New HOPE for Harvest book published
- Create a community collage to display outside your church, with positive stories and pictures of activities taking place in your area.
- Encourage your church to have a meat-free Sunday – if everyone in the UK gave up meat once a week, the emission savings would be the same as taking 5 million cars off the road.
- Have a technology fast – no TV, iPod, computer or mobile phone for a whole day
These are just three of the ideas in HOPE for Harvest, the latest book from HOPE, helping churches to use key moments in the Christian calendar as a focus for mission.
As well as offering fresh ideas for harvest festivals, the new book focuses on the importance of work, generosity and thankfulness as key aspects of a mission lifestyle.
HOPE is a national movement encouraging and equipping churches to work together in mission. HOPE for Harvest draws its material from a cross-section of churchmanship, providing a rich storehouse of resources and inspiration from different Christian traditions.
In the book’s preface, HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, congratulates HOPE on encouraging churches and communities to embrace the true meaning of harvest, giving thanks for the abundance we have.
Pastor Agu Irukwu, of Jesus House, takes up the theme of thankfulness in one of his three articles on thanksgiving, prayer and fasting.
Abbot Christopher Jamison, whose TV series The Monastery attracted millions of viewers, contributes a chapter on meditation when life is fraught and busy.
Articles and ideas from Mark Greene of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity explain the importance of work and how to equip, empower and affirm effective Christians in their workplaces.
Three of HOPE’s partners contribute key sections: Stewardship provides four weeks’ worth of Bible studies looking at harvest in the Old and New Testaments; Tearfund focuses on generosity, mission and caring for the environment and Urban Saints contributes ideas for youth groups.
Dozens of other ideas and practical mission examples are drawn from a wide range of people with different perspectives on sharing faith such as a farmer, magistrate, bishop, doctor, mum, student and financial advisor, as well as evangelism specialists such as Revd Joanne Cox from the Methodist Church, Bishop Paul Bayes, Carl Beech from Christian Vision for Men and Dr Rachel Jordan from the Church of England.
Roy Crowne, HOPE’s executive director, says: ‘Harvest, as a season of thankfulness, is a holy invitation to re-evaluate and re-orientate our values. I am excited about the potential of this resource to highlight the importance of giving thanks to God for our work and for the many gifts he has given to us and its potential to equip us to share his generosity with those who don’t know him.
‘Harvest is a fantastic time to be thankful to God for all the good things he brings to us and to look at the opportunities we have to be effective witnesses in our work places and communities.’
Welcoming the book, Dr Rachel Jordan, National Advisor for Mission and Evangelism for the Church of England, said: ‘This book calls us to practise living as thankful people of God and to demonstrate our thankfulness in practical ways so that it spills over and impacts others.’
HOPE for Harvest contains fresh ideas and inspiration for urban and rural churches to support their congregations in their places of work as well as providing some thoughts on the value of work itself. It can be used by individuals, small groups, youth groups, churches and groups of churches to spark workplace and community mission.
Copies are available from HOPE – Order online , phone 01788 542782 or write to HOPE 8a Market Place, Rugby, Warwickshire,