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Can there by joy in hard times?

Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, Each month we consider various ways of helping you find hope, comfort and peace by offering our space for your personal quiet time, or with programs, prayer times and special events. In addition to our regular offerings in April, we have a special treat scheduled - the screening of Mission: Joy. Find out more about it below and mark your calendars to join us! Middleway's Facebook Group

First Friday labyrinth walk for peace Middleway will host a labyrinth walk for peace during First Friday events in downtown Bryan, April 1. A 24-foot by 24-foot canvas labyrinth will be spread out in the parking lot facing the monastery, 309 N. Tabor Ave. Individuals are encouraged to pray for peace, especially for Ukraine, while walking the labyrinth. An oversized card commemorating the walk will be available to sign after completing the walk. Labyrinths are an ancient form of meditative walk that follows a meandering path to the center. The path is created so that one cannot get lost (unlike a maze) and symbolizes a spiritual journey in which one may take prayers into the God-center and then walk the path back into life having conversed with God. A labyrinth walk is suitable for children and adults. Film Screening of "Mission: Joy" set for April 21 Join us at Middleway on Thursday, April 21, from 6-7:30 p.m. for a special screening of "MISSION: JOY (Finding Happiness in Troubled Times)." Inspired by New York Times bestseller "The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World," by Bishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, the film showcases the exchange between these two Nobel Peace Prize winners that led to that book. Consisting largely of never-before-seen footage shot over five days at the Dalai Lama's residence in Dharamsala, the film invites viewers to join these luminaries behind the scenes as they recount stories from their lives, each having lived through periods of incredible difficulty and strife. With genuine affection, mutual respect and a healthy dose of teasing, these unlikely friends impart lessons gleaned from lived experience, ancient traditions, and the latest cutting-edge science regarding how to live with joy in the face of all of life's challenges from the extraordinary to the mundane. You can also optionally join us early at 5:30 p.m. that night for our regular Centering Prayer practice led by Aneya Elbert and Rich Nelson. Book club's hybrid gathering set for March 22 "Braving the Thin Places: Celtic Wisdom to Create a Space for Grace" by Julianne Stanz is our March book. The discussion will be Tuesday, March 22 at 10:30 a.m. Our gatherings are hybrid, meaning we provide Zoom for those unable to be in person while others gather in the library at the monastery, 309 N. Tabor Ave., Bryan. Together we discuss our book of the month. The link for Zoom attendance: Gardener Circle forming for outdoor space A tiny but potentially peaceful setting behind Middleway is in need of some creative ideas and sweat equity. If you're interested in being in the gardening/plant lovers circle, please email so we can schedule a gathering of interested people. Lenten offerings continue Daily, weekly, online and in-person programs are available through Easter, which is April 17.

  • "Take 5 at 2 for prayer" will be on the Facebook group page at 2 p.m. daily under the guidance of Heidi Campbell.

  • "Lent: A Musical Journey to the Cross" is the topic for Amy Thompson. This offering also will be on the Facebook group page. Amy will lead attendees with the album "Lent by Liturgical Folk." Her audio divina - meaning one listens to music prayerfully and meditatively - changes on Sunday each week through April 10 plus on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday before Easter, which is April17.

  • An interfaith, in-person option is offered on Wednesdays at Middleway anytime from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Based on "The Greatest Invitation: Your Handbook for Hope," by Rev. David Ottsen, the self-guided exercise this week is "Give it." Kathleen Phillips will oversee this offering.

Journaling and group spiritual direction 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. Monthly gatherings normally are the fourth Saturday of each month, guided by Amy Thompson. But this month's meeting is Sunday, March 27 , 1-2:30 p.m. Common Threads to focus on dialogue for peace At Common Threads Group Spiritual Direction gathering at 2 p.m. April 13, dialogue will focus on this question: "How can I help peace on Earth begin with me?" 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. Learn more about spiritual formation, direction FIND _ School for Spiritual Direction and Formation, 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 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 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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