Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, During the next two weeks, political rhetoric will intensify. Family members, friends and neighbors may find themselves strongly disagreeing on a variety of topics. Things may feel divisive. Where is God in all of this? Middleway Urban Monastery hopes to serve others by offering several ways for people to find hope, comfort and peace -- and mainly, God's love -- through the elections. Read about some special efforts to assist as well as our other options below and make a note to check them out on our Facebook group page. "A Season of Prayer: For an Election" to begin Oct. 27 Middleway will participate in a prayer novena -- nine days of devotional prayers -- calling upon God for discernment in voting and for the well-being of our nation. Prayers for each of these days, which begin Oct. 27 and continue until Nov. 4, will be shared on the Middleway group Facebook page and our other social media platforms. Election Day Pray-and Go set for Nov. 3 As one of our members noted, a church building is not necessary in order for one to pray for our nation, but "praying in community is a powerful statement." With that in mind, Middleway is hosting an Election Day Pray-and-Go from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Nov. 3. The public is invited to come and say their own prayers at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 217 W. 26th, Bryan, our co-host. A free cup of coffee, hot tea or bottled water will be offered as participants leave. How can you help? Local Middleway friends -- and we include you who are receiving this newsletter and ANYONE who is interested -- are encouraged to come pray as you'd like and perhaps stay for a little bit to help extend hospitality to others who come. We need a couple of people in two-hour shifts throughout the day to welcome others into the space and guide them to the beverage station as they exit. The bonus is we get to know each other in what better way than in welcoming both sides to gather prayerfully. Social distancing and masks, along with any other CDC suggested safety measures at that time, will be required. To volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org. "Hope and Healing" them for retreat Nov. 7 After Election Day, you may want to set time aside to absorb the results and impact of the outcome, no matter how one voted. On Nov. 7, Dr. Heidi Campbell will lead a retreat, "Hope and Healing," via Zoom, 10 a.m.-Noon. Campbell said this online retreat aims to help you move forward in 2020 through prayer & meditation. Watch for more information and plan to attend. Soul Care Sabbath continues Nov. 8 A new group experience, a guided observance of the Sabbath with rest, stillness, and silence, meets the second Sunday of each month. The group, led by Aneya Elbert, will gather on Nov. 8. It's one hour on Zoom - 2-3 p.m. Included in this interactive group will be:
Contemplative Spiritual Practices
Express your voice through creativity
The gift of spiritual companions
Join at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82762302351?pwd=RkhxRHpobXVYcjFxWlo0SXZoc3pqUT09 Daily current issues prayers and weekly devotional offered Each day we offer a prayer that speaks to the current issues of our day. Then once a week, we provide a devotional reading with follow-up questions for individual study. These are written by Lutheran pastor Sue Beall. Check them out at the times listed below. Weekly book study continues with in-depth look at Divine, human creativity Discussions on "Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet," by Matthew Fox, will continue on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. This week's discussion is on Chapter 7. This book will continue through October. Then, on Nov. 10, the group will begin a new study on the book "Following Jesus: Finding Our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety," by Henri Nouwen. Plan to join us on Zoom at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86289918385?pwd=SjcwUW5NMlZnWUtlNFFYd01waVZzUT09 Meeting ID: 862 8991 8385 Passcode: 164675 OR find your local number to dial in: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdizMlCaXm How to Visit Middleway Urban Monastery If, for whatever reason, you feel "spiritual but not religious," or you no longer have a church or you are just "done" with organized religion, no worries. We do not ask you to join the FB group page in order to participate. Just come to the monastery online as often as you want. We're about providing you space to seek hope, comfort and peace as you explore ways of experiencing God’s love. You're a "member" if you are receiving this newsletter. All are welcome, so share as you like. Imagine our Facebook public group page as a physical building. When you enter our URL, facebook.com/groups/TheMiddlewayUrbanMonastery, it is like opening the door of a physical building, because you will find all that is offered there. Likewise, you can come to our website and explore the offerings, including links to our Twitter and Instagram accounts, if you like those formats and want to follow. For the time being, our monastery is online only. We plan to eventually offer a physical space in Bryan, Texas. Even then, however, we will continue to offer our prayer times, meditations, centering, contemplation and various workshops and retreats online and led by spiritual directors and leaders around the Bryan-College Station, Texas area. Participants are welcome from around the world. 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.