Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Newsletter May 2013

Olive Leaves May 2013

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Pastor’s Article
by Pastor Paul C. Sizemore

Pentecost Sunday – God Empowers His People for Ministry

One of my favorite Bible stories involves the people of Israel engaged in battle with the Amalekites at Rephidim.  Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand!” (Exodus 17:8)

Joshua did what Moses commanded him and, true to his own word, Moses took with him Aaron and Hur.  They all climbed to the top of a nearby hill.  As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage.  But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites would gain the advantage.  After a while, Moses’ arms soon became so tired that he could no longer hold them up.  So Aaron and Hur found a stone for Moses to sit on.  Then, they stood on each side of Moses; holding up his hands for him, so that his hands were held up steadily until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of the Amalekites in battle.

Everyone gets tired and any worthwhile enterprise in this world is seldom a “one man show.”
In subsequent years, God would command Moses to choose 72 elders to help him administer justice among the people of Israel (Numbers 11).  And shortly after our Savior’s glorious Ascension into heaven, forty days following that first Easter, God led the apostles to ordain deacons in the early church to help expand their ministry efforts too (Acts 6), so that the apostles could devote themselves more earnestly to “the preaching of the Word!”

On May 19, Mount Olive will join the Church catholic throughout the world in celebrating another Pentecost Sunday.  On this day, we will remember that God greatly empowered his apostles for ministry by pouring out the Holy Spirit upon them in a very powerful way (Acts 2:1-21).  Now, they were no longer hiding behind locked doors for fear of losing their own lives. No, instead, they crowded into the city streets of Jerusalem, preaching the Gospel boldly, so that more and more converts were won to the Christian faith. On Pentecost Sunday alone, 3000 people were baptized and enlisted among Christ’s followers.

At the September 2012 Voters Assembly at Mount Olive, our congregation voted to extend an official “call” to Mr. Bill Boykin to join our church staff as a certified Lay Minister of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  While Bill has been working with us for the past three and a half years on a contract basis, God has so blessed his ministry among us, that it became time for us to extend to Mr. Boykin an official call because of the training he received from one of our Synod’s colleges—Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin.  Through his ministry efforts, our congregation has continued to grow both numerically and spiritually. 

As your pastor, I am so grateful for my brother’s teamwork in ministry!  I have been able to redirect my own efforts in new directions through the many man-hours of support, Bill’s ministry has supplied: Teaching confirmation classes, making hospital and shut-in calls, providing Biblical counsel to those who came to him for spiritual care, etc.  And most notably, Bill has been training “Stephen Ministers” at Mount Olive; equipping our own members to provide very meaningful ministry to other members.

On May 19, Mr. Boykin will be officially installed at our 10:30 AM Worship Service. Also, new candidates will be commissioned as Stephen Ministers in our midst.  A lunch will be provided for members and friends of Mt Olive who register their desire to attend ahead of time.  Fried chicken and baked chicken, three sides and rolls will be the fare for the day.  I hope you will make plans to join us!

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Board of Elders
  by Pete Witt


Throughout its history, the Church has called God’s people to remember their baptisms.  Our liturgy begins with the words “The sign of the cross may be made by all in remembrance of their Baptism”.  Luther expanded on this practice by suggesting that we should remember our baptism when we wash our faces.  The act of remembering takes the natural tendency we have to focus on ourselves, and redirects it to what God in his Grace has done for us.  The rite of Confirmation is also a public reaffirmation of our Baptism and our intention to remain in the faith.

One hundred and thirteen years ago my wife Rita’s maternal grandmother was confirmed in the faith.  The reason we know this is because we have her Confirmation certificate framed and hanging on the wall in our hall, where it is a daily reminder to us.  Grandma Carrie kept this document for 75 years, when it was passed on to Rita’s mother (we have her Confirmation certificate also), who preserved it for 30 more years, and then on to Rita, who will keep it for the rest of her life.  Preserving a paper document for this length of time testifies to the importance of Confirmation in the lives of these Christians, and serves as a witness to others.  All too often however these documents get displaced or lost during moves, and so a suggestion was made at the Elders meeting to give our catechumens a framed Confirmation certificate that can be hung on a wall as a daily Baptismal reminder and which will be less likely to be lost over time.  This practice could be started next year.

