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Summer Week Two

June 16 - June 22

Summer Week Two, June 16-22

The Summer Program at Holden Village includes opportunities for learning, relaxation, and fun for all ages. From bowling and backpacking to weaving and worship, there is something for everyone. You can learn more about the variety of things to do here. This week will include a celebration of Juneteenth, featuring a special meal and a 2.5 mile vigil walk to acknowledge the impact of slavery, past and present.


Vance Blackfox

Vance Blackfox, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, serves the churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) as the Director, Indigenous Ministries and Tribal Relations.  An alumnus of Texas Lutheran University (TLU) and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), Vance has previously served the ELCA in multiple capacities, from being elected and serving as National President of the Lutheran Youth Organization during his TLU days, to later working as a diversity and cultural education professional for the Women of the ELCA, Augsburg Fortress Publishers, California Lutheran University, ELCA Youth Gathering, and LSTC’s Youth in Mission. In addition to serving numerous ELCA and ecumenical teams and committees throughout the years, he is at present the Indigenous Theologian and Coordinating Team Member for the ELCA’s Theological Round Table, as well as creator and producer of the Vine Deloria Jr. Theological Symposium hosted at LSTC. Vance is also the founder and director of Other+Wise (www.otherwise.red), a multi-site cultural education and cultural immersion program for youth and student groups from across the country, and also previously served as the Director of Communications at the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, as the Director of Communications for Native Americans in Philanthropy, and has held executive director positions at the Haskell Foundation, which supports Haskell Indian Nations University, and the Oaks Indian Mission. Vance teaches about many things Indigenous as founder and primary of Blackfox Institute (www.blackfoxinstitute.com), he has served as the Guest Curator of the Indian Museum at the University of Texas at San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures, and presently serves as the Indigenous Theologian for the Faith-Based Initiative for the City of San Antonio, where he currently resides.


Manuel Retamoza

Pastor Manuel Retamoza III was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area of Northern CA. He received his bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Seattle Pacific University. After spending three years as a teacher for Head Start, San Joaquin County, CA, Manuel and his family relocated to Minneapolis, MN, where he earned his Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary. It was during his time in seminary that Manuel transferred his church affiliation from the American Baptist Churches USA (ABC) to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). While in seminary, Manuel drove a bus for Minneapolis public schools, worked at Home Depot, was on a residential construction crew, started an after-school program for students living in shelters in Minneapolis, and was a mission developer in Northeast Minneapolis. In 2004 he accepted a call to serve St. Andrew’s Lutheran church in San Diego, CA as Associate Pastor of youth and social ministry. He now serves St. Andrew’s as senior pastor.





Pamela Adams

Pamela Adams is a freelance beaver detective advocating for beavers rights and riparian and wetland habitat health. As a 2020 graduate of the Beaver Institute’s BeaverCorps national program, she works with non-profits, municipalities, and landowners to develop coexistence strategies such as installing devices that allow humans and beavers to live more harmoniously. Pamela’s own organization, BeaverInsights, utilizes non-invasive videography to gather information about beaver families for educational research. Locations under study include the nearshore of The Elwha River, Olympic Peninsula, Bend, and Corvallis, OR, Seattle, WA, and West Brattleboro, VT. Most currently, Pamela is focused on her two year-long research of the four beaver families living in Longfellow Creek-a 3 mile urban watershed with documented high levels of stormwater pollutants yet full of beavers and wild salmon species currently coexisting for the first time in recent memory.



John Marty

In 37 years as a Minnesota State Senator, John has been a tireless advocate for justice: Economic Justice, Environmental & Climate Justice, and Racial, Ethnic & Gender Justice. He grew up in a family engaged in the civil rights and anti-poverty movements. His parents taught him deeply rooted values, including respect for the dignity of every person, and the importance of confronting injustice. He lives out those values in the Senate. John challenges the lack of vision in politics and the acceptance of incremental tinkering rather than bold solutions, even among well-intentioned politicians. He believes we really can solve societal problems—including healthcare for everyone, safe, secure housing for all, gun violence, and the existential threat of climate change. John is unique in the Minnesota Senate rejecting all special interest money to protest the corrupting influence of big money. John has been on the Holden Faculty several times, helping people sustain hope in a cynical world, encouraging us to recognize that all people have a role in building a better society.  John and his wife Connie come to Holden to be inspired and to inspire others.





Glocal Musician Educators are a group that creates music influenced by global themes in communities throughout North America, the Caribbean, and beyond. Through their intentional diversity—including representation from many countries, denominations, and several cultures—the group embodies ways to stand in mutual solidarity while amplifying marginalized voices. Glocal Musician Educators are committed to forming local leaders seeking to introduce global themes in their communities. The songs they teach are grounded in the community stories that raise awareness and inspire advocacy. The musicians embody what it means to be Glocal—simultaneously global and local—so we can accompany one another across cultures, even in our own neighborhoods.


June 16
June 22


Holden Village is a community where your questions are valued and encouraged. Most programs led by visiting teaching faculty occur during the summer months. However, Holden also invites faculty to teach sessions for special events and retreats throughout the rest of the year.
Check out a list of the 2024 Summer Faculty.