High in the Cascade mountains in a remote spot close to Lake Chelan is a little village called Holden Village. What was once a small mining town is now an ecumenical retreat center in the Lutheran tradition. Here I encountered about 500 people who made the journey to be at Holden for a time of reflection, music, and absorption in one of the most splendid examples of natural beauty this country has to offer. Complete with free roaming deer, bear and an occasional cougar, Holden Village offers many a place of deep renewal of spirit , mind and body.
One delightful surprise for me was to encounter the lively spirit of the Lutheran singing tradition.
As guest composer my role was to lead the gathering in daily sessions of new music and then at the end of the week to accompany the entire congregation in singing my new Celtic Mass. What a joy!
With fiddle, flute, guitar, and drumming these singing Lutherans would have made Martin Luther stand and applaud!
Holden Village - a place of renewing and discovering friendship , an opportunity to reflect on a number of important issues, an expanding community of those seeking to follow Jesus.
One other word about Holden: it is also a place that brings new people to the role of directing the Village every 3-5 years. Interesting point. Every three - five years there is new management in the Village. This kind of leadership allows the present leaders to create their own style and to some extent their own practice while at the same time ensuring that no one person or persons take control of the Village. Clearly a pitfall in many Christian communities, and other organizations as well, is the situation where one or more persons take control of it and stay in control for far too many years suppressing the creativity and leadership of those they "serve".
Holden seems to have created a way for the Village to continue with new and renewing leadership.