Prayer is at the heart of what we do at GOHOP. When we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic, we pray in the basement of a local social enterprise coffee shop called 541 Eatery and Exchange. 541 is located in an under resourced neighbourhood in the core of Hamilton. Staff & volunteers commit to pray and welcome others into prayer. These different prayer times are varied and might have a theme like:
- Praying for/with pastors and leaders.
- Praying for/with people on the margins.
- Praying for/with street-involved youth.
- Taizé Worship Circle.
- Contemplative & Centering Prayer.
- Celtic Daily Prayer Liturgy.
- Singing the Psalms in the Benedictine tradition.
- Praying for Newcomers & Refugees.
Many of these prayer rhythms have moved online or outside, others have moved into sanctuaries across the city (masked & social distanced of course) but they are still happening every week.
GOHOP also organizes a number of annual events.
- We have a 24/7 Prayer Room that happens during the TrueCity church conference. This interactive prayer room is open for two weeks straight gathering together numerous churches across the city to pray together.
- Every July we create a Prayer Truck (from a converted UHaul) as an outdoor prayer space that is parked behind the Living Rock (a downtown ministry for at-risk youth). From the back of this “hippy van” we offer cold water and prayer to those walking the streets as a sacred meeting spot for people from all walks of life.
- Studies in New Monasticism is a 9-month internship encouraging a life lived into prayer, mission and justice.
GOHOP is not a church, it is an “Urban Monastery” (minus the robes & buildings) that seeks to support, resource and catalyze the Church. We live out rhythms of life that have been embodied and taught within monastic communities for centuries (prayer, worship, study, silence, solitude, fasting, celebration, and pilgrimage). By practising these rhythms our staff team seek to live lives of prayer & discipleship that are contagious. We provide a number of other discipleship opportunities for church leaders and lay people at home & abroad through workshops, spiritual direction, mentoring, and teaching engagements.
Digging Deeper into the GOHOP Story:
GOHOP was founded in 2001 by my friends Jill & Kirk Webber. For those of you who want to dig deeper into the history of GOHOP you should check out these resources from Jill:
- History of GOHOP Video (30 minutes): In this video you get to hear Jill Weber share the incredible story of GOHOP throughout the years.
- Even The Sparrow: A Pilgrim’s Guide to Prayer, Trust and Following the Leader: A book by Jill Weber that is full of stories about GOHOP and each chapter ends with a spiritual practice that you can use in your own prayer life.