In a related note, we attended a visitation for a lifelong family friend who died this year.  His Baptismal Certificate, which he had preserved for over 80 years, was displayed on a table next to the casket as a witness to the most important event in his life.  Baptismal certificates could be framed like the Confirmation certificates, or possibly kept in a keepsake box along with other baptismal memorabilia such as the Baptismal candle, cards, and so forth.  I made my youngest grandson a Baptismal box, which we hope will be a lifelong reminder of his Baptism.  The Elders are considering the best way to help people preserve these important documents in a way that serves as an additional reminder of their new life in Christ.
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Altar Guild’s Message
by Susie Hoffman

April was a quiet month, liturgically, but the month of May contains three celebrations!  This will, then, end the festival-half of the CHURCH-YEAR-CALENDAR.

The paraments remain white as we remember the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ into heaven to sit at the right hand of His, and our, Father-God for eternity.  Before His ascension He promised to send the Holy Spirit to help His disciples spread the good news of Jesus’ sacrifice to cover the sins of all mankind.  The Paschal Candle reminds us of the PHYSICAL presence of Jesus on earth.  It is removed after the service of celebration for His ascension.

Red, the color of fervor, faith and the fire of the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, is the parament color as we celebrate Pentecost on May 19th.  “It is through the work of the Holy Spirit that we receive the benefits of Christ’s work for us.  Pentecost is also a time of great celebration and joy.” (From THE ALTAR GUILD MANUAL, p.21, by Lee A. Maxwell.)

We again show white paraments as we celebrate Trinity Sunday on May 26th.  The banner for this day shows the traditional symbols for the three persons of the Trinity:  the hands of God, the cross of Christ, and the fire of the Holy Spirit.

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LWML (The Olive Branch)
by Carole Mueller, President

On April 13th, six ladies from Mt. Olive attended the Southern Zone Spring Rally at Grace Lutheran church in Summerville.  Our Carolinas LWML District president, Ms. Debbie Roseman, updated us on upcoming events as well as our mite box donations.  A new web site has been established with the latest district news, mission grants updates, registration forms, Carolinas Cross Connection newsletter, upcoming events and much more.  Visit the web site  and find out what the LWML is all about.  The web site is or find them on Facebook: Find out more information regarding the 35th Biennial Convention in Pittsburgh, PA June 27 – June 30 on

The LWML will be meeting on May 14th for Bible study (10:00-11:15); brief meeting, sack lunch with dessert & beverage provided (11:15-11:45); followed by crafts/projects until 2:00 p.m.   We will be enjoying a luncheon on May 21st at Olive Garden at 11:30 AM.  After May, our Bible studies & and meetings will cease until September.   

The first Sunday of the 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.  The Carolinas District is currently falling short of their goals and is asking everyone to financially give if you are able to do so.  Find out more by visiting the web site or check the LWML bulletin board. 

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Preschool News
by Krista Bernthal

Spring has sprung (finally) in the preschool.  We are all busy taking note of the beautiful transformation of our world that God provides this time of year.  We have studied our five senses, seeds and plants, and insects.  Now we turn our attention to Mother's Day, Father's Day, and the end of our school year. 

Have you gotten your tickets for our Mother-Daughter Luncheon?  Our theme, Growing Together in God's Love, will be lived out as we make family terrariums ($10 charge for this project).  Adult lunch tickets are $7, with a child's ticket being $3.

Our last day of school is May 15th.  Our school wide family picnic is Thursday, May 16th form 11:00-1:30 at Saluda Shoals.  Come on out if you can!

Thank you for your snack donations, monetary gifts and prayers.  I continue to feel so blessed to be in ministry with you!

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Christian Education
from Katrina Folks

Summer Sunday School (Pre-K through Rising 4th Graders)
Planning on taking a vacation this summer?  We are pleased to announce that Mt. Olive won’t be taking one from the teaching of God’s Word.  We pray that you faithfully continue bringing your children to Sunday School this summer.  The years from birth to age ten are highly formative years on all fronts: physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.  That's just one reason why Sunday School is SO important!  Pre-K through rising 4th graders will be in a combined class and learn about the Lord’s Prayer, its petitions and a Bible Story for each.  Not only will this help them learn about what they are praying at home and at church, but also it will help prepare them for Confirmation lessons later on.  We are looking forward to seeing your little ones’ smiling faces on Sunday mornings over the summer!  If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Lisa.

