Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Thursday, May 31, 2012

June/July 2012 Newsletter

Olive Leaves
June-July 2012

Pastor’s Article
by Pastor Paul C. Sizemore


The Festival of the Holy Trinity


Have you ever stopped to think of all the things that come in threes?  There are three blind mice, three musketeers, three wise men, three little pigs and three bears in the legend of Goldilocks; a papa bear, a mama bear and a baby bear.  Many people believe that death always comes in a combination of threes.

Some people, with no spiritual leanings one way or the other believe that three is a “lucky” number.  It certainly is an odd number; but it is not a number that holds any real significance in terms of our human body parts.  We have lots of ones and twos of this and that.  We have one nose, one mouth, two ears, two eyes, two legs and two arms, as well as fives and tens in terms of fingers and toes, but no part of us comes in threes.  Yet, we often experience life in terms of three parts: beginning, middle and end.  There are width, depth and height; yesterday, today and tomorrow.

As you know, Jesus was baptized at the age of 30 and died three years later at age 33 at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, under an inscription written in three languages. On the third day he rose again and in a post-resurrection appearance he asked Simon Peter: “Do you love me more than these?” three times (John 21:15-17), perhaps to coincide, as some have suggested, with the three times that Peter denied ever having known Jesus (John 18:25-27) whom he had confessed openly as Savior.

On June 3rd of this year, the vast majority of Christians will celebrate the Festival of the Holy Trinity.  Here the Church offers its glad confession to the world that the God revealed to us through the patriarchs, in his adoption of Israel to be his own Covenant People, through the judges, through the prophets and ultimately in Jesus Christ is One Divine Being in three distinct Persons.  This Triune God is the God who reveals himself to us in the Holy Bible as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Of course we will sing a favorite hymn of many.  “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty…”

On this Trinity Sunday we celebrate the Christian understanding which says that God is three and we look to pastors to proclaim this holy mystery to us a little more fully. For while we say that God is three we do not say that there are three Gods. Rather we say that there is one God.

Is there only one God? Definitely yes!  Does this one God reveal himself to us as three distinct Persons? Definitely yes!  The doctrine of the Holy Trinity forever remains a mystery to us. But to teach that God reveals himself to us in three distinct Persons is not to say the same thing as three different people.  For the three-ness of God, if I can put it like this, is not like the three-ness of three different people - nor that of the three musketeers, the three little pigs or the three bears.

Three people mean three individuals. And the three bears each had their own bowl of porridge and bed and each of the three little pigs had a different little house. But it is not so with the Holy Trinity. The three persons of God all have the same being and that means, in common English, that it is less misleading to say that the: “The Lord our God is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4)  Our confession of faith, without ever fully explaining or understanding this, is the Confession of the Holy Trinity in that third ecumenical Creed we confess again this year on June 3rd; the Athanasian Creed.

Here we confess with the Church throughout the ages: “The Godhead of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is one: the glory coequal, the majesty coeternal!”  Amen


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Note from our President
by Mike Knowles

I’d like to wish you a safe and faithful summer.  Summer is great opportunity to try a new Bible study or become involved in other volunteer activities.  Many will be traveling over the summer.  I encourage you to be a visitor at other churches or if you have company, to invite them to attend worship at Mount Olive.  This is great opportunity to share Christian fellowship.   And of course, If you’re looking for respite from the world and from the oppressive heat of a Columbia summer day, Mount Olive is air conditioned and we offer the message of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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Altar Guild’s Message
by Susie Hoffman

The celebration of Trinity Sunday begins the longest season in the CHURCH YEAR calendar.  Formerly known as THE SUNDAYS AFTER TRINITY, it is also often referred to as THE TIME OF THE CHURCH.  We think of it as THE SUNDAYS AFTER PENTECOST, a title that was in use prior to the other two titles for this season.  The major focus of this season is not on the events in Jesus’ life, but on His teachings and how it applies to the life of the church in every age.  White continues to be the parament color as it represents divinity and perfection and reminds us of the power and presence of God in our lives.

