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HOPE-Together-Square-Medium   News Update 
1 May 2020

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Dear {recipient.first_name}

Roy‘See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland’ (Isaiah 43:19)

Back in 2019 as we dreamed what 2020 would look like we wrote: ‘Imagine your church at the heart of your community as a beacon of hope for the least, the lost and the lonely. Imagine your neighbourhood transformed as the network of people connected with members of your church discover fresh hope as they come to know Jesus’ love for themselves….Many individuals and ministries are sensing that 2020 is a significant year in which we will see the church in the UK grow.’

We had no idea how God would work in this year. Now we see many people looking in on virtual church services and searching online for ‘How to Pray’ and ‘Peace with God’. We are committed to supporting the local church through this season, helping churches to make Jesus known with words and action together. We are developing new online resources and praying that churches will seize the opportunities of this new day, to help people find the hope they are looking for – hope found in Jesus.

Roy Crowne
HOPE Together's Executive Director 

Preparing Church for the New Normal
HOPE’s associate director Revd Canon Yemi Adedeji has been hosting daily conversations with guests on his Instagram page, discussing the impact of Covid-19 on the Church. ‘The Church we left is not the Church we are returning to’ is the slogan for his chat shows, designed to help church leaders think through the implications of the current crisis. Yemi’s last conversation (for now) was today at 11am on Instagram. You can view the whole range of these programmes on his Insta page.

And while he takes a break from the daily morning chat shows, he will be one of the guests on HOPE Together’s virtual sofa on Mondays in May from 7-8pm on Facebook. You can join the conversation here on Monday 3 May at 7pm. Roy Crowne and Rachel Jordan-Wolf will be chatting with Yemi about local churches making Jesus known in the virtual world of Covid-19.
Launrence-Singlehurst-VideoCommissioning Mission Champions
Imagine if every church and area in the UK had people who are resourced and equipped to make Jesus known together with words and action. The dream is that every church will have a Mission Champion who will inspire and equip fellow church members to reach out, making Jesus known. Watch HOPE Board member Laurence Singlehurst explain the vision and sign up here to be a Mission Champion for your church.
Spreading hope in Macclesfield 
The Hope Centre in Macclesfield was already planning ahead when Coronavirus struck. Its flexibility and willingness to adapt has helped it reach new areas of the community, providing meals, food hampers, HOPE magazines and offering other ways of support. True to its roots in HOPE Together, the Hope Centre brings together 39 churches across north east Cheshire to make Jesus known with words and action. Read the full story here.
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HOPE-FOR-ALL-2020-COVER-SMALLH4A-19Magazines – two for the price of one 
We were thrilled this week to receive a call from a couple who like our magazines so much they want to give a regular gift to help us keep publishing them. From May to the end of August we are giving two issues of the HOPE for All magazine for the price of one. Both issues are undated and are filled with stories to help people find hope. They make a great gift to include with food parcels from your local Foodbank.
HOPE Together – come work with us
We are expanding our communications team to take on a Communications Assistant to write fascinating, fact-filled, share-able short articles, longer features and snappy social media posts for a variety of audiences. Find out more here.
Everyone-Welcome-OnlineEverybody Welcome Online
Most churches going online have discovered that far more people are accessing their services than ever came to the building. What seemed initially to be a devastating blow to churches as buildings closed, may actually generate growth.

Everybody Welcome Online is being offered as a gift to help all churches and ministers who are going online in these extraordinary times. Missioners Bob Jackson and George Fisher have teamed up with the Durham University Centre for Digital Theology and you will find Everybody Welcome Online on their website. If you find it helpful or inspiring please forward it to as many others as possible. Bob and George would love to hear more inspiring and instructive stories to share or email them.
Community Care Grants and Care Kits available
The international charity Samaritan's Purse is preparing to respond across the UK in partnership with the local church. Churches and projects that are serving their communities through ‘Good Samaritan’ activities such as foodbanks, caring for the elderly and infirm, or for those with special needs or mental health issues can apply for grants of £1,,000, £3000 or £5,000 in order to keep work going or get a new project off of the ground. Community Care Kits stocked with personal protection equipment (PPE) for key workers, for the vulnerable and for those conducting community ministry, are also available. Find out more and apply here.
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Bible sales boom
Mark-CoverThere is a growing interest in prayer, Bible reading and online church during lockdown. Philip Stone, Media Manager for Nielsen Book International, which tracks global book sales, told us, ‘We've seen Bibles and liturgy ascending up the charts during the lockdown period, which is an unusual pattern for this time of year.’

HOPE Together and Biblica have produced a beautifully illustrated Mark’s Gospel, which is available at £1 a copy to send to people you are praying for. Encourage your friends and family to use the Discover Bible App to explore the Bible alone or in groups – find out more about the App here.
Virtual toddler groups
Is your church linking online with Parent & Toddlers or other groups connecting parents and pre-school children? We would love to hear your best examples of virtual groups connecting parents in this context. Email the HOPE Together office with your stories.
Summer Fun Days
HOPE’s rhythm of mission includes summer fun days – and this year we are putting together resources for Virtual Fun Days to help your community have fun together even during lockdown. If you have tried and tested ideas to bring your community together, let us know
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Livin It Out

A group of seven young people from this year’s Amplify Academy have produced a resource called ‘Livin It Out’. The idea started off at the beginning of this pandemic, not long after our second Amplify residential in March. By sharing content and videos exploring different questions about faith, they aim to spread the love, hope and truth of God to the many without leaving out the few. The content is produced by the young people themselves, answering questions from their own personal views, in line with the Christian faith. They hope that the questions can develop further conversations with your young people. You can stay connected with them by following their Instagram, where their content will be posted and they hope to post content on YouTube as well. 
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The Next Wave Of Young Evangelists

Livin It Out and many other amazing initiatives and stories, have come out of the Amplify Young Evangelists Academy, a space for young evangelists [11-17] to learn, grow and develop in their God-given gift and calling! This year-long programme is coming to the end of Year 1 but applications are now open for a September 2020 start. The best thing is that most of the training and group development is online, so even Covid-19 can’t stop the next wave of young evangelists being raised up.
Worldvision’s virtual café
Grab a cuppa, and join church leaders from around the world at Worldvision’s virtual café for church leaders. Find out more here. This is a great chance for you to connect with and meet church leaders outside of your network, make friends, share prayer and help each other with some of the challenges we are all facing at the moment. Each café will start with everyone introducing themselves we will hear a short devotion, and then open up the conversation. 
Do tell us how we can support you and pray for you. Join our Mondays in May online chat or email the HOPE Together office.

Love from the HOPE Together team

PS - we've just had an order for 220 copies of The Servant Queen and the King She Serves - Ebenezer Church in Bristol plan to put them into VE Day goodie bags. 
 
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