Summer 2024 Teaching Faculty

Lifelong Learning

Teaching Faculty

Summer faculty are community organizers and poets, soil scientists and feminist theologians, printmakers and environmental chemists, pastors and gardeners, musicians and so much more. They are people learning and building relationships that create community through storytelling, play, music, and scholarship.

Two people sing at microphones and a person plays the drums

Summer 2024

Check out the biographies of our facilitators and start planning your visit for Summer 2024! 

Cole Parke-West 

Cole Parke-West studied theology at Texas Lutheran University, earned their Master’s in Conflict Transformation at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice & Peacebuilding, and has been working at the intersections of faith, gender, and sexuality as an activist, organizer, and scholar for nearly 20 years. Most recently, Cole served as the senior organizer at Carolina Jews for Justice, a grassroots organization working to build a powerful progressive Jewish justice movement in the South. Prior to joining CJJ, they worked as a research analyst at Political Research Associates, a social justice think tank dedicated to understanding and interrupting right-wing extremism, including white supremacy, misogyny, xenophobia, and antisemitism. Cole also serves on the Board of Soulforce, an LGBTQ justice organization working to “sabotage” Christian supremacy for the sake of collective liberation, and has organized and collaborated with many groups, including Showing Up for Racial Justice, Southerners On New Ground, Never Again, and the Catalyst Project. Whether they’re facilitating workshops on white supremacy and antisemitism, live tweeting about their adventures as a “queer spy” in right-wing Christian spaces, or digging up weeds at Farm Church, Cole consistently strives to do so with deep compassion, abundant joy, and a relentless commitment to justice.


Nina Hagel

Nina Hagel is Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University, where she specializes in political theory. She holds a BA in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University, and an MA and PhD in Political Science from UC Berkeley. She has published articles on authenticity and is completing a book on it with cases that focus on anti-racism and the experiences of trans youth.






Joe Martinez

Joe Martinez is the Executive Director for CIERTO, a non-profit farmworker recruitment and training organization that recruits, trains and dispatches farmworkers to agricultural employers in Mexico and the United States. This model offers a safe recruitment and labor compliance verification/assurance system that protects farm workers from fraud, trafficking, and slave conditions. Previously, Joe was the International Labor Advocate/Mexico Program Director for United Farm Workers. He coordinated and directed all of the union’s activities in Mexico and assisted in coordinating the UFW’s international work. Joe has also coordinated and participated in the Jornaleros SAFE project which is dedicated to identifying and documenting the problems relating to recruitment and dispatch of H-2A workers in Mexico. Joe has worked closely with NGOs, the US and foreign governments to address issues related to how farmworkers are recruited and dispatched to the US and to establish labor agreements between Mexican and Guatemalan State governments and the United Farm Workers. Joe has a B.A. in Political Science and Comparative History of Ideas from the University of Washington. He is based in Tacoma, WA.

  

Pat Doane

Since moving to New Haven in 2017, Patrick has played in the New Haven Symphony and Hartford Symphony, has served as concertmaster, appeared as soloist with orchestra, and has performed in recitals throughout the northeast. Patrick received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Juilliard and is completing his doctorate at The Graduate Center, CUNY in New York City. Patrick has been described as a “compelling violinist” by the New York Times. The New Haven Independent writes, “His virtuosic playing and obvious command of his instrument was always in service of grand, thrilling musical gestures.” His recent solo and chamber performances include recitals throughout the northeast United States, concerto appearances with The Orchestra of the Bronx, and radio broadcasts on WMNR Fine Arts Radio. A DMA candidate at CUNY Graduate Center, Patrick is writing on Galina Ustvolskaya’s works for violin and piano. Patrick’s students range from Suzuki to graduate level. His private students have gone on to graduate study violin at NYU and Mannes. A Suzuki certified teacher, his younger students have gone on to study at Walnut Hill School and NEC preparatory division. Patrick enjoys long runs and cooking spicy food.


Daniel Fenn

Daniel J. Fenn is Director of Worship and the Arts at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in The Woodlands, Texas. He is a 2009 graduate of the Master of Sacred Music program that was shared between Luther Seminary and St. Olaf College. Dan also holds organ performance degrees from Mississippi College (BM, 2002) and the University of Houston (MM, 2004). Other churches served include St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield, Minnesota (2009-2013) and Grace Presbyterian Church in Houston, Texas (2002-2007 and 2013-2018). He is a past Dean of the American Guild of Organists and has been active in the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians and Choristers Guild. Dan has performed at the Institute of Liturgical Studies at Valparaiso University, and frequently performs organ improvisation accompaniments to silent movies across the Houston area. The son of two church musicians, Dan became the organist of his home church in Mississippi at the age of twelve and has been an active church musician ever since. It was there that he developed a passion for gospel music and congregational singing of all styles.

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.



Karen Peters

Karen Peters, M.Div (Union Theological Seminary, NYC), has spent her life exploring a ministry of embodiment:  how we creatures of earth and God’s breath feel and move and have our being in God, how sinking into our embodied experiences of ourselves can nurture, restore, and enliven us, and bring us into community and relationship with all of creation.  As a Senior Rosen Method Movement Teacher and as an Alexander Technique Teacher, Karen works with how people inhabit their bodies in largely unconscious ways, and helps them bring an interoceptive awareness to themselves that can be an endless source of self-discovery, wholeness, and connection.  Karen teaches movement classes and workshops locally and online, and trains Rosen Method Movement Teachers through the Rosen Method Berkeley Center and the Rosen Method Institute of Canada.  She lives in Napa, CA with her husband and two sons.


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

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.

Kara Haug and Jenny Mohler

Kara has always asked the big questions about how people connect and interact. Through her 20+ years working in human services, education and ministry, she quickly recognized most of her time was spent helping people reframe stories they’ve told themselves about sex and relationships. As founder and partner of Reframing our Stories, Kara’s goal and passion is for people to have brave and caring conversations about their bodies, health and safety, and sexuality to enable self-awareness, growth, empathy, openness, and positive relationships.


Jenny Mohler recognized the value of more open dialogue around sexuality in today’s environment after having Kara Haug teach an in-home session for her kids.  Jenny is partner at Reframing our Stories, an organization committed to changing how we approach sexual health conversations at home and at work, in churches, and within our schools and communities. She holds a BA in English from California State University, Long Beach, and MS in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. With more than 25 years of corporate experience, she has served in communications, program, project, process, and marketing roles. Through these experiences, she has worked in training development & facilitation, employee communications, and leadership development, business controls & management, strategic planning, and process design & improvement. She also currently serves as the Council President of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sacramento. She lives in California with her husband and teenage twins.