The banner in use for this Sunday was designed with the symbols used to show the three persons of the Trinity:  the hand of God the Father, the cross of God the Son, and the fire of God the Holy Spirit.  It includes other familiar symbols of the Holy Trinity as well

The CHURCH YEAR CALENDAR can be a useful tool to help us remember the life and teachings of our Risen Jesus Christ.  When the green paraments are in place after Trinity Sunday, you can know that the longest season in the church calendar has begun.  Green is the color of abiding life and nourishment which we can find as we read, hear and study the lessons and Bible readings of this season.  You will note that in our weekly bulletin, Pastor Sizemore gives you the theme, or unifying thought, that runs through each reading for the day.  This is your “head up” signal to help you remember the aspect of the life of Christ or the life of faith that this days’ lessons and sermon will touch on.  We grow in faith, love, and service to Him who died as a ransom for us and all sinful humankind as we learn more of Him.

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LWML (The Olive Branch)
by Carole Mueller, President

This year, the LWML celebrates its 70th anniversary.  It is clear that God has given wisdom and success to the women who have faithfully sought His Word for guidance and direction. 

The Olive Branch will cease monthly meetings June, July & August.  Our project of sewing little dresses for African children is completed & they have been forwarded for mailing.  Future projects for the Christmas season (the making of chrismons & children’s costumes) are being considered & meetings will be scheduled over the summer months, as needed.  The cost of assembling a chrismon is estimated at $25.00 ea.  A chrismon is a Christian symbol representing Jesus Christ & are used as decorations on the church Christmas tree.  We will be asking for monetary donations in the upcoming months as well as willing hands to assist in the assembly process.  Future bulletins will contain information as to ways you will be able to help in this project.  In May, several hand tied quilts (4 standard size, 2 lap tops & 2 flannel baby blankets) made by members of the Olive Branch were donated to Sharing God’s Love.

LWML events:  Carolinas District LWML Convention (Sept. 14 & 15) at Christ Lutheran Church, Hickory, NC.; Carolinas District Retreat Aug. 17, 18 & 19), Camp Linn Haven, Linville, NC.  Registration forms are in the Carolinas Cross Connection pamphlet dated May 2012.  A copy is located on the LWML bulletin board directly outside of the workroom.  At the spring zone rally, two members of our congregation were installed as Southern zone officers:  Shari Selke, Secretary/Treasurer & Connie Cook, Vice President.

Mites collected to date for this year amount to $188.68.  The first Sunday of the month is designated as LWML mite box collection Sunday.  Remember to place your change in the large Mite box located in the back of church.  Thank you for your past contributions.  I will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our Olive Branch (LWML) meetings & activities.  

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Preschool News
by Krista Bernthal

 Time flies when you are having fun!  The preschool just completed it's fifth year of operation!  Congratulations to you all for your part in this vibrant ministry of the church.

We celebrated the end of the school year as we always do, at the Splash Park at Saluda Shoals Park.  This picnic is always a wonderful family event.  We had a great year and look forward to the fall.

In August we will have Kindergarten Kamp.  Please invite friends and neighbors with kids about to go to kindergarten to this fun week of preparation.  This camp is unique in the area and shouldn't be missed!

We start our regular school year at the very end of August.  We still need to fill our classes, so help spread the word about our great school.  Help yourself to postcards and information sheets downstairs in the preschool.  We leave information about each class as well as photo albums and registration forms.

Thanks again for your prayers, financial support, snacks and volunteer hours this past year.  I love that this ministry is a group effort!  Have a great summer!

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“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

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Christian Education
by Katrina Folks

Summer Sunday School

When we brought our children to the Lord for Holy Baptism, we promised the Lord we would teach them the 10 Commandments.  We are preparing what we feel is a truly wonderful opportunity for children this summer at Mt. Olive.  The first day for summer Sunday school is June 3.  Classes will be combined to accommodate the smaller classes while people are on vacation. 

Children ages 3-Grade 4 will meet in the upstairs classrooms, with access to the stairs located from the narthex.  Each week, one commandment will be taught in conjunction with a Bible story and solidified with an appropriate activity to reinforce the meaning of that commandment.  At the end of the commandments they will have a small book they have assembled during those weeks.

