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,
Working with the media
. (Author: )
Churches counting down to 2014
A year of hope-filled mission (Author: )
HOPE welcomes Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury (Author: )
Time of our lives!
After 2012 - what's next? (Author: )
Royal Thank You launches harvest of thankfulness
. (Author: )
A Big Jubilee Thank You to Her Majesty the Queen
24.09.12 (Author: )
Church leaders urge whole Church to pray
All Praying Together weekend (Author: )
Prayer making headlines. All Praying Together
7-9 September (Author: )
Churches contribute to community spirit and party mood for Diamond Jubilee
6 million take part in the Big Lunch (Author: )
1 in 100 UK citizens to get Jubilee gift
New Testaments given away by churches (Author: )
Over 400,000 Diamond Jubilee New Testaments ordered
A gift to the nation (Author: )
Grace for Diamond Jubilee lunches released
Commonwealth Day Press Release 12.03.12 (Author: )
HOPE launches free Diamond Jubilee resources for churches
Have a Big Jubilee Lunch (Author: )
Churches Together support HOPE
Archbishops sign declaration (Author: )
Unprecedented HOPE Forum - Press Release
Press Release: Church Leaders unite (Author: )
Teens to use phones to talk about Jesus
Hope Revolution launches Textify (Author: )
HOPE appoints Jesus House Pastor
Associate Director to bring Church streams together for mission (Author: )
Church call to be centre of Queen's Big Lunch
Jubilee is an unmissable opportunity for building community (Author: )
Married couples to renew vows as Will and Kate say ‘I do’ (Author: )
Beeston Street Angels help protect late night revellers in Nottingham
Roy Crowne taking part in the Street Angels experience on launch night (Author: )
Food drop-in sees clients ask for prayer
Over 60 churches in Calderdale support the Halifax project which is seeing great response (Author: )
Praying in the new year
Thousands gave new years eve to God in prayer (Author: )
Take Hope to the streets, says Police Chief
Matt Baggott, Police Chief in Northern Ireland asks churches to work together (Author: )
Choose hope, not cynicism.
Jim Wallis speaks about Hope on his Justice Now Tour. (Author: )
Play inspires hope through story of Ruth
Hope Players bring back Redemption Song play after sell out in September. (Author: )
HOPE Nottingham launches with vision to reach every area of the city
Over 50 church leaders and hundreds of worshippers gather to share their vision for the city (Author: )
'Don't just preach unity, do it'
Black and White Church leaders call churches to demonstrate true unity of purpose and join together in mission in their communities. (Author: )
Launch at huge all-night prayer event
HOPE will launch in its new form at the Festival of Life which expects more than 25,000 people to attend. (Author: )
Bridging cultures in Balsall Heath
Young people from churches in central Birmingham get to know their Muslim neighbours. (Author: )