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News Archives 2017


Update from Mount Olivet

Dear Mount Olivet Members and Friends,

On Sunday August 27, the congregation of the Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa, MN, voted to call Pastor Andrew Bakken as their new Senior Pastor. Pastor Bakken has accepted this call and so will be leaving Mount Olivet Church later this fall. While we will miss Pastor Bakken's caring presence among us, we are excited both for him at this opportunity and for Lutheran Church of the Cross as they will be blessed by his leadership.

Pastor Bakken has served as an associate Pastor at Mount Olivet since 2009, during which time he has played a number of significant roles, including most recently co-lead pastor of the West Campus. Within the next few weeks, we will announce the times when we can gather to thank Pastor Bakken for his leadership and dedication to Mount Olivet. In the meantime, we offer our prayers for Pastor Bakken and his family as they look forward to this exciting new chapter at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa.

In September, at its regularly scheduled meeting, the Congregation Council will elect a call committee to assist me in identifying additional associate pastors. I am looking forward to expanding our pastoral team to help continue the ministry and work of Mount Olivet Church. As always, thank you for your prayers and support. 

Pastor David J. Lose
Senior Pastor


Capital Campaign Update

As of July 5, 2017, capital campaign gifts and pledges total $27,675,055, which includes support from both phase one in 2014 and phase two in 2017. All donor designations have been honored throughout the entire campaign.

It is wonderful that the new Minneapolis front entrance, elevator, kitchens, and parking lot were completed and dedicated in May 2015. With the goal almost met for the Minneapolis Campus East Addition for music and education, that project is underway and completion is scheduled for early 2018.     

Regarding the West Campus Addition, bids totalling $12,700,000 for construction and furnishings have been received. The current gap between funds needed for this project and funds raised is just under $2 million, a gap we expect to close through further fundraising with the possibility of drawing from the endowment and/or taking out a modest loan. In the meantime, at their July 11 meeting, the congregation council unanimously voted to move ahead with the West Campus Addition. Excavation and land preparation will take place this summer / fall in preparation for construction in the spring.

Again, we extend our gratitude to all who have offered their support and prayers for these much-needed capital improvements for Mount Olivet – one church, two campuses.

Pastor Lose
Senior Pastor

Mari Carlson
Director of Development

If you have not participated in the capital campaign yet, now is the time to make your commitment to help close the gaps for both remaining projects. Please contact Mari Carlson 612.821.3150


Construction at the Mpls Campus continues

Construction of the Mpls Campus East Addition has begun. This week construction workers removed floor tiling and carpeting on the 4th floor, near the educational ministries lounge and the pastors' offices. Visitors and staff have navigated plastic hallways, new paths, and even dead ends while the work continues! The Mpls Campus East Addition will provide an expanded rehearsal room designed to accommodate our larger choirs and additional rooms for the growing music department. It will also provide much needed and enhanced learning spaces for Children and Family Ministries, Confirmation, and Adult Learning.


Welcome Pastor Lose!

On Sunday, June 4, at 4pm, Pastor Lose was installed as its ninth senior pastor at the Service of Installation held at the Minneapolis Campus. An installation service is when a pastor is publicly placed into his role in a specific congregation. The Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA Bishop, Ann Svennungsen, conducted the rite of installation. Clergy also participated as well as lay staff, members, family and friends.


Senior Pastor Installation, click here for press release

June 4, 2017, 4pm Mpls Campus


Thank you Pastor Enoch Pastor Enoch Resignation Letter April 2017

Pastor Gretchen Enoch has submitted her resignation as an associate pastor at Mount Olivet after four years of service to our congregation. We all join in thanking Pastor Enoch for sharing her many gifts with us and we wish her godspeed and great joy as she travels the road of faith and service.


Congregational News



Dear Mount Olivet Members and Friends:

Many of you are aware through the news media and other sources that a former employee at Mount Olivet, Erik Akervik, was arrested by the Burnsville Police Department on Monday, April 10. That day, we immediately suspended his employment and communicated this information directly to all Cathedral Choir members and their parents as well as to parents of the Chancel Choir. Based on the allegations that were released on Wednesday, we terminated his employment. We now have additional information and want to provide you with this update.

