May 11 BeHolden All Things New


Week of May 11 | Holden 2020 | Sustenance for our journey

Exploring the landscape.

ChuckPegimg.jpgAs our physical world has shrunk to within the walls of our homes, we hope that our connection to you, our Holden community, has presented materials to expand your imagination and offer new possibilities to move forward in the days ahead.

As we grapple with our new landscape, rest assured Holden Village will continue to shine a light through science, art, creativity, theology, bringing you inspiration from around the world.

In this issue of All Things New, you will find thoughts from summer faculty, Verlon Brown and Austen Hartke, along with a message from the past from Carroll Hinderlie. You will also find our 2020 Faculty Recommended Reading List. 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.

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 offer these recommendations from some of our originally-scheduled summer faculty.


Featured Summer Faculty

Brown_Verlon_TF2020-web.jpgVERLON Brown

ELCA pastor who works the streets of Seattle with homeless addicted people, the very people his mother told him to avoid. He also serves as pastor at Central Lutheran Church on Capitol Hill. Before moving to Seattle, he worked with homeless people in Washington, D.C., and then served as Holden Village Pastor in the early 1990s. He also plays harmonica in a bluegrass band.


Hartke_Austen_TF2020-web.jpgAusten Hartke

Author and transgender person of faith, Austen Hartke is the author of Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians, a new book on theology and personal narratives published by Westminster John Knox Press in 2018. He is also the creator of the YouTube series Transgender and Christian, which seeks to understand, interpret, and share parts of the Bible that relate to gender identity and the lives of transgender individuals. Austen is a graduate of Luther Seminary’s Master of Arts program in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible Studies, and is the winner of the 2014 John Milton Prize in Old Testament Writing from the same institution. He has spoken at conferences all over the country, including The Reformation Project Conferences in 2014 and 2017, the Philadelphia Transgender Wellness Conference in 2016 and 2018, and the 2018 Why Christian Conference. He also enjoys speaking at colleges and universities, and working with gender-diverse youth and families as the Faith Coordinator for the nonprofit group Gender Spectrum. As a transgender person of faith, Austen's greatest passion is helping other trans and gender-non-conforming people see themselves in scripture.

Summer Faculty Book Recommendations

WhiteRage_CarolAnderson.jpgVerlon Brown Recommends

White Rage

by Carol Anderson
As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014 and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as “black rage,” historian Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in the Washington Post showing that this was, instead, “white rage at work. With so much attention on the flames,” she wrote, “everyone had ignored the kindling.”

Transforming_AustenHartke.jpgAUSTEN HARTKE RECOMMENDS

Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians

by Austen Hartke
Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians provides access into an underrepresented and misunderstood community and will change the way readers think about transgender people, faith, and the future of Christianity. By introducing transgender issues and language and providing stories of both biblical characters and real-life narratives from transgender Christians living today, Hartke helps readers visualize a more inclusive Christianity, equipping them with the confidence and tools to change both the church and the world.

Summer Faculty Voices

Audio Archive – Verlon Brown, Racism 2.0


"It's more than what you know or what you say, it's what you do. As white people, if you want to be woke, you have to make a move. You can't just be there and continue to live off the oppression of others. Redlining still exists to this day."

SUMMARY: An opportunity to go beyond a simple introduction to racism synthesizing much of the current discussions about white privilege, white fragility, and white rage within the context of Holden. LISTEN NOW

Audio Archive – AUsten Hartke, Who is my Trans Neighbor


"The idea here is that we are always bringing people in, we are always drawing the circle wider to include all different kinds of identities."

SUMMARY: What do all those letters mean, and what’s the difference between sexuality and gender identity? Come learn the language of gender diversity, get background on gender within human history and Christian contexts, and a brief introduction to queer theology. LISTEN NOW

Voices from the Village


Podcast150.jpgA New Look at this week’s Gospel
A devotional podcast from the Village Pastor, Melinda Pupillo

In this week’s BeHolden, you find a tremendous list of resources. This list is intended to support our summer conversation, All Things New. While we had hoped to gather in person for this dialogue, the world has since been turned upside down by pandemic. So it seems, we now have been called “by paths yet untrodden, and through perils unknown,” to quote Eric Milner White’s prayer that has become so dear to us. This is indeed a time when we need good courage as we find ways to move forward into ventures unknown. DOWNLOAD PDF

Carroll.jpgVintage Holden

Take a quick walk through history with this excerpt from a longer session on how fiction teaches us imagination and empathy. This four-minute excerpt provides a glimpse at the origins of the Holden reading list, now a staple of our annual programming. LISTEN TO AUDIO



May you walk with grace, Speak with kindness, Love and be loved, Be open to wonder, And live each day with courage.
— Marc RB —


Spider Gap
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.