Feb. 25-March 2 and/or March 4-March 9: “Lutherhostel 2018”

Join us in spring of 2018 for a week of faith exploration and learning, worship and singing, fellowship and fun at Spirit in the Desert. In 2018, we’re honored to have two highly respected and well-known theologians leading the teaching both weeks of Lutherhostel.

Participants spend each morning in worship/song with our musicians/worship leaders and study with our featured guest presenter. Each afternoon includes options for continued growth both on and off campus.  Each evening includes some sort of program or entertainment piece, followed by brief worship. Great food and many other fellowship opportunities abound.  Register early as these weeks fill up quickly!

More about Week 1    More about Week 2


Week 1: Sun, Feb 25  3pm through  Fri, Mar 2 12pm

Presenter: Dr. Diane Jacobson, professor emerita of Old Testament at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, MN where she taught from 1982-2010.  She also served as director of the Book of Faith Initiative for the ELCA from 2008-2015.  She currently serves on the boards of lutheranarts.org and Augsburg College and also served on the consulting board and as a contributor to the Lutheran Study Bible (2009). Jacobson is, first and foremost, a lover of Scripture. “I’m in love with this Book,” she says. “My calling is to teach Scripture for the sake of God’s world, and to invite others into the wonders and rewards of exploring the Bible together.” 

Teaching topic: 

Water is Life … Water is Death:
An Exploration of the Depths of Water throughout the Bible
We will journey through many of the passages in both the Old and New Testament Scripture that are marked by water. Together we will explore:

  • Ancient backgrounds
  • Ritual and baptismal symbolism
  • Hospitality
  • Contemporary water issues.

We will undergird this exploration by thinking about the many ways we–as people of faith–read, study, live into and live out of Scripture.

Music and Worship during the week will be led by Mary Preus and Tom Witt.

Mary Preus has worked as the music director and song leader at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Minneapolis since 1991. She is also the worship and music coordinator for the ecumenical Community of St. Martin. Mary is also the artistic director of Minnesota Community Sings, working to build the culture of community public singing in Minnesota.  Tom Witt is a  Minneapolis-based keyboardist, worship leader, songleader and worship planner.  He is the music coordinator at United Theological Seminary in the Twin Cities, and also serves part-time on the chapel music staff at Luther Seminary. Both Mary and Tom co-founded Bread for the Journey, an ensemble which is committed to encouraging congregational singing, sharing music with theological integrity, and helping music ministers to inspire the community’s song and serve the community’s prayer.

Full Program Cost (per week per person):
$925.00 Private Room w/ Bath; $450 deposit required.
$790.00 Shared Room w/ Bath; $400 deposit required.
Extra nights lodging: $95 per night per room. Note: Space both before and after each week is very limited. Call today if you need to arrive early or stay later.

Cancellation Policy: Full refunds of deposit/payment less 15% handling fee, will be given up to 90 days before the event. After 90 days, no refunds are given. We do expect a waiting list for these events. Should we be able to replace a cancellation (exact exchange) a full refund less 15% handling fee will be given.

To register, please call Guest Services at (480) 488-5218, or email us at info@spiritinthedesert.org.


Week 2: Sun, Mar 4 – 3pm  through Fri, Mar 9 – 12pm

Presenter: Dr. David Tiede earned the B.A. degree from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., in 1962, attended Princeton Theological Seminary in 1962-63 and received the B.D. degree from Luther Seminary in 1966. He earned the Ph.D. degree from Harvard University in 1971. His service as President of Luther Seminary has given him opportunities to sustain his New Testament scholarship, especially in Luke and Acts, and to draw upon these resources in his leadership in theological education. His books, articles, and lectures focus upon the leadership the church needs in a new era of apostolic mission in a world of many cultures and religions. 

Teaching topic: 

Disruption and Hope: The formation of the Christian movement in the crucible of first century Israel. In this age of accelerations, our nations, institutions, families, and lives are often deeply disrupted.  This is a good time to explore how the story of Christian beginnings was forged through decades of:

  • The fragmentation of the people by forces beyond their control
  • The wonderful and rejected reign of Jesus the Messiah
  • The declaration of human liberation throughout the empire
  • The gospel narratives of promise beyond the Roman destruction of Jerusalem

Then and now, God’s wisdom brings irrepressible hope for the world, the people, and each of us in the midst of dire disruptions. “None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1 Corinthians 2:8)

Music and Worship during the week will be led by Mary Preus and Tom Witt.

Mary Preus has worked as the music director and song leader at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Minneapolis since 1991. She is also the worship and music coordinator for the ecumenical Community of St. Martin. Mary is also the artistic director of Minnesota Community Sings, working to build the culture of community public singing in Minnesota.  Tom Witt is a  Minneapolis-based keyboardist, worship leader, songleader and worship planner.  He is the music coordinator at United Theological Seminary in the Twin Cities, and also serves part-time on the chapel music staff at Luther Seminary. Both Mary and Tom co-founded Bread for the Journey, an ensemble which is committed to encouraging congregational singing, sharing music with theological integrity, and helping music ministers to inspire the community’s song and serve the community’s prayer.

Full Program Cost (per week per person):
$925.00 Private Room w/ Bath; $450 deposit required.
$790.00 Shared Room w/ Bath; $400 deposit required.
Extra nights lodging: $95 per night per room. Note: Space both before and after each week is very limited. Call today if you need to arrive early or stay later.

Cancellation Policy: Full refunds of deposit/payment less 15% handling fee, will be given up to 90 days before the event. After 90 days, no refunds are given. We do expect a waiting list for these events. Should we be able to replace a cancellation (exact exchange) a full refund less 15% handling fee will be given.

To register, please call Guest Services at (480) 488-5218, or email us at info@spiritinthedesert.org.