Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, The phrase from the well-known carol "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" (and we would say gentle ones), are centuries old and are said to mean "God grant you peace and happiness." We certainly agree. Our mission is all about helping you find peace, comfort and hope while exploring God's love. And now is a great time to try it. No matter what's up right now, you need to stop at Middleway this week.
If you're finished with holiday plans and tasks, you need to sit back and relax a bit.
If you're not finished with holiday plans and tasks, you need to sit back and catch your breath for a bit.
If you do not do anything at all for the holidays, you need to check out how our space can offer you a getaway for a bit.
Let us offer our gift of hospitality to you. A warm beverage, easy music, space to read, relax, sit, dabble with art supplies -- it's all here for you. We've also planned some things offering tidings of comfort and joy. Our upcoming plans are below. Middleway's Facebook Group
Chanting for Advent is on our Facebook group page live at noon until Dec. 23. Each day features a chant antiphon followed by a verse of O Come O Come Emmanuel. A time of prayer follows the chanting. Check out all our events When Christmas isn't merry and bright If you or someone you know experiences a "blue Christmas" this time of year - sadness that seems to come out of no where and lasts for weeks - we have cards of encouragement in our foyer. Stop by and get as many as you need. Keep for yourself or give to people who need the message. Key takeway: you are not alone. View our weekly schedule
HOLIDAY SCHEDULE Middleway will be open three days this week, Dec. 20-22. Then, we will be open Dec. 28 for a meditative quiet time, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. lead by Heidi Campbell. We look forward to being back on our regular schedule beginning Jan. 3, 2023. Blue Christmas cards, service Dec. 21 Christmas can be a hard season for many who have experienced loss or family struggles, or find themselves alone during this season. If this is you, a family member or friend, join us on Wednesday Dec. 21, 7-7:30 p.m. for a short service of prayer, scripture and reflection for those who mourn and find Christmas time challenging. The service, led by Heidi Campbell, will also be live streamed on our Facebook group page. At the monastery, we will have free “holiday hope bags” for people to take. These contain prayers and meditation aids to help in the spiritual journey of the holidays. Also over the month of December, in the lead up to this service, Middleway is hosting a Blue Christmas card tree to help provide care and support for those who need hope over the weeks ahead. Stop by and get some encouragement cards for yourself, a friend or neighbor, from a display in the foyer. An Irish tradition comes to Middleway Jan. 6 The 12th day of Christmas is known as the Feast of Epiphany but also as Nollaig na mBan (Gaelic), or "Women’s Christmas." It is meant to reward women for the efforts they’ve made for others' Advent and Christmas seasons. Middleway Urban Monastery will host a casual Women's Christmas party Jan. 6, 2-4 p.m. This is a casual time to gather, relax, and conclude the holiday season with laughter and merriment, led by Kathy Reiter. Done with church but not your faith? If you have left the church during the past four years but still describe yourself as "Christian," a study led by Texas A&M communicators professor Heidi Campbell needs your input. Campbell, who also is a spiritual director and founding member of Middleway, is accepting surveys through Jan. 1 at http://bitly.ws/w9S9 It takes 30-45 minutes to complete the survey. Spiritual directors lend a (holy) ear at Middleway The backbone of Middleway is a team of well-trained spiritual directors whose ministry is to listen to you with a holy ear. Think of us as 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. Our current spiritual directors are listed at https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/spiritual-direction. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more information. Watch for our spring schedule Shortly after Christmas, we will publish our spring season of programs. We will have a wide range of offerings, and we look forward to sharing time with you in 2023. Something for everyone Between now and January there surely is at least one special program of interest for you. When we say ALL are welcome, we mean it. In addition to the those described above, look ahead to these:
Blue Christmas cards of encouragement - Nov. 29-Dec. 21. Pick up a card for yourself, a family member or friend who needs a note of encouragement this season. Then, join us for a service with those for whom the season is not so merry. If you're one of them, this is for you. Dec. 21, 7-8 p.m.
Friends of St. Joan - A monthly gathering for youth and young adults who identify as LGBTQIA+. Join us in a safe place to explore spirituality, third Mondays, 6-8 p.m. Next up: Dec. 19.
Quiet time, Dec. 28, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Women’s Christmas, Jan. 6, 2-4 p.m.
The Spirituality of Gaming, Jan. 14, 10:30 a.m.-Noon.
Journaling One’s Story – This monthly event takes place on 4th Saturdays, so it will take a break for the holidays in November and December, then return on Jan. 28.
Book Club – We will take a hiatus for November and December, Then in January our book is "Life of Pi" by Yan Martel, We'll discuss it on Jan. 31, 10:30 a.m. Participants can attend in person on via Zoom.
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 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 Middleway is 100 percent volunteer operated. Come be one who welcomes others into this peaceful place. While there, you'll be able to enjoy the hope, peace and comfort as well. 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 email@example.com. Middleway Urban Monastery's Guide for Life