Summer Confirmation Class (Rising 5th- 6th Graders)
Confirmation classes will continue throughout the summer.  The students will study Lutheranism 101 for Kids, by Julie & Scott Stiegemeyer.  They will be learning more about the Bible, The Small Catechism, and our Lutheran Service Book.  Parents, you will have the summer to participate in Adult Bible Classes, but be ready to join you confirmands in the fall.  If you have questions, contact Bill Boykin.

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Youth Group News
from Vanita Fielder

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”  Galatians 5:13

On April 6, 2013, the Mt. Olive Youth Group had the wonderful opportunity to serve the Griesch Family, by moving boxes from storage to their new home.  It all started at 8 AM with donuts and boxes and ended at 12 Noon with pizza and conversations.  The youth explored the neighborhood and had time to visit with each another.  It was fun, even though a few began the day with grimacing faces, the day ended with laughter and smiles!  Have you heard the phrase, “Actions speak louder than words?”  Serving one another is learning to Live Love (d).  Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Griesch!
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A Stewardship Minute
from David Buck

Greetings in the name of our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus!

With the celebration of Christ’s glorious resurrection during Easter fresh in our minds, I am turning our attention to a more mundane topic of giving.  Giving is part of our lives.  Because we are created in the image of God, each of us has within himself or herself a need to give.  To those we love, we give birthday, anniversary, and Christmas gifts.  As Christians, we give out of love and gratitude to the Lord for His wonderful blessings and goodness to us.  We give to our Lord through our church contributions.  Giving is an important way of expressing our love.

Do you ever wonder how God views our gift-giving activity?  Does God see us giving cheerfully or grudgingly?  Are we giving less or more than our ability?  Regardless of how we give, God loves to give because His nature is to give.  Because of His tremendous love for us, He gave us the perfect gift and what we needed the most—His Son our Savior.  The gift is given to us without any effort or merit on our part.  He does not take back His gift of love; it is ours whether we like it or not.  We may reject the Gift, but He will not take back His Gift of salvation and love.

The wonderful thing at Mt. Olive is that so many of you are giving more than just financial gifts; you are giving yourselves.  You are serving and giving with the use of your time and your talents to our ministry here at Mt. Olive and to your brothers and sisters within our church.  In essence, you are becoming the gift.  Your gift is wrapped up in love for the Lord and for your neighbors.
May our Lord and Savior fill your heart with hope, your spirit with joy, and your life with peace while we continue to reflect on the gift of eternal life we receive through Him.

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by Jon Richter

Do the Work of an Evangelist – Who, Me??

In the 4th chapter of 2nd Timothy, Paul charges Timothy to “fulfill your ministry”.  One of the specifics, which I think relates to all Christians under the Great Commission, is to “do the work of an evangelist”.  
We all work better when we are prepared.  The Holy Spirit will certainly give us the courage to respond in the hour of need, (Matt 10:19) but what about our families, friends and those we see day to day?  All people need to hear from Our Lord, and for some people, we will be the only Bible they ever read.

On Wednesday evenings, the Caring Evangelism course is meeting with 12 Mt. Olive members exploring how to effectively share the Love of Jesus with each other – and to better prepare our witness to all.
Please pray for our group and our course of study.   If you would like to participate or help in any way, please contact Jon.

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Board of Trustees
by Geoffrey Griesch

The trustees continue to work on projects around the church and grounds. There is a project that we have been discussing that we would like the opinion of the congregation on before tackling it.
We are thinking about moving the pews to allow more room to walk in and out of them. The first pew has approximately 11 inches of space. All of the others have only 8 inches. We would move one row of pews to the back wall of the sanctuary and move the first row up toward the altar one foot. That is what would allow the additional room between them. This would provide easier entry and exit from the pews.
We would appreciate your feedback before the next Trustee's meeting on May 14th. 

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Public Relations
by Aresa Boykin

Mt. Olive’s 2013 Pictorial Directory will be published this fall.  August 22nd – 24th is when the photographers will be at church: 2 PM – 8 PM on Thursday & Friday, 10 AM – 6 PM on Saturday.  “Early bird” sign-up will begin May.  Look for the table in the Narthex after worship services where you can schedule your photo appointment.  I am praying that we have 100% participation and that everyone will be considerate of those who work and families with school children who may need evening and Saturday appointments.  Please bring your calendars so that you can choose the perfect time for your session.  Remember that the photography session is of no cost unless you choose to purchase pictures.  Also, each family will receive a free Mt. Olive Pictorial Directory in one of three formats:  standard size, pocket size, or DVD version.

