Journey Into Faith

Journey into Faith is the East Anglia District’s initiative.
In the past we have often developed a district wide event, for you all to attend.

In 2015, rather than have one big event we encourage each church to engage in
a local event of Radical Hospitality for your community.
This is something many of you already do very well.

The aim is to host a free food-orientated event, not just your normal coffee morning or another sausage sizzle, but something extra–ordinary for your whole community. This could take place around Pentecost, but a later date in the summer might work better for you. No charge, no pre-requisite for coming, just lashings of abundant generosity as God abundantly drenches us with his love and generosity, so we do likewise.

This information pack aims to help you with planning and developing your local event.
In the ‘Pack’ you will find

  1. Information on printed items to be provided by the district
  2. Starter ideas
  3. Suggestions for whom to invite and where to advertise
  4. Preparing ourselves for the event
  5. Added extras such asSample Press Release
    1. Branded items you may choose to create
    2. Things to create as Take Away gifts
  6. Practical considerations
  7. Radical Hospitality team contacts

1 Printed items to be provided by the district

The District will provide blank posters and invitations for you to add your local information.

You will also be provided with some sticky labels/badges to give to people who attend.

The printed items will be available Ministerial Synod in March

 

 

2 Starter ideas for the type of event you might like to organise.

The idea is to be generous. Offer something simple but in abundance.

The original idea was based around a free Cream Tea event. However, these ideas might get you thinking…

  • Breakfasts – this doesn’t have to be an afternoon event after all.
  • BBQ – have you got grounds that suit this approach?
  • Strawberries and Cream for Wimbledon – with a big screen?
  • Cup cake party
  • Hot Chocolate event
  • Non-alcoholic cocktails
  • Chocolate Fountain
  • Is there something happening near your building that you could link in to?
    For instance: Is there a marathon or Fun Run passing by your church doors this summer?

Be brave, be generous, be radical.

3 Publicity and Invitations
The District will provide blank Posters and Invitations for you to use, plus templates if you need to print more locally.


Suggestions of whom to invite.

  1. All non-church premises users.
  2. Neighbours near and further away from the church
  3. Local schools
  4. Regular coffee morning/church lunch and other regular attendees who may not come to church on Sundays
  5. Your non-church family and friends.

 

Where to advertise the event.

  1. In your local free paper
  2. Local shops
  3. Doctor’s surgery.
  4. Post office
  5. Posters on your front garden fence
  6. Make a Face Book “Event” of it
  7. Streetlife (local social media based on post codes) https://www.streetlife.com/
  8. Local Radio
  9. Will your local estate agent help sponsor you with signs?
  10. Your wayside pulpit/notice board
  11. Your “in-church” notice board
  12. In the Parish Newsletter or church magazine

4 Preparing ourselves for this event

We want to enthuse you to get excited and embrace this concept. Our best advice is to plan early, take it to your church councils, pray through your ideas, worries and concerns and ask for help if you need it. You might need to do a bit of fund raising before the event or get donations from your congregation or friends of your church. The reason for this is that the event is a FREE event, that’s right, everything is free and, as the name suggests, is Radical. There should be no expectation that this will grow your Sunday morning services, if it does that is a blessing, but give without counting the cost.

People who come to your event might ask questions and some of us can feel a little nervous about what response we might give. The most predictable question is likely to be ‘Why are you doing this?’

Here are some responses that you might find helpful in your preparation as you think through what they mean to you and to others in this context.

For prayer, reflection and preparation for the day

The gift of life has come to us freely; so we celebrate it by providing the ‘staff of life’ for free.

Would you charge your wife/husband/children/best friend for a hug? This is a free community ‘hug’. (We are not suggesting here that we hug everyone!)

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” (Gandhi) If we want a more giving, hospitable world, then we can’t wait for others to act first.

