Thursday, October 7, 2010

Holden: The Lutheran Meca of the Cascade Mountains

Class with Susan Briehl
While it isn't required of Lutherans to visit Holden before they die, I would strongly recommend it. I'm guesing that the belated Martin Luther would have loved it there, save for the lack of a beer vendor. Holden is also a welcoming place for Methodists, Catholics, and spiritual seekers of all sorts to visit.

In addition to a tranquil setting in the mountains, they still use on occassion the Holden Evening Prayer service, that is simple and uplifting.  The church that I attend has been using this service for over 20 years during the lenten season.

Evening vespers service
 The library is filled with many interesting books of social and spiritual nature.  Additionally there is an extensive collection of tapes and cds of presentations done at Holden over the years.

This is a place that feeds the mind, body and soul.  A multitude of interesting classes are provided throughout the summer months and into the fall.  Morning matins and evening vespers are shared by the entire community.

Choir being lead by Mary Preus
Music is done well at Holden.  During my visit Mary Preus and Tom Witt lead a choir with music from around the world.  They also brought a huge map of the world, and during one evening worship service all were offered candles to place on countries on the map for which they would like to pray. 

While it is a spiritual place, there is also an underpinning of "holy hilarity" that keeps it from becoming too serious.  When I greeted the village pastor, Scott Kershner, with a "Hello Reverend"... he jokingly suggested a better title might be "Irreverend".

Talent show skit on beer making
It was fun to be at the village for Scott's installation service "Now the Feast and Installation". After going through the formalities of the service the staff took part in something of a good natured roast.  They played off the word installation and first "installed" a stage on which for Scott to sit. They went on to include in the skit insulation, germination, irrigation, alternation, constipation, interrogation, inspiration, proclamation and even constellation.  It was a hoot.  I could get used to more "holy hillarity" in my life.

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