Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 2011 Newsletter

Pastor’s Article

by Pastor Paul C. Sizemore

“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God!”

Celebrating Our Freedom in Jesus Christ
“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free!”

For any who grew up in the Lutheran Church, many of us often heard these words of Jesus on Reformation Sunday, taken from the 8th chapter of John’s Gospel. Here our Lord Jesus says, “If you continue in my Word, then are you truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free!” (John 8:31-32)

For years, however, we may have also found ourselves completely mystified by these words of our Lord. Like the Jews standing next to Jesus, who protested our Lord’s grand pronouncement by saying, “We are children of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone,” we too, couldn’t help but think of the many freedoms we have always enjoyed as American citizens.

Perhaps, it wasn’t until many years later that we began to comprehend more fully these words of our Savior.

To become free, is to become anxiety-free; worry-free, if you please. To become free is to be set free from the fear of God’s lowering the boom on us because of our transgressions. To become free is to become free from the fear of death and the grave and to live confidently in the hope of everlasting life. To become free is to receive the forgiveness of our sins in such a way that all our guilt is now taken away from us, empowering us to forgive others for any transgressions they may have committed against us too.

Truth is a most valuable commodity. Truth rids us of all need for false pretenses. Truth acknowledges the possibility for lies and self-deception.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a young man, who lived for years in a prison from which he could not set himself free. It was not a prison made with iron bars that kept him confined to a small geographical location, but a psychological and spiritual prison that prevented him from ever experiencing any real joy or peace in his daily life.

Luther was akin to those people yet today who label themselves as perfectionists. No matter how hard they strive to attain a certain level of moral perfectionism, or to be the very best at what they do in terms of their career-development, or to master their human relationships; they always fall short of their own perceived expectations. Suffering from a great deal of self-disappointment, they imagine that others judge and perceive their apparent faults and foibles with every bit as much clarity as they do. They imagine falsely that God only has ill will in his heart towards them too.

In his early years, Martin Luther was devoted to making his father Hans, a coalminer, proud of him and Hans sought to live vicariously through his young son’s life; demanding that Luther excel in his educational pursuits with the hopes that Martin would someday be accepted into law school and eventually pass the bar exam. Luther, who was gifted scholastically, went along with his father’s wishes for a time, until one day when he was walking through the forest on the way home in Eisleben and a great thunderstorm was brewing on the horizon. The violent lightning strikes, hitting the earth all around him, compelled Martin to call out to the patron saint of safety for deliverance: “Saint Anne, save me, and I will become a monk!”
Much to his father Han’s great chagrin, Luther held true to his word and quit law school. But still Martin’s conscience tormented him for years. An older priest, named Father Staupitz, sought to console Luther’s troubled spirit with some much-needed spiritual counsel, but it all seemed to be of no avail!

As the sovereign Lord of the universe, however, continued to direct the affairs of Luther’s life, Father Martin ended up eventually teaching Theology at the University of Wittenberg. When lecturing on St Paul’s letter to the church at Rome, Luther came to discover for himself, one day, the great freedom the Savior promises us in that eighth chapter of John’s Gospel.

Luther found a great release from his psychological and spiritual prison in St Paul’s words, “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Romans 3:21-25).

Suddenly, Martin Luther felt that a tremendous weight had been lifted from him. He came to experience, for himself, the liberating grace of God through his faith in Jesus Christ and his Gospel. He realized that God’s love was nothing he had to earn or merit through his own attempts at being self-righteous, but God’s love and redemption were great gifts of God’s free grace and mercy to him, even as a sinner, unleashed through our Savior’s death on the cross and made more sure for human beings through our Lord’s glorious resurrection that first Easter morning.

Perhaps the hymn writer puts it well: “Salvation unto us has come, by God’s free grace and favor. Good works cannot avert our doom; they help and save us never! Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone, who did for all the world atone! He is our one Redeemer!” (LSB 555:1)

Please join us for a Festival Service of Holy Communion on Reformation Sunday, October 30th. As we sing “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” we will do so joyfully, as people who celebrate our freedom in Jesus Christ yet today! For the One who was crucified is now risen from the dead and has opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. --Pastor Paul C. Sizemore

A Message from our President
by Mike Knowles

With Thanksgiving approaching, it’s not too soon to take stock of how Mount Olive has been blessed by God. Corporately as a congregation, we are a loving church; but individually, we love because we were first loved by Jesus Christ our Savior.

