Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, The heart-shaped leaf of an elephant's ear displayed how many felt this month when rain finally started after an extended period of drought. Everything was almost instantly refreshed and began to green-up to be their natural self. We'll celebrate the end of that long dry spell Wednesday at lunch. Come get your creole/cajun food in our parking lot from M&M Food Truck, then come inside to eat in our monastery, which is literally and figuratively cool. Then, consider the many offerings we have beginning Sept. 2 -- all of which hope to be as refreshing for your soul as the late-August rain so that you, too, can grow as the person God made you to be. Read about all our plans below. Middleway's Facebook Group
"MMMMM, good" set for Aug. 31 Middleway Urban Monastery is joining with M&M Food Truck for a community lunch on Aug. 31, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. You'll find M&M's truck in our parking lot at the corner of E. 24th Street and N. Washington Avenue with Major and Carol Moore cooking up the Cajun and Creole dishes they are known for. Order lunch, then bring it into the cool indoors of the monastery where a co-mingling of the spicey aroma and soothing music will waft throughout. There's no agenda. Just come and go, enjoy meeting others, get some peace in the middle of the week, and kiss hot, dry August goodbye! Pets and spirituality Sniff us out at our booth (217 W. 26th St.) during First Friday in downtown Bryan Sept. 2, 5:30-7 p.m., and pick up a treat for your dog and/or cat. That will kick off our September look at the importance of pets and animals to our souls. Then two September evenings, you and your pets will be our special guests. That's right ... you AND your pet (leashed or in a carrier under your control) are welcome to A Spiritual Autobiography with Pets on Sept. 14, and Visual Prayers with Pets on Sept. 28. If you don't have a pet or can't bring yours, that's ok, too. Pictures, and memories of pets and animal experiences are welcome. We'll open at 6-8 p.m. those evenings, with the activity component from 7-8 p.m. This series will wrap up with a Pet Blessing at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 217 W. 26th St., Bryan, at 11:15 a.m. Bring pets to be blessed and receive a St. Francis medallion for collars, cages or carriers! September begins something for everyone Plans through January hopefully have something of interest for everyone. When we say ALL are welcome, we mean it. Mark your calendars and share with friends/family.
Explore 12-step spirituality through “Breathing Underwater” by Rev. Richard Rohr. This 12 week study, beginning Sept. 6, includes a short 12-step Compline every Tuesday from 5:30-7 p.m.
Journeys in Prayerful Silence – Experience different ways to find God in silence. Thursdays, 6-8 p.m. for six weeks beginning Sept. 8.
Spiritual Entrepreneurship: Using Spiritual Gifts to Create Change – Sept. 10, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Pets and Spirituality – Pets welcome! Spiritual autobiography with pets, Sept. 14; Visualizing prayers with pets, Sept. 28, both 6-8 p.m.; Pet blessing at St. Andrew’s Episcopal, Oct. 2, 11:15 a.m.
Friends of St Joan is a monthly gathering for youth and young adults who identify as LGBTQIA+. Join us in a safe place to explore spirituality monthly on the third Mondays beginning Sept. 19, 6-8 p.m.
Journaling One’s Story – Learn to write about your life to bring deeper spiritual meaning. Monthly on fourth Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.-Noon.
Book Club – “The Lost Page: An Archaeological Thriller” by Joe Edd Morris, discussion Sept. 27, 10:30 a.m.
Dia de los Muertos and a look at grief and loss, Oct. 22, 10:30-Noon.
Sacred chanting – Learn this ancient method of singing, Nov. 5, 10:30 a.m.-Noon.
Wassail at the Monastery – Get a taste of our hospitality with a cup of this traditional holiday beverage. No agenda. We’ll merely open the doors for you to take a breather before the holiday rush, Dec. 3, 10:30 a.m.-Noon.
Post-Holiday life – Celtic Women’s Christmas, Jan. 6, 1-3 p.m.; The Spirituality of Gaming, Jan. 14, 10:30 a.m.-Noon.
Journeys in Prayerful Silence This six-week series will introduce different styles of prayer and meditation focused around times of silence and stillness, beginning Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. Sessions each Thursday evening will begin with a short teaching on the background and purpose of each type of prayer, followed by 15 minutes of putting what is learned directly into practice. Come take a time-out with Heidi Campbell and learn how to cultivate peace and stillness through journeying into different expressions of prayerful silence. The series will continue through Oct. 13. Middleway will be open on Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. and the prayerful silence segment will be from 7-7:30 p.m. Those who wish to come early or stay late can explore the space on their own. 12-Step Community to discuss "Breathing Under Water" Richard Rohr's "Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps" will be the topic for a Tuesday evening gathering beginning Sept. 6. The monastery will be open from 5-8 p.m. and the book discussion component, led by Amy and Michael Thompson, will be a part of the evening. People in any 12-Step program and their friends and families are especially welcome to the monastery during this time. Friends of St. Joan This new group is a monthly gathering for youth and young adults who identify as LGBTQIA+. Join us in a safe place to explore spirituality monthly on the third Mondays beginning Sept. 19, 6-8 p.m. , led by Jodie Robinson and Amy Thompson. Middleway Book Club returns After the summer hiatus, the book club will return with a discussion of "The Lost Page: An Archaeological Thriller" by Joe Edd Morris. This book group is hybrid, so participants can either attend in person at the monastery or by Zoom. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86289918385?pwd=SjcwUW5NMlZnWUtlNFFYd01waVZzUT09 Meeting ID: 862 8991 8385 Passcode: 164675 How to use the monastery While we offer a variety of programs you can attend, the monastery is also open 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. Spiritual direction offered at Middleway A spiritual director is one who can listen to you with a holy ear and doesn't try to "fix" you with their solutions. Being listened to -- truly listened to -- is powerfully healing. You and your spiritual director normally meet monthly for an hour. Our current spiritual directors are listed at https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/spiritual-direction. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help you. We need you at Middleway Middleway is 100 percent volunteer operated. Come be one who welcomes others into this peaceful place. While there, you'll be able to enjoy the hope, peace and comfort as well. 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. Middleway Urban Monastery's Guide for Life