As we assembled for the next session of our course on 'The Heart of the Divine' at Sarum College, Salisbury, on Tuesday, there was the usual informal discussion on our individual spiritual journeys in the weeks since the last course session, and I was struck by the way in which, again and again, people were excited that at their church they had begun the year with the Hope '08 prayer. This applied to Methodist and Anglican churches represented in our group, and it struck me that I had not seen anything in the Methoblogosphere about Hope '08.
So What is Hope 08?
Hope 2008 is a nationwide Christian mission initiative aiming to “unite the whole church for the whole nation, for a whole year; to do more, do it together and do it in word and deed”.
This will involve churches working together, and in partnership with Hope, in projects and events involving prayer, social justice, community action and evangelism.
"Hope 08 is a great opportunity for local Christians to work together to proclaim the love of Jesus in word and deed. I heartily endorse it."
Martyn Atkins - President of the Methodist Conference
The initiative is for the whole of 2008, but the national organising group have suggested a rhythm to the year with a number of highlights. A promotional DVD is available if you would like to find out more details.
Unlike some one-size-fits-all approaches to mission, Hope relies on locally organised initiatives that will benefit from nationally coordinated resources.
If your church/circuit would like to be involved, please check the Hope 08 website www.hope08.com for ideas, and watch the video which launched Hope '08 by our Methodist President and the Archbishop of Canterbury. You can also find Hope '08 on our connexional website www.methodist.org.uk. We are told that it is not too late to join. The Prince of Wales has been contacted and there is to be a reception at Clarence House and it is well worth-while looking at the Hope '08 website for other interesting initiatives.
You can also purchase Great Ideas, the Hope 08 resource manual from your local Wesley Owen bookshop or direct from the publisher Authentic Media.
The new ECG event - 'A Heart for the Nations' - to be held in Llandudno immediately after Easter weekend, where i am booked as a steward, has Hope '08 as one of its sponsors, others being Methodist Evangelicals Together, NXT Ministries and Youth for Christ.