Like this drawer full of yarn, we might all look slightly different. But once we listen to each other, we find many common threads, or stories, along our journeys. This week we start a new group that will combine those two concepts -- working with yarns and threads in your own projects while sharing stories of our lives. It's one of several new features we're adding at the monastery. Check our items below and mark your calendars to come experience what we have to offer.
Also, sometimes this time of year can make a person blue. If the holiday season isn't the happiest for any reason, Middleway is a great place to get away from it all. Come spend some time at the monastery. Listen to some comforting music, use our art supplies, read a book, or just veg out in one of several of our sitting areas. We've got a hot or cold beverage and a hearty welcome waiting for you.
"Common Threads" group spiritual direction to start Dec. 8
Threads of any kind will be the backdrop for a new group spiritual direction gathering. Each month, women and men are encouraged to bring a thread project - cross stitch, needlepoint, crochet or knitting, for example - to work on while sharing about where God is in their life. The idea is not to try to "fix" one another but rather to actively listen to each story that is shared. It can be wonderfully healing to be heard.
Common Threads will meet monthly on the second Wednesday from 2-3 p.m. The first gathering will be Wednesday, Dec. 8. Kathleen Phillips will guide the group through methods of sharing stories and listening to each other with a "holy ear."
12-Step Healing Service Dec. 15
Anyone interested in 12-step recovery is welcome to attend a healing service at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 15. The service includes prayers and the recitation of each of the 12 steps along with a call for healing. It will be led by Amy Thompson.
Afterwork Centering Prayer Dec. 16
Let's face it, a day's work or tasks can be stressful. Middleway offers a 5:30 p.m. Centering Prayer gathering on the first and third Thursdays each month led by Rev. Rich Nelson. You can attend each time or only occasionally. If you are not familiar with the practice of prayerful centering, Nelson will provide instruction.
Wassail at the Monastery Dec. 18
Set aside two hours Dec. 18, 10 a.m.-noon, to escape from the busy season and explore Middleway over a welcoming cup of traditional wassail. The word "wassail" was originally thought to mean "be in good health" or "be fortunate," so we will offer some ways to explore spiritual health by trying out what's available at the monastery.
Several of our spiritual directors will be on hand to give brief explanations of what's available at Middleway and then participants will get to select three experiences to try in 15-minute concurrent sessions. Among the options are labyrinth, rosary, icons, praying the news, and art, for example.
Just a couple of peaceful hours might refuel you for other tasks in the season.
Book club's hybrid gathering to continue in January
Though our book club is taking a break from meeting in December, the onset of cooler temperatures as we go into winter will surely find many of us curled up with a good book in hand. So put the next Middleway selection on your list. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 25 at 10:30 a.m. Our meetings are hybrid, meaning we will have Zoom for those unable to be in person while others will gather in a room here at the monastery. Together we will discuss our book of the month, which is "The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are" by Brene Brown.
We'll share it again closer to the time, but here's the link for Zoom attendance:
Volunteer at Middleway
Come be a part of the Middleway community! Your presence is the main thing we need. It's easy, and you'll be able to enjoy the hope, peace and comfort while you are there as a volunteer. Just help us welcome others into this space.
You also can offer your talents in administration, reception, hospitality, plants/greenery, library, arts, technology/information, worship, cleaning, and growth/sustainability. Each of these areas are called Circles of Stewards, which are groups of people within the community who share similar interests and want to help make Middleway as special, sacred space for all. If you're not sure which area you'd enjoy most, just pick general interest, and we'll let you know what volunteer opportunities are open.
You can sign up at https://timecounts.org/middlewaymonastery/. Simply fill in the form and make your choices. Then when opportunities become available in the Circle(s) of your choice, you will be notified and can decide if you are able to participate at particular times.
These opportunities are more than volunteering -- they are community forming. Being at Middleway will be less of the typical "doing" associated with most volunteer activities and more of the "being," that is, being present to welcome visitors and enjoy the surroundings yourself! With this in mind, our volunteers are in community with the Middleway Urban Monastery's Guide for Life:
Conversion of Life “Conversatio”: Living our life as if it were a conversation with God, in a commitment to personal spiritual disciplines.
Humility: Living our life in perspective, in a commitment to assess and honor one’s own gifts and those of others.
Hospitality: Living our life in service of others, in a commitment to welcome guests in love and a spirit of prayer.
Prayer: Practicing a spiritual discipline that includes daily prayer.
Ecumenism: Honoring all expressions of Christian faith and respecting in Jesus’ name all persons of other religions and faiths.
Other ways to experience Middleway Urban Monastery
Ready to dig a little deeper spiritually?
Join our Facebook group page. Doing so will let you receive notices about events as well comment and see what others in the Middleway community are saying.
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.
Pass the word. Ask your frieds to subscribe to this newsletter by going to https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/contact Enter the email address at the Subscribe button on the lower right.