We are saddened and shocked by the information that has come to light in the past week, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims. We have also heard from several youth at Mount Olivet who have received inappropriate messages from Mr. Akervik. These incidents are being reported to the appropriate authorities. If you have information regarding this matter you may report it to Pastor Dennis Johnson, at 612-767-2252 or or to Sergeant Patrick Gast, Burnsville Police Department, at 952-895-4609 or

Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our children, as well as our entire Church community. Mount Olivet has always been a safe place for youth and we are committed to making sure it will always be. If you have any questions, please reach out to one of our Pastors; Billy Johnson, Director of Youth Ministry; or to our Mount Olivet Counseling Service.

Pastor Dennis J. Johnson
Interim Senior Pastor


Service for Senior Pastor John D. Hogenson


Obituary Rev. John D. Hogenson-Rutford -11/3/58 to 1/4/17  


WCCO Life Story on Pastor John Hogenson aired 1/11/17


Star Tribune piece on Pastor John Hogenson published 1/12/17


Fox 9 piece on Pastor John Hogenson aired 2/9/17


Congregations News Jan 2017

Mount Olivet Members and Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I inform the members of Mount Olivet that our beloved Senior Pastor, John Hogenson, passed away on Wednesday January 4th. His death was peaceful and his dear family was with him. He was diagnosed in May 2015 with a stage 4 inoperable brain tumor. Pastor Hogenson lived much longer than doctors expected due to his indomitable spirit and determination to return to his pulpit and church. He did indeed return to speak to the congregation and staff when he knew that he could not return in a full time capacity.

He was a good friend and conversational partner to me during the past 15 months. He remained interested in the well-being of the congregation and especially gave encouragement to staff members who had experienced several key transitions during the past five years. His first question was always, "How may I help you?"

Pastor Hogenson was called to be Mount Olivet's eighth Senior Pastor in June of 2014. In Pastor Hogenson's time with us, he always put God first, reminding us through word and action that our relationship with the Lord is our number one priority. He started at Stewardship dinners by teaching us the true meaning of giving. He brought us together at Fireside Chats, asking us what makes Mount Olivet "a church unlike any other," and asking us to imagine what the future could look like. He encouraged us to come to worship-challenging us in his sermons to do things such as reconnect with someone we were in conflict with, or to come back next Sunday having read and reflected upon the scripture. He taught us that the goal of reading through the Bible was not to just get through it, rather the goal was for God to get through us.

Mount Olivet Church was blessed to have him as pastor though the time was all too brief. He had a lasting impact on the life of the congregation. Through his CaringBridge posts he continued to witness his strong faith in Christ Jesus and His saving grace. Congregants and friends were inspired by his messages of courage, hope and trust. Throughout his courageous battle he faithfully reminded us to always, "Look upward, travel onward and not be afraid."

Please pray for Ruth and the Hogenson family that God's love will surround them and give them peace.

Peace to his memory,

Pastor Dennis Johnson
Interim Senior Pastor
Cards can be sent to :
The Hogensons 
c/o Mount Olivet Church
5025 Knox Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55419

Questions regarding care for the Hogenson family should be directed to Andrea Brown, Pastoral Care Department 612.926.7651






News Archives 2016


Mount Olivet Lutheran Church Calls the Rev. Dr. David J. Lose as Ninth Senior Pastor

On November 20, 2016, the Mount Olivet Lutheran Church congregation voted to extend a call to the REV. DR. DAVID J. LOSE to be the next senior pastor. His official start date at Mount Olivet is to be no later than July 1, 2017. Pastor Lose will be preaching at the West Campus on December 18 and at Mpls Campus Christmas Eve services 2-11pm on December 24. During the transitional period, Pastor Lose will be meeting with pastors and staff, speaking to members, and crafting a vision and plan for Mount Olivet so that, in his words, he will “hit the ground running.” Pastor Johnson will be coordinating with Pastor Lose to advance this vision. Learn More


Update on Pastor John Hogenson

Pastor John and Ruth Hogenson have asked that we share the news that John is back in the hospital. An MRI has revealed that his tumor has started to grow again and has spread to his neck and spinal cord. The Hogensons and the doctors are devising a treatment plan. They wanted us all to know and they have asked for prayers for John, Ruth, the girls and family. We will offer special prayers for healing and strength at our Prayer and Praise service this Wednesday, November 16, 10am, Mpls Campus. For Pastor’s personal message, please see his CaringBridge site.

