How an app could help find God
Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, There are some amazing apps one can use on a smart phone to identify practically any living creature. And not only do these apps make an identification, but many have links to information about their habitat, what they eat, their size, and where you'll likely find them. A favorite free app this morning indicated that this is a white-tailed deer, then gave other names by which it is known and explained that it is native to the United States but also throughout the western hemisphere. And, it gave a range map with dots showing where others have observed this critter, and how it lives. Many of us seekers could use such an app for finding God. Oh that we might be walking along, point our phone cameras in a God app and get a list of names for, locations of and how to live with the Holy One. Middleway uses lots of apps, but it is our spiritual directors who freely offer many ways to help you find God. Read more below to find some things you can point to as you seek God.
Becoming aware of the Beloved If you are "trying to discover or figure God out," but not sure how or where to look, Middleway spiritual director Iris Villareal has a new offering that may help. Once a week, Iris will be featured in "Becoming aware of the Beloved," a video on our Facebook group. Iris offered many examples of what might be included in her brief talks. "Some connect with God through 12 step programs, or through poetry or music," she said. "So I will have brief talks on a variety of ways to become aware of the Beloved." The videos will be available on our Facebook group page on Friday's beginning May 26.
RESERVE YOUR SPOT NOW: Finding the Spiritual with Poetry and Nature Join us June 3, 10 a.m.-Noon, for this interactive workshop exploring nature, poetry, and spirituality. The event will start by exploring poetry from well-known mystics and folks who would not claim to be either poets or mystics, according to workshop leader Sandy Soghikian. "We will touch upon the Old Testament psalms of the Hebrews as poetry, talk about themes of spirituality, and share our thoughts on why or how poetry and nature evoke or reflect spirituality," she said. "We’ll share ideas for strengthening the spiritual dimension of our lives with poetry and nature. After that, we will read short passages with spiritual themes and work together to create poetry from the passages." Soghikian said participants are encouraged to bring poems or photos of nature to share. The event is free. Those who wish to do so may donate to the Middleway fund to help sustain the monastery. Thanks to a generous donation, all participants will receive a free Middleway T-Shirt!
I'm coming to the poetry workshop, naturally!
UNWIND THURSDAY EVENINGS Middleway is on 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.
Become a Spiritual Director FIND – School for Spiritual Direction and Formation 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
BCS-Area Spiritual Directors Gathering May 24 The monthly gathering of area spiritual directors will be May 24 beginning at Noon. You're welcome to brown bag for the lunchtime meeting. John Pruett, who will graduate from FIND-School for Spiritual Direction and Formation in June, will speak on "Big Impressions and Insights" referring to his three-year spiritual director training. All spiritual directors are invited. After the May meeting, the group will break for the summer and begin monthly gatherings again in September. 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 Our Spring schedule is out, and we hope you'll find at least one special event to attend between now and July. Mark your calendars!
June 3 – Finding the Spiritual with Poetry and Nature, 10 a.m.-12 p.m, with Sandy Soghikian.
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, second Wednesdays of each month at 1:30 p.m. Next gathering is June 14.
Grupo de Oracion – Thursday evenings, 6 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. 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.