Monday, May 23, 2011

Holden Village

Retreat: (1) an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable, (2) a place of privacy or safety, (3) a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study or instruction under a director

All three of these definitions of the word retreat are appropriate explanations of what I did while on vacation at Holden Village in Washington. In previous posts I've alluded to both personal and professional issues/anxieties I had been experiencing before vacation, which, now that I've returned, have not been completely resolved. I have to admit that some of the appeal of vacation was the opportunity to retreat: withdraw from difficulties. The beauty of the time spent at Holden Village, a place where I had no access to the phone or the internet, meant that it was also a retreat: a place of privacy and safety. It might have been the first time since I started my call when I felt that, for an extended period of time, I was genuinely relaxed and allowed the freedom of not even thinking about the congregation. (There were of course times I thought about it a little when people asked what I did and I talked about being a pastor, but I didn't have to WORRY or plan.) It was also a time of retreat: prayer, meditation, study, and instruction. I did a lot of reading, some for fun and some related to faith and leadership. I learned how to weave on a loom. I did a lot of prayer/meditation/worship. And I was involved in discussions about living learning communities. I enjoyed my experience at Holden so much, that I didn't want to return to NJ. But I obviously did return, and now I'm trying to adjust to post-vacation work and life, while still reflecting and appreciating the blessing that Holden Village has been (and hopefully will be) in my life.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Got Mountains?

Awed. Refreshed. Excited. Renewed. Blessed.

These are just some of the things I felt on my two-week vacation to Seattle and Holden Village. My appreciations of both city and "the outdoors" were satisfied by these two very different, but both very awesome places.

Seattle adventures included Pike Place Market, the art museum, the library, the Space Needle, the Experience Music Project, the Fremont Troll, Theo Chocolate Factory, Jimi Hendrix's grave, REI superstore, Luther's Table, a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island, Sunday morning worship at Our Savior Lutheran Church and Sunday evening compline at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral.

Holden adventures included getting there (car, boat, and bus!), relaxing, eating, meeting people, reading, relaxing, worship, hiking, weaving, viewing the Royal Wedding, napping, conversation, ice cream, and more relaxing.

This is my brief review for now, but there will be more to come. In the meantime, check out to read Mandy's review and see more pictures.