Experience Art this Lent

Epiphany Gallery by Anne Groton

Art is imperishable. (Okay, the banana taped to the wall of the Guggenheim may have become a bit ripe.) We’re talking about the making of art. Art waits for us. Art can wait silently, it can give a, “ca caw, ca cawwww,” or It can stand on a chair and scream for our attention. Through the past two years, Epiphany Gallery sat in silence for a while then offered some nibbles for those craving a little art. Now, as we approach Lent 2022, Epiphany Gallery is hearing the loud and clear, “Look at me!’ voice! We’re responding with a triple whammy! Once the waffles of Fat Tuesday are digested, Epiphany Gallery is coming in hot to Lent!

Join us for:

Art Room Night – join us Friday, March 4th from 6:00pm until 9:00pm for a night of art and connection! We will have materials and ideas for creative exploration or you can bring whatever you are currently creating! Bring snacks and beverages and let the art begin! This art night is for grown-ups and high schoolers who don’t mind hanging out with grown-ups!

Art Room Prompts – beginning Tuesday, March 8th, the Art Room will meet on Zoom from 11:00am until 11:30am for the week’s prompt reveal and for sharing time! Prompts will be offered each week of Lent, through Tuesday, April 7th!

If you can’t meet on Zoom, no worries, we will send out the prompts via email, and will post them on Epiphany Gallery Facebook and Instagram pages! If you want the Zoom link or to be added to the email list, contact Andrea Fieldhouse Griner or Cassandra Morgan.

Epiphany Gallery Exhibit – we are so excited to exhibit the work of Kari Maxwell once again in the gallery! In 2020 we adored her almost-as-big-as-life bison paintings! Now she will be exhibiting a wondrous collection of birds. Much smaller but no less stunning! In line with our theme, “Unexpected,” this is a new and unexpected series for Kari! With the exhibit, we will share her thoughts on the “Unexpected,” in her art!

Exciting Announcement!

Mount Calvary is pleased to announce that Mark Abelsen, Senior Director of Worship & Outreach, will begin Luther Seminary’s Master of Divinity program called MDivX this JuneStudents enrolled in MDivX earn their degrees in 24 months by participating in year-round classes and completing concurrent part-time congregational internships. We are excited that Mark has selected Mount Calvary as his internship site. We’ll have the joy of serving alongside Mark as he answers God’s call to ordained ministry. As he increases pastoral responsibilities and fulfills internship requirements, he will set aside his role in leading our musical groups. For two full years our congregation will welcome Paula Holmberg, as guest Chancel Choir Conductor and Paul Busch, as guest Handbell Choir Conductor. We are proud of Mark’s pursuit of ordained ministry and hope you celebrate this new adventure for Mark, his family, and Mount Calvary!

Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass

Gospel Mass by Robert Ray



Saturday, May 18 at 5:00pm

Sunday, May 19 at 9:00 and 10:30am


Forty years ago, Robert Ray sat down to write the Gospel Mass as an experimental work for a one-time performance – to his surprise, the piece caught on and has now become a seminal work of African-American music, performed by choirs and churches all over the world.  Join us in worship May 18 @ 5pm and May 19 @ 9 & 10:30am as the Mount Calvary Chancel Choir along with soloists, Al Jordan and Tracy Stefan present the mass in its entirety – accompanied by Aaron Kohrs (piano), Jeremy Haug (keyboard), Mike Stefan (drums), and Nick Salisbury (bass). You won’t want to miss this powerful, joy-filled work that is sure to ignite the spirit!




Tracy Stefan has enjoyed singing all of her life. She has a Bachelor of Science in vocal and classroom music education and spent most of the 1990s singing in rock/dance bands. She started as a worship leader in 2001 at a church in North St. Paul and currently sings in the Mount Calvary Saturday worship band. She lives in Excelsior with her drummer husband Mike and enjoys spending time with their four children and four grandchildren.


Over the last two decades Albert Jordan has remained an active musician, clinician, and judge in the Twin Cities and nationally, most recently he has performed as soloist for the Robert Ray Gospel Mass at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Anton Armstrong. As a founding member of Cantus, Albert spent a decade as a performer and educator with the ensemble. He is a graduate of St. Olaf College where he sang and soloed with the St. Olaf Choir. Albert is also a former section leader at Mount Calvary. He has had stints with other local ensembles such as Magnum Chorum and Vocal Essence as well.


Welcome Will Eisenberg

Mount Calvary Academy of Music News
Introducing our new Brass Instructor, William Eisenberg,
Specializing in French horn and trumpet.

We’d love for you to meet our new brass instructor at the Mount Calvary Academy of Music! William Eisenberg recently joined our faculty, and has begun giving lessons in French horn, trumpet, trombone, and tuba. He offers lessons on trombone and tuba as well. William grew up nearby in Minnetonka and attended Hopkins High School. His parents are both amateur musicians and they fostered a love of classical music in their children. William obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Horn Performance at Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, and completed a Master’s in Horn Performance at Yale School of Music where he studied with Professor William Purvis.

William is happy to be providing a brass option at Mount Calvary Academy and enjoys working with people of all ages – from those just starting out, to those who would like to add polish to their playing. He can help beginners familiarize themselves with their instruments, or instruct kids through obstacles, such as playing with braces. He can also help high school musicians with the process of auditioning and applying for college.

