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

Dear {recipient.first_name}

‘When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place…’ (Acts 2:1).

In more normal times Pentecost brings churches out onto the streets in many villages, towns and cities to demonstrate the unity we have because of Jesus and to celebrate the birthday of the Church. Now that church buildings are closed, it is great to see how churches are working together in creative ways to make Jesus known online and from homes.

We loved the idea adopted by Birmingham churches to encourage church members to display a poster with the message ‘We are church and we are here for you'. We’ve created a poster you can use in your window wherever you are, to show that church buildings might be closed but we are still active and offering to serve our communities.
And have you seen the amazing results from the Talking Toddlers research? Watch the video above as Rachel unpacks the data and points to the fantastic team that is already in place to reach children under five and their families. It is wonderful to see children and families’ workers making connections online with the parents and children who would normally link with church activities. In the coming months we will be working with our partners to provide resources to encourage and equip Christian parents, grandparents and churches to reach this strategic group.

Roy Crowne
HOPE Together's Executive Director 

HOPE Spaces – prayer spaces in public places
HOPE-Spaces-Logo-White-MediumNow that lockdown is easing with street markets and shops opening soon, we have the opportunity to engage with our communities and help bring fresh hope. Before lockdown we launched HOPE Spaces. We are developing the ideas to conform with social distancing guidelines and we are also creating an online HOPE Space, where people who are not yet Christians can discover God through prayer. 

Churches in Bedford have already got a shop lined up in the middle of town next to Costa Coffee and opposite Primark to use as a Hope Space. This week they ordered 200 copies of the Hope for All magazine and Hope Spaces prayer cards to give away to visitors. Do let us know how the churches in your community share hope with local people as lockdown eases.
Give away hope
HOPE-FOR-ALL-2020-COVER-SMALLWe are thrilled that Methodist churches are being supported by the national HQ to give HOPE for All magazines to foodbanks to deliver with food parcels. As you can imagine our stocks of the magazine have remained high during lockdown. If you can distribute copies, get in touch and talk to us if the price is a problem. We would love to have the magazines used to help bring hope. The baptisms of football stars Roberto Firmino and Willian feature in this issue, which unpacks the significance of baptism and its links to Jesus’ resurrection. Hope for All is a great conversation starter. Deliver it home to home or give it away from a market stall, with foodbank parcels, from a Hope Space in a local shopping centre or from a box by your front door like Danielle.

Danielle, below, has given away 72 Bibles from a box outside her home in Wythenshawe, south Manchester, to passers-by out on their daily walk.
The Jesus story [Mark’s Gospel]

Recently 800 non-Christians in city centres were asked what sort of Bible they would consider reading. The 18-30-year olds picked out a Gospel that was a quality magazine/book with images on every page. So we have published Mark's Gospel in partnership with Biblica,  designed with millennials and Gen Z in mind. Give it away to  those you know in this age group, your friends and family, and those in your local communities. Order single copies or packs of five from the HOPE shop.
National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast 

HOPE Together is one of the sponsors for this year’s National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast. As this is online you can join the event, which will be livestreamed on Tuesday 30 June at 8.30-9.00am. The theme is ‘Hope and peace in a time of fear and suffering’ and the event will include prayers led by parliamentarians, hymns led by special guest singers and a keynote address by the Bishop of Kensington, the Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin. The event is free, but you must register via Eventbrite in order to receive access. For more information visit the website here
Rainbow-Insta-StoryPosters for Pentecost 

The Bishop of Birmingham is backing churches in Birmingham as they prepare to celebrate Pentecost with online prayer gatherings, a unity prayer and reading project and a poster to display in windows saying: 'We are Church and we are here for you’.  
Church members are invited to put the poster in their windows as a reminder of the presence of the scattered church in every neighbourhood.

HOPE Together has created this poster and social media images which any church can use to show that the Church is alive and ready to serve. 

Invite members of your church to print and display the poster and to share the social media posts as we celebrate Pentecost this weekend.
Bereavement: the challenge for all ages... 

Bereavement is a challenge people of all ages face, and in this season of pandemic, it is on people's minds more than ever. Young people can be affected in a way that some adults aren't. Gen Z, which includes all teenagers, are known as the loneliest generation in the UK. They are possibly fighting this battle on their own. But this also creates an opportunity if we choose to open up to share the hope of Jesus with them or remind Christian young people to share their faith. There are few missional resources to support youth workers in this area. Our friends at Church Army have produced an excellent resource: ‘Death, Grief and Hope’. You can download it free here.
June Prayer for Toddler Groups... 
Get your church praying for their toddler group; the volunteers, the children and their families and the communities they are part of. There are ideas and resources to help you advertise and organise a Prayer Day/Event in June from the 1277 website.

June is the national month of prayer for toddler groups, a great time to launch the Talking Toddlers research. You can find out more about the national prayer campaign on 1277’s webpage.

We are praying that God will bless you and encourage you whether you are still in lockdown, at work or at home. Do let us know how we can support you and what resources might help you make Jesus known at this time.

Love from the HOPE Together team
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