Mount Olive’s staff and its 13-member parish council, the Vestry, work together toward the congregation’s mission: In the presence of God, being the presence of God.
Pastor: The Rev. Joseph G. Crippen
Mount Olive’s pastor since 2010, Joseph is a gifted presider, counselor, and preacher who’s passionate about proclaiming God’s love for all people and serving the church as it seeks to faithfully pursue to its mission.
- Hometown: Worthington, Minn.
- Education: Gustavus Adolphus College; Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
- Previous parishes: Our Savior’s, Cleveland, Minn.; St. John’s, Northfield, Minn. (Vicar at Luther Memorial, Syracuse, Nebr.)
- Family: Married to Mary, four adult children, lives in Bloomington.
- Hobbies: Movies, novels, music, and enjoying an exceptional cup of tea
- Blog: “In the Center of All Things”
Cantor: David Cherwien
Mount Olive’s cantor since 2001 and artistic director of the National Lutheran Choir since 2002, David is one of the Twin Cities’ most celebrated organists and choral directors. His frequent leadership for hymn festivals and workshops, along with his guest appearances and published work, have influenced church music nationwide.
- Hometown: Minneapolis
- Education: Augsburg College; University of Minnesota
- Parish musician: Chicago; Seattle; Berlin, Germany
- Faculty: Gustavus Adolphus, Elmhurst College, Luther Seminary
- Family: Married to the noted hymnist Susan Palo Cherwien, two adult children, lives in St. Louis Park
- Hobby: Cars, classic and not (He has owned more than 60, usually one at a time.)
Coordinator, Neighborhood Outreach and Ministry: Anna Scott
Anna began work at Mount Olive in 2014, passionately and creatively leading a variety of programs aimed at helping neighbors in need, organizing parish members in service to the community, and joining in partnership with neighbors to do God’s work in the world.
- Hometown: Blaine, Minn.
- Education: Wheaton (Ill.) College
- Experience: Peace Corps in Peru; Spanish interpreter in Minneapolis
- Family: Married to Josh, one daughter, lives in south Minneapolis
- Hobbies: Her dog (Jack), travel, cooking, photography, walking around city lakes
Administrative Assistant: Cha Posz
Drawn to Mount Olive in 2001 by her love for liturgy and music, Cha has been a talented and cheerful servant of Lutheran congregations for more than 20 years. Her tasks include overseeing the office, publishing the newsletter, and caretaking nearly every behind-the-scenes aspect of parish life.
- Hometown: New Brighton, Minn.
- Education: Augustana College
- Experience: Associate in ministry, church musician, youth director, synod worship committee member, and parish administrator
- Family: Married to Kurt, two children, lives in New Brighton
- Hobbies: Photography, gardening
Sexton: James Wilkes
Arriving at Mount Olive in 2017, James brought decades of janitorial experience to the congregation, including 22 years at Fern’s restaurant on Cathedral Hill in St. Paul. James enjoys the peace, solitude, and satisfaction of custodial work.
- Hometown: Brownsville, Tenn.
- Education: St. Louis, Mo., public schools
- Experience: 22 years at Fabulous Fern’s Bar & Grill, St. Paul
- Family: Two sons, one daughter, nine grandchildren, lives in St. Paul
- Hobbies: Fishing (sunfish and bass) and classic movies and TV
Vicar: Jessica Christy
Jessica is the 49th vicar to serve Mount Olive. “Vicar” is a title that for Lutherans means a candidate for ordained ministry serving a pastoral internship. Vicars serve in either their third or fourth years of a four-year M.Div. program. Mount Olive began welcoming vicars in 1955. The current program is partnered with Luther Seminary in St. Paul.
- Hometown: Plymouth, Minnesota
- Education: Princeton University; Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York; Luther Seminary
- Experience: Summer intern and freelance writer for Augsburg Fortress; Sunday school director at Advent Lutheran Church, New York City
- Family: Parents and younger sister, all living in the Twin Cities
- Hobbies: Synchronized figure skating with the Figure Skating Club of Minneapolis; jogging and biking; writing her M.Th. thesis
Click here for a list of vicars who have served at Mount Olive.
The Vestry meets on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the East Assembly Room. Occasional highlights from each meeting can be found in the Olive Branch. Contact the church office for information about serving on a Vestry committee.
President: David Anderson
Vice President: Tom Graves
Secretary: Sue Browender
Treasurer: Chad King
Congregational Life: Larry Duncan
Education: Steve Manuel
Evangelism: Lora Dundek
Neighborhood Ministries: Samantha Pipkorn
Missions: Judy Hinck
Property: Art Halbardier
Stewardship: Kat Campbell Johnson
Worship: Rob Ruff
Youth: Chandler Molbert
Advisory Committee for Care of the Earth/Climate Justice
A task force of the Vestry, the committee encourages Mount Olive members and friends to live faithfully by caring for the earth. Click here to learn more.