Special prayers for a special week

Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends,

This week we observe two important markers in our nation's history. Monday Jan. 18 is the federal holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., minister and civic rights activist. On Wednesday, we as a nation will inaugurate our 46th president Joe Biden and vice president Kamala Harris.

As you ponder these two events and what they mean for you, it may be hard to come to words that convey the depth of your thoughts and feelings.

Thus, we offer you this prayer to use as needed:

For our Country

Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly ask that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought here out of many kindreds and tongues. Provide with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in your Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may show forth your praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, do not let us fail to trust in you; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Read about what's going on at Middleway below. Make a note to check out our Facebook group page or website.

Book club updates

The book for January is "The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World" by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. At the Jan. 19 meeting, we will discuss the second section, Days 2 and 3, of that book.

Middleway's book club has chosen books through May. We will consider one per month, with weekly meetings on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. to discuss a pre-designated number of chapters. Participants feel like this gives time to work a book into a busy life and to delve more deeply into the subject.

We shared this list last week, but the order for coming months is slightly different:

  • February - Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning

  • March - The Magnificent Defeat by Frederick Buechner

  • April - Soul Making: The Desert Way of Spirituality by Alan Jones

  • May - Streams of Living Water by Richard Foster

Please join us at 7 p.m. Central, Jan. 19 via zoom. No matter where you live, you're invited to join us for great discussions and sharing.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86289918385?pwd=SjcwUW5NMlZnWUtlNFFYd01waVZzUT09

Meeting ID: 862 8991 8385 Passcode: 164675

or call in 1 346 248 7799

Reflections: Meditations on Epiphany

Daily meditations on Epiphany are being offered at 3:30 p.m. These meditations on our Facebook group page offer peaceful visions and a soothing reading by Dr. Amy Thompson from "A Daily Spiritual RX for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany" by Joanna Seibert. Listen to a sample in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and servant leadership. Then go to our Facebook group daily for more.

How to Visit Middleway Urban Monastery

Whether you feel "spiritual but not religious," you no longer have a church, you are just "done" with organized religion or you have a church but want to connect with others seeking a deeper spirituality, we're here for you.

We do not ask you to join the FB group page in order to participate. Just come and see what the monastery has for you 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 with others you know.

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. You are welcome no matter where in the world you are.

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.

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