Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends,
Circles, labyrinths, books, and poetry. If you look at those words and can't figure out how they connect, that's OK. What they have in common is Middleway, and what they offer is a variety of ways you can tap into the monastery. We continue to schedule new ways of helping visitors and volunteers explore God's love. You may try parts of Middleway at different times, according to your needs. And we hope that you will find a niche, a circle, that you want to be link up with when the physical location opens.
What are the Circles of Stewards?
In the community forming around Middleway, we have many ways for you to offer your unique talents. And because Middleway operates with no paid staff, your time in the area that seems natural to you is much needed. We call these areas of volunteering "circles," because any point around the perimeter of a circle is an equal distance to the middle. Of course, a circle can also represent people of shared interests. Thus, at Middleway, each person in each circle will have equal voice to guiding their area of interest, and the circles will interlock for the overall good of the monastery.
Each circle will play a different role at Middleway, and people will be able to serve in more than one circle. For example, there will be people who serve in reception, hospitality, library, art, technology, worship, plants/garden, cleaning, growth, administration, and spiritual direction. Which of those awaken your interests?
The people of each circle will gather as needed to determine what is needed in their area. The circle for the library, for example, will shelf the books, keep a list of what's available, determine books to add, and establish a lending system, for example. This circle may think of other things that are needed to make the library of Middleway most helpful for visitors. Their decisions will flow through the overall Guiding Council, which assures the compatibility through all circles for the benefit of people who come seeking hope, comfort and peace as together we explore ways of experiencing God’s love. Each circle will operate similarly.
Come be a part of Middleway. We want to include you!
An online signup will be available soon but, in the meantime, if you already feel called to one of these areas - or simply would like to find out more - contact us at email@example.com.
Poetry as Prayer continuing online through July
Each Saturday in July we offer Poetry as Prayer virtually. Join us at 10 a.m. Saturday mornings on our Facebook group. We also invite you to share a favorite poem that speaks to you as prayer. Contact Aneya Elbert at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to speak with you either in person or over Zoom. You also can watch all editions of Poetry as Prayer on our website or youtube channel.
"Searching for Sunday" topic of weekly book club
This Thursday at 7 p.m. we'll delve into our Book of the Month, "Searching for Sunday: Loving, leaving and finding the church" by Rachel Held Evans. We will discuss from the Forward through Chapter 6. The book club will meet weekly on following Thursdays to discuss portions of the book.
The group is open to all. Here's how to join:
Meeting ID: 862 8991 8385 Passcode: 164675
or call in 1 346 248 7799
Other upcoming books are:
August - "Halleluja Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy" by Anne Lamott
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
Finger Labyrinth Friday set for July 9
For a peaceful way to ease into the weekend, plan to enjoy our monthly Finger Labyrinth Meditation Friday at 1 p.m. To be ready, go to our Facebook group page and click on the Files tab. There you will see the ChartresLabyrinth.pdf file. Download and print a copy. Then, return to the group page at the scheduled time to attend the meditation provided by Aneya Elbert.
How to Visit Middleway Urban Monastery
Ready to dig a little deeper spiritually? We're here for you. Very soon, we hope to 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. When you enter our URL, https://www.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.