Peace with God through Jesus Christ

The Olive Press – April 2018

Dear Members and Friends of Mount Olive,

“It is finished.”  What is the emotion behind those words? The answer 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.  And, 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 all the necessary work really is finished.  Nothing needs to be done to supplement or add to 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 really 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.
In these weeks following Lent and Holy Week and Easter, 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 John Petersen

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.
Mt. Olive services also are shown on local cable channels 181 (Spectrum) and 7 & 507 (Consolidated Communications) on Wednesdays at 10:00 AM and Thursdays at 11:30 AM.

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 group meets 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 Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon, the People’s Bible Commentary by Harlyn J. Kuschel
7:00 PM 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, Fireside room, MOMs on a Mission, the book, Family Vocation, by Gene Veith, Jr. and Mary Moerbe. (No childcare is provided.)
8:10 – 10:00 AM Wednesdays, social hall, MOMs on a Mission, the book, Family Vocation, by Gene Veith, Jr. and Mary Moerbe. Childcare is provided. Sign in your child at the door.
9:00 AM Wednesdays, Bible Study led by Pastor

Serving Mount Olive



1st Service: Ross & Betsy Hermanson, Lois Otto
2nd Service: Mike & Anita Smith, James & Carolyn Gates


1st Service: Ernie & Marge Lillo, Steve & Lois Jaeger
2nd Service: Mark & Vivian Smith, John & Nada Foede
2nd Service: Paul & Mary Jane Tweit, Connie Long, Keith Anderson



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


1st Service: Mike Smith (capt), Nathan Graham, Chad Sorensen, Darrell Iverson, Ray Iverson, Art Westphal
2nd Service: Paul Tweit (capt), Blake Fosburgh, Lance Johnson, Bob Fosburgh

Altar Guild

April: Sharon Madson
May: Joni Bode, Lynette Merseth


Week of 1st Service 2nd Service Monday
Apr. 1 Cassie Johnson Mark DeGarmeaux
Apr. 8 Cassie Johnson Mark DeGarmeaux Kristin Matzke
Apr. 15 Cassie Johnson John Baumann Elisabeth Urtel
Apr. 22 Cassie Johnson Mark DeGarmeaux Kristin Matzke
Apr. 29 Cassie Johnson John Baumann Elisabeth Urtel


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

New 2 You Volunteers

Saturday … 9:45 ‑ 12:15 12:15 ‑ 3:00 PM
April 7 You? How about here?
May 5 Or here? Or Maybe 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.

Coffee & Treats

Sunday … 8:00 – 10:30
April 8 You?
April 15 Maybe here?
April 22 Or here?
April 29 How about 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 [ or 507-382-4928 (call or text)]. 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.


April 1 Tulips
April 8-9 Mark & Vivian Smith
April 15-16 Don & Kristin Lehne
April 22-23 Ron Koth
April 29-30 Parents of Confirmands

If you would like to provide flowers or a plant, sign the Flower Calendar in the entry way next to the bulletin board.

CDS Library Volunteers

Thursday … AM Shift PM Shift
April 5 Sheila Z., Mindy Annette S.
April 12 Mary Jane Carolyn, Jen
April 19 Mary Jane, Mary Keri
April 26 James, Gabe Darci

If you would like to volunteer in the CDS library, contact our librarian, Mrs. Beilke.


Jane was born in Grafton, NE and attended Grafton Grade School. High school was at Sutton High in Sutton, NE. She then continued at Bethany with an Associate of Arts degree, at MSU for one year in Nursing, and then at the University of Colorado for a BS in Nursing. Her maiden name was Baumann with a tight-knit family of nine. Jane has worked for 26 years as a licensed school nurse in Mountain Lake, Butterfield, and several schools in Mankato.Dan and Jane Birkholz. Dan was born and raised in Mankato. He attended Roosevelt Elementary and Bethany Lutheran High School. He also attended Bethany College for a liberal arts degree, St. Cloud State for a Business degree, and the University of Denver for a Law degree. Dan is now with the Birkholz Law Office. He comes from a family of pastors. This includes his grandfather Ernst, his father Martin (who was at St. Mark’s), his brothers Edward and Marcus.
Dan and Jane met at Bethany and married 45 years ago in her home church in Nebraska. They have four children: Hannah, a nurse in Mankato; Jake, who now owns the Birkholz Law Firm; Luke, a civil engineer in Denver, CO; and Sam, a nurse anesthetist in northern California. They have four grandkids: Owen, Haley, Dylan and Macy.
Dan enjoys sailing the Walter Mitty on Lake Superior, playing guitar and running half marathons. Jane likes to bake and belongs to a monthly book club. They also keep busy attending the grandchildrens’ sporting events. They are a lefse and hot dish couple. Dan is half German and half Norwegian, and Jane is 100% German.

