A Happy New Year to you! We have just touched base with friends in Cambridge before returning to the US. They are very excited that their church, (where I used to be pastor), is involved in a national project called Hope 2008. Hope 2008 seeks to motivate Christians all over the UK to love and serve their neighbors. By sharing positive messages about Jesus and acting positively for him, Hope 2008's vision is to encourage 'every church, denomination and person to do more to reach people in the place where they live during this twelve-month perod' - and to do so with imagination and passion.
I know New Year resolutions have a spotty record (- certainly some of mine do!) But I love the name: HOPE 2008, the enthusiasm, the widespread involvement not only of every-sized community all over the UK, but also of churches of every kind, 'uniting in prayer, outreach and community action to help transform their neighbourhoods.'
I guess the US is just too vast, and the churches too used to working independently, for such a national vision to have a chance. But, as I return, Hope 2008 spells out some of my dreams for the local churches I know best in the US....and by seizing some of God's promises who knows what might happen this New Year. Do you sense HOPE ahead?