Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November Newsletter

Pastor’s Article

by Pastor Paul C. Sizemore

“Bearing Fruit for Jesus”
Stewardship Emphasis for 2012

On the first three Sundays of November, you will hear a lot about bearing fruit because our Stewardship Theme for 2012 is: Bearing Fruit for Jesus: His Grace and Power at Work within You.

Fruit trees are one of the many wonders of God’s creation. To see the beauty of the tree and its fruit, to enjoy its taste, and to realize that it all came from a tiny seed is almost beyond our comprehension. An apple seed is planted in the ground, and, with water and sun as nourishment, a seedling surfaces miraculously that develops eventually into a fruit tree. After a period of time, the apple tree fulfills its mission by bearing apples.

We, as Christians, are called upon by our God, from the time of our Baptisms, to be like that apple tree. We, too, are fed and nourished by God so we can bear fruit. “You did not choose me,” our Lord said to his disciples in that Upper Room on the night before he was crucified willingly, to be our Savior, “but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” (John 15:16).

Jesus tells us: “I am the Vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit! Apart from me you can do nothing!” (John 15:5).
The life and power of any plant is found in its vine. The vine uses the branches to produce its fruit. The branch is simply a growth of the vine, produced by it and appointed to bear fruit. The branch exists only because the vine makes it possible.

Fruit characterizes the life of the Christian steward. When we remain closely connected to Jesus, we are told that we “will bear much fruit.” Christ has given us the task of ministering to the needs of others and spreading the Gospel. As we stay connected to Him through His Word and Sacraments, we discover God’s perfect will for us, and we are empowered to please Him by bearing fruit (Colossians 1:9-10). God has created us to bear fruit (Ephesians 2:10), but only through Christ is it possible for us to do so.

“Since we live by the Spirit,” Paul exhorted, “let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other” (Galatians 5:25-26)!

As children of God, we have this fruit because His Spirit lives in us, not as a result of our own efforts. However, the stark reminder is given to us that we stop bearing fruit when we give in to our sinful natures, becoming, in Paul’s words: “Conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
We are to: “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11a), but are to: “Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8b-10).

--Pastor Paul C. Sizemore

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Thanksgiving Eve Worship Service

WednesdayNovember 23rd at 7:30 PM

Sermon Title:“Pass the Milk and Honey, Please!”

Please join us as we celebrate our thankfulness to God and for all he has done for us.

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by Sarah Vickers

The Education Committee is working very hard on firming up plans for another wonderful Christmas program. Please be on the lookout in the church bulletin for practice times and dates!
Liz Rosinski held a review session with the acolytes where they practiced the gospel procession in preparation for Reformation, All Saints, and Christ the King Sundays.

Congratulations to Abby K and Josh H who completed First Communion Classes with Pastor and received their first communion on October 30th, Reformation Sunday.

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A Message from our President

by Mike Knowles

I have a request and a question for our members: The request: visit Mount Olive’s new web site ( twice a day.Why twice a day? Well the frequency is arbitrary, but our web site will display better in certain search engines if it is more active. The search engine, like GOOGLE, determines this by the number of hits, so more visits equates to more hits. When visitors are searching for churches or parents of preschoolers are looking for a preschool online, they will see an ordering of search engine responses. We hope to move up in that ordering by being more active. The secondary benefit is you see our site and can read about our ministries and events. This of course will not change twice a day.

While our scheduling and newsletters are monthly changes, our focus has been and will always be on our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. The Question: Would electronic giving be convenient for you? Currently members give cash or checks through the offering collection. Mount Olive would like to implement an electronic giving option. This is equivalent to predetermined money transfers that many of us may have for mortgages or bill payments. The individual sets the payment amount and withdrawal frequency (e.g. Second Monday of each month, every Friday….).

Unlike a mortgage you can of course modify the amount and frequency at any time. The electronic giving in essence replaces conventional check writing. The church would have a set up fee of $25 and monthly hosting fees of $20. So the resulting question is: how many members would want to use e-giving? I’ll work on a way to survey the congregation, but feel free give your option to any council member or to me.

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Altar Guild

by Susie Hoffman

As we approach the end of the CHURCH YEAR the parament color changes to white, the color of purity, completeness and also of celebration. This final month of the Season of Pentecost includes special celebrations that are emphasized by the color change of the altar paraments from green to white. The first Sunday of this month is All Saints Sunday and is dedicated to the memory of the saints and martyrs of history who have passed into eternity before us. It is also an occasion to especially remember family members and friends who have gone into the presence of our Father God during this past year. The third Sunday is celebrated as Christ the King Sunday. Our Lord Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, has risen to glory at the right hand of God the Father.

