Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends,
Did we mention children? It's sometimes said that kids are still very close to God when they are born. Only later will the ways of the world snuff out much of their spirituality until as adults, like we've become, they begin to search anew for that which is faintly remembered in the depths of their hearts. At Middleway, we welcome children to come in the hope that it might kindle the essence of God as they grow, never to be snuffed out. We have a special space for children at Middleway, which you see pictured above. Find out more about it below.
Keep reading to find out how Middleway can fit into your life.
A space for a child's journey
Our first child to visit Middleway was drawn to the box of "Holy Listening Stones" and carefully looked at each one. When asked which one he liked and why, the little boy picked up one with squiggly lines and said it reminded him of riding waves in the ocean, which he would like to do. Then he picked up one with arrows and said he liked arrows because they point you in the right direction. Ahhhh. A great way to start a conversation about where God is in the soul of this adorable little boy.
The stones are just one item in the children's area at the monastery. There are also books and other items to explore. Oversized suitcases have been converted into cozy seating for youngsters who visit Middleway, symbolizing life's journey they have begun. We like to say it is not Sunday school or church, but it is also not a "bouncy house." Children can learn to appreciate the peace that silence brings to their soul and are, in fact, surely as much in need of it as are adults. So bring your kids. We just ask that a parent remain with children and assist with the prayer tools and books in the area.
First retreat to feature Enneagram for Fuller Loving, Living
In a world full of personality assessments, the Enneagram stands apart for the ways that it not only describes our behavior (and the basis of that behavior) but for the ways it prescribes practices which can help us live more resourcefully.
To mark its grand opening, Middleway is offering a free retreat on this topic to the first 20 people who register in person at Middleway by Nov. 10. We have a few spots left so come by to register by this Wednesday or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The retreat will be 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at the monastery. Lunch will be provided.
Join spiritual directors Jim and Kathy Reiter as they share about the background of this ancient personality inventory, provide a narrative orientation to the nine personality types, help participants understand the personal results of an online assessment and offer some sense of next steps in your spiritual journey to your authentic, true self.
Middleway's book club moves to monthly hybrid gathering in November
Our book club will meet Nov. 16 at 10:30 a.m. This will be our first hybrid meeting in that will be have Zoom for those unable to be in person while others will gather in a room here at the monastery.
The book for November book is "Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith" by Kathleen Norris.
Here's the link for Zoom attendance:
Upcoming books are:
December - No meeting
Jan. 25, 2022 - "The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are" by Brene Brown
Volunteer at Middleway through a Circle of Stewards
Come be a part of the Middleway community! We need volunteers who can be there in person. Your presence is the main thing we need. It's easy, and you'll be able to enjoy the hope, peace and comfort while you are there as a volunteer. Just help us welcome others into this space.
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.
Our main need now is people to volunteer as receptionists and hospitality guides at the monastery.
You can sign up at https://timecounts.org/middlewaymonastery/. Simply fill in the form and make your choices. 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. For example, if we have a need for a receptionist on Tuesday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., everyone who has expressed an interest in being a volunteer receptionist will receive an email in advance noting that opportunity. Each person would decide whether to volunteer for that time. That is how each of you will be notified of volunteer opportunities.
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.
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