Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends,
Technically, it is still winter for three more weeks. But after an historic snow and ice storm across much of the United States earlier this month, many of us are beginning to think ahead to the days of sunshine and warmth. This morning I peered through a window to a patio where various plants had been covered during the winter storm, and I wondered if any new buds would push through the yellowed stalks to bring new growth. Horticulturists have recommended we wait for two weeks before giving up on our treasured plants.
As my eye scanned for any sign of life among the plants, a bright green anole moved up a climbing rosebush to eye level. In that moment, the lizard was a sign of hope -- that there is no more winter on the way, that there is life in those plants, that all will be well.
The anole in its own way is seeking what we all seek. Hope. Comfort. Peace.
Similarly, no matter the weather, Middleway wants to provide a place, albeit virtually at this time, for you to find those basic desires for your life -- hope, comfort and peace as you seek new life in God.
Tell us about your dreams for hope, comfort and peace
Dream a little. If you could have an affordable getaway during the day - a place you knew you could depend on offering a quiet, prayerful atmosphere - what would be there? A library with comfy sofas? A fully stocked art room? A prayer room? A garden with paths and places to sit? Tell us what you're thinking by answering this eight-question anonymous survey. Our goal is to add a physical space to our virtual monastery. We want to extend hospitality in a way that is meaningful and inviting to all who are seeking to know God a little better. Find the survey here:
Let your fingers do the walking
On the first Friday of each month, we offer a guided meditation with a labyrinth walk. The convenient thing is, you can do this from your favorite comfortable spot with your own hand-held labyrinth or a printed one we provide. Join the labyrinth meditation, hosted by Aneya Elbert, March 5 at 12:30 p.m. via Zoom.
The Way of the Wilderness: The Path to Fullness of Life in the Season of Lent
The Way of the Wilderness continues as a Lenten program in cooperation with Middleway. Participants will be using the Second Breath app, a resource overflowing with simple and transformative spiritual practices. Through teaching, spiritual practice, conversation, and shared experience, the program follows Jesus of Nazareth into the Lenten wilderness to cultivate and discover a dynamic inward spiritual journey that leads to “fullness of life.
The Way of the Wilderness includes:
The Second Breath app with full access to all premium content through Holy Week. (Available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play.) Email firstname.lastname@example.org once you download the app to extend your use of the app.
A weekly group spiritual direction session facilitated by a spiritual director with Middleway Urban Monastery.
A participant guide for each person including recommended practices, encouragements, and instructions to walk the Way of the Wilderness throughout the season of Lent.
Sundays, March 7-28, 6:45-8 p.m. Aneya Elbert, facilitator and spiritual director, can answer questions sent to email@example.com.
Register at the link below and you will receive the link in your email https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAkdeiuqzktGtckW7jz_eD7Vwx4npQGs5-p
Book club to ponder The Magnificent Defeat for March
Member Kathy Ritter will lead a discussion of the March book, "The Magnificent Defeat" by Frederick Buechner.
Each week in March, a portion of the book will be discussed. Ritter said the group will consider the first six chapters for March 2. She encourages participants to think about what the "magnificent defeat" is and how each chapter relates to that theme. The subtheme for those chapters -- "challenge to surrender" -- will also be discussed as well as what spoke to participants individually.
The group is open to all. It begins at 7 p.m. Central time. Here's how to join:
Meeting ID: 862 8991 8385 Passcode: 164675
or call in 1 346 248 7799
Other books chosen for coming months:
April - Soul Making: The Desert Way of Spirituality by Alan Jones
May - Streams of Living Water by Richard Foster
How to Visit Middleway Urban Monastery
Ready to dig a little deeper spiritually? We're here for you.
You're a "member" if you are receiving this newsletter. Come and see what the monastery has for you online. When you enter our URL, facebook.com/groups/TheMiddlewayUrbanMonastery, it is like opening the door of a physical building, and you will find all that is offered there.
Likewise, you can 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.
If you know others who would like to "join," ask them to subscribe to our weekly newsletter by going to https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/contact and entering their email address at the Subscribe button on the lower right.