Making an Impact!

The annual Mt. Olive Spring Cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, April 21, from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Sign-up sheets are available in the Narthex.
Save your pop tabs! After School Care’s Service project this year is saving pop tabs to benefit the Ronald McDonald house charities! So far this year, we’ve filled one tub….help us fill another!
Mt. Olive’s Tuition Scrip program offers gift cards for purchase for 700+ participating retailers. A percentage of your purchase goes toward your Mt. Olive Tuition. Visit to view the. If you have any questions or need help getting started, email Tanya Norris or Tiffany Riesgraf
Mt. Olive youth (grades 5-12) sell Kwik Trip Cards as a fund-raiser to help defray camp & bus fees for Camp Indianhead, LYA, or Honor Choir. A percent of a student’s sales goes toward their personal fees. Cards are sold between Communion Sunday services. Contact Angie Younge 389-9137 or Rebecca Strom 386-0372.
The cry room nursery is up for cleaning ‘adoption.’ If you would like to adopt the cry room for regular cleaning, please contact the office.
Blood drive Thursday, June 15, from 1:00 – 6:00 PM, Mount Olive hosts a blood drive. If you would like to schedule an appointment, call 1 800 733 2767, visit their website and enter sponsor code MTOLIVEKATO, or use their blood donor app.  1 pint of blood can save 3 lives!

New 2 You Family Thrift

1838 Commerce Drive, North Mankato
Phone Number: 385-1455
Business Hours
Monday through Friday: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Donation Drop Off times
Monday through Friday: 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Mt. Olive provides volunteers to staff New 2 You the 1st Saturday of each month
***Our Volunteer hours are Saturday 9:45 AM – 3:15 PM***

Thank you for supporting Christian education by shopping at New 2 You. Mount Olive’s portion for the Fourth Quarter of 2017 is $1,000. Thinking about volunteering this winter? Please do. The store operates on volunteer time.

Now Hiring

Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School is searching for a Director of Mission Advancement. The position is open to male candidates in good standing of a WELS or ELS congregation. For a job description, application, and more, contact MVL Principal Tim Plath at or 507-354-6851.

The New 2 You Family Thrift Store would like to recognize Rev Norman Madson (Peace Lutheran)  for his service as the pastoral advisor to our Board of Directors from 2006 to 2017. He has been the advisor from the beginning of the store until he announced his resignation effective Dec 31, 2017. The role of the pastoral advisor is to “provide advice to keep this organization in harmony with accepted Scriptural practice.  The pastoral advisor shall attend all meetings of the organization and the Board of Directors, and prepare an opening devotion for all such meetings.
Pastor Madson says: “I consider it an honor and privilege to have served as the spiritual advisor for the Board for as many years as I did. It is important that we help out our Christian schools in whatever way we are able.  Our Pre-schools and Christian Day Schools and MVL are so very important for the future of our congregations.  May God continue to bless them all!”
We are pleased to announce Pastor Roger Woller  (St Paul’s Lutheran) as the new pastoral advisor of New 2 You. God continues to bless the efforts of New 2 You with many faithful volunteers, donations and shoppers. Thank you to all the congregations for their support.

“Artemis” is a space ship bridge simulator video game. Crews of six or more players (ages 13 and up) work together to fly, navigate, and defend the universe on the 2nd & 4th Sundays of the month. We provide some iPads for gaming, but feel free to bring your PC or tablets. We start at 6:00 PM and the latest we go is 9:00 PM. Pizza is provided after we get a head count. Hope to see you there and bring a friend!

From the College

A group from Bethany Lutheran College is organizing a children’s clothing swap at Peace Lutheran Church on April 28. If you would like to donate clothing items (up to teens sizes), Mount Olive has a drop off box at the narthex table or at the porch of Karina Clennon at 166 Long Street. Her phone number is 507.380.1030. The group plans to empty the box every Sunday after services.
Sunday, April 8, at 3:00 PM in Trinity Chapel: Lyra Baroque Orchestra from St. Paul, MN performs the work of C.P.E. Bach (the second eldest son of J.S. Bach), featuring Wilbert Hazelzet on baroque flute, and Marc Destrubé on baroque violin. Tickets for this Guest Artist Series concert are $10 at the door. A pre-concert talk is scheduled for 2:15 PM.
Monday, April 9, at 7:00 PM in Trinity Chapel: Tenor Adam Tecken and soprano Natalie Dworak present a voice recital. Free and open to the public.
The Mankato chapter of the Bethany Auxiliary invites all interested women to attend the annual Graduation Tea honoring the young women graduating from Bethany during 2018. The tea is held in Honsey Hall on the Bethany campus Wednesday, April 11 at 7:00 PM. You may RSVP to Lois Jaeger at 507-351-5488. We hope many of you will be able to attend!

