A creative invitation


Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, Bright yellow labels now adorn the art cabinets. Certainly they give an indication of what can be found in each cubby hole, but they also serve as an invitation to come dig through and use the supplies. Whether you have a preferred way of expressing your creativity or are willing to dabble with something new, our art area is a place to spend some reflective quiet time. You might even want to bring your own project to spread out and work on Middleway's peaceful atmosphere. Creation is one way of connecting to God, the ultimate Creator. Check out our many connections coming up, including a workshop on creativity in March. Middleway's Facebook Group

How do you experience rest? Sabbath? Today is the day! Soul Care Sunday is a new, monthly opportunity to engage in contemplative spiritual practices. On the first Sunday of each month, we are opening Middleway from 2-4 p.m. to practice ways of bringing peaceful rest to your life. Our first Soul Care Sunday today, Feb. 6. Leader Aneya Elbert will offer brief introductions to tools you can call upon as you cultivate this rest in your rhythm of life and then let you try what seems comfortable to you. Please come and stay as long or as little as you are able. We will try our best to maintain quiet along with a technology free zone. Please email Aneya Elbert with any questions you have. Threads group spiritual direction this Wednesday Thread projects of any kind will be the backdrop for a new group spiritual direction gathering. Each month, women and men are encouraged to bring a thread project - cross stitch, needlepoint, crochet or knitting, for example - to work on while sharing about where God is in their life. Common Threads meets monthly on the second Wednesday from 2-3 p.m. Kathleen Phillips will guide the group through methods of sharing stories and listening to each other with a "holy ear." Our next gathering is Feb. 9. 12 Step healing service offered monthly People in recovery and their friends and supporters are invited to a monthly 12-Step healing service. The service incorporates the 12 steps through the readings. Offered on the second Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m., the next service will be Feb. 9. Spiritual growth through journaling Feb. 12 Journaling as a way to tell one's story -- and sharing that walk in community with others -- will be the approach for a new group spiritual direction meeting. For those interested in a more thorough look at how journaling can be used in spiritual growth, Amy Thompson will present a two-hour workshop Feb. 12, 10 a.m.-noon. All supplies will be provided. The workshop is free, but we suggest a donation of $10 to Middleway. Information on how to contribute will be provided at the event. Then, monthly gatherings will be the fourth Saturday of each month, guided by Thompson. The next meeting will be Feb. 26 at 10:30 a.m. March workshop: In the beginning... "In the Beginning: Joining Creativity with the Divine," is the theme for our March 5 workshop. The first five words of the Bible are well known: "In the beginning God created ..." and it's been said that our "highest communion with the Divine can be found right at our fingertips, in the simplest expressions of human creativity." While many people claim not to be creative, experts say creativity often gets suppressed at an early age. Everyone, they say, is creative. . In this workshop, led by Kathleen Phillips, attendees will explore the connection with their own spirituality and creativity through hands-on activities. The workshop is suitable for adults as well as school-aged children. All supplies will be provided. The cost is $10 per person and each participant will take two items home. Reservations are required and may be made by emailing info@middlewayurbanmonstery.org. Payment can be made at the door. Book club's hybrid gathering set for Feb. 22 After months of reading non-fiction books on spirituality, the book club is taking a turn to fiction for Febraury. Our selection is "The Alchemist," by Paulo Coelho. It's about a journey that begins in search of material goods but turns into a meditation on treasures found within. Our discussion of this book will be Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 10:30 a.m. Our gatherings are hybrid, meaning we will have Zoom for those unable to be in person while others will gather in a room here at the monastery, 309 N. Tabor Ave., Bryan. Together we discuss our book of the month. The link for Zoom attendance: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86289918385?pwd=SjcwUW5NMlZnWUtlNFFYd01waVZzUT09 We need you at Middleway Come be a part of the Middleway community! It's as simple as being present to welcome others into this peaceful place. While there, you'll be able to enjoy the hope, peace and comfort as well. You also can offer your talents in administration, reception, hospitality, plants/greenery, library, arts, technology/information, worship, cleaning, and growth/sustainability. Each of these areas are called Circles of Stewards, which are groups of people within the community who share similar interests and want to help make Middleway as special, sacred space for all. If you're not sure which area you'd enjoy most, just pick general interest, and we'll let you know what volunteer opportunities are open. You can sign up at https://timecounts.org/middlewaymonastery/. Simply fill in the form and make your choices for February. Then when opportunities become available in the Circle(s) of your choice, you will be notified and can decide if you are able to participate at particular times. These opportunities are more than volunteering -- they are community forming. Being at Middleway will be less of the typical "doing" associated with most volunteer activities and more of the "being," that is, being present to welcome visitors and enjoy the surroundings yourself! With this in mind, our volunteers are in community with the Middleway Urban Monastery's Guide for Life:

  • Conversion of Life “Conversatio”: Living our life as if it were a conversation with God, in a commitment to personal spiritual disciplines.

  • Humility: Living our life in perspective, in a commitment to assess and honor one’s own gifts and those of others.

  • Hospitality: Living our life in service of others, in a commitment to welcome guests in love and a spirit of prayer.

  • Prayer: Practicing a spiritual discipline that includes daily prayer.

  • Ecumenism: Honoring all expressions of Christian faith and respecting in Jesus’ name all persons of other religions and faiths.

Other ways to experience Middleway Urban Monastery Ready to dig a little deeper spiritually? Join our Facebook group page. Doing so will let you receive notices about events as well comment and see what others in the Middleway community are saying. Come to our website and explore the offerings, including links to our Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts, if you like those formats and want to follow. Pass the word. Ask your frieds to subscribe to this newsletter by going to https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/contact Enter the email address at the Subscribe button on the lower right.

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