Week of June 29 | Holden 2020 | Sustenance for our journey
Our friend and colleague Glenn Jordan, who has been on our summer teaching faculty the past few years, died on the morning of June 4, 2020, at the age of 55. We are deeply saddened by this loss and profoundly grateful for his teaching and presence at Holden Village. Our prayers continue to hold Glenn’s wife, Adrienne, and their two children, Philippa and Christopher, in love and light.
If you met Glenn and heard him teach, you enjoyed his wit, benefited from his wisdom, and took note of his humility and kindness. Glenn’s wisdom led him to listen rather than to speak, to rejoice in the stories of others, and to delight in having his mind changed. He is missed.
In this issue of All Things New, you will find recordings of Glenn’s teachings in the Village, Jason Mahn’s work in white privilege and music from the BeHolden Twin Cities gathering. Wherever you may be reading or listening to 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.
With good courage,
Peg Carlson-Hoffman + Chuck Hoffman
FOR THE JOURNEY
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
Glenn was a public theologian working with Corrymeela, the oldest peace and reconciliation organization in Northern Ireland. Corrymeela's public theology work exists to motivate and support faith groups to widen circles of relationship, trust, and witness. The work is focused on developing faith-informed practices of reconciliation, inclusion, and peacebuilding, supporting churches and faith communities to respond creatively and effectively to difference. Glenn also had a keen interest in the theology and process of community transformation and renewal, and he was the creative spark behind the innovative Skainos Square in Belfast, an award-winning community regeneration project in the Inner East of the city. He was a TEDx speaker and a writer on evangelical identity in Ireland and on urban theology. He was particularly interested in the power of story to create understanding.
Re-examining biblical stories
In every situation we find ourselves, particularly at the margins of life, we need to evaluate each time in the light of compassion. Stories help us do that by forcing us to think broader, deeper, and differently about situations. Stories establish a principle that compassion trumps the law, and they invite us to bring that principle into the complexity of our everyday life. LISTEN HERE
The Good samaritan and the dilemma of mercy
A man asks Jesus, "Who can I define as my neighbor?" and by implication who can I define as being outside of my responsibility? Jesus says the recipients of your attention get to decide whether you are a neighbor or not. The power to define neighborliness rests in the hands of the recipients of neighborliness. Jesus says you must pay attention to the impact of your actions. It's not just about intent because your actions have an impact on other people. They get to understand whether you were neighborly or not."
Summary: Like many of the parables, this story of Jesus remains unfinished and many questions present themselves. Questions such as, why, when Jesus was asked for a doctrinal summary, did he tell a story? Or, did the Samaritan ever come back? Or, when Jesus says, “Which of these three?” who were the three? Together we’re going to try and finish a story Jesus began and in doing so explore the meaning of neighborliness. LISTEN HERE
Summer Faculty Webinar Registration
Following 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
More Resources for Your Journey
Dr. Jason Mahn
Professor of Religion
Jason is a professor of religion and director of the Presidential Center for Faith and Learning at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. He teaches about God, interfaith cooperation, environmental ethics, social justice, vocation, and religious responses to suffering at Augustana, and also frequently speaks at churches and within Lutheran higher education circles. He has authored or edited four books, including Becoming a Christian in Christendom: Radical Discipleship and the Way of the Cross in America's ‘Christian’ Culture (Fortress, 2016) and Radical Lutherans/Lutheran Radicals (Cascade, 2017). One of Jason's deep joys is to teach “Creator, Creation, and Calling” to Augustana students at Holden Village during “J-Term” and to join them in building igloos, skiing, and stoking the furnace called Dante. Another joy is to return in the summer with his spouse, Rev. Laura Evans Mahn, and their two sons, Asa and Gabe, to teach, hike, laugh, and practice living well.
Hurry and Come Down: White Privilege and the Cost of Discipleship
Many react to charges of white privilege with white guilt or, worse, with defensiveness and charges of reverse discrimination. Is there a more Jesus-centric way to hear and respond, and to use God’s gifts for the flourishing of the marginalized and oppressed? By creatively rereading Philippians 2, a sample of Martin Luther’s early writings, and the story of Zacchaeus, we’ll distinguish unmerited grace from unearned privilege, and connect personal justification to social justice. Recommended reading: selections from Dear Church: A love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US, by Lenny Duncan.
“I have no expertise to talk about this…These are things that I want to know about. I am at the very beginning of a journey of trying to think about my own white privilege. My own white supremacy. The ways I have benefited from the white supremacy of our culture, of our nation. And to do that in a very Christian way.” – Jason Mahn
Summer Faculty Book Recommendations
The New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries
by Terry Patten
A vision to address our environment, economy, politics, culture, and to catalyze the radical whole-system change we need now.
Recasting current problems as emergent opportunities, Terry Patten offers creative responses, practices, and conscious conversations for tackling the profound inner and outer work we must do to build a better future. In practical and personal terms, he discusses how we can all become active agents of a transformation of human civilization and why that is necessary to our continued survival. Patten's narrative focuses on two aspects of existence – our dynamic but fractured and threatened world, and our underlying wholeness and unity. Only by honoring both of these realities simultaneously can we make sustainable changes in ourselves, our communities, our body politic, and our planetary life-support system. A New Republic of the Heart provides a comprehensive understanding and inspiring vision for "being the change" in a way that can address the most intractable problems of our time. Patten shows how we can come together in our communities for conversations that matter and describes new communities, enterprises, and forms of dialogue that integrate both inner personal growth work with outer awareness, activism, and service.
Voices From The Village
BeHolden twin cities concert
The Holden community in the Twin Cities gathered for an evening of food and conversation and listened to the sounds of musicians Anthony Titus, Paul Friesen-Carper, and Sam Genualdi.
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.