Eremos Fall Book Reflection

The Gravity of Joy:
A Story of Being Lost and Found

by Angela Williams Gorrell

“It turns out that joy has grit. It isn’t fluffy or ephemeral. Joy is what we feel deep in our bones when we realize and feel connected to what is good, beautiful, meaningful.” – Angela Williams Gorrell

After the devastating loss of three loved ones in less than a month, Angela Gorrell was reeling and completely disconnected from the academic research on joy she was doing for Yale University. The Gravity of Joy tells the tale of all she went through and learned, ultimately concluding that joy is the counteragent to despair. In these turbulent times when despair can touch even the most hopeful among us, Angela sees an urgent need to build our capacity for joy. 

“A searingly honest, devastatingly painful, profoundly wise–and beautiful–book. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. Angela Gorrell is a scholar with the courage of the most authentic memoirist. She generously and unflinchingly brings the theological discussion of the most sublime subject–joy–right into the middle of the mess of life and lets it unfold in surprising and wondrously disrupting ways.” –Tod Bolsinger, author of Tempered Resilience: How Leaders Are Formed in the Crucible of Change.

Join us for four weekly conversations about our experience of her story, thoughts on the wisdom shared and how our definition of joy has shifted, and what we’ll take with us as we seek to expand our capacity for joy.

Book Reflection Details

Four 90-minute facilitated sessions, beginning OCTOBER 2023 (dates vary by group).

Sessions include time for silence, reflection, and sharing.


$50 + book.  (Or $20 off if you register for Lost and Found with Angela Gorrell on October 14th at Abiding Love Lutheran Church in Austin at the same time—Meet Angela in person!). 

Partial Scholarships available


See chart below for a complete list of facilitators and the dates/times their groups meet.

Due to low stock quantities on Amazon, we also encourage you to support your local bookseller like, IVP Books, Hearts & Minds Books, or Your Local Bookstore

You’re invited to purchase a copy of the book through this link to Please note that if you click through and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

(90 Minute Sessions)
Dianna AmordeWednesdays from 7:00pm – 8:30pmOct. 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25thVIRTUALLY (Zoom)OPEN
Dianna AmordeThursdays from 6:30pm – 8:00pmSept. 28th, Oct. 5th, 12th, 26th (skip the 19th).In Person
Home in South Austin
Barbara WiederaendersWednesdays from 12:30pm – 2:00pmOctober 4th, 11th, 18th, & 25thVIRTUALLY (Zoom)OPEN
Regina MoserMondays from 7pm to 8:30pmOctober 2nd, 9th, 16th, & 23rdVIRTUALLY (Zoom)OPEN

All Times are Central


About Rev. Dr. Angela Williams Gorrell is the author of always on: practicing faith in a new media landscape and The Gravity of Joy: A Story of Being Lost and Found. Angela’s research has been highlighted in media sources such as the New York Times, NPR, and Christianity Today. She has 14 years of ministry experience and has taught at several schools including Yale University, Baylor University, and McCormick and Fuller Seminary. 

Dr. Gorrell speaks and writes about joy, meaning, finding the life worth living, and the intersection of spiritual and mental health. She utilizes her expertise to help create collaborative communities of prevention specifically working to lower suicide and addiction rates. You can find her on instagram @angelagorrell. Dr. Angela and her sister, Coach Stef, co-host The Grief Sisters podcast and The Grief Sisters book club and support group on Facebook. 

Going Deeper…

Lost & Found: an Exploration of the Healing Power of Joy


Meet Angela Gorrell in person (or via LiveStream). Join us Saturday, October 14th in Austin, Texas for an exploration of the powerful gift of joy to heal broken hearts, remind us that we’re not alone, and offer a path out of despair. Not a guide to surface-level happiness, this is a dive into what authentic, grounded-in-faith joy can do.

Register for both events and save $20!


FACILITATOR: Dianna Amorde
Dianna is the Executive Director of Eremos and has been facilitating these book groups since she arrived 8 years ago. She considers them one of her favorite ways of connecting with and supporting the Eremos community and delights in the opportunity to hear different points of view.

FACILITATOR: Barbara Wiederaenders
A longtime participant in the Eremos Book Reflections, Barbara is excited to facilitate one of this Fall’s groups. She brings to the group her experience in facilitating caregiver support groups and serving elders in her congregation.  Her Masters in Spiritual Formation from the Seminary of the Southwest in 2014 at age 73 was a welcome challenge to continue learning and growing.

FACILITATOR: Regina Moser is an educator, spiritual director and avid reader who has facilitated book groups for over 15 years. Regina loves sharing the joys of reading, pondering and exploring in reflective groups.  Trusting that listening is Holy, Regina appreciates weaving contemplate practices, journaling and thoughtful questions to delve into the power of sharing stories.   

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