In God’s peace,
Pastor Dennis Johnson
Interim Senior Pastor

Additional information about Pastor Hogenson can be found at


November 20, 2016
Pastor David J. Lose Preaching at Mpls Campus 9,10, 11am & 12noon
Special Congregation Meeting Mpls Campus, 1pm

The senior pastor call committee has unanimously recommended Rev. Dr. David J. Lose to be Mount
Olivet’s ninth senior pastor. All members are encouraged to come to our Minneapolis Campus at 1pm on Sunday, November 20 to cast your vote.


Call Committee Recommends Candidate for new Senior Pastor

The committee to call a new senior pastor for Mount Olivet has unanimously recommended the Rev. Dr. David J. Lose. The congregation council met the candidate on October 17, at 7pm, and enthusiastically accepted the committee’s report. Further, the council set Sunday, November 20, 2016, at 1pm, at our Minneapolis Campus, as the date for the congregational vote to extend a call to Pastor David Lose to be senior pastor.

To learn more about Pastor David J. Lose click here


Pastor David J. Lose, Senior Pastor Candidate

Pastor Lose was recommended for call by the Mount Olivet Senior Pastor Call Committee in a unanimous vote following a national search and interview process. Pastor Lose is a noted author, preacher, and theologian. He speaks throughout the US and abroad on preaching, leadership, Christian faith in a postmodern world, and biblical imagination. Learn more here

Pastoral Update from Pastor Johnson September 2016

Pastor Hogenson Highlight
One highlight of the summer included Pastor John Hogenson preaching at the Prayer & Praise service on Wednesday, July 27. This was the fulfillment of a dream Pastor Hogenson had since his cancer diagnosis. He delivered his message in grand fashion to a full house, reminding all of us to “Remember who we are – beloved children of God.”

Pastor Hogenson and his family are grateful for the many prayers and expressions of care the Mount Olivet community has provided. Updates can be found on his CaringBridge site at

Pastoral Update
PASTOR STEPHEN CORNILS and PASTOR DREW BAKKEN have been named the new pastoral leads for Mount Olivet West Campus. The decision to deploy two pastors to West was made with consideration for accelerating growth and in preparation for the capital campaign envisioned for next spring. This staffing arrangement is open-ended so that a new senior pastor will be free to implement his/her vision for the further development of the West Campus. Read More

August 2016
Can I Get a Witness?

Mount Olivet representatives at the 2016 Minneapolis Area Synod Assembly held May 6-7, 2016, were: Clyde & Lois Allen, Doris Buerkle, Martha Carlson, Curt Hokanson, Ken Jarcho, John Johnson, Paul & Mary Knutson, Gwen Ludwig, Bob Neuman, Peter Rodosovich, Les & Marilyn Sharpe, Pastor Gretchen Enoch, and Pastor Dennis Johnson.  Mary Knutson shares some of her thoughts from the Assembly. Read Reflections

Pastoral Update from Pastor Johnson  
Pastor Eric and Lindsay Youngdahl and their family are relocating to Houston, TX, in the coming months. Lindsay has accepted a position as Athletic Director at a Houston high school. Pastor Youngdahl has a great love for Mount Olivet, values his work here and will remain at Mount Olivet through August, possibly into the fall, as he actively seeks a call in Houston.

Pastor Youngdahl will remain until he a) he receives a call or, b) Mount Olivet determines it is in the best interest of the congregation to move forward. It is not anticipated that a call to a replacement pastor would be offered until the new Senior Pastor is in place. This is a great opportunity for Pastor Youngdahl to take all that he has learned at Mount Olivet into a new ministry. We will have time to thank him for his work among us during the past ten years.

