GratitudeColleen McCluskey, the Pastoral & Spiritual Care Coordinator for Calgary Presbytery, sent this invitation to all United Church congregations in Calgary Presbytery.

I hope you can join us on Wednesday, April 5th at 7 p.m. to explore the practice of gratitude.  Scientific research has shown gratitude can reduce anxiety and improve happiness, health, sleep, resilience, relationships and promote forgiveness. And who doesn’t want that?! The attached poster has all the details.

 So we can plan snacks, space etc. please RSVP:  online here  or ucpcare@telus.net or 403-294-0378

 Mirjam Knapik, chair of the counselling team at Mount Royal University has generously offered to share with us recent research in positive psychology and gratitude, to lead a gratitude exercise and offer some guidance in keeping a gratitude journal.  Participants will receive a free journal to get started!

Mirjam’s bio reads in part, “I know I have been living well when I sleep through the night, have time for breakfast, take things in stride, and notice the pleasures of the day. These positive signs have a lot to do with whether I am exercising regularly, eating the stuff my body likes to digest and turn into energy, and if I make time to read and spend time with family and friends.”  You can read more about her here .

Maybe because I’m uneasy about current world events, I find I am uncharacteristically anxious about the current state of affairs and about the future.  While it is good to be realistic, it is important to remember that there is good out there and much to be thankful for.  I recently came across a group from the University of California at Berkeley called Greater Good in Action: Science based practices for a meaningful life. This group’s extensive research has shown that the practice of gratitude has many benefits.  This is an interesting overview: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/gratitude/definition#why_practice