May 25 BeHolden All Things New


Week of May 25 | Holden 2020 | Sustenance for our journey

Resilience and Creativity

Chuck_Peg_Hiking_200.jpgResilience and creativity are two words that come to mind as we seek deeper insights into the effects and hidden opportunities of this pandemic. We're into the trenches now, many facing serious threats to health and livelihood. You may feel like you've hit your turning point, but crises can transform and re-create us in ways unimaginable.

In this issue of All Things New, you will find reflections from poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama through his work with Krista Tippett, On Being: Poetry Unbound. Cellist, Hallie Parkins provides music for your day, performed in the forest around Holden Village. May you be safe, may you be well, and may you be held in love.

With good courage,

Peg Carlson-Hoffman + Chuck Hoffman
Co-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

PadraigOTuama_500.jpgPádraig Ó Tuama

Poet, Theologian

Poet and theologian, Pádraig Ó Tuama’s work centers around themes of language, power, conflict and religion. Working fluently on the page and in public, Pádraig is a compelling poet and skilled speaker, teacher and group worker. When BBC journalist William Crawley introduced Pádraig on the stage to deliver a TEDx talk on Story, Crawley said, "He's probably the best public speaker I know."

Ó Tuama’s published work incorporates poetry (Readings from the Book of Exile [longlisted for the Polari Prize 2013]; Sorry for your Troubles), prose (In The Shelter) and theology (Daily Prayer, “The Place Between”). Poems featured or forthcoming in the following publications or platforms: Poetry Ireland Review, Academy of American Poets, Post Road, Cream City Review, Holden Village Voice, Proximity Magazine, On Being, Gutter, America, and Seminary Ridge Review. From 2014 to 2019 he was the leader of the Corrymeela Community, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation community. A profoundly engaging public speaker, Ó Tuama has worked with groups to explore story, conflict, their relationship with religion and argument, and violence. Using poetry, group discussion and lectures, his work is marked both by lyricism and pragmatism, and includes a practice of evoking stories and participation from attendees at his always-popular lectures, retreats and events."

Pádraig’s Poetry

readingsfromthebookofexile.jpgreadings from the book of exile

By Pádraig O’Tuama

One of the most intriguing and engaging voices in contemporary Christianity is that of the Irish poet, Pádraig Ó Tuama, and this is his first, long-awaited poetry collection. Hailing from the Ikon community in Belfast and working closely with its founder, the bestselling writer Pete Rollins, Pádraig interweaves parable, poetry, art, activism and philosophy into an original and striking expression of faith. Pádraig's poems are accessible, memorable, profound, and challenging. They emerge powerfully from a context of struggle and conflict and yet are filled with hope.


InTheShelter.jpgIn the Shelter

By Pádraig O’Tuama

Drawing on this Irish saying, poet, storyteller and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama relates ideas of shelter and welcome to journeys of life, using poetry, story, biblical reflection and prose to open up gentle ways of living well in a troubled world. Interweaving everyday stories with narrative theology, gospel reflections with mindfulness and Celtic spirituality with poetry, In the Shelter reveals the transformational power of welcome.


Summer Faculty Voices

Podcast150.jpgBecoming an Irish Poet

with Pádraig Ó Tuama

"Lyrical Poetry carries at its heart the radical belief that the self narrating 'I' can have something to offer the wide world. That the individual might say I have something to say and it might not be just for yourself, it might somehow be a place in which many people find a deep narrative echo of their own lives." LISTEN NOW

OnBeing.jpgListen to poetry unbound

from on being

Your new ritual: Immerse yourself in a single poem, guided by Pádraig Ó Tuama. Short and unhurried; contemplative and energizing. Anchor your week by listening to the everyday poetry of your life, with new episodes on Monday and Friday during the season. Currently working on season 2 for release in fall 2020. LISTEN NOW

Summer Faculty Book Recommendations

JourneyoftheUniverse.jpgJourney of the Universe

by Brian Swimme & Mary Evelyn Tucker

Today we know what no previous generation knew: the history of the universe and of the unfolding of life on Earth. Through the astonishing combined achievements of natural scientists worldwide, we now have a detailed account of how galaxies and stars, planets and living organisms, human beings and human consciousness came to be. And yet ... we thirst for answers to questions that have haunted humanity from the very beginning. What is our place in the 14-billion-year history of the universe? What roles do we play in Earth's history? How do we connect with the intricate web of life on Earth?

In Journey of the Universe, Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker tell the epic story of the universe from an inspired new perspective, weaving the findings of modern science together with enduring wisdom found in the humanistic traditions of the West, China, India, and indigenous peoples. The authors explore cosmic evolution as a profoundly wondrous process based on creativity, connection, and interdependence, and they envision an unprecedented opportunity for the world's people to address the daunting ecological and social challenges of our times.

Journey of the Universe transforms how we understand our origins and envision our future. Though a little book, it tells a big story—one that inspires hope for a way in which Earth and its human civilizations could flourish together.

Voices From The Village

Podcast150.jpgMusic for your day.
by Hallie Parkins

"My hope is that this music brings peace in your day." Cellist Hallie Parkins is a performer, collaborator, and advocate for social justice. She is also a recently ordained pastor at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Tacoma, WA. In 2014, she completed her undergraduate studies at Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with Darrett Adkins. She also completed a Bachelors of Arts at Oberlin College, studying feminist and womanist religion. LISTEN NOW

Photo by Hannah Lauber



And I said to him:
Are there answers to all of this?
And he said:
The answer is in the story
And the story is being told.

And I said:
But there is so much pain
And she answered, plainly:
Pain will happen.
Then I said:
Will I ever find meaning?
And they said:
You will find meaning

Where you give meaning.

The answer is in the story
And the story isn’t finished.

— Pádraig Ó Tuama —

New Growth
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.