We Are All Travellers Along Life’s Tricksy Ways

sol invictus

 This season of ice and rime, of greeting cards and indoor trees--it can be the hardest of seasons in our multi-faith world. In this country, the season is dominated by the curious and often-repellent observation of Christmas. We have been celebrating it in the wider culture since October and it will not end until the last discount store has rid its shelves of marshmallows shaped like snowfolk and plastic tablecloths sporting imitation patchwork in red and white and green.In my … [Read more...]

A Multicultural Maelstrom: A.K.A. – Christmas at the Folmers’

wrapping paper

I never quite realized how extraordinarily unusual my family really was until after I moved away from home. Every single adult member of our household is of a different religion, which makes for some really interesting writing material. On a couple of occasions I've tried to describe the family dynamic, and one question I get asked fairly frequently is how we handle holidays. So how do a Heathen, a Jew, a New Age Hindu, a Mormon, a Pagan, and a young Agnostic celebrate Christmas? Oddly, it's … [Read more...]

S.C. Interfaith Harmony Month


We got the good news on Wednesday - our governor has for a second year in a row proclaimed January to be S.C. Interfaith Harmony Month! Why does she do it?  What does it mean?Well, first of all, this dovetails with the United Nations' World Interfaith Harmony Week in early February.  When Interfaith Partners of S.C. first set out to mark WIHW here at home, it nearly exhausted us to squeeze a handful of calendar items into one week and a half period.  By 2013, we had a far longer list of even … [Read more...]

Why Interfaith? Why Now??

Let us ask ourselves, why is interfaith work important?  Why should we bother trying to understand the religious and spiritual viewpoints of others?  Is it worth the struggle to find common ground when everyone else seems to cling to the idea that they possess the one truth about the nature of the Divine?  I believe it is not only important on a local level but also vital on a world level if we are ever to achieve a state of peace that holds out the promise of our very survival on this pl … [Read more...]

The War on Christmas


Several excellent authors have already covered the so-called "war on Christmas," but since the holiday season provides plenty of opportunity for interfaith interaction, I wanted to touch on this subject a little bit here at Wild Garden. I've been trying to figure out what, exactly, the "War on Christmas" is. From our house, this is a time of good cheer when we stick a tree in the living room and drink a ridiculous amount of hot cocoa. As I write this, the sun is hitting the tinsel just so and … [Read more...]

Peace, Love, Compassion (& Good Food) Welcome Here.

What should be in every home around the world.

That’s the phrase I've just inlaid on a stepping stone.  I’m making them for Christmas; with different phrases that will be relevant to the person I’m giving them too. This one in particular seems fitting for the season, much less everyday life.  As I reflect on this past year of this particular friend, I am reminded of all the different paths I've crossed while doing Compassionate Interfaith work with him.I have witnessed so many breakfasts listening to an individual sharing his or her journ … [Read more...]

Winter Holidays, Interfaith Memories


My childhood memories of the Winter holidays are a combination of Chanukah and Christmas.  My father's family is Jewish while my mother's is Christian, and despite the fact that my mother converted to Judaism prior to my birth, we still celebrated Christmas -- at least secular, family-based, gift-giving side of the holiday -- with her side of the family. Christmas Memories I have two pretty distinct memories of Christmas as a child.  One year, I was so excited I leaped into bed at my mother's m … [Read more...]

2013 Interfaith Thanksgiving Service


I attended Winston-Salem’s annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service the Sunday before Thanksgiving this year.  Normally it occurs on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, but apparently the consensus felt that were it to happen on a Sunday, more parishioners would be present, as most would not be traveling for the holiday.  It seemed the idea was a good one, as about 250 of Winston-Salem’s finest turned out for the occasion.Last year was my first time going to such an event.  I remember that I w … [Read more...]