Are music and art your strongest connections to the Divine?
At Olivet Church, you will find a community of musicians and artists who express faith in ways that transcend words. It is the quality of musical and artistic expression that sets this congregation apart.
Music at Olivet
Music in worship at Olivet is from a variety of time periods and styles, with a strong emphasis on that which is well-crafted, has a spiritually and poetically rich text, and stands the test of time. As we celebrate our identity as God’s children and our heritage in the Reformed Protestant tradition, we also seek to embrace hymns and songs that have special relevance for our hurting world and reflect the diversity and inclusiveness of the universal church and of God’s creation. Whatever we do musically — whether it’s a psalm, a Bach cantata or a gospel song — we believe in doing it well, offering our very best to God
Olivet’s adult choir is directed by our Director of Music, Mark Spitzack. Choir members are dedicated volunteers who rehearse weekly to lead the singing of the congregation and provide choral music during worship. Other musical events including choral evensongs (sung Evening Prayer) in Advent and Lent, Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve, and other larger choral works for the liturgical year such as Fauré’s Requiem on All Saints Sunday.
At Olivet we hold children in high regard and seek to include them as fully as possible in our worship rather than to segregate them. To that end, although we provide a nursery for younger children who need it, we urge families to stay together during worship. The children and youth of the congregation sing several times a year as a choir and serve as acolytes, lectors, and soloists. Highlights for their involvement include leading our Procession with Palms on Palm/Passion Sunday and our Farewell to Alleluia just before the Lenten season.
Director of Music
Olivet’s Director of Music, Mark Spitzack received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Church Music and Christian Education from Concordia University and his Master of Sacred Music degree from Luther Seminary, both in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has served Lutheran and Episcopal parishes in St. Paul, Colorado, California, and Minnesota and was formerly Director of Children’s Ministries at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, a south Minneapolis church known for being liturgical and musical while also welcoming. He is also an occasional staff singer at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in St. Paul. Mark has a passion for planning worship for the church year and for promoting robust congregational singing. He also works as the Coordinator of Perinatal and Pediatric Support Projects for the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.
Olivet’s charming English Cottage-style building and surrounding a garden courtyard make it an ideal setting for engaging life and faith through art. Olivet hosts art shows for artist-members and professional artists throughout the year. Art workshops inspire amateur artists to try a new form of expression, and art shows have even featured children’s artwork.
Classically-trained musician-members of the congregation include string, wind and brass artists who play and teach throughout the Twin Cities. With excellent acoustics, Olivet’s sanctuary is sought out by numerous local chamber music groups who often share music during worship, and offer discounted concert tickets to Olivet members.
Led by professional musician and teacher, Buffy Larson, Olivet’s bell choir is an opportunity for the musician and non-musician alike to participate in the ministry of music. The bell choir rehearses weekly on Saturday mornings and provides worship music.
With excellent acoustics and charming English Cottage-style building and garden courtyard, Olivet is a wonderful practice and performance setting with a variety of spaces available.