stewardship 2023

The greatest stories

we tell are about

gratitude & generosity

gratitude & generosity

After two and one-half very challenging years, many of us can, nonetheless, bring to mind things for which we are grateful.

Perhaps among the things for which you are grateful are the missions and ministries of Mount Olivet.

Our church, as did nearly all congregations, experienced a loss of attendance and a loss of income during our shutdown and gradual reopening.

Now is the time to rebuild our full array of missions and ministries. Now is the time to write a new story.

Use the slider to find your current level of giving and give serious thought to the increases in giving listed below.

With hope for a joyful future, pray about the choices before you.

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stories from mount olivet

gratitude for growth & new spaces

"Ever since launching Read Early And Daily in 2017, I've acknowledged that its growth, success, and how everything works out just so is a God thing, I'm just an instrument.

The latest example is moving READ to space at Mount Olivet. In the fall of 2021, it quickly became apparent (especially to my husband, Vince) that READ could not grow if it continued out of our home basement. As I was contemplating what to do, Room L2 opened up.

Mount Olivet staff graciously offered the room to READ, which allowed for additional space for us, and in turn, additional growth last spring. Based on our spring success, within four months, READ had outgrown Room L2.  

Once again Mount Olivet staff graciously let READ move to a bigger space in Room L1.  This move was huge and is allowing READ to "go big" for fall book fairs.  Our first fall book fair was our biggest and most successful to date.  We raised enough money to give 1,240 new, quality, culturally relevant books  to our youngest, most vulnerable babies and toddlers in our community.

Thank you for your generosity, Mount Olivet!"

Jennifer Price
mount olivet member and founder of READ

READ was directly impacted by the fire that occured on Friday, October 14. Can you help? Learn more. →

gratitude for a place to grow

"Mount Olivet has been an important part of my family’s life since my husband Jason and I joined the congregation as a young married couple in 2009.

As our own family grew and we saw our two children, Avery and Matthew, baptized at Mount Olivet, we began to consider in what ways we could participate fully in the life of the church. Like many new parents, we juggled full-time jobs with nap schedules, Saturday morning toddler “soccer” games, and many, many episodes of Paw Patrol. On many Sunday mornings, we arrived exhausted and late to Sunday School, holding our breath and silently praying that the kids would make it for an hour or two in the nursery.

We are so grateful for our Mount Olivet family, who has always welcomed ours, in whatever messy form that may take on any given Sunday.

A memory I will never forget: sending my son up the center aisle for Children’s Sermon in the Traditional 11 AM service, hoping he behaved himself. (It’s always anyone’s guess if he will say something delightful and charming...or slightly shocking. He’s definitely my son.)

On this particular day, I was happily able to put my fears to rest when I saw Pastor Teer quietly chatting with Matthew up at the altar, giving him a fist bump and telling him how awesome he looked with the lighting bolt haircut that we’d just let him get. Matthew stayed engaged, bowed his head at just the right moment, and scooted off to Wee Believers looking like he had won the lottery.

The generosity of spirit and welcoming warmth of our congregation, our staff, and our pastors is what has kept us at Mount Olivet for many years. Church is for my family what I’d always hoped it would be — a safe space, where we can be imperfect, witness grace and kindness, and grow into the people we are meant to be."

Kathryne Love
mount olivet member

gratitude for friends

"For close to fifteen years, I have joined Faith & Fellowship class in the summer when I was in Washington, D.C., researching and writing at the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Library of Congress.

I’d then return to my home and work in the Chicago area. Then the pandemic began and the class began to hold their classes on Zoom.

It was manna from heaven for me to be connected with friends old and new, all of whom enjoy our discussions and the questions we ask. My own church’s remote services were not very inspiring, so for most of the pandemic, Faith & Fellowship was my entire worship experience.

Since then I have missed very few Sundays and this summer I joined the class in person. I am grateful beyond words that the new hybrid format appears to be ongoing.

Bruce Janacek
Oak Park, Illinois

gratitude for hearing

"My wife, Monte, and I returned to the in-person service on Sunday, September 11. My 27 years in the military left me with seriously degraded hearing. Recently I underwent successful surgery for a cochlear implant.

Last week I learned from Marilyn, our Church Administrator, that our sanctuary has a “t-coil” or “loop” capability. My new hearing aids are compatible with that system.

On Sunday, I listened intently and heard every word Pastor Sara spoke. For the first time in probably 15 years, I could understand a sermon in my church!

After service, I returned to my historical duties with coffee fellowship, enjoying putzing around in the Gathering Space kitchen.

I still have hearing difficulties in groups and background noise, but the warmth in my soul from Sara’s Sunday sermon made possible by the t-coil miracle was most gratifying. Praise the Lord!

Bob Campbell
mount olivet member

sermons of gratitude & generosity

The greatest stories we tell are about gratitude and generosity. Jesus’ parables and healings are stories of moving from gratitude to generosity; gratitude for what God has done and generosity as a response to God’s salvific work in Christ. As we enter our annual stewardship season, we pray you will reflect with a grateful heart on the shared ministry of Mount Olivet.

Wild Expectations

Sunday, October 16, 2022
Rev. Sara Keeling
Jeremiah 31:27-34 and Luke 18:1-8


In this Sunday's lesson, Jesus tells the story of the widow and the unjust judge. We remember that God’s sense of justice, God’s generosity, and God’s love exceeds our wildest expectation.

Practicing Gratitude

Sunday, October 9, 2022
Rev. Teer Hardy
Luke 17:11-19


Jesus heals ten men, but only one returns to say thank you. The man was a Samaritan (this is the gospel’s way of telling us he was outside of God’s covenant with Israel). But Jesus tells the man his faith has made him well. The man was moved by the gracious act of Jesus to a posture of generosity and sent on his way to live a life of faith.

Practicing gratitude changes individuals and communities. When Christians practice gratitude, coming to worship is not about what we can get out of the morning and stewardship is no longer about fundraising, but instead about returning a portion of God’s blessing upon us back to God.

More Than Enough

Sunday, October 2, 2022
Rev. Sara Keeling
Luke 17:5-10


Jesus instructs us on generous forgiveness. In response, they ask for more faith. This is valid. It is trite to say that we live in a consumeristic, always wanting more, bigger is better culture. This isn’t a new thing. This is the American way. Even in asking for more of a good thing like faith or love or courage, Jesus reminds us that we have and, in fact, are more than enough.

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Have Questions?

Marilyn Traynham
Church Administrator
mtraynham@mtolivet-umc.org