Hope report June 2012
Roy’s Thought – A Jubilee Legacy?
The bunting may still be flapping in the wind, but wh
at else are we left with in the wake of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations? The Jubilee weekend was a once-in-a-lifetime, event. Six million people were part of the Big Jubilee Lunch (even if, for some, it became an indoor event due to rain). It is so exciting to hear of so many churches rekindling a sense of community, getting to know people, building friendships and welcoming everyone to party.
Many churches engaged with their local community in new ways. Some worked together for the first time. Saying Grace or giving a New Testament as a gift was, for others, a first step in adding words to actions. Many said they were surprised to find that their Christian faith wasn’t rejected. Some stepped out of the Christian bubble for the first time and got to know neighbours. We are called to love God and love our neighbour. Getting to know our community better is a first step. Let’s build on what has been achieved through the Jubilee celebrations as we invest in our communities speaking and serving in Jesus’ name. Let’s make community mission part of the rhythm of life as we build momentum to a year of mission in 2014.
Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and the Big Jubilee Lunch
What will you bring to the table? That was the question the Eden Project’s Big Lunch put to HOPE. They could see that churches are ideally placed to bring people together. In response thousands of churches were inspired, through HOPE, to be involved with or host Jubilee celebrations in their neighbourhood. The Eden Project was thrilled to see churches throughout the country pitching in helping with community events and hosting thousands of street parties.
In his sermon at the Diamond Jubilee Thanksgiving Service in St Paul’s Cathedral, the Archbishop of Canterbury hoped that the lasting memorial of the Diamond Jubilee would be a rebirth of “an energetic, generous spirit of dedication to the common good”. This is our cue to nurture the spark and keep it alive and growing. Could you be part of the Big Lunch in 2013? – book the 2nd June 2013 in your diary. Many people have told us that this year’s events were a catalyst for deeper community engagement. Already you are planning more ways to reach out locally in words and actions – Olympic bbqs, summer fun days, harvest outreach or Christmas fun.
A selection of HOPE-inspired Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Churches contribute to community party mood for Jubilee.
Church & community together - Local BBC radio interviews
Diamond Jubilee New Testaments “They were genuinely thrilled with their gift.”
There was “sincere disappointment when so many had to be told, ‘Sorry, they've all gone’.” “What a joy it was to see the Union Jack covers tucked under arms and popped in the top of pushchairs.” “We kept bringing more out. People were waiting to take them; there was no resistance, only thankfulness.” “People were treasuring them as a keep-sake.” This is some of the thrilling feedback we received about the souvenir New Testaments. More than 655,000 copies were ordered for the Jubilee weekend and God is using His living and active word to make an impact as parents are being asked to explain Bible stories to children who received a copy. Keep praying they will be opened and read.
New Testaments in the Media and local stories.
Post your stories/photos on ‘My DJNT story’ Facebook. Point any recipients with questions about Christianity to the 'DJNT' Facebook page.
Still trying to get hold of some?
Big Thank You and Prayers for Queen and Country
There is still time to contribute to the Big Thank You. Write, or draw, your message for Her Majesty to thank her for 60 years of service. At the end of the month The Big Thank You sheets
(pdf) will be gathered together. HOPE and the Church of England will deliver them to the Queen. Post your completed letters to Communications, Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3AZ by 30th June.
Did you encourage children and young people to write prayers for the Queen, our country and for their own family and communities? Your church can now pray the prayers the children in your community are praying. You can still use the sheet in this Diamond Jubilee year. Children's ‘My Prayer for Queen, Country and family’ (pdf)
All Praying Together Effective mission is embedded in prayer.
From Friday to Sunday, 7-9 September 2012, Christians all over the UK will be using the prayer Jesus taught, as they all pray together, wherever they are: ‘Our Father…your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven’. Together we are asking God to renew the church and empower us to reach out in words and action so that lives are transformed. As ambassadors of God’s heavenly kingdom let’s be praying as well as responding to needs in our villages, towns and cities. HOPE will be providing resources and ideas to help the Church pray together, for our nation wherever we are. These will include creative ideas for different styles of prayer, children’s prayers, advice and motivation for fasting and more. All Praying Together
HOPE for Harvest Parties aren’t just for Jubilees.
