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Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends,

Several people have joined via this newsletter this month, and we welcome you. Each and every one of you are important - from those who've been part of the community since we began 14 months ago - to those of you who have just discovered Middleway and it's offerings.

We offer Middleway first and foremost as a space for people to encounter the presence of God both beyond ourselves and within. A lot of people are attracted to Middleway precisely because we allow the freedom for all people to explore ways of experiencing God's love. And that means both those who are "spiritual but not religious" as well as those who attend a church but seek something more can find a path at Middleway.

As we prepare to open our doors at the physical location, we also now are opening membership on our Facebook group page. Just go there and join so you can receive notices and posts about events as well comment on our offerings.

Read about what's going on at Middleway below. Then check out our Facebook group page or website.

As "Halleluja Anyway" concludes, "An Altar in the World" planned

Time to get the next book for our September weekly gatherings -- "An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith" by Barbara Brown Taylor. Taylor shares how she learned to find God beyond the church walls by embracing the sacred as a natural part of everyday life. We'll start discussing that book on Sept. 2.

This week, we'll finish the August selection, "Halleluja Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy" by Anne Lamott.

On Aug. 26, we will talk about Chapters 7-9. We are using a study guide from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship at https://cbf.net/bookclubreadingguides-17-18

The book club meets weekly on Thursdays and is open to all. Here's how to join:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86289918385?pwd=SjcwUW5NMlZnWUtlNFFYd01waVZzUT09

Meeting ID: 862 8991 8385 Passcode: 164675

or call in 1 346 248 7799

Upcoming books are:

  • September - "An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith" by Barbara Brown Taylor

  • October - "Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus" by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg

  • 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! We need volunteers who have talents in administration, reception, hospitality, plants/greenery, library, arts, technology/information, worship, cleaning, and growth/sustainability. There are even way to be part of our circles of stewards whether you live nearby or far away. You will soon receive an invitation to become a volunteer in one or more of those areas. If you want to go ahead and get on board, 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.

We consider these opportunities more than volunteering. Our volunteers are part of the Middleway community. 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 Rule of 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.

Prayer Series for August: Real Prayers for Tough Times

Heidi Campbell continues a new prayer series this month called, “Real Prayers for Tough Times” through Aug. 31. The series, posted on our Facebook group every Tuesday and Thursday at 2 p.m., uses the prayers of David in the Psalms as a model, to show how we can pray about hard, emotional topics using everyday images and language. These feature themes such as the Prayer of Why?, When Lacking Motivation and a Pandemic Lament.

Each prayer video is inspired by a different verses of the Psalms. They begin with a short non-traditional prayer, followed by 60 seconds of quiet where people can either meditate on the prayer offered, or add their own prayer on the theme. Each video ends a reading of one or two select verses that inspired the prayer. All sessions are no more than two minutes.

How to Visit Middleway Urban Monastery

Ready to dig a little deeper spiritually? We're here for you. Very soon, we will have our physical space in Bryan, Texas ready for in-person visits. And even after we open that space, we will continue with our virtual offerings.

You're a "member" if you are receiving this newsletter. Come and see what the monastery has for you online. Plus, now you can join our Facebook Group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheMiddlewayUrbanMonastery. 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.

Pass the word. Ask your frieds to subscribe to this newsletter, https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/contact and entering their email address at the Subscribe button on the lower right, and join our Facebook group.

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