Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Monday, April 30, 2012

Mt. Olive May Newsletter

Olive Leaves May 2012

Pastor’s Article
by Pastor Paul C. Sizemore

"Pentecost Sunday – The Birthday of the Church"

On July 4, 1776, the members of the Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, signed the Declaration of Independence.  With this action, the American Revolution was launched and a new nation was born.  It is ironic that on this very day George III, King of England, made this entry into his diary: "Nothing of any importance happened today."

On the first New Testament Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), 120 followers of the crucified and risen Lord Jesus were gathered together in Jerusalem.  Suddenly the Spirit of God descended upon the twelve apostles and filled each one of them, marking each one of them with a tongue of fire.  On this very day the Church was born.  But no historian of the time saw anything significant in this momentous event.

Those 120 disciples were just a handful of rather ordinary men and women: a few fishermen, some housewives, former tax collectors, a few farmers and some servant girls.  Yet, through these ordinary people, God gave birth to the Christian Church, which has lasted now for over 2,000 years.

In less than 300 years following that first Pentecost, that small, insignificant Jewish sect became the official religion of the Roman Empire and today the Church of Jesus Christ circles the globe and numbers over one billion members.

On May 27, 2012, the one holy catholic and apostolic church throughout the world will celebrate the Festival of Pentecost, one of the four major festivals of the church year.  It is a day for us to celebrate the coming of God’s Holy Spirit into our own lives and into the lives of people everywhere; the day we celebrate the birthday of the church.

In the world, the Festival of Pentecost doesn’t get any real attention the way that Christmas and Easter do, because the world has not found a way to commercialize it or to turn it into a national holiday; so for many people, it goes completely unnoticed.

On the night before our Lord and Savior was crucified, Jesus promised his disciples that he would send to them the Holy Spirit, the Counselor, to continue to lead them into the truth and to convict the world of sin and to bring God’s righteousness into the lives of people who have experienced the brokenness of this world.

In John 14: 16-17, our Lord promised: “I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever-- the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive; for it doesn’t see him, neither knows him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you!

When God sends forth his Spirit upon us yet today, amazing things still happen.  Barriers are broken.  Communities are formed.  Opposites find a common purpose and a true spirit of unity is established.  Diseases are cured.  Addictions are broken.  Cities are renewed.  Races are reconciled. Hope is established and we are blessed as the Holy Spirit continues to bring the life and the love of the Risen Christ upon us to transform the lives of all!

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Note from our President
by Mike Knowles

I would like to thank the members who attended the April 22nd special voters assembly.
Tom McCoy presented the Church Council’s recommendation to have a 32-niche granite columbarium installed.  The voters approved up to $12,000 for construction and placement of a columbarium.

In a second motion, the voters approved up to $6000 to reface the existing church sign and add a brick base.

I encourage all of Mt. Olive’s members age 18 and older to become voting members.  Mt. Olive will a have its regularly scheduled voter’s assembly on May 27th after the 10:30 service.  New voters will be accepted at the beginning of the meeting.

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Altar Guild’s Message
by Susie Hoffman

The singing of the Alleluia verses was returned to our liturgy on Easter Sunday to reflect our joy at the knowledge that our Savior, Jesus, has been raised from the dead.  Two of the three great festivals the Church celebrates during the SUNDAYS OF EASTER in the CHURCH YEAR CYCLE will be celebrated this month:  Ascension Sunday and The Day of Pentecost.

The Paschal candle, brought to the chancel on Easter Sunday, is removed after the Ascension of our Lord into heaven to remind us that His VISIBLE presence has departed the earth.  He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.  The parament color remains white through this Sunday to express the purity of Christ and to celebrate His victory over sin, death and the devil.

The last Sunday of May will be celebrated as THE DAY OF PENTECOST.  The parament color is changed to red, the color of fire, fervor, love and truth.  It is used to remind us of the gift of the Holy Spirit given on that day and signified with tongues of flames that appeared on the heads of the disciples.  Our CHURCH YEAR CYCLE will refer to this significant event by naming most of the coming weeks in this longest season in its cycle as SUNDAYS AFTER PENTECOST.

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Preschool News
by Krista Bernthal

The preschool is winding down this month.  I can't believe that the year is almost over!  Our end of year celebration picnic at Saluda Shoals is May 17th.  It has been great thanks to your help and support. 

Hopefully you have purchased your tickets for the Apron Strings Mother-Daughter Luncheon.  As we reach the end of our fifth year, we need to do some upgrading and replacing of some of our equipment.  With your support of the Pampered Chef fundraiser held in conjunction with the luncheon, we will be able to make those improvements!  If you can't attend (or are a guy), then pick up a catalog in the narthex.  All orders are due Sunday, May 13th.

