MOUNT OLIVE MINISTRY UPDATE
UPDATE 4-2-2020

In an effort to keep you informed during this time when we are not able to gather in person, here are a few updates from your Mount Olive Family:

Mount Olive will now offer an interactive Bible Class, beginning this Sunday at 10:00 a.m.  The preacher for the day (Pastor Wordell) will lead participants through a Life Guide, designed to review and apply the sermon text for that day.  We expect the discussion to last 30-45 minutes.  To allow for video interaction, we’ll offer this class via Zoom.  If you would like to join in, click on this link: https://zoom.us/j/638813867.  Mount Olive’s Zoom license limits this class to the first 100 participants.  If you are denied access due to full capacity, please email pastor.raasch@mountoliveappleton.com.

A second interactive Bible Class will be offered at 6:00 p.m. on Mondays, beginning April 6.  It will follow the same format as on Sunday.  If you would like to join in this Monday Bible discussion, click here: https://zoom.us/j/667422780

You can download your copy of the Life Guide for all virtual Bible Classes here: https://www.mountoliveappleton.com/livestream/.  Plan now to join with your fellow believers to keep your faith alive and growing!

Our live streamed worship services continue to be very popular.  Last Sunday’s service had over 2,200 views on Facebook and another 450 on YouTube.  Please continue to share and like these services, so more people find them. You can watch the services live on our website (www.mountoliveappleton.com) or on our Facebook page.  Search for Mount Olive, Appleton to watch our services on YouTube (on your smart TV, etc.)

Our Holy Week Services will be livestreamed: Palm Sunday at 9:00 a.m., Maundy Thursday at 6:00 p.m. (in place of the Lord’s Supper, we’ll include an expanded rite of confession and absolution), Good Friday Tenebrae (gradual darkness) at 7:00 p.m. and Easter Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Worship with your Mount Olive Family in your heart and spirit!

WELS President Mark Schroeder will deliver a brief message to all WELS members at 6:00 p.m. on Palm Sunday.  You can watch that message, as well as a message on Easter Sunday at  https://wels.net/synodwide-holy-week-messages/

The Good Friday Tre Ore service will be broadcast from St. Paul, Appleton on WNAM (1280 AM) and from their website:  www.stpaulappletonwi.com. Pastor Priewe will preach on Jesus’ 3rd word from the cross.

The April WELS Connection can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/381209055.  It focuses on ministerial students at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.

The Mount Olive Connected is a weekly email that includes a video preview of the sermon, pertinent information for the week’s bulletin, and helpful links.  It goes out to a larger group of members and friends of Mount Olive.  If you are not receiving the Mount Olive Connected (because it is a separate emailing list than the one for this Ministry Update), please send your first and last name to Communications@mountoliveappleton.com.  You will receive the Mount Olive Connected in your inbox on Thursday or Friday each week.

Mount Olive School Teachers are doing a fantastic job connecting with their students via Google Meet and Google Classroom.  Everyone is learning as we go!

Divine Calls: This week Miss Heidi Schone received a call to teach grades 3 & 4 at Divine Savior Academy in Sienna, TX.  Feel free to contact Miss Schone at heidi.schone@mountoliveappleton.com to share your thoughts and prayers.  Miss Petra Thao continues to deliberate her call to teach grades 3 & 4 at Gethsemane Lutheran in Omaha, NE. Please keep these called workers in your prayers.

The pastors are regularly meeting together from our homes via Zoom, to plan and coordinate ministry efforts.  Feel free to contact us via email or phone if you, or others you know have questions or needs.  You can leave a message on our office phones by calling the main number: 739-9194.

A short children’s lesson is attached immediately after each Sunday’s livestream.  Share and discuss it with your family.  You can find additional video devotions, created by Pastor Wordell for your family here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWCGcq-Q61Rb22fzq8LqXDw/ or by going to YouTube and searching for “Nate Wordell.” 

SCRIP orders can be placed using the lock box at the Florida Ave. entrance.  Purchasers will be notified by email when their orders can be picked up from their church mailbox.

If you have friends or family who don’t have internet, invite them to watch Time of Grace on Sundays at 6:30 a.m. on channel 26 (NBC) or listen to St. Paul’s worship on WNAM (1280 AM) on Sundays at 8:00 a.m. for a virtual worship experience.

The Mount Olive Messenger will not be placed in your mailbox until further notice.  Instead, it will be posted on the Mount Olive website and attached to the weekly Mount Olive Connected emailing.  There are extra paper copies on the table at the Florida Ave. entrance.

The Church Office will continue to be staffed from 8 to noon and 1:15 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Your offerings are vital for supporting the called and hourly workers who will continue to serve during this pandemic.  To make a one-time, or reoccurring gift online, please go to: https://www.mountoliveappleton.com/donate-online/.  You can also use a Bill Pay service through your local bank or by downloading the GivePlus+ app (Vanco Payment Solutions) on your phone.  All these services can be securely linked to your bank account. You can also give by mailing (to maintain social distancing) or dropping off your offering envelope in the lockbox inside the Florida Ave. entrance. 

The Word for the Day:   

These past weeks have seemed like something from a movie we would watch and say, “Glad that is too unrealistic to actually happen!” But it is all happening in our midst. The order has come from the governor to stay at home when at all possible. This kind of thing breeds all kinds of uncertainty–fear of what might happen next, skepticism that Chicken Little has just been screaming “the sky is falling”. As the days go by, the rise of cases across our state, country, and world point to this being a real and present danger.  

And so, we heed the advice of our government and its advisors. These are servants God has given for our good. We do our best to follow wise practices so that we don’t endanger our neighbors and ourselves. Even if we might be cooped up alone in our homes, we are not alone, we are not without help. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. The LORD Almighty is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (Psalm 46 1,2,7).

At a time like this when many of the activities of our busy lives have come to a halt, we have the opportunity to do something that Americans are rather terrible at–being still. God says, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Take him at his word and let him govern the world. Meditate on his word and rest in his promises of forgiveness, peace, and protection. When the newest report changes by the half-hour, his word and promises do not change. He is our ever-present help in whatever trouble we face. So we need not fear when the “waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging,” for the LORD Almighty is with us. 

Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers,

The Mount Olive Pastoral Team