Hope Blog

Pastor Stephen’s email of 20 March

Hi Everyone,

I hope that this email finds you well and in good spirits.

I thought I would send a quick message out about Sunday. As you are aware we are not gathering in person at Robertswood, or at Gold Hill. In keeping with Hebrews 10:25 we will not give up meeting together. This can be done though in three different ways:
1) You can meet with those in your household. Have a time of prayer and worship, open up the Bible together and take time exploring it. PRAY – 22 March Pack.pdf Here is a resource pack that you may wish to use to help. Alternatively there are plenty of resources online that could be of assistance.
2) You can meet online. Gold Hill will be livestreaming a time of worship, prayer and encouragement from Scripture at 10am. This is accessible at www.goldhill.org/stream
3) You can meet on the phone. Calling someone to talk and pray and share scripture could be something you are already doing or choose to do this Sunday. If you would like to join a congregation meeting through the phoneline (national rate number) then I will be hosting a conference call congregation (also at 10 am) that can be accessed through the following:
Dial: 03300 945 940
Room number: 84528918 #
Guest PIN: 2409 #
Please pass these numbers onto those you know who aren’t online so that they can join together with a service of some description.

Many of us will be aware that this Sunday is Mother’s Day. We thank God for the Mother figures in our lives. Those who have loved and nurtured us as a mother. We also pray for the ministry of those who stand in as a parent and foster and those who adopt. For the work of Home for Good also.

Sunday has also been set aside as a National Day of Prayer. We are joining with Christians around the nation to pray and ask Jesus to bring a stop to the virus spreading and to bring about healing to those impacted. Please join in this prayer. If you would like to join in symbolically also by lighting a candle at 7 pm that is what Churches Together are encouraging. ‘A light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it’ John 1:5

Please keep contact with one another and looking out for each other and friends and neighbours around us.

With much love and prayers

Stephen

17 March Update – Be Church!

Dear Hope Church Family,

Jesus is still Lord! In the fast-changing and challenging situation that we are in, it is crucial for us to remember that. He is the focus of our faith and hope He sits on Heaven’s throne, and in Him our faith is steadfast and certain.

In light of Government guidance published yesterday we want to share some things that won’t change for us as a church family and some things that will.

UNCHANGING: WHO WE ARE 

Who Jesus has called us to be as a church family has not changed. Whilst we cannot gather in the same we are encouraging us all even more to BE church rather than simply DO church. We remain completely committed to being unashamedly about Jesus and helping people find their way back to God.

To help us live this out in this season we are highlighting four key principles for our church family to help us respond. They are explored more in this document (Be Church.pdf) which can be printed out or viewed on a device. The headlines are:
– We will PRAY in God’s name.
– We will PROMOTE God’s Kingdom.
– We will PROCLAIM Good News.
– We will PROTECT Ourselves and Others.

Expect to hear more of these ideas as we move forward with all that’s going on.

CHANGING: HOW WE ARE WHO WE ARE

Whilst there are things that will not change, there are a number of things that will. The biggest of these is that there will be no central gatherings at Hope. Gold Hill will be live streaming (via their website) at 10am on  Sundays. It will initially include worship, a message and prayer. This will be the only stream on Sundays. Life Groups and prayer meetings will not be able to meet face-to-face.

There will be material and resources online and via email equipping and encouraging folk to BE church. This will include: online mid-week prayer times/life groups/discovery Bible Studies online. Hardcopies of resources and communication will go to those not online where possible. One resource that many in the community have already been using is this little flyer..
 

I can help.jpg


Children and Youth teams are ceasing to meet centrally but are preparing resources for families and systems of connection with the children, young people and families.

Pastoral visits will be done online or over the phone and other means as appropriate. As with most families, everyone looks out for everyone and not just one individual. This needs to continue to be the same with Hope. Please keep in touch with people, pray for them, see what they need. If you go into self-isolation or fall unwell, please let me know directly.

This coming Sunday, we are going to join with thousands (if not millions) of other Christians in a Day of Prayer. This will be the theme of our stream at 10am. I am working out a way of helping folk engage with a gathering if they don’t have internet. Watch this space.

May God bless you, and may He strengthen and embolden each of us to be His hands, feet, voice and heart in the coming days.

Stephen Walker-Williams

On behalf of the Hope Leadership

Stuck at home with bored children?

The next few weeks/months are likely to be challenging in many ways. Some of us will need to find ways to keep children entertained if they are required to practise social distancing and/or cannot to attend school. A few years ago we published this guide for low cost activities for the summer holidays. It provides some helpful ideas which could be adapted for current circumstances.

A Christmas experience ewe won’t want to miss…!

For the second Christmas in a row, Hope Community Church welcomes you to a morning of Christmas crafts, stories, songs and festive refreshments.

