I’m told by other GOHOPers that I should be sending out an update every month or so. I’m already behind but I plan to grow into this.
A Global Pandemic is a strange time to start a new job!
At first I was having a hard time feeling connected to my new coworkers. I found this really perplexing because I knew half the team already (a little bit). I eventually realized that I build a sense of connection and trust with people through laughing and having fun. For me it is all the fun little conversations that happen on lunch or before or after a meeting that allow me to feel a sense of belonging. These are all the “frivolous times” that are cut out of Zoom meetings. I talked to my spiritual director
about it (super helpful by the way) and he suggested I talk to Andy (my boss at GOHOP). We decided to dedicate the first 30 minutes of our weekly staff meeting to being our “fun time.” Think of it as the virtual water cooler. I was put in charge of the fun times, and each week I get people to play a game or tell stories. We have done trivia, charades, and told nostalgic stories. At Christmas I made everyone play a game where they had to try and sell me their hat (see the photo above). We laughed and laughed as each person made their ridiculous sales pitch. It might sound like a poor use of time but it has been these little contrived moments of fun that have helped me feel connected to my GOHOP family.
Please pray that we could continue to find creative and grace filled ways to do ministry online.
Creative Prayer Walking Resource:
I have been working on a big project that I’m very excited to share with you. It is called “A Creative Guide to Prayer Walking.”
It can be downloaded for free HERE
. The idea is to get people out prayer walking during this years’ online TrueCity Conference
and Virtual Prayer Room
. Often prayer walking resources are so specific in geography that they can only be used in one place. Other prayer walking resources are so theological that they make the practice seem dry and stoic. I wanted to make something creative that wasn’t a map to follow but rather a guide that gave people permission to play with prayer. I would love to know what you think. My dream would be to develop the resource into a deck of cards so that you could shuffle the different prayer ideas into different walks. Kind of like a scavenger hunt. If you have any ideas of what I should be drawing next please let me know. The TrueCity Church Conference is happening this weekend (Feb 26-27), and the Virtual Prayer Room will be running from Feb 26th until March 13th. The theme this year is “Together in the Wilderness” (an appropriate description of being the church during the pandemic).
Please pray that people will engage with the conference and prayer room in a meaningful way. My prayer is that this will be a “get to” and not a “have to” for people.
TrueCity is very much a Hamilton thing but we are encouraging people from outside of our city to also get involved this year. The online conference is free so if you are curious to see what God can do when a diverse group of churches decide to work together , this is your year. Register Here
It is a very vulnerable feeling to ask people for money (I drew the “zipper drawing” above in my art journal to express this feeling). That being said, I’m getting more comfortable with talking about money because of the prayers, encouragement and generosity of this support team. Your belief in my ministry is such a blessing. Thank you to everyone who has been helping me reach my fundraising goals. I’m very happy to report that I have raised enough money to be paid in full until the end of June 2021.
This was made possible through a number of one time donations. My next fundraising goal is to build up my monthly support team.
My goal is to raise $2710 a month and I have 40% of that raised for the rest of the year.
I Currently have 6 monthly supporters giving a combined total of $1115 each month. By July I need to raise an additional $1595 per month. In my mind this is totally doable. I don’t know what God has in mind but this is what it could look like for me to reach my goal:
- 3 people giving $200 per month.
- 4 people giving $100 per month.
- 4 people giving $75 per month.
- 4 people giving $50 per month.
- 4 people giving $25 per month.
Please pray for my fundraising efforts. Specifically, pray that I could build up my monthly support base. Pray that God would direct me to the people I should be talking to about support.
Thanks so much for being part of my support team. Since this is my first “Punk Monk” newsletter I would love to know what you find helpful/interesting. What I don’t want is to be adding to your email overload.
Good job on getting to the bottom of this newsletter
Grace & Peace to you,
Today’s bible doodle is just a small one. I’m not trying to illustrate each passage but rather draw what comes to mind when there is an extra emotional resonance.
“When you pray, say Father, hallowed be your name…” – Jesus (Luke 11:2 NRSV)
Click Here to see more drawings from Randell Neudorf’s Bible
Some people like to make notes in their bible or underline things. I have started to draw in mine. Here is the text I turned into an illuminated manuscript today:
“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” – Jesus (Luke 11: 9-13 NRSV)
Click Here to see more drawings from Randell Neudorf’s Bible
Here is an art journal drawing about trauma. I don’t really want to say much about this other than to point out that trauma seeks to reproduce itself.
In this pandemic, households who live with trauma are paying a very high price. Trauma is a contagion that thrives on social isolation, the reduction of medical services, and the loss of community supports like in person school. As our society cuts services we are making value judgements on who is entitled to wellness and safety.
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