The Mt. Olive website updates are being finalized.  Our Facebook page received a record number of 303 of our Easter Day worship and activity schedule post!  Our Facebook and website have similar names to make them easier to remember.  The website is and the Facebook page is  Be sure to bookmark the website and “Like us” on Facebook so that you can stay current.

Lastly, if your class or group is having a special event or project, let me know in advance and I’ll be sure to bring my camera.  You can also send me pictures via text or e-mail for posting on FB, printing in the Olive Leaves, or printing/viewing on the bulletin boards.

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“Peace I leave with you. My Peace I give you.”
John 14:27

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Stephen Ministry
by Bill & Aresa Boykin

Please join Mt. Olive in welcoming our six new Stephen Ministers:  Dianne BouFawaz, Cyndi Nelson Cleta Dunaway, Jerry & Liz Garlington, and Flora Weed.  In preparation for their upcoming commissioning on May 19th, I looked back at the bulletin and photographs from last year’s commissioning service and began to reflect.  What stands out most in my mind is that we were offering ourselves for God’s service.  We were commissioned just before the offering, and then the congregation sang the offertory hymn:  “Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service,” (LSB 848).  This hymn sums up Stephen Ministry:  our answer to the Spirit’s calling us to care, our love for others because Jesus first loved us, and our training and commitment to serve our Almighty God.

Lord, whose love through humble service
Bore the weight of human need.
Who upon the cross, forsaken,
Offered mercy’s perfect deed.
We Your servants, bring the worship
Not of voice a lone, but heart,
Consecrating to Your purpose
Every gift that You impart.
Still Your children wanted homeless;
Still the hungry cry for bread;
Still the captives long for freedom;
Still in grief we mourn our dead.
As, O Lord, Your deep compassion
Healed the sick and freed the soul,
Use the love Your Spirit kindles
Still to save and make us whole.
As we worship, grant us vision,
Till Your love’s revealing light
In its height and depth and greatness,
Dawns upon our quickened sight.
Making known the needs and burdens
Your compassion bids us bear,
Stirring us to tireless striving,
Your abundant life to share.
Called by worship to Your service,
Forth in Your dear name we go,
To the child, the youth, the aged,
Love in living deeds to show;
Hope and health, goodwill and comfort,
Counsel, aid, and peace we give,
That Your servants, Lord, in freedom
May Your mercy know and live.

Thank you to Connie Carter, Patti Painter, and Mary Schott for our April snacks. You can still sign up for snacks, as Stephen Ministers will continue to meet twice monthly year-round.

As always, our Stephen Ministry is of no value unless there are people willing to receive care.  Our Stephen Ministers are thoroughly trained in caring.  They listen, encourage, pray, and provide emotional and spiritual support on a weekly basis to hurting people for as long as the need persists.  God works in and through them to bring hope and healing.  Your identity and conversations remain confidential.  If you are feeling lonely, experiencing a crisis, struggling through a difficult time, or simply find yourself stressed by everyday life, please talk with Pastor Sizemore or Lay Minister and Stephen Leader Bill Boykin to learn how you might benefit from having a Stephen Minister to walk by you.

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May 2, 2013 - National Day of Prayer

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May 12, 2013 - Mother’s Day

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May 27, 2013 - Memorial Day

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Social Ministry
by Shari Selke

Comfort each other and edify one another.  1 Thessalonians 5:11

To my brothers and sisters in Christ at Mt Olive,
This Bible passage was featured in a little devotional book I read daily called Hope For Each Day by Billy Graham.  I could not help but think how timely it was with recent tragic events.  How encouraging it is to be in the body of Christ with you all as we share the compassion of the Lord with the world.  God bless!
May is the month the LCMS recognizes our military and their families. Special flyers will be distributed in our church bulletins.
USO Columbia Airport

We are conducting a drive throughout the month to support our soldiers as they travel thru the Columbia Airport by helping stock the USO lounge.  Donated items may be left on the shelves in the church entry.  Items requested are:  Snacks & Beverages: Rice Crispy Treats, Chex Mix, sunflower seeds, individual fruit or pudding cups, peanuts, Individual bags of chips, Mini Moo coffee creamer, bottled water, PowerAde or Gatorade, canned soda, or juice boxes.

