It doesn’t seem long since Christmas when we were singing about Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem in terms of:
“The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”
Well, 2008 is a year of hope and Churches are encouraged to get involved with an initiative called Hope 08 when they might run the sort of events they have always wanted and might do it together with others.
The year is based round five high points of activity that tie in with the Christian Calendar.
* Fresh Hope, from January to Easter, might be an opportunity for helping people from the local community by running lifestyle courses and offering support to folk.
* The Big Hope celebrates Easter.
* Hope Where You Live in May around Pentecost time (May 11th) – Churches around the UK are pledging to bring 1 million hours of kindness to people around them.
* Hope Explored in the Autumn offers a chance to invite people to explore Christianity, perhaps through courses such as Emmaus, Alpha or Christianity Explored.
* The Gift of Hope at Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus and perhaps is a time when we might invite more people to hear the good news. Some are certainly more open to hearing it around that time.
If you want to know more, then Hope 08’s booklet “Great Ideas” costs £2.99 from Christian bookshops or can be downloaded free of charge from the Hope08 web site, www.hope08.com.
What do you think? Might we as a Church do something in some of these areas? Might we do something together with other churches in Tadcaster? I’d love to hear what you think!
With much love,
Your Minister and friend,