Hat 2: Online Art Journal

Keep the Hats on Fundraiser!

“I am grateful to Randy for sharing his art journal on social media, for the value and quality of the works in themselves; but even more for Randy’s vulnerability in sharing his struggles with anxiety through his kindness cartoons. I see so much of my own experience in these cartoons, and they remind me that I am not alone. Thank you so much, Randy, for sharing your talents and your story to bless and edify others.”

Tara Briggs Kirkey

“I have known Randy since highschool. Social media allows me to keep up with the many stages and iterations of old (and getting older) friends. And while I could ramble about the negative aspects of social media, I am writing about Randy and what his positive contributions to social media have meant to me. As someone who suffers with anxiety, social anxiety and depression, I have identified and related to most of Randy’s posts and drawings in the last few years. His art journal has expressed so much of what a lot of people can’t say.

Randy will forever be etched in my mind as the long haired, bearded hippie guy who was always good for some wisdom, some laughs or a hug. And it is good to see he his still out there in another city putting that into the world.”

Angela Reynolds

Consider helping me to continue this part of my ministry by contributing to the Keep the Hats on Fundraiser or checking out my Art Store.

Hat 1: Supporting Pastors & Leaders

Keep the Hats on Fundraiser!

Supporting Pastors & Leaders is one of the ministry hats I wear at GOHOP. I coordinate our weekly prayer time for pastors & leaders right here in this cozy corner of the Prayer Room. 

When we meet with a pastor, we practice something called listening prayer. We take 5 minutes of silence and then humbly shares any prayers, scriptures, feelings, thoughts, or images that we felt God was showing us. 

We leave it to the pastor or leader to decide if the listening prayers resonate as something from God. If it resonates, people are welcome to receive it gladly. If it doesn’t resonate (for any reason) the pastor is welcome to say “thanks but no thanks.” Permission to say “no thank you” is what gives us permission to practice listening prayer in a safe and supportive way.

Pastors have a very hard job where most people don’t even see the many demands and pressures that are placed on them. Often pastors are so spent from serving others that they don’t have any energy left to listen for them selves. Week after week I see pastors come in and be really encouraged and blessed by what they receive.

I have had the pleasure to work with lots of great “listeners” as part of the Prayer for Pastors & Leaders team. Douglas Horst is one of those listeners. Here is a little message from Doug,

When Randy is wearing his hat of Coordinating Prayer for Pastors and Leaders, he reaches out to his extensive network of pastors and leaders and actively encourages them to come and experience listening prayer by the GOHOP listening prayer team. As a member of that team, I have experienced his excellent ability to communicate well to us and all the pastors and leaders we pray for. God continues to speak through Randy and us to bless others. Under Randy’s persevering leadership, in the last year we have prayed for more pastors and leaders than in any of the six years that I have been part of this prayer team.

Consider helping me to continue coordinating this very important ministry by contributing to the Keep the Hats on Fundraiser!

Keep the Hats on Fundraiser!

You can make an online donation right now through CanadaHelps

GOHOP is a registered Canadian charity and all donations are tax deductible.

If you would like to make a donation by cheque 
scroll to the bottom of this page to find out how.

Hey church friends, I would really appreciate it if you could take a look at the info below about my year end fundraiser. If church isn’t your thing, feel free to just skip this. If you are curious and do decide to keep reading you can think of this fundraiser as me “crowd funding” my job.

I’m on staff with GOHOP (Greater Ontario House Of Prayer). I often describe my job as being a “Punk Monk.”

GOHOP is a new monastic ministry connected to the world wide movement of 24-7 Prayer. We aren’t a monastery but we do live a community life dedicated to the monastic rhythms of prayer & service. That covers the monkish part of the job but what about the punkish part? For me, punk music is all about creativity with a strong DIY (Do It Yourself) ethic. I think of prayer in that same way. We can learn to play creatively with prayer as a way to connect more deeply with our maker and each other. For me this permission to play with prayer is very punk!

