Thanksgiving Director's Message


November 22, 2108

Greetings MCLA Sacred Path Community,

It’s been a tough few weeks for many.  It’s tempting to think that gratitude is in short supply when your life has been turned upside down due to a tragedy, disaster or other challenging event.  

You may know someone whose life was cut short as a result of the Borderline Club shooting, or as a result of the Woolsey Canyon or Camp fires.  Perhaps you know someone who has lost his or her home.  Maybe you have been directly impacted and are searching for meaning to get you through the crisis.

As you know, we made the difficult decision last week to postpone our December men’s retreat because our camps, Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop, where we have held our retreats for the past 21 years, burned to the ground.  Yet, like the Phoenix rising out of the ashes, Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps will be rebuilt and we, as a united community for the past 32 years, will persevere and thrive.

We are looking for an alternative venue to host our retreat at some point in the Spring. We have also discussed holding a one day event probably in February.  We’ll update you as soon as we know more.  We will be reaching out to those who had registered for the retreat to offer full refunds or determine if you’d like your fees to be rolled over to the next event.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we on the Wisdom Council want to extend our gratitude to all of the First Responders, Firefighters and Law Enforcement Personnel who put their lives on the line to protect our lives and our homes.  

As we sit down today and join hands and give thanks for our many blessings, please include in your thoughts and prayers the critically important healing work of Firefighters Down led by our very own Captain Mike Henry and Captain Rick Brandelli. We as an organization are so grateful to assist these good men with this valuable healing work . . . and visit the Woolsey and Paradise Firefighters Healing Fund to make a donation.

We also want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. May you find the strength, solace and comfort in reflecting on what you are grateful for as you take account of your blessings.  

I also wish to personally express my gratitude to Dr. Michael Lewis and Rob Bruce, my Associate Directors for their support and leadership, and to Bill Arena, the editor of our newsletter, as well as to all of the men who comprise the Wisdom Council who have selflessly given of themselves over the years to make our events such important pillars in the foundation of the good work that we provide in our community.

To you and yours, Happy Thanksgiving!


Stephen J. Johnson Ph.D., LMFT
Executive Director


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 Dr. Stephen Johnson is founder and executive director of the Men's Center Los Angeles and leader/wayshower of the Sacred Path men's retreats for the past 32 years. He is a gifted therapist and master facilitator for the experiential journey that unfolds during his counseling sessions and workshops. Dr. J is a skilled and seasoned psychotherapist who has the sensibilities of a wisdom teacher. He provides a safe space for freedom of expression in accessing one’s pain while fostering transformation, personal expansion and spiritual growth. Click here to visit 

Click video link at left to discover the meaning of these words and Dr. J’s incredibly rich 32-year tradition of bringing good men together on the mountain.