Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, A local news report last week showed that the percentage of people who are depressed is higher in the Brazos Valley than the national and state level. That was attributed to worry about a lot of things. At the same time in another publication, the American Institute of Stress, a nonprofit in Weatherford, TX, said volunteering is a powerfully unique stress buster. "Volunteer work combines the satisfaction we feel when we help someone with the social interaction that helps us feel less alone," the nonprofit said. We absolutely, truly need you to volunteer at Middleway. And we know that when you come to help, you will feel better just being part of the community at Middleway. So, read more below to find some ways to partake of what we offer, but also check out the section that says We Need You! Middleway's Facebook Group
Tending to plants at Middleway
Many pots of plants we were gifted when we moved in at Middleway have thrived or survived, as the case may be, with an occasional watering by one of us while there. But we have longed to have a volunteer who actually wanted to tend to the plants. We found that in Elizabeth Vega who responded to a comment we put in a local plant enthusiasts Facebook page. Thank you, Elizabeth! We expect the plants to soon be overflowing with joy like Elizabeth is. She's a perfect match, and we love her presence while she cares for them. You, too, can join the plant circle and volunteer with Elizabeth. OR, you might find one of our other Circles of Stewardship (art, cleaning, hospitality, reception, sustainability) to your liking. We definitely need your talents. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by to find out how to volunteer.
Creativity with The Creator
This summer we're providing simple creative projects you can d0 at your own pace. Instructions are provided for you to create while soaking up our relaxing atmosphere. There are no rules for each project's outcome. You be you. This week we feature labyrinths, which a type of journey on which you may wander for a bit before finding God in the middle. And the beauty is, you cannot get lost. Paper labyrinths will be available along with instructions on how to prayerfully - and artistically - journey with one. Then, on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and Thursday at 10:30 a.m., we will have a workshop to let you create your own handheld labyrinth to take home. Reservations are appreciated at Labyrinth Workshop so we can have enough supplies on hand. The art zone, like all of the monastery, is judgment free, and our projects work for school-aged children through adults. Here's what you can create with us this summer:
June 20-24 - Discover labyrinths (make-your-own workshops will be June 21 at 1:30 p.m. and June 22 at 10:30 a.m.)
June 27-30 - Stick around (sticker collages)
July 5-7 - Treasure boxes
July 11-14 - Rock painting
July 18-21 - Prayer beads
July 25-28 - Greeting cards to share
Aug. 1-5 - Painting bread (and yes, it's edible)
If you missed previous week's Grateful Journals or God's eyes, supplies and instructions are in the art area, so you can still make create them.
Deeper Wisdom of the Enneagram: Centers of Intelligence and Stances
So, you are familiar with the Enneagram and already know your Enneagram number, or style? This is just your starting point. A primary gift of Enneagram wisdom is the many layers of self-awareness and knowledge it offers. On July 22, 9 a.m.-Noon, Kathy and Jim Reiter will lead a workshop to highlight information about the three Centers of Intelligence as well as the three Stances of the Enneagram. "Focusing on the Center of Intelligence in which your Enneagram style is rooted will broaden your understanding of how you perceive and respond to daily life," Kathy said. "Working with Enneagram Stances will reveal your social style and the Center of Intelligence which offers you the most opportunity for development. An honest look at ourselves in these ways offers each of us yet another path for spiritual transformation." Register for Enneagram workshop
Spirituality of breadmaking: Buns for the Grill
What could be better than a home-grilled burger this summer? A home-grilled burger on a homemade bun. It's downright spiritual. Join us on Aug. 5, 10 a.m.-Noon to experience the discipline of kneading the dough, waiting patiently for it to rise, the yeasty smell - and what that might have to do with God in your life. It's great for individuals, friends or families. Hot dogs - on homemade buns, of course - will be served at the conclusion of this event, so be sure to register in advance. Spirituality of Breadmaking Registration
Become a Spiritual Director
FIND is accepting applications for the Class of 2026 until June 30. The school, hosted by Middleway Urban Monastery in Bryan, TX, holds classes on Saturday a month, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., September-June, for clergy and lay people. We are diverse and ecumenical without educational or age limits. Click the button for more information. FIND - School for Spiritual Direction
Chanting the Psalms and Contemplative Sit Deepen your spirituality by chanting the psalms. Led by Amy Thompson, this features Anglican and Gregorian chants using Psalms, followed by a 20-minute meditative sit (or centering). The next gathering is June 25 at 2 p.m.
UNWIND THURSDAY EVENINGS
Middleway is open Thursdays until 7 p.m. Stop by to unwind after work. Padre Ben Sanchez, an Episcopal priest and Thursday evening host, also leads Grupo de Oracion, group prayer for Spanish speakers, 6-7 p.m.
Spiritual directors lend a (holy) ear at Middleway The backbone of Middleway is a team of spiritual directors, well trained by various schools, whose ministry is to listen to you with a holy ear. We are spiritual companions who are willing to meet with you monthly in a non-judging atmosphere as you discern where God is in your life. We don't try to "fix" you with our solutions. Being listened to -- truly listened to -- is powerfully healing. You and your spiritual director normally meet monthly for an hour. Some directors charge varying amounts, and others do not charge. Our current spiritual directors are listed at https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/spiritual-direction. Email us at email@example.com if you need more information. Planning ahead: note these on your calendar We hope you'll find at least one special event to attend between now and August. Mark your calendars!
July 22 – The Enneagram for Growth, going beyond the basics to explore your spirituality, 9 a.m.-Noon, with Kathy and Jim Reiter.
Aug. 5 – Spirituality of Breadmaking: Buns for the grill - 9:30 a.m.-Noon, with Kathleen Phillips.
Grupo de Oracion – Thursday evenings, 6 p.m.
Weekly Creativity with The Creator in the art area, through Aug. 5
Chanting and meditative sit, June 25, 2 p.m.
How to experience the monastery While we offer a variety of programs you can attend, the monastery is also open at least four days a week and some evenings and Saturdays for you to just come for a dose of the relaxing atmosphere where no one will bug you. Read, retreat from the hectic pace of your world, use the 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. We need you! Come volunteer as one who welcomes others into this peaceful place. While there, you'll be able to enjoy the hope, peace and comfort as well. We especially need volunteer hosts and receptionists who'd love to greet people and help them get familiar with the monastery. Middleway is 100 percent volunteer operated. 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. If you need assistance, please come by the monastery or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Middleway Urban Monastery's Guide for Life