Serving Others through Outreach
OUTREACH AS EVANGELISM
Mount Olive is committed to fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as found in Matthew 28:18-20: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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.”
Before each service, our ushers and greeters welcome our visitors and encourage them to sign the guest register. They can also answer any questions our guests may have about our worship service. Copies of the current Olive Leaves Newsletter are available for visitors so that they can learn more about us.
During the worship service, at the time of the offering, everyone in attendance signs a Rite of Fellowship Book located in the church pews. There is also space for guests to request a visit from Pastor.
The Board of Evangelism keeps an accurate listing of all prospective members and guests. The Board prays for newcomers and visitors, for work to equip the saints for personal evangelism in the community.
Prospective members who hold membership in another Lutheran congregation may contact the church office to start the process to transfer to Mount Olive.
Prospective members who are new to the Lutheran Church are invited to attend a series of six new member classes taught by the pastor during the Sunday school hour, held several times throughout the year.
OUTREACH AS SOCIAL MINISTRY
“…‘And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’” (Matthew 25:39-40).
Mount Olive Church is involved with many worthwhile groups in our community:
Sharing God’s Love
Mount Olive maintains a close relationship with our local food bank, Sharing God’s Love. They provide food, clothing and financial assistance with spiritual emphasis to those in need in our local area. Sharing God’s Love is an interdenominational organization and receives donations from a number of area churches, including Mount Olive. We supply donations of needed items year round and have several members who volunteer. Because of our ongoing support of Sharing God’s Love, Mount Olive hosts and promotes many fundraisers for them including the Back to School Supplies Drive, ongoing most needed items as listed in our weekly bulletins, and since December 2020, the Advent Challenge Food Drive.
Mount Olive sponsors American Red Cross Blood Drives several times a year. Many of our faithful members along with others in our community take the time to donate this life-saving gift. Sign up to donate whole blood at the ARC website, www.redcrossblood.org. Scroll down until you see the date and location.
The Lenten Challenge
In 2019, Mount Olive tried something new for Lent. Instead of the traditional “giving something up for Lent” that has been practiced for centuries, the members gave up 40 things that they no longer used. In other words, this was a massive house cleaning event for Lent. The project was an overwhelming success! Pictured above, bags and bags of items were donated to Sharing God’s Love to be used in the best way possible: some for their clients in need, other items for their fundraising yard sales, and still others were passed on to other ministries who were in need of certain types of things.
The Local USO
Social Ministry supports our troops who serve in the military from all over the country by helping keep the Columbia Metropolitan Airport USO stocked. Pictured above, we generally host two drives annually, during May and November, to provide personal care items as well as refreshments and phone cards.
The Souper Bowl of Caring
Beginning in 1991 at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in South Carolina, The Souper Bowl of Caring was born. On Super Bowl Sunday of that year, Rev. Brad Smith, said this prayer as his congregation was leaving, “Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat.” Donations for this innovative event were then collected and sent to their local food pantry.
Since then, The Souper Bowl of Caring continues to empower youth and unites communities to tackle hunger using the energy of the Big Game. Its vision was to transform Super Bowl Sunday into a nationwide movement inspiring people to give locally and make a collective impact on hunger. People collect monetary and food donations to be collected on the day of the Super Bowl. All of the money and food is then given directly to local charities the group’s choice. The Souper Bowl of Caring has since branched out across the U.S. to include congregations of all faiths, schools, and even businesses. Together, they have raised more than $163 million in monetary and food donations. In 2020, thousands of groups collected over $10.6 million of food and contributions.
The Souper Bowl of Caring has gained national attention, securing partnerships with several NFL Teams, in addition to finding National Advocates in former President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush and former President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter. Mount Olive has been participating in this event since 2001.
Christmas Giving Tree
Christmas time is one of the best seasons to reach out to families in distress and share the love of the Lord in very tangible ways. Our members generously contribute to Sharing God’s Love during the Christmas holidays through prayer and the donation of gifts for individuals and families in need. A tree is set up in the narthex decorated with tags that name suggested items. The congregation members take the tags, purchase the items, and bring them to the tree the next Sunday. Sharing God’s Love is responsible for the distribution of these gifts.
Cards of Compassion
“Cards of Compassion” is an outreach ministry to those who are experiencing one of life’s crises or milestones. Cards are sent to members and their friends who are on our weekly prayer page. This ministry is ongoing throughout the year.
Outreach at Mount Olive’s Preschool
When Mount Olive Lutheran Preschool opened in 2007, the Board and Director soon realized that the church had been given a wonderful community outreach and evangelism opportunity! Not only does the Preschool serve our own children, it partners with other area preschools and the local public school district for its enrollment. Children are able to learn the Word of God and Jesus’ love from the ages of two through four. Several members of our congregation volunteer their time, treasures, and talents to our preschool on an ongoing basis.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace, as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 15:13)
MONDAY MEALS FOR THE HOMEBOUND:
NOTE: Meal delivery is suspended due to COVID-19.
Meals will be delivered to our homebound and other members who may need this type of assistance. If you would like to help with this ministry, call Kim BouFawaz. His contact information is in the directory. If you need a meal, please contact your Elder or the church by the previous Thursday.
SHARING GOD’S LOVE has a variety of needs throughout the year. You may bring items to the shopping cart located in the hallway across from the church office.
gently used seasonal clothing and shoes in all sizes, especially school-aged children’s sizes; packages of new underwear
canned fruit, canned vegetables especially tomatoes, canned soup, oatmeal, grits, peanut butter and jelly; staple items such as flour or sugar
king or queen size sheets, hand towels, quart size freezer bags, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, bars of soap, laundry detergent, dish detergent, toilet paper, feminine products, and incontinence products, cleaning products, diapers (especially larger sizes) & baby items
There is a flyer outside the church workroom listing current needs and upcoming events. You can also visit SGL on Facebook for the most current information.
USED MARBLE COMPOSITION BOOKS
If you have partially used composition books, donate them to Sharing God’s Love. The ministry gives them to their clients to use as prayer journals. What a wonderful way to reuse these books!
AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE – There are several blood drives held at Mount Olive each year. The blood drives are well attended by both church members and the community. To give blood at our drive, or to find another one nearby, contact the Red Cross, http://www.redcrossblood.org.
TRANSPORTATION MINISTRY – If you can provide transportation to Mount Olive Church members so that they may attend church service, please contact Shari at her phone number listed in the church directory or at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Outreach through Public Relations
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Mount Olive’s Board of Public Relations is responsible for distributing information about the church to our members and the community. In addition to this Website, projects that the Board is involved with include:
- The Olive Leaves, our monthly newsletter
- Our Facebook page
- The Worship Directory in The State Newspaper
- Photography at Church Functions & Special Events
- Publicity at Community Events
- Pictorial Directory
The PR Board is always looking for new and better ways to spread the word about our Christ-centered church and its witness to the power of the Holy Spirit’s working through our church body!