Also:  Do you know a child that is going to kindergarten in the fall?  We will be holding our Kindergarten Kamp August 6-10th this summer.  Call Krista Bernthal with questions: 781-7180.

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Christian Education
by Sarah Vickers

The Youth Group would like to thank all of those who came and gave free will donations at the Lenten meal and at the 5th Sunday lunch they, as well as those that “Hired a Teen” for yard work.  All of your donations will go to help fund their trip to San Antonio, TX for the 2013 National LCMS Gathering.  Please look in the newsletter and church bulletin for upcoming fundraisers.

Summer is quickly approaching, and our Sunday school teachers have been working hard all year to share the message of God’s love through the Bible stories they have retold.  The education committee would love to give our teachers a well-deserved break so that they may gear up for another exciting year starting in September.  Please help show your appreciation to our Sunday school teachers by signing up to cover a Sunday school class during the summer.  There are 8 weeks in June and July that need to be covered by willing volunteers.  We need 2 volunteers per Sunday.  Volunteers will teach students in the pre-K-4th grade classes, and will be provided in advance with all materials needed to teach the class for their Sunday.  The sign-up sheet will be posted on the Sunday school bulletin board next to the fellowship hall. 

Bill Boykin will offer a special class this summer for all students that will be in the 5th-6th grades in the 2012-2013 school year.  The class will cover the Ten Commandments and the Apostle’s Creed.  This will be a great review for students currently in the Confirmation class as well as a great introduction to those rising 5th graders who will be in the program starting in the fall. The class will meet in the room across from the choir loft.

We are excited to announce VBS for this coming year.  “The Amazing Desert Journey” VBS will be taught during the Sunday school hour each Sunday in August.  We will have a fun opening with songs, story time, and crafts.  If you are interested in volunteering to help with any of these VBS activities, please let Mandy Kibler, Katrina Folks, or Sarah Vickers know.  You may also email Mandy at  We will end VBS and start the new Sunday school year with Rally Day planned for August 26th at Saluda Shoals Park.

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LWML (The Olive Branch)
by Carole Mueller, President

Mt. Olive’s LWML will have one scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 8th, beginning with a 10:00 Bible study from the Spring 2012 Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly, followed by lunch & craft projects, and concluding at 2:00 p.m.  The final spring meeting will be May 21st at 11:30 AM, when we will meet for lunch at the Copper River Grill, 1230 Bower Parkway.  A sign-up sheet will be in the Narthex for all ladies wishing to attend.  The LWML will not be meeting during the months of June, July, & August. 

When we resume regularly scheduled meetings in September, we will continue with our Bible studies starting at 10:00, and thereafter work on requested Christmas projects: the sewing of costumes for the children’s program & the making of new chrismon ornaments for the trees.  We welcome your ideas & hands to work.  These should be enjoyable and rewarding projects for everyone participating.  We will also be available for assisting with cleaning projects as needed.  

As in the past, each of the four confirmands received a Martin Luther’s seal sun-catcher as a gift from the ladies of the Olive Branch.  In addition, the Olive Branch also provides monetary gifts to Sharing God’s Love, the Lutheran Hour Ministries, & Bible Translators.  We do have in place a donation of $1.00 at each meeting & collect mites to be placed in the large Mite box located in the back of church.  During the summer months, please continue with your mite offerings.

Check out the LWML bulletin board outside the workroom for current LWML information.  You will see pictures of our ladies with our completed project of sewing little dresses for African children, the 2012 Carolina District Joy Event in Anderson, SC, and the Carolinas District Southern Zone Spring Rally held at Mt. Olive on April 21st. 

Thank you to all the ladies of Mt. Olive who gave of their time and talents to host the Spring Zone Rally.  Many hours were spent planning, developing the Bible study, decorating the fellowship hall, making favors and centerpieces, and preparing delicious breakfast items and salads for lunch.  
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Social Ministry News
by Shari Selke

Calling fellow servants of the Lord: I need to hear from you.  Do you have a favorite community project you’re involved with?  How about a special charity, organization, or cause that you support?  I would like to find out what our interests are here at Mt Olive to better serve the Lord and our community.  If you would be so kind as to write a little something down and leave it in the church office to my attention or email me at  The information will be very useful as the ministry selects projects for the next year.

The American Red Cross has an urgent need for platelet donations.  Platelets are what makes the blood clot and the ARC is in desperate need right now!  Donating platelets takes two hours and needs to be done at their facility at 2751 Bull Street, across from CVS near Palmetto Richland Hospital.  You can make an appointment by calling 540-1200.

Sharing God’s Love has fewer donations during the summer months so please keep them in mind when you are out grocery shopping or cleaning out your cupboard. Mt Olive has a box outside the office to accept donations. Bi-Lo shoppers can also give their support by using the paper vouchers posted on the bulletin board along with their Bi-Lo bonus card, 5% of your purchases go to Sharing God’s Love. The Post Office will be doing a food drive May 12th, so keep your eyes posted for the notices coming from your postman.