The other DIY part of my job is that I have to raise my own support. Believe it or not but being a Punk Monk is my main source of income. To be completely honest, fundraising for my own job has a unique kind of stress to it. I often find myself experiencing imposter syndrome. I wonder if people should give to support my ministry. Is it worthwhile? Is my work worth being paid for? To combat these feelings of imposter syndrome, I remind myself of the different hats I wear as a punk monk, the beautiful and diverse work people are supporting by funding what I do.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be highlighting the hats I wear as a Punk Monk and invite you to partner with me “to keep the hats on,” by donating towards my ministry. For each hat, I’ll be getting a friend to talk about how they have seen my work make an impact on different people and churches. My hope is that one of these ministry hats might excite you.

Randell’s Ministry Hats:

Fundraising Goal:

Fundraising Total As of November 28th, 2022

My goal is to raise an additional $2500 by the end of 2022. There are three components to this goal:

  • Monthly Giving Plans are the most sustainable way for me to do my ministry. Currently 48% of my monthly budget comes from people who have joined my monthly support team. That is amazing but it also means I have to put a lot of work into coming up with an extra 52% each month. I’m trying to raise an additional $500 a month to have 65% of my income be more predictable and sustainable.  In my experience God has been using a diverse group of people to fund what I do. Some people give $25 and others give $100 or more each month. Click Here for more info about signing up for a monthly giving plan.
  • One Time Donations are a huge help to me. I must admit that it is stressful not knowing each month where my income will come from but it is also amazing to see the diverse group of friends, family and strangers that decide to bless me out of the blue with a donation. My goal is to raise an additional $1000 in one time donations by Christmas time. You can make an online donation through CanadaHelps.
  • Art Sales have been part of my life for a long time. They have never been a huge part of my budget but they do help with that little bit extra. I have a large selection of $20 posters for sale that pop right into an 11×14 frame. My goal is to raise $1000 from my art, which works out to 50 posters. Click Here to check out my store to see if there is something that you might like to buy.

Accountability:

I think it is really important when talking about money to be 100% transparent. If you would like to find out more about my job (including what I get paid) you can find all that info here: https://randellneudorf.com/gohop/

Any money raised above the goal for this fundraiser will help create a buffer for my ongoing fundraising efforts in the new year.

Thanks so much for taking the time to consider partnering with me on my Punk Monk journey. I also have an e-newsletter that I send out about 4 times a year. Email me if you would like to be added to that list: randellneudorf@gmail.com 

Thanks for taking the time to consider supporting the work I do!

Grace & Peace to you!

Sincerely,
Randell (Randy) Neudorf

You can make an online donation right now through: CanadaHelps

GOHOP is a registered Canadian charity and all donations are tax deductible.

If you would like to make a donation by cheque:

  1. Make cheques payable to “GOHOP”
  2. Important: Do not write names on the memo line (or anywhere else) on the cheque. Revenue Canada disallows the use of cheques with allocations written on them for charitable donations.
  3. Please attach a letter or post-it note indicating how you desire the funds be allocated. It just needs to say something like “GOHOP Support for Randell Neudorf.” Be sure to include your contact info as well to receive a tax receipt.
  4. Mail your cheques & note to:
    GOHOP, Box 57022, Jackson Square, Hamilton, ON L8P 4W9
    You are also welcome to hand your cheques in directly to me if you would like.

Punk Monk Newsletter – September 2022

Hey Team Punk Monk!

I hope you had some time to do a few fun activities over the summer. At the Neudorf household we got to go to a friend’s cottage and we spent a few days at the Crieff Hills Retreat Centre. Our whole family enjoys the walking trails and the chickens and sheep on the grounds. I also made use of the labyrinth and the little prayer chapel that is about the size of a garden shed.