Children in 5th-8th Grades will meet with Mr. Bill Boykin in the Wagner house.  These children will be reviewing the commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and The Apostles Creed in preparation for confirmation class.  Mr. Boykin is also going to review Bible skills with the class that is so necessary for their upcoming confirmation instruction:  books of the Bible, how to look up chapters and verses, and Bible history. Teens will meet in the Wagner House as well.  They will have weekly lessons developed around a common theme that they have chosen.  Different members of Mt. Olive will lead the class.

Have you taught your child the Ten Commandments?  How will he or she learn? “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”

SAVE the Date:  Rally Day Aug 26th ALL Ages Invited!
Reserve Sunday Aug 26th for Rally Day, the start of the new Sunday School year at Mt. Olive.  We will gather at the Red Bud Shelter at Saluda Shoals Park, 5605 Old Bush River Road, Columbia, 29212, about 2 miles from the church.  Entry to the park is free.  If you are not acquainted with Saluda Shoals, it is a beautiful setting with walking trails and super facilities.  The kids will have access to the “Splash Pad” and the tweens and teens will participate in team building activities. Adults chat and meet new friends.  Some people play cards in small groups.   The Education Committee brings the fixings for hot dogs and hamburgers, drinks, utensils, and dessert.  Homemade ice cream is in the works!  We are asking each family to provide a side dish to round off this traditional picnic our members have enjoyed for over a decade. 
Please join us and connect with friends old and new from Mt. Olive!

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VBS August 2012
by Mandy Kibler

We’re going on an Amazing Desert Journey this summer in VBS! Our Amazing Desert Journey will be held during the month of August during the Sunday School hour.  Each Sunday the children will learn about God’s love and how He provides for their lives now and in eternity through Jesus, His Son, our Savior! Registration is open for ages 3 years old – 4th grade and will be set up in the narthex beginning in June. Kids meet friends, explore Bible stories, sing songs, and make crafts.

We need you! Through the dedication of our members and friends who volunteer at VBS, we share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our children each year. If you aren’t part of VBS yet, why not call today? If you can help full or part time as we have many levels of involvement to suit your schedule and interests. Email Mandy Kibler at if you are interested in more information.

We appreciate your prayers for Amazing Desert Journey, our Vacation Bible School being held on Sundays in August. Ask God to bring children to our program so they can know and grow in Jesus, our Savior! And ask God to provide leaders and helpers for this important mission.

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Youth Group Thanks Mt Olive for their kind support!
from the Education Committee

What a boost to the youth group to have had so many people attend the 5th Sunday luncheon and fundraiser in April!  We are planning more events to support our trip to the LCMS National Youth Gathering in July 2013!   It’s only a year away and we will be registering to attend during the month of September.  Lots of hard work, team building, and Bible studies prepare us as we unify our “family unit” for the event. Soon, you will be seeing information about a July Car Wash.

This will be the 5th group that Mt Olive has sent since 2001!  We praise God for the opportunities that we learn and live before, during, and after the event.  Back in 2001, the Mt Olive Youth established the motto, “Grounded for Life.”  It is the intent of our young people to be grounded in God’s Word and grounded to their Savior, for life!   Please take time to speak to the youth about the Gathering and what they expect it will be about. Get to know their names, and let them know we welcome their input and service alongside us at Mt. Olive. 

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Social Ministry News
by Shari Selke

Brothers and Sisters of Mt Olive, summer is upon us and is a time when many of our normal programs slow down or take a short break. However the needs of our community do not.  As a matter of fact there are so many opportunities to be of service it is hard to decide!  Please pray for this ministry as we seek new opportunities and continue our support of Sharing God’s Love, the USO, the American Red Cross, and Ronald McDonald House.

Sharing Gods Love will be gearing up the children in the Irmo area with a school supplies.  The drive starts in July, but you can always start early if you wish.  They also need to fill the pantry with the following items they have requested.  Bed linens, towels, diapers (all sizes), laundry supplies, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, canned goods, dried goods, and pantry staples.  All donations may be placed in the baskets outside the church office.

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from Dan Jorgenson

Evangelism = Discipleship
4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.  You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.  6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.   1 Thessalonians 1:4–8

Paul understood how to create new disciples.  In 1 Thessalonians, he is describing their transformation from pagans to Christians who were an example to their world.  The transformation Paul describes is a process that Paul repeats as he plants churches.  Dr. Bill Jones has described this process as the Disciple Multiplication Cycle.  The cycle consists of 4 tactics or phases: 1.) Evangelism, 2.) Establishing, 3.) Equipping, and 4.) Extending.  The cycles take one from an unbeliever through spiritual maturation to become a fully engaged Christian in the world.

