The Spent Dandelion offers guests hospitality on several fronts: a four-season studio apartment overlooking 20 acres of North Shore woods; our large garden and orchard—and its harvests; private consultations with Anna, a trained pastor and theologian, to explore and deepen your faith and religious curiosity; and proximity to the glorious woods, lakes, trails, restaurants, and artisans dotting the towns along Lake Superior.

Anna’s 4,000 volume library is in transition to a new location in Two Harbors, but simply request an author, a book, or a subject, and she’ll be happy to grab all the resources she has for you, even if it means opening a box or seven to do just that.

Another new development: rather than an established fee, we invite people to pay what they can.

For some that may be very little, and for others, it may be more than the baseline cost.

We have no interest in economic inequality being a barrier to restoration!

To that end, you can find more about that change here:

All, of course, are welcome!


Whether you come as a rostered leader to steward your professional Continuing Education, or reserve a few days as a lay person so that you can fuss with a question about theology or your religious beliefs, or you perceive a pull to deepen your faith and discover its relevance, or maybe you want to engage in focused reading, writing, and studying; or perhaps you simply yearn to breathe clean and quiet and woodsy air; in any and all events, the Spent Dandelion welcomes you, and hopes to send you back with clarity, calm, and courage to enter the claims and fray of life again.

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Anna Madsen is a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and serves as a freelance theologian in Two Harbors, MN. After serving a small congregation in South Dakota, she and her late husband moved to Regensburg, Germany for five years. There she earned a PhD. in Systematic Theology, studying especially God's presence in suffering. Since then, she's experienced her own share of radical hurt and radical hope, each of which has transformed her world, her perspectives, her theology, and her openness to the messy questions.

Taken all together, they are the very roots of the Spent Dandelion Theological Retreat Center.

Anna lives with her husband David Willis, a man who is nothing if not generous in every way, and who surprised and surprises her each day with new love and new life.

They live with Anna’s son Karl, a resilient and joyful young man who, when a very small child, suffered a traumatic brain injury, but in spite and to spite that TBI lives a life of love and mischief.

They miss daughter and sister Else, a wise, compassionate, buoyant and brilliant second year student at St. Olaf, along with David’s four adult children who, though scattered about, grace David, Anna, and the world with their presence.

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