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On being countercultural

Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, A recent visitor to Middleway told us we are countercultural. This was one who has studied religion in America his entire career. Calling us countercultural in a spiritual sense, he indicated, is a compliment. He suggested that we embrace the term. If you have experienced anything less than love and acceptance for who you are as you journey along with God, well, we're not that. If that makes us countercultural, so be it. It's hard to explain in print. Best to come and see for yourself. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this as well. Keep reading to see how your faith journey might fit in the "countercultural" atmosphere of hope, comfort and peace at Middleway.

New book study begins April 11

If "Do I Stay Christian?" is the question you're asking―or if it's a question that someone you love is asking ― join us Tuesday evenings at 6 p.m. starting April 11 for a book study series. "Do I Stay Christian?" publicly addresses the powerful question that a surprising number of people―including pastors, priests, and other religious leaders―are asking in private. Author Brian McLaren combines his own experience with that of thousands of people who have confided in him over the years to help readers make a responsible, honest, ethical decision about their religious identity.

Common Threads finds similar themes on where God is It isn't everywhere that we can meet just to share with others about where God is in our lives (even if it feels at the moment like God is absent). But when we do, there's usually a serendipitous theme - a common thread - that brings about empathy through shared stories. Common Threads at Middleway is that. Some bring thread projects - crochet, knitting, stitching, mending, etc. - to do while talking and listening, but that is not required. Common Threads next meeting is April 12 at 1:30 p.m.

NOW OPEN THURSDAY EVENINGS Middleway is now open on Thursdays until 7 p.m. Stop by to unwind after work. Padre Ben Sanchez, an Episcopal priest, is hosting Thursday evenings. He will lead group prayer for Spanish speakers 6-7 p.m. each Thursday.

Become a Spiritual Director FIND – School for Spiritual Direction and Formation is accepting applications for the Class of 2026 until June 30. The school, hosted by Middleway Urban Monastery in Bryan, TX, holds monthly Saturday classes for clergy and lay people 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. We are diverse and ecumenical without educational or age limits. Click the button for more information. FIND - School for Spiritual Direction

Spiritual directors lend a (holy) ear at Middleway The backbone of Middleway is a team of spiritual directors, well trained by various schools, whose ministry is to listen to you with a holy ear. We are spiritual companions who are willing to meet with you monthly in a non-judging atmosphere as you discern where God is in your life. We don't try to "fix" you with our solutions. Being listened to -- truly listened to -- is powerfully healing. You and your spiritual director normally meet monthly for an hour. Some directors charge varying amounts, and others do not charge. Our current spiritual directors are listed at Email us at if you need more information. Planning ahead: note these on your calendar Our Spring schedule is out, and we hope you'll find at least one special event to attend between now and July. Mark your calendars!

  • June 3 – Finding the Spiritual with Poetry and Nature, 10 a.m.-1 p.m, with Sandy Soghikian.

  • July 22 – The Enneagram for Growth, going beyond the basics to explore your spirituality, 9 a.m.-Noon, with Kathy and Jim Reiter.

  • Aug. 5 – Spirituality of Breadmaking: Buns for the grill - 9:30 a.m.-Noon, with Kathleen Phillips.

  • Ongoing: Common Threads – Bring a thread art project (or not) and join in the discussion, second Wednesdays of each month at 1:30 p.m. Next gathering is April 12.

How to experience the monastery While we offer a variety of programs you can attend, the monastery is also open at least four days a week and some Saturdays 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. We need you at Middleway 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. Middleway is 100 percent volunteer operated. Sign up at 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. If you need assistance, please come by the monastery or email Middleway Urban Monastery's Guide for Life

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