Michele Statz

Michele Statz is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School. She is also Affiliated Faculty with the University of Minnesota Law School and an Affiliated Scholar with the American Bar Foundation. Michele is trained as an anthropologist of law and is a leading researcher in rural and Indigenous access to justice. Her work is generously funded by the National Science Foundation and the Research for Indigenous Social Action and Equity (RISE) Center at the University of Michigan. Michele is the founder of the Law and Rurality Collaborative Research Network, and she is presently a member of the Federal Rural Justice Task Force and the National Advisory Council for Frontline Justice. Michele’s other ongoing work includes interdisciplinary and mixed-media projects on global youth and mobility; working class identity; rural housing precarity; and immigration lawyering. Her first book, Lawyering an Uncertain Cause: Immigration Advocacy and Chinese Youth in the U.S. (Vanderbilt U Press), was published in 2018. Statz holds a PhD in Anthropology and a graduate certificate in Comparative Law and Society Studies from the University of Washington.


Karen Peters

Karen Peters, M.Div (Union Theological Seminary, NYC), has spent her life exploring a ministry of embodiment:  how we creatures of earth and God’s breath feel and move and have our being in God, how sinking into our embodied experiences of ourselves can nurture, restore, and enliven us, and bring us into community and relationship with all of creation.  As a Senior Rosen Method Movement Teacher and as an Alexander Technique Teacher, Karen works with how people inhabit their bodies in largely unconscious ways, and helps them bring an interoceptive awareness to themselves that can be an endless source of self-discovery, wholeness, and connection.  Karen teaches movement classes and workshops locally and online, and trains Rosen Method Movement Teachers through the Rosen Method Berkeley Center and the Rosen Method Institute of Canada.  She lives in Napa, CA with her husband and two sons.


Kristin Johnson

Kristin specializes in the history of both medicine and natural history. Having taught at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington for 17 years, all of her recent research projects have been both inspired by and designed for her students. She wrote an historical novel entitled The Species Maker, for example, as an alternative means for her students to learn about the Scopes “Monkey” Trial of 1925. SHe uses her two most recent books, Darwin at the Bedside: Victorian Evolutionists and the Problem of Suffering and Imagining Progress: Science, Faith, and Child Mortality in her courses on the history of medicine and the history of evolution theory. She is passionate about drawing upon history in order to develop a complex and nuanced understanding of both the past and the present.



Erik Ellis

Erik Ellis is an historian of twentieth-century American science and technology. He did his PhD in the History of Science program at Oregon State University and has since taught as a visiting professor at both the University of Washington-Tacoma and the University of Puget Sound. His dissertation focused on former Washington State governor Dixy Lee Ray’s influence on science policy and education.







GLOCAL

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.

Tracy Howe

Rev. Tracy Howe (she/they/womxn) is a songwriter, author, theologian, and activist and uses their creative expression towards solidarity and justice building in a world largely condemning and diminishing of the beauty, interconnections and the vulnerability that come with being human. They are mixed Pinay (Filipino) and European settler living on Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui land in what is now called Tucson, AZ. Tracy was a frontline organizer in Charlottesville, VA the summer of 2017 and continues to be deeply engaged in abolition work, antifascism and organizing locally and nationally. Her songs have been used by faith communities and in movement work globally. Tracy serves as the Team Leader and Minister for Faith Education, Innovation and Formation for the United Church of Christ National Office. She is a contributing author to Building Up a New World, Congregational Organizing for Transformative Impact (Pilgrim Press 2023) and has a forthcoming book, The Songs I Write (Wildhouse, 2025). She is the founder of Restoration Village Arts and pursuing a Ph.D. in Applied Intercultural Arts Research at the University of Arizona. Tracy is raising a teenager and loves walking and snuggling with her three dogs.

 

Anjuli Shah-Johnson

Anjuli Shah-Johnson is a somatic therapist who integrates teachings from the worlds of clinical social work and bodywork in hopes of walking alongside others in finding the paths that connect their body, mind and heart.  She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Massage Therapist with specialized training in utilizing therapeutic touch and craniosacral techniques to tend to folks who have experienced trauma and who hope to feel more at home in their lives, relationships and bodies.  She deeply values the natural healing powers of the outdoors, humor, touch and being in the presence of animals and integrates all of these into her teaching and individual sessions as much as possible.  After close to 20 years as a social worker, Anjuli has more recently begun to teach and mentor graduate level and pre-licensed therapists at a local university and agency with a special interest in supporting up and coming BIPOC and LGBTQ therapists.  She recently integrated Luna, her dog, into her private practice and has witnessed the profound impact of the human-animal bond.  She currently lives in Portland, OR with her two awesome kids, husband, dog and cat. 

 

Sarah Dreier

Sarah K. Dreier is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of New Mexico. Her research interests include comparative politics, human rights and state oppression, gender, religion, and integrating qualitative and natural language processing computational methods. She has conducted research in East Africa, Western Europe, and the United States. Her research has been published in outlets including British Journal of Political Science, International Studies Quarterly, Democratization, Harvard Data Science Review, and Washington Post Monkey Cage. She previously worked in public policy research and advocacy in Washington, D.C. Dreier holds a Ph.D. from University of Washington (Seattle) and B.A. from Northwestern University (Evanston).

 

 

 

Mary Sue Dreier

Mary Sue Dehmlow Dreier was academic dean and professor of pastoral care and missional leadership at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, South Carolina, and an ordained Lutheran minister who served twenty-five years as a pastor in rural, suburban, and church-planting calls. In retirement, she serves as an adjunct professor at various Lutheran seminaries, teaching seminary and/or DMin courses on Women and Ministry and Missional Leadership.

 

 

 

 

 

Hakim Williams

Dr. Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams is the inaugural Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach Professor of Peace and Justice Studies and Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Gettysburg College. Hakim received his doctorate in peace education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and has many years of experience in conducting training/workshops in restorative circles with varied audiences around the world.

 

 

 

 

 

John Katunich

Dr. John Katunich is the Director of the Writing Program at Dickinson College. John received his doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction from Penn State University. John has been on the leadership team of the “Dialogue Across Difference” initiative at Dickinson College, supported by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation. As part of this project, he has been trained in the Essential Partners methodology of structured reflective dialogue. John has used dialogue in classes and faculty workshops, and has supported faculty who seek to incorporate dialogical models of learning into their curriculum. John first visited Holden Village as a volunteer staff member in 1993, and has been a guest and a volunteer at Holden in the decades since.