Additional items: Disposable razors, travel size shaving cream, travel size toothpaste, toothbrushes, eye drops, travel size sunscreen, International calling cards, plastic spoons, coffee stirrers, sugar, low calorie sweeteners, Chapstick, and ink cartridges (HP 920 & 940 black and color)
Monetary donations: USO South Carolina, 3250 Airport Blvd. Ste. 7, West Columbia, SC   29170

Sharing God’s Love has the following needs:  

Pantry – jelly, grits, rice, flour, sugar, cereal, spaghetti sauce, dried beans, pork & beans
Toiletries – toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, deodorant, toilet paper, soap
Household –laundry detergent, dish detergent, children’s clothing
Linens – towels, wash clothes, sheets, comforters

On May 11, 2013 The Post Office will be collecting food for local food banks on their mail routes.  Just leave the food out by your mailbox on May 11th and your postal worker will do the rest.  Of course our local food bank is Sharing God’s Love.

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Ever-Evolving, Ever-Loved Hymn

“Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” (LSB 717) often known simply as “The Navy Hymn,” dates back to 1860, when William Whiting wrote it for a student of his about to travel by ship from England to America.
Original verses testified to the protection of God the Father, Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Trinity. In 1940, the U.S. Episcopal Church rewrote the hymn to include travel on land and in the air. Many verses have been written since: for Navy SEALs, submariners, astronauts, military families, ship dedications and more.

The following verse, intended for Memorial Day, may be used with the credit line “Heidi L. Mann, 2012”:
“We thank you, God, for loved ones dear who clung to faith beyond their fear,
Who served and paid the highest price for freedom bought with sacrifice.
May they remind us of your Son whose death our final freedom won.”

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Announcements & Opportunities

May Newsletter Deadline

Mark your calendar!  The deadline for submitting articles for the June-July newsletter is Monday, May 20.  (I already have two articles, so you don’t have to wait until the 20th!)

Voters’ Assembly

Mt. Olive’s next Voters’ Assembly will be held May 26th after the 10:30 worship service.  At this time, nominations for board members will be presented.  Our existing committees will be converted to boards when the new board members take office in September.  

Midweek Bible Studies

The Caring Evangelism course is being offered at Mt. Olive at 7:00 PM on Wednesdays through the end of May.  The group will break for the summer and reconvene in September.  The Northeast Bible Study will not be meeting during the month of May.  Look for announcements in the Olive Seeds for updated information about Bible Studies.

Attention Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Members:  CHOICE DOLLARS PROGRAM

Are you aware of the Choice Dollars Program offered by Thrivent to its policyholders?  The program allows policy -holders to direct a portion of available charitable outreach funds to a pre-approved non-profit agency.  Mt. Olive Lutheran Church and Mt. Olive Lutheran Preschool are approved agencies to which you can direct the funds assigned to your policy.  This can be done very simply on-line or with a phone call to (800) 847-4836.  Ask for the Thrivent Choice Program.  There are presently several members of Mt. Olive who have directed their Choice Dollars to our Preschool and church.  To continue to receive these funds, this process will need to be repeated with each notification to you that funds are available. 

Free Photos from Bulletin Boards!

Parents, Grandparents, Sunday School Teachers, etc.:  Please take the photographs of your loved ones from the bulletin boards.  These are a gift to you!  Take them and enjoy!

Stephen Ministry Snacks

Did you know that our Stephen Ministry team meets twice monthly throughout the year?  There will be a new sign up sheet for summer snacks, located in the hall under the Stephen Ministry bulletin board, or contact Stephen Leader Aresa.  Since classes are on Mondays, you can bring snacks on Sunday, mark them “Stephen Ministry,” and leave them in the kitchen.  Thank you so much to those who provided snacks for the month of April.

New Parking for Handicapped

By now, you have probably noticed the differences in our parking lot.  Because of the ADA standards, our handicapped spaces were widened and relocated to our most level ground.  There are fewer spaces at the main entrance of the church, but there are also additional spaces at the preschool entrance.  Follow the hall to the elevator and ride up to the main level!

Nursery Reminder

The church nursery is open during the Sunday School hour and the second Worship Service from 9:10-Noon for children, ages birth to 2 years, during Sunday School, and through age 3 during Worship.  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.  A light snack is served.  Mrs. Flora is in charge.

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