We'll be back January 6th with information about our upcoming WAYkids' program and winter adult WAYfinding round. If you'd like to save-the-dates, our WAYkids' program will begin Sunday, January 13th and meet every 2nd and 4th Sunday afternoon (4:00 - 5:30p) of the month (January - June). Our WAYfinding winter round will begin the week of January 21st.


| Anne C. Williamson |

A couple weeks ago, good friends invited us over to celebrate Hanukkah. After listening to the story behind this Jewish ritual and tradition, the candles were lite, prayers recited and songs sung. Then, as the menorah was carried to the window and placed there, we learned this piece of the tradition is about being open, publicly sharing one's beliefs, as well as bringing a little more light to the world.

I loved the whole thing. I think my girls did too; but, of course, there was the typical young children drama around who got to light which candles as well as ecstatic focus on the chocolate gelt soon to come. So, I didn't know how much had been understood and appreciated.

The next day, at our own home, as the light outside had nearly gone, I heard my 5 year old suddenly exclaim, "The Christmas tree! We need to light it so we can bring light to the world." My eyes still tear up. Something about that moment encompasses so much of what I hope for my children.... That when the darkness surrounds them, they would hold on to the magic, mystery and beauty ever present in this world too. That they would find joy and meaning in their own tradition while understanding, deeply, that all traditions share a loving s/Source and thus can reflect and enrich one another. That they would believe they are part of bringing light to the world, that their daily actions and loving being matter.

Depending on the stage of life and context in which we find ourselves, the holidays can look so different from year-to-year and person-to-person. I don't know the sadness you may be carrying now, or the joy. But, in my own Christian Advent tradition, each Sunday I light a candle for you. I hold the light in my heart, give it physical form with a match, wick and wax, and pray for my own, for my girls' and husband's, for our community's and for the whole world's well-being. I pray for peace on earth, and with a tiny flame, that it would begin (again and again) with me.


| Anne Williamson |

It's November 1. You're still tearing open Halloween candy and storing away spiders, skulls and pumpkins. Perhaps Thanksgiving plans have been set, but the day itself is a surprising three and a half weeks away. And, if you purchase a tree at all, most likely you won't consider doing so until after the turkey - or tofurky - has been cut. All this may be true, but so is this... the Christmas season is here. 

Turn on a TV tonight, walk in a store tomorrow, and you're almost certain to see it: red and green ornaments; white lights; a jolly old man and his elves; ads trying to convince you the product they're selling is exactly what you, or mom or dad, or partner Tom, or little Johnny needs. Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, it assaults you. It cannot be ignored completely.    

This isn't necessarily bad. Many of us enjoy Christmas; I know I do. But, even if you don't or it's not your tradition's holiday, it's still worth asking, "Is this season as joyful as it can be for me? My family? Community? Is it really the most wonderful time of the year?" ...

Read More



I plan to practice Taizé for Advent. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you're not alone. Both are "churchy" words, not part of most folks' everyday lexicon. Even for people who recognize these words, they may not be able to explain them. 

We frequently run into the "churchy" or spiritual word problem at WAYfinding. Anytime you bring together individuals with different beliefs and backgrounds, words can be barriers. Heck, words can be barriers for siblings raised in the same home, worshipping at the same synagogue. Spirit, God, reconciliation, calling, justice, Universe, soul, light, darkness, blessing, Jesus, consciousness, grace, love, and on and on, these words elicit different emotional responses, mean different things to different people. Real comprehension of what another person is saying is not easy. Sometimes we don't know what we're saying ourselves.  

So, what do we do? Is the answer to all slowly acquire the same lexicon with the same meaning ascribed to each word? Maybe. This certainly can make community easier. Personally, though, I hope this isn't our solution. It would mean the eventual subjugation of all diversity to one dominant perspective - impossible, uninteresting, dangerous and an incorrect representation of "g/God." Personally, I hope we can be more creative than this. I hope we can learn to be more okay with ambiguity, mystery, freedom.

Once again, then, my plan: I am going to practice Taizé (an ecumenical monastic community in France, but for my purposes, the contemplative prayer services they use and are offered throughout Indianapolis each Sunday) for Advent (the four Sundays and accompanying weeks before Christmas when Christians lean into the Spirit as they wait for the incarnation of God). That is, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I'm going to do something meaningful to me, something that reminds me to listen and be love, amidst the craziness of the season. That's all. I may say "Taizé for Advent," but what I really mean is "or something like it."

This is all the LISTENing, LEARNing and LOVEing I'm offering this week, so I'll close by asking, "What practice would remind you to listen and be love this holiday season?" Be still and open to what may come. Your answer may require breaking with tradition or living more fully into one. It will definitely require your intention; hence, why I'm asking you now. The season will be here soon. Let's lean into the Spirit, love, whatever you call it, together. 

Read More