Values to Live By: Lessons Learned in L’Arche

Pastor Rebecca C. Freeman Twenty-two years ago, I packed up a couple of bags, boarded the train to Seattle, and began an adventure that forever changed my life. I entered the Lutheran Volunteer Corps and was placed as an assistant in the L’Arche Noah Sealth community. I didn’t know anything about L’Arche and was somewhatContinue reading “Values to Live By: Lessons Learned in L’Arche”

Rest: What’s Good for God is Good for You

Pastor Charlie Ruud A few years back while serving at Normandale Lutheran Church in Edina, I together with the ministry staff became increasingly aware of the vast pressures placed upon our youth to “succeed” or “achieve,” especially within the particular context and culture of our community.  Thus, we made the conscious decision to make theContinue reading “Rest: What’s Good for God is Good for You”

Finding our Place in an Ecosystem of Social Change

Theresa F. Latini Nearly two weeks ago, George Floyd died as a Minneapolis city police officer knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Many of us living in the Twin Cities and all around the world have watched the video of his murder. We have heard his desperate final cries, “Please IContinue reading “Finding our Place in an Ecosystem of Social Change”

Go-tos for Traumatic Times

Pastor Rebecca C. Freeman Editorial note: Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center regularly welcomes groups who care for those who are most vulnerable and advocate for justice in our communities. We are grateful for the presence of these groups that are renewed and restored so that they can continue working for justice, peace, and reconciliation.Continue reading “Go-tos for Traumatic Times”

A Strong Bridge for Scary Divides

Theresa F. Latini Earlier this week Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center hosted an online mini-retreat, Daring to Pray in the Time of COVID. Fourteen of us gathered together through Zoom to remember that God listens to us, that God is moved by compassion to act on our behalf, that we are invited to prayContinue reading “A Strong Bridge for Scary Divides”

Mother’s Day Mourning (and, Celebrating)

Theresa F. Latini Today I’m remembering my first day on the job as executive director of Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center. It was Mother’s Day 2019. Three hundred people streamed through our doors, enjoyed a veritable feast while laughing and reminiscing, and relaxed outside amidst beautiful flowers, soaking up the warm sunshine. Over twentyContinue reading “Mother’s Day Mourning (and, Celebrating)”

A Guide to Retreat Where You Are

People go on retreats for many reasons—to rest, to heal, to learn, to grow—individually and communally. We all need the kinds of spiritual renewal, emotional regulation, and quiet intellectual stimulation cultivated by gifted retreat leaders. In the midst of our current pandemic, it is difficult (if not impossible) to participate in facilitated or guided retreatsContinue reading “A Guide to Retreat Where You Are”

Chemical Dependence in the Age of Coronavirus

Thomas Mullens Note: Recovery groups regularly attend Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center. Group members find serenity in this place of natural beauty and special support in taking time away to continue their journey of wholeness and wellbeing. We recognize that this pandemic has created special challenges for persons with addiction and offer this reflectionContinue reading “Chemical Dependence in the Age of Coronavirus”

Glimmers of Hope on a Long Bleak Saturday

Theresa F. Latini When I was a pastor, my favorite worship service of the year was Maundy Thursday: a remembrance of Jesus’ lonely persistence in prayer, his betrayal by a friend, and then his subsequent arrest. It was refreshing to name the depth of human suffering endured by God and the ways in which thatContinue reading “Glimmers of Hope on a Long Bleak Saturday”

The Gift of Mindfulness

Theresa F. Latini Three weeks ago, I felt my first spike of anxiety about the coronavirus. The retreat center was taking inquiries about cancellations. Pastor friends were deciding whether or not to close their churches. Family members, a number of whom fall into that high-risk category, were postponing previously scheduled, non-essential medical care. And thenContinue reading “The Gift of Mindfulness”