Paul praises the Thessalonians as he describes the transition they made from idol worshipers to world Christians.  Paul also notes that it was not without “much affliction but likewise accompanied by the “joy of the Holy Spirit” (v7).  The Thessalonians trusted God through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.  Last year, we offered a series of classes on Evangelism that focused on Natural Witnessing, a step in the first tactic of the cycle.  If anyone is interested in going beyond Evangelism, please let me know and we will begin a series on Discipleship and discuss how Jesus and later Paul developed and prepared disciples to have an impact on the world.

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Stephen Ministry
by Bill & Aresa Boykin

Congratulations to Mt. Olive’s first group of Stephen Ministers who were commissioned on Pentecost Sunday, May 27th: Connie Cook, Dave Osborn, Jon & Ellen Richter, Charlie & Twila Sandt, Shari Selke, and Aresa Boykin.

In times of trouble, we look to caring Christian friends to listen to us while we work through our feelings.  A Stephen Minister can be such a friend, either to you or to someone you know.  Our Stephen Ministers are committed to providing Christian care for people who are experiencing many different needs.  If you or someone you know could benefit from the trained, caring presence, and listening ear of a Stephen Minister, contact Pastor Sizemore or Stephen Leader Referrals Coordinator, Bill Boykin, at 781-5845.

If you want to refer a friend, please ask your friend for permission to share his or her need with the Stephen Ministry Leader.  Be sure to tell your friend that all information will be kept confidential.  Once your friend gives permission, promptly report his or her need.  That is all you have to do!  Pastor or Bill will handle the rest of the process.

Confidentiality is the foundation of Stephen Ministry.  Care receivers do not need to worry that others will find out that they have a Stephen Minister or what they discuss.  When you report a need, you are the first important link in the process of confidentiality.  You can help maintain confidentiality by:
Never talking about a need unless you have permission from the person to mention it.
Never asking a Stephen Minister about his or her caring relationship.
Never ask Pastor or Bill if a person you brought to their attention got a Stephen Minister.  If you followed the steps listed above, they followed through.
Never promise a person a Stephen Minister.  Pastor and Bill will contact the person to determine if his or her needs are appropriate for a Stephen Minister or another type of care.

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A Stewardship Minute
from Charlie Sandt

Justice means exercising fairness in all our actions. The Old Testament prophets were profoundly emphatic about showing our obedience to God by being just, by being fair, in all our dealings as we live out our lives. The prophet Micah said: “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

A Christian minister tells of sitting next to a woman in the waiting room of a hospital. He said to his wife later that he could scarcely remain in his seat because she reeked of the acrid smell of tobacco. But, when the woman said to her husband who was sitting on her other side, “I feel so sorry for my mother. She has so little money to live on,” the pastor had the following thought: “If she simply quit smoking and gave her mother the money she spent for a pack of cigarettes each day, she could at least help her mother have a meal or two daily.” Obviously, the woman had a kind thought regarding her mother’s welfare, but apparently she did not consider how she might help relieve her mother’s woes.

Perhaps each of us should examine ourselves and consider how we are treating others. Are we concerned about justice for them? Are we kind and thoughtful to them? And do we practice being righteous in our lives to make sure we honor Christ in our everyday lives?
Prayer: Lord, enable us to be complete stewards in every way. Help us to be found worthy of living in eternity with you. In your name we pray. Amen

Parish Publishing, LLC      (888) 320-5576

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Announcements & Opportunities

Welcome to our Newest Members!Sunday, May 20th, Mt. Olive welcomed several members into our congregation: David Bartles, Samantha Fleming, Adelaide Lobocki, Debbie Meetze, and Bruce & Darlene Schenemann. Please seek them out and get to know these wonderful folks!

