July 13 BeHolden All Things New


Week of July 13 | Holden 2020 | Sustenance for our journey


Re-forming Our Sense of Wonder

What does wonder have to teach us? Between the urgency of the problems facing our planet and amidst the chaos of our own lives, it might seem naive to place wonder in a teaching role. As artists we would like to suggest that wonder is absolutely necessary, that it might just be what can save us, to build our inner strength, and to rekindle our sense of intimacy with the earth. Re-forming our sense of wonder is a testament to the power of beauty and the importance of humility – and a deep belief, even amid shadows and uncertainty, in wonder’s essential role in our lives.

In this issue of All Things New, you will find the words from artist and writer Jan Richardson, who helps put meaning around our feelings of grief. Her book Sparrow releases this week. There are opportunities to join us in a couple of webinars. We offer Interfaith dialogue, in partnership with Paths to Understanding, and another is offered by David Westerlund. 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

Jan_Richardson_photo.jpgRev. Jan Richardson

Artist, Writer, Minister

Jan Richardson is an artist, writer, and United Methodist minister who serves as director of The Wellspring Studio, LLC. Her work has attracted an international audience drawn to the spaces of welcome, imagination, and solace, which she creates in both word and image. Jan’s books include The Cure for Sorrow, Night Visions, and In the Sanctuary of Women. She is especially known as a crafter of blessings that enter deeply into our human experience.

Sparrow-jacket-med.jpgSparrow: A Book of Life and Death and Life

by Jan Richardson

Jan’s latest book, Sparrow: A Book of Life and Death and Life, releases this week. In this luminous new book, Jan tells of making a life in the wake of the sudden death of her husband and creative partner, the singer/songwriter Garrison Doles. She resists simple answers for deepest sorrow, entering instead into the raw complexities of grief, which she calls “the least linear thing I know.” In Jan’s distinctive spare and elegant style, Sparrow traces a path through the first few years after her loss, articulating not only the ache of grief but also the strange graces, stubborn hope, and enduring love that live within its landscape.

For more about the book and Jan's work, visit JanRichardson.com/books

Westerlund__David.jpgDavid Westerlund

Workshop Facilitator

David approaches life and the world with a growing curiosity, wonder, and a posture of "Yes." He savors Ignatian spirituality and longs to enter the Story more each day, sensing the deep, present, joyful Love of Jesus, who calls us Beloved. David lives in Bellingham, Washington, and is the founder of Be Present Discover Joy Consulting. He facilitates applied improv workshops for non-profits, businesses, schools, churches, and for people who have experienced trauma. His workshops are designed for participants to cultivate presence and agility, discover joy and connectedness, and build resilience. He believes “that what we practice at a small scale can reverberate to the largest scale (Adrienne Maree Brown).” David was formerly the Director of Development and jail chaplain at Tierra Nueva a non-profit ministry that comes alongside incarcerated and immigrant people in the Skagit Valley of Washington State. He absolutely delights in being a father to his seventeen-year-old daughter. And he has discovered that when they are present with each other, they discover joy, and this builds resilience in their cherished relationship, giving them courage for living their lives.

For more info: BePresentDiscoverJoy.com

Summer Faculty Webinar Registration


Holden Interfaith Week Webinar — A partnership of Holden Village and Paths to Understanding

Us, Them and All: Weaving our Identities and Common Humanity within the Unity of Life

What do Abrahamic traditions teach about recognizing the humanity of people in other cultures or religions? Children are still in cages, the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and institutional/structural racism are revealing even more starkly racial inequity, and vulnerable people are encouraged to risk themselves for the economy. We are having difficulty recognizing others as human. What do Abrahamic traditions have to offer to help us weave our identities, common humanity within the unity of life? Holden Village and Paths to Understanding invite you to live webinars, recorded webinars and podcasts and art exploration with a Jewish and Muslim artist.

July 19-24
Five classes offered.
Click below for the class titles, times, prices, and dates.


Play_Builds_Resilience_Photo.jpgPlay Builds Resilience: A Lively, Interactive Workshop facilitated by David Westerlund and fellow Applied Improvisation Facilitators

How can play keep us *connected* and *resilient*? We invite to come and discover *through* playing! And you’ll leave feeling more alive with tools to sustain you and yours. What games will we play? Exercises and games from both Liberating Structures and Applied Improvisation are invaluable for getting grounded, connected, engaged, playful, and spontaneous. No prior improvisation experience is required or advantageous. David will be joined by Marthame Sanders, an Atlanta-based dad, artist, and pastor. A graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago, Marthame has served in ministry as international mission staff, youth director, and solo pastor.

Monday, July 27

5:00–6:30pm PDT/ 7:00–8:30pm CDT


More Resources for Your Journey

Summer Faculty Book Recommendations


The_Cure_for_Sorrow_Book.jpgThe Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

by Jan Richardson

When Jan Richardson unexpectedly lost her husband and creative partner, the singer/songwriter Garrison Doles, she did what she had long known how to do: she wrote blessings.

These were no sugar-coated blessings. They minimized none of the pain and bewilderment that came in the wake of a wrenching death. With these blessings, Jan entered, instead, into the depths of the shock, anger, and sorrow. From those depths, she has brought forth words that, with heartbreaking honesty, offer surprising comfort and stunning grace.

Those who know loss will find kinship among these pages. In these blessings that move through the anguish of rending into the unexpected shelters of solace and hope, there shimmers a light that helps us see we do not walk alone.

Circle_of_Grace_Book.jpgCircle of Grace

by Jan Richardson

"Within the struggle, joy, pain, and delight that attend our life, there is an invisible circle of grace that enfolds and encompasses us in every moment. Blessings help us to perceive this circle of grace, to find our place of belonging within it, and to receive the strength the circle holds for us."
From the Introduction

Beginning in Advent and moving through the sacred seasons of the Christian year, Circle of Grace offers Jan's distinctive and poetic blessings that illuminate the treasures each season offers to us.




Blessing of Hope

So may we know
the hope
that is not just
for someday
but for this day—
here, now,
in this moment
that opens to us:

hope not made
of wishes
but of substance,

hope made of sinew
and muscle
and bone,

hope that has breath
and a beating heart,

hope that will not
keep quiet
and be polite,

hope that knows
how to holler
when it is called for,

hope that knows
how to sing
when there seems
little cause,

hope that raises us
from the dead—

not someday
but this day,
every day,
again and
again and

– Jan Richardson
from The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

At the Edges of Wilderness
© Chuck Hoffman + Peg Carlson-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.