Soda Wada

Mount Olivet is working with our partners,Trinity Lutheran, St. Peders, and Nokomis Heights, along with Dar Al Hijrah Mosque, to sponsor a refugee family’s  resettlement here in Minnesota. Mount Olivet member, Lisa Hansen, is one of three mentors from these congregations that will work along side the family through the coming year.

We will follow both Lisa’s, and this family’s experience through her blog – Riverchilde: A Servants Journey – where she will be posting reflections about her ongoing role as a mentor.

Check back, or visit Lisa’s blog for continued updates.

Riverchilde: A servant's journey

Refugee welcome photoI’m standing at the Arrivals door at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport holding a piece of tagboard with Somali and American flags and the words “Welcome” and “Soo Dhowaada” pasted on it. Soo Dhowaada, the Somali phrase for welcome, is pronounced SO da Wah Dah—like soda water. Good thing it’s easy to remember how to pronounce, because it’s the only Somali word some of us standing here know, and we’ll be helplessly repeating it over and over again in an attempt to be hospitable. I’m surrounded by people I don’t–or barely–know, but the poster is quite popular with the local Somali Americans who are also waiting for new arrivals to the U.S., so I pose over and over again for smartphone photos.

It’s a 90-degree Minnesota summer day, but I decided to wear a calf-length skirt and lightweight long-sleeved sweater in an attempt to be culturally respectful. I’m hoping this small gesture will be…

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Associate Pastor Committee Update #1

Associate Pastor Call Committee Update #1

Now that we have Pastor Beth firmly in place as our Lead Pastor, we have formed the team that will follow a similar process to identify and recommend a candidate to serve as our Associate Pastor.  We again are being guided by Pastor Craig Pederson from the ELCA Minneapolis Area Synod to help us understand our role as a committee, how the Synod will help us identify and learn about candidates, and ensure we will select the best possible Associate Pastor fit for our church community.

Having just completed our Lead Pastor call, things are moving fast.  We’ve met four times over the last month; we’ve already modified our congregation’s Ministry Site Profile, identified roles within the committee, created a position description, and drafted the interview and selection process we will follow.  We were fortunate to have Bishop Ann meet with many members of our congregation earlier this month so she could get to know us better and thereby inform her search for our open leadership position.  Pastor Craig and Bishop Ann have begun to provide us with excellent candidates to review already and we’ve begun to set up initial meetings.

The Call Committee will continue to be open and transparent with where we are in this process.  We invite you to reach any member to ask questions, and to check the website for updates frequently.


Linda Finley
Associate Call Committee Communications Lead


Mount Olivet Lutheran Church of Plymouth to Have First Female Lead Pastor in 135 Year History

For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Kaatz
Mount Olivet Lutheran Church of Plymouth

Mount Olivet Lutheran Church of Plymouth to Have First Female Lead Pastor in 135 Year History

Pastor Beth Horsch called as Mount Olivet’s Lead Pastor in near unanimous vote of approval.

Plymouth, Minn. (June 2, 2016) – Mount Olivet Lutheran Church of Plymouth reached a significant milestone at a congregational meeting on May 22, when 240 members called Pastor Beth Horsch to be Lead Pastor. Pastor Horsch became the first female lead pastor in the congregation’s history with a 98% vote of approval.

Pastor Beth served alongside longtime Senior Pastor John Strommen for eight years. Following Pastor John’s resignation in January, the congregation began a five month discernment process for finding a successor. The Church Council found Pastor Beth to be the best fit for Mount Olivet’s congregational identity, and brought their recommendation to be voted on by the congregation.

Pastor Beth formally accepted the call, stating, “We are the church in how we live each day; our presence individually and as a community extends compassion, generosity and love to those we encounter…  I feel called to this work and our growing sense of community.”

Mount Olivet will now begin the process to find a new Associate Pastor. There will be a formal installation ceremony in the fall for both pastors.