This is the final SUNDAY in the CHURCH YEAR CALENDAR. However, the white paraments remain as we celebrate our national Thanksgiving Holiday. Though not originally a church celebration, this day emphasizes the need and desire of the Church to thank God continually for all His benefits to us. The color change of the paraments to blue generates a feeling of pleasant excitement as we enter the festival half of the CHURCH YEAR CALENDAR on the last Sunday of November this year. This color of hope and anticipation leads us to thoughts of the coming birth of our Savior, Jesus.

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Preschool News

by Krista Bernthal

Fall has arrived in the preschool – there are so many fun things to do during this season and we are trying to squeeze it all in. The beautiful colors that God gives us during this season have inspired many beautiful art projects. Of course, Halloween has everyone extra excited as well! Our next holiday to prepare for is Thanksgiving, which culminates in a school wide Thanksgiving feast on November 21st.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the book and doughnut sale. That was a fun way to meet some of our neighbors and enjoy a beautiful morning together. The proceeds will help cover some of our scholarship students. More books are available for purchase in the fellowship hall.
As always I enter this time of Thanksgiving especially thankful for all of you. The support you offer us both with money, time and prayers that never waiver makes me feel so blessed to work among you.

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by Dan Jorgenson

The Great Commission
Most of us are aware of the Great Commission, which is found in several places within the New Testament. It is God’s plan where beginning in Jerusalem, the Gospel was to spread throughout the known world. The history of God’s plan for our salvation is revealed to us in the Bible. The great Commission is the transition from the Old Testament and the fulfillment of the promise of a Messiah in the Gospels, into the age of the New Testament church of God’s chosen believers in Christ.

It is also more than a plan. It is a command. The Gospel of Matthew closes with the Jesus commanding, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19–20). It is a simple command with three steps: evangelism, baptism, and education. Individually or as a church, we are not allowed to choose which step we feel responsible to fulfill.

As the Evangelism Chairman, I am happy to report that our congregation seems to be increasing our focus on evangelism. We have had a large number of members who were able to attend the Natural Witnessing course. The Evangelism committee has formed and is making plans for the upcoming year. Most of our focus will be internal, including offering new Natural Witness training opportunities, developing a “Shepherd” program for new members, and assisting Pastor with visiting potential new members.

We could use more members on the committee but would also be happy for volunteers to help us with programs if you wish to serve in that way. The plan is to meet every other month. The meetings should not take more than an hour of your time and will include a short evangelism based Bible study. Contact me at home (607) 351-6528 or by e-mail at if you feel the Lord is calling you to fulfill the command to make disciples.

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Social Ministry News

from Sharing God’s Love

Please continue to bring supplies for Sharing God’s Love. Since the weather has turned cooler, quilts, blankets, and coats will be in greater demand. Non-perishable food items are always needed.

Mark your calendars for the 2012 American Red Cross Blood Drives to be held at Mt. Olive on February 25th and July 28th. Katrina Davis will be in charge of recruiting volunteers for this vital ministry. If you would like to give blood on a more regular basis, please contact the American Red Cross to set up a time.

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from Charlie Sandt

Gratitude for His Presence...How many stars are there in the sky? Who can count them? Yet God created and knows each of them. How many different kinds of animals in the forests and deserts and oceans? We have not come to the end of discovering them all, but God has created each one in its unique way. Nor has God been less meticulous with us, for, even though all humans have the same body structure, a face with nose, eyes, and mouth, and all our various parts, yet each of us is uniquely different from another.

Not only has God created each of us, He knows us intimately and cares about every facet of our lives and activities. David, the psalmist, wrote about this characteristic of God in Psalm 139: “O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways” (Psalm 139:1-3).

Here is really something to be thankful for! The Creator of the universe cares so much about you that He searches your heart and mind in order that He might know you! We talk about our need and desire to know God; have you ever thanked Him that He wants to know you?

Are you thankful that you can never get away from God? That He knows when you sit, when you stand, when you go somewhere, and even when you lie down to go to sleep at night? We can never get away from God. Should we ascend to the clouds or descend to the depths of the ocean, we would not go there alone (Psalm 139:8). God loves us so much that His presence is with us wherever we are.