Congratulations Graduates!Congratulations to our Mt. Olive high school and college graduates!
Johnny O’Dell, son of Rich & Sue O’Dell, is graduating from Ohio University with a degree in Media Management from the Scripps School of Communication.
Joshua Witt, son of Wanda Witt, will graduate from Camden High School on June 2nd.
Ethan Godwin, son of Denise Godwin, graduated from Irmo High School on May 30th and will attend Midlands Technical Institute in the fall.

Midweek Bible Studies
The two midweek Bible studies will resume 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 Massa, 105 Fair Ridge Road, Blythewood.  This group is currently studying the book of John.  Call 447-9894 for information.

The second Bible study meets at church in the fellowship hall.  The group will continue to study the lectionary for the following Sunday.  If you would like to join us for supper, please e-mail the church office:

Men’s Prayer Breakfast
The Men’s Prayer Breakfast will adjourn for the summer.  Then next breakfast will be on the 3rd Saturday of September the 15th, at 8:00 AM.

Choir & Handbells
June 3 will be the last day the Adult and Handbell Choirs will be singing and playing before taking a well-deserved summer break.  A huge thank you goes out to each person for their dedication and commitment to these groups.  Great appreciation also goes to our instrumentalists and those who have substituted on handbells when needed.  Our worship services have been more meaningful due to their efforts and expertise.  It's obvious that each member gives generously of their talents, but what may not be so apparent is the gift of their time.  The endless hours of rehearsal, arriving early (like 7:30 AM!) to practice before the services, coming to evening services as needed, and giving up their preferred service to sing/play whenever required.  They are awesome individuals with joyful, willing spirits and hearts for serving our Lord!  Please take a moment to thank them for their service and pray for a restful summer as they re-charge their batteries!  Karen Meetze, Music Director

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.  Flora Weed is in charge.

Bible Study Survey…Coming Soon
One of Mt. Olive’s strengths is its strong commitment to Bible Study.  Terri Massa’s Women’s Bible Study early this year has led to several requests for additional Bible studies.  In planning for 2012-2013 groups, we are asking you, our members, would like to see offered.  Hence, in upcoming Sunday bulletins, you will find a survey for your completion.   For example, we will ask questions like:  Do you want another woman’s study?  Would you like a young couples group?  Are you interested in attending a weekly day study?  Would you be interested in a class that focuses on how you can do evangelism in your own life?  Your answers will help determine days, times, and interests.  So put those thinking caps on now.  You asked.  We’ll listen!

August Newsletter Deadline
Mark your calendar!  The deadline for submitting articles for the August newsletter is July 20th.  Also, those of you who love taking pictures of Mt. Olive events can e-mail your photos to me, too.  Send articles and photos to

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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
by Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®

“Leftovers” ... a devotion from March 17, 2012

It was right before Thanksgiving that the home economics department of the University of Minnesota received a phone call.
A lady wanted to know if a turkey was safe to eat. She had been cleaning out her mother's freezer and had, at the bottom, discovered a turkey, which had, according to a date on the tag, been there for 23 years.

"Is it safe to eat?" she asked.
The expert replied, "I don't think you should eat it. In fact, it could make you pretty sick."
"I thought so," said the woman, "I'll just give it to the food bank for Thanksgiving."
To give your unwanted leftovers to the poor; that's a terrible thing to do, isn't it? In this case it is both disrespectful and dangerous.

Thankfully, it's not the kind of thing you or I would do, at least most of the time. No, we wouldn't give a 23-year-old frozen turkey to a food bank, but there are times when we might give that spiritual equivalent to the Lord: you know, our leftovers.

If you think that statement is a little harsh, I understand. Even so, it's true.
If you doubt me, here's a little experiment. For the next month, when you go to church, pay particular attention to the prayers listed in your worship folder or information sheet. Look at the number of people who are requesting something of the Lord, then compare that with the number of folks who are thanking Him for blessings received.

Over a number of weeks the number of "thank you" prayers ought to pretty much match up with the "I-want-something" prayers. But that's not the case.

All too often the Lord gets the leftovers. That's true when it comes to our financial pledges, our worship, our singing and everything else.

This is a great shame because the Lord didn't send some low-grade angel to be our Savior. He sent the best He had. That's why when you look in the Bethlehem manger or on the cross placed on Calvary's crest, you will see God's only Son.

God gave the best.

And I encourage all of us to do the same in thanksgiving.


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