What does Easter mean to you?
Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends, Scrolling through social media tonight reveals a multitude of photos summarizing this day - Easter. Everything from food to flowers, music, memories, families (human and/or furry), friends, side trips, side kicks, church and crawfish boils. Easter tends to officially bring us into spring, even if that was officially weeks ago. We see rebirth, new growth, new beginnings. For us at Middleway, Easter reminds of the time when a group of friends and followers thought Jesus was dead, only to find out he had risen. And with the risen Jesus came the memories of all the time he'd spent with them teaching new ways of living life, talking about forgiveness, telling them to love everyone. Everyone. So, food, flowers, music, memories, friends and family, jaunts, worship and fish - if not crawfish - was all a part of Jesus's circle back then. And we, in turn, hope to extend what Jesus taught -- love, acceptance, and new beginnings to you. All of you. Find out more about us below and mark your calendars to join us! Middleway's Facebook Group
Film Screening of "Mission: Joy" set for April 21 Join us at Middleway on Thursday, April 21, from 6-7:30 p.m. for a special screening of "MISSION: JOY (Finding Happiness in Troubled Times)." Inspired by New York Times bestseller "The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World," by Bishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, the film showcases the exchange between these two Nobel Peace Prize winners that led to that book. Consisting largely of never-before-seen footage shot over five days at the Dalai Lama's residence in Dharamsala, the film invites viewers to join these luminaries behind the scenes as they recount stories from their lives, each having lived through periods of incredible difficulty and strife. With genuine affection, mutual respect and a healthy dose of teasing, these unlikely friends impart lessons gleaned from lived experience, ancient traditions, and the latest cutting-edge science regarding how to live with joy in the face of all of life's challenges from the extraordinary to the mundane. You can also optionally join us early at 5:30 p.m. that night for our regular Centering Prayer practice led by Aneya Elbert and Rich Nelson. Book club's hybrid gathering set for April 26 "Desire Mystery and Belonging: A Spiritual Memoir" by Sarah Robinson Flick is our April book. The discussion will be Tuesday, April 26 at 10:30 a.m. Our gatherings are hybrid, meaning we provide Zoom for those unable to be in person while others gather in the library 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. This month's meeting is the last Saturday, April 30, 10:30-11:30 p.m. Common Threads to focus on dialogue for peace The question to ponder between now and the next meeting of Common Threads Group gathering is "How can I rely on my faith as I navigate the challenges and changes in my world?" The next gathering will be 2 p.m. May 11. Common Threads welcomes you to bring a thread project to work on while we talk, but it isn't required. The main idea is to share each other's spiritual journey through story and active listening. 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. Spiritual directors at Middleway are trained and vetted so we know your story will be heard and kept in confidence. After selecting a spiritual director, a person normally plans to meet with that person monthly for an hour. Some directors charge for their service while others offer to listen as part of their volunteer ministry. Our current spiritual directors are listed at https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/spiritual-direction and others will be added soon. Let us know if we can help you find a listening soul companion. Learn more about spiritual formation, direction FIND _ School for Spiritual Direction and Formation, hosted by Middleway, is forming its next cohort. Applications are accepted through June 30. Classes, which are held once a month on a Saturday, begin in September. Learn more at www.schoolforspiritualdirection.org. 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. Current volunteers, please choose your dates for April. Middleway Urban Monastery's Guide for Life