48

Starting Friday night, January 31 at midnight (which I guess technically is Saturday), my MoveIn friends here in Hamilton are hosting 48 hours of worship, prayer, and street outreach at 500 James St., in the True City office.

We love these guys, and love the work they are doing in the city. They move to neighbourhoods (usually high rises) with a high density of new immigrants, and live, work, play and pray in that context. Incarnating the presence of Jesus and bringing forth His kingdom. Loving their neighbours in intentional and prayerful ways.

Here is the email blast they sent out…

Come and join the body of Christ in Hamilton in lifting up the name of Jesus and praying for God’s Kingdom to come bless and restore this city! God is worthy of all of our praise and adoration! He is glorious, lovely, merciful, just, holy and the Lord over all!

We will be praying and worshiping for a full 48 hours. There will be 2 hour time slots that will be posted on this event page in due time (so keep checking back), which will give a prayer focus for those 2 hours. There will be a worship leader and a prayer leader in the prayer room at all times. There is no need to sign up for specific times, come as the Spirit prompts you.

The 2nd day (Sunday) we will have outreaches after we have prayed in the prayer room. We will be filled up and sent out to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit in the streets of Hamilton (of course it is not an obligation that if you come to this prayer slot you must minister afterwards, but it will be a great chance to bless our city in the name of Jesus).

More information will be posted about the location and how to access the right door!

Feel free to extend this invitation to anyone who loves Jesus.

So look for it on Facebook. They will be posting more info as we get nearer.

It’s an answer to our prayers at GOHOP. For years we pray for …prayer. That the church would desire to dwell, gaze, and seek. Abide in His presence. We’ve especially focusing prayer on emergent leaders in the city, so we are delighted to see what God is raising up in our midst.

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Eat, Pray, Paint!

Today our team was at Lectio House helping with the renovations, along with our friends Matt and Karen Lowe.

20140121-044640.jpgI will let them introduce themselves, although many of you know and love them already:

Matt Lowe and Karen Elliott Lowe have recently joined GOHOP’s staff team. Newly appointed pastor of little Bethel Community Church in east Hamilton, Karen was ordained with the Canadian Baptists of Ontario & Quebec in 2011, has served in several churches, with Sophia House, and is pursuing a certificate in spiritual direction. Matt, a freelance editor, writer, and professor, completed a Ph.D at McMaster Divinity College in 2011.

The Lowes have already been extensively involved in activities with GOHOP and other ministries in Hamilton for the past few years, participating in Spaghetti Tuesday dinners, helping to facilitate the Urban Monastic Internship, and cataloguing GOHOP’s library. In joining our staff, their focus is on helping those who minister in Hamilton to seek spiritual direction and to discover better patterns of rest and retreat.

Beginning in January 2013, they began envisioning a small urban centre for spiritual direction and retreats, where they would also live as co-directors. A process of prayerful and corporate discernment led them to buy a home north of Gage Park, which they have been busily renovating since July, often with help from GOHOP staff and other friends. They hope to open “Lectio House” in January of 2014.

Busily is the key word. The house, like many in the lower city, was a real “fixer upper”, and they have been HARD at work on it since the summer.

Anyways, as I was saying, some of the GOHOP team went over to help.

We started with food.

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Yum.

And then we prayed together for a bit.

And then we painted.

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Eat, pray, paint!

That’s how we roll!

Many Streams Make One River – Bob and Gracie Ekblad coming to Hamilton

In just over a week, from January 25-30, GOHOP will be hosting Bob and Gracie Ekblad. Bob and Gracie will spend their time building up the GOHOP community. They will be visiting with with Mission Services, The Living Rock, Barnabas Prophetic group as well as meeting with a number different leaders in the Hamilton community.

Who are they? Bob is bridge-builder. As a pastor, practitioner and theologian, he weaves together different streams of the Church: the charismatic, contemplative, academic and social justice. He and his wife, Gracie, have given their lives to bring “the good news of God’s love and liberation in Jesus to the poor and outcasts.” His work includes, prison and gang outreach, teaching graduate students, running New Earth Refuge retreat centre, preaching, running a recovery house, leading English and Spanish services and running a family support centre. He is also the founder and director of The People’s Seminary and Tierra Nueva, a multi-faceted ministry in Honduras and Burlington, Washington. Having experienced work of the Holy Spirit in life-changing ways, Bob and Gracie’s work is profoundly infused and empowered the by the Holy Spirit. They seek healing, deliverance and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit wherever they minister. Bob also teaches internationally on hearing God’s voice, reading the bible with people on the margins and on advocacy. He lives with his wife and three children in Burlington, Washington. For more information about Bob, visit www.bobekblad/about/.com.

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Come to Spaghetti Tuesday on the 28th and have dinner with Bob and Gracie, and stay tuned to hear where and when you can meet them over the course of the week.

Party On!

Yesterday we had a birthday dinner for my friend Denni. We have been buddies for a looooong time and have had many excellent adventures! We’ve been to both heaven and hell and back together, weathering many storms and dancing in the sunshine.

