Work Weeks

a week of work, community and recreation

Come for a Work Week

Join us for a week of work, relaxation and worship. Whether this is your first visit or your fiftieth, Holden invites you to lend your time and talents for community projects and winter preparations.


Note: All arrivals will be on Sunday with departures on Saturday with no exceptions.
Space is limited, so please apply early.

2019 Spring Work Weeks

Work Week #1: April 28–May 4

Work Week #2: May 5–11

Fall 2018 Teaching Faculty

Week #1: Nancy Winder

Nancy Winder is a retired ELCA pastor. Ordained in 1976, she was the first Village Pastor at Holden and one of the first Lutheran women ordained. After Holden, she served parishes in SeaTac, Bainbridge Island, and Woodinville, and was pastor at Faith Lutheran in Seattle for almost 30 years before serving another year as Village Pastor in 2009-2010. Prior to retirement, she was the Assistant to the Bishop for Candidacy for the Northwest Washington Synod. Nancy loves novels and has a reading blog: She and her husband Larry Howard, Holden’s Museum Director and Archivist, live in Seattle.

Sessions: Living Word - Going Out with Good Courage. These Living Word sessions will be based on the prayer that has been used throughout Holden’s history: O God, you have called your servants...

 Book Study: Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck. Go, Went, Gone is translated from German by Susan Bernofsky. It is a beautiful book, and another powerful and moving story about the immigrant and refugee crisis in Europe. The story reflects the humanity on all sides, and reminds us of the strength of relationships. The protagonist’s thoughts about himself in retirement are also useful reflections on all parts of our lives.

Week #2: Nancy Winder and Susan Halvor

Nancy Winder (see above for bio)

The Bible in English. A lot of assumptions are made about the Bible - how we read it, how we use it, the source of the texts and their authority. In this class we’ll look at the origins of the Bible in the English language. It’s an amazing story, full of intrigue and plotting and spies and betrayal – just like a mystery! We’ll talk about translations, and which ones are the best. We’ll also address the issues of American Fundamentalism, and how we approach the bible with both heart and mind.

Book Study: American by Day by Derek Miller. American by Day features Sigrid Ødegård, the detective inspector from another of Miller’s novels: Norwegian by Night. This time she is looking for her own brother, who lives in the US and has not been heard from for a couple weeks. With his characteristic wryness and humor, Miller tells a powerful story that matches the headlines of our time - the police killing of an innocent black child, racial tensions, and political divides. His writing about race and difference are amazing, and they open up endless possibilities for conversation.

Susan Halvor grew up on the Oregon Coast, but has called Anchorage, Alaska home since 2000. She was ordained as a Lutheran pastor in 2000, and after 3 ½ years in a church, became the Children’s Hospital Chaplain at Providence Alaska Medical Center. She now serves as the manager of the Spiritual Care Department. As a queer Lutheran chaplain/pastor, she has a passion for ministry on the margins and caring for people who “don’t fit” or feel unheard.

Sessions: Chaplain Stories. Rev. Susan Halvor’s sessions will draw from her experience as a hospital chaplain serving the most diverse zip code in the nation. She will discuss racial and ethnic diversity, welcoming the LGBTQ community, and caring for ourselves and others in times of stress.

What is a Work Week?


Work:  We offer work opportunities for a variety of levels and skill sets in many areas including landscaping, gardening, carpentry, painting, sewing, and general sprucing up. In addition, there will be several Village projects that have particular needs if you have specialized skills. Teaching Staff will be in the Village and programming will be part of our daily rhythm.

Community:  Meet other volunteers through shared meals, daily worship, and entertaining activities.

Recreation:  Spend your time off taking in the beauty of the surrounding wilderness, weaving and pottery in the Art Studios, playing games, or reading and conversing on the Ark.

Room & Board: Holden offers communal housing and three meals a day to work week volunteers.


Age:  Work Week volunteers must be at least 18 years of age20171016_ChaletWindows2_HannahLauber.jpg

Cost:  There is no cost for this volunteer opportunity, however, donations are also greatly appreciated.

Transportation:  Volunteers must plan their own transportation to and from the Village. Free parking is provided at Fields Point. 

Technology:  As a place apart, Holden encourages volunteers and staff to enjoy community life without handheld technology. Internet access is not available and we request that use of electronic devices (aside from cameras) be limited to your room. 

Worship: Holden invites all volunteers to participate in the rhythms of the Village by attending nightly Vespers services. Though rooted in Lutheran practice, these services are welcoming to people of all spiritual backgrounds.

Questions about Work Weeks? Contact Staffing.