Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, Something as tiny as knots in a rope or beads on a string has been calming minds to bring about peace and comfort in prayer since the dawn of time. How can that be? Fact: the word "bead" stems from the Old English word "bede" (plus close connections in other languages of that era), which meant "prayer." We shared prayer bead making at the First Friday event in downtown Bryan last week. Thanks to all who stopped by our table there. Now we bring to you an exhibit of prayer beads from the world's religions. Get details below and come see how this simple tool might guide you through times when prayer is difficult. Find out more about our events below! Middleway's Facebook Group
Workshop: Entrepreneurship - a spiritual practice
Entrepreneurs are known for taking risks, unearthing new opportunities and creating value in places where it did not exist before. These are also key feature of being a spiritual entrepreneur, those who feel called to discover and release God’s love and creative energy in unique ways in the world.
A workshop on June 18, 9:30 a.m.-noon, will explore the traits associated with entrepreneurship, and how these can help us discover creativity and cultivate spiritual resilience. This event highlights findings from the "Tech in Churches during Covid-19" project led by Dr Heidi Campbell, a professor at Texas A&M University, on how pastors learned to adapt to challenges they encountered during the pandemic.
Together with her husband Troy Shepherd—an entrepreneur, writer and app designer—they will discuss what it means to be a spiritual entrepreneur, and how such traits can help enhance in our spiritual journey and open our hearts to finding God in unexpected places, especially during times of change. The workshop is free, but please register at https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/register-for-events.
Journaling and spirituality group returns
Journaling as a way to tell one's story -- and sharing that walk in community with others -- is the aim for this group spiritual direction meeting. This month's gathering will be Saturday, June 18, 10:30 a.m.-noon in the monastery's library. It is guided by Amy Brunt Thompson. You do not have to have attended previous sessions to come.
Common Threads to focus on exploring new opportunities
The question to ponder between now and the next meeting of Common Threads Discussion Group is "How can experiencing different opportunities open us to new awareness of God?" Be watchful of how this question enters into your daily life.
The next gathering will be 2 p.m. June 8. Common Threads welcomes you to bring a thread project to work on while we talk, but it isn't required. The main idea is to share each other's spiritual journey through story and active listening.
Beads of the world religions exhibit
How can tiny beads strung together or knots tied in rope impact a person's prayer life? The oldest known use of beads in a religious sense dates to 1600 B.C. They continue to be widely used by Christian and most other religions in the world.
An exhibit of prayer beads from Christian and other traditions will be available for viewing = and praying with, if you want - June 22-25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. We also have beads available to string if you'd like to make your own. The exhibit and activity is suitable for all ages.
'Why does God allow suffering?' topic of June book
The Middleway book club has made selections for the year. There will be one more book this season -- the C.S. Lewis book "The Problem of Pain," about the universal question of why God allows beloved humans to suffer. Then there will be a break for July and August. The year's books are below if you want to start reading.
The C.S. Lewis book will be discussed June 28 at 10:30 a.m. This is a hybrid meeting, so people may attend in person or via Zoom. Here's how:
Meeting ID: 862 8991 8385
June - The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis
July-August -- no book club
September - The Lost Page: An Archeological Thriller, Joe Edd Morris
October - Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, Cynthia Bourgeault
November - Lying Awake, Mark Salzman
December - Unwrapping the Names of Jesus; an Advent Devotional, Asheritah Ciuciu
January - A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions that are Transforming the Faith, Brian McLaren
February – Four Loves – C.S. Lewis
March - St. Benedict on the Freeway: A Rule of Life for the 21st Century, Corrine Ware
April – Boundaries; Take Control of your Life, Dr, Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
May - With Open Hands, Henri Nouwen
Tell us what topics, events you would like to explore Our spiritual directors are planning the coming year and would like your input. As you think about where you are with God, what topics would you be interested in learning more about in a discussion group, retreat, workshop or other type of gathering? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Spiritual direction offered at Middleway A spiritual director is one who can listen to you with a holy ear and doesn't try to "fix" you with their solutions. Being listened to -- truly listened to -- is powerfully healing. Spiritual directors at Middleway are trained and vetted so we know your story will be heard and kept in confidence. After selecting a spiritual director, a person normally plans to meet with that person monthly for an hour. Our current spiritual directors are listed at https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/spiritual-direction. Let us know if we can help you find a listening soul companion. School for spiritual formation, direction applications due FIND _ School for Spiritual Direction and Formation, now in its 25th year and hosted by Middleway, is forming its next cohort. Applications are accepted through June 30. Classes, which are held once a month on a Saturday, begin in September. Learn more at www.schoolforspiritualdirection.org. We need you at Middleway Middleway is 100 percent volunteer operated. Come be one who welcomes others into this peaceful place. While there, you'll be able to enjoy the hope, peace and comfort as well. Sign up at https://timecounts.org/middlewaymonastery/. After you've selected the areas you want to volunteer in, you'll be able to click the Opportunities tab, then Assignments, then Available Shifts. Current volunteers, please choose your dates for April. Middleway Urban Monastery's Guide for Life