As a congregation we have much to be thankful for. Our expanded staff and many volunteers give us a meaningful worship setting, a variety of Bible lessons, and a cheerful and welcoming facility that facilitates fellowship and worship.

• We have a Pastor with strong faith that teaches, preaches, and comforts us with the inspired word of God.

• We have lay minister that extends our outreach, quietly strengthens our faith, and better allows Mt Olive to respond to the immediate needs of members.

• We have a strong music program, an organized (and growing) nursery, a growing preschool outreach, and a clean and attractive facility. Behind the scene is a coordinated office that supports our church.

For this and innumerable other blessings, we give thanks to God.This blessing and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit may move you to be more involved. There are many ways to be involved publicly as a congregation as well as privately as Christians: pray, witness to a neighbor, join the handbell choir, attend one of the Bible studies, help with the nursery, visit the home bound, and the list continues with whatever we do in the name of Jesus Christ. For more examples, visit our new web site at, and grow in faith and love by spreading the Word of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Altar Guild
by Susie Hoffman

The recent “DAY OF REMEMBRANCE” OF 9/11/01 should be a strong reminder to all Christians that each day of our lives is a gift from God NEVER to be taken for granted. This message needs to be communicated to the world without Christ.

To help us remember and share the message of salvation, the Church has adopted and uses special divisions of the church-year to help us celebrate and communicate the blessings we enjoy because of the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Salvation is ours because of the ransom for ALL sins that was paid for by the sacrifice Jesus made for each of us on the cross. The world needs to know.

The Pentecost Season in the Church-year calendar is the longest season in the church calendar. Green paraments continue through this season with a few exceptions for celebrations of special days. Reformation Day is one of those exceptions. It is celebrated with red paraments and banners on Oct. 30th. Red, the color of victorious truth, fervor, and love is a very appropriate color to use as we remember and honor this great Christian reformer, Martin Luther. The open Bible on the altar parament reminds us of Martin Luther’s credo that scripture alone is our source of knowledge and understanding of God’s saving grace. The empty cross reminds us of the work and sacrifice of Jesus Christ to gain salvation for us. The flames of the Holy Spirit, sent to work faith in our hearts, are also included in this group of symbols. The banners for this day show the years of Martin Luther’s birth and death and the Coat-of-Arms that he chose for himself. The cross on a heart resting on the center of the Messianic Rose is surrounded by a circle to symbolize eternity. It was adopted by Luther as an expression of trust in God. “The Christian heart is resting on roses—E’en while beneath the cross it reposes”.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Romans 3:23-24...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Preschool News
by Krista Bernthal

The Preschool had a good start to its year! We are serving 22 sweet children. A big thank you goes out to all who have donated snacks! We have a great supply right now. We’ll let you know when we run low again. These seemingly small donations by you make a big difference for us.

Our book sale is scheduled for October 15th from 8 a.m. until noon. We will also be selling coffee and Krispy Kreme Donuts! You will have a chance to pre-order boxes of a dozen donuts or certificates to use later before our book sale. If you pre-order, you can just stop by on that Saturday morning to pick up your donuts! If you have books to donate, leave them upstairs in the boxes in the narthex. Thank you for your support and help with this fundraiser. We have 4 children on scholarship this year, so the money raised will go toward their tuition.


by Sarah Vickers

We had a great start to our new Sunday School year with our annual Rally Day. This year we enjoyed hot dogs and hamburgers at Saluda Shoals Park. The middle and high school youth had a great time working on team building on a challenge course adventure. The 4th grade and under group had fun staying cool in the splash park. We had 85 in attendance and everyone had a great time!

Rally day was just the beginning!! We urge you to find a place at Mt. Olive where you and your family fit in. Sunday School is so important for your children to learn about God, make Christian friendships, and share their faith with others. We also have great programs for adults too! So drop off the little ones and head to one of our 3 adult Bible classes! Here you too can grow in your faith in Christ, meet new people, and create Christian friendships for a lifetime! Please check below to learn more about our exciting programs!

Sunday School is 9:15-10:15:
• Infants-2 years old- Flora Weed keeps a nursery during the Sunday School hour
• 3 yrs-Kindergarten- Katie and Dana Magic- Preschool room 2
• 1st and 2nd Graders- Vanita Fiedler- Preschool room 1
• 3rd and 4th Graders- Laura Laprise-Preschool room 3
• 5th-8th Graders (Confirmation program) – Bill Boykin and Kevin Kibler- Upstairs across from choir loft
• 9th-12th Graders- Mike Knowles- Wagner House

Our Current Adult Classes:
• David Mash teaches a combination lecture and discussion style class in room 5 on the lower level. In October, his class is beginning a study of the Old Testament book of Ruth.

