Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, So, the three in the picture were not particularly religious as best we know. But they heard about a baby that was going to be king, the story goes, and they were curious enough to go seeking. Just in case they found this kingly baby, they packed some gifts, but definitely not dolls and Teddy Bears. Tradition has it that these three were so taken by the baby Jesus they found that they gave the gifts, made a visit to the local king, learned of a jealousy-fueled plot to kill the newborn, and ultimately changed travel plans in order to protect the baby boy. This is remembered on Jan. 6 as Ephiphany. Some are more familiar with the secular use of the word "epiphany" as an "a-ha" moment. We've had a lot of epiphanies at Middleway over the last year. And each "a-ha" moment has brought us closer to another one of you, for which we are grateful. You're the reason for the programs we give. You're the reason we want to stay around forever as a gift to this community. And you can be a part of this community by coming and by sharing your gifts in so many ways. Keep reading to find out how. Middleway's Facebook Group
Monastery T-Shirts Now Available
Through the generosity of the fabulous J&J Creations owners Wayne and Lenora Johnson in Somerville, Tx, we now have T-shirts. Volunteers get one free. Others can get one for a donation of your choice. Stop by the monastery, 309 N. Tabor, Bryan, Tx to pick out your size. We can accept checks, or credit/debit cards through our Square at the monastery or on our website. Donate for a T-shirt
Gaming can be a spiritual outlet
They're known to improve hand–eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and the mind's ability to process information, but video games can also have a spiritual side. Come play with us Saturday, Jan. 14, 10 a.m.-Noon at a free workshop led by Amy Thompson and Heidi Campbell. Registration is required. Register
We want to thank Burr's Furniture in downtown Bryan for the speedy and beautiful refinish on our vintage card catalog. This piece was a gift from Bill and Donna Pohl and is central to the organization of our 1,600-plus book lending library. It was damaged by a leak after a rainstorm at the monastery. We also are grateful to our property manager, Life in Downtown Bryan, for handling the repair. Come check it out (and some books while you're at it).
Opportunities to help Every month, a regular visitor to Middleway appears bearing large packages of toilet paper and paper towels. Such things are necessary for a gathering place such as Middleway, and we've not had to give it a second thought because of this regular gift. It has been a huge financial help since Middleway is 100 percent volunteer. So one of the a-ha/epiphanies we had recently is that perhaps some of you reading this would like to take on other vital parts of our shared community. Below is a list of needs, some of which are regular and some are occasional. We also have a list of contributions you might consider to help sustain Middleway for years to come: To adopt one or more of these needs, email firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by to see us. Let us know so we can keep track and assure that everyone doesn't bring the same thing. Basic needs for 2023
Printer paper - 6 reams regular white
Tall trash bags - 250
12-oz coffee cups - as needed
Paper napkins - as needed (can be colored, decorated for seasons, white)
Coffee Mate or Land o' Lakes liquid creamers, individual size - as needed
K-pod coffee (premium or Columbian) - as needed
Alpine apple Cider mix (individual packages) - as needed
Primo 5-gallon water jug monthly (using recycled jug is about $7)
Tea bags (individually wrapped such as Earl Grey or similar) - as needed
Printer ink cartridges (Epson XP7100) black and colors - as needed
Other ways to support
Donate to cover the iheart music channel = $120/year
Fund one month of operation = $3,000
Contribute toward one day of a month = $100
Chip in whatever you can. Monetary support can be made through our website here.
Common Threads discussion group Jan. 11 Discussions in this group center around sharing where God has been obvious in one's life each month - or where we realized the need for God. We find lots of common threads in tales from our lives. Some also bring actual threads of various sorts to work on projects such as knitting, crochet, embroidery or crewel. The next meeting is Jan. 11, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Book club returns with "Life of Pi" Our monthly book club returns on Jan. 24 with a discussion of "The Life of Pi," by Yann Martel. The group meets at 10:30 a.m. in person and also offers a Zoom link for those who want to join virtually. Here's how to attend from afar: Zoom book club Meeting ID: 835 9335 0838 Passcode: 838813 Spiritual directors lend a (holy) ear at Middleway The backbone of Middleway is a team of well-trained spiritual directors whose ministry is to listen to you with a holy ear. Think of us as 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. Our current spiritual directors are listed at https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/spiritual-direction. Email us at email@example.com 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!
Jan. 14 – The Spirituality of Gaming, 10:30 a.m.-Noon, with Amy Brunt Thompson and Heidi Campbell.
Feb. 1 & 8 – Material Prayer: learn to use prayer shawls and other traditional aids in prayer, 7-8 p.m., with Heidi Campbell
Feb. 25 – “Give It a Rest!! - Pondering Sabbath in a 24/7 World,” 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., with Becky Burks.
March 25 – Intro to the Enneagram, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., with Kathy and Jim Reiter. *Register for $15 to take the online test prior to meeting.
April 1 – The Spirituality of Breadmaking: Hot Cross Buns, 9:30-Noon. Make and take a dozen home! With Kathleen Phillips
June 3 – Finding the Spiritual with Poetry and Nature, 10 a.m.-1 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.
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 – A different book is discussed each month on the fourth Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.
Common Threads – Bring a thread art project and join in the discussion, second Wednesdays of each month at 1:30 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 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 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. If you need assistance, please come by the monastery or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Middleway Urban Monastery's Guide for Life