8th April 2015

Work Support Network Meeting - Sun 19th Apr, 7.30pm

Our work matters deeply to God. In fact, work is one of the primary activities that God created us to pursue - in communion with him and in partnership with others.

Through work we have the opportunity to make the world a better place - a place in which humankind flourishes. The working week can be so much more than something we 'endure', becoming an exciting context in which we can fruitfully follow Jesus, serve others and our world.

This is why at City Hope we run a 'Work Support Networks' meeting every six months to encourage people in their work situation. Our next meeting is on Sunday 19th April, 7.30pm at our building on Drummond Road.

The evening provides a great context for you to meet others who may be in a similar field of work to yourself where you can discuss and pray about what it would look like to see 'more of God' in your workplace and how you can play your part to make that happen.

We start at 7.30pm with refreshments and an opportunity to network and chat with people. Around 8.00pm there will be a short time to hear some stories from the workplace and some thoughts from the Bible to help direct discussion and prayer in smaller groups. The evening will finish around 9.00pm.

Our work matters to God. It is an important context for us to join in his mission. It's also a pretty challenging environment. How can we be fruitful followers of Christ at work? Whether you're struggling to survive at work, or want to understand more deeply your calling we would love to see you at our Work Support Networks meeting on Sunday 19th, 7.30pm.

Please watch this video, produced by LICC, to give a picture of the vision and aims of our WSN meeting.

(NB. Off the back of the main WSN meeting (every 6 months) a monthly work prayer meeting has been started. Normally meeting on the 2nd Sunday evening of the month. If you would like more information about this please contact the church office)

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20th March 2015

Stories of Generosity

On Sunday 8th March City Hope took up a special offering. It is wonderful to announce that we have raised just over £20,000, including Gift Aid and IOUs.

This is fantastic news, a big thank you to everyone who has given. If you would still like to give you are very welcome to and if you have an IOU to redeem please do so! For information on our church finances, special offering and where the money will be used please see here.

The special offering is (yet again) a story of God's blessing on us that has overflowed in generous giving. Direct financial giving to City Hope is, of course, only one expression of generosity in the church. Recently I have heard of a number of other acts of generosity that have demonstrated kindness, love, compassion and help to different people, here are some them:

 - A cooker broke that belonged to a lady in the church. She couldn't afford a new one so a group of friends in the church had a whip round to pay for a new one.

 - A part gift, part loan from the church helps someone get back on their feet and into work. The money took them out of a Catch 22 situation that meant they couldn't start a new job.

 - In the past few weeks I have heard of no less than 3 sizeable anonymous gifts to people to help them with housing needs. Housing is such a huge issue for many. In City Hope there are stories of God's provision in both large and small ways of helping people find and pay for accommodation. Quite often this provision has been in the form of people offering space in their home for a temporary period for free to others. I know of two such situations currently happening.

 - An older housebound members receives regular help from church members for things like shopping or simply a visit. Giving time is often harder than giving money!

 - People frequently receive meals from others and the City Hope tradition of providing meals for families that have just had a new baby is now longstanding.

Thank God for these stories. God is a generous God and wonderfully his generosity can be seen at work in our lives in many different ways across the church. Many of these stories happened through relationships built in our Connect communities and groups. If you don't know people, they can't know what your needs are and you can't know what theirs are! Getting to know people and sharing lives together in our communities and groups is a vital way City Hope functions. Then as the church grows people will be cared for and be able to give and receive from each other naturally.

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5th March 2015

Special Offering - Sunday 8th March

Jesus said that we should “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matthews 6 v33).

Everything we are about at City Hope , everything we do and pray, is about seeking more of God’s kingdom in our lives and the lives of others. This desire brings challenges in all areas of life including how we handle our money. To be ‘seeking first his kingdom’ means (amongst other things) using our money as part of that ‘seeking’.

City Hope has a wonderful, rich history of demonstrating financial generosity towards God’s kingdom and God has been faithful to us and used us to bless others on many occasions. In this past financial year alone a significant percentage of what was raised through our two special offerings was given outside of City Hope.

City Hope is a church that wants to move forward, seeing God’s Kingdom extended further both in London and internationally. In recent times of course we have quite literally ‘moved’ by now meeting at HAB on a Sunday. The challenge to keep moving forward means that we again need to look to God and prayerfully dig deep to rise to the financial challenge that ‘seeking first his kingdom’ brings to us in this coming financial year.

As you consider what to give to the special offering on Sunday 8th March please also take time to prayerfully review your regular giving to the church. Please also read through this leaflet which has more information about our finances and how we want to honour God. Many thanks for your generosity.

Looking Back (see pie charts)
As we come to the end of another financial year we can look back with gratitude at God’s generous blessing to City Hope.

Thanks to the many who have given regularly, faithfully and generously to the church, our income for the year has been enough for all of our expenses and with £3000 to spare! Please note that the pie charts show budget figures for March not actual figures (as we haven’t had March yet!)

A huge thank you to everyone who has given (money and time) to City Hope over this past year. Without your generosity we simply couldn’t accomplish all that we do. On top of the regular giving shown opposite we also raised substantial amounts through our special offerings. More about these on the back page.

Looking Forward (see pie charts)
We are a church on the move! We want to see God’s Kingdom extended further than we have yet seen both in London and beyond. Ultimately this is why we have moved to HAB for our Sunday services - because we have a desire to grow and HAB gives us space.