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Stephen Ministry
by Bill & Aresa Boykin

Our first group of Stephen Ministers will complete their last seven training classes and be commissioned on Pentecost Sunday, May 27th.  Those who will be commissioned as Stephen Ministers are Connie Cook, Dave Osborn, Jon & Ellen Richter, Charlie & Twila Sandt, Shari Selke, and Aresa Boykin.
In May, the class will study the topics of: “Dealing with Depression:  The Stephen Minister’s Role”, “Helping Suicidal Persons Get the Help They Need”, “How to Make the First Caring Visit”, “Bringing the Caring Relationship to a Close”, and “Supervision: A Key to Quality Christian Care.”  The group will complete training with “Follow Me”, a time of review, inspiration, and celebration as they prepare to follow Jesus Christ in their caregiving journey.

Mt. Olive’s Stephen Ministry congregational theme for the month of May will be identifying people who need care.  It is not just Pastor Sizemore and the Stephen Ministry team’s job to find care receivers; it is the responsibility of our entire congregation! When you know of a friend in crisis who doesn’t know where to turn, or someone who needs a caring, listening person, here are a few basic steps that will guide you:

1.  Listen and care for your friend in your own special way.
2.  Ask your friend for permission to share his or her need with someone who can help.  Be sure to tell your friend that all information will be kept confidential.
3. Once your friend gives permission, report his or her need as promptly as possible to Pastor Sizemore or Bill Boykin, our Stephen Leader Referral Coordinator.

That is all you have to do!  Pastor or Bill will handle the rest of the process.  Because confidentiality is a cornerstone of Stephen Ministry, the only ones who will know the Stephen Minister assignment will be your friend, his or her Stephen Minister, Pastor, and Bill.  Confidentiality makes quality Christian caregiving possible.

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A Stewardship Minute
from Charlie Sandt

An article in the May issue of Stewardship focuses on the importance of faith and the wonderful results we discover when we take faith seriously. The author confesses that for some years faith was not always a serious matter for her. But the time came when faith became her top priority and life took on a whole new perspective. Instead of worrying and finding daily life a burden, the writer discoveith was not always a serious matter for her. But the time came when faith became her top priority and life took on a whole new perspective. Instead of worrying and finding daily life a burden, the writer discovered that living by faith brought meaning and joy; that to have a partnership with God throughout life brought guidance, hope and strength to handle the many decisions, worries, and woes which came her way.

Think about the following: However intelligent we are, we need the wisdom and guidance of God in our lives. To live life solely on our own, going our own way, doing as we please without the guidance of God available to us surely would not be wise, would it? Especially, when one considers the indescribable intelligence and wisdom of our Creator, which is available for us when we humbly ask and faithfully follow it.

And what should be our response to the amazing grace and goodness of God? It is to be a responsible steward of all that our loving God has given and will give to us throughout life. That means to offer our all to be used by God; our hearts, minds, bodies and souls … our resources of whatever sort. For what do we have that God has not given to us to use as God’s stewards and the fulfillment of our lives?

Prayer: Dear God, you but open your loving hands toward us, and shower us with all that we truly need in life. We humbly thank you. In the name of Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord. Amen
Parish Publishing, LLC      (888) 320-5576

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Announcements & Opportunities

Midweek Bible Studies
The two midweek Bible studies resumed on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 6:30 PM.  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 M.  This group is currently studying the book of John.  Call 447-9894 for more information.

The second Bible study meets at church in the fellowship hall.  The group will continue to study the lectionary for the following Sunday.  Contact Eddie M. for further details.

New Members’ Sunday
Mt. Olive will welcome its new members on May 20th during the 10:30 service.  Those who are new to the Lutheran Church will have completed a series of classes taught by Pastor Sizemore.  Members who have transferred their membership from another Lutheran congregation will also be recognized.

Stephen Minister Commissioning
Mt. Olive’s first group of Stephen Ministers will be commissioned on Pentecost Sunday, May 27th.  These eight caregivers have worked diligently to complete their 50 hours of training in 15 weeks!

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

Sharing God's Love
Sharing God's Love's Christian food pantry is now especially in need of peanut butter, shampoo, deodorant, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, dish and laundry detergent, and toilet paper. Please leave items in the basket in the hall outside the church offices.

June-July Newsletter Deadline
Mark your calendar! The deadine for submitting articles for the combined June-July newsletter is May 20th.  Also, those of you who love taking pictures of Mt. Olive events can e-mail your photos to me so I can include some  of them in the new Olive Leavssection, "Around Mt. Olive" and on our Facebook page. Send articles and photos to me at

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