Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 2011 Mt Olive Newsletter

Pastor’s Article by Pastor Paul C. Sizemore

"School Days, School Days,
Good Old Golden Rule Days"

School days, school days,
Dear old golden rule days.
Reading and writing and ‘rithmetic,

Taught to the tune of a hickory stick…

I am not sure if these lyrics are familiar to all of you, but my grandmother taught me this song when I was just a boy. My grandma told me also about her school days, back in the early 1900s, when disobedient children often had to sit in the corner on a stool and wear the “Dunce Cap!”

Though it has been 30 years since I last entered a formal classroom, there is something about being a disciple of Jesus Christ that compels me to be in school all of my life; his school who says to me: “Come to me and learn of me. Take my yoke upon you; for my yoke is easy and my burden is light!” (Matthew 11:29). In our Lord’s academy, he exhorts me by his resurrection power to: “Search the scriptures for in them you believe you have eternal life, and these are they that testify concerning me!” (John 5:39)

I am also enrolled in the school of life, trying to embrace courageously what is now, at best, the last third of my days on earth; grateful to the Lord for all his past faithfulness to me. During my forties, I often found myself looking at every person who was younger than me, wondering how it was possible that I suddenly became so old. But now that I am 56, I find myself focusing instead on those ever declining number of people still old enough to be my parents. I can’t help but marvel how so many have embraced their later years so courageously, as they continue their journey of life with such resplendent grace, dignity and faith. And I want to learn how to be like them.

Sometimes elderly people, who have been spared the big “C,” as we used to call cancer, or heart complications, end up suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or the chronic problems of arthritis and pain in their joints associated with aging. Yet some who are blessed to escape even all of these great misfortunes, eventually find that life is seeping ever so slowly out of them at a snail’s pace, as they hang on to their lives in this world by that proverbial thread. And sometimes, I can’t help but wonder which would be worse? I am not sure I know! But I am learning to pray evermore fervently with the hymn writer as I face each new day:

“What God ordains is always good;his will is just and holy.
As he directs my life for me, I follow meek and lowly.

My God indeed, in every need knows well how he will shield me.

To him, then, I will yield me!” (LSB 760:1)

To be good stewards of our bodies is wise and God pleasing. But let’s remember that none of us are destined to live in this sinful world forever! Thank God! God paid the ultimate price for our redemption in sending his Son Jesus Christ into our world to become the atoning sacrifice for all of our sins. By his death on the cross and glorious resurrection he brings us forgiveness of sins and fills us with the hope of everlasting life.

Fortunately the Gospel is far more beneficial to us than the Golden Rule. We are not called simply to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, but we are to revel in the fact that Christ became sin for us who knew no sin, so that through him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

September is Christian education month at Mount Olive. It calls to mind for us those “school days, school days, good old golden rule days!” It reminds us that to be fully alive, we and our children need to grow continuously in our knowledge of the Bible. Please make plans to attend one of our adult Bible studies and bring your children with you faithfully to Sunday school each Lord’s day.
---Pastor Paul C. Sizemore

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Matt. 18:20 For where two or three are gathered in my name,
there am I among them."
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Altar Guild
by Susie Hoffman


The Altar Guild offers the opportunity for you to serve in a valuable and meaningful way in a task that has been in use since the earliest days of the church. Acts 6:2-4 tells us “And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, ‘It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Lord”.

We serve that our Pastor may be free to serve God’s call to him to bring us God’s Word and sacraments. God has commanded the gathering together of us in His Word and Sacrament. The major duty of the Altar Guild is to place the external means of the Sacraments on or about the altar for the Pastor to use as he offers to us, through these Sacraments, God’s grace, love, and forgiveness.

A secondary service is to make God’s house more attractive, beautiful and meaningful for each person who attends worship. Keeping all necessary items clean and organized is also part of our ongoing task.

We would invite those interested in this type of service to contact Susie Hoffman. Information and training for those new to this type of activity is low key. You CAN do this. Willingness to learn and dedication to the service of the Lord are the only requirements.

The Sundays after Pentecost, in the church-year cycle, with its green paraments will continue until the beginning of the new church-year, although the color of the paraments will change several times in Oct. and Nov. as we celebrate special events. This present season emphasizes the power of the Holy Spirit at work among God’s people as He gives faith and encouragement to the followers of our Lord Jesus, the Christ of God. He fills our hearts with the knowledge of what Christ’s life on earth has done—and continues to do—for our salvation.

The ever-changing emphasis during the church-year is a reminder to us of the life, the times and the sacrifices of Jesus, of the Holy Spirit “who brings all things to our remembrance”, and of our Creator-Father-God.

