Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends,
Mercy. Sometimes this word is used as an expression of surprise or fear. "Mercy me!" we might say.
But "mercy" as a noun - the definition that can be hugely powerful and life-changing - means compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm. That indeed can be a surprise to experience and a surprise to offer someone else.
Mercy. It's what our book club will ponder for the month of August. Join us. Your thoughts and ideas about mercy will be a gift to all who participate.
New Prayer Series for August: Real Prayers for Tough Times
Starting Tuesday, Aug. 3, Heidi Campbell will be leading a new prayer series for the month of August called, “Real Prayers for Tough Times.” The series, posted on our Facebook group every Tuesday and Thursday at 2 p.m., uses the prayers of David in the Psalms as a model, to show how we can pray about hard, emotional topics using everyday images and language. These feature themes such as the Prayer of Why?, When Lacking Motivation and a Pandemic Lament.
Each prayer video is inspired by a different verses of the Psalms. They begin with a short non-traditional prayer, followed by 60 seconds of quiet where people can either meditate on the prayer offered, or add their own prayer on the theme. Each video ends a reading of one or two select verses that inspired the prayer. All sessions are no more than two minutes.
"Halleluja Anyway: Rediscoverying Mercy" topic of weekly book club
On Aug. 5, the Middleway book club will start our August book, "Halleluja Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy" by Anne Lamott. She writes that "mercy is radical kindness ... it's the permission you give others - and yourself - to forgive a debt, to absolve the unabsolvable, to let go of the judgements and pain that make life so difficult."
On Aug. 5, we will talk about Chapters 1 and 2, "The Mercy Workshop" and "Life Cycles."
The book club meets weekly on Thursdays and is open to all. Here's how to join:
Meeting ID: 862 8991 8385 Passcode: 164675
or call in 1 346 248 7799
Other upcoming books are:
September - "An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith" by Barbara Brown Taylor
October - "Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus" by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg
November - "Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith" by Kathleen Norris
December - No meetings
January 2022 - "The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are" by Brene Brown
How to Visit Middleway Urban Monastery
Ready to dig a little deeper spiritually? We're here for you. Very soon, we hope to have our physical space in Bryan, Texas ready for in-person visits. And even after we open that space, we will continue with our virtual offerings.
You're a "member" if you are receiving this newsletter. Come and see what the monastery has for you online. When you enter our URL, https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheMiddlewayUrbanMonastery, it is like opening the door of a physical building, and you will find all that is offered there.
Likewise, you can 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.
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.