Peace with God through Jesus Christ

The Olive Press – October 2107

Dear members and friends of Mount Olive,
We are planning to observe Reformation Day on the last Sunday of this month, October 29. For us Lutherans, that’s a day worthy of celebration and thanks to God, as we remember the work of His faithful servant, Martin Luther. Especially this year, as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the beginning of our church. Through Luther and the other reformers, God once again brought to light the pure saving Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. That light had been obscured for a long time by the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. But as Luther pointed people to the clear teachings of Scripture, they came to know the comforting truth that God, by grace, for Jesus’ sake declares the sinner to be innocent; and that this good news is accepted by faith alone. Good works, prayers to the saints, indulgences and other man-made laws are of no value. What counts for salvation is the Word alone, Grace alone, and Faith alone.
Martin Luther and his co-workers endured a lot of trouble and danger as they carried out this work of reforming the church. From the start he and the others faced serious threats from the powerful church authorities of that day, including the threat of prison and death. Through these severe trials, the promises of God given in Scripture became more and more precious to Luther. For example, he based his famous hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, on Psalm 46. In that passage of God’s Word, he found great personal comfort from this assurance: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
We also face various kinds of trouble in our lives: illness, employment problems, relationship difficulties, financial burdens and loss. Nowadays, we believers in Jesus face a growing resistance from the world, a deepening suspicion about our religion and our morality, tied to the Gospel of Jesus. The same comfort Luther found in God’s word is available also for us. In particular, we should remember that God is our refuge and strength when we face the greatest of all dangers – that posed by our sins and the eternal punishment which they deserve. God is our ever-present help when we despair of being saved from hell’s torment and granted eternal life in heaven. That refuge and help is to be found in the Gospel which Luther re-discovered and so clearly preached and taught. For that Good News assures us that because Jesus lived a perfect life in our stead, and on the cross accepted the death we deserved, our sins are forgiven and heaven is open to us. So with Luther we rejoice…
Though devils all the world should fill, all eager to devour us
We tremble not, we fear no ill, they shall not overpower us.
This world’s prince may still scowl fierce as he will
He can harm us none, he’s judged the deed is done;
One little word can fell him.
Please join us for the Reformation Services here on Sunday, October 29, at the regular times in the morning, and that afternoon at 3:00 PM when our children’s choirs join with the Peace choirs for a special celebration.
May the Lord bless your Reformation observance!
Your friend in Christ,
Pastor John Petersen

The Lord Blesses Togetherness

When you think of our church, do you think of a family holiday dinner? Your family of 33 members, from grandma to the littlest rug rat, stuffed in a house with a capacity for eight. The kids are literally jumping off the walls; the toddlers are discovering new “no-nos”; the overly conscientious young mothers and fathers are hovering over their young children, afraid they’ll make a mistake, while the laid back mothers and fathers overlook Sarah rudely taking Lizzie’s toy; the loud, authoritative uncle’s voice pierces over the already noisy room; the grandpa is sitting with his resting-grumpy face in a corner, thinking that the children and his son are a little too loud, and grandma is all smiles as she brings out the honey-glazed ham, baked to perfection. Next, we see that grandpa is brought out of his contemplative state to lead the common table prayer, and right when grandpa says “amen,” Sam, the littlest rug rat, accidentally pulls hard on the tablecloth and. . . the perfectly baked ham now decorates grandma’s perfectly manicured floor…
This is the church at times. The little church might feel like there are too many people in it. The younger members might appear to take too many risks. Volunteers might make mistakes—causing others in the church to become too concerned with the “no-nos”—which could then stifle excitement, growth, and mentorship. Some leaders might appear too hands on—discouraging other people’s gifts and abilities. Other leaders might not be taking the lead enough—afraid to offend the perceived status quo or are too busy with their daily lives to do anything apart from showing up for Sunday services. Others in the church might like their private spaces and aren’t willing to open themselves up to more people or new opportunities. There might also be those who are uncomfortable with new people in the church or with proposed changes that they consider to be too risky or different. After all, the unknowable is uncomfortable, and it exacerbates our fear that new things will just cause . . . a big mess. Therefore, just like the typical Midwestern family, our church family reminds us that we’re also imperfect and . . . messy.
What do you think grandpa should do with little Sam for ruining grandma’s dinner? Should he yell at Sam? Should grandpa send Sam to his own table—away from the family? Maybe, he should send all of the young people to the back room, just to be safe?
The better choice would be if grandpa showed mercy—if he showed understanding, love, and inclusion: “The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest” (Isaiah 32:17-18). If grandpa allowed Sam and all of the crazy kids to stay at the table, wouldn’t he be able to teach them by example? Wouldn’t that allow him to guide and mentor them? Wouldn’t he create a secure and peaceful dwelling place by taking the time to teach, in love and patience, proper behavior rather than be harsh with a child for an innocent, youthful mistake? By letting the kids stay and, perhaps, suggesting that the family orders pizza instead, grandpa has the time and opportunity to pass on his wisdom to his children and grandchildren.
Does a large family get together just for the amazing traditional meal of grandma’s honey-glazed ham or do they get together in order to reinforce the love that binds them? Which of grandpa’s choices, the concern for the ham or the concern for his grandson, shows the concern and love that Christ wishes us to show to one another? —And that He showed to us?
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity and peace!… For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life forevermore” (Psalm 133:1-3).
Despite the chaos of our church (and it’s found in all churches!), we are encouraged to be united as the body of Christ, and God promises that as we are united, He will bless us. We see an example of this especially in the early church. They had all things in common, shared their possessions with anyone who had need, every day they gathered together to eat and then to be fed spiritually as they worshiped together. And we are told that they yielded fruit: “The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42-47).
We are one Family in Christ. By Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, forgiveness for all of our sins has been won. As we join together in Church around the Means of Grace—Word and Sacraments, this is shared with ALL of us who are now adopted as God’s own beloved children. As such, we are encouraged to be unified despite our shortcomings and sinful natures. Therefore, with humble spirits, inspired to serve one another, we show love to each other. We can work together—encouraging each other—as we cherish the Christian fellowship that we have as members of God’s family.
Jon Basel
Outreach Coordinator