 

 

 

 

Laron Dowdell

Laron Dowdell is musician with more than 20 years of experience as pianist and organist. His styles include gospel, jazz, country and improvisation. He has served in various roles as lead musician, director of various voices including male chorus, children’s and adult choirs. Laron has learned that his greatest passion is creating spiritually inclusive spaces through authenticity, patience, and cultural relevance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jenine Fox 

Jenine has served in numerous capacities with various churches as senior praise and worship leader, choir assistant, and ministry lead servant for over 15 years. Her vocal influences include Sarah Vaughn, Leah Hathaway, and The Clark Sisters to name a few. Through gospel music, her passion is to empower others to utilize their voices as tools of expression, celebration, lament, and inspiration as a lifestyle of worshipping God.

Shauna Hannan

The Rev. Dr. Shauna Hannan is Professor of Homiletics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. Dr. Hannan received her Ph.D. in Practical Theology (Homiletics) from Princeton Theological Seminary. She is the author of The Peoples’ Sermon: Preaching as a Ministry of the Whole Congregation (Fortress, 2021) and co-editor of Eco-Lutheranism: Lutheran Perspectives on Ecology. Her other published work can be found in Word & World, Dialog, Currents in Theology and Mission, Journal of Lutheran Ethics, The Christian Century, New Proclamation, Sundays & Seasons and on workingpreacher.org. She recently received a Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of California Berkeley Extension and is currently co-authoring a book with a filmmaker that focuses on how the craft of filmmaking can serve the craft of preaching. Hannan has been an ordained pastor in the ELCA since 1998.

 

Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri

Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri is a director, actor, writer, arts facilitator, and arts collaborator based in Columbia, Missouri. She is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of GreenHouse Theatre Project. Her work focuses on physical theatre in site-specific spaces, devising new projects, adapting and reviving classic work, and collaborating with artists in all mediums to create visceral, innovative performances. Her work has taken her across the globe from her home base in Missouri with the True/False Film Festival to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland and beyond. She has taught and directed at Stephens College, Westminster College, Missouri Valley College, and travels internationally teaching masterclasses for the ‘Physical Actor’. For her artistic and entrepreneurial spirit, she was awarded a Columbia Business Times award in 2015. She holds a degree in Theatre from St. Olaf College.

 

 Annemarie Russell

Annemarie Russell is a teacher, songwriter, performer, and avid gardener who loves helping students of all ages find their voices through story sharing, listening, and writing. During seven years as a professor at a small Lutheran College, Annemarie was trained in vocational formation and became a practitioner of embodied spiritual development. She currently lives in Everett, Washington, with her spouse and three children, where she spends her days teaching teenagers in a public high school to think critically, write honestly, and live into their best selves.

 

 

 

Erik Samuelson

Erik Samuelson, MDiv, MA, PCC, is a leadership, vocation, transition, and transformation coach who works with individuals, teams, companies, churches, non-profits, and educational institutions. Erik holds the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential from the International Coaching Federation and is trained in community organizing, discernment, and clearness practices. As a former college professor and campus pastor, Erik delights in accompanying young adults (and not-so-young adults) as they discover their calling and live into their vocational potential. He is the founder of “Come Alive Coaching” which offers coaching, workshops, practices, and resources to individuals and communities looking to deepen their impact, renew their organization, navigate transition, and develop leaders. Erik lives in Everett, Washington with his wife, two teenage children, and two poodles.

 

 

Marie Anne Silwinski

Marie Anne serves as the Senior Director for Building Resilient Communities (BRC) at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Ms. Sliwinski has 20 years of experience working in the non-profit sector, 14 of which are dedicated in international humanitarian and development programs. Marie Anne holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Chicago and currently resides in the Chicago suburb with her husband and two children.

 

 

 

 

Nathan Eklund 

Trumpeter Nathan Eklund leads an active schedule as a professional trumpeter and jazz educator. He played lead trumpet and was a featured soloist on the Dafnis Prieto Big Band’s 2018 Grammy-winning album Back To The Sunset. Nathan studied Jazz Performance under the tutelage of Joe Magnarelli, Scott Wendholt, Dave Rogers, and Bud Burridge. He has released five albums as a leader and has recorded as a sideman with numerous artists including Phil Woods, Dafnis Prieto, Roseanna Vitro, and Spyro Gyra. Nathan has also performed with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Mingus Big Band, Roy Hargrove Big Band, Christian McBride Big Band, Phil Woods Festival Orchestra, Ron Carter’s Great Big Band, among others. As an educator, Nathan is an adjunct professor at New Jersey City University, Montclair State University, and Newark Academy and he also teaches privately. He is also the Coordinator of Big Bands at Montclair, NJ’s Jazz House Kids program, directing their nationally renowned Jazz House Big Band.

 

Steve Wolbrecht

While Steve Wolbrecht’s day job is in IT, his vocation is in music.  He is the lead composer for Zombie Orpheus Entertainment – a film and media company he helped start – and has scored a dozen feature and short films to date.  He routinely serves as a substitute accompanist for Lutheran churches in the Tacoma, WA area, and has been serving as village musician at every opportunity since wintering at Holden from 99-00.  Steve enjoys putting new twists on traditional tunes, adding jazz and modern elements to well-known songs and hymns.

 

 

 

Ron Pangborn

Ron Pangborn, multi instrumentalist and worship leader, has been an active member of the Detroit musical community for over 50 years. As a drummer, he has performed or recorded with internationally known artists in multiple genres. He is the Music Director of Hope Community Church in Detroit, Michigan and produces podcasts and web content for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit. Ron, his wife Pamela and daughter Jules have been coming to Holden for over 20 years as both staff and guests. They are looking forward to introducing their new granddaughter, Esther Rose to the Village!

Krish O’Mara Vignarajah

Krish is the President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. She previously served in the Obama White House as Policy Director for First Lady Michelle Obama and at the State Department as Senior Advisor under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry. Krish is a graduate from Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County and then attended Yale College, where she earned a Master’s degree in Political Science and a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She was a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University, where she received an M.Phil. in International Relations, before returning to Yale Law School, where she served on the Yale Law Journal. At the White House, Krish served as Policy Director for Michelle Obama and led the First Lady’s signature Let Girls Learn initiative. At the State Department, she coordinated development and implementation of multiple programs including those concerning refugees and migration, engagement with religious communities, the legal dimensions of U.S. foreign policy, and regional issues relating to Africa and the Middle East. She worked closely with USAID, Health & Human Services and the Department of Defense. She has been recognized as one of The Daily Record’s “Top 100 Women” and serves on the Advisory Committee of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration.


