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Not perfect? Join the club

Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, "We can talk about courage and love and compassion until we sound like a greeting card store, but unless we're willing to have an honest conversation about what gets in the way of putting these into practice in our daily lives, we will never change. Never, ever." Brené Brown. Middleway wants to model courage, love and compassion to those who want community and haven't found it. Truth is, we all want community. We're wired that way. And, we're all imperfect. We're wired that way, too. It may take guts and courage to walk through the door. We get that. We've been there, done that. But it could be the first step in realizing you are A-OK. You're human. Brown's book is the topic of our book club this week. There's more about that below. But mainly we want you to know Middleway is a place to start embracing the person you are. It's open for you to use for your own soul-refreshing time and/or in any of the special times we offer. Come and see. Middleway's Facebook Group

Book club's hybrid gathering to return Jan. 18 "The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are" by Brené Brown is up for discussion Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 10:30 a.m. Brown offers 10 guideposts for wholehearted living. Consider which one most fits you right now and which you'd like to dig a little deeper into. Our gatherings are hybrid, meaning we will have Zoom for those unable to be in person while others will gather in a room here at the monastery. Together we discuss our book of the month. This month we will also consider upcoming books for the spring. Come share your ideas of what would be good to read and discuss together. The link for Zoom attendance: Spiritual growth through journaling Journaling as a way to tell one's story -- and sharing that walk in community with others -- will be the approach for a new group spiritual direction meeting. Monthly gatherings will be the fourth Saturday of each month, guided by Amy Thompson. The first meeting will be Jan. 22 at 10:30 a.m. Then, for those interested in a more thorough look at how journaling can be used in spiritual growth, Thompson will present a two-hour workshop Feb. 12, 10 a.m.-noon. Hold the date. More information will be provided soon! Separate children's, adult programs offered on Thursday evenings Centering prayer is offered monthly on first and third Thursdays beginning at 5:30 p.m. Adults are encouraged to join in the 30-minute quiet prayer time led by Rich Nelson. At the same time, children's program leader Aneya Elbert will engage children in activities and conversation about their spirituality using a variety of fun tools and topics. The next date for both activities this month is Jan. 20. How do you experience rest? Sabbath? Soul Care Sunday is a new, monthly opportunity to engage in contemplative spiritual practices. On the first Sunday of each month, we will open Middleway from 2-4 p.m. to learn and practice ways of bringing peaceful rest to your life. Our first Soul Care Sunday will be Feb. 6. We offer brief introductions to tools you can call upon as you cultivate this rest in your rhythm of life. Please come and stay as long or as little as you are able. We will try our best to maintain quiet along with a technology free zone. Please email Aneya Elbert with any questions you have. We need you at Middleway Come be a part of the Middleway community! It's as simple as being present to welcome others into this peaceful place. While there, you'll be able to enjoy the hope, peace and comfort as well. You also can offer your talents in administration, reception, hospitality, plants/greenery, library, arts, technology/information, worship, cleaning, and growth/sustainability. Each of these areas are called Circles of Stewards, which are groups of people within the community who share similar interests and want to help make Middleway as special, sacred space for all. If you're not sure which area you'd enjoy most, just pick general interest, and we'll let you know what volunteer opportunities are open. You can sign up at 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. These opportunities are more than volunteering -- they are community forming. 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 Guide for 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.

Other ways to experience Middleway Urban Monastery Ready to dig a little deeper spiritually? Join our Facebook group page. Doing so will let you receive notices about events as well comment and see what others in the Middleway community are saying. 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 by going to Enter the email address at the Subscribe button on the lower right.

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