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Then came the surprise ...

Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, A couple of us on a road trip last week found an authentic Mexican restaurant in a small town west of Houston on Cinco de Mayo. The menu was full of items we'd never seen, so the clerk helped us navigate our tastes, and soon a couple of tortas arrived at our table. Then came the surprise. For no reason we could figure, the clerk soon returned to our table with a melt-in-your-mouth homemade tamale steamed in a banana leaf. Incredibly moist and tasty! We devoured it. In years to come, we will remember where we were and maybe what we ordered, but the story we'll tell most likely will be about how we received a special treat for which we did not know how to ask. When it comes to your spiritual journey, you might not know how to ask for what you need or want. All the spiritual, holy jargon might be foreign to you. We know how to help you navigate that. We're glad to bring it to the table and to show you some of the best ways - some unexpected treats - to help you get more out of your adventure. Read more below and see if there are some surprises we might offer to bring you 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!

Common Threads discussion group Like a drawer full of yarn, we might all look slightly different, but when we listen to each other, we find many common threads, or stories, along our journeys. Our Common Threads group shares our life stories monthly. Some bring a thread project or mending to work on during the discussion, but that is not a must. The next gathering is Wednesday May 10 at 1:30 p.m.

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 and Thursday evening host, also leads Grupo de Oracion, group prayer for Spanish speakers, 6-7 p.m.

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

Chanting the Psalms and Contemplative Sit Deepen your spirituality by chanting the psalms. Led by Amy Thompson, this features Anglican and Gregorian chants using Psalms, followed by a 20-minute meditative sit (or centering). The next gathering is May 21 at 2 p.m. 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 Email us at 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.

  • 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 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 Middleway Urban Monastery's Guide for Life

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