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?" ...

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We all want a more joyful Christmas. This doesn't mean it comes easy. The season carries with it a hefty dose of "have-tos," "shoulds," and "we've always done it this way." Some of this is unavoidable and thus acceptance is the sanest response. Much of it, though, is a choice. We can choose to celebrate the season in ways that bring real joy.

Why don't we, then? Experience has shown me two big stumbling blocks. First, tradition. Traditions can be lovely. I imagine all of us participate in cherished traditions each year. They also can be stifling - metaphorical elephants on the chest rather than practices that open our heart. The trick is knowing the difference. You'd think this would be obvious, but it's not. Lousy traditions successfully hide, even from ourselves, all the time. The reason why is the second stumbling block: we don't take the time to listen for what really brings us joy. Thus, culture, habit, guilt, fear, decide for us, and we find ourselves simply repeating last year.

This need not be the case. A different way is possible. We simply need to give ourselves the space to listen for what brings us and others real joy, and the gradual permission to let the rest go.

We'll be doing just this at two upcoming Sample WAYfinding Nights: this Wednesday, December 3, and next, December 10, both 7:00p - 9:00p. It's a great opportunity to experience what WAYfinding is all about and meet folks currently involved. I hope you can join us for this laid-back, meaningful Christmas discussion. If you're interested, have questions, contact me ( 


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It's a big week in the Christian tradition: Holy Week, Easter. And, I'll be honest: I don't know what to do about it. The story, and thus its commemorative days, is deeply meaningful to me; yet, I have little desire to attend church. I want my daughter - and myself - to experience traditions beyond bunnies and eggs; yet, I don't yet know what to incorporate or create.

I've been rereading the book of Mark over the last few weeks, and it strikes me that Jesus too was celebrating holy days at this time: Passover. Of course, his circumstances were unique. And yet, amid the extraordinary, I also read a deeply human struggle: how to remember an old story in ways that feel honest and connecting, personally. For Jesus, given his obvious disdain for the practice, we can assume temple sacrifices went off his list (Mark 11.15-19). He also seems to have taken a traditional meal, the Passover Seder, and infused it with new meaning for himself and his disciples, what became The Lord's Supper (Mark 14.22-24).

Since that time, many new (Christian) traditions have arisen. We don't have to label each "good" or "bad" to discern whether a tradition is personally meaningful. What feels honest and connecting for you may not for your neighbor. Jesus' reimagining of his own traditions teaches that what matters most is to discern the story's point and live authentically from there. What would it look like for you, for me, to do the same? LISTEN, LEARN, LOVE... 

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