• Keith Degner teaches a class that meets in the fellowship hall, which is studying the book of Exodus.

• Pastor Sizemore will be finishing up his 6-week course on forgiveness in the next few weeks. Look for announcements in the bulletin for more 6-12 week classes to start up soon.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
John 8:31-32So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

by Dan Jorgenson

The Sunday morning Bible study groups have just finished our Natural Witnessing training. The feedback from everyone was great. Throughout the planning of the course, I have been amazed at the amount of resources available for evangelism. The “New Evangelism” model seems to be less program-driven and more based on individual witnessing. I want to share this observation written by John Powell from his website,

“Let me use an analogy. Let’s say I have a glass of water, and I show you this glass. “It’s two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen,” I proclaim. “Your body needs water and you must stay hydrated. Drink it or die.”

This was my approach to sharing my faith. It was technically correct, but it did not make anyone want to drink the glass of water. “Drink Jesus or die! Accept Jesus or you will go to Hell!” While escaping Hell is certainly a good incentive for accepting Christ, if that is the only reason a person has come to the Lord, then they are missing out on what it means to have a close personal relationship with a Father who loves them deeply. The main reason Jesus went to the cross was not so we could escape Hell, but so the way would be opened that we could approach the throne of God.

Back to the glass of water. Instead, what if my approach was this: “You know, I was so hot and weak and tired. The sun was beating down on me mercilessly and relentlessly. And then I found this glass of water. It was so cool and refreshing, and the water felt so good going down. Won’t you come and share a glass with me?”

Doesn’t that approach to witnessing sound much better? It’s not based on arguing theology and defending doctrine, but is based on what God has done for you in your own life personally. And it makes that person want to take the glass and “taste and see, that the Lord is good.” The world doesn’t need to see another person debating doctrine and thumping their Bible. No, they need to see the Hope that we have. They need to see what a loving God has done for us. They need to see our scars”.

We will continue to offer opportunities to become more comfortable witnessing for God. To be more effective, I need help. I have a number of folks who have expressed interest in joining the Evangelism Committee. I plan on holding the initial meeting in October. If you wish to be part of our “New Evangelism” committee, contact me, or talk to me at church. Absolutely no experience necessary.

Social Ministry News
from Sharing God’s Love

Sharing God’s Love reports that they were able to net $2,413 from the Fatz Café pancake breakfast. The Bi-Lo food drive collected 8 buggies of groceries plus some donations. Steinmart will open a Harbison store in mid October, and SGL will benefit from a coupon sale in conjunction with Charity Day, October 15th. SGL will sell $5 coupons. SGL will keep $5, AND the purchaser receives $5 off their first purchase and 20% off on two more purchases at Steinmart!
Please continue to collect food, toiletries, and school supplies.

from Charlie Sandt

A Stewardship Minute Inspiring a deeper understanding of true givingAn introduction of Stewardship to the congregation

In the October issue of Stewardship there is a story about two young men discussing their personal goals in life. One fellow’s attitude was to get everything he could get for himself: money, property, automobiles, stocks, bonds and so forth. One might say he focused on reaping and gathering. He wanted to store up as many treasures on earth as possible. All he wanted was everything!

The other young man said that he believed God had given him a good life. He had a decent body, a fair mind, and some talent. Therefore, he said that since he was a Christian he thought that he should use whatever gifts he had to glorify God and to try to make this world a better place. He wanted to store up treasures in heaven. They would be everlasting and no one could remove them from him.

That young fellow was trying to have a Christian attitude toward life. He realized that making a life is far more important than making a living. In fact, those who use their life to glorify God on earth find that somehow they have enough, often more than enough, to satisfy their worldly needs. This idea is summed up in the 23rd Psalm:

The Lord is my shepherd; I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Prayer: Dear Lord, make our minds and hearts restless until we strive first for the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen

"A Stewardship Minute" is available to subscribers of Stewardship at Simply click on the “Stewardship Resource Center” and log in using with your account number (Username) and zip code (Password), both of which can be found on the invoice or mailing label.
Parish Publishing, LLC (888) 320-5576

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

PASTORAL ACTS: September 2011
FUNERALS: September 27, 2011

Henry Bobbye Meetze March 18, 1929 -- September 24, 2011
Funeral and Interment were held at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Chapin, SC

Announcements & Opportunities:

Choir & Handbells
If you ever thought you might like to see what playing handbells is all about, now is your big chance! We will have a Handbell Ring-Along on Sunday, Oct. 9, at 5:00 p.m. We will meet in the old fellowship hall, which is downstairs next to the nursery. I'll show you how to ring a bell and when you should play and by the end of the hour we'll be playing a hymn together, I guarantee! No experience necessary but the ability to count to 6 would be helpful. So that means just about anybody can do this, including you! So come on and give it a commitment, just fun! Call Karen Meetze with questions.