Bruce Reyes-Chow 

Bruce Reyes-Chow is a sought-after speaker and writer on topics of faith, culture, politics, race, and technology. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), has led churches in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly three decades, and is a former moderator of the PC(USA). Reyes-Chow hosts the podcast BRC & Friends and has authored five books, most recently Everything Good about God is True: Choosing Faith. A senior consultant and coach with Convergence, Reyes-Chow and his spouse have three adult children and live in San Jose, California.




E.N. West 

E.N. West, affectionately known as “E” (they/he), proudly hails from the DC metropolitan area, by way of Alexandria, Virginia. E deeply believes “we are uninhibited when we know our power” and is committed to co-creating a world where everyone intimately knows how powerful they are and directs that power toward collective liberation. They are many things, but at the heart of all of them, they are a community organizer based in Seattle, Washington. E feels called to community organizing as both a vocation and way of life. To that end, they organize faith communities around equitable land stewardship as a Co-Founder and Faith Land Organizer of the Faith Land Initiative of The Church Council of Greater Seattle.




Joey Lopez

Joey Lopez is a Southern transplant to the Seattle area. Joey has a passion and purpose for building collective power and channeling that power towards collective liberation. Joey believes that alone we are incredibly powerful people, and when we organize that power, our wildest dreams become reality. Joey lives into his purpose as a facilitator, trainer, and community organizer at The Church Council of Greater Seattle. As a trainer, facilitator, and organizer, Joey strives to embody the values he has learned throughout his life and the intersections of his experiences. Joey’s upbringing in a rural southern community, constantly hearing “sit down and stay awhile,” nurtured his value of deep, authentic relationships. His kinship with LGBTQ elders reminds him of the importance of persistence and bringing others along the journey toward liberation. And, the generations of resilience modeled by his Puerto Rican ancestors inspire him to sustain the work in new ways.”



David Westerlund

David delights in listening to the aspirations of leaders and helping they and their teams unlock hidden resources by facilitating meaningful and playful engagement. He creates a space for both levity and gravity to emerge.  He believes that there is a lot of wisdom in the room and our intentionality around designing and facilitating our meetings and gatherings can open up or close down possibilities. He delights in sharing the gems of Applied Improvisation – giving us practices and skills to amplify our ability to listen, empathize, play, experience joy, connect, be creative, and collaborate – all skills essential for our uncertain and complex times. David’s work as a consultant, learning designer, facilitator, and leadership coach has led him to work with teams in health care, business, nonprofits, churches, government, and schools. He lives in Bellingham, Washington and his favorite moment of this last year was performing improv with his 20-year old daughter Simone for the first time in Seattle. He came to Holden for the first time in 2008 with his daughter and it continues to reveal its gifts to both of them.



Sara McMahon

Sara Carmer McMahon is a graduate of The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, NYC, and a company member and teacher at Unexpected Productions, Seattle. She’s also an applied improv facilitator who specializes in teaching listening skills, playfulness, empathy, connectedness, and overcoming fear of failure. Most recently, she has created and illustrated The Playdate Deck, a 65-card deck of Two-Person improv-based games designed to increase connection, playfulness, and relationship resilience. She is an emerging papercut artist, whom you can visit at IG @saramacpapercuts.







Merideth Hite Estevez

Dr. Merideth Hite Estevez is a creative catalyst, inviting all to the joy of creative expression through her writing, coaching, and performing. As an oboist, Merideth has performed with top orchestras in the US and abroad, and is currently the English hornist/Second Oboe of the Chamber Orchestra of NY. Recently, she served as Associate Professor of Oboe at the University of Delaware. Her education has taken her all over the world—Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Yale School of Music, Fulbright Scholar to Germany, and The Juilliard School, where she received her doctorate in oboe. She has been a featured speaker at Google, Longy School of Music, ShePodcasts LIVE, Hope*writers, Music Institute of Chicago, and more. As a coach, she has helped thousands of artists overcome creative block through her popular online creative recovery clusters and has served as an executive coach for all types of arts leaders. Dr. Estevez’s award-winning podcast, Artists for Joy, was in the top 250 podcasts in the US in the Self-Help category in January 2023 and is currently in the top 1.5% of podcasts worldwide. Her first book, The Artist’s Joy: A Guide to Getting Unstuck, Embracing Imperfection, and Loving Your Creative Life, debuts in Spring 2024 from Broadleaf Books. Originally from South Carolina, Merideth now resides in Metro Detroit, Michigan, with her husband, Rev. Edwin Estevez, daughter Eva, and son Eli.



Suzanne Crawford O’Brien

As a professor of Religion and Culture and Native American and Indigenous Studies, Suzanne Crawford O’Brien has spent nearly twenty-five years teaching Indigenous traditions and comparative religions, and how they help us rethink our approach to health, healing, and ecological flourishing. Today, her work finds her in the classroom, working with tribal communities and nonprofits to protect Indigenous first foods, and as a public speaker leading workshops for community groups and faith-based organizations. She currently serves as Professor of Religion and Culture and affiliate faculty in Native American and Indigenous Studies, and Environmental Studies at Pacific Lutheran University. Previous publications include Religion and Culture in Native America (Rowman and Littlefield, 2020) and Coming Full Circle: Spirituality and Wellness Among Native Communities in the Pacific Northwest (University of Nebraska Press, 2014).

 

Dan Castillo

Daniel Castillo is Associate Professor of Theology at Loyola University Maryland, where he also contributes the Environmental Studies and Peace & Justice Studies programs. He earned his PhD at the University of Notre Dame in 2014. While at Notre Dame, Dan’s research was funded through the National Science Foundation, allowing him to explore aspects of the planetary eco-social emergency from a multidisciplinary perspective. Dan’s teaching and research focuses on the intersection of liberation theology, environmental ethics, and the theological interpretation of scripture. He has published essays in these areas in journals such at Theological Studies, Political Theology, and Scriptura. Dan recently published his first book entitled An Ecological Theology of Liberation: Salvation and Political Ecology (Orbis Books), which explores the relationship between salvation, liberation, and care for creation.  He lives in Baltimore with his wife Erika and their two children Frances and Martin. 