Congratulations to our 8th grade students and their families. They’ll be quite busy during the upcoming weeks as they prepare for confirmation and graduation [(C)onfirmands, (G)raduates, and (B)oth (alphabetized by first name)]:
Anna Schwartz (b), Annika Younge (b), Ayden Brandel (b), Bryn Brown (b), Caden Heyn (c), Caleb DeWitt (g), Caleb Tomhave (b), Carter McCabe (b), Cassandra Mueller (b), Christian Edwards (b), Daniel Norris (b), Ingrid Bloedel (b), Jordan Richtsmeier (b), Joseph Mueller (b), Lexi Karge (c), Montian Natrakul (b), Morgan Paulsen (g), Rylee Woller (g), Samuel Barbosa (b), Samuel Halvorson (g), Simon Kovaciny (b), Tenley Madson (c), Thomas Wosmek(g), Will Enz (c)

Kingdom Workers is looking for volunteers for the spring & summer
… to continue their outreach plans in this village on the north side of Green Bay.
… to complete the work begun last fall at Camp Phillip – Wautoma, WI
… to help the mission congregation Eternal Rock Lutheran Church remodel their first permanent building.
… to respond to the spiritual and physical needs of families in their community
… to teach musical skills to children on an Apache reservation.
… to teach and equip community members how to do minor repair and maintenance on their homes.
… to assist with summer soccer camp.
… to assist with Project Reaching Out!
If any of these sound like your calling, check out the details at

This year, Easter falls on April First. On Easter Day, Christians all over the world gather to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. But April Fool’s Day, by common usage, is a day for pranks.
Nobody likes to play the fool. But for a moment, coming up on an April First Easter, let’s embrace the question: Who’s the fool? Is it the Jews that conspired against Jesus to kill Him? Is it the Romans who were used by them to put Him to death? Is it Jesus Himself? Is it those who have believed in Him? Who’s the fool?
The Apostle Paul, for one, isn’t afraid of the question. He says openly: If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Cor 15:19 ESV) Yet, along with all the disciples and eyewitnesses of the resurrection, Paul never changed his tune. In fact, they all live and die as martyrs for their testimony about Jesus, His death at the cross, and His resurrection from the dead.
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. (1 Cor 1:21 ESV)
The world through its wisdom improves, and yet heaven on earth never gets any closer. The world through inclusiveness becomes more intolerant and rejects decency and charity. He catches the wise in their craftiness. (1 Cor. 3:19 ESV) The world by wisdom refuses to know God, the Creator. So He made Himself small. He made Himself least and worst of all. He placed Himself under the condemnation of all.
He took up our folly and shame. He made Himself an easy prey for an unseen enemy who couldn’t resist falling on Him in such a state of foolishness and weakness. And you, who were dead in your trespasses… God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses… (He cancelled) the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities (the devil and all his rebellious spirits) and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (Colossians 2:13-15 ESV)
In light of His vacant tomb—for He is Risen!—how blessed we are to be called to share in His divine foolishness! For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor 1.18 ESV)
Wishing you a blessed celebration of the Feast of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!
~ ELS Board for Home Outreach

Until April 8, the March Campaign proportionally matches all donations to ECHO. These donations can be checks, cash, or food items, letting your donation bring more dollars to ECHO. In 2017, ECHO food shelf had  nearly 17,500 visits at which they provided 1.7 million pounds of food.

From the State of Minnesota

Telephone scams are an increasingly prevalent form of fraud. The ordinary telephone is today’s weapon of choice for criminals. Don’t trust caller ID. It easily can be “spoofed” to show fake information. Scammers use public information to learn your name number and scare tactics to get your money. Don’t be a “courtesy victim.” When protecting yourself, being rude doesn’t exist. Just hang up the phone. Never give out your personal or financial information over the phone. Be suspicious of strangers asking you to give money, even if they claim to be with a law enforcement or government agency. Ask for their name and agency. Call the agency directly using a number you found independently (not phone numbers they give) to confirm that they are who they say they are.

  •   “I’m calling from Microsoft …”
  •   “You’ve won a foreign lottery and you just need to …”
  •   “This investment is low risk and high return.”
  •   “This offer is good for today only.”
  •   “This is your grandson and I’m in jail and need bail money.”
  •   “You owe money and … .”

If you have questions or believe you have been a victim of fraud, contact us. We can’t stop fraud that we don’t know about.
85 7th Place East, Suite 280, Saint Paul, MN 55101