I’ve been holding off on sending an update longer than I normally would have because there’s been some exciting news brewing, but it hasn’t been ready to share until now. First, a bit of the backstory.
3.5 years ago, I resigned from my position as a pastor to begin this new itinerant ministry. What an adventure! It’s been a great ride. Over the past 3.5 years I’ve travelled thousands of kilometers, visited hundreds of churches, played hundreds of concerts, and met thousands of new people (I don’t even want to guess how many times I’ve played “June” or told my dumb wrestling story).
But none of this has come without a cost. We’ve had to endure long stretches with little or no income. Sometimes concerts have been poorly attended and it’s actually cost me to go and play. Making albums is expensive, and we’ve had to bear those costs personally. In some cases, I’ve picked up work in the oilfield or mowing lawns just to be able to keep doing this. I’ve had many moments during those lean times when I’ve had to ask myself, ” Am I fooling myself? Is this the end?”
I had a day like that this past September. Despite having a busy summer, my fall touring schedule was looking like it wouldn’t come together. We’d already been on a bit of a knife’s edge, financially, since we released “Rumours of Light”. I was considering turning the lights off and closing the door. Then in the midst of the uncertainty, the phone rang. It was Roy Salmond (Roy, you may remember, served as executive producer on Broomtree.). Carolyn Arends had been after him to listen to “Rumours of Light” again. He called to say he loved what I did on “Rumours of Light” and that he wanted to do another record with me. When I told him a new album was out of the question, given our present financial situation, he said, “I have an idea”.
I won’t bore you with all the details, but the short version of the story is that we have been brought under the banner of Incarnation Ministries. ”Incarnation Ministries is a Canadian charity that exists to help support the work of artists which reflects the truth of life within the Trinity so that it may redeem both the Church and society through the thoughtful soul-sharpening art.” Incarnation has offered to receive donations on my behalf to help me raise money for the rest of the expenses (about $15,000). After the album is completed, Incarnation will continue to receive donations on my behalf to help subsidize the ongoing costs of touring and concert promotion so that my ministry can expand the breadth and depth of its reach. So, depending on the level of interest and support we receive, I plan to be back in studio recording a new album as soon as January.
Over the past 3.5 years, two things have become clear. First of all, that my work as an itinerant singer/songwriter should continue, as it has value in the way it encourages and inspires people both inside and outside the church. It is making a tangible difference in people’s lives. One concert-goer wrote to tell me how one concert had served as a catalyst to bring about healing in his marriage,
“Our marriage was in a state where … between her anger and my defensivess and shame nothing was getting dealt with. I believe that the spirit of God joined us during Keith’s concert and remained with us the rest of the night. We took it all on when we got home after the concert, I was amazed by grace and forgiveness…seriously I was shocked and broken. In the end, we both knew that I needed to be a better man. I stilldraw courage from the line, “what could I be if you had Your way with me?”…well I am beginning to learn.” (Shared with permission)
The second thing that’s become clear is that we simply can’t continue to tour and make new recordings without financial help from donors and regular supporters.
If you have benefited from my ministry, would you prayerfully consider making a one time donation toward this new album and my touring ministry? Or would you consider becoming a regular supporter?
Incarnation Ministries will offer a tax receipt for Canadian Residents who make a donation of $50 or more, and one hundred percent of your donation will go directly toward my ministry.
To make a donation, mail your cheque to:
Suite 2620, 1055 West Georgia Street
Please make cheques payable to “Incarnation Ministries” and indicate “For Keith Kitchen” on the memo line.
Thank you for allowing me share this exciting news with you. I feel awkward writing so personally about finances, and I appreciate you letting me share so frankly. I don’t intend to pester people regularly with requests for money. I have always felt that this ministry’s existence should be based largely on demand, and so our focus will still be on playing concerts and making albums. Donations should only serve a supplemental role in the work we’re trying to do.
Thanks again for considering your part in this.