Medical Update:

In my June newsletter, I let people know that I was taking a medical leave from GOHOP to deal with the anxiety I have been experiencing since January. I have made a lot of progress with my therapist, learning and practicing coping strategies. It was around the middle of August that I realized that I had a lot more tools in my mental health tool box than I had back in the spring. I’ve also been learning to reframe the stories I have been telling myself about some of the bigger anxiety attacks that I have experienced. There is a lot of grace being infused into these sessions. 

My other big medical issue has been years of chronic pain (in my hands, feet, and back). I noticed a huge improvement this summer. My physiotherapist has helped me with an exercise routine that has made me a lot stronger and this has greatly reduced my pain. My family were pleasantly surprised that I was able to hike, swim, and be really active without pain or flare ups this summer. I have also been able to enjoy playing guitar more. I do still get some random flare ups but they have been shorter and more manageable. It feels good to be strong.

  • Please pray for continued access to therapy. I’m at the end of the free counselling sessions I was approved for. I will need to assess what type and frequency of therapy is helpful for me. Pray for wisdom in making these decisions. 
  • Pray into my transition back to work. I expected my anxiety to increase as I started back to work, but I wasn’t prepared for how much my anxiety would increase once work was back in the mix. I’m easing back into things over September to find a sustainable rhythm.
  • Pray that my chronic pain would continue to decrease in frequency and severity. I would appreciate some specific prayer for my left wrist. Over the last couple weeks it has flared up and impacted my ability to play guitar and lift things. 

Thank you so much for your understanding as I’ve been taking the time to care for myself over the last 3 months.

GOHOP Gala Fundraiser: Sat. Oct. 15th (5:30-8:30pm)

You are cordially invited to celebrate GOHOP’s 21st Anniversary and the launch of our new Prayer Room. We want everyone to dress up to the nines (just like a fancy wedding) and bring your friends (or even your enemies) for an evening of food, live music, artist showcase, silent auction, storytelling and celebration. I’m one of the artists being showcased and will have some my posters and paintings on display (and for sale). Here is a link to the Facebook Event Page: https://fb.me/e/3EE71Fxyo

Cost: Tickets are $20 and include entrance, dinner and dessert. Kids under 12 are FREE.

Here is how you can help out:

  • CLICK HERE to buy a ticket!
  • If you can’t make it (or you live too far away) you can make a donation in lieu of your ticket.
  • Are you an artisan or a business owner? We are looking for donations to our silent auction. I’m happy to pass any contributions on to our planning team.
  • Tell your church and invite your friends! We really want to spread the word. We would especially like to have pastors and leaders who don’t know about GOHOP to come. If there is someone you think we should offer a free ticket to, (or if your budget is a little tight right now) we do have a few extra tickets to give away. Contact admin@gohop.ca about free tickets.
  • Volunteer at the event. We will need people to help with serving food, selling art, etc…|
    Contact admin@gohop.ca if you would like to volunteer.
  • Pray for the Gala. We really want people to come out and get a sense of what GOHOP is all about and how we can partner together to play with prayer.
  • Pray for our prayer room ministry.  GOHOP is very excited to once again be hosting a prayer room, but there will also be growing pains since we have been without a prayer room for over 2 years due to the pandemic. In many ways it feels like we are starting something completely new and at the same time familiar.

Old Reverend Randell Debut:

I have had a number of music projects over the years, my newest one is called Old Reverend Randell. This is the name I’m using to play the gospel songs I write that are a little further off the beaten trail of songs we might sing at church. I choose the name Old Reverend Randell for a few reasons:

  • The biggest musicians tend to “make it” when they are young (before they are 25). Being 46, I’m an old guy in the music world and just wanted to own it. I also have some nostalgia in my music where I play vintage guitars and have a little bit of an old time vibe. I want my music to feel like something that has been around for a long time. Like I could have been a contemporary of Hank Williams, or Stompin’ Tom.
  • I don’t want to hide the gospel side of my music, so I put the word “Reverend” in to make that up front. It also has a feeling of campiness to it with the work “Old” tacked on. It lets me play in bars and coffee houses while still feeling safe for a secular crowd. There are other musicians who have the title of Reverend in their stage name who just use it for show.
  • The name lets me play music at churches in a way where I get to show people that God can be “weird” in a good way. I know that my music is never going to be the next big worship song but I think my music can speak to the topics and people that are often forgotten about in church. 