Bible Classes at Mt. Olive

9:40 AM Sundays, Bible Class and children’s Sunday School. Register online for our children’s Sunday School classes using our web site. Bible Information Class (BIC) is available for anyone interested in learning more about our Christian faith. Talk to one of the Pastors if you’re interested.
10:00 AM 2nd and 4th 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 11:00 AM. All veterans are welcome. Contact Herman Harstad at 385 0796 for more information.
8:00 AM Tuesdays, Ladies Bible study, working through Genesis
7:00 PM 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, MOMs on a Mission, the book, Family Vocation, by Gene Veith, Jr. and Mary Moerbe.
8:10 AM Wednesdays, MOMs on a Mission, the book, Family Vocation, by Gene Veith, Jr. and Mary Moerbe.
9:00 AM Wednesdays, Bible Study led by Pastor Petersen, Apologetics

Servants of God Serving Mount Olive



1st Service Don & Beth Westphal, Ron & Mary Younge
2nd Service Mark & Vivian Smith, James & Carolyn Gates


1st Service Dean & Cathy Kluge, Lois Otto, Keith Anderson
2nd Service Mike & Anita Smith, Connie Long, Peggy Harstad



1st Service Arden Olson (captain), Mark Graham, Greg Costello
2nd Service Don Lehne (captain), Mark Johnson, John Weber, Matthias Leyrer


1st Service Steve Beilke (captain), Nate Beilke, Don Westphal, Eric Westphal, Elias Bonnet
2nd Service Mike Pleiss (captain), Keith Eisberg, Loren Halvorson, David Liverseed, Sam Hendricks

Altar Guild

October: Joni Bode, Ellie Fisher
November: Carol Petersen, Sherri Bukowski


Week of — 1st Service ——- 2nd Service ——- Monday
October 1 — Cassie Johnson — John Baumann —– Kristin Matzke
October 8 — Dennis Marzolf  – Elisabeth Urtel —– Elisabeth Urtel
October 15 — Cassie Johnson – Mark DeGarmeaux – Elisabeth Urtel
October 22 – Dennis Marzolf — Mark DeGarmeaux – Lexi Fosburgh
October 29 – Cassie Johnson — Elisabeth Urtel —— Kristin Matzke


October: Ron Younge, Jeff Younge
November: Dan Gerdts, Joe Meyer

Coffee & Treats, Sunday, 8:00 – 10:30

Sunday, October 1 You?
Sunday, October 8 Planned Giving Committee
Sunday, October 15 How about here?
Sunday, October 22 Or Here?
Sunday, October 29 Maybe here?
If you would like to sign up for Sunday 9:40 AM coffee & treats, the sign up link is at the bottom of our web site. If you’re unfamiliar with the kitchen or have other questions, contact Sam Barbosa. Volunteers are asked to arrive at 8:00 AM to prepare the coffee (regular and decaffeinated), and provide & prepare treats to be served. Serving time is from the end of 1st service until 10:30 AM. Volunteers are also responsible for clean up and may end serving sooner if needed.


October 1-2 Sig Lee
October 8-9 Ron Koth
October 15-16 Carl Bloedel
October 22-23 Rick & Kathy Hultgren
October 29-30 Stankey family*

CDS Library Volunteers

 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – AM Shift — PM Shift
Thursday, October 5 Bruno, Darci ——— Annette S., Gabe
Thursday, October 12 James, Mary ——– Jen S, You?
Thursday, October 19 No CDS, Minnesota Educator Day
Thursday, October 26 Mary Jane, Terri — Darci, Bruno
If you would like to volunteer in the CDS library, contact our librarian, Mrs. Beilke.