Staffing Updates from Mount Olivet

  • July 1, 2016 Julie Goodman joined the Pastoral Care team.  Some of her main responsibilities will be working with our Caregiver/Link caller Program- a Ministry of Friendship, visiting and helping to find resources to meet the needs of our parishioners, the community, staff and helping with educational opportunities.
  • Beginning in June 2016 Mary Lindberg transitioned to the role of Mount Olivet Office Manager/Receptionist. Since 2005, Mary has worked with the Shepherding program, assisted various pastors, and served on the membership team.
  • After 45 years of dedicated food service at Mount Olivet, Eileen Scott has decided to retire at the end of August 2016.  Eileen has faithfully worked alongside our volunteers and staff while serving thousands of meals at Mount Olivet and she created the Dorcas society to serve our grieving families. Eileen and her husband Wes have been members for 56 years.  She is looking forward to having some free time and hopefully having time to volunteer. Read More in the July Messenger

February 2016
Call Committee Selected to find the next Senior Pastor of Mount Olivet Church
Minneapolis, MN- At the request of Pastor John Hogenson, a call committee was selected on February 21 at a regularly scheduled meeting of the congregation council.  The committee was selected following the annual congregation meeting, where Pastor Hogenson addressed the congregation. "I want to thank you for your continued support of our church, me, and my family When I walked into the hospital on May 19, I thought I would be gone two weeks, however, that was nine months ago," said Pastor Hogenson. "Becoming the senior pastor at Mount Olivet was one of the greatest honors of my life. I will always be grateful and continue to be involved in the church. But, for the sake of the church, we have to move on. I've made a lot of progress, but there's still a lot of work to be done, both in my recovery and the ministry of Mount Olivet."  Read more


February 2016

Pastor Hogenson meets with Pastoral Team to announce his decision to begin a Senior Pastor call committee

Pastor John Hogenson met with the pastoral team and staff on February 10 to share his recommendation that a call process commence to find the next Senior Pastor at Mount Olivet Church.  "This decision did not come lightly or easily to me," said Pastor Hogenson. " My decision is based on the well-being of Mount Olivet."  "I hope to remain in my current role and work closely with Pastor Johnson as we go forward together into the future.  When a successor is called, I plan to assume a new role at Mount Olivet that is yet to be determined."


News Archives 2015

Mount Olivet Church Women Hot Dish tasting article published
In October, Mount Church Women gathered for a hotdish tastings at Spoon and Stable.  The article was recently published in Food and Wine Magazine. “Food and gathering as an important part of our ministry,” said PASTOR HAMMERSTEN, “so when Food & Wine magazine called us looking for church ladies, we said of course!”

Pastor Morehouse to  Publish New Book  He’s done it again!  Traveling Home: Read more on page 6 of the November Messenger
Pastor Morehouse to  Publish New Book  He’s done it again!
Traveling Home:  Reflections for those Who Are Seeking a  Homeland, PASTOR TERRY MOREHOUSE’S  third book, is soon to be released by Kirk  House Publishing.


Pastor Cornils special guest on WCCO Radio's Steele Talkin’ with Jearlyn Steele
Pastor Cornils spoke of our partnership with Redeemer Lutheran Church and our Rally Sunday experience.  Listen to the archived version of this September 13 interview "Spreading the Holy Spirit" and hear how Mount Olivet is getting people to church.



Pastor Dennis Johnson Hired As Interim Senior Pastor
n a regularly scheduled Congregation Council meeting on September 2, 2015, the Personnel and Finance Committee announced the decision to hire Pastor Dennis Johnson as Interim Senior Pastor while Pastor John Hogenson remains in treatment for a malignant brain tumor.  Read more


Pastor Hogenson Recovering From Planned Surgery

In his message to the congregation on May 22, Pastor Hogenson said the doctors have determined he has an inoperable brain tumor. ..."I know God has called us to be in ministry together for a reason. I am praying for you.  I know you will have questions- I do too.  But what I do not question is that Christ is with us, God will lead us."  Read more


  Pastor Hugh Gilmore Retires 10/1/15 after 27+ years of ministry
  Coffee to celebrate Pastor Gilmore
  WEST Sun 9/27, After Worship Services
  MPLS Sun 10/4, After Worship Services



Meet Your 2015-2016 Hi-League Presidents

Mpls Campus: Reece DeVries, senior at Bloomington Jefferson High School
West Campus: Sarah Weibel, senior at Minnetonka High SchoolLast spring all hi-leaguers voted to elect Reece & Sarah as the Hi-League presidents for this upcoming school year. Ream more about them in the September Messenger

