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Renovations to camp puts Holden Village on the road

Holden Village is launching a new program this summer to allow people across the country a chance to sample what daily life is like at the remote, Lutheran retreat center, located high in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington state.

Thousands of people from around the world visit Holden Village annually. Visiting the village requires a boat ride up Lake Chelan and then an 11-mile bus ride up a steep and winding mountain road.

Originally a mining town, the village is being impacted by a massive, federally mandated cleanup of pollution on adjacent land — the legacy of long-ago mining operations. Because of heavy construction, the village will be able to host only volunteer workers and staff for the next two summers.

Holden Village will be open only to staff and volunteers for the next two years, during which time the mines that initiated the camp originally will be remediated. Photo provided by Holden Village

“Our 2013 summer theme for all Holden Village programs is ‘Made Known in the Breaking of the Bread,’ based on the Road to Emmaus story in Luke.”

“Holden on the Road” — up to a week of Holden-style programs and worship — will be held in partnership with a variety of sites in Minnesota, California, New York, Ohio, Oregon, and South Dakota. It will provide a Holden-style experience for previous visitors, as well as those who have never been to the village.

Bringing the program to the people

Partnering sites vary from spectacular natural settings to dynamic urban neighborhoods. In all cases, organizers are developing programming that will be diverse and stimulating, open to groups, families and individuals. As at Holden, there will be options for outdoor recreation, arts and crafts, Bible study, and communal daily worship.

“Our 2013 summer theme for all Holden Village programs is ‘Made Known in the Breaking of the Bread,’ based on the Road to Emmaus story in Luke,” Anna Czarnik-Neimeyer, program coordinator for Holden Village, told Metro Lutheran. “Our specific theme verse is Luke 24:35: ‘Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.’”

“Holden on the Road” Midwest venues and dates are Camp House, Brimson, Minnesota, June 23-28; ARC Retreat Center, Stanchfield, Minnesota, June 28-30; Koinonia Retreat Center, South Haven, Minnesota, July 26-28; and Outlaw Ranch, Custer, South Dakota, August 12-18.

Teaching staff coordinators at each site are recruiting presenters for sessions on topics that may include science, holistic health, theology, social justice, arts and literature.

Confirmed speakers for the Camp House event are Kris Tostengard-Michel (Bible study); John Marty (energy and the environment, politics and faith); and Connie Marty, (“Strands of Hope” jewelry-making and the Enneagram). At ARC, speakers are Tom Witt, (musician and workshop on “Prayer Around the Cross”); and Ruth Halvorson, co-founder of ARC (Lectio Divina). And at Koinonia Retreat Center sessions will be lead by Marty Haugen (musician and worship leader); Melissa Johnson (Bible study); and Bob Janssen (“Bird Watching for All”).

Sessions about the village’s mission and values and its emphasis on environmental stewardship during the disruption of mine remediation will also be offered.

“We may find that this off-site programming becomes an integral part of Holden Village’s ministry and are open to continuing Holden on the Road in some form after mine remediation,” Czarnik-Neimeyer says.

More information is available on the Holden website: www.holdenvillage.org.

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