Faith & Spirituality


Expansive Christianity

Holden Village is a community rooted in the Christian tradition. Expansive Christianity has been a central element of the identity of Holden Village since the beginning. When the abandoned mining village was gifted to the Lutheran church in 1961, Holden was conceived to be a place for people of all walks of life to have important conversations about life, faith, and spirituality. 

The language of expansive Christianity is our way of expressing how we practice a Christian faith that is welcoming, inclusive, open to dialogue, reflection, and challenge. We acknowledge and confess that Christians have wielded their beliefs in harmful, often violent ways and that Christianity has legitimized systems of domination. We are committed to addressing and dismantling oppressive practices so that all people can  be nurtured in their faith and their spiritual journey. 

We strive to practice our faith in a way that is open, inclusive, and expansive in our language of God, the earth, and all people. We embrace a wide range of music, prayer, sacred texts, and wisdom traditions. Our hope is to have a strongly defined center and incredibly wide margins.

Community of Practice

Practice is necessary to keep all of this together. To sustain our awe and wonder and to continue to wrestle with our identity of an expansive Christian community, requires a certain commitment or practice.

Whether you are a guest or on staff, you are a valued part of Holden Village, which is a special and unique place that invites intentional rhythms and practices.

Sacred Space

What is it? Why is it called that?

Holden Village gathers daily for a time of reflection that echoes the tradition of early monastic communities. We gather as a community to honor all of our life as sacred. We remind one another that our work for justice, environmental stewardship, diversity, and peace are all grounded in a faith that is life giving and important. 

We gather as a community to intentionally draw closer to the work, person, and nature of Jesus and the wisdom traditions of the world. Holden Village practices an expansive Christianity where all people and spiritual practices are welcome, faith journeys are nurtured, and everyone is encouraged to explore meaning and spiritual nourishment. We strive to practice our faith in a way that is open, inclusive, and expansive in our language of God, the earth, and all people.

Everyone is invited to participate and shape Sacred Space. Because of that our definitions of what is sacred expand as they are shaped by those who participate and who reside in the Village.

Why do we need to stay connected to the ‘church?’ Can’t I just come to Holden Village and love the earth, value community, and work for justice? Why is the church part of this story?

Because that word, “church,” is so often laden with baggage or trauma it is tempting to abandon it all together. Yet, we believe there is something important that needs to be tended, or possibly reclaimed. 

There is something powerful about the way Holden Village understands the church to call us together as community centered in the good news of Jesus. In that practice we are reminded of our humanity, our limits, and our strengths. We hear a message of hope that is not rooted in our capacity to work hard, earn, or achieve anything. This message of hope and grace liberates us from those systems so that we can set aside fruitless ambitions and genuinely live the full life to which God has called us.

Is it mandatory? If I come to Holden as a staff member or guest do I have to attend Sacred Space?

There is no attendance check, though the gathering is not complete if any are missing. We hope that people who are drawn to Holden join in this deeply held value of our community and choose to participate out of care and curiosity. 

We recognize that there will be evenings when you are excited to be there and look forward to the service. We also hope that even if you don’t feel like showing up you embrace the discipline of being there with the community. Not every expression of Sacred Space will be your favorite and that’s ok. There is something powerful in the discipline and practice of gathering everyday for this work and conversation

The way we shape this time is dynamically rooted in the traditions of the past, contemporary conversations, and vision for the future. We need you to participate in the conversation to help meaningfully shape our time together.

Lutheran Roots

Holden Village values our Lutheran Christian roots, which strengthen us to face the world with faith and good courage. 

The congregation of Fullness of God was established at Holden Village on June 25, 1972, offering pastoral care and church affiliation through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Holden Village has been a Reconciling in Christ congregation since 1985, meaning that we affirm and welcome all LGBTQIA+ people.

Resources for Worship Beyond Holden

Holden Village has always been a place of liturgical innovation and makes use of many different worship settings and services, enriched by our ever-changing population of Villagers. If you have any questions about worship at Holden, feel free to talk with the Village Pastor or Worship Assistant.


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.