Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, Seek, an app by iNaturalist, allows one's phone camera to zoom in on any species, from amphibians to fungi to plants, to get its name as well as its role in the environment. This dragonfly, Seek said, is the Common Whitetail. Lest you notice its tail is not white, Seek notes, this is a female. The male is white. They have a taste for mosquitoes and thus spend most of their short lives near ponds. Who can gaze at those lacy wings and not marvel at its Creator? Nature and its connection to the mystery of God has inspired poets throughout history. We're pleased that our next workshop will be about seeking God through poetry and nature. Read more below and seek ways to peace, hope and comfort at Middleway. Middleway's Facebook Group
Finding the Spiritual with Poetry and Nature Join us June 3, 10 a.m.-Noon, for this interactive workshop exploring nature, poetry, and spirituality. The event will start by exploring poetry from well-known mystics and folks who would not claim to be either poets or mystics, according to workshop leader Sandy Soghikian. "We will touch upon the Old Testament psalms of the Hebrews as poetry, talk about themes of spirituality, and share our thoughts on why or how poetry and nature evoke or reflect spirituality," she said. "We’ll share ideas for strengthening the spiritual dimension of our lives with poetry and nature. After that, we will read short passages with spiritual themes and work together to create poetry from the passages." Soghikian said participants are encouraged to bring poems or photos of nature to share. The event is free. Those who wish to do so may donate to the Middleway fund to help sustain the monastery. I'm coming to the poetry workshop, naturally!
Book study continues on Tuesdays
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. 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.
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 Grupo de Oracion, 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 https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/spiritual-direction. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.-12 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.
Common Threads – Bring a thread art project (or not) and join in the discussion about how our lives intertwine, second Wednesdays of each month at 1:30 p.m. Next gathering is May 10.
Book study - Tuesday evenings, 6 p.m.
Grupo de Oracion - Thursday evenings, 6 p.m.
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 and 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 volunteer as 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 https://timecounts.org/middlewaymonastery/. 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 email@example.com. Middleway Urban Monastery's Guide for Life