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About Holden Village

Holden Village

Celebrating 60 Years

Rainbow pride flag with mountain in backdropHolden Village is a retreat center located in the North Cascade mountains of Washington State.


Holden Village cultivates a more just, sustainable, and compassionate world.


Growing from the love of Christ, Holden Village is a courageous community that welcomes all people into the wilderness to form and renew their relationships with God, the earth, and each other.


Holden is a gift and an invitation to build and practice community both within the Village and in the greater world.

We value …

  • our place in the wilderness that nurtures spiritual, emotional, and physical growth
  • our Lutheran roots, which strengthen us to face the world with faith and good courage
  • community-building, through hospitality, dialogue, justice, liturgy, humor, solace, and wholeness
  • our rhythms of Village life

We commit to be…

  • a community in which daily life is meaningful
  • a community that embraces the intellectual, spiritual, and emotional aspects of faith
  • a community where questions are valued and encouraged
  • a community that lives out its mission with joy, participating in the gracious love of God.

Land Acknowledgment

This Valley has existed for millenia, carved out by glaciers and defined by first people’s stewardship. We stand upon the land of the Tsi-Laan, of the Enteatqua, the P’Squosa, of the Wenatchi-Colville and Wenatchi-Yakama Tribal Nations.

They are the ancestral stewards of the lands where we gather. And they are our neighbors today, living, loving, and working in this region.

We commit to resisting erasure of Indigenous histories, following Native leadership, and centering tribal voices.

All Are Welcome

Holden Village welcomes and embraces people of all races, ethnicities, religious backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. Holden Village has been a Reconciling in Christ congregation since 1985.

Commitment to Justice

For the sake of Justice, Holden is called to:

  • Foster Diversity through deliberate invitation and welcome;
  • Deploy an ethic of Equity to confront and dismantle systemic oppression; and
  • Practice Inclusion by listening to, learning from, and being transformed by marginalized voices,

In order to become, together, the community for which God longs.


Executive Directors

Kathie Caemmerer-Bach, Mark Bach, and Stacy Kitahata 

In their shared leadership vision, Kathie, Mark, and Stacy contemplate a Holden Village for the Life of the World. They hold common commitments to nurturing and empowering community that engages diversity, interfaith dialogue, spiritual practice, environmental justice, and holy hilarity.

Kathie, holding an MA in Education, has served in leadership positions with educational institutions both internationally and in the Pacific Northwest. Most recently, as Chief Academic Officer and Head of School for two innovative nationwide school organizations, she has overseen programming, faculty, personnel, and budgeting. Integral to her extensive career has been a lived commitment to educational equity and diversity. A fun Holden connection is that Kathie is the daughter of Richard Caemmerer, the Holden icon who painted the mural on the Village Center ceiling.

Mark, also with an MA in Education, has both taught and worked in administrative roles along with Kathie in Taiwan, Japan, India, and the Seattle area, including work in fundraising, advancement, and partnership management. Most recently, he served as the Vice-Chair for the Grunewald Guild Board of Directors in Leavenworth, Washington and directed product launches with numerous state regulatory agencies for an innovative company transforming professional development across the US.

Stacy adds an incredibly important set of skills to the Executive Director team with her Master of Divinity and extensive work with the ELCA, affiliated church organizations, higher education, and a background facilitating organizational change for equity. Stacy has many ecumenical and interfaith connections and experience on multiple Boards and committees.

Board of Directors

As a non-profit, Holden Village is governed by a 20-member board of directors whose role has been vital yet evolving over the Village’s history of more than 60 years. The board’s self-management policies require board members to “emphasize outward vision rather than internal preoccupation.” Board responsibilities include selecting executive directors, approving an annual budget, establishing policy and electing members to fill board vacancies. Board members serve four-year terms and are limited to three consecutive terms, or 12 years, of service.

The board meets four times a year for varying lengths of time in different configurations of remote and in-person gatherings. Board meetings are held in the Village once per year (in the summer) and via regional gathering once per year (in the autumn) to reduce costs and environmental impacts from travel. Additionally, there are several committees which meet separately between these all-member board meetings.

James Nagel

Vice President

Rick Brown

Board Member

Jason DeRose

Board Member

Peter Hernes

Board Member

Eric Lansverk

Board Member

Asa Lee

Board Member

Samantha Lyon

Board Member

Mark Schwehn

Board Member

Claire Smith

Board Member

Ben Stewart

Board Member

Meisha Wangerin

Board Member

Stay Connected

Holden Village E-Newsletter

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Holden Village Podcast

Check out the Holden Village Podcast for short feature interviews with Holden teaching staff available on iTunes and SoundCloud. Hit “Subscribe” to get notifications on new episodes as they are added.

Holden Audio Archives

Listen to the Audio Archives for an extraordinary collection of teaching sessions recorded over the past 50 years Included are thousands of hours of material in mp3 format, featuring more than 1,700 presenters and over 13,000 recordings.

Holden Store Online

All proceeds from sales on the Holden Store Online support Holden Village and we are grateful for your support.

People waving farewell to the bus

Holden Village In the News

The Best of All Worlds: Traveling, Volunteering and Working in Retirement by Barbara J. Tuttle in Next Avenue, July 22, 2022

Holden Village: Walking the ‘all are welcome’ talk by Cheryl Murfin in Seattle’s Child, July 17, 2022


A Village Renewed

Throughout our history, Holden Village has depended on both the hard work of volunteers and the generous financial support of thousands of individuals who are passionate about our mission, vision, and values.

Because it is expensive to operate a remote mountain Village, guest fees cover only 60% of the cost of a visit. When you donate to Holden Village, your gift makes up the difference and sustains this unique place in the wilderness. Your support helps us expand welcome to those who have yet to visit.

Your gift helps people build and practice community both within the Village and in the greater world. Thank you!