HOPE 08 was a movement that inspired thousands of churches in just under 1,500 locations to do more mission together. People of every age, and in virtually every tradition of church, got involved. The range of activity was enormous: schools work, fun days, street evangelism, healing teams, community clean-ups, sports ministries and loads more.
The Theos independent evaluation heralded the significant impact of the initiative. People across the country saw the Church being good news through words and actions.
In 2009, the people behind HOPE 08 felt challenged by God and a number of Christian leaders to ‘go again’. The challenge was to build on what had been achieved, aiming to encourage and equip even more churches across the UK in their mission to demonstrate, share and celebrate the good news of Jesus.
HOPE is now building momentum with a focus on high points in the Christian calendar, leading to a big all-out year of mission in 2014. In 2011 the key mission opportunity was Easter. A Hope for Easter resource book was made available which provides creative mission ideas, Easter reflections and small-group study guides.
In 2012 the big focus is the Big Jubilee Lunch, to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on 3 June. HOPE has created resources to help churches plan and hold Big Lunches in their neighbourhoods.
The Alliance is a key partner with HOPE. Please consider how your church can be involved with HOPE for your village, town or city. You could link with others nearby who are already planning something or be the spark that begins HOPE for the first time in your area. HOPE will endeavour to help and resource you with all you need, whether that is training, ideas or local contacts.
This is a fresh opportunity to work together across our communities, whatever our tradition, worship style or culture. When we work together and are true to the John 17 prayer of Jesus, exciting projects can grow and new ones can spring up. So let’s see our prayers become a reality as we speak out and live out the good news.