Meet Dandy the Donkey and his live farm nativity friends: sheep, rabbits, goats, geese, ducks and hopefully an alpaca too! Join in the Festive Fun. All Ages. All Welcome.

Hope Church Family. Helping Ewe Find Your Way Back to God

When: Sunday 8th December 10 -11.30 am
Where: Robertswood School
Cost: Free

Father’s Day Family Fun-lympics

A morning of fun & games for all the family. Challenge family members in a Sumo suit. Discover who can build the highest Jenga tower. Is it possible to make a paper plane that stays flying for longer than 10 seconds? The games, activities and craft will be suitable for all-ages. There will be a place to chill with a drink and cake and even take an Olympic themed selfie in the Selfie booth too.

There will be opportunity to get information about the fantastic work of Home For Good.

Come along for a morning of family laughter and fun.

When: Sunday 16th June 2019, 10:00-11:30

Where: Robertswood School, Denham Lane. SL9 0EW

Cost: Free (any donations will go to homeforgood.org.uk )

More information: contact Stephen on 01753 887173 stephen.walkerwilliams@goldhill.org

Wave of Prayer

Between Ascension (Thursday 30th May) to Pentecost (Sunday 9th June) we are joining a Wave of Prayer across the South Bucks region. Each day there will be at least one prayer gathering open to everyone who would like to gather and pray specifically for our region to be reached with the Good News of Jesus Christ and a renewal of the church by His Spirit.
At each gathering there will be a prayer guide to help us pray for the churches in our area and seek God’s heart for our region.

The wave of prayer will build towards a big celebration on Pentecost Sunday Evening at Union Baptist Church, High Wycombe where churches from around the region will gather to pray together.

The programme is as follows:

Thursday 30th             8.00pm @ Gold Hill

Friday 31st                11.30am-2.30pm @ Princes Risborough Baptist Church

Friday 31st                8pm @ Totteridge BC

Saturday 1st             9-10am @ Union Baptist High Wycombe

Saturday 1st             8.30-9.30/10.00am Prayer Breakfast @ Wendover BC

Sunday 2nd               Evening ‘Praise & Prayer’ Service @ Wendover TBC

Monday 3rd               Day of Prayer (8am to 8pm) @ Holmer Green (details TBC)

Tuesday 4th              8.00pm @ Aston Clinton

Wednesday 5th        9.30am @ Chesham Broadway

Thursday 6th                        9.15-9.45am @ Kingshill (Northumbria Community Morning Office)

Friday 7th                   7.30-8.30pm @ Seer Green Baptist Church

Saturday 8th             8.15am Prayer Breakfast @ Oakridge (Numbers required please)

Sunday 9th                6:00pm (for 6:30pm start) Union HW Turning the Tide Gathering

Fake News?

In 1 Corinthians chapter 15, the apostle Paul talks about Good News. This morning Stephen shared a few simple diagrams to help us understand the difference between Good News, Fake News and Bad News when it comes to how we view ourselves before God.

There are times that some of us will think we’re too bad for God to love us and accept us. Left in this situation, facing down, on our knees, possibly feeling alone in our brokenness is naturally Bad News.

There are other times though that we may think that we are the ‘bee’s knees’ and that we deserve God’s love and acceptance of us. This is Fake News.

The Good News of Jesus as it is described in the Bible is that we can never be good enough to earn God’s love and don’t deserve his love yet God loves us anyway. Whilst the bad news image is the right position to be in when we look at ourselves, we can never be so bad that we’re beyond God’s love and forgiveness shown on the cross. His offer of himself on the cross should raise our heads from wallowing in our Bad News and cause us to bow if we view ourselves more highly than we should. The receiving good news position is on our knees with humble thanksgiving to Jesus for all he has done. ‘Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was buried and on the third day was raised again, according to the Scriptures.’ (1 Cor 15:3-4)

Easter Morning

On Easter Morning – 21 April 2019 – we gathered at Robertswood School to celebrate that Jesus rose from the dead. Stephen shared this diagram that summarises the biblical story of Jesus coming to earth, dying on the cross, rising to leave an empty tomb and ascending to heaven.  The final step in the story is in the future when He returns to the earth in glory.

God’s Extravagant Love

On Sunday 4th February we had an “all-together” service on the topic of God’s extravagant love. Stephen told the story of the woman who anointed Jesus’s feet with oil. We were treated to the sight and smell of Stephen’s bare feet and the aroma of the same kind of oil that the lady used to show how much she loved Jesus.

In our groups we painted pictures of the sea, we drew on a large sheet of paper, and we assembled roses to hand out after the service with a Bible verse attached.

After the service, one of the 6-year-olds gave a rose to her recently widowed 93-year-old neighbour. The neighbour was so touched she decided to go to church for the first time in 50 years. Hope Community Church helps people find their way back to God!