August 3 BeHolden All Things New


Week of August 3 | Holden 2020 | Sustenance for our journey


The destiny of humans cannot be separated from the destiny of the Earth.

“We see quite clearly that what happens to the nonhuman happens to the human. What happens to the outer world happens to the inner world. If the outer world is diminished in its grandeur then the emotional, imaginative, intellectual, and spiritual life of the human is diminished or extinguished. Without the soaring birds, the great forests, the sounds and coloration of the insects, the free-flowing streams, the flowering fields, the sight of the clouds by day and the stars at night, we become impoverished in all that makes us human.” – Thomas Berry

In this issue of All Things New, you will find our final summer webinar with Jeff Kerssen-Griep. We hope you will join in the conversation. Dan Spencer shares his scholarship in environmental climate justice. Wherever you are reading this, we hope that you find inspiration and sustenance for these days of uncertainty. May you be safe, may you be well, and may you be held in love.

Chuck Hoffman + Peg Carlson-Hoffman
Executive Directors


There are many invitations afforded us in times such as these. Invitations to listen, to engage, to be open, to love and remind ourselves that we don’t own the answers. In the spirit of our Summer Conversation, All Things New, this summer will be a different kind of summer. Holden will continue to be a light — just in a new way. In this new world we’re all inhabiting, we're sharing insights from some of our originally scheduled summer faculty.


Featured Summer Faculty

Spencer__Dan.jpgDan Spencer

Environmentalist & Teacher

Dan Spencer is Professor of Environmental Studies and has taught at The University of Montana since 2002. Some of his areas of teaching and research interest include ecological ethics, ethical issues in ecological restoration, and globalization, justice, and environmental issues in Latin America and Southeast Asia. He was born and raised in California, and received his B.A. in geology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, in 1979, and his masters (1983) and Ph.D. (1994) in environmental ethics from Union Theological Seminary, New York. He is the author of Gay and Gaia: Ethics, Ecology and the Erotic, published by The Pilgrim Press (1996) and most recently co-authored a book with Laura Stivers and Jim Martin-Schramm: Earth Ethics: A Case Method Approach, available through Orbis Press. Dan has been teaching at Holden since 1986.

Deep_Time_Part_1.jpgDeep Time: Sojourning With the Universe Story, Part 1

This is a first session of a series called Deep Time: Sojourning With the Universe Story, and it focuses on the theme of wonder, based in creation.


The_Universe_Story_2.jpgDeep Time: Sojourning With the Universe Story, Part 2

The universe is not a static backdrop to who we are, it actually has a story itself. It has a history.


Deep_Time_Photo.jpgDeep Time: Climate Change and Mass Extinctions

"Deep Time: Climate Change, and Mass Extinctions – How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Us Understand the Past, Present, and Future"


Summer Faculty Webinar Registration


Kerssen-Griep__Jeff.jpegWhat are we learning about communicating science in public? — Facilitated by Jeff KersSen-Griep

This session will discuss what’s known about challenges people face when exploring and adjusting to genuine empirical truths (especially the difficult ones), as well as ways those difficulties can be amplified or navigated by the folks involved in scientific inquiry – which includes all of us. You will leave the session better understanding the aptitudes people need to deal skillfully with science being communicated societally and interpersonally, in classrooms and in organizations. Pre- and post-readings will be offered.

Monday, August 3

5:00–6:30pm PDT/ 7:00–8:30pm CDT


Summer Book Recommendations

Book_Timefulness.jpgTimefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World

by Marcia Bjornerud

“Why an awareness of Earth's temporal rhythms is critical to our planetary survival? Few of us have any conception of the enormous timescales of our planet's long history, and this narrow perspective underlies many of the environmental problems we are creating. The lifespan of Earth can seem unfathomable compared to the brevity of human existence, but this view of time denies our deep roots in Earth's history―and the magnitude of our effects on the planet. Timefulness reveals how knowing the rhythms of Earth's deep past and conceiving of time as a geologist does can give us the perspective we need for a more sustainable future. Featuring illustrations by Haley Hagerman, this compelling book offers a new way of thinking about our place in time, showing how our everyday lives are shaped by processes that vastly predate us, and how our actions today will in turn have consequences that will outlast us by generations.”


More Resources for Your Journey

Podcast150.jpgDeep Time and Environmental Ethics
with Dan Spencer

"Biomimicry is thinking about design that's inspired by nature. Since the industrial revolution, humans have been relying on fossil fuel technologies requiring heat, beat, and treat methods. Meaning, in order to support new technologies and get our new devices and materials, we subject products to very high temperatures, pressure, and often times, toxic chemicals, all of which consume unsustainable amounts of energy. The genius of life is that nature is able to design all the things it needs to survive and thrive within the constraints of the ambient atmosphere and environment. Using biomimicry to rethink our energy needs and develop technology is a way to address the climate crisis."


by Paul Kingsnorth

In the time of this great, strange plague, Paul Kingsnorth returns to the Celtic tale of Finnegas, the woodland hermit who devoted his life to catching and eating the salmon that contained the wisdom of the world.





May the Holy One
Who gardens the galaxies,
Fueling star-fire,
Watering the world
Greening the earth—
May this God
Guide you
guard you and
give you peace.

Photo Chuck Hoffman

This series, All Things New, will explore in part the conversation originally scheduled for summer. In this new world we all inhabit, may you find sustenance for your journey.