The Wonder Box technique of storytelling was created by the Reverend Christina Leone-Tracy, senior minister of the Fox Valley UU Fellowship in Appleton, WI. This interactive way of sharing the story for all ages, integrates the message of the Wonder Box into the theme of the service.
“Wonder” can be a noun and a verb. As a noun it means a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable. In its verb form, it means to wonder- desire or be curious to know something. These two things describe perfectly what we’re trying to impart to people of all ages in our Unitarian Universalist congregations. It’s something we cherish.
And the reason for why it’s a box? Why it’s closed? Is because it does many things. It is interactive and surprising. It allows for there to be an interaction. We must open our minds and hearts, just as we open the box – to the questions. It’s all about the questions. As Unitarian Universalists we do not give the answers, we ask the big questions. We are a faith that values inquiry over dogma. The Wonder Box sets the stage for inquiry for all generations present on Sunday morning.
Our fourth principle says that we honor the free and responsible search for truth and meaning and our third principle says that we support each other to spiritual growth in our congregations. So we honor, even in our principles, not knowing, wondering, and growing. So that’s why it’s called a Wonder Box
In our Spirit Play and Spirit Explorers religious education classes, one of the highlights is that there is a high emphasis on wondering. There’s even a time after each story where the children sit and have wondering time. So, if a child says to you, what is God like? My answer is, hmm, I wonder.
It’s a very Unitarian Universalist response. Not necessarily, I don’t know. But I have a sense of, and a desire and a curiosity to know about this question that we don’t necessarily know the answers to.