Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends,
Furniture has been moved in, utilities are being connected, art supplies are being gathered and a fabulous lending library of books on spirituality will soon be categorized and assembled for learning and lending. We are preparing to welcome you to 309 N. Tabor, Bryan, Texas. (Our regular online schedule continues on our Facebook Group page).
This week a local resident mentioned not attending church at this time and not knowing what to call God. "PERFECT!" we said. Middleway is intentionally set up for people who need a safe place to explore God, by whatever name. More than half of the population of Brazos County are unaffiliated with any religion, and that ripples out to more than 100 million people in the U.S. The majority of those people say they believe in God and pray, but just are not giong to church at this time for a variety of reasons.
For those of you who feel that way -- and for those of you who are attending church but want more in the way of spiritual experiences -- there is a safe setting where you will not be judged or told what to think. Middleway awaits you.
Prepare for October's book study
Our Zoom book study group has met regularly for more than a year and will continue, but as Middleway prepares for opening our physical location in Bryan, Texas, we are willing to have a daytime, in-person parallel meeting each week as well. If you're interested in doing a daytime meeting, email firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate what day and time might work best for you.
For our Zoom meeting, we will take a break on the fifth Thursday this month, Sept. 30, because we finished our book. Then, on Oct. 7, we will start the next book, "Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus" by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg. So order your copy or check with a library now. It's available as a free read for Amazon Prime members.
This newsletter will remind you again next week, but for our first meeting Oct. 7, read the Introduction plus chapters 1 – 3.
Here's how to join:
Meeting ID: 862 8991 8385 Passcode: 164675
or call in 1 346 248 7799
Upcoming books are:
November - "Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith" by Kathleen Norris
December - No meetings
January 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! Now that we have a building, we need volunteers who can be there in person beginning in October. Dates will be announced soon for the volunteer training and several "soft openings" before our grand opening in November.
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. Trainings will be offered prior to opening.
And no worries if you don't live near. There are some ways to be part of our circles whether you live nearby or far away. Ask how.
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, 9-noon, everyone who has expressed an interest in being a volunteer receptionist would 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.
Pass the word. Ask your frieds to subscribe to this newsletter by going to https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/contact Enter the email address at the Subscribe button on the lower right.