William notes that the Twin Cities is also a great place for adults to continue playing and improving on their instruments since there is a wealth of amateur groups in our area. “I like lessons to be a gateway to lifelong learning,” he says. “The French horn can be played in bands and wind ensembles, as well as both brass and woodwind quintets. It’s unique in that it is adaptable to so many expressions of chamber music.”

William is also an enthusiast of modern music and wants students to know that there is so much more repertoire than they realize; brass players are not limited to Mozart and Bach. William loves opening up the eyes of his students to new and exciting musical styles.
“Music is a great way to develop as a person,” says William. “It teaches skills in leadership, working together, responsibility and commitment. Even if you don’t continue playing after school, the experience of playing will have lifelong effects.”

William can be found at Mount Calvary Academy of Music on Tuesday evenings. He is currently accepting new students of all ages and abilities. If you are interested in lessons or have any questions for William, please email him at william.eisenberg

Epiphany Gallery – Featured Artist, Bob McLain

We speak of inclusion; we are asked how many people can fit under our umbrella; we are challenged to draw the circle wider; we are called to love God’s people.

Artist Bob McLain feels a pull to draw faces. His work is a study of the human face and is also a personal commitment to honor the faces and their people. His work includes the faces of young and old; it includes faces of people who have known joy and sorrow, success and struggle; it includes faces of people whose skin colors range from light to
dark; it includes faces of people who each have stories; it includes faces of people who are surrounded by love and family and faces of people who know loneliness and rejection; it includes faces, created and cherished by God, drawn with love and respect by Bob McLain.

In preparation for his drawings, Bob takes photographs of the face from nine specific angles. From these photographs, he can capture a replication of the face as well as find a variety of moods within the expressions. Bob explains his drawing process, “The first part of my study is done with graphite pencil to work the tonal values of the face. The second part of the study explores skin colors of different nationalities using acrylic paint and colored pencil.” The series, “Faces,” is a beautiful celebration of the many faces we encounter. The series has a gentle voice that says, “I see you.”

Bob graduated from Minnetonka High School and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education from Mankato State University. He has worked as an art teacher, graphic designer at Tonka Toys, and has his own art studio. Bob and his wife Kathy have been members of Mount Calvary for over 40 years. Now retired and living in Chaska, Bob can
be found painting, woodworking, researching and always learning

Epiphany Gallery – Featured Artist, Kate Patten

For the month of June, Epiphany Gallery was full of color! Minnetonka student and photographer, Kate Patten, was our student showcase artist this spring! On June 7, she graduated with an International Baccalaureate diploma and completed a senior capstone project as part of her course of study. In the fall she will be attending DePaul University in Chicago. She loves the urban campus and is excited to take a variety of classes to see what interests her most!

The Patten family moved to Minnesota when Kate was in 5th grade. She started Mount Calvary’s confirmation program when she was in 6th grade and after being confirmed Kate began attending our high school youth ministry, The Vine. She’s served on many mission trips, is a small group leader at The Vine, and this year, and volunteered to lead games each week! Kate’s contribution and commitment to our youth ministry has been a constant and joyful gift! She will be missed, but we pray God’s blessings for her as she takes this next step in her life!

About the exhibit:
“When I decided I wanted to do Capstone, my project idea was an easy decision to make. I wanted to explore how color can affect the mood and reception of a photo and overall what each color can represent and how it is used in everyday life,” explains Kate.

For her project, she worked with red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet and photographed images highlighting those colors, one color at a time, during the two-week project period. Her friends volunteered to be models as they went out in search of color. The result is a beautiful rainbow of creativity and connection! After creating the photographs, Kate researched and describes what each color is typically known to emote and represent. For us, every color is pure joy!


Epiphany Gallery – Featured Artist, Don Rustad

Epiphany Gallery is especially honored to be showing a partial selection of an extensive body of stained-glass work created by Don Rustad. Don is the father of Mount Calvary’s Julie LaHammer and her five siblings. Julie and her sister, Barbara, helped install the stained-glass exhibit. Don watched as we hung pieces on the wall and filled the glass cases. To see how lovingly his daughters handled and spoke of each piece was a joy. Julie and Barbara had a story for each of Don’s creations. Every piece is known and cherished. As we finished finding a place for each colorful creation, Don wheeled his wheelchair back for a look at the exhibit. He gave us a thumbs up and said he’s never before had an exhibit. He then said, “you all can go on home, I’m going to stay right here and look at this all night.” His work is a blessing!

An excerpt from his biography tells how Don started working with stained glass at age 66:

“After an early retirement and a move to Florida, Don & Donna made another major move from Florida to Sun City, Arizona. They had a beautiful stained-glass sidelight window that moved with them and arrived in Arizona undamaged. The window had been custom made for them for their home in Florida, but it did not fit into their home in Arizona. Don went to the stained-glass shop at the Bell Recreation Center and asked if somebody could retrofit the window to fit their new home. Don watched the work being done on his window and while an artist was re-sizing his window, they talked about the classes offered at the stained-glass shop. Don signed up for a class before taking his window home.

At 92, Don is still working with glass, spending about six hours a day designing, cutting and producing jewelry, bowls and many kinds of art to hang in windows and beautify the homes of his friends and family. Don estimates he has made over 400 pieces of stained-glass art that is currently on display in homes, churches, and shops, as well as a Christian retreat center in Arizona.”