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News update January 2019

Happy New Year! It is so encouraging to hear how God has been working all over the country in this past year. Churches have been investing energy in making Jesus known in lots of creative ways. A local butcher asked one church to sing carols for the customers waiting in a queue for a Christmas turkey – everyone received a Christmas HOPE magazine as they chatted with church members and enjoyed the carols! As always the Queen focused on Jesus at the climax of her Christmas broadcast reminding the Commonwealth ‘Only a few people acknowledged Jesus when he was born. Now billions follow him.’

Many churches have started enquirers’ courses this week giving space for people to explore faith for themselves. Let’s be encouraged by God’s promise to the church in Philadelphia, ‘I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut’ (Revelation 3:18).

Let’s make Paul’s prayer our own in 2019: ‘…that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ’ (Colossians 4:2-6).

We are praying that you will be encouraged, excited and expectant as we look forward to a year in which we make a real difference. May God’s kingdom come.

Roy Crowne
HOPE’s executive director

Here are six ways we want to serve you and encourage you in 2019
1Pray for your area in 2019 How-to-pray
Prayer is our priority. Jesus asked his disciples, ‘Could you not watch with me even for one hour?’ (Matthew 26:41)

Use the booklet How to Pray to be creatively and strategically praying for your community.

For bulk order prices contact Sue in the HOPE office.
2Two Talking Jesus stories
Gordon Kennedy, Minister, Craiglockhart Parish Church, Edinburgh, wrote to say: 'Many on the course have spoken of how they have tried talking about Jesus. One man in his 50s, a regular at Sunday church but still young as a believer, spoke of having had three conversations with people he has met while walking his dog. Another older man spoke of how he has taken the opportunity to speak of his faith and hope in Jesus when asked about his treatment for cancer. All those at the course have spoken of how they are praying for the five names they wrote down on week one, and many have now had opportunities to speak to some of them about Jesus.'

Some people are too afraid to tell their Jesus story, explains Andy Angel, Vicar at St Andrew's Church in Burgess Hill. He introduced the Talking Jesus course to his congregation as part of Chichester Diocese’s Year of Vocation, which is linked to the Church of England’s initiative Setting God’s People Free. Home group leaders at St Andrew’s grabbed the opportunity to use the video-based course, which is ideal to inspire fresh confidence.

Find out more about the Talking Jesus course here.

Three ideas for Lent

40 Days of HOPE
During the 100 days from 4th August to 11th November last year, an estimate 40,000 people joined our 100 Days of Peace and Hope. We received lots of positive feedback so we will be providing prayers and short reflections to use during Lent 2019 - the weeks running up to Easter from 6th March 2019 to Easter Sunday 21st April. Sign up here if you want to receive these prayers by email. They will also be available on Facebook and Twitter.

40 Stories of HOPE40 Stories of HOPE
Our Lent book ‘40 Stories of HOPE’ has reprinted. Thousands of people used it in 2018 and found the prisoners’ stories to be inspirational. If you didn’t use ‘40 Stories of HOPE’ last year – you can order copies to use in Lent 2019 from 6th March here.

Join forces with our friends at Stewardship and their a global, generous community of over one hundred thousand people who have completed the 40acts challenge during Lent. Sign up for the 2019 Generosity Challenge here.

4Four magazines  Welsh-St-Davids-Magazine
We are working on four magazines with our partners Hope for Every Home.

There’s a special bi-lingual mini-magazine for churches in Wales to give away for St David’s Day, as well as HOPE at Easter, an undated HOPE magazine and Christmas HOPE for everyone to use to build bridges with local communities through the year. Copies will be available to order soon from the HOPE shop with a discount if you order copies of all three HOPE magazines.
Five seasons in the rhythm of mission
  • Rhythm of MissionThe first two months of the year are time to pray, plan and prepare for mission.
  • Easter is a great opportunity to invite people to a guest service and to give a gift that helps them consider Jesus for themselves.
  • Summer Fun Days take the church out of the building to serve and celebrate in our villages, towns and cities.
  • Harvest brings communities together to share food; that in itself can open up new friendships to build on. And meals together are a great way to bring people together in a relaxing, friendly context for enquirers’ courses like Alpha or Christianity Explored.
  • Christmas is the ideal time to explain who Jesus is, why he came and the gift of life he offers. Plan your celebrations with guests in mind and make sure the whole congregation has something to say about their own Jesus story, something to give to help family and friends find out more, and an invitation to offer to your Christmas services and celebrations.
Six opportunities

HOPE Practitioners
If you are passionate about churches working together in mission and evangelism across villages, towns and cities, you’d make an ideal HOPE Practitioners. Our practitioners keep us up to date with what’s going on in their area so we can pray and serve local churches better. Sue Jennens from the HOPE office keeps in touch with practitioners by phone and email – to find out more, contact Sue - 01788 542782.

Mission Champions
Our January event to bring ‘mission enthusiasts’ – together has been postponed until we can find a suitable venue. If you are the person in your church who enthuses about mission we’d love you to come along on this day of encouragement, to share ideas and pray for one another. To be included on the guest list, or to suggest others who should be invited, please contact the HOPE office by email – phone 01788 542782.

Young evangelists
Young evangelists are being recruited by HOPE Revolution and the Church of England, following the success of Mission Academy Live. The young evangelists, aged 11 to 18, are being nominated by youth workers to receive an intensive year of mentoring and training with small group work and residentials in preparation for Advance 2020. Find out about Mission Academy Live here.

Advance Celebration
Advance 2020 aims to rekindle the gift of the evangelist in our churches and groups of churches. HOPE and the Advance 2020 partners are gathering more than 1,000 committed and passionate evangelists at the Advance Celebration on 12th October 2019 at the Bethel Convention Centre near Birmingham as we encourage and equip each other to take the gospel to the nation on an unprecedented scale throughout 2020. Find out more about Advance 2020 here.

HOPE Youth director
Job description here.

Hope for Every Home director
Job description here.

The closing date for these posts is tomorrow. 
We look forward to serving you in 2019 – with love and prayers from the HOPE team
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