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by Sarah Vickers

The new Sunday School year begins September 4, 2011. Thank you for all the new and returning teachers who are volunteering their time and expertise to educate our children:

Preschool Dana & Katie Magic
1st & 2nd Grades Vanita Fiedler
3rd & 4th Grades Laura Laprise
Confirmation 5th – 8th Grades Kevin Kibler & Bill Boykin
High School Mike Knowles
Youth Group Eric Weed

Pastor Sizemore will be teaching First Communion Class to the 5th graders. There will be four classes in the evenings beginning October 2nd.

David Mash and Keith Degner will continue their Sunday morning Adult Bible Classes.

Pastor Sizemore will begin another six-week adult class, “Forgiveness—Breaking the Power of the Past.” As imperfect people living in an imperfect world, we eventually find ourselves needing to extend or receive forgiveness in nearly every relationship. But when the wounds run deep, forgiveness doesn’t come easy. The series will begin September 4th during the Sunday School hour.

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Philippians 1:21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
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by Dan Jorgenson

God called Jeremiah as a prophet during the 13th year of the reign of the pious and good king Josiah. He served as prophet to the kings of Judah for over 40 years.

Jeremiah is seated. God has just spoken to him, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jer 1:5). Jeremiah bows his head humbly and replies, “Ah Sovereign Lord, I do not know how to speak; I am only a child” (Jer 1:6). God replies “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you” (Jer 1:8) and He lifts his finger to touch Jeremiah’s lips while saying, “Now I have put my words in your mouth” (Jer 1:9).

God shows Jeremiah visions of the coming judgment. To the right, two women are worshiping the image of a bull and an almond branch appears above them. These symbols indicate God’s judgment for idolatry is coming as certainly as almond branches herald the coming of spring. To the left, the boiling pot and the cavalrymen, symbolize the Babylonian invasion and coming destruction. Jeremiah’s repeated message to Judah will emphasize these visions. Judgment will soon come. The judgment of God will be accomplished through the Babylonians. The judgment is a result of unbelief by the nation of Judah.

Think About How God Calls Each of Us to Join Him in His Work.

1. By His loving grace, God has known us from eternity, calling us to be His very own (v 5).

2. God promises to be with us as we proclaim his word (vv 6,8).

3. God tells us what to say (v 9).

Picture Your Own Story of How God Is Calling You

Please plan to attend our next Natural Witnessing session in September, date TBA, at 9:15 in the Fellowship Hall during the Sunday school hour. Think about Jeremiah and his hesitation, think about God and his promises, and picture yourself. Answer the Lord’s Call.

by Carole Mueller

What is LWML? Its the Lutheran Women's Missionary League: An auxiliary of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, organized to develop and maintain a greater mission consciousness among women of our church body.

Why is it? To help women of the church grow spiritually, to equip them to reach out in love to others, to provide opportunities for helping others, to gather funds for mission projects.

What does it do? Encourage Bible study, offer retreats, workshops for training & personal growth, provide program helps & resources, gather offerings through Mite boxes or other voluntary means to fund mission projects, publications & service opportunities.

All women of the congregation are automatically members of LWML and are invited to participate in any or all activities. Please consider becoming a member of the Olive Branch. Dues are $1.00/meeting & mite box donations are received & placed in the large mite box located in the back of the church. We meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month, September-May. If you enjoy crafts & sewing, join us in the morning 10:00 – 12:30. We are currently working on hand tied quilts. Come & share your ideas for other crafts/projects – we would love to hear about them. If you would like to come for Bible study, join us for lunch at 12:30 p.m. (bring your lunch and dessert is provided by the hostess) and then stay for the Bible study 1:00 – 2:00. Let me know if you would consider conducting a Bible study. The Olive Branch meeting room is on the lower level of the Church next to the nursery. Enter & park off Lake Murray Blvd. & use the side church door.

LWML Sunday is scheduled for October 2nd.

Mite box collections sent to the district for the first quarter amounted to $87.81. We will be sending funds for the second quarter this month. The district keeps 75% for district projects and International receives 25% for their mission goal. Current projects are posted on the LWLM bulletin board.

Preschool News

by Krista Bernthal

The preschool is set to begin its fifth year on August 31st! We are all excited to welcome back returning students and getting to know new ones. Once again I ask you for help with snacks. Parents are always grateful that we provide snacks for our students. I always tell them that the good people of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church provide these donations. A shopping list is available in the narthex.

We are looking forward to a used book sale in October. Look for information in your bulletin soon. In the meantime, save your old books to donate to the sale.

As always, I appreciate your donations of money and snacks. You make this vital ministry possible. I also ask for your prayers for a successful 5th year

Social Ministry News
by Kathie Voyles

The Red Cross Blood Drive was held in the fellowship hall on July 23rd. We had an excellent turnout of our members and walk-ins from the community. 27 units of blood were collected. Katrina Davis works tirelessly to help make each blood drive run smoothly.

