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Get your calendars out

Dear friends,

In a book due out this week, Oprah Winfrey and Arthur Brooks describe how to "Build the Life you Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier." Spoiler alert: it isn't money, power, or fame. What it amounts to, they say, is finding enjoyment, satisfaction, and meaning. Check, check, check. That's what we're about at Middleway. Helping you reach deep down in your soul to find Happiness. So, get your calendar out and fill it up with the wonderful fall schedule. For starters, if you've found it hard to come during our weekday hours, we now will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, as well as monthly on Sunday afternoons. Plus, we continue with special programs monthly, some familiar and some new. May you find peace, comfort, and hope and happiness this fall at Middleway.

Community for Dones

Are you “done” with participating in a church, but looking for a place for spiritual community and conversation? This group seeks to create space for those who would describe themselves as “done” with church, or those who no longer feel at home or accepted in church settings for a variety of reasons but still want to grow in their faith. Be part of building a supportive and safe space for spiritual conversations and contemplation with others. The group is led by Heidi Campbell, with her husband Troy Shepherd, Wednesdays from 7-8 p.m. beginning Sept. 20.

Common Threads 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 a monthly group for people to share life's stories. Some bring thread projects - crochet, knitting, stitching, mending, etc. - to do while talking and listening, but that is not required. Common Threads next meeting is Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 1:30 p.m.

Chanting the Psalms and Contemplative Sit Dates for the monthly Chant and meditation are set for the fall. 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 fall gatherings will be 2-3 p.m. Sept. 24, Oct. 29, Nov. 26, and Dec. 17. Let us know you're coming!

Friday Meditation and Mindfulness Center yourself and find peace in the midst of your busy life. Friday Meditation and Mindfulness will meet during the noon hour monthly at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 29, Oct. 27, Nov. 10, and Dec. 15.

Book Study Begins Sept. 26 "Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice" by Brene Brown is the choice for the fall book club, which will meet weekly. The first meeting will be Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. It will continue on Tuesday evenings through the fall. Brown writes that her research has shown without exception the concept of spirituality is a critical component for resilience and overcoming struggles. The book group will discuss chapters each week.

Theology Nerds Take a deep dive into early church theologians starting with "Glory to Glory" featuring writings of Gregory of Nyssa. This is a great group for those who want to learn about and discuss people who've written on the nature of God through the centuries. Snacks provided, 3 p.m. Sundays on Sept. 24, Oct. 29, Nov. 26, Dec. 17.

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 Email us at if you need more information. 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, Saturdays or Sundays 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. You are welcome to come and enjoy the space even if another program is going on - we've got room for you! We need you! Three hours a month, week, or day. Regular or now -and-then. You pick what's convenient for you, then volunteer to hang out at the monastery to help welcome 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, but there are other tasks such as tending to the art area, cleaning and assisting with plants or the library, to name a few things. While there, you might spot other ways to use your talents to serve the monastery. We are 100 percent volunteer operated. NEW SIGN UP URL: Go to Create an account there to select the area(s) you'd like to volunteer for. If you signed up under the former URL, you will need to change your password. Choose "Forgot my Password" to establish a new one. Once signed in, you will see a picture of the blue meditation room. Click on that picture and you will get a page with Applications, Events and Shifts. Select shifts to find out what is available in the Circle you are signed up for. If you want to add more areas, select Applications to add your choices. Once you are accepted into the system, you will be able to see what times are available by clicking on the Shifts icon. If you need assistance, please come by the monastery or email Middleway Urban Monastery's Guide for Life

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