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A leading minister offers an inspiring guide to living a meaningful life by embracing the power of gratitude.
“Galen Guengerich’s wise and tender words about belonging, connection, and gratitudeare like keys to unlock our hearts, give us courage, and call us into the kind ofrelationships and community we are all longing for.”—Elizabeth Lesser, bestselling author of Broken Open
Galen Guengerich, the charismatic, brilliant leader of one of the nation’s most prominent Unitarian Universalist congregations, All Souls in New York City, shares with readers his wisdom on how to lead a purposeful and joyful life through the practice of gratitude. When Guengerich was in his midtwenties, he left the Conservative Mennonite Church, the faith of his upbringing. The prospect of venturing out on his own was daunting, but he needed to find the way of life that was right for him.
For Guengerich, transcendence is not limited to experiences of the divine; it can also be reached through gratitude’s ability to take us beyond ourselves and create connection to others and the universe. Through his personal story, poems that resonate with his spiritual message, and guided spiritual practice, including “gratitude goals,” this book helps readers discover how the way of gratitude can make them happier and healthier, and provide a new sense of belonging, not only to the universe as a whole but also to themselves.
About the Author
Galen Guengerich is senior minister of All Souls Unitarian Church, a historic congregation located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary and earned a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Chicago. His sermon at All Souls on the Sunday after 9/11, “The Shaking of Foundations,” was selected as one of seven responses to 9/11, along with speeches by President Bush, Governor Pataki, and Mayor Giuliani, for Representative American Speeches 2001–2002. He is the author of God Revised: How Religion Must Evolve in a Scientific Age and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
“What a timely book for our disconnected times! Galen Guengerich’s wise and tender words about belonging, connection, and gratitude are like keys to unlock our hearts, give us courage, and call us into the kind of relationships and community we are all longing for.”—Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder, Omega Institute, and bestselling author of Broken Open, Marrow, and Cassandra Speaks
“Galen Guengerich’s own journey of faith, from Conservative Mennonite to a leading voice of America's most open-minded religion, is fascinating, and the wisdom he shares in this wonderful book is essential for anyone searching for a deeper sense of meaning and purpose. Follow these simple gratitude principles and practices and you will find yourself feeling a little more connected, alive, and joyful every day.”—Elisabeth Robinson, New York Times bestselling author of The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters
“A lovely, wise, heartfelt book, with stories like prayers.”—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
“Guengerich has written an enthralling book. He braids and brings to life two usually ephemeral spiritual emotions: joy and gratitude. Like a good shepherd, he teaches us to appreciate these two emotions, to savor them, and to make joy and gratitude integral to our unfolding lives.”—George E. Vaillant, M.D., professor of psychiatry at Harvard and author of Aging Well, Spiritual Evolution, and Triumphs of Experience
“In this delightful book, Guengerich provides the reader with a deep sense of purpose and joy in a way that brings hope to the everyday. This is a fundamental read that inspires awareness and humility, recognizes the resilience found in gratitude, and lays out a path to meaning.”—Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen and author of Manifesto for a Moral Revolution
“Guengerich (God Revised), senior minister at the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York, speaks to ‘spiritual but not religious’ readers seeking meaning, joy, and transcendence, in this well-reasoned manifesto for a spirituality based on gratitude. . . . For Guengerich, ‘the longing for a comprehensive sense of meaning and a deep sense of purpose . . . remains unmet by secularism.’ To fill this gap, he proposes that gratitude can provide connections, create beauty, and maximize human dignity. . . . At the end, he follows his more abstract considerations with concrete suggestions for meditation and fasting. This deceptively simple work will appeal to spiritual explorers of any stripe.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)