Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, Thinking of something to write here every week is relatively easy. But occasionally there is a big blank. The image here was labeled "blank square" when the file was downloaded from the web. Guess big blanks can show up anywhere. But, let's reconsider? It might be something altogether different for you, and the meaning may change at different times in life. Could it be just blank for now? or is it something to fill in? Maybe it represents getting rid of the clutter in life? Or is it indicating the potential that awaits us? Perhaps not every space on our calendar needs to be filled? Ponder that image and what it means to you. Then, read more below to find some ways to fill in the blanks in your life. Middleway's Facebook Group
Common Threads Wednesday
It isn't everywhere that we can meet just to share with others about where God is in our lives (even if it feels at the moment like God is absent). But when we do, there's usually a serendipitous theme - a common thread - that brings about empathy through shared stories. Common Threads at Middleway is that. Some bring thread projects - crochet, knitting, stitching, mending, etc. - to do while talking and listening, but that is not required. Common Threads will meet next on June 14, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Creativity with The Creator
A wise friend once remarked that the root of recreation is "re - create" meaning when we take time for recreation, we renew, refresh, re-create ourselves.
This summer we're providing simple creative projects you can do 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 "God's eyes," which symbolize God lovingly watching over each of us.
The art zone, like all of the monastery, is judgment free. The God's eye pictured here was made long ago by a 4-year-old who is now 22. It was such a memorable activity for her as a child, that she suggested God's eyes for a Middleway summer activity. It's something any age can learn.
Here's what you can create with us this summer:
June 13-16 - God's eye
June 20-24 - Discover labyrinths (a make-your-own workshop will be June 21 at 1:30 p.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 last week's Grateful Journals, supplies and instructions are in the art area, so you can still make one.
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 Congrats to the Class of 2023 who graduated June 9 from FIND – School for Spiritual Direction and Formation. This class includes four who are in the Bryan-College Station area and three from Austin. Bishop Kai Ryan, Episcopal Diocese of Texas, officiated at the service. FIND is accepting applications for the Class of 2026 until June 30. The school, hosted by Middleway Urban Monastery in Bryan, TX, holds monthly Saturday classes for clergy and lay people 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 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.
Common Threads – Bring a thread art project (or not) and join in chatting about how our lives intertwine with similar themes, second Wednesdays of each month at 1:30 p.m. Next gathering is June 14.
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 at Middleway 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