 

 

 

Paul Griffith

Paul Griffith is a lifelong religious educator with a particular focus on social & ecological justice. Paul is a Colombian-American who was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition, and remains a practicing “Vatican II Catholic” with a commitment to interfaith and ecumenical dialogue. He has formulated and directed numerous retreats, workshops, and spiritual formation classes for both adolescents and adults, and his day-to-day ministry has been faith formation in the classroom for the last 25 years. He earned his M.A. in Systematic Theology from the University of Notre Dame, and currently teaches theology at Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon. Paul is also a professional photographer, an avid mountaineer, skier, musician, and traveler. He lives in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, Kamala, and his kids, Landon (13) and Lily (10).

 

 

 

 Paul Nelson

Poet/interviewer Paul E. Nelson is the son of a labor activist father and Cuban immigrant mother. He founded the Cascadia Poetics LAB and the Cascadia Poetry Festival. Since 1993, CPL has produced hundreds of poetry events and 700 hours of interview programming with legendary poets and whole systems activists. Paul has published four books of poetry, a book of transcribed interviews, a book of essays and co-edited five anthologies. He’s presented poetry/poetics in London, Brussels, Nanaimo, Los Angeles, Qinghai, and Beijing. His poetry has been translated into Spanish, Chinese, and Portuguese.

 

 

 

Dax Soule

Dax Soule is an Assistant Professor of Marine Geophysics in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Queens College. Dr. Soule is a field-oriented geophysicist with a background in solid earth geophysics, oceanography, cloud computing, and STEM education. His research uses marine geophysical techniques coupled with modern computational methods to explore the structure of the ocean crust near mid-ocean ridge spreading centers. Dr. Soule serves on the Ocean Observatories Initiative Facilities Board and currently has NSF funded experiments in the Bransfield Strait Antarctica and at Axial Volcano in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. Dr. Soule is also interested in pedagogical science and is a Principal Investigator for an NSF-funded effort to develop and test active learning modules focused on high frequency environmental data. Dr. Soule received his B.S. in Geophysics from Texas A&M University and his PhD. from the University of Washington’s School of Oceanography.

 

 

 

Kelsey Beebe

Rev. Kelsey Beebe believes firmly in an all-loving God, embodied Christ, and ever-moving Holy Spirit that connects us all. She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, with a Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion and a Master of Fine Arts in Dance, as well as several yoga teaching certificates. Kelsey is the Executive Minister and President of Dancing Pastor Ministries and host of the Lady Preacher Podcast. She has served as pastor at several United Church of Christ (UCC) congregations, and has performed, preached, and led retreats all around the United States and Costa Rica. Kelsey’s life’s work is based on 1 Corinthians 16:14: “Let all that you do be done in love.” She works with folks from all walks of life, helping them find safe, embodied ways to connect more deeply to God, themselves, and others. Her goal is to help people experience and share the transforming love of God that moves around, among, and within us all.

 

 

 

 

Elisabeth Cherland

Elisabeth Cherland is a fourth-generation choral conductor as well as professor, singer, song leader, violinist, and Lutheran church musician. As Director of Choral Activities at Minnesota State University, Mankato, she teaches courses in choral methods, conducting, private voice, and conducts the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers. Prior to her appointment at MSU she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Dr. Cherland earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Washington, a Master of Music Education with Certification degree from VanderCook College of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music and English from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. From classical to folk to hymnody, Elisabeth is most at home singing and playing collaboratively. She lives with her partner Kent and their two sons, Elijah and Leif, in St. Peter, MN. She loves storytelling and story-hearing, doughnuts, bubble tea, laughing, knitting, running (when the temperature is perfect and the course is flat), and sunshine when it’s available.

 

 

 

Joel Bevington

Joel Bevington is the director of music at First Lutheran Richmond Beach in Shoreline, WA. His interest in participatory music and music’s ability to break through social barriers has led him to the love of cultivating community singing, driven by his continued study of participatory music in the Baltic States. He is passionate about making connections with others through music, teaching all ages how to enjoy singing and performing together. Along with conducting, he is a professional organist and singer, participating in many ensembles in the Seattle area. Joel studied organ performance at Wheaton College, IL and Emory University. He received his graduate degree in conducting at Louisiana State University and is now happy to call Seattle home while he finishes his doctoral studies at UW.

Dan Castillo

Daniel Castillo is Associate Professor of Theology at Loyola University Maryland, where he also contributes the Environmental Studies and Peace & Justice Studies programs. He earned his PhD at the University of Notre Dame in 2014. While at Notre Dame, Dan’s research was funded through the National Science Foundation, allowing him to explore aspects of the planetary eco-social emergency from a multidisciplinary perspective. Dan’s teaching and research focuses on the intersection of liberation theology, environmental ethics, and the theological interpretation of scripture. He has published essays in these areas in journals such at Theological Studies, Political Theology, and Scriptura. Dan recently published his first book entitled An Ecological Theology of Liberation: Salvation and Political Ecology (Orbis Books), which explores the relationship between salvation, liberation, and care for creation.  He lives in Baltimore with his wife Erika and their two children Frances and Martin. 

 

 

Paul Griffith

Paul Griffith is a lifelong religious educator with a particular focus on social & ecological justice. Paul is a Colombian-American who was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition, and remains a practicing “Vatican II Catholic” with a commitment to interfaith and ecumenical dialogue. He has formulated and directed numerous retreats, workshops, and spiritual formation classes for both adolescents and adults, and his day-to-day ministry has been faith formation in the classroom for the last 25 years. He earned his M.A. in Systematic Theology from the University of Notre Dame, and currently teaches theology at Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon. Paul is also a professional photographer, an avid mountaineer, skier, musician, and traveler. He lives in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, Kamala, and his kids, Landon (13) and Lily (10).

 

 

 

Cynthia Winton-Henry 

Cynthia Winton-Henry is a dancing elder and collaborator who is dedicated to fostering freedom. She has served as the cofounder of InterPlay, an active, creative approach to unlocking the wisdom of the body, and as a seminary faculty, ordained pastor, community artist, activist, and author. She currently hosts online Hidden Monastery Dance Chapels and courses that support creative and mystic health using The Art of Ensoulment: A Playbook on How to Create From Body and Soul. As a white woman, she recognizes that repressing the dancing body and soul in white Protestant and academic culture corresponds to the oppression and sometimes the extermination of the dancing life of First Nations people, enslaved peoples, and the Divine Feminine. She is part of the movement to Change the Race Dance. Join her on Substack at The Dancing Center, read her story in Chasing the Dance of Life, A Faith Journey, explore your own moving prayer in Dance: A Sacred Art: The Joy of Movement as Spiritual Practice, and reawaken the powerful gift of play in Move: What the Body Wants.

