Take us on during Lent


Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, From the celebratory eating of purple, yellow, and green sugar sprinkled cakes on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) to the appearance of people with black crosses on their foreheads Wednesday, this week marks the time of year Christians call Lent. Lent derives from the word for "lenghthening." Think daylight. The presence of the sun begins to stretch as we approach spring. Having endured many darker, colder days lately, most of us want to rush toward the warmth of spring and the new growth it brings. Christians who observe Lent, however, try to practice patience. They may choose to give up something or take on a new effort and then try to stick with it until Easter...all as a way of growing stronger in their faith. Whether you've never observed Lent or are looking for something to make your weeks before Easter special, we have a lot of options in store. Take a look and join us for as many as you can. Middleway's Facebook Group

Lenten offerings to begin Wednesday Daily quotes for reflection, weekly audio divina and a weekly self study will begin Wednesday March 2 and continue until April 16 in observance of Lent. "Take 5 at 2 for prayer" will be on the Facebook group page at 2 p.m. daily under the guidance of Heidi Campbell. "We encourage you to join us in contemplating radical change and hope in your Lenten journey," Campbell said. This will be on the Facebook group page. "Lent: A Musical Journey to the Cross" is the topic for Amy Thompson. This offering also will be on the Facebook group page. Amy will lead attendees with the album "Lent by Liturgical Folk." Her audio divina - meaning one listens to music prayerfully and meditatively - will be uploaded first on Ash Wednesday and then a new song will be available beginning March 6 and continuing each Sunday of Lent plus on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday before Easter, which is April17. Those seeking an interfaith, in-person option can come to Middleway anytime on Wednesday's from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. for self-reflection on a new topic each week from "The Greatest Invitation: Your Handbook for Hope," by Rev. David Ottsen. Ottsen said his book welcomes ALL - Christians, Jews, Muslims or those of any faith because Jesus welcomed all in Matthew 11:28-29. The weekly, self-guided exercises will be for those who are "utterly exhausted, completely worn out, depairing under the weight of burdens, or immobilized and find it impossible to move without adding to your burdens." Self-guided materials will change weekly and be offered on March 9, 16, 23 and 30 with a final wrap up to move foreward on April 6. Kathleen Phillips will oversee this offering. March workshop: In the beginning... "In the Beginning: Joining Creativity with the Divine," is the theme for our March 5 workshop. Register at https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/register-for-events "In the beginning God created ..." Creativity is to be honored and can be a way to connect to God, the Divine, the Greater Power. Don't think you're creative? Join us to find out your own way of creativity. Love being creative? Great, come dabble a while. In this workshop, led by Kathleen Phillips, attendees will journey through their own spirituality and creativity through hands-on activities, including a hand-held labyrinth to take home. The workshop is suitable for adults as well as school-aged children. All supplies will be provided. The cost is $10 per person. Payment can be made at the door, 309 N. Tabor Ave., Bryan. Children's, adult programs offered on Thursday evenings Centering prayer is offered monthly on first and third Thursdays beginning at 5:30 p.m. Adults are encouraged to join in the 30-minute quiet prayer time led by Rich Nelson. At the same time, children's program leader Aneya Elbert will engage children in activities and conversation about their spirituality using a variety of fun tools and topics. The next date for both activities is Thursday, March 3. How do you experience rest? Sabbath? Soul Care Sunday returns March 6 to encourage ways of experiencing peaceful rest to your life. Contemplative spiritual practices from 2-4 p.m. will be offered through brief introductions followed by time for participants to experience rest for as long or as little as able. We will try our best to maintain quiet along with a technology-free zone. Please email Aneya Elbert with any questions you have. Book club's hybrid gathering set for March 22 "Braving the Thin Places: Celtic Wisdom to Create a Space for Grace" by Julianne Stanz is our March book. Our discussion will be Tuesday, March 22 at 10:30 a.m. Our gatherings 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, 309 N. Tabor Ave., Bryan. Together we discuss our book of the month. The link for Zoom attendance: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86289918385?pwd=SjcwUW5NMlZnWUtlNFFYd01waVZzUT09 Journaling and group spiritual direction Journaling as a way to tell one's story -- and sharing that walk in community with others -- is the aim for this group spiritual direction meeting. Monthly gatherings normally are the fourth Saturday of each month, guided by Amy Thompson. But this month's meeting is Sunday, March 27 at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome. We need you at Middleway Many of you dear souls are asking what you can do to help Middleway, and we so appreciate that since we are 100 percent volunteer! We especially need receptionists and hospitality volunteers. It's as simple as being present to welcome others into this peaceful place. While there, you'll be able to enjoy the hope, peace and comfort as well. You can 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. Other ways to experience Middleway Urban Monastery Join our Facebook group page. Come to our website and explore the offerings, including links to our Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts. Ask others to subscribe to this newsletter by going to https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/contact. Middleway Urban Monastery's Guide for Life

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