Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, A picture is supposed to draw one in, making them want to read a publication. So, ponder this eggplant blossom. Truth is, there are so many programs being offered at Middleway these days that it was hard to pick one to feature. But back to the eggplant blossom. The season began happily enough for this plant last March, and a tiny eggplant was harvested in early June. Then the drought and historic three-digit temperatures set in for months. The plant wilted from time to time even with waterings, and it didn't grow much, but it never gave up. Now that there has been a little rain and temperatures have cooled a bit, there is hope. Two blossoms appeared this weekend. Life can be that way for all of us. We can be held back by seemingly unsurmountable conditions in our environment, even things that we did not cause. Middleway can be a part of your new season. It provides space where you can leave the stress behind, chill, and have a complimentary beverage. Next thing you know, you'll be blossoming again. Read more ways you can grow spiritually below. Middleway's Facebook Group
Pets and spirituality Sniff us out for a look at the importance of pets and animals to our souls. You and your pets (leashed or in a carrier under your control) are invited to Visual Prayers with Pets led by Elizabeth Crouch on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 6-8 p.m. If you don't have a pet or can't bring yours, that's ok, too. Then in remembrance of St. Francis Day, on Oct. 2 at 11:15 a.m., we'll co-host a Pet Blessing at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 217 W. 26th St., Bryan. Bring pets to be blessed by Rev. Daryl Hay and receive a St. Francis medallion for collars, cages or carriers. Middleway Book Club returns The book club will discuss "The Lost Page: An Archaeological Thriller" by Joe Edd Morris. This book group is hybrid, so participants can either attend in person at the monastery or by Zoom, Sept. 27 at 10:30 a.m. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86289918385?pwd=SjcwUW5NMlZnWUtlNFFYd01waVZzUT09 Meeting ID: 862 8991 8385 Passcode: 164675 12-Step Community to discuss "Breathing Under Water" We will meet this Tuesday, Sept. 27, for a discussion of Chapter 2 from Richard Rohr's "Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps." The monastery will be open from 5-8 p.m. and the book discussion component, led by Amy and Michael Thompson, is part of the evening. People in any 12-Step program and their friends and families are especially welcome during this time. Journeys in Prayerful Silence This weekly series introduces different styles of prayer and meditation focused around times of silence and stillness. Sessions each Thursday at 6 p.m. begin with a short teaching on the background and purpose of each type of prayer, followed by 15 minutes of practicing. Take time-out with Heidi Campbell and learn how to cultivate peace and stillness through journeying into different expressions of prayerful silence. The series continues through Oct. 13. Middleway is open on Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. and the prayerful silence segment will be from 7-7:30 p.m. Those who wish to come early or stay late can explore the monastery's many prayerful spaces. BCS Area Spiritual Directors Gathering People who have graduated from any school for spiritual direction are encouraged to attend this monthly gathering which serves and supports people in the ministry of listening with a holy ear. This month's gathering will include a soup lunch and an informal updates regarding the ministry in this area from those who attend. Future program topics for the monthly meeting will also be planned. The gathering will be noon-1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28. 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:
Journaling One’s Story – Learn to write about your life to bring deeper spiritual meaning. Monthly on fourth Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.-Noon.
Book Club – “The Lost Page: An Archaeological Thriller” by Joe Edd Morris, discussion Sept. 27, 10:30 a.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.
Dia de los Muertos and a look at grief and loss, Oct. 22, 10:30-Noon.
Sacred chanting – Learn this ancient method of singing, Nov. 5, 10:30 a.m.-Noon.
Wassail at the Monastery – Get a taste of our hospitality with a cup of this traditional holiday beverage. No agenda. We’ll merely open the doors for you to take a breather before the holiday rush, Dec. 3, 10:30 a.m.-Noon.
Post-Holiday – Celtic Women’s Christmas, Jan. 6, 1-3 p.m.; The Spirituality of Gaming, Jan. 14, 10:30 a.m.-Noon.
How to experience the monastery While we offer a variety of programs you can attend, the monastery is also open 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. Spiritual direction offered at Middleway A spiritual director is one who can listen to you with a holy ear and doesn't try to "fix" you with their solutions. Being listened to -- truly listened to -- is powerfully healing. You and your spiritual director normally meet monthly for an hour. Our current spiritual directors are listed at https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/spiritual-direction. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help you. We need you at Middleway We've added several programs at night, which means the monastery will be open for some new times. If you've been unable to volunteer during the days, here's your chance. 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. Middleway Urban Monastery's Guide for Life