Caring for the Land, Caring for Each Other
Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center is committed to being a place of peace, wholeness, healing, and justice for all. These values guide how we relate to each other, our guests, and the land. From green initiatives to land and wildlife preservation, from warmly welcoming all people to promoting justice and equity, we seek the flourishing of all living beings. We invite you to join us in this commitment to holistic and expansive care during your stay.
Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center is committed to caring for the environment and stewarding our natural resources. We have multiple green initiatives. Our onsite garden includes twelve raised garden beds and fruit trees. Guests enjoy meals with fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs just feet from where they grew. We source food locally and prepare foods from scratch whenever possible. Raw food waste then is composted and used in our gardens and flowerbeds. We recycle, and we have installed energy-efficient LED lights throughout our facilities. We reduce toxicity by using environmentally-friendly chemicals in the kitchen and organic insecticides on our grounds.
We encourage guests to join us in our commitment to sustainability by turning off heating and cooling units as well as lights when leaving their rooms; by reusing towels and recycling plastic, paper, glass, aluminum, and tin; and, by using only what they need.
Take a tour of our garden with the video below and then learn about how we compost right on site.
Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center has a long history of nature preservation. In 1991, we undertook a prairie restoration project. Thirty acres of land were returned to their natural state. These prairies are a diverse ecosystem and home to a multitude of plants, fungi, and insects. Guests who roam through these “seas of grass” feel a mixture of wonder, openness, and possibility.
In 2018, the retreat center became a certified monarch waystation site. It is one of the tens of thousands of designated locations that provide resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration.
The retreat center is home to many more animals, including over 125 species of birds that can be heard and seen across our 154 acres. The retreat center participates in the Bluebird Recovery Program of Minnesota with various kinds of boxes for Eastern Bluebirds scattered throughout our grounds. In 2019 alone, the program tracked 12,000 fledglings in Minnesota.
Justice and Equity
As an outreach ministry and affiliate organization of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, we affirm and join in its commitments to racial equity, justice, and reconciliation:
Rooted in God’s love for the whole world made manifest in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church commits itself to promoting equality among all people, opposing racism in all its forms, working for the healing and health of our community, examining our own practices so they better align with Jesus’ vision for the world, and building relationships of trust and solidarity with people in and beyond our congregation so that we may grow together into the people God desires us to be.
In light of these commitments, we are taking the following actions:
- Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center will provide one complimentary 24-hour personal retreat package for an individual who is actively leading communities of faith and non-profit organizations whose mission focuses on dismantling racism and other forms of systemic injustice. These retreats can be scheduled on designated private retreat dates as well as midweek dates with available accommodations between July 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.
- Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center will offer free meeting space and use of all amenities for daytime retreats for churches that identify as black, brown, indigenous, or immigrant and for other communities of faith and non-profit organizations whose mission centers on racial equity, justice, and reconciliation. These day retreats can be scheduled on available midweek days between July 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.
- Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center will sponsor a series of online retreats and, when possible, in-person events aimed at increasing diversity and cultural competency in organizations, dismantling racism in church and society, and fostering the health and healing of persons and communities impacted by systemic injustice. Full scholarships and/or discounted rates will be available for all of these events.
- Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center staff will participate in training in order to enhance the organization’s cultural competency, diversify its work of hospitality, expand its educational events, and host new groups.