What does an Urban Monastery Look Like?

People have been asking.

And we’re trying to sort it out ourselves.  GOHOP is morphing and in motion.  We’re not sure what the destination is going to look like but hey, the journey is the thing, right?

Here’s a map of our Prayer Spaces what life at the UM looks like this week. Zoom it out to see all our Prayer Spaces:

Monday:  The most exciting and exhilarating part of our job!


Administration.  Working at our new office graciously donated to us by Hughson St. Baptist Church and True City.  We share a collaborative office space with True City, Micah House, and others.  In the afternoon, we put the finishing touches on the quiet prayer space we’ve created in the office, papering the walls so we can write our prayers.   “Let’s just start with the cross and resurrection, and see what grows from there.”

Monday night:  Family night at the Community house – the residents and guests of the house eat together and laugh a lot.  Bert our parrot laughs more than everyone, chuckling his way through the meal.  After dinner we worship and pray together, then everyone does their chores in the house.  I wanted to call doing our jobs “house blessing”, but the boys thought that was cheezy, so chores it is.

Tuesday:  Phyllis manning the prayer watch in our Waterdown Prayer Space in the morning.  Jill prayerwalking in the community.  In the afternoon, at the 500 James St. Prayer Space, we gather for worship and meditation on the psalms, prayer for pastors and leaders in the city.  At three, a young businessman shows up for his prayer appointment and we pray for him for an hour.  The Lord is kind, and helps us pray into his heart with love and accuracy.

Tuesday night: Spaghetti Tuesday – Community Dinner at the Community House.  Friends and strangers gather around the table.  Conversation is fun and fiesty.  Kirk cooks up a splendid spaghetti sauce.  Sometimes we bake together after dinner for friends.

Wednesday:  Staff meeting in the morning.  Checking in, dreaming, planning, praying.  Then off to Living Rock where we minister to the youth there after their Gathering, and then spend the afternoon worshiping and interceding for the next Generation in the city at the Living Rock Prayer Space.

Wednesday night:  Moving Mountains Prayer Group  – this week we are dedicating and praying through the Perkins Centre, and celebrating Abraham’s birthday with the community of young men and women that he has gathered and trained in prayer over the years.  Let them eat cake!

Thursday:  Phyllis on the wall in Waterdown again.  Jill out and about prayerwalking and at various pastors and leaders groups.  Abraham doing hospital visitation or developing young leaders.  Building relationships in the city and exploring how GOHOP can help increase prayer capacities in churches and in the city.

Thursday night:  Practicing the Way Group – meeting with a group of young leaders in the city and exploring together a new approach to Spiritual Formation (actually a really old approach, but needing to be refeshed in our lives).  We eat together, enjoy our children together, and set our hearts to following the Master.

Friday:  Team dispersed in various places – prayer for healing, meeting with friends we have made in the city through the Prayer Truck, prayerwalking.  In the afternoon we gather at the Community House, worship and mediate on the Psalms again, and pray for the ministry

Saturday:  Sabbath!

Sunday:  Ministering in various churches – preaching, leading worship.  At 4 pm we join with the Mission Services Chapel, and are looking at ways we can grow in our friendships with those on the margins in our city.    Community Dinner at Mission Services, then back to the Community House for our Book Study on Hospitality.

Our Hamilton staff of urban monastics (we miss u Tim!)

It’s a lovely season for us right now – feasting on the abundance of the Lord’s house and feeling very rich in our relationships.  Building relationships and people, rather then building structures and trying to populate them.  Desiring to be the loving presence of a people of prayer in the city.  We’re always looking to expand our circle of friends and to grow our staff of prayer missionaries, so email jill@gohop.ca if you want to join the fun!

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