 

 

Marla Durden

Marla Durden is a highly intuitive empath and medicine woman. She is the founder of Modern Root Woman, director of Alchemy Sampler, and producer and host of a monthly call for Women of Wisdom Foundation, Watering Wholeness. Certified in many wisdom practices including InterPlay, she facilitates online and in-person retreats; a weekly Dance Chapel for the Hidden Monastery, including a Hip Hop Dance Chapel, and offers individual coaching to deepen conscious co-creation through the power of play, connection to Subtle Realm allies, and contemplative practices. Marla designed The Art of Ensoulment Playbook.

 

 

 

 

Lenore Siems 

Lenore Siems is an educator, musician, dancer, performer, and entrepreneur who has shared her artistic talents with thousands of students and adults throughout Minnesota for over 40 years. Siems’ musical journey has included performing with numerous community groups including the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra, Amato String Quartet, and Heartland Symphony. Her most notable commitment has been performing fiddle, mandolin, and viola with the all-woman Bemidji-based band, Caleigh. Lenore retired from teaching music after 28 years. Her new journey is to weave music and dance together by providing, calling, and teaching multigenerational community dance gatherings that celebrate connections, community, and camaraderie.

 

 

 

Shari Seifert

Shari Seifert is bi-vocational – she helps people buy and sell houses and works to dismantle white supremacy in the Lutheran Church. Shari served as president of the European Descent Lutheran Association for Racial Justice from 2021 to 2023 and has been involved in racial justice work at her synod and congregation.  Her book, Ashes to Action: Finding Myself at the Intersection of the Minneapolis Uprising was published by 1517 Media on Reformation Day 2023.  Shari lives, plays, and works in Minneapolis with her wife and two sons on land that was forcibly taken from the Dakota people.

 

 

Desta Goehner

Desta is a lifelong Los Angeles -area Lutheran. She accompanies people at the intersections of contemplative activism, co-creating a culture of ‘Beloved Community’ grounded in love, curiosity, and meaning-making, in a space where everybody is free. She has served for over 25 years in Lutheran outdoor ministry, congregational youth ministry, and at California Lutheran University. She currently serves as Director of Seminary Relations and Leadership Formation at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. Desta is married to an ELCA pastor with three kids. She creates brave sacred space to explore where and how God/Spirit/Divine shows up. She brings deep listening skills, silence, chimes, music, contemplative + spiritual practices, meditation, guided imagery, sacred readings, and Scripture as guides on the journey.

 

 

 

Dr. Maren Haynes Marchesini

Dr. Maren Haynes Marchesini serves as Director of Worship & Music at Hope Lutheran Church in Bozeman, Montana. Maren is a choral director, cellist, vocalist, composer, and scholar with broad-ranging musical interests. She holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of Washington where she focused on megachurches, gender, and ritual (specifically at the former Mars Hill Church), and she continues scholarly work in Christian music, ethics, and community, including a current research project at Holden Village. Maren brings a passion for community singing, diverse musical traditions, improvisation, collaboration, and play. Maren and Dane Ueland are longtime bandmates who have played together for nearly 15 years, and they look forward to reuniting at Holden Village to lead music.

Edward Donalson

Professor, author, thought coach, and multi-media personality, Rt. Rev. Edward Donalson III, DMin is a visionary with a dynamic message of empowerment. Born in Philadelphia, PA and cultivated in Seattle, WA as a bi-coastal youth, he developed a heart for diversity and an ability to navigate all socioeconomic, educational, and ethnic spheres. Traveling nationally as a guest lecturer, workshop clinician, and preacher since 1996, he is a constructive theologian with a liberative lens. His scholarship centers intersectional theology as an emerging discipline. With a Bachelor of Theology, a Masters of Art in Global Leadership and a Doctorate of Ministry. Dr. Donalson speaks a life affirming message to all people. The hallmarks of his work include an emphasis on combating imperialist, anti-Black, capitalists, cisheteropatriarchy. Dr. Donalson has authored several books: Moments of Worship; More Moments of Worship; THINK! Retooling Your Mind for Kingdom Success; THINK Again! The Roadmap to Kingdom Greatness; Unlocking the Genius Within: Essays on Greatness; Get Your Life: Affirmations, Inspirations, and Intentions, and In My Own Words; the Contemplative Life of a 21st Century Bishop, and is also the compiler of two anthologies: On Becoming and Yes I’m a Christian; a Practical Theology for an Emerging Generation. Dr. Donalson’s release on Cascade Books: #BlackLivesMatter: Toward an Intersectional Theology is foundational in the discipline of Intersectional Theology. Dr. Edward Donalson, III is the Director of Doctor of Ministry for the School of Theology and Ministry of Seattle University where he serves as core faculty, teaching in multiple degree programs. Currently serving as Senior Pastor of Kingdom Family Worship Center Int’l he is the Presiding Prelate of Freedom Assemblies Worldwide. He is the current Dean of The College of Affirming Bishops while concurrently serving as a Senior Bishop in the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. Dr. Donalson is also the Bishop of Operations for the P.U.R.E. Ministries International Fellowship Churches and serves both on the Boards of The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and Faith Action Network. In his spare time Dr. Donalson is also a board member of Interconnected Justice: A Pan African world movement.

 

Wille B. Heard 

A native of Seattle, Wa, Minister Willie Heard is third generation Classical Pentecostal. From a legacy of Bishops and Pastors in the Pacific Northwest, he brings fresh energy to the ancient tradition. He serves the Kingdom Family Worship Center in various capacities and is the curator of www.faww.org. With a BS in Aviation (Minor in Religious Studies) from Central Washington University and a MA in Transformational Leadership from the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University, he is currently working on a MA in Counseling at Seattle University. His passion is for marginalized communities to create and sustain places of healing and wholeness while working to dismantle the hegemony. With an eye toward a more just and humane future, Willie speaks words of affirmation and challenges the hegemonic systems of oppression toward beloved communities.

