Roy Crowne’s Thought
Romans 15:14 is a great verse about Hope. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Hope is a great word and it constantly needs redeeming by the church so that we can truly be people of hope. In this season of Lent, as we approach the climax of Jesus’ ministry, it is because of the resurrection that we are filled with hope. But more than that, the gift of the Holy Spirit allows hope to well up within us and impact those around us. Let’s present the words, works and wonders of Jesus as we work together, which are the basis for HOPE’s existence. Roy
Lent and Pancakes St Philips Church in Penn Fields, Wolverhampton, is celebrating the start of Lent with Pancake Pandemonium. This involves a crème egg challenge, a graffiti wall, a flipping contest, craft station and more. The event on Shrove Tuesday, 21 February, is open to families in the area and children from the nearby schools. People will leave with the Love Life Live Lent challenge. Leonie Fisher, Children and Family Pioneer minister, said: “We want to show people that Christians are normal and we can have a party, but we also give an opportunity for parents and children to relate this to the real reason for the season” Read the fuller story: Pancake Pandemonium
Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Day as it’s known – marks the start of Lent, a time for reflection and anticipation. Your church’s small groups can use the HOPE for Easter Bible studies to delve into God’s word, applying it to your life and community. York Courses also provide study material for Lent.
Easter is coming Reach your community with the love of Jesus and share the life-changing gospel message this Easter. The HOPE for Easter book profiles 15 creative community mission ideas and includes group Bible study material for adults and youth groups, plus inspiring Easter reflections from Christian leaders. Get your copy of HOPE for Easter - £4.99
Read the idea magazine article about Easter mission.
We are hearing about exciting plans for Easter mission from some regions including Easter festivals, public Passion plays and community celebrations. Please let us know how you are celebrating Easter and using this key mission moment in your area.
Easter HOPE by Andy Hawthorne, is a specially-commissioned outreach booklet exploring why Jesus is hope. Andy, a founder of HOPE and the Message Trust, writes with his trade mark passion, energy and enthusiasm. This is a great tool and accompanies CPO's Easter HOPE publicity and posters. Simple and quick Easter action ideas. Find out how you could communicate the Easter message
Table Talk for Easter
Wouldn’t it be great to have meaningful conversations with our family and friends about the things that really matter in life? You can gather round a table to talk, laugh, and understand each other. Table Talk for Easter, a six session game and conversational course, will create the space needed to talk easily about what Easter means to you. Written by Joanne Cox and Paul Griffiths (in partnership with HOPE). £24.99. Table Talk website shop.
Big Jubilee Lunch
Use HOPE’s free resources to hold a Big Jubilee Lunch in your neighbourhood. Download the video to show at your church to get started. Contact other local churches so you can work together to make sure all your local school children, senior citizens, singles and families are invited to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. HOPE has community-building ideas, school lesson plans, plays and ideas for games and more to make your planning easy.
HOPE’s Diamond Jubilee Souvenir mini-magazine is a gift you can give to help your neighbours and friends understand the Christian symbolism at the heart of the monarchy, as we celebrate the Queen’s 60 years of service to the Commonwealth. Order your copies to giveaway at your Big Jubilee Lunch and preview the brochure (out in April – bulk discounts apply)
The Big Thank You
Use HOPE’s Big Thank You sheets to write, or draw a picture, to say thank you to the Queen for 60 years of service. Print The Big Thank You downloadable sheet from the Jubilee Resources page and add your contribution. Collect the signed Big Thank You sheets from everyone at your Big Jubilee Lunch or in your neighbourhood and post them to Communications, Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3AZ by 30th June, so they can be collected and delivered to the Queen.
Children’s Prayers for Queen and Country
What do children in your area say when they talk to God? From Easter (8 April) until the Big Jubilee Lunch (3 June) children across the UK are invited to write their own prayers for the Queen, the country and their family. Find out how you can organise this in your area. The Children’s Diamond Jubilee Prayer forms are also on the Jubilee Resources page.
Building relationships with a street party
Members of the Well Church in the Blackpool / Lytham St Anne’s area joined neighbours planning a street party to celebrate the Royal Wedding last year. The church provided 200 chairs and 25 long tables, the church's game equipment, bunting, PA, helium balloons and a generator. On the day, the youth pastor organised games for the children. Senior Pastor Rick Oldland said: "About 450 people came… we chose not to lead the event. This was a successful strategy and enabled the community to see that evangelical churches can help, without strings attached, which ultimately gained trust. We have many other ways in which our evangelism is more overt and direct, but for a church in a stable community, we have to be in it for the long haul."
Share your stories
Mums and Toddlers groups are a great context to build lasting relationships. These groups are often a family’s first link to finding faith. This month we are collecting stories of Mums & Toddlers’ groups as a mission opportunity – if you know a story of a mum or family who found faith this way, please let us know.
Prayer and Fasting
HOPE is holding a weekend of prayer and fasting for the UK, from 8-9 September 2012. Book the date and join thousands of others as we seek God and intercede for our nation. The weekend of prayer and fasting was one of the key action points coming from Pastor Agu and Graham Cray, sharing at last November’s HOPE Forum. More than 70 Christian leaders from black and white denominations and organisations gathered at Jesus House in North London for the Forum. www.hopeprayer.org.uk
Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) leaders in the London area are meeting every Thursday evening from 10pm to 1am to pray for the nation. The first prayer event in February brought together 40 pastors. Yemi Adedeji, Associate Director of HOPE who attended the first prayer night, said, “Momentum will grow as people take on the burden of mission and prayer.’ Each month a different RCCG church, or group of churches, commit to intercede daily for HOPE.
Youth - HOPE Revolution
HOPE Revolution has a new Facebook and Twitter page. Please encourage your youth groups to check them out and follow them so they can be part of what’s going on in this massive youth movement. We want to hear from young people on which new logo they prefer from the options on the Hope Revolution facebook page. www.hope-revolution.com
Local Story: HOPE for youth in a rural village and beyond
Lyn Edwards has played a key role in restoring hope to the shattered community of Seascale after a gunman killed 12 people and injured 11 others. God spoke to Lyn through three dreams to move there and she has seen his plan unfold through a youth ministry in this rural setting in miraculous ways. Read via HOPE'S article in Woman Alive Video of Lyn at Youthwork Summit
Spring Harvest - Church Actually
Thousands will gather to encounter God this Easter, to be changed and be equipped for mission through Bible teaching, seminars, workshops and engaging children and youth programmes. The 2012 theme, Church Actually, asks what the Church is and what hope there is for our effective mission in current culture. HOPE will lead seminars about word and deed mission in local contexts, so look out for those. The Church is God’s brilliant idea. Wendy Beech-Ward, HOPE Leadership and Director of Spring Harvest: “We are passionate about seeing the Church be what God intended it to be. We love the Church because it’s God’s way of getting things done, of bringing hope to a confused world .” » www.springharvest.org
ECG – Equipping, Calling, Going
The ECG conference is a chance for a heart test of a different kind. Rev Pete Phillips and HOPE’s Roy Crowne are speaking on the theme of Journeys, with worship led by Ken Riley. Families, church and worship leaders and youth groups will enjoy this Scarborough Spa event. www.ecgevent.org.uk
God bless you, from the HOPE team.