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Summer Camps of Faith Communities

Holden Village celebrates 60th year

Musicians greet guests when they arrive at Holden Village.

The 2022 season is the 60th annual summer program for Holden Village, located in the Cascades up the mountain from Lake Chelan.

Classes and worship will be oriented around the theme, "Jubilee," because a 60th anniversary is a diamond jubilee.

"We will focus on the biblical concepts of jubilee and what abundant life for people and the land means in contemporary life," said Callie Mabry, communications and development lead.

Guest faculty will explore different aspects of it, looking at subtopics of "Release, Renew and Re-turn."

"These concepts related to jubilee offer powerful connections on how we think about our relationships with God, the earth and each other," said Callie.

"Release is about letting go and letting be—fasting, unlocking, exhaling—addressing how many consider busyness and exhaustion as measures of their worth," she began. "How do we trust, forgive and live in grace?

"We need to Renew and repair what systems do, unlearn or dismantle our social and economic systems that separate us from each other and right relationships with the land," she continued.

"We view Re-turn, not as going back to the way things are, but turning again, finding home, engaging in reparation, seeing a different perspective," she said. "In the second year since the pandemic began, what are the ways we will go forward in a new direction? How do we come down from the mountain, leave the wilderness and re-enter our communities with hands readied for the work of sustainable living?"

Callie said there is a relationship between the Sabbath cycle of seven days, the Sabbatical or Shmita cycle every seven years and Jubilee the year after seven cycles of seven years.

She said Shmita connects to Holden's mission of renewing relationships with God, the earth and each other.

Staff hope that those who visit for a short while will go back to their communities with renewed perspectives and practices that fuel new programs.

While educational faculty offer classes to adults, there will be programs for children and youth, ages four to 17. There will be hikes with a naturalist, art and pottery classes, and daily worship and meals.

"We will still operate with reduced numbers, but more than the 50 percent limit we had last year," Callie said.

Holden Village will continue the revised model of arrival and departure in groups to improve contact tracing. This year, they will add flexibility with everyone arriving on Mondays, departing three, five or seven days later.

They will continue to encourage good health practices.

Holden Village will celebrate its anniversary during its opening week, the second week of June. The board of directors will come for a gathering to celebrate.

Holden is open year-round, with college groups coming for a January term that focuses on environmental ethics, religious studies and more. Callie, who grew up in Colorado, first came to Holden for that in 2014. Five years later, during a time of transition, she joined the Holden staff.  Her term ends after the summer, when she will return to Colorado.

"Holden is a good place to come for self-reflection," said Callie. "I will return with a deepened understanding of myself, my strengths and areas for growth."

Since September 2020, she has worked with Holden's executive directors, Kathie and Mark Bach, and Stacy Kitahata.

Beginning in the pandemic, they engaged the community in new patterns of wellness and reflection.

Kathie and Mark previously worked at international schools in Taiwan, Japan, India and the Seattle area, where they taught and served in leadership positions. Stacy's career has been in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, faith-based community organizations, and college and seminary education. They have a five-year term.

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Copyright@ The Fig Tree, June, 2022