About Mount Olivet Lutheran Church of Plymouth

Mount Olivet is a missional congregation in the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) that seeks to be a community partnering with God in the world. As a church that recognizes faith as a journey, the ongoing mission, “Finding our place in God’s unfolding story,” is central to congregational life through dwelling in God, connecting in community, and engaging in callings.



Mount Olivet brings in Wisconsin powerhouses for fifth year of outdoor music benefit.

5th Annual BLUES BREWS N BBQs music line up announced.

Plymouth, Minn. (May 17, 2016) – Mount Olivet’s BLUES BREWS N BBQs (BBNBBQs) music fest returns for a fifth year on August 6, once again benefiting PRISM and Twin Cities Habitat. To celebrate the fifth year, event organizers are going all-out and bringing some of Wisconsin’s best blues performers to Plymouth, Minnesota.

The Jimmys are a seven man blues and soul powerhouse out of Madison, boasting a three piece horn section and named one of the top ten blues fest acts by Elmore magazine. They bring tight harmonies, powerful horn lines, and award-winning keys from band leader, Jimmy Voegeli.

Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys are a raw, unadulterated, Chicago-style blues ensemble from Milwaukee.  The “Reverend”, a south-side Chicago native, lends his charisma and vocals, keeping the band true to Chicago blues the way it’s meant to be.

Staying with the tradition of showcasing local music, Twin Cities staple, Lisa Wenger will kick the day off with a mix of rockin’ blues classics and contemporary soul.  Cole Allen, lead guitarist for Sena Ehrhardt, is bringing his blues-rock band to play the tent stage between the main sets.

BBNBBQs started in 2012 as a fun idea where music, beer, and barbeque could benefit local nonprofits. Four years later, BBNBBQs has distributed $56,000, entertained over 4,000 music lovers, and become the summer showcase in Mount Olivet’s Higher Grounds music series.

BLUES BREWS N BBQs is set for Saturday, August 6. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. and close at 10:00 p.m. Profits will benefit PRISM and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity for the fifth year in a row.

$12 early bird tickets available through Eventbrite at


About Mount Olivet Lutheran Church of Plymouth

Mount Olivet is a missional congregation in the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) that seeks to be a community partnering with God in the world. As a church that recognizes faith as a journey, the ongoing mission, “Finding our place in God’s unfolding story,” is central to congregational life through dwelling in God, connecting in community, and engaging in callings.


Higher Grounds is a yearlong music series at Mount Olivet, started in 2001 with a vision of supporting nonprofits through music. In 14 years, Higher Grounds has distributed $72,000 to organizations making a difference in the world.



Helping Haiti Work

HaitiKaren Anderson helped found Plymouth-based nonprofit, Helping Haiti Work, to provide small business loans to women in northern Haiti. Every  year, Karen, who is a graphic designer, has created greeting cards that help support the organization and directly fund these micro-loans. This organization is working to end the cycle of poverty in Haiti, and equip women to run their own business.

WomenHelping Haiti Work has also equipped two sewing centers, employing Haitian women to construct reusable menstrual pads and diapers, which are then marketed to the Haitian public. And by making sanitary, reusable pads available, girls are encouraged to attend school regularly, even when reaching puberty.

Karen“God has given me a real joy in Helping Haiti Work! I pitched in several years ago to help my friend and doctor, Leslee Jaeger, with an idea after her annual medical mission in northern Haiti. Reading how microfinancing women’s businesses can help break a cycle of poverty, we started Helping Haiti Work. It is exciting to be part of this nonprofit from the ground up and to use my graphic art skills for its marketing and fundraising, providing almost 250 small business loans for women in Haiti and equipping two sewing centers. Though I am not one to go into the field, I am able to use the talents I have to make a difference in the lives of some underprivileged families. It is humbling to know how hard our loan recipients work with their $200, and how determined they are to pay back their loans in order to provide for those still on the waiting list.


