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HOPE-Together-Square-Medium   News Update 
12 June 2020


Help your community pray and play as lockdown lifts

‘The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence’ (Ephesians 1:23)

Next week lockdown is easing. People can go out shopping and churches are allowed to open for private prayer, so we have adapted our HOPE Spaces ideas to fit with social distancing. The aim is to help people talk to God even if they have never tried to pray before. As recent research shows, a quarter (24%) of UK adults say they have watched or listened to a religious service since lockdown and nearly half of adults in the UK (44%) say they pray. Let’s help them discover the God who answers prayer and Jesus Christ, who makes him known.

We have also created resources for Virtual Fun Days so churches can help bring communities together after the isolation of lockdown. Many people have found isolation difficult; others are still fearful. Local churches can be the glue that helps to mend our broken communities. Let’s make Jesus known together with our words and actions.

Roy Crowne
HOPE Together's Executive Director 

HHOPE-Spaces-Logo-White-MediumOPE Spaces – creative ways to pray

As churches open next week for private prayer, will you offer your community a HOPE Space – a place they can meet with God in your church building or a more neutral venue? Churches in Bedford have already got a shop in the middle of town next to Costa Coffee and opposite Primark to use as their HOPE Space. Clevedon Baptist Church plans to make their church foyer a HOPE Space. Check out our website for ideas for prayer stations in your HOPE Space, which comply with social distancing guidelines. They focus on the themes of 'Rest' and 'Peace & Justice' so far and 'Forgiveness' and 'Direction' will be added early next week. The aim is to help people engage with God and, as a gift to take away, you can offer copies of the HOPE for All magazines and our special illustrated edition of Mark’s Gospel.

Church to visit 10,000 homes in Thatcham

Every home in the market town of Thatcham is to receive a copy of the Hope for All magazine, hand-delivered by the local churches working together. David Taylor, Pastor of Thatcham Baptist Church, says: ‘Our community has a very coherent feel and we have a great relationship with the other local churches.’ The congregation of about 100 had planned to order 5,000 magazines to cover half of the town. But two things expanded their vision. They were joined on their Zoom prayer meeting by one of the church’s missionaries in Ecuador, who prayed that someone in every home in Thatcham would come to Christ. Also HOPE’s Sue Jennens phoned to offer 10,000 magazines for the price of 5,000, so they could reach every home. David Taylor says, ‘I sent a Macedonian appeal to the churches in Newbury to “come over and help us” deliver them.’ The goal is to deliver to every home by the end of July with at least one special delivery evening when members of the local churches will work together to complete the distribution. If you would like to order large quantities of Hope for All at discount prices, contact Sue Jennens at the HOPE office.
Talking HOPE on Facebook Live

Join Yemi Adedeji, Roy Crowne and more of the HOPE team on Mondays at 8pm on Facebook Live @HopeTogether. The guests this coming week include Alice Pepper talking about teenage evangelists and the Amplify programme; Danielle Campsall who gave away 72 Bibles to neighbours during lockdown, and Manoj Raithatha who will be talking about Prayer 2020 and how God is answering prayers through the Covid-19 crisis. Catch up on all our Talking HOPE Facebook Live events here on our YouTube channel.

Social distancing means church fetes, Fun Days and community festivals have to be different this year – but there are still loads of ways to bring your community together. Check out our ideas for Virtual Fun Days and socially distanced events to have fun with neighbours, make new connections and build stronger communities. Give away copies of HOPE for All and our illustrated Mark’s Gospel.
Bitter sweet - young people's experience in lockdown!
Lockdown has been a sombre time for young people, but also an exciting time due to the opportunities for evangelism. Sombre because bereavement is high on young people's minds. This in turn affects young people's mental health. We are so excited to tell you about Scripture Union's 'Mental Health and Wellbeing Suite' for youth and children's workers. Find out more here.

Then on the 'sweet' side of things we are hearing great stories of evangelism, one of which is Alice from earlier this year. Many young people like Alice are creating amazing opportunities in lockdown to reach out. Watch Alice explain how her friend responded to Jesus.  
News in brief
HOPE for All – magazines at discount prices
If you want ways to share the hope we have in Christ with people in your community, our HOPE for All magazines are packed with stories of hope and make a great gift from your church. Talk to Sue Jennens if you want to order in bulk at discount prices.

Mark’s Gospel
This edition of Mark’s Gospel, published in partnership with Biblica, has a contemporary design, which makes it an ideal giveaway to friends, family members and colleagues. Order copies here.

Mission Champions
Wondering how you can help your church to reach out more effectively to make Jesus known in your community? Let us help - sign up here and receive a free copy of our Mission Champions booklet.

Talking Toddlers – webinar
Want to encourage and mobilise the young families in your church? Join the Talking Toddlers webinar on 26th June 2020 at 10am to discuss the findings of the Talking Toddlers research. Sign up here.

Talking Jesus – free
The Talking Jesus course is available to watch online free as well as on DVD and USB. This promotional runs until the end of August 2020. Find out more here.

Prayer in Parliament – sign up
You and your local MP are invited to the National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast on Tuesday 30 June 8.30-9.00am. For more information visit the website here

Praying with us
Download daily prayers for each month here, or email Flossie Crowne to receive the prayer by email each month.
‘May the God who gives hope fill you with great joy. May you have perfect peace as you trust in him. May the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope’ Romans 15:13.

Do let us know how we can pray for you and let us know how you are sharing hope in your network and community.

Love from the HOPE Together team
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