(Bible Study, Table of Duties, as Pastor is available. Watch the bulletin or call the office [345-4966] to confirm the summer dates.)

10AM Select Mondays, off-site

(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 ends at 11AM. All veterans are welcome. Contact Herman Harstad at 385-0796 for more information.)


Our summer worship schedule is in effect until Sunday, September 10 , when 2nd service will be at 10:30. Service times are 8:30 AM & 10:00 AM.

Online Worship Services

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

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.

Serving Mount Olive


July: Dean & Kathy Kluge, Mark & Vivian Smith
August: Mark & Michelle Graham, Ernie & Marge Lillo



1st Service: Ron Younge, Brian Strom, James Strom, Silas Born, Paul Gullixson
2nd Service: Jim Gullixson (captain), Peter Bloedel, Hans Bloedel, Jerry Hanson, Spencer Olson


1st Service: Steve Jaeger (captain), John Bungum, Rich Hultgren, Rich Andreason, Craig Zibrowski, Michael Zibrowski
2nd Service: Dave Sulzle (captain), Joe Meyer, Herman Harstad, Jeremy Jacob, Sam Barbosa

Altar Guild

July: Connie Meyer, Terri Westphal
August: Ruth Heidenreich, Terri Westphal


Date 1st Serv. 2nd Serv. Monday
July 2 Cassie Elisabeth Lexi
July 9 Dennis Mark Elisabeth
July 16 Dennis Mark Kristin
July 23 Cassie Mark Lexi
July 30 Cassie John Lexi


July: Beth Hoffman, Joni Bode
August: Stacey Olsen, Seth Tweit


Amanda Johnson was born in Saint Peter but lived in Teigen Hall at Bethany for a few years as her Mom and Dad were dorm parents.
Then she moved to a home in rural Nicollet. Her mother was at teacher so Amanda was home schooled K-12.
After home school, Amanda attended Bethany College where she graduated with a major in English and a minor in Religion. During her time at Bethany, Amanda sang in the choir, participated in several plays singing and dancing, including the Choraliers Musical.
After graduation, she worked in a deli and then in a Christian day school in Florida. She is employed with Thomas Tree and Landscape in Mankato. She does outdoor landscape work and is learning to operate the big equipment. Amanda loves animals and has a Labrador Retriever named Molly and a Hermit crab named Calypso.
She likes Show Dog competition, showing her dog for obedience and agility. Amanda considers herself a super outdoors person, camping in state parks and fishing. She is the oldest in a big family with five sisters and five brothers.

Making an Impact

Volunteer Opportunities
  • The funeral service for Laura Lillegard is at Mount Olive on Saturday, July 8 at 11AM. Volunteers to provide pans of bars or cookies for dessert and also volunteers to help with the luncheon are needed. Helpers may assist either between 9AM and 11AM or from 11:30AM until approximately 1:30PM. If you can help in any way call or text Lois Jaeger at 507-351-5488. Thank you!


  • Mount Olive’s Evangelism Committee participates in North Mankato’s Fun Day’s Parade on July 8 and Tator Day’s in Eagle Lake on July 15. Participants need to wear their Mount Olive shirt. Parade line up information is yet to be determined. If you are interested in walking or riding on the float (it has a canopy for shade) and sharing the Gospel with those around us, please contact Michelle Graham (507 720 7258). The Evangelism Committee would love for you to join them!


  • We are looking for volunteers. On Saturday, July 22 from 9AM – Noon, Mount Olive’s Evangelism Committee hosts a VBS in the park in Eagle Lake. We are looking for volunteers. If you are interested in helping with crafts, track events, or music, contact Michelle Graham (507) 720 7258 Thank you!

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: July 30, Sept. 3, Sept. 17, Nov. 26, Dec. 10. Consider signing up to bring flowers to beautify our altar this coming year. Thank you~!

Impact with Pop Tabs

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!

To: All Bus Riders Going to Camp Indianhead

From: Lance Johnson, Your Bus Driver
Here is what you need to know about the Camp Indianhead Bus:
Departure Time: Sunday, July 9th at 11:00AM
Departure/Return Place: Mt Olive Lutheran Church
Return Time: Friday, July 14th about 5:00PM
I will have the bus at Mt Olive around 10:00AM to begin loading the bus and to collect any remaining bus payments.
It takes about 4 hours to drive to Lutheran Island Camp. I plan to make at least ONE food/bathroom stop both to and from camp. If you have additional forms, payments, or information for Camp Indianhead, campers should have that stored safely in their luggage for when they check in at Lutheran Island. As always, please contact me if you have concerns/questions.
Your Bus Driver,
Lance Johnson

Play Date & Picnic with MOMs

Don’t know what to do on Wednesdays with the kids this month? Bring them to the park! The Moms On a Mission (M.O.M.s) group has set up park playdates on Wednesday mornings for the summer months. All are welcome (even dads). Join us Wednesdays from 9:30AM-NOON. Bring a picnic lunch if you like. Come and go as you please. We rotate to a different park each month:
July is Spring Lake Park
August is Sibley Park
If weather is rainy, playdate is cancelled. Come when you can! Questions? Contact Heidi Graham at