Moving to HAB does increase our regular expenses as the bottom pie chart shows. We also have a desire to increase our commitment to the excellent work of Christians Against Poverty (to help more people get out of debt and find Jesus) as well as strengthening our Kids Club and our Connect communities as they serve others. There is a financial
commitment to doing these things.

All these areas of growth bring a financial challenge to us. Please prayerfully consider if you are able to increase your regular giving at this time to help bring us closer to the 335K expense budget for this coming year.

Initially we will be able to make up any monthly shortfall between income and expenditure by using some of our savings and we intend to use some of the special offering too. Long term though we need to see an increase in regular giving equivalent to our standing orders going from £15,500 per month to around £18,500 per month. This is our long term aim.

God is with us in this and one very encouraging story is that we received a gift of £10,000 to the church from a source outside of our congregation and totally unexpected. God is good! All the time!

This year let us be expectant of more of God’s goodness to us both financially and in many other ways.

Special Offerings
As we have done in previous years we took up two special offerings in March and October, 2014. Just over £40,000 was raised! Well over 50% was given away to world situations such as the needs in Ukraine due to war, West Africa due to ebola and Syria/Iraq due to war and terrorism.

Other funds were given to the church and school we have relationship with in Conakry, Guinea and a portion went to Catalyst the network of churches we are a part of.

Finally some of the special offering was used for our new website (launched in Sep 14) and has covered some HAB costs in the Autumn term.

March and October 2015
This year we are committing 20% of everything we raise through the special offerings to be given away, outside of City Hope. The remainder will be put towards our regular expenses for the year as we look to close the gap between predicted regular income and expenditure. The three causes we want to give to for the March offering are:

Tearfund’s No Child Taken Campaign: Child trafficking is a global problem and Tearfund is doing some excellent work in this area.

Ukraine Crisis: People are still suffering on a daily basis in Ukraine. We will give to Christian Hope Church in Kiev (where Pastor Valery is based) to help the work they are doing.

Benin - Kingdom Clothing: The Newfrontiers church in Benin runs a clothing company that provides employment and affordable clothes for the local community. A gift to them would help them grow and make a real difference in the lives of many more people.

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20th November 2014

Moving to a new Sunday venue (part 3 of 3)

Any venture of faith with God is going to be challenging. Below are some thoughts on the top three challenges that going to HAB will give us, followed by a list of key dates between now and the launch Sunday (11th January).

The Serving Challenge
Jesus served people; he washed the feet of his disciples and ultimately he has served us all by giving his life for us (see Mark 10 v45). As followers of Jesus we are called to serve each other and the people around us. Our Sunday teams are one way that we can serve. Without many valiant volunteers serving week in, week out at our Sunday services they simply would not happen - a huge thank you to you all. Moving to Harris will, in many ways, increase the amount of serving that needs to happen and it would be wonderful to see many people step up and help.

If you would consider yourself to be a part of City Hope but are not currently serving on one of our Sunday rotas please do consider getting involved ASAP. In particular the City Kids group and Welcome Team require more volunteers.

See here for more info on our children's work. To register your interest in serving please email the office (click here).

The Financial Challenge
As well as serving, Jesus also told his followers to give financially (see Matthew 6 v1-4). Again a big thank you to everyone who regularly gives to City Hope; we couldn’t do it without you.

The church is in a good financial position (praise God) but going to Harris will cost around £700 each week. This means we will need an increase in our regular giving of around 13%. If you already give to us and feel you can increase your gift that would be great. If you don’t currently give to City Hope but are in a position to do so that would also be wonderful.

If you wish to set up a standing order, our bank details are:
HSBC, account number 72416069, sort code 40-06-21

If you are a UK tax payer please fill in a Gift Aid form (available from the office). This enables us to reclaim from the government any tax you have paid, further benefitting the church.

See here for more info on serving and giving on our 'membership' page.

The Community Challenge
We don’t want people feeling lost in the crowd when we meet in a larger service at Harris. This is where our connect communities and groups come in. We want to see these established in all the communities we represent. Currently we have three connect communities (groups of 20+ people): one in Rotherhithe and two in Bermondsey. These connect communities all have smaller connect groups within them. We also have other connect groups in other areas.

We would love people to be in a connect group and in turn, part of a connect community. We are always looking to start new groups and communities where needed. If you are not in a connect community or group, please join one! If there is nothing ‘near’ you then please let us know so we can help you. Thank you.

Sunday 7th December: Terry Virgo the founder of Newfrontiers will be speaking to us. A 10.30am service at Harris Academy Bermondsey.

Sunday 14th December:
10.30am: Family Carol Service with Boutcher Primary School choir
7.30pm: Evening Carol service with guest speaker Adrian Holloway
Both services at Drummond.

Sunday 21st December: Family service with baptisms, Drummond, at 10.30am. Paul Brown will be speaking.

Thursday 25th December: Christmas Day service from 10.00am.

Sunday 28th December: Family service, Drummond, at 10.30am. Vic Wilson will be speaking.

Wednesday 31st December: ‘Watch Night of Prayer’ service at Drummond. From 9.30pm to 12.30am. Come and pray in the New Year with us, seeking God for His blessings in 2015.

Sunday 4th January: A 10.30am service with children's groups at Drummond, our final Sunday here. Dave Nunn will be speaking.

Sunday 11th January: We start Sunday services at Harris Academy Bermondsey, 10.30am! Vic Wilson be speaking.

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