I have a couple demo songs posted. Here is where you can listen to them: https://oldreverendrandell.bandcamp.com

My first Old Reverend Randell Show happened last month at L’arche Hamilton’s Inclusion Coffee House. Their tag line is “We are people with and without intellectual disabilities creating a community coffeehouse.” It was a packed house and I have never had such an enthusiastic audience. There was thunderous applause after every song (and sometimes in the middle of a song with a pause), a couple enthusiastic dancers, and one very cool ukulele player who got right up front with me. 

The coffee house is located inside a city recreation centre. It was such an honour to play a mix of old hymns, cover songs, and my own tunes in a public space. That is really my dream is to be able to create something that can sit inside and outside the church in a way that is honest and helpful.

Looking for Kindness: A Creative Teaching on Faith & Anxiety

I have a creative teaching that I’ve had the chance to try out on a couple different churches. It incorporates some of my “Looking for Kindness Cartoons” along with some of my Old Reverend Randell songs. I use these creative outlets to talk about my own struggles with anxiety and how I have been leaning into the Fruit of the Spirit (especially kindness) as part of my faith journey. A number of people have talked to me afterwards about their own mental health journeys and thanked me for speaking so openly and honestly about my experience with anxiety.

If your church, small group or conference is looking for something a little different I would love to share this creative teaching with you.

Financial Update:

While I was on medical leave I had to set aside working on fundraising to just focus on getting well. The unfortunate reality of my job is that when I’m less active, donations tend to be less frequent. This trend started back in March and has steadily been increasing ever since. Here is a snapshot of where my fundraising numbers are at:

  • $2897 is my monthly fundraising goal. Details of how I came up with this number are posted here.
  • $1384. is what comes in from Monthly Giving Plans
  • -$1513 is how much additional funds I need to raise each month to reach my goal. Up until March 2022 I was able to raise this through people giving one time donations and annual donations. For the last 6 months I have not reached this goal.
  • $1425 is how much extra Honorarium Income I have made this year through doing guest speaking and workshops. That offsets about one month of fundraising. With being on Medical leave I had to turn down some opportunities. 
  • -$6209 is the total amount I’m behind in my GOHOP budget(as of September 2022), in addition to the -$4539I will still need to raise for Oct-Dec 2022. 

As I’m writing this I would like to give a firm fundraising goal for the rest of 2022, but somehow that seems to be less important than ongoing sustainability. Realistically, I won’t be able to make up an almost $11,000 shortfall by the end of the year. 

Going forward, I need to either reach my monthly fundraising goal, or I need to reduce my GOHOP hours and seek additional employment elsewhere. I don’t want to make that decision rashly. I will be trying to raise an additional $1513 each month, but more importantly I’ll be trying to raise that through an increase in people signing up for monthly and yearly giving plans. That is where I really need to focus my energy.

  • Pray that God will expand my circle of support. This doesn’t happen without God making it happen.
  • Pray that I would not be anxious about fundraising, that I would just stay the course and do the work.
  • Pray that I would have more opportunities to preach, share music and lead workshops. The honorariums that come along with these things are nice but more importantly it lets me connect with people interested in my work with GOHOP.

CLICK HERE to sign up for a MONTHLY GIVING PLAN

DONATE ONLINE through CandaHelps.
Info about donating by CHEQUE can be found HERE.
One time & annual donations are also welcome!

Thank you so much for getting all the way to the bottom of this email. It means so much to me that you took the time to catch up with what is happening in my ministry with GOHOP. 

Grace & Peace to you,
Randell (Randy) Neudorf
Artist /// Musician /// Punk Monk