This article was originally published in Edition (8) of Prayer Magazine,  Oct-Dec 2006.

United Christian Broadcasters have recently launched a new evangelism website, which over the first few months have seen over 2,000 people make a decision for Christ.

The website www.lookingforgod.com is part of an international evangelism exercise, with the same site available in French, German, and Chinese.  Over 100,000 people have made a decision for Jesus since their launch in July 2005.

UCB in the UK plan to advertise the website on Buses, Bus stops and billboards, allowing people who are looking for answers in life, to come to faith and then be recommended to a church near by.

YEAR OF PRAYER SCHEDULED FOR 2007 FOLLOWED BY HOPE 2008

Hope 08 has an exciting vision – to see all Christian denominations, streams, conferences and churches all working together during 2008 – to make Jesus known in word and deed across our nations!  It will have prayer centre stage; support local churches to engage with their communities; engage with public sector organisations like police and government; be for the whole church but will encourage young people to take a lead; will be very flexible able to be expressed in a number of ways. Hope 08 will link with major Christian festivals – Fresh Hope in January, Big Hope around Easter, Hope where you live in Pentecost season, the big invitation during September and the big gift at Christmas. Just imagine if every church joined in during 2008 and shared the gospel with everyone living in the UK?!

The organisers of Hope 08 have approached the World Prayer Centre (linking with the many organisations and ministries across our nations mobilising prayer)  to facilitate a year of prayer through 2007. So at Trumpet Call V on 21st October we will launch the Hope vision in a day of prayer and get ready for the year of prayer. Prayer resources to enable us all to pray unitedly throughout 2007 will be available. Check out www.worldprayer.org.uk and www.hope08.com for details as information becomes available.

CHRISTIAN RESOURCES FOR HALLOWEEN

Hallowe'en is celebrated on 31 October (the day before All Saints Day) each year. Hallowe'en is a time when prevailing moral standards are reversed and evil, witchcraft, death and darkness are exalted.

Richard Wilkins’ 71 page, illustrated booklet outlines alternative learning activities for primary and secondary schools; champions resistance to evil and examines the place of right and wrong in educational development; challenges adult society's casual agenda for the spiritual development of children and gives ideas for planning an alternative 'Not-Hallowe'en' party for children.

You can purchase this booklet for £1.50 (incl. p&p) by ACT on 01727 - 840 298

"Children Matter!" network in the UK

The network is a group of agencies working with children in the UK, with the aim of doubling the number of children reached by the church in this country in the next ten years. It is exploring ways of working together, speaking out on behalf of children and equipping those directly engaging with them, to help strengthen the church's response to young people.

The Children Matter website is http://tahilla.typepad.com/children_matter/

Eltham 24-7 Prayer Backed by Local London Community

One of South London's most multi-cultural boroughs is pioneering a new approach to community prayer.

In what is thought to be the first event of its kind in Greenwich, local churches will be praying for Eltham 24 hours a day for seven days. On Monday 11 September the local High Street community centre will be transformed into a community prayer station, thanks to teams from local churches, Church Army and the design skills of a local interior design company.

Special events including storytelling, mini-dramas, prayer labyrinths, gospel choirs, puppets, football chaplains and other activities will take place as the centrepiece of Eltham Praying 24-7. The slogan for the event is ‘because prayer connects’.

As well as providing a space for the public to pray in a way that suits them, the centre will also exhibit an interactive display called ‘being yourself’, from Lifewords, which will provide a spiritual space to relax think and pray – as well as the opportunity to send a prayer in a bottle, bring along photos of streets and people to be prayed for, and even give space for a special place to have a rant!

Following the day and morning shift in the High street, local churches pick up the rotation from 7.30 p.m. until 7.30 a.m. the following morning with prayer, and other activities as a 24-hour prayer vigil will be held for the area.

The event has been devised by a planning team representing a number of local Christian churches – Anglican, Baptist, Christian Fellowship, Roman Catholic and United Reformed and links in to a new desire to discover more about God through prayer. Recent research has revealed that 75% of Britons pray at some time for something with 59% of people saying they experience the presence of God as they pray and 34% of non–churchgoers claiming they have had answers to prayers.

Gary Serra di Migni, Pastor of Eltham Park Baptist Church comments: “People really want us to pray for a wide range of local issues and we have had requests for prayer in already from the local fire station, ambulance service, library, residential and care homes, market stall holders and our local hospital.