She was on the core team with GOHOP for something like 7-8 years, and then was promoted into national prayer leadership. I miss working with he every day, so really really really enjoy the opportunities we get to hang out. Denni’s birthday is on Boxing Day, and often sits in the shadow of Christmas. So this year I wanted to make sure she felt properly celebrated.

I made her presents. A felted piece of art. Denni oversees a prophetic ministry in the city, and is often seen as a mama eagle, nurturing the eaglets, so I made a nest, eggs, and the talon of the mama (I know my felting skills have not yet advanced to where I can pull off a whole eagle).

And I made cookies. Nest and egg cookies! They are super cute.

I just really wanted to bless her in a creative and personal way, and celebrate how God has shaped and is using her.

I spent the afternoon cooking, and served up super yummy shepherds pie and quinoa salad with goats cheese. An a totally kick butt decadent chocolate gluten and dairy free cake (so I could eat it with her).

We ended off dinner with prophesying over Denni and giving her a recording of our words.

Richard Foster, in Celebration of Discipline includes celebration as a key spiritual discipline. We celebrate the goodness of God as we celebrate one another.

Party on!

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Weber Christmas Newsletter

Just in case you’re not on our email list for our quarterly missionary newsletter, here it is in blog form!
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Everything Old is new Again
Our trip to the British Isles was a valuable time of researching old and new monastic communities in England, Scotland and Ireland. The Celtic monastic model has much to inform the modern prayer movement. Unlike the remote and cloistered Roman monasteries, the Celts situated their lives of prayer in the centre of their communities. Celtic monasteries became hubs of prayer, hospitality, learning and creativity, and launching pads for justice and missions. This is particularly relevant to GOHOP in this season, as in the heart of Hamilton, we are exploring these expressions with an ever widening group of friends from churches across the city.
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On the Home Front at the Community House
Worship Jams.
Daily Evening Prayer.
Lively conversations around the dinner table with our varied and many guests.
Spiritual Direction in the “Upper Room”.
New friends crashing overnight on couches.
And of course, Spaghetti Tuesday!
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The Blog
They say that storytellers create culture. Although I (Jill) have been blogging for a few years already, we sensed that in this season, storytelling was going to become more strategic in shaping the prayer movement locally and beyond. Consequently, I have upped my blogging to five days a week, and through my writing am exploring the themes of New Monasticism. You can click on the link below, see the blog, and even subscribe so that you can receive it daily.
www.gohopchick.wordpress.com
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Kirk & Bert Web Designs
Kirk has been feeling for some time that he wanted to pick up some work to supplement our income. He’s researched and taught himself web design and this month he completed his first commercial web site for a client! He’s been enjoying the creative aspects of the work, and loving working from home where Bert can supervise him. In addition, the work gives Kirk the flexibility he needs to pastor our Community House, run and host Spaghetti Tuesday, work with the Salvation Army Soup Truck, and help with the Chapel at Mission Services. And of course, oversee nightwatch for our 24/7 prayer events. So if you know anyone who needs a website developed, connect them with Kirk!
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We’ve Got a Wide Bench!
We are very grateful for the group of extraordinary men and woman that God has brought to GOHOP. On our core team we have three seminarians, three ministers, and now a Doctor of Theology! We are teaching in homes, churches and ministries across the city, running our second year of the “Studies in New Monasticism” Internship, and mentoring many exciting young leaders in Hamilton. We are also helping to launch “Lectio House”, an urban retreat centre in Hamilton. I (Jill) find myself in a season of “quarterbacking” this fine team, making sure they have all the resources and support they need, developing networks and charting the course for the future.
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Of course, none of this would be possible without your partnership in prayer and financial support. If you would like to invest in the prayer movement in Hamilton or beyond, you can give online at www.canadahelps.org or email us at jill@gohop.ca. It’s been twelve years of full time prayer missions for us, and God has been unceasingly faithful to provide. Thanks so much for your part in that!

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Strangers at my Door By Jonathan Wilson Hartgrove

Yesterday I read “Strangers at my Door”, by Jonathan Wilson Hartgrove.

The whole book.

In one day.

It was just too good to put down. I knew it was coming, and had pre-ordered it prior to its release, and eagerly awaited it’s arrival. It did not disappoint.

I love Jonathan’s writing, and his commitment to being a practitioner rather than a theorist. Jonathan founded Rutba House, an intentional community that creates home and family for homeless people. He lives the message, and tells the stories.

Here’s Jonathan’s story in his own words.

And here are a couple teasers, but really, anyone interested in intentional community, radical hospitality, and incarnating the love of Jesus should read it.

Something deep in each of us cries out against the injustice of poverty and homelessness, of prison and addiction. The repulsion is visceral when we confront any one of these realities not as an issue but as the pain in the heart of a friend’s life.

You are learning that Jesus is risen and he’s coming again. he’s coming for supper tonight, and he’s not alone…he’s standing at your door with someone whose name you don’t yet know. They are sitting now at your dinner table-a peculiar family, for sure – ready to pass the butter and tell you a story about what happened today….heaven is a banquet! You know not only because John saw it two thousand years ago but also because you see it at your dinner table.

I’m done reading, and you can come borrow it if you wish, but you will have to stay for dinner…

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