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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

About Mount Olive

As churches go, Mount Olive is a curious blend of traditional and progressive. We are like a tree: Our roots are sunk deep into centuries of Christian tradition, but our branches stretch outward to the contemporary world.



We are noted for music, liturgy and a welcoming spirit. Weekly gatherings around word and sacrament form the center of our identity.

  • For us the Word of God is alive and active, and in its written form, the Bible, is not a manuscript stuck in time but a living reality that inspires us and sustains us.
  • The mysteries of the sacraments—Eucharist and Baptism—bind us to Jesus and propel us into our communities to live and serve as his heirs.

In our living and serving we are imperfect. But leaning on God’s grace and one another seems to give our parish a lasting strength.



We describe ourselves as “musical, liturgical and welcoming.”

Music has been embedded into Mount Olive by noted organists and choral directors. We are currently the rehearsal base for the National Lutheran Choir. Still, it is congregational singing—sometimes in harmony or in canon—that most characterizes our worship life.

We celebrate the Lutheran liturgies as sensual and participatory experiences. Ours isn’t the only way, nor necessarily the “best way” to worship God. But it’s who we are. Amid a trend toward informality, we’ve become an “alternative” for more and more people. 



That Mount Olive members come from all corners of the metropolitan area and beyond shows our impulse to welcome everyone. We cannot imagine Christ’s church as an exclusionary body. And so we open widely our doors and arms to all people, no matter their ethnic background, social standing, political view or sexual orientation.



A Century in South Minneapolis

Mount Olive is a growing and active congregation with a rich history. Founded in 1909 by German immigrants, our profile now covers a broad American spectrum. Most of us are native Lutherans, although an increasing number of us come from other backgrounds. Mount Olive is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the nation’s largest Lutheran body. But we are kin also to movements within our church to recover Lutheranism’s original heritage and practice, although we prefer not to label ourselves as “high church” or “evangelical catholic.”


Our parish has been a fixture in our Chicago-Lake neighborhood for 100 years. Waves of immigrants—first from northern Europe, then from East Africa and now from Latin America—have continually transformed our surroundings, but Mount Olive is here to stay. Although most of our members and friends live many blocks and miles from our doors, we cannot and will not be separated from the needs and the gifts of our closest neighbors.

We cherish Mount Olive as a place to worship, to question, to learn, to socialize and to serve others. We welcome you not so much as a visitor, but as one of us.




ELCA Mount Olive is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the nation’s largest and most “mainline” Lutheran body. Find news about the ELCA and the Minneapolis Area Synod.





Evangelical Lutheran Church in America           Reconciling in ChristRIC



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