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Early December is a time to reflect on renewal and beginnings, to generate a sense wonder with our whole beings to carry us through challenging times and joyful ones.

This year’s theme for Advent at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is “Practicing Wonder With All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind.”

There’s a sense of mystery around wonder. Even the dictionary cannot provide a clear origin for the word.

In the medical world, wonder links with awe. University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross defines awe as “the wonder we feel when we encounter something powerful that we can’t easily explain.” (Harvard Business Review)

Awe is associated with greater life satisfaction and enhanced well-being. When one experiences awe, worries fade and heart rate slows. 

UC-Berkeley professor Dacher Keltner describes awe as, "the feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends your current understanding of the world."

Some of the experiences of wonder are common to most people—a vast starry sky, witnessing a great act of kindness, bird song—and, other experiences are specific to the individual—the melody of a particular song, holding a newborn niece or nephew, swimming alone in the sea.

"The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us," noted biologist Rachel Carson, "the less taste we shall have for destruction." 

Join together for an afternoon of art and conversation around the themes of wonder. We will practice a simple breath meditation and journal to prepare our hearts and minds for collage. Together we will explore the mysteries of love and faith, in whatever forms those wonders take for you. 

Materials provided. Suggestion donation $2

All are welcome.

To register: Please send an email to Alexa Mergen at Hope's Space