Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends,
Middleway comes from the ancient Latin term “via media.” Aristotle, the Greek philosopher who lived 384–322 BC, used the term to teach moderation. He noted that virtues such as justice and courage were the "via media," or middle way, between the extremes of either side of an issue.
"Via media," familiar in secular society throughout the centuries, was first used in religion about 1,200 years later during the Reformation when England adopted the term to describe a way of worship between the extremes of Roman Catholicism and Puritanism faced by the country at that time.
Now, in modern culture, we offer our monastery as the "via media," or middle way for anyone seeking God.
Guided by trained spiritual directors from Christian denominations known for inclusion, we not only allow but encourage questions, exploration and prayer along your journey. Our mission is to provide space for hope, comfort and peace as you explore ways of experiencing God’s love.
Centering Prayer live, online schedule update
Centering Prayer offered daily on our Facebook group continues each weekday with a couple of time differences through the Spring season. Led by Dr. Heidi Campbell, centering prayer will be at 9:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These alternate times will continue through May 3. If you are not able to attend the prayer time live, it is recorded and remains on the Facebook group for you to use when it fits your schedule.
Book club updates
We will finish "The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World" by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu this Tuesday, Jan. 26, discussing Days 4-5 and the conclusion.
Get the February book, "Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning, and plan to join us on Feb. 2. One description of the book said, "Many believers feel stunted in their Christian growth. We beat ourselves up over our failures and, in the process, pull away from God because we subconsciously believe He tallies our defects and hangs His head in disappointment....(the author) reminds us that nothing could be further from the truth." For the first meeting in February, we will discuss through Chapter 3 of that book.
Other books chosen for coming months:
March - The Magnificent Defeat by Frederick Buechner
April - Soul Making: The Desert Way of Spirituality by Alan Jones
May - Streams of Living Water by Richard Foster
Join us at 7 p.m. Central, Jan. 26 via zoom for the conclusion of the Book of Joy. No matter where you live, you're invited to join us for great discussions and sharing.
Meeting ID: 862 8991 8385 Passcode: 164675
or call in 1 346 248 7799
Reflections: Meditations on Epiphany
Daily meditations on Epiphany are being offered at 3:30 p.m. These meditations on our Facebook group page offer peaceful visions and a reading by Dr. Amy Thompson from "A Daily Spiritual RX for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany" by Joanna Seibert. Listen to a sample.
How to Visit Middleway Urban Monastery
Ready to dig a little deeper spiritually? We're here for you.
You're a "member" if you are receiving this newsletter. Come and see what the monastery has for you online. When you enter our URL, facebook.com/groups/TheMiddlewayUrbanMonastery, it is like opening the door of a physical building, and you will find all that is offered there.
Likewise, you can come to our website and explore the offerings, including links to our Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts, if you like those formats and want to follow.
For the time being, our monastery is online only. We plan to eventually offer a physical space in Bryan, Texas. Even then, however, we will continue to offer our prayer times, meditations, centering, contemplation and various workshops and retreats online and led by spiritual directors and leaders around the Bryan-College Station, Texas area. You are welcome no matter where in the world you are, or where in your spiritual journey you are.
If you know others who would like to "join," ask them to subscribe to our weekly newsletter by going to https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/contact and entering their email address at the Subscribe button on the lower right.