HOPE’s Associate Director Yemi Adedeji is already looking ahead to harvest as “a time for sharing and thanksgiving”. In the Redeemed Christian Church of God churches, the first Sunday of every month focuses on thanksgiving. People come to church knowing “we are going to dance”. Yemi is looking forward to harvest 2012 as a season to refocus the church, to “share out of what God has given us and to reach out to local communities”.
HOPE’s new resource book HOPE for Harvest will help you to look at the festival of harvest in a whole new light, pointing to opportunities to make an impact outside your church, in your work place and neighbourhood. Urban and rural churches can make harvest a mission moment. With dozens of ideas and practical mission examples, a preface from HRH Prince Charles and contributions from Pastor Agu Irukwu, Abbot Christopher Jamison, Dr Rachel Jordan, Rev Joanne Cox and Mark Greene, plus a four-week Bible Study, HOPE for Harvest is packed full of mission ideas and inspiration. Buy your copy of HOPE for Harvest
Huge birthday party - loving Calderdale. Over 50 churches and 25 Christian charities joined together to host a massive,
free birthday party to bless Calderdale, a borough of West Yorkshire. Held at Pentecost, to mark the birthday of the Church, Love Calderdale in Halifax showed the love of Jesus to all - everything was free for the entire day and 10,200 attended. “Churches, community groups and organisations working together with no divides, speaks volumes,” said David Fawcett, one of the organisers. There was food, entertainment, crafts and activities, donkey rides, mountain bikes, stalls, jugglers, games, human fruit machines, hand and foot massage, sunflower seed planting, a prayer tent, music, dance, and a choir. www.lovecalderdale.org.uk
Olympic Torch Relay celebrations and prayer.
The Olympic torch is taking the party mood around the country. Many churches are providing free refreshments and prayer tents. As the Olympic Torch passes through villages, towns and cities on its tour of the UK, it gives a striking visual image as we pray for the presence of God to fill our communities, counties and the whole country, setting hearts on fire for God. The theme of the Prayer Relay is for God’s Kingdom to come and for people to be reached through mission. “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you” (Isaiah 60:1).
70 day Prayer Cascade. More than Gold
We are...United at Wembley, praying for our nation and transforming community We believe God is raising up the next generation who will have a
significant impact in our communities with the good news about Jesus. Sound good? The National Day of Prayer event is at Wembley on 29th September 2-6pm - a time for all to come together in one place to pray for our nation in unity. As part of the event we are commissioning young people to lead the way, uniting and mobilising the Church for mission. An important part of our day at Wembley will include praying for our young people in 52 areas of the country to see the values of unity, prayer and transformation outworked in our communities. Find out more and access a Youth leader pack at www.hope-revolution.com/united.
Serve Our City – Preston
Preston is celebrating its Guild year and 18 churches are using the opportunity to ‘Serve Our City’ together from 10-14 July. The vision is that: "The whole Church serves the whole city through words and deeds to bring light into dark places”. The aim is to have 50 projects, 500 people and 5000 hours of kindness. Volunteers from churches across the city will work together with the council, community centres and Social Service groups to transform their local communities by cleaning, clearing, painting, decorating, renovating, reaching, sharing - doing whatever it takes - to demonstrate the hope of Jesus. Watch the Serve our City video
What’s happening where you are?
Have you got a mission planned for the summer? Are you celebrating the Olympics in a creative way? Are you working with other churches to demonstrate love to your community? Share the good news on how you are sharing hope. Email us
or post on HOPE's Facebook or Twitter
City and county connections We want to use the news from your area to inspire others. HOPE is developing a network of practitioners country-wide. If you are aware of ways in which different churches are working together in mission in your county or city, and you are willing to send us a short report every few months, we want to hear from you. Email your contact details.
God bless you, from the HOPE team.
HOPE exists to equip and support local churches to speak and live its mission, effectively using word and action outreach to share the gospel. The desire is to see long lasting spiritual change in the lives of individuals and whole communities transformed. You have been sent this email because you have provided HOPE Together or HOPE 08 with your email address and signed up to be part of HOPE. If for any reason you wish to discontinue receiving HOPE email updates please reply to the email with ‘unsubscribe to general updates’ in the subject field along with your name and address.