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HOPE-Together-Square-Medium News Update
March 2020
PHOTO-OF-HOPE-Team-Feb2020

The HOPE Together team gathered at the start of 2020 to prepare for the year - we thought you'd like to see the photo! (From left to right, front row: Flo Crowne, Roy Crowne, Sue Jennens, Rachel Jordan-Wolf, Adrian Curtis, Carole Smith, Laurence Singlehurst. Back row: Catherine Butcher, Steph Pring, Yemi Adedeji, Ben Almond, Dan Randall, Derek Beal, Nathan Jones)

Last week, we were thrilled to be the catalyst bringing together the Church of England, the charity At a Loss, and Care for the Family to launch Loss and HOPE, which aims to help churches support bereaved people. One pastor friend I know can point to 20% of his congregation of 600 who became Christians due to a faith journey that began with a funeral. So, I was amazed to hear some of the statistics at the Loss and HOPE launch. The Church of England conducts 2,500 funerals each week, often spending 2-3 hours in conversation with close family members to prepare for the funeral. (Statistics were not available for other denominations.) Given that the average attendance at a funeral is at least 50, that means the Church of England has opportunities to minister to 6.5 million people attending funerals each year – compared with the 2.4 million who attend Christmas services. Find out more on their new website lossandhope.org and watch the Archbishop of Canterbury introduce Loss and HOPE here.

HOPE’s role is often to be the catalyst bringing groups together. If you’ve not discovered why we do what we do – read ‘HOPE’s priorities explained’ below. 

At the Loss and HOPE launch we heard about the importance of hope in people’s lives. As people throughout the country and across the world become more fearful, let’s be people who are always ‘prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have… do this with gentleness and respect’ (1 Peter 3:15). And let’s be on the look-out for neighbours and others in our communities who might be feeling more vulnerable. There’s an expression of Church in every community. Let’s be communities of hope, loving and serving as we make Jesus known with words and actions together.

Roy Crowne
HOPE Together's Executive Director 
Pages that pack a punch!
Celebrity baptisms, prayer, angels, generosity plus many more topics are covered in the all-new Hope for All magazine out now. Hope for All magazine has loads of pictures and punchy articles to make it an easy read to help people find out about Jesus for themselves.

Centre-spread

We’ve been so encouraged to hear how churches have been giving the magazines away home to home with invitations to church events.

HOPE-FOR-ALL-2020-COVER-SMALLOne church in Kidderminster saw 20-30 new people come to church after they delivered 600 Christmas Hope magazines through people’s letterboxes visiting every house on their estate. Members of the congregation said it was easy to speak to others about faith as the magazine opened doors for conversations. 

‘We hope this new Hope for All magazine will be a great resource for churches to use to invite people to Easter services,’ says Roy. ‘It’s the perfect conversation starter.’

Preview the magazine at www.hopetogether.org.uk/Easter and visit the website we've created to share the stories with those outside church at hopeinfo.org.uk Copies of Hope for All are available to order at just 10p a copy from hopetogether.org.uk/shop
Prayer 2020 – Friday 20 March
Gospel-video
Invite your church or homegroup to join you in person, or in Spirit, for Prayer 2020 at 20:20 on Friday 20 March. Take inspiration from this video of Celia Apeaygei-Collins leading us in prayer:  If you need inspiration on what to pray for 20 minutes, download our 10-point prayer planner.
Mark-CoverNew Gospel to give-away
When asked about their journey to faith 27% of practising Christians said that reading the Bible was key. We then showed 800 non-Christians some options of a Bible format and asked what they might be likely to read. Most, aged 18-50, wanted a quality, image-filled version - so we’ve made just that. Working alongside Biblica, we’ve produced a high quality Gospel of Mark as part of our contribution to the 2020 Year of the Bible. We also still have copies of the gift book Who Do You Say I Am?  to order at a discount price of 10 for £10 (inc p&p). Order copies of these resources from the HOPE shop to give away this Easter.
Mission-Champions-CoverMission Champions
in local churches

Imagine if every church in the UK had people who were able to make Jesus known effectively wherever they spent their time, any day of the week. The HOPE Together dream is that every church will have a Mission Champion who will inspire and equip fellow church members to be these people.

Could you be the Mission Champion in your church? Find out more and sign up here.
Booklet-CoverMagazine-2020


HOPE helps Welsh churches

The Church in Wales marks its centenary this year and they invited HOPE to produce a bi-lingual give-away booklet to mark the milestone. Copies will be given away at cathedrals and to children in schools throughout Wales later this year. Please pray with us that these booklets will help to make Jesus known in Wales.

2020 is the third year that HOPE has worked with churches in Wales to create a bi-lingual St David’s Day mini-magazine. The 8-page publication includes punchy stories about people who are Christians, plus a recipe and short items to prompt conversations about faith.

Find out about the other Welsh-language resources from HOPE Together - here
Young evangelists being raised up
You might know a young person just like Rhys, featured in the video above. We have the privilege of helping to facilitating the training, equipping and releasing of 61 amazing young evangelists, all aged between 11 and 17. Amplify is the nation’s first-ever National Young Evangelists’ Academy. We are about to come to the end of our first year and applications are now open for the 2020/21 intake, which starts in September 2020. Applications close on 30 April 2020. 

Young-Evangelist
HOPE’s priorities explained
Ever wondered how HOPE decides on what to do next? The Talking Jesus research is one way we prioritise projects. For example, when the research showed that Christians’ conversations about Jesus weren’t as fruitful as we’d hope, we launched the Talking Jesus course. When we found that many people become Christians as a result of attending a normal church service, we encouraged churches to visit local people home by home with an invitation to church and a HOPE magazine as a conversation-starter.
Discovering that many people come to faith following a spiritual experience they can’t explain, prompted us to work with 24-7 to launch Hope Spaces. Knowing that many come to faith as a direct result of reading the Bible for themselves has led us to work with Biblica to publish a highly illustrated version of Mark’s Gospel. And discovering that most Christians came to faith before the age of five has prompted the work we are doing with families and pre-schoolers… more about that later this year.

Partnerships
In all that we do, we aim to work in partnership with others, across the spectrum of denominations and ethnicities, encouraging words and action to make Jesus known throughout the Christian calendar. We are thrilled when villages, towns and cities catch the vision, especially when churches work together with words and actions to show Jesus’ love to the people in their communities. And of course we prioritise prayer – hence the Prayer 2020 project. We hope you will be joining us from wherever you are on 20 March at 20:20 (8.20pm) praying for 20 minutes that this year ‘God will give many opportunities to speak about Christ’ (Colossians 4:3 NLT).
Please continue to pray that this will  be a fruitful year, when churches reap a harvest after years of sowing faithfully into local communities. Do let us know how we can serve you.

Love from the HOPE Together team


 
Glenys
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