After the "Dog Days" come pet days


Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, Ancient astronomers pegged the period from late July through mid-August as the "Dog Days of Summer," because that's when the star Sirius, or "Dog Star," appeared in the constellation Canus Major. It was and still usually is the hottest, driest, most unbearable time of year. We're certainly experiencing that now. Soon the "Dog Days" of this year will be behind us. But dog (and other pets) days will begin at Middleway in September. Start pondering how your beloved pet reminds you of God and come in September to several events on Pets and Spirituality. We'll be announcing more soon. Read all about our plans below. Middleway's Facebook Group

August is a banner month Rain. Downtown Bryan got rained on just as First Friday events were about to kickoff Aug. 5. All of the exhibitors scurried to cover their goods and then, because an even bigger cloud was approaching, everyone packed up and went for cover. No one was unhappy about a rain in an extended drought, or the fact that temperatures cooled to the 90s. The only saddness was that we didn't get to see you at our booth. No worries. Our "booth" is available all this month for you at our monastery, 309 N. Tabor Ave., Bryan. Come make a prayer flag as a symbolic way to let your prayers be carried in the wind. The collective flags, which are about 8 x 8 inches, will be strung together as a community banner. It's an easy activity for all ages - adults, parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren. (Hint: after a long hot summer, some parents are enjoying quiet time at the monastery while their children work on a project in the nearby art area) Have we got plans for you! Mark your calendars through the end of 2022. We've got a slate of programs to meet a variety of interests. To begin with, our presence at First Friday in downtown Bryan is pared each month with a special program or workshop. Plus, we have extra communities that are ongoing or are being formed now. Here's a sneak preview so you can save the dates. Monthly theme for First Friday and special events:

  • September - Pets and Spirituality

  • October - Dia de los muertos, grief and loss

  • November - Learn to Chant for Advent

  • December - Wassail at the Monastery

We'll still have our book club, journaling group, Common Threads spirit talk, a repeat of our entrepreneurial spirituality workshop and kids spirituality programs the fall. And we'll have new gatherings for LGBTQ+ and 12-Step folks. Hopefully, we have something of interest for everyone. When we say ALL are welcome, we mean it. Journeys in Prayerful Silence This six-week series will introduce different styles of prayer and meditation focused around times of silence and stillness, beginning Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. Sessions each Thursday evening will begin with a short teaching on the background and purpose of each type of prayer, followed by 15 minutes of putting what is learned directly into practice. Come take a time-out with Heidi Campbell and learn how to cultivate peace and stillness through journeying into different expressions of prayerful silence. The series will continue through Oct. 13. Middleway will be open on Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. and the prayerful silence segment will be from 7-7:30 p.m. Those who wish to come early or stay late can explore the space on their own. 12-Step Community to discuss "Breathing Under Water" Richard Rohr's "Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps" will be the topic for a Tuesday evening gathering Tuesdays beginning Sept. 6. The monastery will be open from 5-8 p.m. and the book discussion component, led by Amy and Michael Thompson, will be a part of the evening. People in any 12-Step program and their friends and families are especially welcome to the monastery during this time. St. Joan - LGBTQ and friends A gathering of people who are interested in spirituality and the LCGTQ community will begin Sept. 19 and continue every other week. Led by Jodie Robinson and Amy Thompson, the gathering will begin at 6 p.m. How to use the monastery While we offer a variety of programs you can attend, the monastery is also open for you to just come to use your time as you wish in a relaxing atmosphere where no one will bug you. Read, retreat from the hectic pace of your world, use our free art supplies, or partake of any of our prayer techniques that are gently explained in materials throughout the monastery. Children are welcome to come with an adult and may find the art area or special children's spirituality area a way to peace away from electronic distractions. 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. You and your spiritual director normally meet monthly for an hour. Our current spiritual directors are listed at https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/spiritual-direction. Email us at info@middlewayurbanmonastery.org if we can help you. 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. Middleway Urban Monastery's Guide for Life

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