 

 

 

Kendra Potter

Kendra Mylnechuk Potter (Lummi) is a theatre and film artist, birth+death doula, yoga educator, partner, and mother. Most of her work centers on the mother/child relationship and embodied storytelling, with an awareness that this precious human form is a sacred gift we get to keep learning through again and again. Since 2021, Kendra has delivered keynotes and Q&As at festivals and conferences around the world with “Daughter of a Lost Bird”, a documentary she co-produced and in which she is the protagonist, about being adopted out and reuniting with her birth mother and Lummi community. Through her company Sister Moon Wellness, she shares yoga and doula support, and runs a yoga teacher training and birth doula training. She lives with her husband and 2 children on Bitteroot Salish land in Missoula, MT.

 

 

 

Nic Peñaranda

Rev. Nicolette “Nic” (she/her) is a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America serving as the Program Director for African Descent Ministries. Nic is the creator of MONadvocacy, a racial justice resource grounded in play, as well as the “Talks at the Desk” series which celebrates the voices of leaders in the ELCA African descent community. She is passionate about queer Black liberation, cultivating diverse leadership in faith spaces, and the art of creation. She is also the illustrator of God’s Holy Darkness, written by Sharei Green and Beckah Selnick (Beaming Books, 2022). She resides in the Chicagoland area with her spouse, two daughters, and two cats, Penne Pablo and Rigatoni Braxton.

 

 

 

Kristin Ang

Kristin Ang is a Filipino-American who grew up in Pierce County, Washington. She is the Policy Engagement Director for Faith Action Network, Port of Tacoma Commissioner, and Northwest Seaport Alliance Managing Member. She made history as the first person of color elected Port of Tacoma Commissioner, along with the historical endorsement of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. She is on the Port’s environmental, DEI, and tribal liaison committees. She is also on the executive board of the Central Puget Sound Economic Development District. 

 

 

 

 

Tomo Duke

Tomo Duke is serving as an ELCA Hunger Advocacy Fellow at Faith Action Network in Washington state. She graduated with a M.Div. from Duke University Divinity School in May 2023. She has had varied experience in faith-based advocacy work, with a particular focus on immigration ministry including working with Church World Service, National Farm Worker Ministry, and a migrant shelter at the U.S.-Mexico border. She also served at a Hispanic/Latino congregation as a pastoral assistant and a youth ministry leader in North Carolina before moving to Seattle. She is originally from Japan and came to the U.S. when she was 16.

 

 

Billy Jonas

For over thirty years, Billy Jonas — performer, singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and educator — has perfected the art of the neo-tribal hootenanny with audiences around the globe. Using voice, guitar, and industrial re-percussion, each concert is a soul-spelunking, heart-healing, joy-filled journey. He currently tours with the Billy Jonas Band, with Abraham Jam (Muslim-Christian-Jewish trio), and solo. The Billy Jonas Band was honored with an invitation to perform at the White House in 2010.

Fr Eddie Fernandez

Father Eddie Fernandez teaches classes in missiology and Latino theology and ministry at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University at Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union. Alongside teaching, Father Fernández publishes, gives workshops and retreats, and assists at local parishes. Among his published works are Mexican American Catholics, awarded a 2008 Catholic Press Association Book Award in the category of pastoral ministry. Father Fernandez’s latest book is Doing Theology as If People Mattered: Encounters in Contextual Theology (with Deborah Ross and Stephen Bevans). He was recently chosen to give the Graduate Theological Union Distinguished Faculty Lectures.

 

Giovana Oaxaca

Giovana Oaxaca (she/her/ella) is the Program Director for Migration Policy with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) D.C. office for Witness in Society. In this role, she works for more just and humane federal immigration policies within a domestic and international context, engagement informed by the experience of Lutheran congregations and ministries, including the ELCA AMMPARO strategy. Giovana was previously a Government Relations Associate with a Catholic faith-based social justice organization in Washington D.C. Giovana has Bachelor of the Arts degrees in Politics and Government and Economics from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. In her spare time, she enjoys attempting new recipes and exploring town for the best scoop of ice cream.


Emilie Smith and Armando Marquez

Emilie Teresa Smith is an Argentine-born, Canadian-raised, Anglican priest, community activist and writer. She has lived in relationship with peoples of Abya Yala (Latin America) for almost 40 years. As co-president of the Oscar Romero network (SICSAL) she has spent time and supported communities in every region of the south and central continent, and in the Caribbean. Her heart commitment is to the full liberation of all people — and the joy to be found therein!

 

Armando Marquez Ochoa has been a practitioner of popular education since the birth of the church of the poor in El Salvador in the 1970s. As a young man he accompanied Oscar Romero, and since Romero’s death, Armando has dedicated his life to compiling and sharing the teaching of the now-saint. Armando is the director of the Brother Mercedes Ruiz Foundation, a support network for El Salvador’s Christian Base Communities (CEBs) and co-secretary of the Oscar Romero Network (SICSAL).

 

Gabriela Garcia Greco

Gabi is a venecuir illustrator and designer based in Coast Salish land (Seattle). She was born and raised in Venezuela, and is mostly self-taught in her art practice. She works in digital media, watercolor, lino, and embroidery. Gabi loves facilitating art workshops, and making the exploration and practice of art accessible to everyone in their community. She believes art is a powerful practice for healing and connecting with ourselves and others. Her influences range from graphic artists to activists and nature (especially the hummingbirds in her neighborhood). Her approach to art and its practice emanate from deep experiences with loss, grief, trauma, and love in the context of the Venezuelan diaspora. Her dark humor mixes with a curiosity for the world, and a longing to connect with others.

 

 

Jill Ross

Jill Ross is a Visual Artist, Pastor and Spiritual Director who runs an Art Studio and Spiritual Direction Practice, “Making Wholeness from the Broken Bits.” from her home in Napa, California, she leads workshops and retreats both in English and in Spanish, teaching glass mosaic as a way to connect art and faith. She has been commissioned to work with faith communities to create individual and group projects that allow participants both to reflect inwardly and make a finished project. Her work has been featured in galleries and exhibits throughout the Pacific Northwest and she is on the faculty of the Grünewald Guild, Leavenworth Washington. Jill served on the original planning team for “Abriendo Caminos” at Holden Village over twenty years ago.