"We hope that people who would never normally walk into a church will pop into the Community Centre and ask for prayer for themselves, their families and the community. We want people to get re-connected with God and understand the impact that a regular conversation with God through prayer can have on their lives”

Thousands of postcards are being issued to invite local people to submit requests for prayer, and prayer points will be set up in a number of local businesses in the High Street, including Marks and Spencers. On the website at www.elthampraying247.org.uk - to be launched on 11 September - people will be given the opportunity to vote for their favourite prayer and get an up to date details of all the events taking place.

Methodists celebrate 'enthusiastic' year of non-stop prayer

As September begins, the Methodist Church bids farewell to ‘Pray Without Ceasing’ - a marathon 14 months of non-stop prayer. An initiative of the young people of Methodism, this 'year of prayer' encouraged churches and individuals to focus on prayer, affirm that already taking place and encourage fresh thinking about prayer. The response was overwhelming, and Methodists are determined that the spirit and creativity of ‘Pray Without Ceasing’ should be carried forward into daily church and personal life. Despite a number of national events, such as a multi-faith prayer conference, the real work has taken place in the local churches. The year of prayer has been supported by a website, offering resources, ideas, chat forum, details of events and even an online prayer space. Though the year has ended, www.praywithoutceasing.org.uk  will continue to offer ideas and inspiration to individuals and churches seeking a new dimension to prayer.

 

Scotland now has its first full-time Christian radio station

Due to limitations of broadcasting legislation in Scotland and the United Kingdom, Christian organizations were not able to obtain broadcasting licenses until recently. Revival FM has been broadcasting on a part-time license for ten years in Scotland, but that temporary license was good for up to only two months every year. But as of Sunday (September 3), the station is broadcasting full time on a five-year community license in the central Scotland areas of North Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire. Listeners can also tap into the broadcasts online at Revival.FM using MP3, Windows Media, or Real Media. Station chairman Ian Dunlop says Revival FM caters to all age groups. The motto of Revival FM is ‘Where Hearing Is Believing.’

 

Big Idea for Wokingham

Eleven churches co operated in the Berkshire town of Wokingham to bring residents The Big Idea, a programme of community service and fun events.

Bishop of Reading Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell launched the event following a cross-town procession. Then congregations rolled up their sleeves to paint murals, remove graffiti and dig gardens. Fun afternoons including crafts and games, art exhibitions in churches, an evening with comedian Syd Little and a Last Night of the Proms all featured in an event that organisers say was well received by the public.

Controversial Christian Campaigner arrested

The third arrest of an Evangelical Christian, this time under the 1986 Public Order Act was made on last Saturday, as a well known Christian Campaigner Stephen Green handed out leaflets at a Gay & Lesbian festival in Cardiff.

The leaflet which laid out the Biblical view of the Gay & Lesbian lifestyle, was interpreted to be ‘potentially’ abusive to people attending the event, and when the Police asked Mr Green to stop distributing leaflets, he refused and was taken to the local police station to be cautioned.

Upon arrival at the station, Mr Green also refused to accept the caution, and was then officially arrested under a Public Order offence.  Mr Green’s case was suspended for 3 weeks as lawyers working the case investigate the Human Rights issue of Mr Green’s freedom of speech.  The case is likely to draw a lot of media attention as it has the potential to draw some lines for the future in terms of what Christians can and can’t do in sharing the views and faith with other individuals.

This is the third incident in recent times Evangelical Christians have been stopped from expressing their opinion about lifestyle choices of other people.  Recent cases including Lynette Burrows receiving a warning for homophobic comments she made during a BBC programme and more recently Joe and Helen Roberts being questioned for 80 minutes at their home about their homophobic views.  They had asked if Christian Literature could be displayed alongside Gay & Lesbian promotional material in a civic building.

This story has already attracted press coverage in Nation Newspapers from several Christian groups including, The Church of England Reform group, Evangelical Alliance and the Christian Institute.

 

DATES FOR THE DIARY

5-7th October – Impact the Nation Conference Cardiff
www.impactthenation.com

21st October 2006 – Trumpet Call at the NEC
www.worldprayer.org.uk

27th October 2006 – Day of Prayer for the issue of Abortion
For more information please contact Stuart Cunliff at Image 0161 799 5180.

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