The school supply/ food drive to benefit Sharing God's Love was a great success. Thanks to the generosity of our members, we collected two large shopping carts full of items to donate. Please continue to remember those in need throughout the year. A list of needed items is always posted outside the church office.

A meal was provided by Social Ministry for the Ronald McDonald House on August 21st. The Ronald McDonald House provides a "home-away-from-home" for families so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little or no cost. These children are seriously ill or injured. Please continue to collect the soda can tab-tops to benefit RMHC.

A big "Thank You" goes out to the members of the Social Ministry Committee for all their assistance. They are Katrina Davis, Shirlean Sons, Dawn Lahrman and Denise Henderson. Thank you to Chuck Bauer for delivering donations to Sharing God's Love each week.

by Charlie Sandt

A Stewardship Minute:

There is a story about an elderly woman who has served Christ faithfully all her life; the church was like her second home. Not only was she present regularly at worship, but she could be counted on to help with whatever project the church was engaged in to minister to the world. She was a "doer" for Christ.

One day her pastor visited her home. She was expressing regret that she could not be very active in the work of the church anymore, as old age was taking its toll. She found it difficult to engage physically in the church's ministries as she had done so willingly through the years. She said there was still one thing that she could do! She could write a check and serve the work of advancing the Kingdom of God in that manner. She deeply appreciated the pastor’s loving concern, but it was because she had such a love for Christ and the church that it was a joy for her to support it financially, as well as prayerfully.

The pastor was humbled by her action. The lives of true saints are always humbling when we see their Christian love and service at work in this world. Surely her lifestyle speaks to all of us? Love for the Lord and true stewardship involves serving faithfully in every way we can: body, mind, spirit, time, and resources. Christ gave his all for us. Should not we give our all for him?

Prayer: Lord of all, we thank you for the saints who have faithfully and unstintingly served in the totality of their lives. Prompt us to follow closely their dedication that we might always be faithful to you in every way. Amen

Parish Publishing, LLC (888) 320-5576

PASTORAL ACTS: August 2011
THE RENEWAL OF WEDDING VOWS August 27 Geoffrey & Phyllis Griesh
FUNERALS August 31 Nicholas K. BouFawaz November 1, 1988 -- August 26, 2011

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Philippians 2:14-16Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

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Announcements & Opportunities

Choir & Handbells
Adult choir will resume rehearsals on Sunday, September 11th at 6:00 PM. The Handbell choir will also start back up on Monday, September 12th at 7:00 PM. Both choirs are open to members who are in the 7th grade to age 95! No experience is necessary. Contact Karen Meetze for more information.

Welcome New Members
On August 14th, Mt. Olive welcomed fourteen new members: Sebastian, Sheryl, & Ethan Crawford; James, Vanita, Jeremy, & Tyler Fiedler; Mitchell Greer, Jon & Ellen Richter; Jeanie Rosier-Stidham; Richard & Laura Shealy; and Steven Vickers. Let’s all seek out these folks and give them a big Mt. Olive welcome!

New Facebook Page
The Mt. Olive Facebook page has changed to a Group page. If you were already FB friends with Mt. Olive, you should now be a “Fan” or “Follower.” If you have a FB account and would like to become a FAN of Mt. Olive, please go to and click on the “LIKE” button. By becoming a FAN, you can receive posts of upcoming church events and reminders. Mt. Olive’s FB page does not show your personal FB posts unless you write something on Mt. Olive’s wall. Become a FAN of Mt. Olive today!

Additional Church Parking during Church Services
There is additional parking behind the Wagner House and in the Adair Piano parking lot.

Midweek Bible Studies

There are two midweek Bible studies that meet Wednesday evenings at 6:30. Both groups begin by sharing a light meal prior to studying God’s Word. Everyone is welcome to attend.

(1)The Bible study in the Northeast will continue to meet at the Blythewood home of Bob & Teri Massa. This group will study selected passages from the Old Testament. Call the Massas for more information.
(2) A second Bible study meets at the church. During the summer months, the group is studying the lectionary for the following Sunday. Call our Lay Minister, Bill Boykin, 781-5845, at church, for further details.

Nursery Reminder

The church nursery is open during the Sunday school hour and 10:30 service from 9:00-Noon for children ages 3 years and younger. The nursery is located inside the back entrance across from the Wagner House. Parents, remember to bring your diaper bag with extra diapers, clothes, sippy cup, etc. Flora Weed is in charge.

October Newsletter Deadline

Mark your calendar! The deadline for submitting articles for the October newsletter is September 20th. Send articles to me at

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