Pastor Laura was was invited to be a part of the summer teaching staff at Holden Village this year. Holden is a unique, secluded retreat center high in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. It is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Pastor took her continuing education time and budget for 2011 to go there to teach and learn from the other teachers.
The village is very secluded. There are no roads to Holden—it used to be a mining village. You can only get there by riding several hours on a ferry up Lake Chelan. Here is Pastor with the Lady of the Lake ferry boat.
But even when you get to Lucerne, you're not there yet. At that point, you must board a Holden Village school bus, which chugs up numerous switchbacks on a gravel road, climbing over 2,000 feet in a little under 12 miles. Check out the switchback road sign.
Holden was at full capacity this summer with over 400 people in the village. They gather for worship each night. Here you can see the worship space.
There happened to be a number of alumni and faculty from Luther College. They all posed together for this picture.
This is a shot from the unique worship service called "Prayer Around the Cross" in which people are invited to come forward and light a candle as a symbol of their prayer.
From July 17-23, our church musician, Tom Bourcier was the village musician.
Pastor Laura in another teaching seminar.
Tom and his sons: Willem, Beau, Winter and Rye.
In addition to other classes, Pastor Laura led 15 laughter yoga sessions, including a laughing of the labyrinth. Below is a video with highlights from these joyful gatherings, many of which happened outside at 7:30 a.m.
Below are more photographs, which William took, during the various laughter classes. Double-click them to view larger versions.
Here's the labyrith group in the happy center.
Pastor Laura and Tom Bourcier appreciate the financial and prayer support of the congregation that enabled them both to share their gifts with the wider Lutheran community. It was an amazing experience for them and their families and they wish to thank the members of Our Savior's Lutheran for making it possible.