Its summer. Finally! My tomatoes are growing, and Kirk is industriously expanding our garden beds. I’ve pruned my roses, just like my mother taught me, and I’m looking forward to the flourishing of new growth.
I (Jill) am in a bit of a change of season as well, as it pertains to my role with GOHOP. Over the last few years, God has assembled a “dream team,” a skilled and passionate cohort of leaders who long to see water levels of prayer rise across the city and justice roll like a mighty river on its streets.
Consequently, I find myself shifting into a more “Executive Director” type role, where the team is carrying much of the responsibility for GOHOP, and I serve them and make sure they have what they need. I get to spend more time developing strategic partnerships and using my “schmooze anointing” (as Kirk calls it), increasing our organizational capacities, leadership development, strategic planning and exploring the “growth edges” of where God is at work in GOHOP and in the city. I’m finding it very stimulating and exciting, and have the sense of “firing on all cylinders” in a way I haven’t experienced at work before. All that, my regular blogging on prayer, mission and justice at http://www.gohopchick.wordpress.com and making sure that I get several hours of prayer daily is keeping me happily occupied.
In addition, I have been increasingly stepping into a role of bringing encouragement and resource to other prayer community leaders. I have found that there is a felt need for someone outside your community, who “gets” what a House of Prayer or Urban Monastery is about and can understand the dynamics. A “soul friend” of sorts to communities and their leaders. Mostly I listen, pray, and sometimes help in discernment processes. Always I feel as enriched by the encounter as the one(s) I’m meeting with.
Also, in September I start school! I’ve been accepted into a part time leadership development program called “The Transforming Community”, and over the next 2 years I will be commuting to Chicago for a series of 9 leadership retreats, and will have distance learning in between.
Master and Commander of Spaghetti
Kirk continues to enjoy chef-ing and hosting our Spaghetti Tuesday nights, serving at the Salvation Army Soup truck, and web developing. He’s counting down the days until Prayer Truck – his favorite time of year! We had fun as a couple going on two ministry trips together – to the Stockbridge Boiler Room in Grand Rapids Michigan, and then up to the Quebec House of Prayer in Sherbrooke, stopping at many Houses of Prayer on the way!
Resourcing the Movement
I (Jill) was trying to think about how we would finance the increased expenses around my going to school and travelling more for work. Should I get a part time job? So I asked the Lord for $400 worth of speaking engagements each month, and so far He has answered! Let me know if you would like me to come teach about prayer, mission, justice, intentional community, spiritual formation, or radical hospitality.