Lent: Name your wilderness

Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends,

Wilderness. Rev. Daryl Hay at St. Andrew's in Bryan, Texas, today noted that wilderness can take many forms. He referred to the Gospel story of Jesus being driven into the wilderness where He was tempted by Satan.

Hay said your visions upon hearing the word "wilderness" might conjure the photographs of Ansel Adams in the west, or the Appalachian trail, or the cliffs of Big Sur. It may cause us to think of wastelands or places where one takes chances to survive, or this world contrasted with heaven, or the vast energy found in wild systems, or the unknown.

Whatever comes to your mind, let it also give you pause to consider this Lent the wilderness in your life. Name that wilderness. Explore it. That's a great exercise to consider during Lent, the season many Christian observe between now and Easter as a way to journey closer to God, who is already close to us.

Middleway offers several ways to journey this month. We hope to see you at some or all of them.

Read about what's going on at Middleway below. Make a note to check out our Facebook group page or website.

The Way of the Wilderness: The Path to Fullness of Life in the Season of Lent

In this season of Lent, you are invited to journey with open-hearted pilgrims from Middleway Urban Monastery to walk the Way of the Wilderness. To guide us on the path, we will be using the Second Breath app, a resource overflowing with simple and transformative spiritual practices. Through teaching, spiritual practice, conversation, and shared experience, we will follow Jesus of Nazareth into the Lenten wilderness to cultivate and discover a dynamic inward spiritual journey that leads to “fullness of life.

The Way of the Wilderness includes:

  • The Second Breath app with full access to all premium content through Holy Week. (Available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play.) Email aneya.kay@gmail.com once you download the app to extend your use of the app.

  • A weekly group spiritual direction session facilitated by a spiritual director with Middleway Urban Monastery.

  • A participant guide for each person including recommended practices, encouragements, and instructions to walk the Way of the Wilderness throughout the season of Lent.

Program Details:

Sundays, Feb. 28-March 28, 6:45-8 p.m. Aneya Elbert, facilitator and spiritual director, can answer questions sent to aneya.kay@gmail.com.

Zoom Instructions:

Register at the link below and you will receive the link in your email https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAkdeiuqzktGtckW7jz_eD7Vwx4npQGs5-p

If you are able, join us on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. when Rev. Greg Farrand with the Second Breath Center will introduce the program. Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZckcu-uqTsoE9e2BC6uzoMiiLaYzBX12Iv5

Book club updates

Ragamuffin readers -- Winter Storm Uri kept us from meeting last week, so we will gather on zoom this week to discuss chapters 7-11 to complete the book, "Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out."

We have a wonderful set of study questions that probe not only the chapters of the book but what the message means in our individual lives.

"Each moment of our existence, we are either growing into more or retreating into less," wrote Brennan Manning, author. The idea is to accept that God loves you no matter what. Join us Tuesday at 7 p.m. Central on Zoom. Our discussion is on chapters 7-9 this week, and you can join from anywhere.

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

Meeting ID: 862 8991 8385 Passcode: 164675

or call in 1 346 248 7799

Go ahead and get your copy of The Magnificent Defeat to be ready for the March 2 meeting. Watch for more details in next week's newsletter.

Other books chosen for coming months:

  • March - The Magnificent Defeat by Frederick Buechner

  • April - Soul Making: The Desert Way of Spirituality by Alan Jones

  • May - Streams of Living Water by Richard Foster

How to Visit Middleway Urban Monastery

Ready to dig a little deeper spiritually? We're here for you.

You're a "member" if you are receiving this newsletter. Come and see what the monastery has for you online. When you enter our URL, facebook.com/groups/TheMiddlewayUrbanMonastery, it is like opening the door of a physical building, and 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.

If you know others who would like to "join," ask them to subscribe to our weekly newsletter by going to https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/contact and entering their email address at the Subscribe button on the lower right.

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