My Mt Olivet launches App
Bring Mount Olivet with you wherever you go!  Mount Olivet members and friends are encouraged to login to our new online portal system and update their member records for this year's fall directory.  In addition to updating your member records, you can review your giving records, make a one-time gift or set up a recurring gift, view small group and ministry teams you are participating in.  My Mt Olivet members with smart phones are encouraged to login to their my mt olivet app to listen to sermons, view worship and event schedules, make financial gifts and register for upcoming events.  Read more information about My Mt Olivet, how to setting up My Mt Olivet on your phone or tablet or how to set up your My Mt Olivet account.

Dr. Claflin and Rebecca Mason Share Insight with Yale Institute of Sacred Music.

What does it take to do music ministry well?  That's the question that brought Kristen Forman, Executive Assistant to the Director of Yale's Institute of Sacred Music, to reach out to Mount Olivet's School of Music (MOSOM) earlier this year.  Claflin and Mason recently returned from a trip to New Haven, Connecticut where they participated in a round table on how to encourage and support churches to establish music instruction programs.  Read more

  Pastor Carl Nelson transfers to the Church Triumphant 

Pastor Carl Nelson, age 96, died peacefully in his sleep last night, March 3rd 2015, at the Mount Olivet Home.  Pastor Nelson faithfully served Mount Olivet as an Associate Pastor for nearly forty years.  Pastor Nelson loved and was loved by Mount Olivet.  A Memorial service was held Thursday, March 12, 2015


News Archives 2014

Construction Update, Mpls Campus
Beginning at 12noon this Monday 7/21 the parking lot with be closed Mondays thru Saturdays until September 5th. This change is in an effort to expedite our construction projects and plan for a timely completion.

  • The parking lot will remain open on Sunday for worship services
  • Throughout the week, James Avenue is available for parking as well as the 1700 Chapel lot
  • All doors on the James Avenue side of the building are accessible (doors 7, 6, 5, & 4)
  • Wednesdays Prayer and Praise service will be held at 1700 Chapel through September 3rd

From the parking lot, you may enter through door #3 (the administrative entrance on the south end of the building) or door #7 on 50th Street. If parking at the 1700 Chapel, please use the streetlight crosswalks and enter through door #7 on 50th Street or door #6 off of James Avenue. Read more about the Capital Campaign elements to enhance Mount Olivet Lutheran Church 

Pastor John D. Hogenson named as 8th Senior Pastor at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church.
In a special congregation meeting at 12noon on June 1, the members of Mount Olivet congregation extended the call to Pastor Hogenson.  Pastor Hogenson accepted the call and will begin his formal responsibilities as Senior Pastor effective August 1, 2014. 

Interim Senior Pastor Craig E. Johnson announces retirement from active ministry.
Celebrations in honor of Pastor Johnson's ministry and leadership have been planned for July 20 and 27.

Call Committee Unanimously Recommends Calling Pastor John Hogenson- May 13, 2014
The Mount Olivet Senior Pastor Call Committee has unanimously chosen a candidate to bring forward to the congregation to be the next Senior Pastor of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church.  The Call Committee’s work was ratified by the Congregation Council in a special meeting on May 13, 2014.

Senior Pastor Call Committee Update- May 2014
The Mount Olivet  Call Committee for Senior Pastor narrowed the list of qualified candidates and spent the last couple of months interviewing pastors and making visits.  Find out more about this process 

Senior Pastor Call Committee Update- March 2014
Committee completes initial rounds of interviews

Thinking with Pastor MacLean- March 2014
Become an Easter Angel.  Serve with us on Palm Sunday at either campus.

Installation of Two New Pastors- November 2013
Pastor Bill McLean and Pastor Gretchen Enoch installed as Associate pastors at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church.

Pastoral Staff Changes and Announcements- Nov., 2013
Pastor Kotzer announces his intention to retire

Thinking with Pastor Johnson- Nov., 2013
Rethinking Advent.  "And the little child shall lead them"

Making Connections- Nov., 2013
Fellowship at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church.