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[ Hope Initiative ]

On this weeks blog, Paul and Alice Warwick, who lead and co-ordinate our Boxes of Hope team share some of the heart and vision behind this fantastic project.

The last 5 years

Over the last five years a group of people at Redeemer Church have co-ordinated a love-in-action initiative. Our family have been a small part of this group, and for us it has been life changing.

In those five years, the team has overseen nearly 10,000 items, mainly food, being gifted from across Redeemer Church. These have been gathered into ‘boxes of hope’  and given forwards to a variety of people in our hometown. People such as those seeking refuge from domestic violence; primarily women and children, families seeking asylum in Plymouth from countries at war or civil unrest, and people in our neighbourhoods isolated and in need. It has involved the Church seeking to serve organisations such as the Plymouth Domestic Abuse Service (PDAS), the British Red Cross and local Foodbank services including PIE. In each case, our heart has been to show a practical love for others that stretches out and embraces everyday basic needs.

The vision

The vision behind our work on the Hope Team has been inspired by an ancient perspective: that the Bible contains over 2000 verses that make some kind of reference to social justice, to poverty and meeting the needs of others regardless of age, gender, race or social status. It is animated by the radical and transformative idea that ‘God is love and all those who live in love, live in God (1 John 4:16). This concept of love can be understood to be about an active concern for well being; for wholeness. It goes beyond the individual and stretches across the earth, spatially (local to global) and temporally (present to future). The bible’s manifold call to love is a dance of interconnection and a web or compassionate relationship.

This we continue to try and work out as we meditate on the question ‘what if God is interested in us collectively maturing in our love learning as well as us individually uttering for the first time the salvation prayer and changing the direction of our lives?’ It sparks into life a passion for a Christlikeness  with a growing sense of a God who is interested in how we relate with ourselves and each other as well as how we relate with God. Jesus speaks of this orientation in Matthew 22:37-40 and Mark 12:29-31.

Over the years the idea has been for us to look to create open spaces, where we can playfully explore together what are the head, heart and hands of living with compassion in these times, in this place, with what we have to give. To see church as being like a love learning studio. For us, the Hope Team has been such a space – where we have been transformed by renewing our minds and realising together new flightpaths of how we can make a difference to the well being of others, as unconditionally and as humbly as possible.

Does this idea of Christlikeness excite you at all – stir the compassionate spirit at your core? Does it actually resonate with so much of how you are trying to live at a personal, family, civic or work level? Well we just hope that small things like the Hope Team at Redeemer Church are an encouragement and support you on your way.

For those of you that have either given or taken items of food or hygiene products or activity materials over the years, a heartfelt thank you to you all for being part of this.

To keep contributing items for boxes of hope here is the recently revised list of things we’re currently in real need for: https://www.redeemerplymouth.uk/hope/

If you are someone who could really do with a box of items like this just now please phone the church office Tel 01752 568400.

Get involved

And if you’d like to be part of the co-ordinating Hope Team then that would be amazing. We hold quarterly get togethers over breakfast and have a WhatsApp group that keeps us all joined up. Please just email your details to the church office hello@redeemerchurch.uk and we’ll happily get back to you with more info.

Or if you have a love in action initiative bubbling away in your heart, why not prayerfully share it with others and take the next step towards how it can be worked out – go for it!

…..and this is what God requires of you; to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

grace and peace

Paul and Alice Warwick on behalf of the Hope Team

 

Redeemer Church Office | St Barnabas Terrace | Plymouth PL1 5NN

Tel: 01752 568400

Charity No : 1125216   |   Company No : 6390847