A big thanks to my church family at Mount Olivet for your generous donations that are empowering women and improving communities in northern Haiti”

Contact Karen for more information-

Karen Anderson, Helping Haiti Work
On the web at:


Called to Camp Noah


Camp Noah is an organization started in 1997 by Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, and grew dramatically as a national program in response to Hurricane Katrina. The camps are locally hosted events for elementary-age children whose communities have been impacted by disaster. With the help and leadership of volunteers, Camp Noah has served over 13,000 elementary school children!

MO member, Lisa Hansen, has been organizing Camp Noah teams for the past five years now – following her call to work with children who are dealing with emotional trauma. The children at these camps are given the opportunity to process emotions, and begin recovery after experiencing devastating natural disasters.

Edits19“As someone who’s always enjoyed engaging with kids through day camps and VBS, I found the idea of using this kind of setting to respond to community disasters intriguing. Because of other commitments, I hadn’t been able to serve on either the Mount Olivet team that responded to Hurricane Katrina in 2006 or the 2009 team that served children affected by

an immigration raid of an Iowa meat packing plant. But the stories that were told of children’s needs and recovery at these camps lodged a desire to someday serve at a Camp Noah.

In 2011, I got my chance. Kirsten Kessel had arranged for Mount Olivet to be part of a Camp Noah program serving the community of North Minneapolis after the devastating tornado there. My daughter, Tori, and I discovered the challenges and joys of working with at-risk kids in a destabilized community. We used every skill and talent we had developed through years of Girl Scouts and Bible Explorers to connect with these kids and communicate the hope that Camp Noah brings to difficult situations. It was exhausting and exhilarating and we were hooked. Camp Noah’s goals and methods were a perfect fit for us.

2014-07-29 00.45.53After losing our son, Alex, to suicide in 2012, I personally experienced the echoing trauma of tragedy—as well as the power of the healing compassion that was directed our way. Camp Noah became a way of somehow bringing meaning to my loss and making my pain purposeful. On the three-month anniversary of Alex’s death, I found myself in Moose Lake, MN, serving a small community of children that had experienced a series of big losses, including a flood that had overwhelmed their homes and stolen away their playground. As my small group of children and I worked through our experiences, we healed together. A recommissioning prayer for the new playground demonstrated for all of us the power of resurrection and second chances.

Camp Noah has become a way for me to deal with the sometimes overwhelming heartbreak that the daily news brings, and for continuing to bring healing out of my own brokenness. The children I have had the privilege of serving continue to live in my heart and remind me of the power of Christ’s sacrificial love in the midst of what blogger Glennon Melton calls “this brutiful world” of beauty and brutality.” -Lisa Hansen

Learn more about the planned Camp Noah trip, June 12-17, to St. Charles, MO!


Babysitting for Good

Each year, 5th and 6th graders are asked to come up with a year-end mission project that engages them in a way they feel called into the world. Chris Olson and Beth Molitor’s group of 5th Grade girls decided to purchase healthcare products for those who are homeless, but they needed help raising the funds to pay for the kits. They came up with the idea of a babysitting fundraising night at MO on a Friday evening; giving parents an opportunity to head out for dinner and enjoy themselves.Babysittingweb87

On Friday April 22nd, the 1st annual “Helping Heroes” Babysitting event was held in the Jungle Room. Approximately 20 kids got 2 hours of dancing, musical chairs, crafts, story reading, and games.  Parents got a night out or some time to take care of things.


The initial goal was to raise $100, and they ended up raising over $200 towards healthcare products.

To quote the girls “We had a fun time playing with the kids and we hope the parents had a fun time too!”


Thank you to the kids and parents that participated and were able to donate to the cause!

Helping Heroes (2)

Special thank you to Addison, Rachel, Morgan, Linnea, Jessica, and Keira from Club 56 “Helping Heroes”  for your leadership in coming up with the idea, working together to make it happen, and making an impact on the Mount Olivet community and beyond!