Choir Party!
On October 16, the Adult and Handbell Choirs will be gathering at Hal and Susie Hoffman's house immediately after the late service for a cookout and relaxing afternoon on the lake. Burgers, hotdogs, and fixins' will be provided. We ask everyone to bring a side dish or dessert and their favorite beverage. Please call Karen Meetze at to confirm your presence and to get directions to the Hoffman's.

Girl Scout Spaghetti Bake
Girl Scout Troop 1317 is hosting a Spaghetti Bake Fund Raiser Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 5:00 – 8:00 PM. The Menu includes baked spaghetti, salad, bread, & tea. The cost is $8 if purchased in advance and $10 if purchased at the door. Get your tickets beginning Oct. 2nd after the 2nd service. You may also preorder tickets from Becky Bass. Proceeds from the fund raiser will go towards expenses for Troop 1317’s trips to the National Convention in Houston, Nov. 10-13th, and to the 100 Year Anniversary Girl Scouts Sing-a-Long in Washington, DC, June, 2012.

Stephen Ministry
On September 25th, the Voters’ Assembly gave approval for Mt. Olive to enroll with Stephen Ministries. Stephen Ministry is a program of lay pastoral care giving founded by LCMS Pastor Kenneth Haugk at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, St. Louis in 1975. The program is active in more than eleven thousand congregations in over one hundred denominations.

Stephen Ministers are trained lay caregivers who provide one-to-one Christian care. They are willing to talk about spiritual issues but won’t force them. They care by listening, supporting, encouraging, praying, being dependable and trustworthy, and maintaining confidentiality in their care giving. Stephen Ministers are accountable to the Stephen Leader and Pastor.

If you have a desire to care for others in a Christ-centered way, then your calling may be to become a Stephen Minister or a Stephen Leader. Learn more by prayerfully considering attending a half-day Stephen Ministry Workshop on October 22, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, in Pineville, NC (near Charlotte) with Bill and Aresa Boykin. You can get more information by going to

Worship Etiquette
From time to time one might find it necessary to enter, or re-enter, the worship area when worship is in progress. If you are in doubt as to when it is appropriate to do so, here are some helpful suggestions:

It is appropriate to enter during the singing of a congregational hymn, between the reading of lessons, before or after a prayer, before or after the sermon, during the offering, and when people are coming forward to receive communion.

It is not appropriate to enter during the reading of lessons, during prayers, including prayer of consecration, during a solo or anthem, or during the sermon. Such entrances can be disruptive to the worship experience of one’s fellow worshipers. Thus, it is recommended that one wait at the rear of the sanctuary or in the narthex until an appropriate time arrives in the order of the service to return to your seat. Thank you for your consideration.

Additional Church Parking during Church Services
There is additional parking available 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.

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.

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.

Open An LCEF Custodial Certificate for a Minor
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. What an excellent way to demonstrate your heart for stewardship when you establish a custodial certificate for that special child in your life. While the certificate is growing with earned interest and additional deposits, he/she will be sharing the use of his/her gifts with fellow Lutherans, enabling low cost loans and services for churches and schools to share the Good News about Jesus to others. LCEF studies show that those that begin investing as children, remain lifelong investors. What a legacy you can begin! For more information check the website at or call Cindy Haupt or Vicki Edwards at 800 637-5723.

November Newsletter Deadline
Mark your calendar! The deadline for submitting articles for the November newsletter is October 20th. Send articles to Aresa.
Join Us in Worship

Sunday at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Sunday School and Adult Bible Classes:
Sunday at 9:15 a.m.

All are invited!

Learn about our Preschool that serves
the Columbia, SC community.

Mount Olive Lutheran Church

1541 Lake Murray Boulevard
Columbia, SC 29212

Get directions

©Copyright 2012 Mount Olive Lutheran Church | Privacy Policy