Saturday, March 26, 2011

Holden Village

I'm back!!! I got home late last night from a wonderful week at Holden Village near Lake Chelan, where I did a training in CPR and Wilderness First Aid for their staff - just another one of my many hobbies. It was a great way to spend my spring break - though the village just hit over 300 inches of snow for the year while we were there! It was anything but spring!

Holden Village is a year-round Lutheran ecumenical retreat center deep in the Cascade Mountains and offers a place for peace, rest and renewal. Without phone service, internet or television, and transportation coming in and out the village only 3 days a week in the winter (you cannot drive there, you either take the boat and then the Holden buses or you hike in) ... it is as remote as it can get. 

Holden Village is a very special place to Ross and me; this is a picture of our first trip to Holden in February of 2010. Holden is many things - but first and foremost it is a worshiping community. Vespers (evening worship) is held every night at 7 and is the one activity during the day that every member of the community comes together. That usually happens at meals too, and the food is FANTASTIC, though it is not required.

In the dining hall 
 If you've been reading my posts for a while, you know that I like to use the cookbook the village printed - Lavish Simplicity. 

Someone once told me that if you ever wanted to see fully realized Christian environmental stewardship, you must go to Holden Village. When people ask me what Holden Village is, I tend to say that it is a Lutheran hippie commune. As it is a remote community, there is no public waste service. All waste is meticulously sorted and is under the supervision of the village Garbologist. Waste is separated into landfill, burn, recycle, and compost, and every village staff member helps sort waste once a week as part of their commitment to the community. 

And consider power - the Village produces nearly all of its power from a single hydroelectric plant on Railroad Creek; essentially, the village power is free, granted there is the cost of maintenance. If the creek is flowing low, as it does in the winter, all village members do their part to conserve energy; dryers are turned off, lights are turned off, computers shut down, and no one uses a hair dryer either. 

The simple lodging with handmade quilts in each room, with mints on our pillows. (That was amazing - but unfortunately only an option if you bring an awesome friend who places them on your pillow every day. Thanks Hayley!)

The famous Holden school buses. 

Waiting on the dock for the Lady of the Lake. 

Enjoying the views.

And since I love food... and bread... I present a photo essay of (a very small minute amount) of what the village cooks bake every day, from scratch.