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Out of the box is our way

Dear Friends, Sure, the package was in the mailbox. And the carrier no doubt confirmed that it had been delivered. But it must have been kicked, shoved, pushed, body slammed and head-butted far enough to close the lid. And it was not coming out. Pliers didn't work. Hands couldn't reach in far enough to grab hold. Scissors coupled with patience finally cut a new passage way to release the contents. The old box was no longer of use. If your view of God feels stuffed into a way that doesn't fit, we can help you figure out how to release the good inside you. You are worthy. You are valuable. Lots of "out of the box" programs are coming up. Find one that fits you.

A HUGE Thank You! What a blessing it was to watch the numbers on Brazos Valley Gives day last week. In our first time to participate in the local fund raiser for non-profits, we hoped for $3,000. But you stepped up and doubled that with the day ending at just over $6,000 for us. Several also have indicated a desire to volunteer at the monastery. We know that support is more than money. It is a relationship, and we could not do what we do - even though all of us are volunteers - without you. We will be thanking each of you personally and reaching out to those who want to volunteer, but here's a public thanks to our awesome community! Blessings to many will come from your support.

BCS-Area Spiritual Companions Gathering The monthly meeting BCS area spiritual directors will be Wednesday, Oct. 25 beginning at 12:15 p.m. Bring a lunch, if desired, and join in the conversation. This month's topic is spiritual direction with unaffiliated spiritual explorers. Much has been written about this trend in the United States. Our focus will be on listening to the unaffiliated in spiritual direction. The topic was the lead article in the October issue of "Listen," a publication of Spiritual Direction International. You can read the article here.

Interfaith Prayer Gathering Join us as we remember God in Unity, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m.

Drum Circle Join us for Drum Circle on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m., led by Amy Thompson. Drumming is a way to connect with the rhythm of life and find balance, wholeness and connection. No musical experience is necessary. Drums are provided. Click below to let us know you're coming. Yeah, I'm in!

Chanting the Psalms and Contemplative Sit Dates for the monthly Chant and meditation are set for the fall. Deepen your spirituality by chanting the psalms. Led by Amy Thompson, this features Anglican and Gregorian chants using Psalms, followed by a 20-minute meditative sit (or centering). The upcoming fall gatherings will be 2-3 p.m. Oct. 29, Nov. 26, and Dec. 17. Let us know you're coming!  I'm coming to chant

Theology Nerds Take a deep dive into early church theologians starting with "Glory to Glory" featuring writings of Gregory of Nyssa. This is a great group for those who want to learn about and discuss people who've written on the nature of God through the centuries. Snacks provided, 3 p.m. Sundays on Oct. 29, Nov. 26, Dec. 17.

Dia de los muertos Wondering what's the deal with painted skulls you're seeing in Halloween decor? Maybe you've heard Dia de los Muertos mentioned and maybe you even know that means day of the dead in Spanish. But why? Learn about this holiday during a weeklong recognition of Dia de los Muertos. We'll honor deceased loved ones all week in this way: Tuesday Oct. 31 - create La Ofrenda. Pray for those who died from illness. Wednesday Nov. 1 - pray for those who died from tragedies, including suicide. Thursday Nov. 2 - pray for those who died from natural causes. Also on Thursday Nov. 2 at 6 p.m., Padre Ben Sanchez from the Latino Episcopal Church in Bryan will teach the meaning of the celebration. He'll lead a service to remember loved ones at 6:30 p.m followed by a tamale feast. I'm coming for the service with Tamales!

God and Dog The God and Dog Gathering will meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. The first will be Nov. 7. Bring your dog(s) and join in the conversations and activities aimed at understanding what it is about dogs that help us relate to God. Spread the word to let your dog-loving friends and family know, too. Count me and the pooch in!

Friday Meditation and Mindfulness Center yourself and find peace in the midst of your busy life. Friday Meditation and Mindfulness meets monthly during the noon hour at 12:30 p.m. Next times are Nov. 10 and Dec. 15. Note: our previous schedule was to have Meditation and Mindfulness on Oct. 27. We moved that one to Oct.13. However, if you've already planned Oct. 27, come. We're always glad to meditate with you.

Community for Dones Are you “done” with participating in a church, but looking for a place for spiritual community and conversation? This group seeks to create space for those who would describe themselves as “done” with church, or those who no longer feel at home or accepted in church settings for a variety of reasons but still want to grow in their faith. Be part of building a supportive and safe space for spiritual conversations and contemplation with others. The group is led by Heidi Campbell, with her husband Troy Shepherd, Wednesdays, 7-8 p.m. Click below to let us know you'll come. I'll be there!

Grupo de Oracion The monastery is open until 5 p.m. on Thursdays with an emphasis on prayer time in Spanish, 3-5 p.m. Thursday afternoons are led by Rev. Ben Sanchez. All are welcome to come and offer or seek prayers. Sanchez is an Episcopal priest.

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. 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 evenings, Saturdays or Sundays 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. You are welcome to come and enjoy the space even if another program is going on - we've got room for you! We need you! Three hours a month, week, or day. Regular or now -and-then. You pick what's convenient for you, then volunteer to hang out at the monastery to help welcome others into this peaceful place. While there, you'll be able to enjoy the hope, peace and comfort as well. We especially need volunteer hosts and receptionists who'd love to greet people and help them get familiar with the monastery, but there are other tasks such as tending to the art area, cleaning and assisting with plants or the library, to name a few things. While there, you might spot other ways to use your talents to serve the monastery. We are 100 percent volunteer operated. NEW SIGN UP URL: Go to Create an account there to select the area(s) you'd like to volunteer for. If you signed up under the former URL, you will need to change your password. Choose "Forgot my Password" to establish a new one. Once signed in, you will see a picture of the blue meditation room. Click on that picture and you will get a page with Applications, Events and Shifts. Select shifts to find out what is available in the Circle you are signed up for. If you want to add more areas, select Applications to add your choices. Once you are accepted into the system, you will be able to see what times are available by clicking on the Shifts icon. If you need assistance, please come by the monastery or email Middleway Urban Monastery's Guide for Life

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