Like the three-year old who stamps her little foot in defiance when her parents make her go to bed when she needs rest and like the rebellious teen who believes his parents are out to control him, we do not always recognize that all God gives us and does for us and, yes, even demands of us, is for our good because He loves us. Sometimes we, too, stamp our feet and shout at God in defiance, while we should be thanking Him for His presence, for His constant care, for His love that will not let go of us. Tenderly He forgives our waywardness, restoring us again to His presence, giving us ever more cause for gratitude.

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by Carole Mueller, Mt. Olive LWML President

LWML Sunday was observed October 2, 2011, with the ladies serving as lectors & ushers during both services. Twelve ladies participated in the salad luncheon & the program following the 10:30 a.m. service.

On November 8th, we will be starting a new Bible study entitled “Ever Only, All for Thee.” This 6-part study is based on the familiar hymn, “Take My Life and Let It Be.” We are currently meeting the 2nd & 4th Tuesday of the month; however, our agenda will change with Tuesday, Nov. 8th. We will have our Bible study from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. There is a sign up sheet on the LWML bulletin board outside the workroom. We need to order enough study guides for those attending.

Following the Bible study, ladies who are interested are invited to bring a sack lunch (beverages & dessert provided), and join us for crafts/projects, concluding approximately 2:00 p.m. We are currently participating with other Christian organizations all over the world by sewing little dresses for African children. Over 400,000 dresses have already been distributed. We are accepting donations of fabric, lace, rickrack, ¼” elastic, double-fold bias tape, ribbon and thread. A special container for these donations is located under the LWML bulletin board outside the workroom. For more information visit the website

The first Sunday of each month is designated for LWML mite box collections. Please place your monetary contributions in the large mite box located in the back of the sanctuary.

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PASTORAL ACTS: October 2011


October 1, 2011 Shane Derek Hornsby August 21, 1986 -- September 28, 2011

Memorial Service was held at Caughman-Harman Funeral Home, Lexington Chapel

October 29, 2011 Ella Beth Richardson August 15, 1933 -- October 26, 2011


Doug Lacey


Mark Carter, Sr., Brian Koehler, Jason Minkle, Rachel Smith, Matthew Koon, Colleen Mash, David & Kristie Weedm Lisa, Tristin, & Jaron Jones, Jessica McCartha, Summer Meetze, Tyler Bridgeman, Robert & Megan Schwartz

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Prayer of Thanksgiving
Bless the LORD, O my soul,and do not forget all his benefits—who forgives all your iniquity,who heals all your diseases,who redeems your life from the Pit,who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,who satisfies you with good as long as you liveso that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
--Psalm 103:2-5, NRSV

The psalmist’s all-encompassing list is a good example of all the gifts of God we should gratefully acknowledge. Personalize this ancient prayer by pondering your own experiences of God’s forgiveness, healing, redemption, love, mercy, and satisfaction of your daily needs. (from The Newsletter Newsletter, 2011)

Announcements & Opportunities

Choir & Handbells
Handbell practice has been moved to Sundays at 4:45 PM.Choir practice follows at 6:00 PM.

Pastor’s New Members Class begins November 13th

Those who are new to the Lutheran Church are invited to participate in a New Members Class taught by Pastor Sizemore beginning Sunday, November 13th, 9:15-10:15, during the Sunday School hour. New Member Sunday will be December 11th during the 10:30 AM worship service.

Stephen Ministry
On October 22, eight of our members attended a Stephen Ministry Workshop in Pineville, NC. Those attending were Pastor, Bill & Aresa Boykin, Cyndi Nelson, Jon & Ellen Richter, Shari Selke, and Flora Weed. The group participated in hands-on sessions that demonstrated the Ministry’s Christian care giving. The week long training for Mt. Olive’s Stephens Leader will take place in early 2012. After our leader is trained, those interested in becoming Stephen Ministers will complete 50 hours of training in weekly sessions.

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. Please note that the Bible studies will not meet on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving or on Wednesdays during Advent, as there will be church services.

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.

A second Bible study meets at the church. 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.

December-January Newsletter Deadline
Mark your calendar! The deadline for submitting articles for the December-January newsletter is November 20th. Send articles to me at Also, those of you who love taking pictures of Mt. Olive events can e-mail your photos to me so that I can include some of them in the Olive Leaves and on our Face Book page.

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As we remember America's veterans on November 11, we would do well to read again the third stanza of Katherine Lee Bates' America the Beautiful:

O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife,

Who more than self their country loved,

And mercy more than life!

America! America! May God thy gold refine,

Till all success be nobleness,And every gain divine!

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