Youth Convention to Cincinnati

Synod LYA Registration: If you have your own transportation, the last date to register is July 3. If you needed a seat on our bus, the last day to register was June 6. The registration fee for this year’s Lutheran Youth Association (LYA) trip to Cincinnati, Ohio on July 27-30, 2017 is $300. The convention’s theme is “Saved Through Water”. Go to: to register. The link redirects you to If you have questions, please contact Jeremy or Angela Merseth: #541-245-7465 or
LYA Bus transportation: If you registered separately for a seat on our bus, it leaves late afternoon on Wednesday, July 26, from our parking lot and returns on the morning of Monday, July 31. The cost of the bus ride itself is $200 – $240 per rider. The exact price per rider is calculated when the count is somewhat accurate. Other stops as needed along our path through Iowa and Illinois are also made. The bus trip includes in the cost an afternoon at King’s Island Amusement Park in Mason, Ohio ( Riders sleep on the bus. Bring a blanket and pillow or sleeping bag. A parent’s/guardian’s signature is required on the form. Be sure that you are also registered with the Synod’s Youth Board for attending the Convention ( Make the bus check to LYA Bus. Mail it to LYA Bus / Bethany Lutheran College, 700 Luther Drive, Mankato, MN 56001

Invitations for One & All

Voters’ Meeting

Voters, Sunday, July 9, 11AM, plan to discuss the proposal from the Deacons to establish an Outreach Coordinator position for one year. A position description & information packet are on the narthex table.


You are invited in presence and prayer to the ordination to the ministry of Aaron Ferkenstad on Sunday, July 16 at 4PM at King of Grace Lutheran Church in Golden Valley. The liturgy follows the historic order for ordination from the nineteenth century Norwegian Synod, the predecessor of our Evangelical Lutheran Synod. A lite dinner reception will follow the service.
A former member of Mount Olive, Aaron is the eldest son of Rev. Craig & Teresa Ferkenstad, born in 1980. He graduated from Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School in New Ulm, MN, in 1998 and from Bethany Lutheran College in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts, concentrating in Ancient and Medieval History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Music. After graduation, he moved to Virginia Beach, VA, and was married in 2010 to Djemelyn. Their son Adam was born in 2012 and their daughter Charlotte will soon be a year old.
The service will also be broadcast at <>.

Church Night at the Moondogs

Join Mount Olive members at the Franklin Rogers Ballpark on Sunday, July 16, at 6PM for Church Night! Cost per ticket is $6. Sign-up sheet is on the narthex table.

From the Editor

Downloading a Bulletin

From Mount Olive’s website, these clicks allow you to download a bulletin.

On a Computer

1. From the menu bar, click Publications ˅ | Bulletins.
2. Click within any gray box with a bulletin date and title. The bulletin opens but is not downloaded yet.
3. In the upper right-hand corner of the screen, click the download icon.

Some Smart Devices

1. Tap the hamburger menu.
2. Tap Publications ˅ | Bulletins.
3. Tap within any gray box with a bulletin date and title. The bulletin opens but is not downloaded yet.
4. In the upper right-hand corner, tap the stacked dots.
5. Tap Download.

Watching a Service Online

From Mount Olive’s website, these clicks allow you to watch an archived service.

On a Computer

1. From the menu bar, click Services ˅ | Video Archive.
2. To watch any video represented by a still thumbnail, click the thumbnail.
3. Under the thumbnails is the sentence Videos here are aggregated from the Mount Olive page on Vimeo, click the phrase Mount Olive page on Vimeo to go our video page (
4. From here, you may pick either a service or just the sermon. Each video is named using the applicable description and the Sunday date of taping.

Some Smart Devices

1. Tap the hamburger menu.
2. Tap Services ˅ | Video Archive.
3. To watch any video represented by a still thumbnail, tap the thumbnail.
4. Under the thumbnails is the sentence Videos here are aggregated from the Mount Olive page on Vimeo, click the phrase Mount Olive page on Vimeo to go our video page (
5. From here, you may pick either a service or just the sermon. Each video is named using the applicable description and the Sunday date of taping.
6. If your smartphone has a toggle setting for portrait or landscape mode, you might enjoy landscape slightly better, depending on your device.

Also Online

Although the ELS Meditations daily devotions are not available yet through a smartphone app, if you have a smartphone and would like to receive daily devotions, the LC-MS Portals of Prayer daily devotions are available. The app is free but the subscription to Portals is not. After installing the app, you are prompted to purchase the necessary subscription.

Looking Forward by Looking Back

If you track anniversaries, here’s two dates to add to your list:

  •  Mount Olive joined the ELS 89 years ago during the synod convention of 1928.
  •  Mount Olive met as a congregation for the first time Sunday, December 11, 1927, making this December its 90th year as a congregation.