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” John Bunyan

“For it is in giving that we receive.” Francis of Assisi

“Do not neglect to show hospitality; by doing this, some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2

“Each person should give…[with] no reluctance, no sense of compulsion; God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

“It is in God’s power to provide you with all good gifts in abundance, so that…you may have something to spare for every good cause.” 2 Corinthians 9:8

You may also be participating in the Lent study Cultivating Fruitfulness: Five weeks of prayer and practices for congregations by Robert Schnase which will also help you prepare.

 

 

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5 Branded items.

We have provided ‘Radical Hospitality’ branding images. If you so desire, you could choose to have some items printed for your event (no District funds for these we’re afraid).

As the unit price for these items tends to reduce the more you buy, why not get together as a circuit for these? Or collaborate with another circuit?

Added extras for your event…

Once you have decided on your event, you may like to add some extra items to your event with the logo on, here are some ideas

Cake Toppers

Visit: ‘Cake Toppers Direct’ on Ebay.

£1.69 for 54 fairy cake toppers with our logo on

Balloons

If you decide you would branded balloons, it would be worth considering working with other churches or circuits, as these reduce in price the bigger the order. Many on-line companies offer these products

 

 

Prayer Bunting

Simple bunting can be made by cutting remnant materials and sewing it to a strip of bias binding. You might want to consider having a group get together to pray for the event and the people in their community while sewing.

Take away ideas:

You might want to consider being very generous and give your guests something to take away with them to remind them of the day. Producing these might be a way to get a wide range of people involved.

Hot Chocolate Kit

In a sandwich bag put a sachet of hot chocolate, some marshmallows and a flake.

 

Fudge or Biscuit Bag

Fill a bag with fudge or biscuits

 

Bracelet Making Kit

Fill a bag with a few beads and some elastic- great for children

 

 

 

Brownies in a jar

You can find lots of recipes online. You put the dry ingredients in a jar and then attach a label with the cooking instructions on

 

Tea bag card

You might want to
attach a clean tea bag inside the card seeing as there’s drawing on the front tea bag

   

 

6 Sample Press Release

Right across East Anglia people have decided to demonstrate Radical Hospitality. The Methodist Churches in East Anglia are putting on events free of charge for their local community. The event at x church will take place on x date, cream teas and cups of tea will be served.

It is hoped that this will be a great event for everyone. One person said “No charge, no pre-requisite for coming, just lashings of abundant generosity as God abundantly drenches us with his love and generosity.”

The Methodist Churches in East Anglia have been established for over 200 years and play a vital role in their communities offering activities for people of all ages.

Along with (cream teas) there will be friendly faces, balloons and maybe even some gifts for you to take home.We hope to see you there.

7 Other practical issues

Now, if you are so excited you want to have a big celebration on the village green, or Town Park you need to make sure you get permission from your local council and inform the Police of a public event. If you decide to serve hot food, you will need people with their up to date Food Hygiene Certificate and fill out forms for the council to make sure we don’t poison anyone!!

For instance, in August 2014 in St. George’s Park, Great Yarmouth had such an event…all free…serving hot dogs, cakes and cold drinks. Everything was done to ensure the law was kept and they had a resoundingly successful day.

Health and Safety and Photography Guidelines:

You may already have these displayed at your church but as an aide memoire, here are the details:

Link to the Methodist Health & Safety guidelines

methodist.org.uk/search-results?q=health+and+safety+at+work+policy

Photography Guidelines can be found at the end of this document:

 

8 Radical Hospitality working group contact
So, it’s over to you now, and if you have questions don’t hesitate to contact the team.

Ann Howlett-Foster howlett-fostera@methodistchurch.org.uk 077999 00481
Revd Sarah Lowe lowes@methodistchurch.org.uk 077999 02578
Jack Lawson jnl1952@gmail.com 07925 105240
Revd Betty Trinder bettytrinder@hotmail.com  
Beth Perrott bethperrott@hotmail.co.uk  

 

 

Contact Info

(Please contact Alison Travis/The District Office only for matters that relate to the Methodist District. For Local Church or Circuit matters please contact the people on the individual Circuit and Church pages.)

01603 625765

Alison Travis

The District Office
Chapel Field Road Methodist Church
Norwich
NR2 1SD


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