Blog Posts

Hope Springs Eternal

July 2, 2023

Viveka Hall-Holt is the 2022/23 Treacy & Levine Fellow at PTU Hope springs eternal. This has not always been my experience.   Growing up, I knew that the world had problems, but I was also confident that the grown-ups knew what they were doing and had a plan. Climate change was maiming our earth and wars…

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A New Phase

June 25, 2023

My first experience with Paths to Understanding was in November of 2017. I was invited to a board meeting. Our co-founder, Father Treacy, was present and the group was trying hard to keep the organization together after the sale of their retreat center, Camp Brotherhood, the year before. They were working through understandable grief and…

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Poles Apart

June 18, 2023

Everyone is talking about how divided we are. Most of the time this conversation is accompanied by a sense of dread and despair. People don’t know what to do. In her book, Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity, professor Lilliana Mason tells a story about how we got here and what it means. In…

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‘Let’s Go Together’ Council meets in Skagit

June 6, 2023

We held our first LGT Council meeting on Tuesday, May 11th 2023. We met at the Upper Skagit Cultural Center. So far, the Council includes Upper Skagit Elders, Skagit Valley Catholic Churches, Mount Vernon Rotary, Burlington Lutheran Church, Skagit Valley YMCA, Skagit Unitarian Universalist Church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints of Skagit County,…

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Love is Like That

May 30, 2023

May 31st is the birthday of Father William Treacy who co-founded our organization together with Rabbi Rafael Levine. Since I got involved in the Treacy Levine Center, now Paths to Understanding, we made big plans for Father Treacy’s birthday every year. We held big gatherings with food, music, and stories. During COVID, we invited people…

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Connecting Us to One Another

May 11, 2023

I was honored to be on a panel at an antisemitism conference at Kol Ami Center for Jewish Life in Kirkland, WA. I first met Rabbi Kinberg when she spoke out against anti-Muslim bigotry and the Muslim ban in 2017. I so appreciate all she does to rehumanize people to each other in these divisive…

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Truth and Relationship with Indigenous Communities

April 27, 2023

Paths to Understanding was invited by Bishop Shelley Bryan Wee to bring Indigenous leaders and Lutheran clergy together to engage in a question: How can Lutheran Christians begin to have a right relationship with Indigenous communities? In my work to counter dehumanization in the Pacific Northwest since 2015, I have often sensed that underneath Islamophobia,…

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Shocked but Not Surprised

April 19, 2023

Temple De Hirsch Sinai synagogue in Seattle was vandalized with Antisemitic slurs and images this week. I am shocked but not surprised. I am certain that every person who receives our emails is saddened by this and stands with our Jewish neighbors. Here are some ways to do that: I talked about Antisemitism with a…

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Why “Wisdom Traditions”?

April 17, 2023

People often refer to the kind of work we do at PTU as “interfaith” or “multifaith.” These are good words. The challenge is with the word “faith”. Not all traditions use that word, and even many people in the Christian tradition use that word in different ways. For instance, some Christians use the word “faith”…

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