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

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Dear {recipient.first_name}

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect’ 1 Peter 3:15

Since the Talking Jesus course was launched, thousands of people have taken the six-session course. We have had lots of requests during the Covid-19 lockdown to make the Talking Jesus course available online. We are thrilled to do this and to make the course free for churches to use online over the next few months – see how in the story below.

The Tearfund / ComRes Covid-19 research (below) and the Everyone Welcome Online report show there are lots of opportunities to respond to people who are searching for peace and hope in these times. Let’s be ready to give an answer for the hope we have.

Over the next few weeks we are working with partners on resources to help you offer hope in these uncertain times. We are also developing our hopeinfo.org.uk website to provide non-Christians with a place to explore prayer, hope and finding peace. The HOPE for All magazines are still available to buy and give away. We will be using the stories from the latest magazine and back issues to create digital resources that you can share with non-Christian friends, neighbours, family members and colleagues. They are still a great gift to include in a Foodbank parcel.

Pray with us that we seize this opportunity to make Jesus known in the digital sphere to people searching for hope in troubled times.

Roy Crowne
HOPE Together's Executive Director 

Talking Jesus LogoTalking Jesus – free course
During the Covid-19 lockdown the Talking Jesus course is available to watch online as well as on DVD and USB. This promotional offer runs until the end of August 2020.
Visit www.hopetogether,org.uk/talkingJesus to sign up to receive the promotional code.

You can order course booklets in English or Welsh from the HOPE shop

There are six practical, video-based teaching sessions with inspirational testimonies to give real-life examples from people who are talking Jesus. There are also short parable-style films designed to get you thinking. Let us know how you use the course and let’s look for opportunities in lockdown to help people get to know Jesus for themselves.

Online small group evangelism
Members of a Methodist church in Bristol have taken their evangelism online to tell friends and neighbours about the gospel and bless their community. The Freedom Church in Kingswood has set up Freedom Groups which meet weekly via Zoom. Church members in the groups are encouraged to invite neighbours to join. The church has also created a prayer line, Prayer4You, where people can contact the church for spiritual support. Read the story and be inspired here.
Reaching young people online 
We have created a space to celebrate all the best Online Youth Evangelism Resources. We are continually adding to this page as we come across amazing resources that help you reach young people online and disciple them to live evangelistically.
Online-Resources
Also, last week Dan Randall, HOPE’s Youth Director, did an interview with Youthscape all about Youth Evangelism Online, sharing some thoughts around that and the great resources on this page. Listen to the interview here
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Amplify youth stories
Young people on the Amplify programme have made testimony videos to watch and share on social media – find the stories on Youtube
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Virtual church popularity during lockdown

A quarter of the UK's adult population have watched or listened to a religious service since lockdown. Our partners at Tearfund commissioned the research company Savanta ComRes to explore the role of the church and prayer in the current COVID19 situation among the general public. The research also aims to gauge how people are responding to COVID19, particularly looking at spiritual practice during the lockdown. You can read the research here. Let’s take the opportunity to reach out during this season to make Jesus known.
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Church in action in Preston

Last month we highlighted how Crossgate Church in Preston has responded to Covid-19 – you can read the full story here. In the video above, you can watch senior pastor and HOPE practitioner Ron Farrington, explain how the church is putting faith into words and action.
QueenCoverA gift for VE Day commemorations
Help bring hope: The Servant Queen and the King She Serves makes a great gift as part of the VE Day commemorations. Buy a pack for just £11.50 for 10 to give to local residential care homes during lockdown.
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The Blessing UK

Church buildings might be closed, but the church is alive, active and praying a blessing over us all - our families, our communities and our nation. More than 65 churches and movements, representing hundreds of others, came together online to sing a blessing over the UK, which has been watched by more than 1.6 million people in the four days since it went live. Watch it here, share it on social media and add it to your livestreamed church services. 
Everybody Welcome Online
Last week we highlighted the document ‘Everybody Welcome Online’, which tries to make sense of what is happening, looks at who is being attracted to online church and why, how best to communicate with them and welcome everyone online, and what we should be doing to prepare for the end of lockdown. If you haven’t accessed this report, from Bob Jackson and George Fisher, you can find it here.
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Mondays in May

Members of the HOPE Together team will be on Facebook Live on Monday 7-8pm talking about how to make the most of every opportunity to make Jesus known in this season.
LossandHOPE-Logo-smallAt A Loss
Know someone who is struggling with loss at this time? ataloss.org is the UK's signposting website for the bereaved. It was launched as part of the Loss and Hope project to equip churches to support people who are bereaved and facing loss. Find out more at lossandhope.org
Join our team 
We are expanding our communications team so that we can find, research and produce more great stories which inspire the local church to make Jesus known with words and action together. Find out more about this new role here.

We are also looking for a freelance digital media expert to join our team so that we can inspire the local church online to make Jesus known with words and action together and also to help local churches reach out to non-Christian audiences who are exploring faith and spirituality. Get in touch if you can help us.
Do tell us how we can support you and pray for you. Join our Mondays in May Facebook Live chat or email the HOPE Together office.

Love from the HOPE Together team
 
Glenys
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