 

Sholeh Wolpé

Sholeh Wolpé is an Iranian-born poet, playwright, and librettist. Her performances, solo or in collaboration with musicians and artists, have been hailed by audiences as mesmerizing. Her literary work includes six collections of poetry, several plays, three books of translations, and three anthologies. Her translations of 12th century Sufi mystic poet, Attar, The Conference of the Birds (W.W. Norton & Co), and 20th-century Iranian rebel poet Forugh Farrokhzad,  Sin: Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad (Univ. of Arkansas Press) have garnered awards and established Wolpé as a celebrated re-creator of Persian poetry into English.

 

 

 

 

 

Peeyush Kumar

Peeyush Kumar is a systems scholar of cultures, economics & technology. His primary work is to build social technologies which support in building cultures of harmony, richness and equity. We live in a complex world with unprecedent precarity across both natural and human systems. It needs a holistic approach to bridge across these systems to create a culture of harmony and richness. Currently, he is working as a senior research scientist at Microsoft Research with a focus on food supply chain and energy systems and independent consultant across various aspects such as artificial intelligence, sustainability, resiliency, equity, and efficiency. Peeyush holds a PhD from UW Seattle in Artificial Intelligence and Operations Research.

 

John Beck

John Beck  received a BS in Art Education from Western Oregon University, completed a 5th year Art Education program at Portland State University, and received a MA in Education from Portland State University.  He is a member of the Oregon Art Education Association as well as the National Art Education Association. He started his teaching career at Toledo High School (Oregon) in the fall of 1990, and taught through until 1996.  He and his family moved to Dallas Oregon where he taught drawing, painting, pottery, and sculpture until he retired in the spring of 2016.  John was called back to teach full time at Dallas High in the fall of 2021, and may be retiring again in the spring of 2024.  He has continued to teach workshops, substitute, and an Integrated Arts section for a Masters program for Western Oregon University.  He has taught both undergraduate and graduate art courses for prospective teachers and continuing ed. workshops and courses for teachers already in the field.  John first came to Holden Village as a short term summer Potter in 1999 and has continued to volunteer to teach pottery, colored pencils, and watercolors over the years.  It is his favorite place to teach and recharge. 

 

 

Brad Ellingboe

Bradley Ellingboe is an award-winning composer and arranger of choral music, with over 150 pieces in print. His works have been heard across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Ellingboe was on the faculty of the University of New Mexico for 30 years, retiring in 2015 as Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities. He is a graduate of Saint Olaf College and the Eastman School of Music and has done further study at the Aspen Music Festival, the Bach Aria Festival, the University of Oslo and the Vatican.For his work on making the music of Norway better known among English-speaking singers, Ellingboe was awarded The Medal of Saint Olav by His Majesty, King Harald of Norway, in 1994.

 

 

 

John Helgen 

John Helgen currently serves as Director of Music Ministry at Roseville Lutheran Church in St. Paul, MN, where he conducts numerous vocal and instrumental ensembles. Since 1979, John has lived in Minneapolis and has been active as piano player, arranger, composer, performer, and producer. His performing credits include numerous appearances as the pianist/leader of the jazz and variety quartet First Inversion and as keyboardist/arranger with the Jay Beech Band.  His choral anthems and arrangements are published by Neil Kjos Music Company, Augsburg Fortress, Concordia Publishing House, and MorningStar Music Publishers.

Kayeloni Scott

Kayeloni Scott is an enrolled Spokane Tribal member with strong Nez Perce ancestry. She is one of the producers of the film Covenant of the Salmon People and works closely with the Nez Perce Tribe. Since the start of production, she played a vital role in coordinating interviews and filming. She continues to be involved by helping promote the film and participating in film screenings and festivals.



Leticia Guardiola-Sáenz

Professor Leticia Guardiola-Sáenz was born and raised in the borderlands between Mexico and the United States, her experience of borders and bridges—of diversity and hybridity—has shaped both her life and her critical lenses for interpreting the Bible. She lives her vocation in the borderlands of Academia and Church. Her main academic and teaching interests are Latinx readings of the Gospels, representations of women in scriptures, cultural interpretations of Jesus, biblical spiritualities, and decolonial hermeneutics. Professor Guardiola-Sáenz is an Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle Univerity.





Bergen Eickhoff

Queer Theology gave Pastor Bergen Eickhoff (they/them) the courage to come out as bisexual and nonbinary. They studied Queer Theology at Luther Seminary with Professors Amy Marga and Lois Malcolm. They have since devoured every tome and article of the emerging theology they could find. Now their calling is to make the liberation of Queer Christianity accessible to congregations and communities. Given the growing divide around LGBTQIA+ justice in the Christian church, guiding congregations to explore Queer Theology requires care, sensitivity, and great courage. They look forward to introducing more people to the central concepts of Queer Theology and guiding people to bring what they learn back to their communities.



John Beck

John Beck  received a BS in Art Education from Western Oregon University, completed a 5th year Art Education program at Portland State University, and received a MA in Education from Portland State University.  He is a member of the Oregon Art Education Association as well as the National Art Education Association. He started his teaching career at Toledo High School (Oregon) in the fall of 1990, and taught through until 1996.  He and his family moved to Dallas Oregon where he taught drawing, painting, pottery, and sculpture until he retired in the spring of 2016.  John was called back to teach full time at Dallas High in the fall of 2021, and may be retiring again in the spring of 2024.  He has continued to teach workshops, substitute, and an Integrated Arts section for a Masters program for Western Oregon University.  He has taught both undergraduate and graduate art courses for prospective teachers and continuing ed. workshops and courses for teachers already in the field.  John first came to Holden Village as a short term summer Potter in 1999 and has continued to volunteer to teach pottery, colored pencils, and watercolors over the years.  It is his favorite place to teach and recharge.


Darren Hochstedler and John Bumanglag

Darren is in his first year of retirement after serving as a church musician and visual artist for 30 years. A pianist, African drummer and woodwind player, Darren has a passion for involving everyone in the liturgy through music, arts and spoken word and works to explore the tradition of the liturgy in new and enlivened ways. Serving in ministry with John, his partner of 20 years brings him his greatest joy. Darren is currently composing an Advent evening liturgy that he hopes to bring to Holden Village in 2024.

John is an Assisting Minister at his home church in Renton, WA. He is a composer of prayers, student and teacher of Afro-Caribbean drumming, singer and plays recorder and handbells. He enjoys connecting people with the sacred through drumming and specializes in using African drumming to support the liturgy and music. His nightly drum circles have been are a place where people of all ages and abilities are encouraged to play for themselves, help lead worship and receive resources and skills to help take drumming back to their congregations.

Education

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.