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

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Dear {recipient.first_name}

How wonderful it is, how pleasant, for God's people to live together in harmony! …That is where the Lord has promised his blessing (Psalm 133: 1-3). 

On Monday we gathered 35 denominational and ministry leaders from across the UK Church to discuss mission both now and long-term as we look to the re-evangelisation of our nations by 2050. This was to have been the third 24-hour leaders’ retreat we have hosted with the Evangelical Alliance since 2015. Meeting on a Zoom call wasn’t what we had planned, but it did mean that even more leaders were able to join us for the two-hour call. RCCG’s Pastor Agu Irukwu led in prayer. EA’s Gavin Calver spoke about the state of the nation and the church within the current crisis. We discussed how Covid-19 has impacted churches in our own networks and asked ‘What should the church prioritise to reach the nation by 2050?’ Pioneer Network UK Leader Ness Wilson, Dave Smith from KingsGate Community Church and Celia Apeagyei-Collins from the Rehoboth Foundation each brought a reflection, and our own assistant director Rachel Jordan-Wolf introduced the new Talking Toddlers report… more of that below. The event underlined two key principles – the local church is what changes communities and brings hope, and we can do more together than we ever can apart. In this season, churches have gone online, and many people are looking in on what we do. It’s a great time to bring churches together online, especially as we approach Pentecost. Let’s work together in making Jesus known, so that, as Jesus prayed, the world will discover God’s love. 

Roy Crowne
HOPE Together's Executive Director 

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Talking Jesus on social media

Becky Bowden says ‘fill your social media with Jesus’. The Talking Jesus course includes a session with Becky talking about using social media to make Jesus known – so we’ve asked her for an update on how to make the most of social media during this season. In the past week more than 180 churches have taken up our offer to watch the Talking Jesus course free online. Visit www.hopetogether,org.uk/talkingJesus to sign up to receive the promotional code. You can also order course booklets in English or Welsh from the HOPE shop
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New research links under-fives and church growth 

Young families with children under five could be a vital element for church growth. That’s the verdict of the Talking Toddlers report, commissioned by HOPE Together, the Church of England, and the Evangelical Alliance to highlight the potential for sustained church growth if the church nurtures the faith of under-fives and their parents. Research by Savanta Comres, released on Monday 18 May, shows that 74% of all parents with children under the age of five have attended a church-based activity in the past year.
HOPE’s assistant director Rachel Jordan-Wolf says, ‘The opportunity to turn round decline in the church might be right in front of us – a long-term strategy starting with the very young.’ Find out more here and sign-up to join a webinar at 10am on Friday 26 June to explore the findings of the report.
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Talking HOPE 

Inspiration, ideas for mission plus a lot of good-natured banter. That’s what you’ll find when you tune in to Talking HOPE, our Facebook Live event on Monday evenings from 8pm. Hosted by associate director Yemi Adedeji, with Roy Crowne and members of the HOPE team, the event gives a glimpse of the fun we have at team meetings as we talk and pray about making Jesus known. You’ll also hear from lots of inspiring guests, with great stories of hope to tell. This week’s guests included Nigel Adams from HOPE Nottingham, where they are feeding 3,000 people a week; Jane Holloway from the World Prayer Centre, who has a finger on the spiritual pulse of the UK; and Emma Buchan from Thy Kingdom Come, which launched the 2020 season of prayer today. You can catch up on last week’s episode of Talking HOPE by watching the video above, and join us on Facebook Live on Monday from 8pm for another episode and more great guests.
Prayer 2020
Thanks to all who joined us last night for Prayer 2020 – praying for 20 minutes on the 20th of each month at 20:20 (8.20pm) that God will give many opportunities to speak about Jesus. You can still watch last night’s 20-minutes of prayer on YouTube. Plan to join us next month on Saturday 20 June as we continue to pray through this significant year. Find out more about Prayer 2020 at www.hopetogether.org.uk/prayer2020
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Training young people as evangelists 

Anita, in the video above, is one of the young people taking part in Amplify this year. Amplify is a year-long programme mentoring 11-17 year olds in evangelism. The programme includes residentials, local group mentoring and evangelism masterclasses, so young people can grow in the gift of evangelism, meet like-minded young people to encourage each other in faith and witness, as well as learning more about the gospel and being empowered in their calling as a messenger of God’s good news. If you know an 11-17 year old who shows gifting in the area of evangelism, sign them up for the new programme which begins in September 2020. The new group will be drawn from many different churches and denominations right across the UK (no more than two young people per any one church). Watch the Amplify promotional video here and sign up here.
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Peer To Peer Is The Key To Reach Young People

HOPE’s Youth Director Dan Randall asks: As schools begin to look at re-opening and maybe some form of detached youth work could begin to happen soon, what have we learnt from this season? What is the gateway to non-Christian young people? The answer that has always been there - Christian young people! So no surprise that in this season we have seen sign-ups for Mission Academy Live (MAL) rise. Already this year, more than 40 new MAL groups have been planted in the UK. We are finding, as we speak to the youth leaders leading those groups, that now in this COVID-19 season MAL is being used as the main content for Sunday morning youth church. We are excited about how it is being used and if you are looking for a great online resource then check out the website to sign up for your free MAL package.
Methodists, magazines and foodbanks
HOPE-FOR-ALL-2020-COVER-SMALLH4A-19The Methodist Church has a special scheme which encourages local Methodist churches to give Hope for All magazines to local foodbanks. So far we’ve sent copies to churches in Birmingham, Worcester, Norfolk, Cumbria, Frodsham, Leeds, Otley, Melton Mowbray, Stokesley, Croydon, Cardiff, and Brentwood.

If you are not part of a Methodist church, we’ve got a special deal for you too: two magazines for the price of one. Visit the HOPE shop and use the code ‘Perfect-Package’ to receive the 2019 magazine free with the 2020 issue.  (eg If you buy, say 30 of each then the 30 2019 magazines are free. But if you order 10 from 2020 and 30 from 2019, then you’ll get 10 of the 2019 free but will be charged for the remaining 20.) Contact Sue Jennens for more information.
Do tell us how we can support you and pray for you in these strange times.

Love from the HOPE Together team
 
Glenys
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