After undergrad, Minneopa spent a few years here in the Cities with us but then moved away to pursue a graduate degree. Somewhere in the midst of earning that degree, he visited a place called Holden Village. I did not grow up in a Lutheran community but have learned that Holden is the thing of recent liberal art graduate dreams. Holden Village is a Lutheran faith community in Washington state - it is a place for learning, vocation, volunteerism, fellowship and music. It sounds kinda awesome. And it had a great impact on Minneopa and many of the people he met there and the people that he has met through those connections.
Minneopa has since moved back to the Cities, to continue his quest of the path of higher education and has brought many of the traditions of Holden Village with him.
Namely, as an incredibly gifted musician, Minneopa has been facilitating Vespers every Sunday night at his house, with his roommates - between the four of them I think they play about seven different instruments very well, including but not limited to the washboard. Tonight, they hosted a Friendsgiving and Mountain Vespers.
We have been invited for many weeks to attend, but as busy graduate students it is easy to create excuses not to leave the house on Sunday night. But tonight, because there was food involved, we went. And my soul sings.
I have found it challenging to find a faith community as a young adult. Calhoun and I have spent many Sunday mornings visiting churches, and have not yet been able to find a faith community that I love as much as the one I found when I was an undergraduate. But tonight, with guitars, mandolin, violin, and washboards in hand, I was amazed by the talent, generosity and strength of the community of people brought together by this little known Holden Village traditions.
I like to believe that much of the strength of this Holden Village tradition is also a Minnesota tradition and that is why, although I have never visited Holden, I rejoice in the traditions here. I have heard that Minnesota churches have strong musical traditions and are welcoming. I have met many people from Holden who come to Minnesota and are as happy as I am to find this community alive and well here, in a living room, in a neighborhood of Minnesota.
I guess this is getting a little off track, but Mountain Vespers was wonderful. Community is wonderful. Talented and generous friends are wonderful and it is wonderful when they come home, to Minnesota.