The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Holden event targets issues on Haiti

Lutherans will gather at Holden Village, Chelan, Wash., June 18-25 in memory of Ben Splichal Larson, who died in the Haiti earthquake in 2010.

Participants will explore topics related to Haiti: culture, including art, dance and religion; international development; global mission and accompaniment; theology of the cross and suffering; creative writing; storytelling and global music.

The faculty includes Louis Dorvilier, Haiti representative for Lutheran World Federation; Joseph Livenson Lauvanus, president of the Lutheran Church of Haiti; and Bill Nathan, Walnes Cangas and Renee Dietrich from the St. Joseph Home for Boys in Haiti where Larson, his wife and cousin were serving as seminarians during the earthquake. Corrine Denis, a pastor of Cross Lutheran Church, Burlington, Wis., will teach creative writing and expression related to grief, tragedy and suffering.

Larson's parents, Judd and April Ulring Larson, pastors of First Lutheran Church, Duluth, Minn., will lead Bible study based on their son's Scripture-inspired songs.

"It's time to open our ears and hearts to listen to the Haitian people and to one another so we might best respond to the dear ones of Haiti," said Renee Splichal Larson, Larson's widow and event organizer. "It's not only the buildings of Haiti that are in need of rebuilding but also trusted relationships with the outside world. ... There are still people living in tent camps, there is still rubble to be cleared and there are even people still buried in the rubble."

Because of the expense of bringing international faculty to Holden, gifts in memory of Larson and in honor of the Haitian people are being received at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, 700 Locust St., Suite 195, Dubuque, IA 52001. All remaining funds will be given to the ongoing support to the people of Haiti.


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Embracing diversity