Sept–May Teaching Faculty

September 11-15

sharon and larry rosenkoetter

Bio: Larry is an ordained ELCA pastor who worked on the psychology faculties of Bethany College (Lutheran) in Kansas (21 years) and Oregon State University (7 years). In the former role, his primary role was as a teacher, and at OSU it was as a researcher. Sharon served as an early childhood special educator, taught for 13 years in church colleges, and then worked 11 years as a professor and researcher in human development at Oregon State University. Both have spent years of their lives in national parks and wildlife refuges, and have seriously pursued photography for at least 20 years. In retirement, they spend a great deal of time taking and editing photographs of nature. Larry is president of the Nature Photographers of the Pacific Northwest, an organization with 1,000+ members that he founded 17 years ago.


  • Paragons of Nature: Photographs as Glimpses of Earth Change

  • Paragons of Nature: Photographing Landscapes

  • Paragons of Nature:  Capturing Plants & Animals


September 17-23:

"Made in Montana: A Fall Sojourn at Holden Village"

After the busy summer schedule, fall is a quiet and beautiful time to visit the Village. All guests are welcome to attend this "Made in Montana" week, and members and friends of the Montana Synod of the ELCA are especially encouraged to attend. Faculty for this week, all from Montana, include:

Neil Wedum

Bio: Neal Wedum is a native Montanan who has spent the majority of his life hiking,
running, rangering, and campground hosting in Glacier National Park. His passion for
Glacier has led him to seek where his soul and spirit lie within its million acres. He is
a career educator of forty-five years as teacher, administrator and consultant. Neal is
a member of the Montana Synod Council of the ELCA and on its Executive Committee.
Additionally, he has passionately pursued promoting awareness of the effects of
historical trauma on our American Natives.


  • A Layman's Search for Spirit and Soul in Glacier National Park (3 days): Neal has been hiking and/or working in Glacier National Park for sixty-five years as a visitor, ranger and campground host. He views the Park as a place where an individual can find peace but, more importantly, find the meaning of spirit, soul and the significance of basic spirituality. His pictorial presentation will be a mix of adventure/misadventure stories relating where he found his soul, a sense of spirituality and a growing awareness of basic spirituality.
  • Historical Trauma: An Awareness (2 days): Neal has spent many years working and living on the seven Indian reservations in Montana. This presentation will bring an awareness of the concept of historical trauma, the Doctrine of Discovery, and the Montana Synod of the ELCA's Apology as it relates to the dynamics of life for American Natives.


Mark Gravrock

Bio: Mark Gravrock, teacher and pastor, has found the same vital center of joy in each setting of ministry:  the place where the living word of God intersects with real, concrete daily life.  After a first nine years of parish ministry (rural Iowa and Seattle), Mark taught Bible, Greek, and Christian spirituality for 22 years at Trinity Lutheran College, Issaquah.  When the college moved to Everett, Mark and his wife Peggy Ellingsen relocated to Montana, where he has served parishes in Arlee and Kalispell, done hospice chaplaincy and spiritual direction, and taught for the Montana Synod.  Recently retired, he and Peggy look excitedly to God’s next chapter.

Sessions: “Now Wait Just a Minute:" Reading Scripture with a Partnering God"
The Bible is both divine and human.  This is both our confession and our experience.  God partnered with human communities in creating these Scriptures, and these Scriptures continue to shape our communities.  Then God partners with us in reading and hearing these same texts.  One crucial tool for keeping this partnership dynamic and alive is to notice when “Now wait just a minute” rises up in our guts:  Could it be that God is in that gut-response?  This kind of Bible reading is all the more crucial for the political, social, and religious struggle we find ourselves in today.


Tom Schmidt: Guest Village Musician

Bio: Thomas Schmidt was cantor at St Peter's Lutheran Church in New York City for 25 years until his retirement two years ago.  The musical repertoire that he incorporated there ran the gamut from Gregorian and Russian chant to choral masterpieces of every age, including contemporary composers, spirituals and gospel music.  As part of his work at St Peter's he wrote a substantial amount of liturgical music as well as works for choir and small choral ensembles.  The musical high point of the year was always the singing of Bach's St Matthew Passion on Good Friday.  Before his time at St Peter's he was a professor in the music department of Concordia College, Bronxville, NY, for 20 years

 (Please note that, due to unforeseen circumstances, Mark and Carol Ramseth will no longer be teaching during this week).