New 2 You Volunteers

—————————- 9:45-12:15 —- 12:15 3:00 PM
Saturday, October 7 —- Jacie Lieske — You?
Saturday, November 4 – Maybe here? – Or Here?
Consider volunteering at New 2 You, which supports our primary & secondary schools. Volunteers are needed for each shift and are scheduled with a more experienced volunteer. If you are interested in volunteering, sign the clipboard at the narthex table.


Brandon and Jennifer Schmidt, whose story is truly a story of God’s grace. Both Brandon and Jennifer dealt with drug addiction. Then Jennifer was brought to trust in Jesus and His strength, and help. A month later she met Brandon. Together they are drug-free, living their lives with God, and giving Him the glory. Their hope is that their story might lead others out of addiction with God’s help, God’s grace.
Brandon was born in Hutchinson, and then moved around Minnesota, including Marshall, the Twin Cities, and the Iron Range. He attended schools in White Bear and graduated high school in Pequot Lakes. He then spent time in Florida and North Dakota. Brandon is now a professional plumber, which comes in handy as they are remodeling their basement.
Jennifer was born in Hoyt Lakes and moved to Mankato at age 5. She attended Hoover, Garfield, and Dakota Meadows, graduating from West. She started in real estate at age 19, achieving her realtor’s license. She is now a stay-at-home mom with their two children: Jade who is 12 and is in 6th grade at Mount Olive, and Dominique who is 6 and is in 1st grade. Both children are an added blessing.
The family has two American pit bull terriers: Tater who is 6 and Luna, who has only 3 legs, age 1.
Jennifer likes to cook & bake, and loves to travel, especially flying. Brandon used to fish, but now is busy working. Their story is a story of God’s grace, indeed.

Lutheran Pioneer District Fall Outing

October 8, 2 p.m.
Minneopa State Park,
54497 Gadwall Rd,
Mankato, MN
Come and explore Minneopa State Park!
Meet at the waterfall side of the state park where we have the opportunity to hike, play games, and have a devotion, snacks, and fellowship. Driving through the bison area of the park is also an opportunity. Families are encouraged to join the fun. Bring a snack to share.
Purchase a day permit for $7 at the entrance if you do not have a Minnesota State Park pass.

Senior Youth Annual Hayride

Join us for the Senior Youth Annual Hayride! October 22 meet at Mt. Olive at 4:00 PM. We’ll carpool to the Olson farm for a hayride, food, and fun! This is a joint Senior Youth event with youth from our sister churches Peace and Norwegian Grove – come join the fun! Please R.S.V.P to Angela at 541-245-7465 or

Junior Youth

Jr. Youth (7th & 8th Graders) has their monthly gathering at Mt. Olive on Friday, October 13, 6:00 – 8:00 PM. Dinner & treats are provided. Special activity to be announced.

Women’s Missionary Society Fall Rally

All are invited to attend the 35th Annual Women’s Mission Rally held Saturday, October 28, at Faith Lutheran Church in Clara City, MN. Registration is 9:00 AM. Rides are provided if you need one. We leave from church at 7:00 AM. The ladies at Clara City would like to know how many are coming by October 14, so please sign the sheet in the narthex. It always is an enjoyable, uplifting day.

Reformation Children’s Service

Save the Date: Mt. Olive Lutheran Church hosts a joint Reformation service Sunday, October 29 at 3:00 PM. Plan to join all the children of Mt. Olive Lutheran School, Peace Youth Choir, and Mt. Olive Youth Choir in celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation.

Christ in Latin America Today

Lots of churches, but not much focus on God’s grace, Christ, or the Bible. Tuesday, October 3, at 7:00 PM, at Bethany College hear Rev. Joel Sutton speak on helping Latin American leaders bring Jesus’ love to their own families and cities. It’s held in Meyer Hall room 101. Part of the In Depth series. All are invited to attend.

Reformation Vespers Service

The Reformation Vespers service features guest organist Jacob Weber and the Bethany Concert Choir. The hymn settings are composed and arranged by Jacob Weber. This service is to be live streamed. October 26, 4:00 PM, BLC

Worship with Us

Telecommute, click, or come in! Can’t make it in? Our Sunday morning services are live streamed from our web page. Missed a service? Catch the archived 8:30 Sunday morning service at Missing fellowship & coffee? Join us Sundays at 8:30 & stay for 9:40 Bible study or come to Bible study & stay for second service.

Many Hands Make Light Work

Adults! Know your alphabet? If you know the letters of the English language, the CDS needs you! The public school nurse arrives Thursday, October 26, to screen our students’ vision and hearing. You’ll be responsible for indicating the smallest line the student can read successfully. (Perfect vision not required; you’ll have a pocket card to ‘read’ along!) We need 5 volunteers beginning at 8:00 AM. The signup sheet is on the narthex table.
Mount Olive’s “in-house” hot lunch program begins Monday, October 2. Students love to see their parents, grandparents, and family friends behind the serving window! Serving hours are 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM. The required aprons and gloves are provided. Hairnets are also available, but volunteers may bring their own hats if they prefer. Anyone interested in volunteering is invited to email