NDCA membership believes that chaplaincy is a calling, so instead of raising one above another, a worthy chaplain is featured rather than given an award at the North Dakota Long Term Care Convention annually.
2018 Featured Chaplain
Rev. Adrian Olson
Maple Manor Care Center, Langdon
Adrian Olson is a long-time volunteer chaplain at Maple Manor Care Center, Langdon. Serving on the Board of Directors as the community clergy representative, his evolving ministry has had many twists and turns. Raised on a farm near Langdon with three older brothers and a younger sister, he began working at the Cavalier County Memorial Hospital shortly after high school. He became the “Adrian of all trades” in his 35 years there. While employed there he served in the following areas: director of materials management and environmental services, pharmacy director, in charge of computer network, EEG technician, and surgical scrub tech. During this stent, Adrian felt the ministry call amidst being married with two children. Not knowing how to juggle school, job and family caused Adrian to keep working.
Adrian’s window of opportunity came when the children got older. Able to attend Emmanuel Bible Institute, Langdon, he began his journey to ordained ministry. Travelling to Grand Forks, he was able to complete two extended units of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) at Altru hospital. The Evangelical Church of North America first commissioned him as a chaplain in 2000. Gifted for the pulpit, that denomination set a course of study for him which included some internships as he completed his ordination studies. Ordained at the annual conference of the Evangelical Church in 2002 in Billings, MT, he continued to work at the Langdon Hospital while doing interim ministry. That interim ministry unfolded in 2003 as the pastor for North Parish, a yoked parish of the churches in Calvin, Saries and Hannah. He continues to be the community pastor for these three towns to the present day. He commented: “I most appreciate the fact that I don’t have ‘walls’ around me in this position. I go to whoever calls and don’t have to worry about denominational restrictions.” His volunteer work at Maple Manor Care Center includes Sunday worship. He does lament the fact that he is unable to spend more time at the care center.
Connie Hakanson, administrator of that facility, applauds Adrian’s presence there. She comments: “In my 20 years there, I have known and appreciated Pastor Adrian for his love and compassion he has given to our residents and their families. There are times when a resident is admitted to our facility without a pastor or church affiliation. If a pastor is needed and there is an emergent desire of a resident or family member, without hesitation, we know Adrian is ALWAYS our ‘go to’ pastor. He will be there. To know Pastor Adrian is to love him. He dedicates his time and his life to helping others. Our residents wait to see him and feel safe and confident in the spiritual guidance given to them. They often comment on how easy he is to talk to and that he knows all of their families. It gives them so much joy when people take the time to talk to them about things that are familiar, and Adrian gives that time and presence to them. He is truly loved by our residents and staff, who are so comfortable knowing no matter what time of the day or situation that may come up, Pastor Adrian will respond to their needs. He is a pastor, a friend, a counselor and true leader for God’s people. On behalf of our residents and staff, I am grateful for the opportunity to express our appreciation for Pastor Adrian.”
Active in the ND Chaplains Association for many years, Adrian has been past president and secretary/treasurer and a regular attendee at the annual retreat. A person of many skills, Adrian was a custom dressmaker, but now sews as a hobby. His wife, Catherine, and he do quilting together. She does piece work; he quilts and binds. He also helps make “Prayer Quilts” with the Langdon Senior Citizens group. Those quilts are distributed to patients in the hospital or residents in the care center. Their two daughters, Elska and Runa, have blessed them with two grandsons and one granddaughter.