News and Updates

Information about Pastoral Associate Anna Helgen

About Anna Helgen

Anna Helgen earned a Masters of Divinity from Luther Seminary in 2016. She has previous ministry experience at various Lutheran congregations around the Twin Cities with particular focus on education and youth ministry and has also written curriculum for Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. Shaped by her experiences growing up in Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (48th & France) and by her work as a camp counselor in Montana and as a canoe guide at Wilderness Canoe Base near Grand Marais, she feels a profound sense of God’s call to serve others and seeks opportunities to form relationships and build community. She grew up in Edina, MN, and currently lives in St. Paul with her husband, Kurt Aschenbeck, and son, Berney (15 months).

Beginning on December 15, Candidate Anna Helgen will serve Mount Olivet as a Pastoral Associate until, pending a successful congregational vote to call her on February 25, she will be ordained in March and will then become an Associate Pastor at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church.During this time, she will exercise all pastoral duties that do not require ordination, including preaching, teaching, and pastoral care. She will preach at the West Campus on the morning of December 24 and at the Minneapolis Campus on December 31 (9 & 10am services on both Sundays).

Q & A

Why are you excited to be at Mount Olivet?

I’m drawn to Mount Olivet’s vibrant worship, strong music, and dynamic preaching, and I am excited to be a part of a community that fosters relationships across generations—there is something for everyone here! I’m looking forward to spending time at Cathedral of the Pines Camp and discovering the many ways this congregation nurtures all generations in their lives of faith. Mount Olivet has strong connections within the community and I’m eager to learn more about these partnerships and affiliated ministries. I’m thrilled at the opportunity to serve at this congregation and collaborate with others.

What do you love about being a pastor?

I love that every day of ministry is different—it’s always an adventure. One of my favorite things about being a pastor is helping people discover their God-given gifts and creating opportunities for people to use those gifts in service to the neighbor. I enjoy accompanying children, youth, and adults on their faith journeys as they marvel at creation and wonder about God’s activity in the world. What I love most about being a pastor is being invited to bring the presence of God into people’s lives in moments of suffering and joy. It’s a wildly humbling vocation!

Update From Mount Olivet Congregation Council Meeting December 12, 2017

Dear Mount Olivet Members and Friends,

At a regularly scheduled meeting on December 12, 2017, I shared with our Congregation Council two very important personnel announcements that I now want to share with you.

First, Pastor Stephen Cornils announced his plans for a phased retirement from Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, beginning with a move to 50% time as of January 1, 2018, and retirement from Mount Olivet in June of 2018. I am grateful that we will have this extended time of Pastor Cornils’ leadership so that we can reap the benefit of his experience and wisdom, appropriately celebrate and give thanks for his ministry here, and plan well for this transition. While Mount Olivet will miss Pastor Cornils’ preaching, leadership, and passion for ministry, we are also very excited for him and his family as he starts a new and exciting part of his life.

As many of you will know, Pastor Cornils returned to Mount Olivet as an associate pastor in 2006, having served here previously from 1997 to 2005. Over the past 11 years, Pastor Cornils has been involved in countless ministries at Mount Olivet that are thriving today, including leadership positions in stewardship initiatives, adult ministry and education, our Reformation 500 celebrations, and directing the Friends Forever fellowship ministry. Most recently, he has held the role of lead pastor at the West Campus, offering strategic vision for the capital campaign and the expansion of our growing West Campus.

Over the next few months, we will announce times when we can gather to thank Pastor Cornils for his dedication and service to Mount Olivet. In the meantime, we offer our prayers for Pastor Cornils, Leslie, and family as they look forward to this transition.

The second announcement relates to our ongoing work to find exceptional new colleagues to join our pastoral staff. The elected Call Committee shared with the Congregation Council its unanimous decision to recommend to the Mount Olivet congregation that Anna Helgen be called to serve as an Associate Pastor at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church.  The Congregation Council met with the candidate and received the Committee’s recommendation. The congregational vote to extend a call to Anna Helgen to be an associate pastor will take place at the regularly scheduled Annual Congregational Meeting on Sunday, February 25, 2018, at 1pm at the Minneapolis Campus.

Candidate Anna Helgen earned a Masters of Divinity from Luther Seminary in 2016. She has previous ministry experience at various Lutheran congregations around the Twin Cities with particular focus on education and youth ministry and has also written curriculum for Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. Shaped by her experiences growing up in Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (48th & France) and by her work as a camp counselor in Montana and as a canoe guide at Wilderness Canoe Base near Grand Marais, she feels a profound sense of God’s call to serve others and seeks opportunities to form relationships and build community. She grew up in Edina, MN, and currently lives in St. Paul with her husband, Kurt Aschenbeck, and son, Berney (15 months).

Beginning on December 15, Candidate Anna Helgen will serve Mount Olivet as a Pastoral Associate until, pending a successful congregational vote to call her on February 25, she will be ordained in March and will then become an Associate Pastor at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church. During this time, she will exercise all pastoral duties that do not require ordination, including preaching, teaching, and pastoral care. She will preach at the West Campus on the morning of December 24 and at the Minneapolis Campus on December 31 (9 & 10am services on both Sundays).

I encourage you and all members to come to our Annual Meeting at the Minneapolis Campus at 1pm on Sunday, February 25, 2018, to vote on the Call Committee’s recommendation and to enjoy getting to know Pastoral Associate Anna Helgen in the meantime.

With joy and thanksgiving,
David J. Lose
Senior Pastor
Mount Olivet Lutheran Church