July 6 BeHolden All Things New


Week of July 6 | Holden 2020 | Sustenance for our journey


Strength to Love

Howard Thurman, theologian and spiritual teacher to Martin Luther King Jr., reached a point of a single-hearted focus. In Thurman’s book, Meditations of the Heart he reveals how he prayed that God’s will might be done within and through him. By keeping his heart in one constant and consistent direction, he worked to overcome the divisions created by the divided hearts that plague so many of the rest of us. As we grow spiritually, our lives become progressively more centered and simplified. There are only a few things that matter, and eventually really comes down to one, love.

In this issue of All Things New, you will find the prophetic teachings from theologian and activist, the Rev. Dr. Asa Lee. Joe Davis will encourage you to show up through his spoken word poetry. Wherever you may be 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.


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

Rev.Dr.AsaLee.jpgRev. Dr. Asa Lee

Teacher and Activist

Rev. Dr. Lee serves as associate dean for Campus Life and director of African American Church Studies at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He earned the Doctor of Ministry degree in educational leadership at Virginia Theological Seminary after having earned his Master of Divinity degree, cum laude, from Wesley Theological Seminary. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in music education, magna cum laude, from Hampton University. Dr. Lee holds membership in several academic, professional and social organizations, including the Golden Key National Honors Society, Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society, the American Academy of Religion, and is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.

Podcast150.jpgThe vision of beloved community

with Asa Lee

"The powerful way in which Dr. King expressed ‘Beloved Community’ is that this is hard work, but it is good work, and Beloved Community becomes generative. Yes, it's difficult to talk with family and friends about racism, difficult to be defined, and not be grandiosing yourself. Those are hard concepts, but when you do it, the community thrives, it generates itself, people want to be a part of it. This is a really important notion, at a time when we are tearing each other apart, that we can actually find ways to build each other up.” LISTEN HERE

New_AudioArchive_LOGO.jpgA vision for the beloved

with Asa Lee

"In the 21st century, the cross that every white person has to bear in America is the cross of racism, whether you want to or not. Building Beloved Community is about overcoming racism, sexism, classism and all the 'isms' that we live in, and it costs something." Rev. Dr. Lee explores Martin Luther King's vision of Beloved Community and offers insights into what this means for us today. LISTEN HERE

TheVisionsOfTruth.jpgThe Visions of Truth: Seeing the world through the lens of Christian Faith

with Asa Lee

The Visions of Truth blog is a vehicle for cultural critique and social engagement through a Christian witness. In an age of marketable ideas, staunch political partisanship and warped religious ideas, this blog offers a lens that can focus on what really matters in living a Christian life. Particularly, it is my hope that this blog will inspire insight, promote dialogue and invite challenge in all aspects of life. Please join our discussion by commenting or offering your opinion. After all, how can we develop a vision of truth unless there are those who speak it? LISTEN HERE

Summer Faculty Webinar Registration

DanielCastillobook.jpgFollowing Christ Amidst a Planetary Emergency — A three-part book study of An Ecological Theology of Liberation

With Daniel Castillo

What should Christian discipleship look like within the unfolding planetary emergency of social inequality and ecological injustice? This question will guide our three-part book study of An Ecological Theology of Liberation: Salvation and Political Ecology, which argues that love of God must be expressed through the interrelated love of neighbor and earth.

July 7–9 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) / $75.00

4:30 – 6:00 p.m. PDT | 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. EDT



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.


More Resources for Your Journey

JoeDavis.jpgPoetry for your day

Joe Davis
Spoken Word Poet, Educator

Joe Davis is a nationally touring artist, educator, and speaker based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His work employs poetry, music, theater, and dance to shape culture. He is the founder and director of the multimedia production company The New Renaissance, the front man of the emerging soul funk band The Poetic Diaspora, and qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory. He has keynoted, facilitated conversation, and served as teaching artist at dozens of high schools and universities in New York, Boston and elsewhere. Most recently he was the artist-in-residence at Luther Seminary, where he received a Master’s in Theology of the Arts. One of the ways you can support Joe Davis as an artist is by becoming a patron, and contributing monthly to patreon.com/JoeDavisPoetry. Patrons receive exclusive behind-the-scenes content and early access to poetry, music, and other projects. joedavispoetry.com

JoeDavisPoetry.jpgCLICK TO HEAR
the spoken word poetry of Joe Davis

Summer Faculty Book Recommendations

StrengthToLove.jpgStrength to Love

by Martin Luther King Jr.

"If there is one book Martin Luther King Jr. has written that people consistently tell me has changed their lives, it is Strength to Love." So wrote Coretta Scott King. She continued: "I believe it is because this book best explains the central element of Martin Luther King Jr.' s philosophy of nonviolence: His belief in a divine, loving presence that binds all life. That insight, luminously conveyed in this classic text, here presented in a new and attractive edition, hints at the personal transformation at the root of social justice: "By reaching into and beyond ourselves and tapping the transcendent moral ethic of love, we shall overcome these evils."

Stamped.jpgStamped: racism, antiracism and you

by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi

“The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's National Book Award-winning Stamped From the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited. Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.”




Against Your Departure

In memory of Glenn Jordan, public theologian

prayer flags over the lettuces
undone in yesterday’s storm

twist willy-nilly now
in the leftover breeze

irises I’d meant to divide when last year
not a single stalk bloomed

this year wave resplendent
Pentecostal banners

please raise your hand—
please raise whatever passes

for a hand where you are—
a garnet stem upholding a rhubarb leaf will do

I am without armor
against the losses and the beauties

wave please from wherever you are
be the prayer I cannot say

– Elizabeth Austen

On the Trail
Photo by 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.